80 Days (Map)

80 Days: “1872, with a steampunk twist. Phileas Fogg has wagered he can circumnavigate the world…”

I stayed up way too late last night playing 80 Days, a choice-based interactive fiction romp from Inkle .  I had read all the glowing reviews, but kept putting off the purchase until I really had time to enjoy it. I started my first play through at about midnight, and was up past 3am. (I made it around the world with one day to spare, though in order to make…


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…

Key Speakers At The Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC)

Don’t Give Apple Too Much Credit for Bowing to Taylor Swift

Apple is skilled at attracting praise. Often, it deserves that praise. This isn’t one of those times. […] For Apple to prove it truly stands with artists, Rabhan says, it would have to fundamentally change the way these contracts are negotiated, striking deals directly with the artists instead of music labels. Until that happens, he argues, Apple has done little more than “put a Band-Aid on an open wound” that cuts…


4 Skills to Help You Stand Out In Any Job Interview

An employer will never ask you to write a five-paragraph essay, but your employer will expect you to demonstrate the critical thinking skills that you will develop while mastering the college essay. How will you set yourself apart from all the other job applicants who have also passed freshman comp? These are all specific skills I expose my students to through working on their academic weblogs and the online student newspaper.…


‘Star Trek’: The Story of the Most Daring Cliffhanger in ‘Next Generation’ History

Around 1990, when I was studying for my MA at the University of Virginia (and also working as a writer/editor for the engineering school), I sometimes had 30 people over at my place for “Star Trek parties.” The local TV station aired the show at midnight Sunday. My friends and I would rotate through different locations, but I seem to remember the group had gathered at my place for The Best of…

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Clickbait Tactics Drive the Writing of Headlines on ABC News

I probably should not be surprised, but when I saw this run of several headlines on the ABC News website, I was struck by how deliberately uninformative they are. I added some useful information that could have been in the headline. A print journalist writes a headline for someone who’s already holding the newspaper, so giving away the actual news in the headline won’t lose a sale. But a link…

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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