Friday, May 25, 2007

Why I read Slate every day

Slate, one of the old guard of online "magazines," is on my daily must-read list. Even if I don't look at my own blog, I look at Slate. Here are a few reasons why.

An exploration of Helvetica typeface. OK: I like Helvetica, but I also like Times New Roman. The fact that my copy of Microsoft Word sends me immediately to Times New doesn't hurt either. Still, I would have never thought to write an essay, much less a photo essay, about the venerable Swiss font. An interesting story, but if I decide to go crazy, I'm going to go there with Modern No. 20, one of my favorite fonts of all time.

Then, if that wasn't enough, they ask some high-powered authors about which fonts they use, which article yields one of my favorite comments of the year (by Andrew Vachss, of whom I have not heard, seemingly sadly):

Fancy fonts are fine for blogs, just as calligraphy is fine for diaries. But when you're writing for anyone other than yourself, you want to get as universal as possible.

Richard Posner is also queried. I'd hoped for a window into the mind of this formidable jurist, but - alas - no.

Now, without comment, and showing why Slate is the smartest news magazine on the web, I link to a debate between the Reverend Al Sharpton and the provocateur Christopher Hitchens, on Hitchens' new book, God Is Not Great. I lied: one comment. Where else are you going to find this sort of content, plus some other really first-rate stuff? Good question. Maybe The Nation's online component, but that's a different story.

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