Comic Sans is for Children
April 01, 2011

Thanks to a Google April Fools’ Day prank, the font Comic Sans is one of the day’s most popular search term. Unlike the more staid Helvetica, which found itself roped into the prank, Comic Sans is despised by typography aficionados and designers.

Campbell Meets Warhol
March 02, 2011

Are the people who run our museums aware that their solicitude for museumgoers sounds a lot like condescension? A few weeks ago, Ford Bell, president of the American Association of Museums, explained that the Metropolitan Museum of Art “can be intimidating” for people who don’t “already know something about art and have a familiarity with the place.” Thomas Campbell, the Met’s very own director, is singing the same song.

‘Newt World’
February 18, 2011

Last December, nearly 400 Hispanic conservatives and their allies crowded into conference rooms at the Washington Hilton, attending sessions on immigration and national security, the “melting pot” versus the “salad bowl” view of America, and developments in Latino blogging. A gala crowned the affair; the Miami Symphony Orchestra serenaded guests while they dined at linen-covered tables.   Officially, the forum and gala were hosted by a year-old web magazine called The Americano.

Missing Workers: The Elephant in the Recovery
February 09, 2011

More than a few observers (here, here or here) are finding it difficult to interpret last week’s BLS employment report. The household survey recorded a fairly large 0.4 percentage-point drop in the unemployment rate, at the same time that the establishment survey recorded an increase in payroll employment of a measly 36,000. An increasingly missing piece of the puzzle may be the workers themselves. According to the latest report, fully 22 percent of 25 to 64 year-olds are not in the U.S. labor force.

Time to Write Off New Orleans?
August 30, 2010

President Obama's speech in New Orleans on Sunday, commemorating the fifth anniversary of Katrina, didn't have one clear message so much as two. The city has rebuilt and, in some ways, rebuilt itself into something better. But a lot of work, too much work, remains unfinished. If you read my dispatches from New Orleans two weeks ago, then you know that was the impression I, too, took away. One question that Obama didn't address was "why"--as in "why bother"? From the first days after the storm, people began asking whether it was time just to give up on New Orleans.

Number of the Day
August 06, 2010

Everyone wants money. But is the arrival of immigrants looking to bolster their earnings in the United States making things worse for the people already here? Immigration is estimated to decrease natives' wage between:   zero and nine percent   Research in this field is far from definitive, but despite important contributions made by others, two men dominate the debate over the impact of immigrants on wages--George Borjas, of Harvard, and Berkeley's David Card. Card's research suggests that immigrants do not lower natives' wages.

Who's On Team Crist?
July 30, 2010

I've always thought that you can understand about 90% of what you need to know about a politician's beliefs by looking at who advises them. Charlie Crist now has a lot of Democrats working for him: Two of the major power players now steering the Crist ship are Eric Johnson, who was chief of staff for former Rep. Robert Wexler (D-Fla.) and Josh Isay, the former chief of staff to Sen.

But Is Jesse Jackson *Interesting*?
July 15, 2010

Jesse Jackson has never interested me much. I’m a little late out of the gate in commenting about Jackson’s latest diversion, analogizing LeBron James to a runaway slave in light of Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert’s sputtering about James’ departure to Miami. I’ve always been a little laggard in dogpiling on Jesse. When I first started writing about race, I quickly noted a certain cognitive dissonance: everybody expected the new cranky black “conservative” to have a Jesse obsession. I never did, and don’t now. He shouldn’t be news, really.

The Insufferable Lebron Show
July 08, 2010

[Guest Post by Isaac Chotiner] Buzz Bissinger has said it better than I ever could, but the LeBron fiasco currently airing on ESPN has been a complete and utter train-wreck. It is fashionable for commentators to dishonestly claim that they despised some overdone spectacle like the Oscars, even though they secretly enjoyed the circus. This is absolutely not the case with tonight's horrific LeBron coverage, which is maddeningly drawn-out and frustrating, and which has embarrassed ESPN.

Misleading Indicator--Head Counts not Condos Better Reveal City Trends
July 07, 2010

Futurist/urbanist/cultural provocateur Joel Kotkin was back again yesterday on the WSJ op-ed page declaring that the “back-to-the-city movement is wishful thinking.”  His evidence: steep declines from peak in condo prices in a handful of big Sun Belt cities, including Miami, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas. That and the results of a few surveys indicating continued residential preference for suburban over urban environments. (The piece more than echoes a similar one he penned for the Journal in 2007.) But why look at these indirect data points when you can go to the source: recent city population t