(Roughly) Daily

Posts Tagged ‘bacon ipsum

Back to the streets…

Following earlier assays of street signage from all over (e.g., here and here), the rubber finally meets the road itself.  Readers, the Toynbee Tile…

Franklin Square, Washington, DC (source)

Since the 1980s, several hundred tiles– all roughly the size of an American state license plate, and all bearing roughly the message above– have been found embedded in the pavement of roads in streets in two dozen major U.S. cities and four South American capitals.

There’s no consensus among scholars of the tiles as to their reference or meaning.  It’s pretty widely held that the “Toynbee” reference is to historian Arnold Toynbee, perhaps to a passage (in Experiences):

Human nature presents human minds with a puzzle which they have not yet solved and may never succeed in solving, for all that we can tell. The dichotomy of a human being into ‘soul’ and ‘body’ is not a datum of experience. No one has ever been, or ever met, a living human soul without a body… Someone who accepts – as I myself do, taking it on trust – the present-day scientific account of the Universe may find it impossible to believe that a living creature, once dead, can come to life again; but, if he did entertain this belief, he would be thinking more ‘scientifically’ if he thought in the Christian terms of a psychosomatic resurrection than if he thought in the shamanistic terms of a disembodied spirit.

Others suggest that the tiles allude to Ray Bradbury’s story “The Toynbee Convector,” to Arthur C. Clarke’s story “Jupiter V,” or– perhaps, given the direct 2001 reference, most likely– to Stanley Kubrick’s film (in which, readers will recall, hibernating astronauts who had secret training were to be revived upon arrival on Jupiter).

And while there’s no agreement on the identity of the tiler, a majority of enthusiasts believe that “he” is from Philadelphia– both because the City of Brotherly Love hosts the highest concentration of the plaques and because a collection of tiles found there deviate from the norm to ascribe a plot to John S. Knight (of Knight-Ridder, the erst-while newspaper publishers), the Mafia, and others.

See a (nearly) complete list of tiles and their locations here, a set of photos here, and learn how they are implanted here.  Visit this site for a peek at a Sundance award-winning documentary on the Tiles.

UPDATE:  Further to earlier posts on Lorem Ipsum and it’s bastard children, Bacon Ipsum and Hipster Ipsum, more grievous greeking:  Velo Ipsum (for bicycling enthusiasts), and for the reportorially-inclined, Journo Ipsum.

As we watch where we’re walking, we might recall that it was on this date in 1504 that Michelangelo’s 17-foot-tall marble David was unveiled in a public square outside the Palazzo della Signoria, the seat of civic government in Florence.


It’s kind of like a Sofia Coppola film…

Reader’s may remember Bacon Ipsum, the down-home alternative to Lorem Ipsum, used by designers for “greeking” in placeholder text.

Well, now there’s a cooler, more moderne choice: Hipster Ipsum: “Artisanal filler text for your site or project.”  A sample…

Jean shorts butcher thundercats, sartorial raw denim brunch messenger bag fanny pack. Vinyl banksy mixtape etsy. Shoreditch mcsweeney’s high life messenger bag, synth raw denim Austin tumblr art party etsy thundercats retro next level carles lomo. Food truck tumblr carles, fixie high life chambray trust fund whatever. Wes anderson wayfarers put a bird on it Austin aesthetic, iphone mixtape vegan. Mlkshk irony high life, single-origin coffee portland raw denim fap. Viral next level cliche fanny pack, letterpress irony high life wayfarers seitan carles.

Head on over to Hispster Ipsum for the coolest of layouts…

As we affect a posture of amused indifference, we might wish a symbolically-logical Happy Birthday to mathematician Guiseppe Peano; he was born on this date in 1858.  The author of over 200 books and papers, he was a founder of mathematical logic and set theory, to which he contributed much of the symbolic notation still in use.


Written by (Roughly) Daily

August 27, 2011 at 1:01 am

Blah, blah, blah…

When designers lay out a page, they need to fill the spaces that will ultimately be occupied with text with something that looks like the text that will ultimately be there– a field of letters, a filler, that allows the composer to assess the propriety of the font, it’s size and weight, and the like.  In the vernacular, this placeholder text is called “Greeking” (as in “it’s all Greek to me”); the most commonly used form is (ironically, because it’s actually Latin), Lorem Ipsum.


But while Lorem Ipsum does the job, it’s not very exciting…  So, the good folks at Bacon Ipsum have devised a way to add a bit of nitrite-laced spice to one’s mock-up and at the same time, to celebrate the emperor of meats.

One can go for text that’s both meat and filler:

Bacon ipsum dolor sit amet ut chicken venison excepteur. Pork loin shoulder pariatur est voluptate fatback. Exercitation cillum dolore jowl minim, jerky corned beef fugiat labore ham tri-tip pastrami pork belly. Mollit flank bacon commodo. T-bone excepteur tri-tip nulla aute. Reprehenderit commodo nisi spare ribs ut. Mollit shank pancetta cow.

Or more adventurously, for the all-meat version…

Bacon ipsum dolor sit amet headcheese ground round ham swine jowl spare ribs turkey ribeye, andouille short ribs. Pork headcheese ham biltong hamburger shankle bacon. Ribeye rump pig meatball hamburger beef swine. Turkey rump tongue pork loin. Hamburger ball tip corned beef shankle, pig pork fatback pork chop andouille strip steak bresaola biltong ham. Sausage pig strip steak fatback t-bone spare ribs, bacon hamburger jowl salami biltong ham hock. Meatball corned beef spare ribs tail.

Make your layouts luscious at Bacon Ipsum.


As we try to remove the grease stains from our mock-ups, we might recall that it was on this date in 1867 that Lucien B. Smith patented barbed wire (U.S. No. 66,182).  Eventually competitors produced more than 1,500 different types of barbed wire; but Smith’s patent gave him pride of invention.. His simple idea that was an artificial “thorn hedge” consisting of wire with short metal spikes twisted on by hand at regular intervals. For prairie farmers and cattlemen natural fencing materials were scarce, so the invention gave them an accessible way keep their cattle safely away from crops.  It also created tensions between farmers and ranchers: inexpensive barbed wire allowed farmers to fence in their fields, preventing ranchers’ livestock from feeding off of the farmers’ fields, and making it more difficult for cattle drives to cross farmers’ lands.   Ultimately ranchers too recognized the benefits of fencing their herds… and the days of the open range came to an end.

Copy of Lucien B. Smith’s wire fence improvement (barbed wire) Patent, 66,182, dated June 25, 1867 (source)

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