I should note as an aside to this that it always struck me as strange how the financial model of academic journals could be allowed to become standard practice. #link
My old college acquaintance Noel would appreciate it, I'm sure. I never bought into the whole NoU thing, but their first album is so good it sounds like it was recorded tomorrow. #link
"Reports on corrections, retractions, clarifications and trends regarding accuracy and honesty in the media." #link
These gave me the giggles. In a good way. #link
And a very nice weblog it is, too. #link
Go Canada! #link
I've read around this topic and I tend to agree with the concensus: British (and Irish) people are far better served by our mainstream media outlets, so we don't really have that urge to shake things up. #link
Screw Powerpoint! We should all be using browsers from now on. #link
I should redo the Furnace website with this system. It'll make managing it much easier. (I'd use MT but I don't want to pay for a licence.) #link
If only I had the time and the patience... and a really good printer. #link
This has been linked pretty much everywhere else. But I like it, so there. (On a related note, I would have used Helvetica as the sans-serif for Furnace but it wasn't available, so Arial had to do. Not that you can tell the difference, really.) #link
If I might have your attention for a moment, I’ve written a feature for the wonderfully eclectic Sigla magazine. It’s all about eBay, which this year is celebrating both its 10th anniversary and the launch of its dedicated Irish site. Hope you enjoy it.
From the regularly insightful Design Observer:
> The Daily Telegraph has won the prestigious UK Newspaper Design of the Year award for 2005, also known as “The Quark Award.” Quark, Inc. provider of QuarkXPress software, sponsors the award that singles out the UK’s best-designed newspaper. (The Telegraph is produced entirely in Adobe InDesign and InCopy software.)
If they don't consider the Zimbabwe situation a serious problem, it's no wonder Africa's so fucked up. I mean, how can you expect to build a strong continent when you constantly turn your backs on your own? #link
Eight simple steps to help a story come to life. Good stuff. #link
If there's anything I hate more than summer humidity, it's ranting loonies. #link
It seems the Democrats have finally grown some balls. #link
Is this what we've come to? That we can't write on our own blogs without some jackass complaining we're not up to the standards of the New York Times or something? Jeez... #link
So I don't forget it. #link
Here's hoping he has a safe visit. #link
I'll have to give this a go. #link
An American records his experiences on the JET programme. #link
Did a better job than me, too. #link
Some handy hints here. #link
Remind me to make sure my kids, if I should have any, never put me in a nursing home. #link
It's a shame. There still seems to be a strong bias among older hacks against the worthiness of journalism education. #link
I haven't read this yet. I'll get around to it, I promise. #link
This will be the only item about the Michael Jackson trial you will find here. #link
Two points, after seeing Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith:
* Doesn’t it strike you as odd that at the beginning of the movie the technology is all plasma screens and shit, but by the end they’ve regressed to knobs and switches and blinking lights? I know they needed to have continuity with the original trilogy, but come on!
* If there can only ever be two Sith lords at any one time, then who the fuck was Darth Maul?? Hello?!?
I'm really looking forward to it. I'm like a newspaper nerd or something. #link
I did my bit; it really does only take about 10 minutes. Must get cracking on my own survey, what with that thesis I have to write and all. #link
It only works if you've got audio on your computer. I know, it's so gonna get old in a few weeks, but why not milk it for all it's worth while we still have time? #link
So Homer Simpson was right after all: everytime I learn something new it really does push some old stuff out of my brain. #link
The Guinness Lifestyle Diet [c/o del.icio.us/jack]
I'm almost ashamed to say I've been through most of these stages. But not #13. As Anil rightly says, "nobody's ever been fired for blogging." #link
Well-reasoned and supported argument wins out over pseudo-scientific intellectual laziness any day. #link
Some good advice here, but if I met one who was being too precious I'd be happy to insult him. #link
I registered with eBay years ago, but I've only just bought something through 'em. #link
This is funny if you can remember back like two or three years ago. #link
So the class magazine that a small but dedicated group of us have been working very hard on over the last ten weeks has at last been sent to the printers. This week in particular has been markedly fraught, what with getting all the copy subbed and proofed, last-minute rewrites and image sourcing, weeding out a couple of potentially libellous statements — not to mention the interlude that was our shorthand exam on Tuesday, which sent the stress levels into the red.
But yesterday morning, finally, Kevin (the editor) and I collected all the necessary layout files to burn what I suppose could be called our ‘gold master’, which is currently winging its way towards Co Kerry via the Irish postal system.
I’m normally modest to the point of utter silence, but I’m not too shy to say I’m very proud of the work we’ve done. I’ll even go so far as to say (hold on tight, there’s a bold statement coming!) that compared to the previous years’ MA class magazines, ours kicks every one of them square in the ass.
But I’m a perfectionist and, even though I know it shouldn’t, even the slightest mistake sends me into a tizzy. Going through the final printout last night, I found four silly errors: a subbing error on the contents page where an upper-case capital should be lower-case; a standfirst that was kerned a little too tightly (though it’s still completely readable); and two layout bugs at the foot of articles towards the back, where hairlines drawn above the author’s e-mail addresses ended up below them instead.
They’re the kind of thing that aren’t really noticeable until they’re pointed out (the first two especially) and all things considered they don’t take away from the quality of the publication. But I hold myself to the highest possible standards, and even now while I’m writing this I’m kicking myself over them. I’m the design editor; it’s my responsibility to make sure everything is ready and looks perfect before the project gets locked down — and in this case, I didn’t live up to my own standards. They’re tiny, niggly little things that should have been obvious to me and I should have caught them at the final stage.
But I’m not completely down on myself. On the plus side, four minor mistakes in a 48-page magazine is a pretty good rate for a first-time design editor with no formal training and no previous experience in a project of this scale. And at the very least, I know what my mistakes are, so no one has to point them out to me. I’ve already learned from them, and the magazine hasn’t even been printed yet — that must count for something.
By the way, the magazine is called Furnace. It will be launched at a star-studded gala (read: hastily-thrown-together buffet reception) on the 13th of June, and it should be available in various locations throughout Dublin city centre thereafter, free of charge. There’s also a companion website, which will be handy if you can’t get your hands on a physical specimen.
If you’re reading this and you happen to be a journalist or editor, we’d be happy to flow you a copy so you can look at the work we’ve done (my mistakes included). Just send us a note with your contact details to firstname.lastname@example.org.