Public Lettering, A Walk in Central London
British Library
Phil Baines~Central Lettering Record
This walk concentrates on larger examples of public lettering and doesn't mention incidentals - stopcocks, manholes, dates on buildings, builders marks, etc. - of which there is much en route. Much of the pleasure of this kind of walk, is finding things yourself. Although also 'public', it entirely ignores advertising hoardings, store signs and most corporate identities as these are usually approached as pieces of graphic design rather than opportunities for specialist, site specific lettering.
Read »
Dissecting the Branded Brain: An Interview with Guy Maddin
Guy Maddin
David Church~Offscreen
With his visual, storytelling, and editing techniques now matured from their somewhat shaky beginnings, Maddin seems poised to continue his quiet coup d’cinema. He recently finished filming his latest feature, The Brand Upon the Brain, a companion piece to Cowards Bend the Knee shot in Seattle for the Film Company. Several months ago he premiered his most recent short film, My Dad is 100 Years Old, a cinematic love letter to director Roberto Rossellini, written by and starring Isabella Rossellini.
Read »
Dan Brown's $24m Battle
Ian McPhedran~Herald Sun
The claimants are co-authors Richard Leigh, 62, of the US, and New Zealander Michael Baigent, 57 - who wrote The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail in 1982, which tells the tale of Jesus marrying Mary Magdalene and having a child - are demanding $24 million compensation for plagiarism. Publisher Random House, which published both books and is defending the action, said the case had no merit.
Read »
The Simple and Imperfect Music of Richard Swift
richard Swift
Justin A. Stover~Stop Smiling Magazine
On The Novelist, Swift brings us into the disappointments, fumbles and occasional joys of the fictitious Clifford Swift and his downward spiral. The album presents a short, vivid tale told countless times before. A lonely, isolated writer in New York City (set during the Roaring 20s) is trying to “write with nickels and dimes.” And even though his life has more drama than the used section of Barnes & Noble, he can't find the words or energy to write a good novel.
Read »
the Art of Poetry No. 3: Interview with Robert Lowell
Robert Lowell
Frederick Seidel~The Paris Review
INTERVIEWER
    Do you revise a very great deal?
LOWELL
    Endlessly.
Read »
Futura and Wes Anderson
The Life Aquatic
Jason Kottke~Kottke.org
What I've never been able to find an answer to, Wes, is why the Futura? This Typophile thread (kind of) suggests that David Wasco, Anderson's production designer on Tenenbaums, may have had something to do with it. Or is it a shout-out to Stanley Kubrick, who was partial to Futura Extra Bold?
Read »
Blog Epitaphs? Get Me Rewrite?
Jason Fry~The Wall Street Journal
Blogs will be everywhere in the near-future, but singling them out amid the Internet tumult will seem odd, like talking about one's favorite commerce or community sites as a group. Media companies will use blogs to track fast-moving stories and bring some much-needed attitude and voice to their brands. Corporations will use them for updates and conversations with their own employees or customers. A handful of blog empires such as Gawker Media will create new ones regularly, building brands around the hits and shuttering the misses. And yes, lots of people will build their own blogs to issue family updates, share political views or offer their own thoughts on life.
Read »
André Bazin: Part 1, Film Style Theory in its Historical Context
Donato Totaro~Offscreen
As time evolved so did the means of artistically replicating reality, from cave drawings, to mummification, to engraving, to painting, to photography, and to its (thus far) most convincing form, cinema. In the task of duplicating reality cinema has surpassed all other forms of representation. Bazin envisions each rung on cinema's evolutionary ladder as a step toward a more realistic depiction of the world. Since Bazin believes that the origins of an art reveal its nature, cinema's quest for realism supports his claim for an objective and pure cinema.
Read »
Love and Obstacles
Aleksandar Hemon~The New Yorker: Fiction
“Life is death if you don’t have a little drink every now and then,” the Serbian concluded wisely, and chugged from the bottle.
They fell silent. It was not unreasonable to suspect that they could smell my fear and were just about to slit my throat and take my money. When I sensed one of them shuffling his feet and moving toward me, I opened my eyes. They were staring at me with bemused expressions.
Read »
Visit to a Small Planet
Christopher Hitchens~Vanity Fair
Like some Lilliput masquerading as Brobdingnag, North Korea likes to bluff the rest of the world and force it to ask, Would this regime be prepared to immolate itself and others to make a last, dying point? The baroque secrecy of the culture and the arcana of its rituals help to give the impression that it might be capable of anything.
Read »
Reinventing the Wheel
David Goldenberg~Wired
Newton's second law of thermodynamics decrees that perpetual motion is impossible. That hasn't stopped Aldo Costa, 79, from spending five decades and more than $200,000 of his own money trying to build a machine that will run forever on the "free energy" of interplanetary gravity.
Read »
Michel Fournier Aims for the Stratosphere
Michel Fournier
Anne Marie Owens~Dropzone
Somewhere high in the skies above Saskatchewan, Canada this week, a retired French army parachutist will jump from a height of 40,000 metres in a freefall he hopes will propel him faster than the speed of sound. If 58-year-old Michel Fournier is successful, his stunt will shatter four world records: the highest, fastest and longest freefall jump, and the highest balloon ascent.
Read »
On Bigfoot's Trail
Stacey Chase~The Boston Globe
Coleman made the news late last year when he, along with a subsidiary of the toy giant Hasbro, announced plans for a $1 million bounty for evidence that would lead to the live, safe capture of Bigfoot, the Abominable Snowman, or the Loch Ness Monster.
Read »
The Greatest Conversation Ever... With Whit Stillman
Whit Stillman
Josh Horowitz~Better Than Fudge
JH: It’s funny because to read about you since Disco, the move to Paris has sort of added to the Whit Stillman mystique. He hasn’t made a movie since 1998. He lives in Paris. What happened to him? When in fact the reasons were much more practical.
WS: It started out practical but it’s a mystery to me too. And these internet things like “whatever happened to Whit Stillman?” (laughs) I wonder the same thing myself. Whatever happened to that guy?
Read »
"Lost World" Found in Indonesia is Trove of New Species

Stefan Lovgren~National Geographic News
During a 15-day stay at a camp they had cut out of the jungle, the conservationists found a trove of animals never before documented, from a new species of the honeyeater bird to more than 20 new species of frogs.
Read »
Give Me a Second Grace: Music as Absolution in the Royal Tenenbaums
Royal Tenenbaums
Carole Lyn Piechota~Senses of Cinema
Richie and Margot are permitted to reveal their pain and longing in rare but profound moments that prominently feature evocative pop songs. These instances are especially effective because the music works as both catalyst and translator of the siblings’ emotions.
Read »
Talking Civic Pride with Ira Glass
Ira Glass
Dave Elfving~Gaper's Block
When Ira Glass announced that This American Life would be moving to New York, some Chicagoans, took the news personally. But how does Ira Glass himself feel about leaving Chicago?
Read »
Big Ten Co-Eds, Preppy Girls, and the Lost Cheerleaders
Preppy Girls
Luke Batten & Jonathan Sadler~New Catalouge
Using a methodology that both parallels and gently ridicules the concept of stock photo agencies, New Catalogue (artists Luke Batten and Jonathan Sadler) has created a series of original editions that tap into popular culture while expanding on traditional photographic genres. This book, their first, examines elements of American iconography that are at once hilarious and vaguely unsettling – each of which hints at a subconscious desire for danger in a sterile suburban setting.
Read »
The 10 Most Puzzling Ancient Artifacts
Stephen Wagner~Paranormal Phenomena
Over the last few hundred years, many perplexing artifacts have been unearthed that do not fit the currently accepted theories of geology and the history of man. There is a great deal of archeological evidence that the history of life on earth might be far different than what current geological and anthropological texts tell us.
Read »