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The Misguided Vindication of Roy Hobbs

The Washington Post recently published a piece in their Speaking of Science section that claimed science has finally and definitively proved the superiority of the double space after a period.

Roy HobbsThe late Roy Hobbs, who we’ve written about before, would have rejoiced at this headline if he wasn’t dead (and fictional), and subscribed to the print edition of the Washington Post, as this would be the only way he’d hear the good news. Let’s face it, he wouldn’t have owned a computer or tablet or smart phone in order to read it online, a fact he would proudly boast about as if his intentional ignorance towards technology and an evolving world in general was a badge of honor or sign of superior character.

“One space between each sentence, they said. Science just proved them wrong,” read the headline that Roy would have cut out of his newspaper and mimeographed so he could mail out copies to his grandchildren.

But the devil is in the details and with all those extra spaces between sentences, and Roy’s glaucoma, he’d probably tire out and stop reading before  the revelation in the article itself that the study barely proved anything at all. At the very most, it proved that those who already double space (and playfully shout at friends over the landline in their kitchen, “will until it’s pried from my cold dead fingers”) are faster readers only by milliseconds when double spaces are used. And that is the only measurable benefit. Reading comprehension is not effected at all.  But when was comprehending anything actually  important?

“Reading speed only improved marginally, the paper found, and only for the 21 “two-spacers,” who naturally typed with two spaces between sentences.  The majority of one-spacers, on the other hand, read at pretty much the same speed either way.  And reading comprehension was unaffected for everyone, regardless of how many spaces followed a period.”

So science proved two spaces are better for people who already double space and refuse to evolve. Groundbreaking.

This kind of regressive scientific study doesn’t come cheap though, so that’s why the estate of Roy Hobbs is asking for your help to keep the march of progress from taking even one step further.  For a limited time you can support a cause dear to Roy’s heart by purchasing your very own “Make America Double Spaced Again.” hat.

Roy Hobbs Endorsed Make American Double Spaced Again Hat

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Buffalo’s Bison Plumbing

Bison Plumbing DIscount Center
I came across this old ad for Buffalo Plumbing Discount while digging around in a basement crawl space in my other life. There were several old newspapers, Buffalo Evening News and Courier Express from the 1960s and 70s.

Most were in pretty rough shape, but they were still better to work around then the pile of broken windows on the other side of the crawlspace.  The few Metro pages that didn’t disintegrate had some cool old ads in them.  Most were pretty much what you’d expect; Sattlers, Kleinhans, Sears.  One smalll ad that caught my eye was for Buffalo Plumbing Discount Center.

When I saw it, I thought it was actually for a different plumbing place we’ve passed over on Fillmore on our way to B&L.  For some reason, that place had stuck with me, so when I saw the ad I took a few pictures of it.  It wasn’t until later I double-checked the addresses and it looks like they’re different bison plumbing companies. There seems to be (or at least have been) a lot of “Bison Plumbing” companies.

Apparently naming every business in Buffalo with some variation of Buffalo, Bison, Queen City or Nickel City in the name wasn’t limited to the city’s renaissance and was just as prevalent back in the day when Broadway and Fillmore were lined with successful businesses.

562 Broadway, Buffalo NYThe Bison Plumbing City on Fillmore is now a boarded up building, and Bison Discount Plumbing Center on Broadway is just an empty lot.  It isn’t the only empty lot along Broadway or throughout the city’s East Side and the Broadway-Fillmore District.  Those empty lots, sadly, represent the sum total of redevelopment that the city had invested in for those areas while Canalside and the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus swell and absorb millions of dollars.

The newspaper wasn’t in the best shape, but that was cool, it gave the logo a distressed look. The problem was keeping that distressed, worn look without there being a lot of white scratchiness in the letters when I added a background color. There are probably actual ways of fixing that, but I don’t know what they are; I layered a couple copies each of the logo and background color of varying opacity, merged them, and then tweaked the lighting. It’s worked for the past when I’ve wanted to layer in a texture or old paper look, like on my Whistle Pig logo, and it did the trick here, too.

 

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