Easing Back into Normalcy

Happy Friday, all. Apologies for the lack of posting yesterday, I wasn’t feeling well and sitting in front of my computer typing stuff up wasn’t happening. But now the weekend is nearly upon us and to get in the mood I wanted to share this great dot plot from xkcd. It captures something I’ve definitely been thinking about.

Hopefully crossing most of these off in the next few weeks/months.

For example, on 3 March 2020, I had a friend over to my flat for drinks and to watch the Super Tuesday Democratic primary results come in. Tomorrow, if all goes according to plan, will be the first time I’ve had company over in 15 months.

In essence we have check boxes of the normal things we did in the before times and we’re just checking them off one by one until we can feel normal again.

Just please don’t contract a novel bat virus again.

Credit for the piece goes to Randall Munroe.

Oh the Degrees You’ll Earn

This one from Indexed made me literally laugh out loud. Probably because I, like many of you, know all three types she describes. And after a week, we can probably all use a laugh before starting the weekend.

Astronomy > Astrology

Credit for the piece goes to Jessica Hagy.

Boldly Going…

Those of my readers who know me well know that I’ve long been a fan of Star Trek. And so we’ve made it to the weekend. And over at Indexed earlier this month, well, we have a great science fiction comparison.

Here in the states we have a bank holiday Monday, so Star Trek is just a great way to start a holiday weekend.

The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. Or the one.

Credit for the piece goes to Jessica Hagy.

The Month That Lasted a Year

Two Fridays ago I received my second dose of the vaccine. In other words, I’m fully vaccinated and can resume doing…things. Anything. And so this piece from xkcd seemed an appropriate way to wrap up what has been a horrible, no good, terrible year.

The longest month of our lives.

Credit for the piece goes to Randall Munroe.

Delco vs Chesco

One of the things in the pop culture these days is an HBO show called Mare of Easttown. For those that haven’t heard of it, probably my more international audience, it’s a crime drama set in the near suburbs of Philadelphia, a placed called Delaware County that locals simply call Delco.

Last Saturday, the show got its limelight on Saturday Night Live, which spoofed the show in a trailer for a fictional show called Murdur Durdur, from the producers of Mare of Easttown as well as those of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

The SNL skit included a crime map of which I took a screenshot.

I can see my house from here. Dur.

This caught my attention because one of the characters mentioned Downingtown, which is where your author grew up until he was 16. SNL‘s map really just served as a vehicle to showcase Googling all the town names—and the Philadelphia region has a wealth of them—because the map is all over the place, pun intended.

Conshohocken is actually a real place in neighbouring Montgomery County, on the Schuylkill River (real place). Royersford is also real and also in Montgomery County. Hockessin is also real, but is in Delaware, the state, not Delaware County, which is in Pennsylvania. (Both border the Delaware River.)

The map also makes reference to Lionville, a real place near Downingtown. Your humble author worked in a restaurant in Lionville, located in Uwchlan Township. (They don’t mention that, but I can see people enjoying that name as well.)

The keen observers will also note the placement of a label for Altor, which is only about 2.5 miles from my aforementioned childhood home. Clearly some SNL writer is from or is incredibly familiar with the western suburbs of Philadelphia.

As for the map itself? Well, it’s fictional. One, there is no Jagoff Bridge. Two, it’s actually a map of Bethlehem, to the north in the Lehigh Valley. Route 30 is a real place and does run through Downingtown and Chester County. But nowhere does it cross any town or city like the one the map depicts. Instead that road is Route 378 crossing the Lehigh River. (Fun fact, Route 30 runs west and eventually through Indiana and Illinois, south of Chicago.)

In fact the funny thing is, the map spoofing the show set in Delaware County does not contain a single place in the real Delaware County. Easttown is, for fans of the show, not actually located in Delaware County. Instead, it’s in Chester County. And your author, not surprisingly perhaps, has connections there because it’s where you can find Devon and Berwyn. (My Chicago readers may recognise those names, as several streets were named for Main Line towns.) And where I attended middle- and high-school is across the street from Easttown Township. The real one.

Now I want to actually watch the show. The real one. Not the SNL one. But first I’ll need to grab a Yuengling and a Wawa hoagie.

Credit for the piece goes to probably the writers and props department of Saturday Night Live.

Allergies in the Time of Covid

If all goes according to plan, I should be receiving my second dose of Pfizer later this afternoon. Then it’s two more weeks until I’m fully vaccinated and ready to rejoin the world. But what kind of world will be rejoining? The allergy plagued one looking at the calendar. And that’s why this post from Indexed by Jessica Hagy made me laugh.

All the sneezes and sniffles.

But it’s also true.

Credit for the piece goes to Jessica Hagy.

Lather, Rinse, Repeat

Last Friday I received my first dose of the vaccine, and I’m not counting the time until my second and then the two weeks after that to let it take effect. It also means that the repetition can begin to end.

Over at Indexed, Jessica Hagy sort of captured that idea in a single Venn diagram.

Exiting in the slice.

Credit for the piece goes to Jessica Hagy.

Party Time Post-Vaccine

If all goes according to plan, your author today will receive his first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, the Pfizer variety for the curious. As such, it feels appropriate to share this recent piece from xkcd.

Also looks like some funky bar chord notation.

All joking aside, it should be said that, and as this graphic illustrates, just because you receive your first dose, doesn’t mean you should be out socialising and seeing people later that night.

You are not fully vaccinated until two weeks after your second dose, or the first if you received Johnson & Johnson. And so while I may be receiving my first dose this afternoon, it is going to be close to a month and a half before I’m able to leave my household unit and socialise with others. Probably three weeks for my second dose and then another two weeks for the vaccine to fully take effect.

Doesn’t mean I won’t be counting the days, though.

Credit for the piece goes to Randall Munroe.

But What About Pluto?

Damn you Neil deGrasse Tyson (but not really though)!

Because, you know, he advocated for de-planet-fying Pluto back in the oughts.

Which I mention because of this post from xkcd, which corrects common images of planets in the solar system accounting for their population.

Still, though, no Pluto?

Credit for the piece goes to Randall Munroe.

A4 For Ever (and Ever)

Most of my readers know that I am a designer who works in all formats. But, I really love working in print. Colours, textures, and the physicality of it all. Give me a foil stamp or metallic ink any day.

Any American designer who’s ever worked for an overseas client or overseas designer who’s ever worked for an American client knows all about the US Letter vs A4 debate.

For those that don’t, the US (along with Canada, Mexico, and a very few other countries) use what we call letter size paper. The rest of the world uses A4, part of the ISO 216 international standard. A4 has some special properties that make it the superior choice in my opinion.

But this is a Friday, so we’re here for the lighter take. And for that we have a video by CCP Grey, who explains some of the properties of A4 and then provides a fascinating perspective on it all. It’s about nine minutes long for what it’s worth.

A4 is in the middle.

Credit for the piece goes to CCP Grey.