Wray, CO Tornado

There’s some amazing footage out there of the May 7, 2016 tornado near Wray, Colorado. I suspect the video does not do it justice, and, without documentation, trying to describe that kind of power to someone would quickly get mystical.

As the North American plains have always been Tornado Alley, I was curious what native stories and legends there might be. This page collects a few sources. From a Kiowa account by Iseeo:

Suddenly, the leader of the party shouted for the men to dismount and prepare for a hard rain. Soon, too, with the approaching cloud, lseeo recalled hearing a -roar that sounded like buffalo in the rutting season. Sloping down from the cloud a sleeve appeared, its center red; from this lightning shot out. The tremendous funnel tore through the timber bordering the Washita. heaving trees into the air.
Some of the young men wanted to run away, but the older, more experienced Kiowas knew what must be done. They called for everyone to try hard and brace themselves. The elders drew their pipes from saddlebags and lit them. They raised their pipes to the storm spirit, entreating it to smoke, and to go around them. The cloud heard their prayers, Iseeo explained, and passed by.

The whole article is fascinating.

Venice

Fantastic digitally-stabilized drone video of Venice Beach at sunrise. The Brian Eno soundtrack pulls it all together nicely.

Links

  • The Met Museum in NYC has redesigned their map to be “digital-first.” Their post about the launch outlines some of the unique challenges in designing for interactions that happen in a real space but still need to be understood internationally.
  • Harry Bertoia made sculptures that are instruments, or perhaps instruments that are sculptures. I like how many look like cattails.

Making the 1980s HBO Intro

It’s something that would be done digitally today, but the original HBO intro was shot with a model city. The production techniques are fascinating, and I can’t even believe the big brass letters.

A better underline

I noticed the New Yorker changed the way that they do underlined text links. Now, glyph descenders break the underline in a way that reflects the New Yorker’s refined typographic style.

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How does this work? The best explanation may come from Medium, where Marcin Wichary worked it out for their own text-heavy site.

Essentially the descenders are cleared by putting a small, white (or whatever background color) shadow on either side of the glyphs. Here is a stand-alone version of the CSS in Codepen.

If there is any issue with this, it’s that in Firefox when the text is highlighted the multiple shadows do get picked-up.

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That minor glitch aside, the overall results do look good. It’s an almost imperceptible way for sites with a focus on content to differentiate their reading experience, and I’m glad to see web typography pushed forward.