Written by

Chris Gonzales


Dino Reichmuth

Welcome to this week’s edition of our Friday Quality Linkage column. Please enjoy this week’s collection of interesting and entertaining links. Brew a fresh cup of coffee, find a comfortable place, and relax.

* * *

Why Are Some People So Much Luckier Than Others? »

A couple years ago, Nathan Kontny managed to turn a sort-of obituary for Hollywood star James Garner into an article on the psychology of people who make their own luck:

In another experiment, [magician-turned-psychologist Richard Wiseman] asked his lucky and unlucky test subjects how they would describe a hypothetical situation where the subject was in a bank, and a bank robber comes in firing his gun, shooting the subject in the arm. Unlucky people lamented about their terrible luck at being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Lucky people were thankful — the situation could have gone so much worse. One of Wisemen’s lucky subjects noted, “It’s lucky because you could have been shot in the head.”

Photo via PxHere

Photo via PxHere

Not Fake News, Just Plain Wrong: Top Media Corrections of 2017 »

If you hate when I link to political things, skip the first half of this year’s edition of Alexios Mantzarlis’ annual Poynter column rounding up corrections made by media organizations. Start at “The Funny” header instead:

Oh yes he is! Yes he is! (The New York Times.)

Correction: July 18, 2017
An earlier version of this article misidentified the breed of Storm the dog. He is a golden retriever, not a Labrador retriever. (He is still a good boy.)

Regarding the Em Dash »

As a writer, I love this piece by Adam O’Fallon Price of The Millions:

Punctuation, largely invisible and insignificant for normal people, as it should be, is a highly personal matter for writers. Periods, commas, colons, semi-colons: in their use or non-use and in their order and placement, can represent elaboration, conjecture, doubt, finality. And in aggregate, over the course of a text, the rhythms of punctuation advance an author’s worldview and personality as surely as any plot or theme. Patterns of punctuation usage are the writerly equivalent of an athlete’s go-to moves, or a singer’s peculiar timbre and range—those little dots and squiggles, in a sense, encode your voice.

Side note: I find myself disagreeing with my colleague Josh Ginter, who I discovered this article from. My personal preference is to have no spaces around em dashes—it just reads better to me that way. However, our loose style guide at T&T calls for the spaces — which is why you’ll see me doing it that way around here.

Quantity Before Quality »

This post by Chris Bowler serves as a kind of counterpoint to Sol Orwell’s “Prioritizing Output” piece (which I recently linked to):

As I started to increase my running last year, first for a half marathon and then training for a full one, I had to focus first on the total distance. I cannot run a fast half marathon before I can merely finish one consistently. Training has helped with this insight.


The same thinking can apply to writing. Before you can write a good book, you have to learn to write a good 500 words. And before you can do that, you need to write 500 words consistently, period. And you have to learn to finish a book before you can focus on writing a good book.


TCCC Unity — Coca-Cola’s New Bespoke Typeface »

Designer Neville Brody was asked to create a new typeface for one of the largest companies in the world — a daunting task, to say the least. Steven Heller of PRINT Magazine interviewed him about the process:

One of the discoveries we made through interrogating the archive collection, was that the Coca-Cola history somehow reflected that of America itself. In 130 years we saw the progression from Victoriana, with its decorative swirls and local engraving-based expertise, to a kind of Modernist Americana, one of frontier-base speed seen in automobile and diner culture. In the middle period we observed an clear influence of construction and industry, somehow mixed with vernacular flair and quirk.

We made careful selections to ensure that the font was not overwhelmed with personality, but that just enough was embedded in order for it to be clearly ‘Coca-Cola’. The font itself is fairly wide, and has a large x-height. Open arcs and rounded counters deliberately bring air into the font, with flourishes and curves bringing a sense of humanism and accessibility.

Best of 2017: PODCASTS »

You may THINK you’re tired of reading roundups for 2017, but this one by David Rees is another one.

Imaginary Soundscapes Composed by AI »

I discovered this very neat project via Jason Kottke (well, more accurately, I caught it in his and Tim Carmody’s excellent new Noticing newsletter):

“Imaginary Soundscape” is a web-based sound installation, in which viewers can freely walk around Google Street View and immerse themselves into imaginary soundscape generated with deep learning models.

We tried to create cross-modal sensory experiences in order to investigate our relationship with sound environment.

The team behind the project wrote a brief paper explaining how they did it.


Neat Stuff We Published This Week

* * *

Got any suggestions for articles, videos, stories, photographs, and any other links you think we should be posting in our weekly Quality Linkage? Please do let us know on Twitter.