TUG 2016 – Day 4 – Books, ooh Books (and Boats)

Talks have been finished, and as a special present to the participants, Pavneet has organized an excursion that probably was one of the best I ever had. First we visited the Toronto Reference Library where we were treated to a delicious collection of rare books (not to mention all the other books and architecture), and then a trip through the Ismaili Centre Toronto and the Aga Khan Museum.

Page from "A Dream of John Ball", Kelmscott Press Edition, 1892.

(Kelmscott press edition from 1892 of William Morris’ A Dream of John Ball.) All these places were great pieces of architecture with excellent samples of the writing and printing art. And after all that and not to be mentioned, the conference dinner evening cruise! Continue reading

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TUG 2016 – Day 2 – Figures to Fonts

The second day of TUG 2016 was again full of interesting talks spanning from user experiences to highly technical details about astrological chart drawing, and graphical user interfaces to TikZ to the invited talk by Robert Bringhurst on the Palatino family of fonts.

tug2016-bringhurst

With all these interesting things there is only one thing to compain – I cannot get out of the dark basement and enjoy the city… Continue reading

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TUG 2016 – Day 1 – Routers and Reading

The first day of the real conference started with an excellent overview of what one can do with TeX, spanning from traditional scientific journal styles to generating router configuration for cruising ships.
tug2016-color

All this was crowned with an invited talk my Kevin Larson from Microsoft’s typography department on how to support reading comprehension. Continue reading

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TUG 2016 – Day 0 – Books and Beers

The second pre-conference day was dedicated to books and beers, with a visit to an exquisite print studio, and a beer tasting session at one of the craft breweries in Canada. In addition we could grab a view into the Canadian lifestyle by visiting Pavneet’s beautiful house in the countryside, as well as enjoying traditional style pastries from a bakery.

Heidelberg printing machine at Porcupine's quilt

In short, a perfect combination for us typography and beer savvy freaks! Continue reading

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TUG 2016 – Day -1 – Wines and Waters

This years TUG is held in Toronto, Canada, and our incredible host Pavneet has managed to put together an busy program of excursions and events around the real conference. The -1st day (yeah, you read right, the minus-first day), that is two days before the actual conference starts, was dedicated to an excursion to enjoying wines at the wine estate Château des Charmes, followed by a visit to the Niagara falls.

The amount of water running down the Horseshoe Falls is incredible

What should I say, if the first thing after getting out of the bus is a good wine, then there is nothing to go wrong … Continue reading

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パン屋 NiOR

パンというもの、本当のパンというのが大好きな僕は、いつも美味しいパンを探したり、すべての新しいパン屋を試してみる。野々市に住んでる場合は、ジョアンというパン屋さんは一番人気だと思うけど、僕の感覚の中、ジョアンはパン屋ではありません。ジョアンはペストリー、お菓子を作ってる。商品の9割りは変わったことだ。よくとっても美味しいペストリーを作ってるけど、パンではありません。

最近うちの近所にできた「NiOR」というパン屋は全く違う。神様から送ってもらったみたい。パンを作ってるパン屋。
pan-nior1

これから幸せな生活が始まります! Continue reading

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Osamu Dazai – No Longer Human

Japanese authors have a tendency to commit suicide, it seems. I have read Ryunosuke Akutagawa (芥川 龍之介, at 35), Yukio Mishima (三島 由紀夫, at 45), and also Osamu Dazai (太宰 治, at 39). Their end often reflects in their writings, and one of these examples is the book I just finished, No Longer Human.

Dazai_Osamu-No_Longer_Human

Considered as Dazai’s master piece, and with Soseki’s Kokoro the best selling novels in Japan. The book recounts the life of Oba Yozo, from childhood to the end in a mental hospital. The early years, described in the first chapter (“Memorandum”), are filled with the feeling of differentness, alienation from the rest, and Oba starts his way of living by playing the clown, permanently making jokes. The Second Memorandom spans the time to university, where he drops out, tries to become a painter, indulges in alcohol, smoking and prostitutes, leading to a suicide attempt together with a married woman, but he survived. The first part of the Third Memorandom sees a short recovering due to his relationship with a woman. He stops drinking and works as cartoonist, but in the last part his drinking pal from university times shows up again and they return into an ever increasing vicious drinking. Eventually he is separated from his wife, and confined to a mental hospital.

Very depressing to read, but written in a way that one cannot stop reading. The disturbing thing about this book is that, although the main actor conceives many bad actions, we feel somehow attached to him and feel pity for him. It is somehow a exercise how circumstances and small predispositions can make a huge change in our lives. And it warns us that each one of us can easily come to this brink.

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Jonas Jonasson – The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden

Just finished my first book of Jonas Jonasson, a Swedish journalist and author. Most famous for his book The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared, but author of two others. The one I read was The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden, which strange enough became in German Die Analphabetin die rechnen konnte (The analphabet who could compute).

Jonas Jonasson - Die Analphabetin, die rechnen konnte

The story recounts the countless turns the life of Nombeko Mayeki, a black girl born in Soweto as latrine cleaner, who manages to save the Swedish king as well as most of the world from an atomic desaster by first getting driven over by a drunkard of South African nuclear bomb engineer, then meeting a clique of three Chinese sisters excelling in faking antiquities, and two Mossad agents. With the (unwilling) help of those agents she escapes to Sweden (including the atomic bomb) where she meets twins of a psychotic father who brought them up as one child so that the spare one can eradicate the Swedish monarchy. After many twists and setbacks, including several meetings with the Chinese premier Hu Jintao, she finally manages to get rid of the atomic bomb, get her “undercover” twin a real identity, and set up a proper life – ah, and not to forget, save the King of Sweden!

A fast paced, surprisingly funny and lovely story about how little things can change our lives completely.

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