New York Times Chronicle

Counting Names and Phrases in the Times

Chronicle LogoLogo for New York Times R & DThe New York Times Chronicle is  a new resource for “visualizing language usage in New York Times news coverage throughout its history,” which began in 1851. Enter a word or phrase and it will appear as a colored line on a graph showing the percentage of articles it appeared in from 1851 to the present. You can search several words or phrases sequentially and each one will appear in a different color so you can compare them.

Or you can ask for the number of articles. “Obama”first appeared in 2004 in .1% of the articles. In 2009, peaked at 6.63%. In 2012 he appeared in the highest number of articles: 19,675. The peak percentage in 2009 and the peak number in 2012 probably indicates that  they published more articles in 2009. Numbers are not always as clear as we are led to believe they are.

What Are They Measuring?

Jackson Pollack appeared in 1 article in 1944, 2 in 1957, 6 in 1964, and peaked at 8 in 1980. He died in August 1956 and did not appear at all. I think there is a problem with this data. His market soared in 1961 but there were only 3 articles. He continued to be mentioned 1-5 times until 1985 when he dropped off the graph again. He appears a few times more but not as often as I would have expected. Low percentages, yes. Low numbers, no.

Not sure what they are measuring. If someone quotes this data, are they quoting the actual number of appearances or the number that the NYT Labs counted? Either way it is still interesting and I’m sure it will be quoted often.

Export the Data

You can also export the data. Not sure the export will work for you. This is a small excerpt of the export on abolition:

{“article_matches”:289,”year”:1856,”total_articles_published”:18162},{“article_matches”:168,”year”:1857,”total_articles_published”:18168},{“article_matches”:187,”year”:1858,”total_articles_published”:17388},{“article_matches”:177,”year”:1859,”total_articles_published”:14595},{“article_matches”:447,”year”:1860,”total_articles_published”:19288},{“article_matches”:372,”year”:1861,”total_articles_published”:27009},{“article_matches”:424,”year”:1862,”total_articles_published”:25180},{“article_matches”:277,”year”:1863,”total_articles_published”:22563},{“article_matches”:220,”year”:1864,”total_articles_published”:20458},{“article_matches”:328,”year”:1865,”total_articles_published”:22727},

And Produces a List of the Articles

To see the actual numbers and dates, you put the cursor over the line on the graph. If you click on the line, you are taken to a list of the articles with an excerpt. That is really fine.

A very nice resource. One to remember.

 

Comic Books & Strips

ComicBook+ is an archive of public domain Golden and Silver Age Comic Books and newspaper comic strips. 24,184 books as of today. Categorized by type and date. Also has a forum for comics lovers and collectors.

Invisible Scarlet O'Neil from a 1940 comic Strip

Invisible Scarlet O’Neil from a 1940′s comic Strip

All can be downloaded without cost (donations welcome). And you can subscribe of $7.00 a year. Uses PayPal, which is very convenient. No entering credit card or passing a vision test to read a scrunched up series of random letters.

Invisible Scarlet O’Neil was written and drawn by Russell Stamm, who had previously worked on Dick Tracy. She first appeared in the pages of the Chicago Times, June 3, 1940. Scarlet O’Neil has the claim to fame of being one of the very first super heroines. As her name suggests Scarlet has the power of invisibility. This power was created when Scarlet put her finger in an experimental ray created by her scientist father. She suddenly disappeared, but luckily figured out that touching a nerve in her wrist acted as a switch, so she could turn her invisibility off and on at will.Over time Scarlet O’Neil’s special talent was slowly dropped from the strip until in 1950 it was renamed to just ‘Scarlet O’Neil’. A year later a new character named Stainless Steel was introduced. In 1955 the strip was retitled Stainless Steel, promptly folding the next year. As for Scarlet O’Neil she has yet to switch her off her invisibility and no one knows where she is.

It was hard to find an image of a woman without her skirt half way up to her waist or an obvious  accessory for a male character. Such were the comics.

iconsSketchAtive

Free Icons

A collection of free icons created by “Aegean K.”

360 outline and 360 matching solid vector and bitmap formats. Transparent individual files in 60px & 120px for Coding. JPG files for overview and detail revealing. Sketch files for Editing, fully scalable and adjustable. You can use these icons in tab bar, navigation bar and table row for both iOS and Android apps. Also in web design, branding, stickers, presentations and prints. Anywhere you want.

Very fine icons. Highly recommended.

The Art of Hand Lettering

Handlettered word "Bravo" by Neil Secretario

By Neil Secretario

The Art of Hand Lettering is a fabulous archive of hand lettering for logos, signs, murals, stationery, etc. A new site so the examples are only from 2013-2014. A wide range of styles in black and white and full color, all beautiful and mesmerizing. This “Bravo” example is by Neil Secretario and was done  using a Pentel Pigment Ink Brush Pen, which I am ready to run out and buy.

Neil is a freelance designer and letterer in California who specializes in custom lettering, graphic design, and branding. HIs site is a bit of a tease since he includes only sections of nine examples of his work. They are still worth a look.

The newsletter is sometimes a single image but often shows a series of photographs of a work in progress. One series of nine photos from August 2013 shows Bryan Patrick Todd in a cherry picker preparing and painting a very big mural on a very big wall in Louisville, “Our City, Our Home”. A more extensive series of photos is on Bryan’s website.

The branding exercise by Tobias Hall is a mind-boggling example of precision and complexity. There are similar examples on his website.

Tobias Hall Handlettered Branding TobiasHall-2 TobiasHall-3 TobiasHall-4 TobiasHall-5 TobiasHall-6 TobiasHall-7

 

 

Esther Honig: A Beautiful Woman?

Esther Honig sent her photo to photographers in 25 countries and asked them to make her beautiful. The amazing photos are on her website. They span the full range of what is considered beautiful internationally and individually.

For those who don’t know Photoshop it will be a lesson on how little you can believe a photograph once it’s met a computer.

Internet Service in Cohousing

A major conundrum for cohousing and one that warrants a chapter in the next book on building a cohousing community is internet service. To provide it collectively or each to their own? If collectively how to charge, or whether to include in condo fees? Which technology? Who maintains it?

When Takoma Village began planning in 1998-1999, we had several internet-knowledgeable people who insisted that we install wiring for internet connections. Every unit has at least 4 jacks with telephone, cable TV, and ethernet connections. The 3 and 4 bedrooms have more. Basically one in every room, even the kitchen. (We have connected units, not houses on lots.)

Internet service is included in our condo fee so it is paid at the same rate as condo fees, with larger units paying more. When people started using wireless, we installed community wireless connections for everyone to use. And we use each others. All the passwords are the same.

We have an intranet so people can share music and files, and the teenagers play games with each other. Several units collectively bought an expensive back-up drive to share and use our Intranet to backup.

The Set Up

There are routers in the north and south basements and in the common house basement that connect all the wires from  units to modems. For years we only had one modem. Then we upgraded to one modem with business class service. Now we have two business class service modems from two different companies so we rarely have a total outage when one service is down. Service is just a little slower; Netflix spins a bit.

One modem used to serve the North side and one the South side but one side has more gamers than the other. Unfair advantage to be limited to the same modem. Now the traffic rolls over.

Each ethernet jack in each unit is connected to the internet with its own IP address. This has caused a problem with Bluehost, our ISP, because they don’t like our account coming from different IPs all the time. So we have some special connection with them. When I worked on our website, that was a problem because my personal ISP is also Bluehost. Working on websites is upload intensive and with everyone’s email plus connections to our websites caused traffic jams. Now all the connections to Bluehost go through a single IP address.

What Doesn’t Work?

The problems are around the routers. One or the other of them blows a port with some regularity. It’s a long process to test the system and isolate the bad ports. We have internal people—one active expert and one that can be called in, and 2-3 who have training. The trained can get on the phone with an expert and understand how to follow his instructions. Without internal people trained to manage the network, we couldn’t do this.

One person who works professionally installing networks recommends purchasing new routers every year. Install the basic reliable inexpensive router and when you replace the next year the most reliable extra features will be built in and you will always have up-to-date trustworthy technology. No downtimes. Others think this is wasteful so we have downtimes until someone gets a new router, though I think now we always have a backup handy

What Else Could We Do?

Many would like to hire someone who would always be available. Our current expert often goes to very remote places to hike. But it would be expensive and no one is always available anyway. We used to have three experts but two moved. We can still call them but the system changes so their knowledge is not always current.

Some would like an external business class service that is guaranteed to be up 99% of the time. It feels uncomfortable to ask neighbors to go out in the evening or early morning or three days in a row to fix routers but so many people work from home now they are dependent on the Internet. I’m online literally 12-14 hours a day and others are too. (We can almost instantly contact each other—a subculture.)

We bought software so the techies can change settings and check the system from home on their computers, but when it is a hardware problem they still have to go to the basement. Often for several hours. And then they have to go to work, fixed or not.

Education and Warnings

We used to have huge problems with people moving in and setting up all their devices without letting our techs know that hew equipment had been installed. They would guess the settings or use the ones they had before and it would bring down the whole system. Or they would allow their systems to automatically choose an address and often it was their neighbor’s. One or the other would then get kicked off the system whenever both tried to get on online. Because we have an IP address for jack, each device—computers, cable system, netflix, Blueray, etc.—has its own settings. If people don’t have all of them set correctly, they can’t even use all their own equipment.

Now new people are warned before they move in to call the techs to set them up. In the panic of moving, they often forget. And when residents buy new equipment, they still forget that step.

It’s Still Worth It (On Most Days)

A collective system is soooo much cheaper than each of us having our own service and in-house attention is still better than someone who has never been here before—the usual case. Collectively, we can afford service that is four times as fast. It’s slower on Friday night when every one seems to be watching movies or playing games but still faster than the smaller residential modems most cable providers include in bundled packages. That service costs now $35 a month. 43 units x $35 = $1,500 a month. Instead we pay $365—80% less.

When we need repair of the modem, business class service is normally the same day, usually within hours. Residential service is usually a 3-4 day minimum; “next week,” the most common response.

Usage Is Way Up

When we moved in, less than half our households used the Internet at home. Whenever we sent out an email with a request the deadline for a response had to include a weekend for people who only read at home and workdays for those who only read at work. From the beginning, we had a computer in the office for people who didn’t have or need a computer. It is now used by people whose own computer is broken or much slower and by guests. And some just like to get out of their units.

We also have a duplex 3-in-1 printer that is hooked up to out intranet. Residents don’t need a scanner, copier, or fax machine, and can print from home.

When only a few were using the internet at home, it was harder to get attention to the network being down because very few people were dependent on it. Several of us had our own modems because of this. Now every household has at least one device hooked up. I have four and a router to handle them. Some have their own internal intranet so they can share devices. About a third work at home all the time or a significant part of the time. And that number is growing rapidly. I would guess that most people check work email at home though some companies are now not allowing that for security reasons.

A long history but an important one that I think that Takoma Village has handled at a high level because we had tech savvy people from the beginning who were avid about new technology and foresaw the future—even though it still isn’t perfect. Every community will probably be at some point in this evolutionary process. If anyone is beyond it, please let me know!