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“The heaventree of stars hung with humid nightblue fruit … a mobility of illusory forms immobilised in space”…



Three months ago, I was a normal person. Now all I think about 24-7 is the dinkus. Did you know that dinkuses is an anagram of unkissed? I did. For the uninitiated, the dinkus is a line of three asterisks (* * *) used as a section break in a text. It’s the flatlining of an asterism (⁂), which in literature is a pyramid of three asterisks and in astronomy is a cluster of stars.

The dinkus has none of the asterism’s linguistic association with the cosmos, but that’s why I love it. Due to its proximity to the word dingus, which means, to define one ridiculous word with another, “doodad,” dinkus likely evolved from the Dutch and German ding, meaning “thing.” To the less continental ear, dinkus sounds slightly dirty, and I can confirm that it’s brought serious academics to giggles.

For me, a writer and reader, its crumbiness is its appeal. I need some crumbs to lure me down the page…

Daisy Alioto‘s “Ode to the Dinkus.”

* James Joyce, Ulysses


As we separate our sections, we might recall that it was on this date in 1248 that The University of Oxford received its Royal Charter from King Henry III.   While it has no known date of foundation, there is evidence of teaching as far back as 1096, making it the oldest university in the English-speaking world and the world’s second-oldest university in continuous operation (after the University of Bologna).

The university operates the world’s oldest university museum, as well as the largest university press in the world, and the largest academic library system in Britain.  Oxford has educated many notable alumni, including 29 Nobel laureates, 27 prime ministers of the United Kingdom, and many heads of state and government around the world.  Sixty-nine Nobel Prize winners, 4 Fields Medalists, and 6 Turing Award winners have studied, worked, or held visiting fellowships at Oxford.

42749697282_7a6203784e_o source

Written by LW

June 20, 2018 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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