According to Barclay, people with dyslexia and other reading difficulties are often capable of thinking in ways others aren’t and as a result are ‘capable of true greatness’, yet these people are often misunderstood and treated unfairly as a result.
‘Being dyslexic, I noticed that available help was always about making me read better,’ said Barclay.
‘Very little effort was made to help the people around me understand what it feels like.
The book continues a project Barklay created while at the University of Portsmouth that explores the “struggles a dyslexic person might have while reading.”
As Medical Daily explains, the typography book builds empathy with those who don’t — or can’t — understand how the dyslexic see the written world. “It’s near impossible, for instance, to look at a word in your native tongue and not read it, to just look at the symbols, estranged from their meaning. Once we learn to read, our brains forget what it’s like not to associate symbols with letters. It’s for this reason, Barclay says, that his book is so vital to uplifting and enlarging dyslexia to people worldwide.”
The authors, Arthur Beifuss (a journalist and former UN counter-terrorism analyst) and Francesco Trivini Bellini, a creative director with a portfolio of big accounts including Gucci and Prada) certainly have the credentials to pose a little-asked question: how great a part does graphic image-making play in the effectiveness of the most active international terrorist groups? More.
Here’s a riddle: You can watch this video and decide you’re floating within a touch device, or you can watch this video and decide that everything is a touch device. Either way, give this video a minute or two to kick in. I think you’ll be amazed. — Michael
Close your eyes and imagine how it would feel to go for a swim inside your iPad’s touchscreen. It could be a little like the surreal, interactive “AquaTop display” experience, created by researchers at the University of Tokyo Electro Communications Laboratory. The prototype model is just a tank of water, but the plan is for the AquaTop to turn your everyday bathtub into an immersive touchscreen, allowing the bather to watch movies, look at photos, and play games.
Our system uses a depth camera to detect input on and over the water surface to allow for interactions such as protruding fingers out from under the water surface and scooping up the water with both hands. This type of interaction is not capable with current impenetrable, rigid body, flat surfaces. For example, by floating one’s limbs on the water surface, it is also possible to fuse one’s body with the displayed objects for further augmented interaction by ‘becoming one’ with the screen.
Getting spiders high for science started in 1948, when German zoologist H.M. Peters got fed up with trying to study web-building behavior in spiders who wouldn’t do him the courtesy of working on his schedule. His garden spiders tended to build their webs between two and five a.m., and he asked his pharmacologist friend P.N. Witt if there might be some chemical stimulant that would coax the spiders into building their webs at a more reasonable time.
Witt tried giving the spiders some amphetamine and, while they kept building at their usual hour (to Peters’ dismay), the two scientists did notice that those webs were more haphazard than normal. Over the next few decades, Witt continued to dose spiders with a smorgasbord of psychoactive substances, including marijuana, LSD, caffeine and mescaline, to see how they reacted. Since spiders can’t use tiny bongs or drink from little mugs, Witt and his team either dissolved the drugs in sugar water or injected them into flies and then fed the spiders with them.
Images: Spider web images by NASA, via Mental Floss. Clockwise, starting with the top-left: a regular web; a web on marijuana; a web on benzedrine; a web on caffeine; a web on chloral hydrate; and a web on LSD.
As Mariam Touba, a reference librarian at the New-York Historical Society, writes, in Colonial papers big news was often relegated to inside pages. A browse through the volume Reporting the Revolutionary War, which collects pages from Colonial and British newspapers’ coverage of the war’s major events, reveals that it was quite uncommon for newspapers to use type that would yield print bigger than a cramped 8-point font. Somebody at the Freeman’s Journal must have correctly judged this news to be worthy of uncommon typographical enthusiasm.
Image: Freeman’s Journal, October 24, 1781, via Slate. Select to embiggen.
I’ve recently become obsessed with a food+writing blog called Pupcaked, created with a lot of love and patience by my good friend Zoe. She’s a fantastic cook, journalist, photographer and writer. In her own beautiful words about the project:
Currently, I am taking residence in my hometown, New York, and baking from a small kitchen with a city window… As both a writer and maker of food, I am led to understand that eating is made from both loud and quiet, in an utterance of everywhere and anywhere that life can be savoured — the “journalist” in me will do all that she can to avoid interrupting its serene gaze that’s greased gently with a kind of grace known only to those patient enough to taste it.
In short, “Pupcaked” is an experiment in food-making, food-loving and food culture. I hope that you will join me.
I share it here because I think it represents something worth thinking about: if you love creating, you should create. You should work hard at it, block off a little bit of time each day to dive deeply into it, and you should love it. Zoe cooks, photographs and writes.
We get a lot of questions from our readers about how to break into journalism, about the correct steps to take to secure a great internship, about how to become a writer or blogger. Our answer is always the same: do it. To quote Michael in his response to one such question:
So, you say you want to be a writer but there’s nothing available in your area. In that case, make something available to yourself.
There are stories everywhere. There are stories where there are lots of people. There are stories where they are no people. There are great stories about topics other than people.
So start writing them. Choose something that you’re passionate about. If it’s a character who lives down the street, approach him and ask if you can interview and write about him. If he asks why, and what for, say simply, “I like to write.”
Some people will say no but you’ll be surprised by how many people say yes. People are wonderful that way.
And if your passion is for a subject or topic that requires more discrete expertise, say science or medicine or art or local politics, start reading up and then start calling people up (eg, at local colleges, businesses, governmental agencies and what not) and ask questions.
Again, many will ask why and where will this appear and you simply say, “I like to write and its for a personal site I’m creating.”
And then some will say no but others will say yes but give it a couple months and you have yourself body of work. You’ve gotten started.
Summer has just begun and we suspect some free time comes with it. So, we encourage you to take a break from the internship hunt and get cracking on producing and documenting the little hobby you’ve been thinking about. —Jihii
Image: Coffeecake muffins with cinnamon-walnut streusel (via pupcaked)
“I think you have to capture people’s hearts,” Francesca Panetta, special projects editor of interactive storytelling projects, said in a phone interview. “As with all kinds of storytelling, you can’t lose sight of that need to connect and touch people, whether it’s writing or radio or a complicated interactive.”
Firestorm is remarkable for a number of reasons, including the stellar video images and the subtle way that looping video is used behind the written story. The integration between words and video is handled with such finesse that the one doesn’t distract from the other.
“We’re very happy with the subtlety,” Panetta said.
The chapter navigation uses clear images and concise icons and labels, ensuring it’s always clear where you are in the story.
Many newsrooms don’t have that level of resources, of course. But they can still learn from The Guardian’s process and the project’s experiments with layered storytelling — and figure out ways to do something similar on a smaller scale.
FJP: I’ve been hearing people favor this one to Snow Fall but perhaps that’s because the story itself (which is incredibly moving) lends itself to a slightly more poignant interactive than Snow Fall…but both are fantastic. —Jihii
Bonus: E-book version of the story, which you can buy here, along with other Guardian shorts.