A new Font for Microsoft Word 2007 and the World


you better get used to it…

In Microsoft Word 2007, the default font is no longer Times New Roman. A fresh install gives us Cambria for our default. This is not just a change in the toolbar arrangement of MS Word–but an underhanded introduction of a new default for the majority of people who write words on computers. Do you write words on computers?

It’s not a bad font, and only looks slightly more rounded than Times New Roman. I’m not concerned that Cambria will be anything negative once we begin to see it a lot more, I just think this moment (font re-defaulting) will slip by if no one stops for a minute to thinks about what a new MS Word default really means.
We live in a Windows-centric world, but more importantly, we live in an MS Word-dominated world. If Cambria becomes the default for Word–poof: it becomes the default for the world.

Microsoft Word’s default is ‘our’ font in the sense that it is what kids will unwittingly use to write their first sentence and what UN diplomats will compose memos with. In a strange way, Cambria is the new invisible hand of Microsoft Word forcing itself on the aesthetic field of the written word.

The flavor of Cambria.
It’s not very different, but there’s something less formal about it:


Times New Roman has solidity, and retains some gothic flourishes from olde British sensibilities embedded in the land of its birth.

And larger, Cambria’s softness really comes through.

Cambria (top), Times New Roman (bottom) [size 48 pt]

So how does a font spread across the world? Slowly… I first found it in the preview section of JSTOR, an academic database that many colleges and universities subscribe to. All the pdfs generated by the preview section are titled with Cambria:


Does this mean JSTOR pdf’s are generated on Microsoft Word? Probably not–it’s more likely that in the preview redesign, the titling system was similarly redesigned to the next generation generic font: Cambria.

We don’t even need to get ready for it, because it’s already here

As people update Microsoft Word, architects, marketers, politicians, and dog-walkers will all be confronted with a decision: Should I take the effort to change my default font back to Times New Roman, or will I let Microsoft (once again) tell me that Cambria is the flavor of the decade?

On Microsoft’s Developer Network Fontblog, the exuberance of ‘cleartype’ technology overshadows what changing the default font means. Mike with no last name writes:

Now that Vista and Office 2007 have shipped, we would like to send out a pointer to some online typographic samples of the ClearType font collection. All of these brand new fonts ship with Vista, and Office 2007. Calibri and Cambria are included in Office as the new defaults.

In total, Microsoft has added six new fonts: Calibri, Cambria, Candara, Consolas, Constantia, Corbel.

Here’s some particulars about Cambria [from ascendors corp]:

Cambria has been designed for on-screen reading and to look good when printed at small sizes. It has very even spacing and proportions. Diagonal and vertical hairlines and serifs are relatively strong, while horizontal serifs are small and intend to emphasize stroke endings rather than stand out themselves. This principle is most noticeable in the italics where the lowercase characters are subdued in style to be at their best as elements of word-images.

When Cambria is used for captions at sizes over 20 point, the inter-character spacing should be slightly reduced for best results. The design isn’t just intended for business documents: The regular weight has been extended with a large set of math and science symbols. The Greek and Cyrillic has been designed under close supervision of an international team of experts, who aimed to set a historical new standard in multi-script type design.

Cambria was tuned for ClearType rendering environment and will be included with Windows Vista and Office 2007. Type Designer: Jelle Bosma, with Steve Matteson and Robin Nicholas

So it appears we can make a timeline for default fonts:
1981-2007: Times New Roman
2007-20XX: Cambria
What’s to come?

And this new interface is a whole new story:

Irving Fields’ Youtube Theme song

Old school meets new media…


Irving’s Credits

“Miami Beach Rhumba” which became a hit for Xavier Cugat and used by Woody Allen in Deconstructing Harry
“Managua, Nicaragua” recorded by Guy Lombardo, Emdundo Ros, and Freddy Martin; #1 on Hit Parade for 14 weeks
“Chantez, Chantez” which was covered by Dinah Shore
“The Door Is Open” recorded by Sarah Vaughan and The Barry Sisters
“Take Her To Jamaica”
“Miami Beach Cha Cha Cha”
Campaign songs for Ronald Reagan, George Bush (Sr), Bob Dole, Rudy Giuliani, and George Pataki*

*asked whether he’s a Democrat or Republican, Irving slyly responds: “I got out of that.”

Recording Artist
Bagels & Bongos (Decca)
More Bagels & Bongos (Decca)
Pizza and Bongos (Decca)
Champagne and Bongos (Decca)
Bikinis and Bongos (Decca)
The Fabulous Fingers (Fiesta)
Plays Irving Berlin in Fabulous Hi-Fi (Tops)
At The Latin Quarter (20th Century Fox)
Irving Fields and his Trio at the Emerald Room (Decca)
Latin Dance Date (RCA Camden)
(plus many, many other recordings)

Carnegie Hall – New York City (8 times)
Taj Mahal – Bombay, India
Imperial Hotel – Tokyo, Japan
London Palladium – London, England
El Morocco – New York City
The Stork Club – New York City
The Copacabana – New York City
The Latin Quarter – New York City

Park Sheraton Hotel – New York City (with coast-to-coast radio broadcasts)
The Intercontinental, St. Mortiz, Plaza Hotel, Park Lane Hotel – New York City
Caesar’s Palace, Sand’s Hotel, Sahara Hotel, The Flamingo – Las Vegas
Harrah’s – Atlantic City, NJ
Nevele Grande Hotel – Ellenville, NY
Versailles Hotel, Lucerne Hotel, Fontainbleau – Miami Beach, FL
Wentworth Hotel – Jackson, NH
Copley Plaza Hotel – Boston, MA
Continental Plaza – Chicago, IL

“The View” – ABC television
Ed Sullivan Show
Milton Berle Show
Kate Smith Show
Jackie Gleason Show
Eddie Cantor Show
“Live” with Regis Philbin

Headliner performer:
Princess Cruises
Holland America Line
Celebrity Cruise Line
Renaissance Cruise Line
Cunard Cruise Line

Links for Sunday February 24, 2008

These link posts are another way for me to keep track of what I read and love, but also to share with you.

To listen to

Google%20Image%20Result%20for%20http://www.prisonplanet.com/images/may2005/280505hunters.jpgFan of Hunter S. Thompson? Here’s a recording (75 minutes 165mb .zip) of a Sep/13/1977 visit to UC (University of Colorado)

Loink loink uberhaus

For a trip to ‘let’s become aware of our bodies’ public-art awareness land, see the politics of puking @ Oberlin College, or in the ‘too close for comfort’ department, watch “Katie Couric annoyingly smothering Hillary Clinton” @ youtube regarding “how she would feel if she lost.”

In music, the South by Southwest Festival in Austin, TX is in full swing. 3.5GB of music have been made available from the event for download (bittorrent). In other news, ex Dead Kennedy’s singer Jello Biafra compares the Recording Industry of America (RIAA) to the Mafia. Also says “Goebbels would be proud.”

But it’s not the fault of “big media.” The New Yorker puts out Salman Rushie short stories like ‘The Shelter of the World‘ like it’s nothing.

Things to look at

26 types of animals

Cat Rackham Gets Depression – Monstro- Draw

15 Cutting Edge Gadgets and Technologies (Godzilla Hologram video screenshot shown)

Digital Curators.

I don’t think I’m one. I’m too sporadic, and I’m far too young to be trusted.
Micro Persuasion has a similar complaint I had in the past re: info overload + aggregators:

the glut of content as we all know also has a major downside. Our information and entertainment options greatly outweigh the time we have to consume it. Even if one were to only focus on micro-niche interests and snack on bite-sized content, demand could never ever scale to match the supply. Content is a commodity. The Attention Crash is real and – make no mistake – it will deepen.

Enter the Digital Curator. A curator, in a cultural institution context, is a guardian or an overseer. According to Wikipedia, he/she “is a content specialist responsible for an institution’s collections and their associated collections catalogs. The object of a curator’s concern necessarily involves tangible objects of some sort, whether it be inter alia artwork, collectibles, historic items or scientific collections.”

Museum curators, like web users, are faced with choices. They can’t put every work of art in a museum. They acquire pieces that fit within the tone, direction and – above all – the purpose of the institution. They travel the corners of the world looking for “finds.” Then, once located, clean them up and make sure they are presentable and offer the patron a high quality experience.

Much the same, the digital realm too needs curators. Information overload makes it difficult to separate junk from art. It requires a certain finesse and expertise – a fine tuned, perhaps trained eye. Google, memetrackers such as Techmeme and social news sites like digg are not curators. They’re aggregators – and there’s a big difference.

A daily Dose of Ingersoll

via Cynical C-blog

You know that when Christianity came into power it destroyed
every statue it could lay its ignorant hands upon. It defaced and
obliterated every painting; it destroyed every beautiful building;
it burned the manuscripts, both Greek and Latin; it destroyed all
the history, all the poetry, all the philosophy it could find, and
reduced to ashes every library that it could reach with its torch.
And the result was, that the night of the Middle Ages fell upon the
human race. But by accident, by chance, by oversight, a few of the
manuscripts escaped the fury of religious zeal; and these
manuscripts became the seed, the fruit of which is our civilization
of to-day. A few statues had been buried; a few forms of beauty
were dug from the earth that had protected them, and now the
civilized world is filled with art, the walls are covered with
paintings, and the niches filled with statuary. A few manuscripts
were found and deciphered. The old languages were learned, and
literature was again born. A new day dawned upon mankind. Every
effort at mental improvement had been opposed by the church, and
yet, the few things saved from the general wreck — a few poems, a
few works of the ancient thinkers, a few forms wrought in stone.
produced a new civilization destined to overthrow and destroy the
fabric of superstition.

Robert Green Ingersoll Р“Orthodoxy”(1884)

Crayon Physics Deluxe


A finalist for a student game competition at Carnegie Mellon “Crayon Physics Deluxe” is not a new idea, but the crayola aesthetic + music treatment sets it apart from prior programs that give you touch screen physics capabilities. A nice fairy tale soundtrack seems to tell you “physics is your friend.”

If an MIT professor were to make the same thing, it would be called “Assist Sketch Understanding System and Operation:”

This is where interface design should all be heading towards: programs that make the unexplainable functions and capabilities of a computer as simple as the complex (and similarly difficult) physics we all innately know–to help us have fun or, on occasion, be productive.

via The Chronicle for Higher Education

JFK Assassinated because of the Mafia-Busting work of his brother?

oswaldIn a Feb 20th Reuters article, I read

The Dallas County district attorney said on Monday that he could not categorically dismiss as fake a transcript of an alleged conversation between Kennedy’s assassin Lee Harvey Oswald and Oswald’s killer Jack Ruby.

The transcript is one of many items related to the Kennedy slaying in November 1963 and Ruby’s trial that were found in an old safe in a Dallas courthouse about a year ago and have been painstakingly cataloged.

In the purported conversation nearly two months before the assassination, Oswald and Ruby discuss killing Kennedy to halt the mafia-busting agenda of his brother, Attorney General Robert Kennedy.

“We don’t know if this is an actual conversation or not,” District Attorney Craig Watkins told a news conference. “It will open up the debate as to whether or not there was a conspiracy to assassinate the president.”

The debate has been open since the second he was shot, Mr. Watkins–Where have you been?

The bits of the transcript released so far read like a cheap detective story:

Lee: You said the boys in Chicago want to get rid of the Attorney General.

Ruby: Yes, but it can’t be done … it would get the Feds into everything.

Lee: There is a way to get rid of him without killing him.

Ruby: How’s that?

Lee: I can shoot his brother.

Ruby: But that wouldn’t be patriotic.

Lee: What’s the difference between shooting the Gov. and in shooting the President?

Ruby: It would get the FBI into it.

Lee: I can still do it, all I need is my rifle and a tall building; but it will take time, maybe six months to find the right place; but I’ll have to have some money to live on while I do the planning.”

Wikipedia tells us a bit an elevenfold Mafia prosecution increase since JFK took office:

J. Edgar Hoover was the long-time director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (1924-1972), and close friend of Lyndon Johnson.
It is well-documented that before President Kennedy was elected, Hoover rarely acknowledged the existence of the Mafia. Jack Anderson reported on J. Edgar Hoover’s apparent ties to the Mafia, and also the reluctance of the FBI to prosecute it. The Mafia’s financial genius Meyer Lansky had allegedly blackmailed Hoover over his homosexuality as early as 1935.[100] Another probable reason for Hoover’s failure to prosecute the Mob was his preference of easy targets to boost the FBI’s image.
After Kennedy became President, the prosecutions of the Mafia by the Justice Department (of which the FBI is a part) increased elevenfold. The Mafia war that started in the late 1950s encouraged Attorney General Robert Kennedy to prosecute the Mafia heavily after 1960. His attacks focused on Teamsters Union boss Jimmy Hoffa and the Mafia bosses of Chicago, Tampa and New Orleans.[101] On May 8, 1964, just days before Hoover was due to give testimony to the Warren Commission, Lyndon Johnson announced he had exempted Hoover from compulsory retirement and appointed him Director of the FBI “for life” at seventy years of age. In the White House Rose Garden, Johnson said, ‚ÄúThe nation cannot afford to lose you.‚Äù[102] Since Hoover’s death in May 1972, the tenure of the FBI director is, by law, limited to a single 10-year term.

A couple years ago I devoured a lot of the JFK conspiracy work… this release seems to divert attention away from the most cited reason for JFK’s assassination: the CIA’s interest and connection with building (or at least maintaining the current level) of funding and power. I’m not making any claims, but that side seems to make the most sense to me.
I’m sure the Mafia would just go ahead and kill the person out to get them instead of going for his brother. What we read here seems to go against how the Mafia operates.