Linkblogging For 15/08/12

Proper update in the morning.

This is why we do need equal marriage. These people are arguing that because they forbid unmarried opposite-sex partners to sleep in the same room, they can forbid same-sex civil partners from doing so. Note that the original judge’s ruling didn’t say this was wrong because civil partnership is the same as marriage, but that it was wrong precisely because same-sex couples can’t get married, and thus they were discriminating. Civil partnership is *not* the same thing as marriage, and the difference *does* matter.

Wisse Words on the controversy over Joe Kubert’s part in Before Watchmen.

One thing I always get annoyed about is claims by book designers that use of sans-serif typefaces is unprofessional because they’re ‘less readable’. I use sans-serif typefaces (and slightly larger type than normal) in my books because my visually-impaired wife finds them easier to read, and have never had any complaints about them. Here’s an overview of the research into the subject which suggests that there’s no evidence at all that either sans-serif or serifed fonts are easier to read in the general case. Amazingly, a lot of the arguments in favour of serifs come from the work of Cyril Burt, one of the most notorious scientific frauds of all time. I’m going to keep using sans-serif.

Gavin Burrows on The Dark Knight Rises

The Singularity is not coming

How not to be a dick in comedy

And finally, one of the most effective mash-ups I’ve ever heard — the Pussycat Dolls and The Monkees:

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4 Responses to Linkblogging For 15/08/12

  1. Rankersbo says:

    Doesn’t change your point one iota, but the “Christian” hotel couple didn’t recognise Civil partnerships as marriage either. I think Mr Hall and Mr Preddy were in a civil partnership at the time.

    • Andrew Hickey says:

      Yeah, that was my point, sorry if I didn’t make it clear. Their argument is that because civil partnerships are different from marriage, they’re not discriminating if they say “only married couples” and don’t allow civil partners.

  2. Holly says:

    As you can imagine I read the serif-vs.-sans-serif thing with huge interest (even before I realized fonts made such a significant difference to readability for me, I always thought typography was fascinating).

    Visual impairment isn’t a standard thing and doesn’t cause a standard kind of problems, so I’m sure there are cases in which partially-sighted people prefer serifs, but for me serifs are just visual noise. Also, they contribute to letters looking more like each other, which is a real problem for me (one of my cheats/workarounds is to look at the shape of a word I can almost-but-not-quite read, and the clearer the letters stand out in that, the better).

    I do sometimes get a little nervous of you generalizing from my experience, but as you say you’ve never had any complaints and reading that the research is at best ambiguous on this makes me feel a lot better about the undue influence I’m having.

    • I don’t generalise from your experience as such. I just reason that if it’s true for you it must also be true for *some* other people, and that the proportion of people who prefer sans-serif, even if it’s small, is probably larger than the proportion of books printed that way, so I might as well redress the balance a little. Plus, I want you, specifically, to be able to read my books.

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