Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Sunday, April 27, 2021

…At least, that’s how Wil Wheaton sees it as he expresses much love for everyone’s favorite microblogging platform.

I always appreciate gratuitous “Bust A Move” references, but I question the invocation of the “spam-spam-spam” skit, as that invites unfavorable connotations for any Internet-based communications/feedback system.

As for me, I wouldn’t call myself a Twitter hater, but at the same time, I don’t feel the need to jump aboard. Aside from the value of what I’d put into and get out of it, I don’t know that it’s any more innovative than any other later-stage social-networkish Web app. Besides, enough of my time is occupied with the macroblogging shown here.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 04/27/2008 11:35:30 PM
Category: Bloggin', Comedy, Pop Culture
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cover artist
My publishing roots compel me to hit the new MoMA exhibit on George Lois‘ iconic Esquire covers from the 1960s and 70s.

While the heady news topics of those times provided ample raw material for Esquire and Lois to weave their magic, there was a much more fundamental design concept at play:

What was remarkable then — and seems even more so now, when virtually every magazine cover is a thicket of text lines running behind or on top of one celebrity or another — is that the Lois covers were virtually textless. They achieved their effect by communicating a single idea through an image.

Relying upon a single image to sell an issue (and that’s what it comes down to for any magazine, really) is a chancy high-wire act. Either the casual browser bites on the compelling cover, or else s/he ignores it and moves on. That’s probably why so many publishers hedge their bets by loading, and overloading, their covers with so much accompanying bullet and blurb text.

And for me, it’s become a turnoff. In fact, I recently canceled my subscription to Lois’ old periodical stomping grounds, in large part because I was finding that those text-gorged covers were constantly turning me off each month. Far from enticing me to open the cover and dive in, the instant in-your-face design seems a bit too desperate for attention.

In a way, it pains me to make that observation. For years, I considered the standard teaser-cover to be pretty user-friendly, even to the point of being a good template for online publishing adaptation (think of each of those cover blurbs as a hyperlink). But somewhere along the way, the aesthetic became diluted, I think.

Today, Lois’ image-only style would stand out simply because every other mass-market title persists with the textual path. It’d be a refreshing change.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 04/27/2008 11:06:54 PM
Category: Creative, History, Pop Culture, Publishing
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Today would be Easter for the other Christians. Since I’m in that sect — Greek Orthodox, although don’t test me on devoutness — I’ll be spending time with the extended family, chiefly in the form of eating. The highlight for me will be doling out the chocolate Easter bunnies and Peeps to the little niece and nephews; I’ve been stockpiling that sugary goodness for a month, so the payoff will be nice.

Not to play a game of one-upmanship with the Western observance of this holiday, but I’ll point out that the Orthodox method of determining the date of Christ’s comeback is a bit more straightforward: Basically, Easter should fall on the first Sunday after Jewish Passover, based on the acknowledgment that Jesus celebrated Passover a few days before his crucifixion and resurrection.

Simple, although linkage with Jewish ritual is pretty much the root of this East-West schism:

The belief gradually grew that the phrase “with the Jews” was to be understood literally and that the Holy Fathers at Nicea had decreed that the Christian Easter must not, even accidentally, occur on the same day as the Passover; rather, it must be celebrated later. As a matter of fact, however, such an interpretation was not only inaccurate but contrary to the spirit of what was decreed at Nicea, considering that acceptance of this interpretation necessitates a chronological relationship between the Christian Easter and the Jewish Passover, the very undesirable connection the Great Council sought to abolish.

Contrast that with the hoops that Catholics and Protestants have to jump through to determine their annual Easter Sunday calendar spot. The lunar-calendar calculations are so complex that they had to come up with something called Computus, basically an ecumenical math algorithm.

All told, I’d rather stick “with the Jews”.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 04/27/2008 01:03:25 PM
Category: History, Society
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