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.