New York Magazine Profile of Nate Silver

New York Magazine has an interesting profile on Nate Silver, the man behind the political website FiveThirtyEight.

Silver uses data analysis to track and weight polls, based on their historical track records and methodologies. What’s interesting is that he rightly predicted the outcome of the Democratic primary race, while commentators at the time were talking about a Hillary Clinton comeback.

This Election’s Poster Child

Design critic Steven Heller looks at poster design this presidential election cycle, and the unprecedented outpouring of support for Senator Barack Obama:

So, do these posters have any impact on voters? Not the specific images or messages but cumulatively they are a grassroots effort that excite through the show of collective support. What’s more, posters often appeal to personal needs and emotions, not all rouse in the same way for everyone. Having many options allows partisans to engage as they choose. This show of support goes in the plus column for Barack Obama.

Take a walk down Smith Street in Brooklyn, and you’ll see Shepard Fairey’s poster in many shop windows – it’s almost comic… not just street art any more.

Streetsy: 40+ Streetartists You Should Know Besides Banksy

Jake Dobkin presents 40+ Street Artists You Should Know Besides Banksy:

Everyone knows who Banksy is – but the international streetart community has hundreds of other great artists that deserve your attention. Here’s a selection of the very best.

Christoph Niemann’s Abstract City

One of my favorite blogs on NYTimes.com is written by the German illustrator Christoph Niemann, called Abstract City. He only posts once a month or so, but each one is as unique and interesting as the last.

And, it is amusing that his blog – of all NYTimes.com blogs – doesn’t have an illustrated icon in the header. It’s not intentional on our part, he just hasn’t gotten to it yet.

See More of Christoph Niemann’s work »

Ready for David Pogue

Shadows

Me, standing in, as lighting is set for a David Pogue shoot.

Today, myself and a few colleagues helped Zach Wise set up and shoot some green screen video of New York Times Technology Columnist and near-Broadway performer David Pogue. The video will be integrated into a multimedia piece that Zach and I are working on, which should be done before Thanksgiving.

This is the first real video shoot that I’ve worked on, (having in the past done a lot of voice-over work with sound engineers). What’s scary is that we did this largely by ourselves – Zach found a studio at the nearby CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, we hung the green fabric, and we set up the lighting with a little help from their engineer.

David Pogue came in a short while later, I grabbed a boom mic, and we were off to the races. It was a lot of fun, and Pogue nailed the takes – I have no idea how he did it without a teleprompter, but he had us all laughing several times. And he was very patient and friendly throughout the shoot, even when we had to embarrassingly scramble back to the office for more P2 cards.

So, that was the hard part – now we have to design and build this thing.

CIA Tactics Endorsed In Secret Memos

The Washington Post has a page one story today on a pair of secret Bush Administration memos sent to the CIA, that explicitly endorse the agency’s use of torture techniques. It’s unclear who the leaks came from, but it appears that the memos addressed concerns expressed by then-CIA Director George Tenet:

The repeated requests for a paper trail reflected growing worries within the CIA that the administration might later distance itself from key decisions about the handling of captured al-Qaeda leaders, former intelligence officials said.

So, Tenet was looking to cover his ass. Nice reporting WaPo.

Mad Men, Mad Props

Mad Men is such an enjoyable show – but, typeface designer Mark Simonson takes Mad Men’s prop masters to task for their typography sins.

None of these missteps occurred to me when watching, so maybe I need to brush up on my history of typography?

The Measure of a President

The Times has an interesting (if not completely pointless) infographic on presidential height and weight, in recent history. I like that the silhouettes are all mostly recognizable – Jimmy Carter’s smile, Harry Truman’s spectacles and William Howard Taft’s belly… funny.

It was done by Scott Stowell’s design studio, Open N.Y., the people who design GOOD Magazine.

No Want!

No Want!

Katya gets involved in the party planning. (Photo by Lisa)

More Photos from our V.P. Debate Party »

MSM Ahead of Curve on V.P. Debate

Did you know that NYTimes.com streamed live video of last night’s debate, right on the top of its home page? There was a full-screen option, too. Pretty cool stuff – even Gawker was impressed.

Also, check out our V.P. Debatinator – a mashup of video, transcript, and timeline from the debate.

Beehive vs. Chompers: V.P. Debate Party

V.P. Debate Party

Invitation design for our party, Thursday night.

I couldn’t resist – Lisa and I are hosting a V.P. Debate party this Thursday night, so I whipped this invite up. The idea was to play up two of the more striking elements of the candidates’ appearance: Sarah Palin’s beehive and eyewear, and Joe Biden’s abnormally large teeth.

The result is kind of awkward but fun. It looks like an elongated John Kerry-sized head, but it’s not worth fussing with the proportions at this point. Just go with it… I did.

UPDATE: The always charming Emily pointed out a rather obvious spelling mistake in the design above. Can you find it?

Subtraction 7.1 Beta

Khoi Vinh recently realigned his blog, Subtraction.com, converting the back-end from Movable Type to Expression Engine. (Full disclosure: Khoi is my boss.)

There are a few new tweaks to the familiar design, the most noticeable being the link roll folded-in with longer form entries, creating a nice chronological flow. Also, he created templates for photo posts.

My Bloody Valentine @ Roseland

Walking out of the Roseland Ballroom last Tuesday night, I felt blind, deaf and dumbfounded – and I’m not the only one. We had just stood through an assault on our eyes, ears, and patience, but it was an amazing show.

Ear plugs were handed out on the way in, and I jammed them in as far as they would go – but, I’m not sure it was enough. It was certainly the loudest show I’ve ever witnessed.

And it wasn’t enough for the light show to be trippy and beautiful, but it also had to burn out your retinas. Lisa made the point that there were more lights pointed out at the crowd than at the band themselves. Still, the bright pink glow was exactly the perfect accompaniment for the band that recorded Loveless.

Continue reading ‘My Bloody Valentine @ Roseland’

Economix & Green Inc. Blog Headers

The Times is in the process of beefing up its business coverage online, adding new verticals on the economy and green energy. As part of that roll out, we launched two blogs last week, and I was tasked with the header designs and illustration assignments.

I really enjoy the little bits of art direction that I get to do at the Times. It’s fun to search for the illustrators, work with them on concepts and sketches, and in the end they do all of the work.

Economix

Economix Blog header

Illustration by Headcase Design

Economix is written by David Leonhardt and Catherine Rampell, and will focus on both the global economy and the personal decisions readers make everyday.

The illustration was done by Paul Kepple’s team at Headcase Design, with art direction and design by myself.

Continue reading ‘Economix & Green Inc. Blog Headers’

Election 2008, Powered by Twitter

Twitter found another interesting thing to do since acquiring Summize this past summer: they launched an Election 2008 feed, which displays Twitter users thoughts on the election in real time. The scroll goes dizzyingly fast, but the pause on mouse-over is a nice touch.

It will be interesting to keep an eye on it during the first presidential debate tonight, as I’m sure there will be lots of insightful, thoughtful comments. ::wink, wink:: Though I wish that the list was curated down to a select bunch of journalists or commentators.

Sacha Baron Cohen Crashes the Catwalk at Milan Fashion Week

Ali G and Borat might have been put to rest, but comedian Sacha Baron Cohen seems to now be working on a Brüno movie, based on his gay Austrian model character.

Earlier today, he caused a ruckus when he crashed the catwalk at Milan Fashion Week, dressed in a ridiculously funny costume. The photos and video look hilarious.

No More Pink Grid Bars

Quick admin note: I removed the gridlayouts.com javascript from this site, so you should not see the pink bars appearing when you’re typing a comment or searching for something.

The Javascript was only supposed to toggle the pink grid bars when the user hits ctrl+shift+G – but it must have interfered with some other ajaxy stuff, because it was toggling with only the G key. So, it’s been removed – and I added a screenshot of what it looked like to my original post about the redesign.

That is all.

Jennarator on Hershey’s Switch to Partially Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil

Jenna on Hershey’s decision to replace cocoa butter with partially hydrogenated veggie oil in their chocolate candies:

Everyone feels tricked and betrayed by their beloved Hershey. And to that I say, it’s f*cking hershey, get over it. It’s not a high quality product to begin with (still love it, though).

I just think this is a dumb thing to get worked up about, especially when so much food right now is making people sick. Can we focus on making and growing food that won’t give us E. Coli and forgive a little vegetable oil?

My answer is no, but I think that foods of all kinds contain too much processed sugars and fats.

Waffle House Wedding

Some truly excellent journalism, from The Gwinnett Daily Post: Waffle House Wedding. I love that you can order any of the photos.

Inside Obama’s Emails

In the wake of Sarah Palin’s email account hack, The Onion brings you Inside Obama’s Emails. Funny, but I thought John McCain didn’t know how to do the e-mail? [via Jason]

Time.com Redesign

New Time.com

New design for the homepage of time.com, the website of Time Magazine.

Time Magazine started rolling out a redesign of time.com yesterday – it was designed by my friend and former colleague Sean Villafranca, who left our group at the Times earlier this year to become the Design Director for time.com.

It strikes me as a welcome departure from its previous CNN-esque iteration, and a little more faithful to the print design. I like the use of Arial Black, and the daring use of the TIME wordmark on the white background. (Daring because it would’ve been far more predictable to use the wordmark reversed on a red background.)

They seem to have only rolled-out the home page and the article pages at this point – section fronts still show the legacy design. But on the whole, it’s a very good improvement to a very good news resource – just in time for the general election season.

ALSO – A few birdies tell me to expect some major design changes to wsj.com today or tuesday, coming hot-off-the-heels of their magazine launch this month. Yes, we’ve heard this before, but there are some preview screenshots out there. Stay Tuned!

Obama is RESTful

Corey Ehmke wrote up a funny comparison of the technologies used by the Obama and McCain campaigns on their websites. His conclusion? Obama is RESTful.

Memorial, 7 years

Memorial

Twin beams of the Tribute in Light in lower Manhattan, as seen from the Promenade in Brooklyn Heights.

What Could Possibly Make Someone Want to Leave New York and Move to Buffalo?

Buffalo #1

Lisa’s tattoo confirms that Buffalo is indeed #1.

New York magazine has an interesting feature on New Yorkers moving to Buffalo, NY, the very city that Lisa and I were raised in and subsequently couldn’t wait to leave from after high school.

Some people will read this as a story of defeat. They will look at Herbeck and Cloyd and think, They came; they couldn’t cut it; good riddance. That’s also a familiar New York narrative, one that’s especially comforting to those of us who stay and stick it out. Because, sure, stained glass and spare bedrooms are nice and all, but no one moves to New York because they think they’re going to get a great bargain on an apartment. You move here because you want to live in New York City.

The writer then goes on to say that this is not a story of defeat, but rather an opportunity:

But New York, for all its mythology, is no longer a frontier. Buffalo is a frontier. And when you think of the actual frontier, you’ll recall that no one ever packed up and moved West to a gold-rush town because they heard it had really good local theater.

Um, okay… Truth is, I know more former 716 area coders that are now in 212 or 718. But, it’s a provoking premise for a city famous for little more than snow and four consecutive failed Superbowl bids.

Vivian Girls @ Death By Audio

Vivian Girls

Cassie Ramone and Vivian Girls perform.

Last week I saw Vivian Girls play at Death By Audio in Williamsburg. It was my second time seeing them, and certainly won’t be the last. The Times printed a rave review:

Even though this band’s music tends toward the discordant, Vivian Girls … are romantics at heart. Their taut, no-nonsense songs brim over with noise and touches of shoegaze reverb, but at the center are glorious, gentle harmonies.

They open for Sonic Youth tomorrow, August 30th, at the McCarren Park Pool, or you can catch them again at Death By Audio on September 2nd.