The New York Times redesigns the magazine again

A few years ago, I was dismayed by one of The Times’s periodic reboots of the Magazine (the one, I believe, that made it smaller and ditched the too-thin-for-that-paper but lovely Stempely Garamond). I wrote them the below.

To the Editor:

I seem to have less of a penchant for change than The Times. Indeed – why write a new letter when an old one will do?

Almost twenty years ago, The Times printed this correspondence from one Patricia Escobar of Los Angeles: “Now you’ve done it. You have blown away the last vestiges of familiarity in this unstable world by changing the format of the Magazine.”

The world in 2011 is no more stable than it was in 1993, Patricia, but perhaps there is familiarity to be found in the fact of yet another new Sunday magazine.

Andrew Shuttleworth

I’m much happier about next week’s redesign.

Paul Simon tells the story of “Graceland”

The special 25th anniversary edition of Graceland, one of my all-time favorite albums, has a fascinating ten-minute piece where Paul Simon describes the process of writing the title track. Well worth a listen for his process and also to hear the musical components added one by one. Play it below in Spotify or click the headline link to find the track in iTunes.

Ancient courses of the Mississippi River

Look at this gorgeous map, showing the many courses a small section of the Mississippi River has taken through the ages:

Ancient courses of the Mississippi River

I want a print of this for my wall. Follow the link for more of cartographer Bill Rankin’s favorite maps.

The Bézier Game

Bézier curves always make me feel like a hack. I never got the hang of them. This “game” is great.

Why tornado clouds are green

Something I learned today:

Thunderstorms, which can be the home of tornadoes, usually happen later in the day, when the sun is approaching the horizon. That creates a reddish tinge in the sky, as any fan of sunsets knows. But light under a 12-mile-high thundercloud is primarily blue, due to scattering by water droplets within the cloud. When blue objects are illuminated with red light, Bachmeier says, they appear green.

Now you know.