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50 Fresh and Beautiful Fonts From 2011

Finding the right font for your design work can often be really frustrating and time consuming. For that reason you should always have plenty of various fonts in your toolbox. When was the last time you downloaded a nice and pretty font? It’s time for you to update your font library with some fresh and stunning fonts. This article presents 50 fresh and beautiful fonts from 2011 to enliven your design work as well as a few typography tips. The list contains many smooth and solid fonts that are suitable for web design as well as some funkier and nontraditional fonts that will add that extra something to your digital art. And did I mention that all the fonts are completely free? (some fonts might be available only as demo versions). Also here are a few tips to consider when working with type.


The right font

As you may already know choosing the right font is often the hardest part of a design that involves typography. But that’s only half of the story. In both digital art and web design you’ll often have to use more than one font. For digital art typography is used more as an artistic element and in web design you have to think about elements like headlines, remarks, call to action and many more things. Don’t get me wrong and stuff your website with a dozens of fonts. Use a few but select them carefully. Remember to take into consideration things like dynamics, font moods and even things like mobile browsers.


Choosing the right font is extremely important in minimal web design because type is what basically will make your website. Oliver James Gosling has chosen a large strong font for title and a smaller smoother one for navigation. The whole website is using about five fonts which is absolutely enough. The typography used in this website creates the right mood and dynamic.


Styling and formatting is as important as the choice of the font. Even some of the prettiest and most user friendly fonts can become unpleasing if the styling and layout is awful. One of the tools to avoid messy typography is by using a grid. A grid is especially important in print and web design. Whether you use guidelines in Photoshop or 960 Grid System with CSS think of the positioning, layout, margins and structure. Your eyes will be the best judge.


Francisco Inchauste’s personal website is a great example of efficient use of grid system. The text is divided in three main sections and it’s clear and easy to read. Also other things like headlines, opacity and capital letters makes this seemingly plain text styled and formatted perfectly.

The details

It’s often the tiny little details that separate good typography from excellent. Kerning, tracking, font sizes – all these factors matter especially if we’re talking about web design. In web design all the little details count and they can either enhance or spoil your design. Pay attention to things like spacing between the lines, quote marks and hyperlinks. Typography is a subtle yet powerful science which consists of many tiny details that definitely aren’t insignificant.


You can see an efficient text styling and polished details in the website of Revista Vlov. The font is subtle and smooth and the styling makes it pleasant to read. Line height and kerning are just fine and the transparent boxes give the text that solid and complete look. Also the more important words are nicely highlighted with a different color.


Most of the time type is not going to be the only thing that will shape your artwork. This point combines all of the previous and many more typographic rules. You can create a perfect type fitting all typography standards however if it’s not going to interact with other parts of the design it’s pretty much useless. Choosing the right fonts will play a big role, but you have to pay a lot of attention to details and the overall look as well. Pay attention to colors, shapes, images and free space. In web design white space is going to be your biggest friend. Be sure to treat it accordingly.


Pixelschupser Medien design agency has achieved perfect balance and harmony with the use of typography. They’re using a few, yet carefully, selected fonts that do their job greatly. You can easily scan over the services they’re offering and the main content is legible as well. When you look a this website there’s that lovely feeling of completeness. The type in the background is also a neat solution.

1. Pacifico


2. Europe Underground


3. Crystal Deco


4. Fanwood


5. Yonna


6. Francois One


7. Mars


8. Cabin


9. Ostrich Sans


10. Burbin Casual


11. Filetto


12. Familiar Pro


13. Quattrocento Sans


14. Metrophobic


15. Open Sans


16. News Cycle


17. Kristi


18. Egypt 22


19. Code Pro


20. Collator


21. Lekton


22. Slice


23. Capsuula


24. Claire Hand


25. From Where You Are


26. RBNo2


27. Cousine


28. Just The Way You Are


29. Muli


30. Mako


31. Aovel Cool


32. Sketch Gothic


33. Nunito


34. Steelfish


35. Movavi Grotesque Black


36. Shanti


37. Banda


38. Broken Records


39. Six Caps


40. Infinity


41. Dancing Script


42. Sharpie Letterkit


43. Tabitha


44. Phoenix Script


45. Calluna Sans


46. Decibel


47. Shattered 3D Font


48. Wisdom Script


49. Duke


50. Appleberry



Nano-structured glass creates new type of computer memory

We've sure come a long way since frying ants with a magnifying glass. Researchers at the University of Southampton used nano-structures to create millimeter-sized "monolithic glass space-variant polarization converters," which ultimately changes the way light travels through and is stored in glass. These "whirlpools" of light data can be read like information stored in optical fibers -- allowing for "more precise laser material processing, optical manipulation of atom-sized objects, ultra-high resolution imaging and potentially, table-top particle accelerators." (Does that mean we all get one of these on our desks?) This new five dimensional approach is reusable, twenty times cheaper and more compact compared to old methods of microscopy using a spatial light modulator, making it a win-win. Check out the full PR after the fold.

[Thanks, Adam]

Continue reading Nano-structured glass creates new type of computer memory

Nano-structured glass creates new type of computer memory originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 17 Aug 2011 00:38:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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'The Return of the Boomerang' would make a great movie title.

Mozilla officially releases Firefox 6, wants to show you how it’s done

You may have caught wind of one sly fox unofficially popping up over the weekend. Well, as we reported, that fox -- specifically Firefox 6 -- is now officially ready for your downloading pleasure. If you're a diehard Mozilla fan, or just an armchair browser expert, you're probably already hip to the new Firefox rapid refresh cycle that's seen three releases in the past five months. If not, the folks at Mozilla sent along a couple of nifty graphics (available after the break) to show you how the new timeline works. Alternately, if you're not interested in how your latest install made its way to your device, feel free to download the real deal at the source links below.

Continue reading Mozilla officially releases Firefox 6, wants to show you how it's done

Mozilla officially releases Firefox 6, wants to show you how it's done originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 16 Aug 2011 22:29:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Veteran devastation

Veteran devastation

by digby

So Leon Panetta took defense cuts off the table the other day and said today that the military would be devastated if it even went back to 2007 spending levels.

But this is under consideration:

In a rare joint appearance with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the National Defense University Tuesday, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta confirmed a CBS News report that the Pentagon is considering a dramatic plan to overhaul the military's once sacrosanct retirement plan.

According to CBS, the plan "would eliminate the familiar system under which anyone who serves 20 years is eligible for retirement at half their salary. Instead, they'd get a 401k-style plan with government contributions."

Panetta largely confirmed the report, with a key caveat.

"That report came as the result of an advisory group that was asked by my predecessor Bob Gates to look at the retirement issue," he said.

And they have put together some thoughts, they're supposed to issue, actually, a more complete report the latter part of this month. No decisions have been made with regards to that's the kind of thing you have to consider in terms of retirement reforms in the broad form, but you have to do a way that doesn't break faith, again, with our troops and with their families. If you're going to do something like this you've got to think very seriously about grandfathering in order to protect the benefits that are there.

Under the plan, drafted by the Defense Business Board, retired service members would have to wait until standard retirement age before touching their pensions. It would reportedly save $250 billion over two decades.

I suppose that one sure way to protect Wall Street from ever having to suffer catastrophic losses again is to put every last penny of everyone's retirement benefits into it. Talk about Too Big To Fail.

But I hope they know what kind of buzzsaw they're walking into by taking on veterans' retirement benefits. It is a well organized group with a ton of political clout. Of course it's possible they could slip this whole thing in under the Super Committee before anybody had a thing to say about it. That's sort of the point.


Welcome to the jungle

Welcome to the jungle

by digby

Wow. I hope you all have your own personal source of food and water --- or enough survivalist supplies to carry you through a long nuclear winter --- because the GOP frontrunner for president has a very, very, very bold agenda:

We’re calling today on the president of the United States to put a moratorium on regulations across this country, because his regulations, his EPA regulations are killing jobs all across America.

Should be fun:


Google Catalogs iPad app digitizes catalogs, no more coasters

We all know what catalogs are good for: starting fires in the fireplace, light reading in waiting rooms and makeshift placemats. Oddly, Google has decided to take these perfectly useful glossy dead trees away from us with the introduction of Google Catalogs, a free iPad app. Like most shopping apps, users can zoom in, learn more and purchase products through a company's website, but this one adds a slick little twist: collages. Put together a particularly sweet L.L. Bean ensemble and want to share it with Mom? No glue stick or scissors required. Check out the video after the break.

Continue reading Google Catalogs iPad app digitizes catalogs, no more coasters

Google Catalogs iPad app digitizes catalogs, no more coasters originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 16 Aug 2011 19:04:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Refuting Atwater by David Atkins

Refuting Atwater
by David Atkins ("thereisnospoon")

As an illustration of how deceitful conservative talking points are-- and the degree to which our national conversation is about race even when it seems not to be--this Lee Atwater quote is justly famous:

You start out in 1954 by saying, "Nigger, nigger, nigger." By 1968 you can't say "nigger" — that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states' rights and all that stuff. You're getting so abstract now [that] you're talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you're talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is [that] blacks get hurt worse than whites. And subconsciously maybe that is part of it. I'm not saying that. But I'm saying that if it is getting that abstract, and that coded, that we are doing away with the racial problem one way or the other. You follow me — because obviously sitting around saying, "We want to cut this," is much more abstract than even the busing thing, and a hell of a lot more abstract than "Nigger, nigger."

That quote should fill even the most hardened political cynic with revulsion, not just because of the use of the "n" word, but because of the nonchalant way in which Atwater describes the economic coding of racism.

But it's still worth noting that what Atwater was trying to describe (in his own meager defense) overt racism was being tamped down was that through the use of economic coding. Atwater assumed that this subterfuge would eventually serve to eliminate racism over the time, and make politics more about theory than prejudice.

But the reality is that Lee Atwater was wrong even about that. Disguising race issues as economic issues doesn't weaken racism. In fact, it makes it stronger through sublimation. Any psychologist would note that failing to address a problem head on only makes it fester and grow, and reveal itself in increasingly unpleasant ways in other aspects of life. Racism is no different. Now we have not only a race problem in America, but a massive economic one. And the two are so hopelessly intertwined at this point that it's difficult to extricate them.

Meanwhile, fairly overt racism is starting to make a comeback. Case in point: the Koch / Tea Party effort to re-segregate schools in the South:

The stakes in the battle over the Wake County Public School System in North Carolina couldn’t be higher.

On one side are the billionaire brothers, Charles and David Koch, and the Tea Party and libertarian groups they fund. On the other, parents, students and community leaders who are bent on stopping measures passed by the conservative-led school board that they argue would re-segregate the county’s public schools, which had been a national model for diversity and integration.

Since 2000, Wake County has used a system of integration based on income. Under this program, no more than 40 percent of any school’s students could receive subsidized lunches, a proxy for determining the level of poverty. The school district is the 18th largest in the country, and includes Raleigh, its surrounding suburbs and rural areas. It became one of the first school systems in the nation to adopt such a plan.

But Wake County’s plan became a political flash point when five conservative candidates, bankrolled by Americans for Prosperity, a political activist group funded in part by the Kochs, were elected to the school board on a “neighborhood schools” platform that would dismantle the existing integration policy.

The new board touted their plan as one that would end busing and eliminate class, and subsequently race, as a factor for student school assignments. The "neighborhood schools" plan would assign students to schools closer to where they lived, meaning students from mostly poor and black communities would likely attend schools whose demographics were much the same. White children from well-heeled families would be more likely to attend schools filled with upper-middle class white children and enjoy more resources.

The elections led to heated protests. Under pressure from community groups and activists, the school board halted the plan for further review. It has since developed a number of alternative plans, though most of those would still have some re-segregating effect.

The NAACP filed a complaint with the Department of Justice in response, and there have been legal challenges based on the plan's constitutionality.

Remember that this is happening in supposedly post-racial America, when we have our first African-American president. In reality, America is in many ways moving backwards on racial issues because the Tea Party, the Koch Brothers and their allies are treated as economic libertarians rather than as the racist crackpots they really are. With Lee Atwater's help, they have sublimated their racism into economic issues, but ultimately the racism still comes to fore when the rubber meets the road--and often in fairly virulent forms. No one is using the "n" word anymore. But they don't need to in order to destroy communities and re-instate de facto segregation.

Finally, the case illustrates how important it is that conservatives not be allowed to win elections at any level, and how important it is that every single race right down to dog catcher be partisanized. Many progressives may be upset with the Democratic Party as a general rule, but party affiliation is by far the easiest shortcut to determine the overall worldview of a candidate for non-partisan office. Asking voters to evaluate each candidate based on position statements is simply too much to ask of busy people who don't obsess over this stuff. This is part of the reason we have political parties, and why they're so useful in cutting through the clutter. Progressives regardless of party affiliation need to be focused on booting Koch-friendly Republicans out of school board and city council elections all across America so that the experience of the Wake County school system is not repeated elsewhere.

The Physics of Nothing; The Philosophy of Everything [Starts With A Bang]

"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened." -Winston Churchill
It's often said that you can't get something from nothing. And while this may be true for most practical applications of your life, it isn't true for our physical Universe.


And I don't just mean some tiny part of it; I mean all of it. When you take a look at the Universe out there, whether you're looking at the wonders of this world or all that we can see for billions of light years, it's hard not to wonder -- at some point -- where it all came from.


(Image credit: FORS Deep Field, ESO Very Large Telescope, retrieved from here.)

And so we try to answer it scientifically. In order to do that, we want to start with a scientific definition of nothing. In our nearby Universe, nothing is hard to come by. We are surrounded by matter, radiation, and energy everywhere we look. Even if we blocked it all out -- creating a perfect, cold, isolated vacuum -- we still wouldn't have nothing.


We would still exist in curved spacetime. The very presence of nearby objects with mass or energy distorts the very fabric of the Universe, meaning that if we want to truly achieve a state of physical nothingness, we cannot have anything in our Universe at all.

Physically, that ideal case would be true nothingness. No matter, no radiation, no energy, no spatial curvature. We can imagine existing in completely empty, void space, infinitely far away from the nearest star, galaxy, atom or photon. The spacetime around us, rather than having curvature to it, would appear as completely flat.


The only physical freedom that such nothingness could have is the freedom to expand or contract, depending on the nature of this nothingness. Recently, Edward Feser picked on me -- among others such as Hawking, but me in particular -- for using this scientific definition of nothing. (Which yes, I'm fully aware is not the same as philosophical nothingness, which I explicitly stated in the fourth sentence of the post Feser criticizes.)

Yet it is a form of this very nothingness that I have just imagined with you that -- to the best of our scientific knowledge -- the entire Universe is born from, and that it will return to in the distant future.

Here's how.


You removed all the matter, energy, and sources of curvature from your Universe. You are left with empty spacetime. On large scales -- where "large" means larger than the size of a subatomic particle like a proton -- spacetime indeed looks like that flat grid we referred to earlier. But if you start looking at ever smaller scales, this picture breaks down.

On the tiniest physical scales -- the Planck scale -- spacetime isn't flat at all. Empty space itself vibrates and curves, and there is a fundamental uncertainty in the energy content -- at any given time -- of nothingness.


This quantum vacuum -- on these very small scales -- manifests this fundamental uncertainty by spontaneously creating pairs of particles-and-antiparticles for very brief amounts of time.

Everywhere. All the time. Even in empty space.

This is not merely some theoretical quantum prediction.


(Image credit: NASA/Michelle Murphy (WYLE).)

This is experimental fact. We can artificially create a vacuum chamber (like the world's largest one, above) that is -- while imperfect -- good enough to detect the physical effects of these spontaneously created particle-antiparticle pairs.

Take a vacuum, and inside of it, place two parallel, uncharged metal plates.


In the absence of these vacuum fluctuations, you would expect the force between the plates to be dominated by gravitation. But if you bring these plates close enough together, you find that these vacuum fluctuations cause the plates to attract one another! This attractive force is purely quantum in nature, and is the surefire experimental evidence -- that's been around since 1948 -- that this is the physical nature of nothingness.

Now, combine this with the one thing this empty spacetime is allowed to do: expand.


(Image credit: Flickr user Absolute Chaos; apologies that the animation is so large!)

These fluctuations -- if the Universe is expanding quickly enough -- can get caught up in the expansion of spacetime so thoroughly that they do not re-annihilate, but instead get stretched across the empty spacetime of your Universe!

If the Early Universe existed in a metastable, or false vacuum, state, it would continue to stretch these quantum fluctuations across the Universe -- on all scales -- for as long as you remained in that state.


(Image credit: Ned Wright, and see his cosmology tutorial for more details on this.)

But this state does not last forever; there is a more stable state that the Universe will eventually find, just as a ball placed atop the hill above will eventually roll down into the valley below. When this happens, matter and energy spontaneously generate during the transition from the metastable state to the more stable state, through a process known as reheating.

These quantum fluctuations -- that were stretched across the Universe -- now become regions where matter/energy is initially slightly more or less dense than it is on average.


And as the Universe ages, the more dense regions grow and grow -- under the influence of gravity and over many millions and then billions of years -- into the stars, galaxies and clusters that fill our Universe today.


(Image credit: CLEF-SSH.)

By the time we arrive at today, we've obtained the Universe we currently exist in. We started from literally nothing; from empty spacetime containing solely the energy of the quantum vacuum, and have arrived at our Universe today, with its billions of galaxies, stars, and all that ever was or will be here on Earth.


(Image credit: Bob Haslett.)

And one of the most amazing things about all of this is that the Universe as we see it now is still expanding. Not only expanding, but it still contains a small amount of this energy of nothingness.


We have not fallen into the lowest possible valley of nothingness (region II); contrariwise, we still have some non-zero fundamental energy to spacetime. This fundamental fabric of spacetime -- the Universe devoid of matter, energy, radiation, and anything else you can imagine -- will eventually, as the stars burn and die and the galaxies separate and every unstable thing decays away, return to a cold, flat, empty, expanding state of nothingness once again.

For the more philosophically inclined among you, I give you Alan Watts, who has this to say about nothingness:

Nothingness is really like the nothingness of space, which contains the whole Universe. All the Sun and the stars and the mountains and rivers and the good men and the bad men and the animals and the insects, the whole bit: all are contained in the void. So out of this void comes everything, and you're it.

(Video credit: YouTube user dFalcStudios.)

This entire Universe came from one form of nothing, this entire Universe will eventually return to a slightly different form of nothing, and despite the paradoxical nature of this, here it all is.

Out of this void comes everything, and you're it.

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Also check out the featured ScienceBlog of the week: Inside the Outbreaks on the ScienceBlogs Book Club


Lion 10.7.1 lands, packs plenty of bug fixes

OS X 10.7.1
While you wait for 10.7.2 to deliver iCloud compatibility to your Mac, you can at least enjoy a few bug fixes, courtesy of today's surprise Lion update. 10.7.1 doesn't boast any new features, but it does solve a few major issues, including missing admin accounts and freezes when playing back video in Safari. If you haven't gotten an alert yet, you can fire up Software Update to download the first set of tweaks to the young OS, and check out the slightly more complete changelog after the break.

Continue reading Lion 10.7.1 lands, packs plenty of bug fixes

Lion 10.7.1 lands, packs plenty of bug fixes originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 16 Aug 2011 17:12:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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