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Showing posts from December, 2010

A grain of rice can save the world…

…with a bit of help from all its other grains of rice friends.
Not being able to do decent research into nutrition forced me to get a bit creative with this one. And do actual maths. Thanks to Ugur & Silke for their help in this.
Extra Info: this is what a single grain of rice looks like close up:

from AMagill on flickr
I wonder if a series of single grain infographics would be would be interesting?

Kids Department, all exit please

These are warmup sketches for a commission by a dear friend of mine.  Yep, I do kids now. 

Ahh, I missed being able to do this.

Type Research Diary — part 6

As this is a diary, I will allow myself a small rant.

This concerns me, who have gotten too used to working in a certain way, and computers, which have accustomed me to working that way.

If the term prosthetic memory means nothing to you, here is a short explanation: it is a device you use to extend the recollective function of your brain. In the past, this would have been a dictaphone, a piece of paper, an elephant you keep under your desk to remember things for you. I also have a grey beast lurking under mine. Not only is it a prosthetic to my memory, it also extends my abilities in other areas.

About a month ago, this useful monster took ill, as some of those who read me on Facebook may have come to realise. After a few shops, we finally found a group of benevolent witch- doctkrs willing and able to heal the ailing animal. Their price is of course exhorbitant, but their services, once rendered will prove invaluable.

Will prove, as the winter snow has done more than disrupt the …

Type Research Diary Part V

A week later, I am sitting at home, sifting through about ten hours worth of interviews. Turns out my interviewees have a lot to say on topics I'm interested in.

First off, let me disappoint you: anyone expecting graphic prejudice or explicitly stated dislike of Arabs on principle here will only find some general opinions that are held by society, but I am glad to be able to report at this point that even three years of Islamic Studies do not induce fear or hatered in those that study it. In stead, we are faced with a broad variety of views in different hues of gray.

Bear in mind also that the object of this research is not to examine opinions about Arab society in all its depth. Center stage: language and writing, combinations of Latin and Arabic type and the amazing Branding Question. Of course, to get there, the culture those symbols represent should not be neglected. Without a background, these symbols are just that. Heiroglyphs that might as well be left alone if not for an …

Type Research Diary part IV

And مع السلامة as the course ends. I meet my two volunteers, two young ladies who are prepared to brave me. It's not all that hard.

Selecting a third member of the class, we leave the room to a quiet place where we might talk for half an hour without too much noise in the background. We end up in one of thr noisier student- run cafés that grace the FU (and open at nine, remember that.). This turns out not to matter too much, as the recorder slept in today. Lucky you.

I am lucky in that the three interviewees come from different backgrounds. The ones who have already travelled to Arab countries, those who grew up with a mixed background, those who grew up in the local background… For now their identities must be withheld.

As I try to keep up with furious notes, they introduce themselves. At this stage, there is not much more I can ask of them. In preparation for these interviews I have prepared a sheet of type for them, showing Arabic and Latin script in various constellations — …

Type Research Diary, Part III

All hail Zarathustra! I am transformed from a paleolithical fossil to an evolved creature within seconds by something black. Coffee. All references to monolyths are purely intentional.

Having done homework and drunk coffee, I finally make it into an introductory session, to be ushered into class soon thereafter. The first object related to the class is a trolley, which returns five minutes later with a stack of Hans Wehrs, collosal when compared to the person pushing the trolley. On her insistance on shoving it into the classroom herself, we move on to the next section of the programme.

The classroom is familiar, I may have spent time in it myself, learning Spanish, in a previous life. A few students are waiting for the clas to begin, for their classmates to arrive. They do, it begins. Repetition and sentences. This is the third level, Intermediate to advanced, these students have spent a minimum of three semesters infusing themselves whith knowledge of Arab culture.

Arab culture is…