Monthly Archives: December 2010

McLuhan and Radical Typography

Ask a fledgling technologist or avid mediaphile for a summary of post-World War II media theory and you are more than likely to hear the phrase "the medium is the message," popularized by renowned media critic and academic Marshall McLuhan in his groundbreaking Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man in 1964.

While McLuhan wrote primarily about the age of mass media, his conception of medium-as-message can be applied to one of the first real mediums for communication: writing. In a masterful article for Smithsonian magazine, Jess Righthand traces the brief history of the postmodern revolution in typography. "Typography conveys meaning," said Gail Davidson, curator of an installation on digital type currently on display at the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in New York City. "The kinds of letters that you use say something about what you’re trying to project. They can portray hipness, they can portray authority, they can convey playfulness, they can convey power."

Genius of Britain

In this new five-part series, Genius of Britain, leading scientific figures – Stephen Hawking, Richard Dawkins, James Dyson, David Attenborough, Robert Winston, Paul Nurse, Jim Al-Khalili, Kathy Sykes and Olivia Judson – celebrate the British scientists and inventors who literally created the modern world.


Each of us is great insofar as we perceive and act on the infinite possibilities which lie undiscovered and unrecognized about us.

10 Questions for Neil deGrasse Tyson

Neil deGrasse Tyson is the director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History and host of NOVA scienceNOW. Here he answers questions posed by Time magazine readers, his inspiring answer to "what is the most astounding fact you can share with us about the universe?" is 2:15 mins in.