Just a Head’s-Up…

Next year is the 100th anniversary of the crossword puzzle. Start planning your relaxed, coffee-fueled, Saturday-morning celebrations now.

“Chartis Graphein,” a 100% Typographical Map by Nancy McCabe

Chartis Graphein

Lead Image

Chartis Graphein

Chartis Graphein

(Found via 22 Words at For Print Only.)

“Text Rain,” by Camille Utterback

According to CamilleUtterback.com, Text Rain is an interactive installation in which participants use the familiar instrument of their bodies, to do what seems magical—to lift and play with falling letters that do not really exist.

On the screen they see a mirrored video projection of themselves in black and white, combined with a color animation of falling letters. Like rain or snow, the letters appears to land on participants’ heads and arms. The letters respond to the participants’ motions and can be caught, lifted, and then let fall again.

[T]hey can sometimes catch an entire word, or even a phrase…‘Reading’ the phrases in the Text Rain installation becomes a physical as well as a cerebral endeavor.

If Text Rain seems whimsical and inviting today, imagine how much more magical it must have seemed a decade or so before anyone had a Wii or Kinect.

And yes, I would buy this for our Wii. Especially if the game had artful characters and an artful environment, if it were possible to load and play any public domain work in, say, Project Gutenberg, and if there were both challenge and free play modes.

(Found at CamilleUtterback.com.)

Caption Mary & Her Pregnancy Test at Per Crucem ad Lucem

Over at Per Crucem ad Lucem, Jason is running an advent caption contest. Head over there, and post your best captions for this image:


The contest ends on Christmas.

“onions, onions) onions. ‘Onions,'”

Munch on this sentence from Anthony Burgess’s novel Enderby Outside. (Four onions in a row!)

Then, instead of expensive mouthwash, he had breathed on Hogg-Enderby, bafflingly (for no banquet would serve, because of the known redolence of onions, onions) onions. ‘Onions,’ said Hogg.

(Found at Futility Closet.)

Fix for Words With Friends IZ Glitch

Lots of Words With Friends Players have been annoyed–and competitively disadvantaged–by words their opponents have been able to play that they literally cannot play because those words aren’t in the WWF dictionary installed on their devices. IZ is probably the most notable example because it’s not a word in any useful sense of the word word, it helps the opponent get rid of a hard-to-play letter, and it opens up additional opportunities for the opponent to get big scores with that Z.

Well, Zynga has apparently heard the cries of those of us with the limited, more-legitimate dictionaries and has corrected the game dictionaries for all platforms and devices. This, from WWF fan & tournament site WordsWithFriends.net:

We have been told that  Zynga has fixed the “bug” concerning the disparity in words allowed between Android devices and Apple devices. We ask that ALL ANDROID users immediately delete the app and reinstall it. We will all then be playing on an equal playing field.

Since the game dictionary is saved on your phone, Kindle, or other device, you’ll need to uninstall the WWF app and then reinstall it. And if you’re concerned about a particular opponent, ask them to do the same. Problem solved. And hopefully after this, Zynga will keep the dictionary standardized across platforms and roll out edits for Android, iOs, Facebook, etc. at the same time in the future.

Play on, folks!