rhu: (Default)
Via H&FJ comes a link to this wonderful data visualization:



Can you guess what the source data represent, before clicking through?
rhu: (Default)
Via H&FJ comes a link to this wonderful data visualization:



Can you guess what the source data represent, before clicking through?
rhu: (Default)
Keyboarding at 10,000 or more characters per hour is bound to result in appallingly bad composition, and an incentive system which encourages this by increasing the weekly wage packet in inverse ratio to the quality of the output, is not only pernicious, but for the keyboard operator, totally demoralizing.

And typsetting standards will continue to decline unless the typographer, who has taken over duties formerly the craftsman-compositor’s (the composition or arrangement of types as distinct from the setting of them), is prepared to do constant battle for high standards of design & of workmanship.

— Geoffrey Dowding,
Finer Points in the Spacing and Arrangement of Type, 1966

rhu: (Default)
Keyboarding at 10,000 or more characters per hour is bound to result in appallingly bad composition, and an incentive system which encourages this by increasing the weekly wage packet in inverse ratio to the quality of the output, is not only pernicious, but for the keyboard operator, totally demoralizing.

And typsetting standards will continue to decline unless the typographer, who has taken over duties formerly the craftsman-compositor’s (the composition or arrangement of types as distinct from the setting of them), is prepared to do constant battle for high standards of design & of workmanship.

— Geoffrey Dowding,
Finer Points in the Spacing and Arrangement of Type, 1966

rhu: (Default)
For those on my friends-list who (a) don't read [livejournal.com profile] rikchik's blog, (b) love typography, typology, graphic design, and/or Tufte, and (c) are interested in astronomy, I recommend this.
rhu: (Default)
For those on my friends-list who (a) don't read [livejournal.com profile] rikchik's blog, (b) love typography, typology, graphic design, and/or Tufte, and (c) are interested in astronomy, I recommend this.
rhu: (Default)
Joel on Software has an insightful article on the difference between Apple and Microsoft text-rendering algorithms. (I'm posting this using Safari for Windows and I have to say that I keep checking whether my glasses need cleaning.... so I guess I know which camp I'm in.)
rhu: (Default)
Joel on Software has an insightful article on the difference between Apple and Microsoft text-rendering algorithms. (I'm posting this using Safari for Windows and I have to say that I keep checking whether my glasses need cleaning.... so I guess I know which camp I'm in.)
rhu: (torah)
Today I had the opportunity to chant the second half of the Song of Songs for the congregation. It was my first time chanting one of the three "festive megillot" and it went pretty well. One congregant, whose opinion I value highly, complimented me afterwards on my "lyrical" rendition.

For those not familiar with Jewish cantilation practice, the text is marked up with neumes, each of which represents a musical figure. The exact notes that correspond to a given neume depends on what kind of text it is, what the occasion is, and where one's ancestors are from. But, like a "handwriting" font that attempts to make entire words by having letters whose edges line up, the neumes are supposed to be seamlessly stitched together to form a musical representation of the text. And, like that "handwriting" font, if you simply apply the notes mechanically you'll get something that is technically correct but ugly --- you need to modify the noteforms to account for the neumes preceding and following, the meaning of the text, and one's natural human variability. Only then do you get a proper cantilation, just as true handwriting is far more expressive than what a "handwriting font" can produce.

They switched books on me, though. I was expecting to read it out of the Koren Tanach, which has splendid, clear typography. But instead the fellow who read the first half was given a different Tanach, which has horrible typography. (I think it's inspired by the Simanim series but is actually put out by a different company.)

Details on why I really dislike that edition )

So it was stressful -- I kept feeling like I was fighting the book -- but apparently I was able to convey the beauty of this extraordinary text. It was a privilege to sing it. Perhaps I'll sign up to chant Ruth in six weeks and two days....
rhu: (torah)
Today I had the opportunity to chant the second half of the Song of Songs for the congregation. It was my first time chanting one of the three "festive megillot" and it went pretty well. One congregant, whose opinion I value highly, complimented me afterwards on my "lyrical" rendition.

For those not familiar with Jewish cantilation practice, the text is marked up with neumes, each of which represents a musical figure. The exact notes that correspond to a given neume depends on what kind of text it is, what the occasion is, and where one's ancestors are from. But, like a "handwriting" font that attempts to make entire words by having letters whose edges line up, the neumes are supposed to be seamlessly stitched together to form a musical representation of the text. And, like that "handwriting" font, if you simply apply the notes mechanically you'll get something that is technically correct but ugly --- you need to modify the noteforms to account for the neumes preceding and following, the meaning of the text, and one's natural human variability. Only then do you get a proper cantilation, just as true handwriting is far more expressive than what a "handwriting font" can produce.

They switched books on me, though. I was expecting to read it out of the Koren Tanach, which has splendid, clear typography. But instead the fellow who read the first half was given a different Tanach, which has horrible typography. (I think it's inspired by the Simanim series but is actually put out by a different company.)

Details on why I really dislike that edition )

So it was stressful -- I kept feeling like I was fighting the book -- but apparently I was able to convey the beauty of this extraordinary text. It was a privilege to sing it. Perhaps I'll sign up to chant Ruth in six weeks and two days....

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Andrew M. Greene

January 2013

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