Thursday, June 10

How does THIS BLUE look?

More of a royal blue than the greyish-blue I had before.
[UPDATE: This doesn't make sense any more. I reverted to a blue-grey again...]

Either you think this is more bold and colorful and less wimpy and passive, or
You think this is too common and the other was more subtle and artistic.
    I can see it both ways.
    I'll live with it for awhile and see what I think.
    I think that gobs of white almost demands a strong, rich color.

    On the other hand I don't want my blog to look like I used two or three crayons from the box.
    On the other hand sometimes that's the best thing to do.
      I can always use special colors or bold or italics or a different font to make something special stand out.

      I also made visited posts have the same title color as unvisited.
      This might be a usability blunder, but almost all the titles you see if you come here often will be visited ones.
      So the effect of the more royal blue would have been lost.

      But, the jury's still out...

      Working on a vibrant, classical, minimalist logo to tie the colors, the starkness, and the flourish together. This is the hardest graphical bit to do right, and the most important to get right. Otherwise, the site looks generic.

      I may go through several until I hit on one that I (and you) agree is "it".
      I'm happy to be emailed examples if you stumble on any that have the right feel...

      Do you like embedded links for terms that may be unfamiliar - jargon or difficult languages or references to people or events - which link, say, to a simple wiki article to save you the look-up? Or do posts filled with linked bother you and clutter the aesthetics of the page? With Firefox and Google (and maybe others) you can double click a word (or drag select a phrase) and then Right-Click > Search Google for "[word or phrase]".

      I tend to like what I read to be clean and visually appealing, and look up terms I don't know myself, but I know of others who rather passionately disagree on this and think the point of being on the Web is to use hyperlinks. I can't really argue with that logic; to me it's just a matter of personal taste.

      What do you think?

      And finally, I think we need more Winnie-the-Pooh posts and illustrations on this blog. I find he makes a lot of the other stuff less stuffy, don't you?


      billybytedoc said...

      A little more of the same on the color.

      Metamatician said...

      Not sure what you mean by that... you mean it still looks the same? Or needs to be darker? Or.... :-\

      An Gabhar Ban said...

      I vote for no links to definitions please. I'm an intelligent person. If I don't understand something there's a good chance I want more than a definition if I look it up anyway. This is why we have tabbed browsers. :)

      Color wise I don't really know what to tell you. I struggle with a suitable color scheme myself so I'd say go with what makes YOU happiest to look at. As long as it's readable text and not some strange amalgam of red and black and gray that makes my eyes cross I'll read about anything. check out #006295 its richer and bolder but not crayola like. Just an idea.

      I like the non-changing link colors for visited and unvisited. I don't think it's a blunder at all and makes it more pleasing when scrolling through. Chances are I'm going to know if I've read something or not anyway without a visual reminder.

      Just don't forget Eeyore. :)

      Metamatician said...

      Thanks, I didn't particularly relish the work of having to provide links to words on a routine basis, and I hate the way it looks. I'm like you - if there's an unknown word or phrase or person or even or concept that is being referenced (as opposed to explained) and it's gone over my head, I'll usually want to google in on a new tab and investigate it myself. And of course, when I think there is useful information on something that I don't have time to expound on, I can still always provide a link to "more information" (like footnotes or a bibliography in a book). I like that Wikipedia is using footnotes more and more so authors can substantiate what they are saying, but that's Wikipedia - it's trying to be a responsible online encyclopedia, where I have no such aspirations, I just write about things that interest me. So I don't feel a need to provide "academic-strength" sources for everything I assert in that sense. If I said Genghis Khan had blue eyes and owned a surfboard, you should probably be skeptical, but you should be anyway of a blog, about everything. I'm not going to deliberately mislead anyone, but I'm not doing this professionally and if I unwittingly pass on some old canard like an apple bonking Newton on the head because I haven't read enough on the subject to know that it's just an apocryphal story made up by Newton in his elder years because he found people in general irksome and having to explain "how he thought up his ideas" tedious; well, the onus I submit is on the reader of a blog to check facts via Snopes or Wikipedia or some other source (preferably sources), and not on me as an author talking "off the cuff" as it were to make sure everything I write it accurate. Again, I think my responsibility is to be as accurate and truthful as I can be given my knowledge - and I do look up LOTS of things when I'm writing an expository pieces. But as a reader out there in the world, I never trust something I read from a single source, and neither should any of you. And of course if it's an artistic posting, I'm allowed almost unlimited latitude to use words how I will; if they're unfamiliar or arcane or I'm subverting the usual meaning or other trick I like to play in my poetry, for example, well that's part of the game and it falls squarely on the reader to decide whether she/he wants to read my poetry, and to know what she/he is getting into if so. I'm not going to hyperlink or footnote my poems!!!

      Metamatician said...

      Thanks for bringing up this subject, I probably should have written this out in a post, but honestly I don't think most people care much anyway. Like I said, it's a blog, and people have different expectations (or should) from a blog than from an encyclopedia or journalistic site (generally, blogs are less accurate than the former and far more so than the latter ;)).

      And isn't it just abominable, English's lack of any elegant solution to the neutral pronoun problem? "One may..."; "he may..."; "he or she may..." are all loaded in some way - one sounds antiquated or stuffy in modern writing, one has come to be regarded as sexists, and the last is politically correct but one of the most jarring things to have to keep writing or reading as is possible, aesthetically. I generally interchange 'he' and 'she' in examples where I mean some anonymous person, and trust the reader to be smart and know what I mean, rather than use the above schemes or *shudder* stoop to using the neutral-but-plural "they" you see and hear so often in these fallen times....

      Sometimes I have to do a double-take when I actually see writer in magazine or books write "If the reader want to know more about the First Crusade, they should read the excellent account by..." That, to me, is the worst option at all because it's incorrect (or used to be when I was growing up) and it's jarring to my ear. "They" is plural, not gender-neutral singular. Ok, rant over.

      I'd never forget Eeyore. I'll probably have to be careful not to overuse him....

      Metamatician said...

      Oh, color #006295 is a great color, just that I've used it a lot with white and either black or grey in lots of designs I've done in the past (not blogs, but designs for print, poems, and so on). It's that dark slate blue that I'm fond of but am trying NOT to use here. Thanks though, and I'll keep it in mind.

      Metamatician said...

      Ok, I changed my mind again, and am using a similar slate blue to what you suggested, Karen.

      Luckily with style sheets you only have to change it once! I'll try this for now, it has more gravitas than the almost 0-0-255 pure blue I was using.

      There's another blog topic: Hexadecimal number systems and The Color Cube; color theory more generally; and a neat segue into a discussion of light and prisms and optics and wave/particle duality and of course, How do I know your blue is the same as my blue... :P

      Raelha said...

      Actually, it's perfectly acceptable to say "they" when referring to the third person singular if the sex is not known or could be either. The OED says so so it has to be true :p Though depending on the context it can sound weird. It's often possible to use the passive and avoid the problem altogether. Perhaps that's why it's used much mroe frequently in English than in Spanish where there are no problems with pronouns, unless you count using ellos to refer to a group of men and women sexist, even if the groups is composed of 99 women and one men. Though try explaining the sentence "He was sent a postcard," to a Spaniard, ugh.

      Personally, I liked the previous, wimpy blue. I'm more one for subtleties, when it comes to colour.

      Links aren't necessary, unless, particular you wish to point out or share. But then you'd probably post it separately anyway.

      In the end, as AGB says, do what makes you happy, it's your blog after all.

      Raelha said...

      Oh and Winnie The Pooh is always welcome :) At the Academia on Teachers' Day one eyar we got given a stuffed Pooh, Tger and Piglet by some students. Tiger wa sfor the boss, because she's always enthuisiastic and energetic, Piglet for Miriam, another teacher, because she's so wee, and Pooh for me, since I'm a bit rotund - and that was their explanation. Students in the Uk would never dare say that to a teacher, or maybe they would nowadays. At least they were honest.

      Courageous Meadow Dragon said...

      I'm on the no embedded links train... I get click-itis and end up four million pages away from where I started. And I vote for more Winnie as well.

      An Gabhar Ban said...

      Ahhh... I like that blue. I liked the "wimpy" one as well. It was a very pretty blue but my issue with it was the lack of contrast. I like things to jump out at me and catch my eye, without screaming at me like, say, flashing magenta or hot pink does.

      Links for more information are great. I think we all can agree that we dislike the links like I have in my Trillian chat client that if you mouse over them it pops up a definition or something. That is truly annoying and, thankfully, can be turned off!

      Metamatician said...

      Yes, I would never ever suffer you lot that sort of link-treatment. I believe that's forbidden somewhere in the Geneva Convention...

      And thanks Dragon for the opinions, especially since they're the same as mine :-)

      Metamatician said...


      Well, ok then, I believe the OED, but I still don't like using "they". I just wish English had a nonsexist yet elegant alternative. It's a big drawback to the language, actually! Well, that's my opinion. I'll still try to use "he" or "she" while trying to make it clear it could be either sex, or "one" where it doesn't sound too snobby or old-fashioned.

      Sometimes languages outgrow themselves. Well, they always do, and society changes, but they can grow elegantly (like French with its strict monitoring of proper usage) or like a weed, like English. That's both English's big strength and big weakness - its fluidity and willingness to accept words and even bits of grammar from just about anywhere. Kinda like the USA in the early 1900s or the USA/UK now - it's the great melting pot where all the other languages coalesce and commingle. You end up with a lot of diversity (nice) and a lot of inconsistency (not so nice). Compare that to Spanish, which is about a regular and predictable as languages come short of Esperanto.

      Cute story about the stuffed Winnie the Pooh characters, too. They could have at least given you a jar of huney if they were going to accuse you of being rotund...

      Hans said...

      Very odd - I've been using the original Pooh- "Poohing" at a butterfly for my Skype picture. The picture is seen on some book covers for the classic Pooh. Winnie the Pooh is always a welcome addition to anything ~ gotta have Piglet to keep Winnie from appearing too dense. Never crazy about pigs, but he's an essential friend to Pooh. Eeyore is me and also most everyone from time to time. Other characters add all the other parts that Pooh always seems to be missing.

      Other characters who feel a bit left out: Snoopy & Charlie Brown (the Peanuts gang) and for the England born friends from my era, Rupert bear and his friend Badger? I haven't heard any stories yet, but he's really cute and is found either colored in a buttery yellow (modern) or the original white - the original being the cutest to me. Seems like many "older now" kids got Rupert Annuals from a comic strip, much like Snoopy here in the U.S. of A.

      Also are most English bears humanoid? Dressed? Rupert and Paddington wear clothes and act human.

      Rachel, I have a little bear keychain from Harrods, dressed in a cute military looking jacket, but my favorite is a Merrythought bear I brought home - he's not dressed and is a typical looking teddy bear with a ribbon and bow around his neck in a burgundy colour. He's very classic and doesn't resemble the old Merrythought - mouse looking bear. So BEARS, what I'm very much "into" right now and also my Native American Totem, would be fun to read about. Hans has been too lazy to write much lately and doesn't know anything about bears anyway. He's likes other animals, but anything from the Canine species is beyond him right now except for his sister "Marie" whom he would like to be friends with, but Marie isn't going for it at all. Besides, he's still learning about cats and sheep and goats (for Karen's sake).

      Paddington Bear for Rachel's age? Not sure where all the English Bears fit in time-wise but there are a lot of bears out there saying "what about me"? For colors - I like this combo: happy colors especially because of the whitish background. I think of all the colors blue has the nicest choices and really sets the mood. Personally, in decoration and a blue I could see everyday is a light denim color/steel blue like on Hans' blog - it's soothing. By the way, if you go there, that cat is real and a rare breed - it's not morphed. Hans is thinking about posting again. He's thinking of writing about bunnies because he has bunny-like hair. Later...

      Metamatician said...

      Bears it is, then. That works well with my fancy for polar bears, too.

      I don't know much about English bears excepting for Paddington. There are a lot of English children's television shows, dolls, and toys that didn't seem to make it over her and vice versa. But then, there are a lot which DID, and it's always hard for me to know without asking.

      I think it would be a fun job to study children's "stuff" from cultures around the world... fairy tales, superheros, toys and dolls - what did people in different parts of the world grow up with? That would seem to shape them as adults to a degree, don't you think?

      I mean, things like Rubik's cubes and Snoopy and Tetris caught on everywhere, and I think things today tend to "go global" much more because the world's gotten smaller with the Internet and the end of the Cold War. But in the past, especially say, 100 years ago and beyond, I'll bet almost everything was local and really unique to that area. Stuff was hand-sewn, tales and folklore was local, everyone had their own legends about Santa Claus (or some other kind of elfs, gremlins, or something) - and that's just Europe and America. I imagine in the Far East, or in Africa, things were even more bizarre from our perspective.

      Iceland is still pretty bizarre, in a fun way. And children's stories around the globe usually reflect some real event or some fear rooted in some kind of catastrophe or something. It would be quite interesting to major in something like Comparative Literature, but just children's stories.

      Maybe we could see why people behave the way they do when they grow up then!

      Thanks for the reply. Tell Hans I like his idea about bunnies.

      Raelha said...

      Hans, I remember the original white Rupert, and his friend, from when I was growing up. And watching him on Tv - he was still white I think. I can't remember any of the storeis - I must've been very little - but can still picture Rupert very clearly in his red jumper and yellow checked trousers and scarf. And hear the song from the TV cartoon in my head.

      I also read Paddington Bear stories and watched the animated series, perhaps that was why I was such a big fan of marmelade growing up, I have a Paddington Bear soft toy - dressed in a green (for some reason) felt jacket, a red felt hat and red wellies that is as old as I am - he lives on the bed in the spare room here. He used to have the "Please look after this bear. Thank you" label on him, but he was loved so often it eventually broke off.

      Hans said...

      Rachel - thanks for talking about your Rupert memories and also about Paddington Bear - I don't know any of the stories - and actually not all of Winnie the Pooh's so I'll make a point of getting to know all of them since I like bears very much. I'm more familiar with Snoopy since he's American and also part of my children's upbringing. Growing up though, I didn't have a particular classic bear - but I had an 18 inch Yogi Bear that was special to me. Growing up on cartoons instead of story books is sad now that I think about it. I can still make up for it though. I also want to read Wind in the Willows!

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