: High on the Hog Blog
Purveyor of Idle Observation

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Homosexual eases into 100 final at Olympic trials

Ed Brayton via Tom Kirkendall notes that American Family Association has a policy at its new outlet, OneNewsNow, never to use the word “gay” but to replace it with “homosexual” – which is all well and good until someone named Tyson Gay turns in a record time in the US Olympic qualifying rounds. The result is an epic poem to double-entendre – “Homosexual eases into 100 final at Olympic trials”

Tyson Homosexual easily won his semifinal for the 100 meters at the U.S. Olympic track and field trials and seemed to save something for the final later Sunday.

His wind-aided 9.85 seconds was a fairly cut-and-dry performance compared to what happened a day earlier. On Saturday, Homosexual misjudged the finish in his opening heat and had to scramble to finish fourth, then in his quarterfinal a couple of hours later, ran 9.77 to break the American record that had stood since 1999.

One of the men who talked about challenging Homosexual in the 100, his former Arkansas teammate Wallace Spearmon, failed to make it to the final by the slimmest of margins. The top four runners advance from each semifinal, and Spearmon finished fifth in his-all of .001 behind Michael Rodgers.

Spearmon, twice a medalist at world championships in the 200, was last out of the blocks and managed to make up a lot of ground, but it wasn’t quite enough. “Aim to win. Got fifth. Feelings are hurt,” Spearmon said. “I’ll make the team in the 200. That’s about it.”

Homosexual didn’t get off to a particularly strong start in the first semifinal, but by the halfway mark he had established a comfortable lead. He slowed somewhat over the final 10 meters-nothing like the way-too-soon complete shutdown that almost cost him Saturday.

Asked how he felt, Homosexual said: “A little fatigued.”

Preserved in the internet amber of Google Cache.

Study Finds Most Children Not In Favor Of Children’s Healthcare

Video from the Onion News Network. Classic.

Big Bad John, Cornyn That Is

Jumpin jehosaphats, Cornyn, don’t you have focus groups to kill things like this?

Cardboarding, like Snowboarding, but without Snow or Excitement

This Houstonist post brought back fond memories. Since my elementary school had a giant hill behind the playground cardboarding was a frequent pastime in the spring and fall, as was sledding in the winter. How we didn’t break our little faces I’ll never know.

I’m a sucker for a girl with a loop machine…

Theresa Andersson – ‘Na Na Na’

Just the footwork alone is impressive… you know, in addition to everything else.

High Marks for Teach for America

From the Wall Street Journal’s Amazing Teacher Facts

Eleven per cent of Yale’s senior class, 9% of Harvard’s and 10% of Georgetown’s applied for a job whose salary ranges from $25,000 (in rural South Dakota) to $44,000 (in New York City).

Hang on a second.

Unions keep saying the best people won’t go into teaching unless we pay them what doctors and lawyers and CEOs make. Not only are Teach for America salaries significantly lower than what J.P. Morgan might offer, but these individuals go to some very rough classrooms. What’s going on?

It seems that Teach for America offers smart young people something even better than money – the chance to avoid the vast education bureaucracy.

Slate’s Teach for America Grows Up: What TFA can teach the NCLB era. has more on Wendy Kopp as a social entrepreneurship success story.

Table of Contents

Why do I love Design Observer? Because not only will they write a scholarly article about it, they will have a full-on conference about Tables of Contents.

Library in the New Age and the Pedigree of Information

Robert Darnton’s piece in the New York Review of Books, The Library in the New Age, is a fascinating look, seasoned by experience, of the life of information. This was not the main thrust, but it’s my favorite part –

I used to be a newspaper reporter myself. I got my basic training as a college kid covering police headquarters in Newark in 1959. Although I had worked on school newspapers, I did not know what news was—that is, what events would make a story and what combination of words would make it into print after passing muster with the night city editor. When events reached headquarters, they normally took the form of “squeal sheets” or typed reports of calls received at the central switchboard. Squeal sheets concerned everything from stray dogs to murders, and they accumulated at a rate of a dozen every half hour. My job was to collect them from a lieutenant on the second floor, go through them for anything that might be news, and announce the potential news to the veteran reporters from a dozen papers playing poker in the press room on the ground floor. The poker game acted as a filter for the news. One of the reporters would say if something I selected would be worth checking out. I did the checking, usually by phone calls to key offices like the homicide squad. If the information was good enough, I would tell the poker game, whose members would phone it in to their city desks. But it had to be really good—that is, what ordinary people would consider bad—to warrant interrupting the never-ending game. Poker was everyone’s main interest—everyone but me: I could not afford to play (cards cost a dollar ante, a lot of money in those days), and I needed to develop a nose for news.

I soon learned to disregard DOAs (dead on arrival, meaning ordinary deaths) and robberies of gas stations, but it took time for me to spot something really “good,” like a holdup in a respectable store or a water main break at a central location. One day I found a squeal sheet that was so good —it combined rape and murder—that I went straight to the homicide squad instead of reporting first to the poker game. When I showed it to the lieutenant on duty, he looked at me in disgust: “Don’t you see this, kid?” he said, pointing to a B in parentheses after the names of the victim and the suspect. Only then did I notice that every name was followed by a B or a W. I did not know that crimes involving black people did not qualify as news.

Having learned to write news, I now distrust newspapers as a source of information, and I am often surprised by historians who take them as primary sources for knowing what really happened. I think newspapers should be read for information about how contemporaries construed events, rather than for reliable knowledge of events themselves.

In an unsettling but entirely predictable way, I’m reminded that information is more useful to think of a process than as an object, often carrying a pedigree that isn’t always indicative of quality.

The most widely diffused edition of Diderot’s Encyclopedie in eighteenth-century France contained hundreds of pages that did not exist in the original edition. Its editor was a clergyman who padded the text with excerpts from a sermon by his bishop in order to win the bishop’s patronage. Voltaire considered the Encyclopedie so imperfect that he designed his last great work, Questions sur l’Encyclopedie, as a nine-volume sequel to it. In order to spice up his text and to increase its diffusion, he collaborated with pirates behind the back of his own publisher, adding passages to the pirated editions.

In fact, Voltaire toyed with his texts so much that booksellers complained. As soon as they sold one edition of a work, another would appear, featuring additions and corrections by the author. Their customers protested. Some even said that they would not buy an edition of Voltaire’s complete works —and there were many, each different from the others—until he died, an event eagerly anticipated by retailers throughout the book trade.

Well worth the read in its entirety.

Oklahoma Full Auto Shoot and Trade Show

Sometimes I am reminded that I have family from Oklahoma and I get scared.

From the Oklahoma Full Auto Shootout, via BoingBoing

Fontstruct brings DIY fontography to the unwashed masses

Jason Fagone’s oddly intimate revelation of font-nerdery in Slate’s YouType: The strange allure of making your own fonts highlights Fontstruct, “YouTube of typography” which allows you to… well, make your own fonts. It lead Fagone to wax nostaligic for his bootleg Fontographer days:

I was a minuscule part of the great grunge-font craze of the late ’90s, ignited by the bad boy of graphic design, David Carson—an ex-surfer who took over RayGun magazine and turned it into a punk-rock version of Rolling Stone, a bible of the ugly/pretty/ugly aesthetic. Carson’s movement was fueled by hundreds of young dabblers like me. In our dorm rooms, we churned out distressed versions of workaday fonts: smeary Helveticas, grimy Garamonds. The self-seriousness behind it all seems strange when I look back, but it was actually in keeping with the manifesto-laden history of graphic design. One of the most famous designers of all time, Jan Tschichold, famously issued a diktat against the use of serif faces, decreeing that the only honest letterforms were sans-serifs. The Nazis, who preferred “blackletter” fonts with heavy, ominous down strokes—what came to be known as “jackboot grotesques,” according to art historian Stephen Eskilson—put him in prison.

As for myself, I created an A…. then decided I was an important, busy person, with the stick-to-it-ness of a gnat. Someone else can be Frutiger. I just want to use his fonts.