Monday, November 7, 2016

The Growlers, Brackets v. Quotations & The Wellcome Collection

Weekly Update 2016-45: Every genre you could ever want in a band, brackets v. quotations (the never ending battle), and beautiful visual classifications and organizations of the natural world.

Music: The Growlers
I can't get enough of this band. They're just the right mix of lo-fi, country, surf, pop, rock and beat...which according to Wikipedia has been dubbed as "Beach Goth". As I always say, the need for summery music rises in winter, and I'm adding this band to my list. Check out a nice little diddy:

I finally finished both of the Push Conference blog posts (one on each day of the conference). As I was in the middle of the second post, I noticed that the conference organizers are looking for content on the event to promote, so maybe they'll promote my work? That would be nice :)

I also drummed in the protest/march on Saturday for Standing Rock. We marched all the way from Queen's Park to City Hall. I honestly have no idea if any of this actually made a difference, but the American Embassy was enroute and they had quite a few policemen outside. So someone was taking us seriously. Here's a video of me performing:

I'd really like to take a good stab at using Jenkins to host my portfolio on Github soon. If I can't get this thing working, I'll need some time to figure it out before the bill for my next year of hosting comes around. I'll be looking into it tonight.

Now that I've completed the timely portion of my Munich trip posts, I want to backtrack a bit to finish the last China post this week. I'd also like to return to some blog redesign. I've found some interesting design patterns in blogs that seem unique and related to the experience I am looking to create. One especially is the way The Verge groups related posts together at the bottom of post pages:

You may know of their latest redesign (which these posts are about – how meta). I am really digging this sort of vertical timeline of posts, which could relate to a series of posts about travelling or a lengthy design process that I have undergone. It also feels more curated than a simple "Related Posts" area which often feels like a cop-out.

Random Thought: Brackets v. Quotations
If you're a typography lover like me, you probably know that some fonts style quote symbols (") that are directional. As we used to learn in childhood writing classes, the 66 goes on the left of the quote and the 99 goes on the right. That said, there is only one key on the keyboard for quotes. This is because depending on where a quote is placed, your computer can figure out whether you need a 66 or a 99. Magic!

You may also have noted that Blogger seems to direct all quotes on my blog as 99s...which is problematic.

So the random thought is: why don't brackets work this way? I suppose their intended use from the start could have certainly been treated this way, but with the advent of the sad-face emoticon, it would be impossible to create using the quote mechanism for brackets :(

Inspiration: Animal. Vegetable. Mineral.

Animal. Vegetable. Mineral. is not only the name of an excellent guessing game from my childhood; it is also a publication from Wellcome Collection depicting our visual classification and organization of the natural world in an era of blooming scientific research. Created as an accompaniment to the upcoming exhibition Making Nature, it displays archival charts, diagrams, maps, lists and illustrations of variants of species and organism types, each one more intricate and delightful than the last.

Most of the visuals were ordering systems and tools created by pioneering European nature researchers, artists, scientists and explorers. The book features visuals from key 18th and 19th Century figures that "shaped the course of natural history" such as Charles Darwin, Carl Linnaeus, Alexander Von Humboldt, Anna Atkins and Ernst Haeckel.

Wellcome states that it was "the original big data challenge", created during a time when our understanding of nature was rapidly evolving and expanding. Many of these images, from taxonomy charts and animal distribution maps to colourful picture dictionaries, show the creativity and attention to detail involved in gathering and displaying the research.

Do check out the Wellcome Collection as well.

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