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2001: A Space Odyssey – Discerning Themes through Score and Imagery

Incredibly detailed close reading of the 1968 movie 2001: A Space Odyssey. I stopped reading it halfway through because I want to watch the movie again (haven’t seen it in years) so that I can really appreciate what this author is doing. I’m looking forward to coming back to this one! Yet the audience believes HAL because he’s not human. There’s a certain suspension of disbelief in the ability of a computer to coldly…

Understanding Sonnet 130 (Preview)

Close Reading of Sonnet 130: Form, Theme, and Cultural Context (and a Rage Comic)

I’m preparing to teach Shakespeare again this fall. Seton Hill offers the course every other year, so each time it comes around, it feels new.  The course will focus on plays, but I do like starting out with a brief unit on the sonnet in order to help my students get accustomed to the language. It occurred to me that a lecture on the sonnet would be a good place to start…


Don’t worry: It’s not just art!

Before a school play, a principal worries parents will complain about all that lost test-preparation time. [T]his principal assumes I will be alarmed that my child takes a weekly visual art class, a dance class, and a music class. She is pretty sure I’m going to think there’s something fishy going on, that Real Learning is not happening, because here are kids singing and dancing in costumes they made, on…


Baskerville Typeface Generates Trust

The conscious awareness of Comic Sans promotes — at least among some people — contempt and summary dismissal. But is there a typeface that promotes, engenders a belief that a sentence is true? Or at least nudges us in that direction? And indeed there is. It is Baskerville. Believe it or not, the results of this test even show a disparity between Baskerville and Georgia — two apparently similar serif…

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Hermann Zapf, the font designer behind Palatino and Zapf Dingbats, has died at 96

Hermann Zapf, the designer of fonts such as Palatino, Optima, Zapfino, Melior, Aldus, and the bizarre but much beloved Zapf Dingbats, has died at age 96.The revered German typographer and calligrapher passed away on June 4. In his long and prolific career, Zapf worked on many fonts, but his personal favorite was the humanist sans serif typeface Optima, the lettering chosen for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial wall in Washington, DC. — Quartz