Can You Tell Arial from Helvetica?

Lets say you're in need of some eye strain. Perhaps you've not had a good headache in a while. What can you do to remedy this situation? How 'bout taking this quiz -- which gives you 20 images of popular corporate logos that were originally designed using the beloved Helvetica font, recreates them in hated Arial, and then asks the mother of all questions:

Which one is which?

I'm sure there are losers people out there who can do this sight unseen, but I can tell you this -- I am not one of them.

Truth be told, I was sort of hoping for the Arial logos to be wearing an eye patch or rocking one of those "evil twin" goatees.

As a result -- after spending a ridiculous amount of time trying to figure out some sort of method to tell them apart, I just started blind clicking.

I scored 15 out of 20.

How? Because I'm friggin' awesome, that's how.

Now if you'll excuse me -- I'm off to go rob a bank. I don't know the combinations to any vaults or safes, but I figure if I was able to fake my way through this, I've got a decent shot of lucking into one.


So yeah, this.

The guys in Monotonix probably think Gogol Bordello is uptight.

One guitarist, one drummer, one crazy-ass singer. I missed the live show, but don't you make that mistake. October 9-10, NYC and BKLN.


Exceptionally Cool

Did Jackson Pollock sneak his name into one of his paintings?

Steak House or Gay Bar?

If you've ever wondered why the "waiter" always looks at you funny whenever you ask to see his choicest cut -- this site may be for you.

On a releated note, if you ever have the chance to accompany me to Boston and it comes time for dinner -- apparently its not a the best idea to let me choose the place.


Down the Nostalgia Rabbit Hole

Abandonia is a clearinghouse for abandonware: software which is no longer sold or supported. These are typically games made for systems which are no longer on the market. But thanks to emulators, they're still playable.

The site is Mecca for old-school computer gamers. All the Infocom games are here for free, for instance.

I'm still looking for a playable copy of Atari's BallBlazer. Lemme know if you find one.


Bill Murray

I'm a writer. I work with words. Sometimes it's an easier working relationship than it is at others, but it's a love affair that has been with me a long time, and will most likely remain for the rest of my days.

I'm a reader. I like seeing people work with ideas, string together poetic lines. I'm a lover of words in action.

And yet, I'm frequently drawn to the
picture-only format of many tumblr blogs.

What I find most interesting about the ones I seem to always visit (well, the ones that don't involve sharks at least) is the way they all seem to be referential. Even when they're personal photo blogs, there's something in them that always seems to be talking to a moment past. Using an image to remind an idea -- something I'm very interested in right now.

Or to put it another way, whether they actually intend it or not I can't say -- but many of the tumblr blogs I browse through are full of stories, even if they rarely have any words on them at all.

Anyways, in looking for a quote that I wanted to either use or reflect upon for a story I'm working on, I stumbled (tumblr-ed?) across this rather evocative site. It's a collection of images, videos, paintings, and even graffiti featuring the face of Bill Murray -- one of the most beloved comic actors of our time who's recent work is much, much, deeper than it seems any academy is willing to admit.

Which is perhaps what makes this site so interesting to me. Obviously I'm a fan of his films, but as a photo essay subject, it's surprising to see just how many stories can be told by just the slightest variation in expression or body language.



How is this different from his current show?

I was trying to think of a title for this post, but then I realized there was no way I could do any better than the first text comment.

Allow or Deny?

The awesomeness is simply too much. The goggles, they do nothing!

-- via the always entertaining Roboto.me


Incremental Measures

Ecofont is a font that has many teeny holes in every letter. Although the holes are invisible to the casual observer, the theory is that is that they reduce the amount of ink needed to create characters.

Right now, it's free.


AutoSafety in the US

Amazing. Although you probably still want the 59 Chevy over the modern Malibu.



Pretty much why I keep my headphones on at work all day long.



Adventures of Power

Either this is the most quirky, brilliant idea ever -- or someone with a 3-picture development deal lucked into a night where they saw Napoleon Dynamite, Zoolander, and Dodgeball back to back and just ran with the results.

But whatever the case, your long unfulfilled dream of watching a movie about ..air drumming has finally come true.

For the record, I love air drumming. I've long said to anyone that will listen that all guitar players secretly wish they were drummers. As a result, we're usually the ones with air drumsets in our cars or at our desks at work.

So as a concept, I'm definitely crushing on this.

My problem is that the trailer only looks sorta meh at best. To think that I'd be ho-hum about a feature that ends with an epic air drum battle to Rush's Tom Sawyer might sound like sacrilege, but when the romantic subplot surfaced in the trailer I immediately found myself wondering if this wouldn't have worked better as a Funny or Die short.

Regardless, it's kinda cool to see Adrian Grenier actually getting some non-Entourage work, and if there was a half decent arthouse theater in this town that I could drag a couple of friends out to see this I bet it would be a good time.

But in the end, I'm just not sure a full-length feature on this subject is worth it.

What do you think?


Getting Creeped Out, in Black Tie

Since I'm running the NYC Marathon November 1st, I'm missing out on my favorite holiday. But those of you in the Portland area have a chance to do something truly cool on Halloween night.

The Timberline Lodge on Mt. Hood was used for exterior shots in Stanley Kubrick's The Shining (except for the hedge maze). The lodge is replicating the film’s 1920s “fish and goose soiree” on All Hallow’s, complete with in-room screenings. Just don't plan on catching up on your writing.

If Amazon Suggestions Told the Truth

I think it says a lot that on a day where Kanye-upstaging-the-VMA's video remixes and Lil Mama photoshop jokes are running wild on the web, that this little post on the always entertaining Screen Junkies site is what's made me laugh the most all afternoon.


Not Recommended At All

I would imagine clubgoers of the world are getting bombarded by event marketers shilling these. Electronic cigarettes have been in development for a long time, but are now an unfortunate reality.

Even if I still smoked, the technical knowledge required to use these things would seem like a pain in the ass.

Presented purely for your knowledge and disdain. As such, we're introducing the "Not Recommended" tag for this one.

Hot Mess

New episode every Friday. Get on it, folks.

Hot Mess Episode 2 : Party from Hot Mess - A Webseries on Vimeo.

Garfield as Garfield

I'm not sure there's actually words available in the English language to describe just how much this makes me smile.


Joe Wilson is Your Pre-Existing Condition

If you haven't seen this awesome little site that popped up essentially minutes after the South Carolina Representative opened up his piehole and heckled the entire nation by mistaking a joint session speech by the President for an episode of Jerry Springer, you need to do so.

I don't care what your party is, Wilson. Show some friggin' respect.

Also, these folks called it last night.

Also, also (although they've since removed it) this was what his Wikipedia page looked like for the better part of yesterday.

Americans Observing 9/11 by Trying Not to Masturbate


Highly Recommended, PAX Edition

Although Hex and Monster couldn't make it, I joined up with Friend of Highly Recommended Bill in Seattle last weekend for PAX. The video game fan convention, which grew out of love for the Penny Arcade comic strip, now draws about 40,000 fans, and takes up the whole Washington State Convention Center. Six Floors. No lie.

On Friday, after wandering dazed through the expo floor, with game geek cross-mosh of all sorts, we nipped out for some beer tankards and returned refueled. Marketers for Dungeon Siege or Assassin's Elf or some shit had marked Bill as a target, but blood is apparently water-soluble, so no permanent harm was done.

We played about an hour of Halo in the LAN Room of Dreams before getting kicked off.

We started Saturday with a panel of XBox live admins talking about how they deal with griefers. ("And lo didst the griefer cause Os to become 0s, and 3s to become Es, and thus Playername 'Poonhunter' was born. And as Poonhunter didst spread his grief across the network there was much gnashing of teeth in the land.") The Greater Internet Dickwad Theory was mentioned several times.

We also sat in on the Rooster Teeth ("Red vs. Blue") panel, which was good for a few new videos, although the Q&A session was a race to the bottom. E.g.: "I'm the girl who pestered you for an autograph during the signing session. Are you sick of me yet?" Many questioners were booed.

By far the highlight of the convention was Saturday night's concert. Introduced by Wil Wheaton, the show opened with the Penny Arcade guys performing "Are You Really a Woman?" on Rock Band. Then Freezepop took the stage. They were super high energy, and more 80s than any band from the 80s. By the end of their last number, the main camera was shaking from people jumping up and down. Here's a sample:

Comedy music duo Paul and Storm played a solidly hilarious set after that. Their signature piece is a pirate song called "The Captain's Wife's Lament," which lets the crowd cheer ARR! about a billion times. They had to stop several times because of overenthusiastic Arrs. Paul stopped as one person kept Arr-ing and said, as good-naturedly as he could, "Seriously, shut the fuck up." That was great.

Jonathan Coulton went on after 1am. We've already pimped him to death, so just watch as he changes lyrics to his song "My Monkey" Into "Wil Wheaton," with Wheaton there.

The concert lasted until 3am, so Sunday was kind of a blur. We played some Army of Two, complete with wildly inappropriate 9/11 imagery. After that it was off to the train station for the trip home. All in all, a fine, fine weekend. PAX definitely comes highly recommended.


Auto-Tune the News

This series has been around for a while, and depending on how wired in you are to news headlines the results can be either hit or miss despite the idea itself being gold.

But when the hook contains lyrics like "Those geese are f*&%ed!" and "How can you possibly refuse a man with a mullet?" it simply must be shared.

$17? Take my money!

It's been a while since video games caught my eye, but this one is right up my alley.


Sticking it to the Copyright Man

We've been fans of Sita Sings the Blues since we first heard about it last year. The movie itself is seven shades of cool, but it's even more amazing when you realize it was all produced by one woman, without any financial backing. And no, she wasn't rich to begin with.

Even more radical is the fact that she's making money without any major studio distribution for theaters or DVDs. Besides donations and pre-downloaded copies of the DVD (you can d/l it for free if you want), she also has some way-cool merch.

Dig it.

I Hate My Parents

Add this to the list of tumblr blogs that will surely get a book deal before I do -- and yet despite that bitter note I found it hard not to enjoy page after page of these pics of parental humiliation.

Perhaps not a home run on every post the way some other collections have been recently, but filled with some real treasures, if you've got a little time to kill.

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