Posts tagged ‘times’

Arial is Not a Font

Arial is a typeface (aka “font family”). In fact, what many people refer to as “fonts” are actually “typefaces.”

The meaning of the word “font” has been butchered since the introduction of desktop publishing in the mid 1980s.

What is the true meaning? Directly from Wikipedia, “… a complete character set of a single size and style of a particular typeface.”

In other words, a font is a specific version of a typeface. Arial is a typeface, and 12-point Arial Italic is a font. 14-point Arial Italic is a different font in the Arial font family.

Changing the size of text on a computer is not a significant amount of work, so it might seem silly to think that you’re actually changing the font when you do this. Especially since we think of the font as just the typeface and not its size or style. But, this terminology made a lot of sense before desktop publishing.

The first printing presses used characters that were carved from wood and arranged in order to form a complete sentence, although they were glyphs rather than Latin characters.

This evolved into more modern systems that used metal characters that were more durable. At that time, changing the size of a typeface was a lot of work — it meant you had to pull all of the letters out and reassemble the words with a different set of metal pieces. (more…)

May 18, 2010 at 12:01 am 6 comments

Ball Drops Did Not Start in Times Square

Times Square beware: you’re not the oldest ball drop around. In fact, the ball drop originated in Portsmouth England in 1829. That is where time synchronization really started to take shape, in the form of a ball.

In 1833, another time ball was installed in Greenwich and has dropped at 1pm everyday since then.

The time ball was invented by Robert Wauchope, a Royal Navy officer, as a way for ships to set their chronometer before heading out to sea. The daily ball drop occurred at 1pm because at noon, observers were busy taking exact readings of solar time. Accurate time was important for ships to calculate their longitude at sea.

All over the world, time balls were installed in shipping ports for years to follow.  In 1924, radio time signals rendered time balls obsolete and they slowly began to disappear. The ball drop tradition still continues today in a handful of places.  In the United States, it happens daily at the United States Naval Observatory in Washington DC and, of course, the annual Times Square ball drop.

BrokenSecrets.com

Photos: WKA, Berk2804 | Sources: Times Square, WP, UOTS,

December 31, 2009 at 12:56 am Leave a comment


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