A Comprehensive Analysis of Wingdings

Contrary to popular belief, Wingdings is not a buffalo wing delivery service by way of bicycle, nor is it what happened to Clarence at the end of It’s a Wonderful Life. Wingdings is actually a symbol-based font that was co-created in 1957 by Howard Wing and Joseph A. Ding, and has found its way into most standard word processing programs. Wingdings has perplexed the most scholarly academics and the most astute fourth-graders since time immemorial. In an attempt to remedy this, I present to you now a comprehensive analysis of the Wingdings font.

(Disclaimer: This is an analysis of Wingdings 1, the primary Wingding font, rather than Wingdings 2 or 3, which are merely bastardizations of a beautiful linguistic creation.)

Screen Shot 2017-06-21 at 12.11.53 PM

Wingdings: Lowercase Letters “a-z”

As it is with skiing down a mountain or most sexual encounters, let’s start at the top. For those of you schooled in the astrological arts, you may notice that the lowercase “a” is the zodiac sign for Cancer. This may seem surprising, as there are multiple other zodiac signs (Aries, Aquarius, and Amphibious) that begin with the letter “a.” This is, in fact, a reference to one of the first reviewers of the font, Admiral Arthur Applebaum, who described Wingdings in a New York Times review as “a cancer on the English language.”

The following eight letters, from “b” to “i,” encompass the rest of Zodiac symbols because Joseph A. Ding was being a real Leo about the whole thing. Following that is a cursive “ET” for the letter “j” because Joseph A. Ding wanted to memorialize his favorite movie that hadn’t been created yet in his new font (Joseph was heavy-handedly taking over the font creation at this point – once again, a real Leo). Neither Howard Wing nor Joseph A. Ding knew how to spell the word “ampersand,” but regardless they came to the conclusion that there must be a “k” in there somewhere, leading to the next letter’s design. The rest of the lowercase letters became simple shapes – circles, squares, shaded squares – merely because of the fact that Wing and Ding had spent the majority of their budget on a professional calligrapher for the first eleven letters.

Screen Shot 2017-06-21 at 12.11.59 PM

Wingdings: Uppercase Letters “A-Z”

For the uppercase font, Howard and Joseph decided that they wanted to encapsulate the most impactful methods of communication throughout human history, in order from most important at “A” to least important at “Z.” The hierarchy of methods of communication, according to Wing and Ding, proceed as follows – hand gestures, facial expressions, weaponry, flags, a single airplane, common weather, and finally, major world religions.

Screen Shot 2017-06-21 at 12.12.06 PM

Wingdings: Numbers “0-9”

This is no documentation as to why Howard Wing and Joseph A. Ding chose the specific iconography for numbers that they did. However, it is the expert opinion of this linguistic scholar that it is meant to represent the progression of information as it accumulates. It begins with a single folder, then opening as if to say, “Get up all in my bid-nis.” We then see a single dog-eared sheet of paper, assumedly procured from the folder – it has words, but we are not privy to what those words might be, be they government secrets or the lyrics to Sting’s “Desert Rose.” The paper is unfolded, opening itself up (metaphorically this time) to become several pieces of paper, which then become so expansive as to require an entire filing cabinet. A filing cabinet with only two shelves, granted, but how many shelves do you have, huh? None? That’s what I thought. You have no place to judge. Time passes, as signified by a hour glass, until all that information becomes digitized, requiring the mouse and keyboard to surf the online seas of binary, HTML, and pictures of Enrique Iglesias. Then, and only then, does Big Brother begin monitoring you with an old-fashioned camcorder. This is, of course, only conjecture as to what Howard and Joseph might have meant.

Unfortunately, we will never know the full and complete truth as to the secrets within Wingdings, as Howard Wing and Joseph A. Ding were taken from their homes in the middle of the night by black vans – vans that were emblazoned with the words “We Are Not The Government.” It is impossible to say who might have taken them, but they cannot stop us from trying to understand the secrets behind this fantastical font. Now, if you will excuse me, someone is knocking at my door. They seem to be yelling, “We Are Still Not The Government!” How strange.

 

By Blake

Books That Were Discontinued, Disallowed, and Otherwise Disconnected from the History of Literature

Robert’s Rules of Recorders

Shortly following the release of the Fourth Edition of Robert’s Rules of Order, Robert’s daughter began to learn the recorder in her elementary school music class. Seeing a clear lack of structure and cohesion in this room of cacophonous nine-year-olds, Robert took his experience in parliamentary procedure to pen another set of guidelines that would best enable the class to learn “Old McDonald” in an organized and efficient matter. The rules included proper floor addresses (“Sir,” “Madame,” or “Flute Flute Mahgoot”), how to obtain the attention of the floor (toot a high C# until the assembly is silent or the windows shatter), and the proper procedure for determining the rightful owner of the Golden Recorder of Leadership (knife fight). However, after only three months of implementation, discontented elementary school teachers from around the country congregated around Robert’s home and shattered his eardrums with a rousing rendition of “Hot Crossed Buns.” The book was subsequently removed from school library shelves.

Catch-52

This follow-up to Catch-22 was actually published as a practical joke by Joseph Heller. This novel was, in fact, just a stack of playing cards hidden within the book’s binding and an inconspicuous cover. Heller’s intent was for unsuspecting readers to open the novel and have all fifty-two playing cards fall into their lap, resulting in surprised expressions and laughs abounding. Joseph Heller, a man hardened by the horrors of war and watching his fellow man perish in the trenches, loved a good guffaw. Unfortunately, book stores stopped stocking this novel following janitorial protests over the increased, card-based workload.

Children of the [Insert Vegetable Here]

Unknown to many, Children of the Corn was in fact just a single version of the short story in a series of publications by Stephen King. King penned a multitude of revisions of his classic short story in an attempt to appeal to individuals, particularly children, who were picky eaters. Children of the Carrot was most commercially well-received of his revisions, while Children of the Squash, Children of the Broccoli, and Children of the Bell Pepper were all horribly panned by literary critics (“Ew, this has squash in it? I don’t like squash.” – Edmund Wright, New York Times). Following the release of the movie rendition of Children of the Corn in 1984, all other versions were immediately declared fraudulent and discontinued. You can still find Children of the Kale on the coffee tables of some artisanal sandwich shops in Brooklyn, and it is rumored that Edward Snowden keeps a copy of Children of the Snow Pea on his person at all times.

Moby Richard

The original manuscript of Herman Melville’s Moby Dick had a decidedly more formal tone and style than its revised, more popular version. Moby Richard was first described as the Great White-Collar Whale, who bit off the Johnson account, leaving Ahab “without a leg to stand on,” so to speak. In a surprising twist, the opening line was the only thing that was actually edited to be more formal. “Call me Izzy-Shmay-Shmay” may have received even greater acclaim than its subsequent revised form, but the world will never know.

 

By Blake

The Real Issue

This election cycle has been a lot of things. It has been long, it has been tumultuous, it has been unexpected. But, most importantly, it has been a distraction. The American people have been inundated with a plethora of media coverage, occasionally touching on actual policy and presidential duties, but mostly dwelling on scandal and soundbites that make for good television. While, yes, the presidency is a crucial office that will determine much of our future as a nation, there are countless other issues that are just as important, and they too deserve our attention. These current events have strong implications in the daily lives of our citizens, and yet they have fallen by the wayside, with one specific proceeding being criminally underrepresented in our media and our social consciousness. I am, of course, referring to the short-lived relationship between Tom Hiddleston and Taylor Swift.

That’s right. Tom Hiddleston, the most British Avenger, and Taylor Swift, everyone’s favorite girl next door, were an item for a whole three months, and most of you didn’t even know that. You know why? Because the media had been too flooded with email scandals and pussy grabbing to show you the emotional roller-coaster that was the love between America’s sweetheart and Taylor Swift. He was her Loki and she was his shiny, blue cube-thing – a true story of pursuit, love, and loss, fit for the best of Nicholas Sparks novels.

When Tom and Taylor shared their first dance at the Met Gala, and the first notions of Hiddleswift began to bloom, where were the eyes of the world? They were watching the end of Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign, endlessly speculating the uncertainty of the nomination and the fate of the Republican party with hours of television coverage and hundreds of online articles. And yet, it was a mere Instagram video that documented this picturesque dance, whose vague arm flailing and hip shaking will go down in history, rivalling The Nutcracker in pure beauty and poignancy.

On June 14th, 2016, Hillary Clinton won the Washington D.C. primary. Many celebrated her inevitable path to the nomination following this victory, but you know what we weren’t celebrating? The official blossoming of the Tom and Taylor Power Hour, in which they were seen making out on a beach in Rhode Island – the most romantic island. However, this monumental scene wasn’t captured by CNN analysts, FOX reporters, or even the BuzzFeed investigative journaling team; no, this was first documented by The Sun, a British tabloid as trashy as its name is generic. Hiddleswift deserves better. We all deserve better.

Finally, when we were all focused on nominations and upcoming debates, the most beautiful integration of American and British passions since Simon Cowell fell apart right under our noses. September spelt the end for Tom and Taylor. Through all the Instagram drama and potential proposals, we never got to see any of it because we were focused on choosing the leader of the free world. What a shame.

 

By Blake

Okay, Hear Me Out: Basketball But, Like, With Birds

Okay, I know what you’re thinking, and no – the game would not involve substituting the basketball with birds. That would be animal abuse, and the aviary population deserves better than that. Also, I don’t think slam dunking a parakeet would be nearly as satisfying as it sounds. But I digress.

No, this would be basketball with the BIRDS as the ATHLETES. Just imagine – birds swooping around the court, executing perfect mid-air passes, and shooting from heights the NBA couldn’t even conceive of! Even the name possibilities are endless! Le-Fawn James. Sha-Quale O’Neil. Larry Bird. But I know, you’re not here to listen to these incredibly witty names. Let’s talk logistics.

So the basics of the game would be the same. There would normally be five players allowed on the court at a time. Of course, we would have to take into account the size of the birds when determining the size of the teams. Five pigeons versus three crows would probably be an even matchup, depending on their respective wingspans. A pair of eagles would be a fairly formidable duo by themselves, and honestly, I think a single ostrich would be able to dominate the court no problem.

I’m not saying there wouldn’t be any problems, but if you just hear me out, the sky’s the limit! Actually, not even the sky is the limit, because BIRDS. So I know bird talons aren’t the most dribble-friendly appendages, but honestly, are hands that much better? That’s what I thought. I’m also sure we will have some trouble with the smaller fowl crafting nests in the hoops, as fowl are ought to do, but you know, that may just be a risk we have to take. We cannot stop the course of nature, but we can make nature do some fucking dope alley-oops. Speaking of oops, mid-game poops would also be problematic, but if we give them little bird-diapers with their team logo, that solves that problem AND the need for jerseys – two birds with one stone, if you will.

Anyway, I know what you’re thinking – what sort of marketing would be the most effective way of informing the public of our aviary athletes? First, blimps, for obvious reasons. Second – what? No, Doc, I don’t think I use imaginative delusions to avoid thinking about my actual problems. And hey, this isn’t a delusion! I didn’t spend an entire therapy session talking about a delusion – I was explaining a detailed plan to have BIRDS play BASKETBALL. I don’t think you’ve been listening.

 

By Blake

The Eye of the Storm

According to the Weather Channel, this inbound hurricane is no joke. Stores and public institutions are already closing early and boarding up their windows in anticipation of the biggest storm of the year. Thousands of people will lose their homes, even their lives, and even more will be forced to change their weekend plans because backyard cocktail parties are not conducive to forty mile-per-hour winds, and those tiny drink umbrellas are an embarrassment to the rain protection community. Honestly, something has to be done. But meteorologists around the world are merely forecasting the storm, and our savior Al Roker has been missing since the tornado incident. While it would be better for the experts to handle this crisis, I see no choice but to take matters into my own hands.

I’m gonna fuck that hurricane.

I know what you’re thinking. “Blake, how the hell do you plan on seducing a storm system made up of strong winds and heavy precipitation?” Very carefully, that’s how. To entice a woman requires a gentle touch, but to entice a intangible conglomeration of condensation requires an even gentler one. I’m going to look that hurricane right in the eye and whisper softly, “Hey. You don’t need to be doing this. You and me, let’s go back to my weather-resistant bunker and watch some Cake Boss. I know a sweet cyclone like you can appreciate some pretty pastries.” If all goes well, the world will be spared another tragedy caused by Mother Nature. And I will have had sex with a hurricane.

If you’re asking what good doing the no-pants dance with a tropical typhoon will do, you’re asking the wrong question. The real question you should be asking yourself is, “What kind of monster am I for not whole-heartedly supporting any effort to quell human suffering on this Earth?” The answer is the bad kind. But it’s okay – we forgive you.

Look, it’s not my first choice either, but we don’t have any other options. Do you see George Clooney stepping up to protect his fellow man? No. No you don’t. He’s too busy being famous, probably hooking up with a minor thunderstorm as we speak. Even the alternative solutions aren’t an option. Mankind has never built a fishbowl large enough to trap a hurricane, and even if we had, it should probably go to a very large goldfish. The scientists currently running the Large Hadron Collider refuse to help because the machine “is not safe for untrained use” and “has nothing to do with hurricanes, stop contacting us.”

In reality, I am probably humanity’s best choice for this endeavor. I already like my women like I like my hurricanes – unpredictable, and responsible for billions of dollars in property damage annually. I already have a propensity for things that go counterclockwise – that’s why I’m not allowed on the tea cup ride at Disney World anymore. And if the storm violently tears my body apart mid-coitus, I want you to know I’m willing to make that sacrifice. Like Neil Armstrong once said, “One small step for man, one giant leap for a man about to stick his dick in a hurricane.”

If the storm horribly ravages my body and throws me into space, this very well may be my last testament. For my final words, I want the populace to know that I don’t regret my decision for a moment. I died doing what I love – putting my genitals in logistically impossible situations. Veni, vidi, Cōnvéneram cum cataegem.

By Blake

Answering the Unanswerable

It’s a Sunday morning. I’m sitting in a local coffee shop, writing my latest piece on my laptop and listening to the hustle and bustle of daily life. Baristas making frappuccinos, friends chatting about the previous night’s escapades, pretentious assholes typing on their laptops, the usual. In the midst of all of this, a question hangs over my head. A question of the human condition, of considerable depth and nuance, quarreled over ad infinitum, as any good question is. Now, in a situation such as this, can there really be a right answer? Just to clarify, that wasn’t the question, just a personal mulling about the question actually in consideration. Sorry about the confusion. Some questions, no matter how often they are pondered and contemplated, don’t have a right answer. Whether it’s a matter of opinion, or simply to complex for us to understand, sometimes the truth is just out of reach. But just because that can be the case, doesn’t mean it always is; we can’t allow the ambiguity of some questions stops us from trying to answer the ones we can.In light of this, I think I finally have an answer to the truly unanswerable question: Boobs or Butts?

That’s right. It’s the eternal struggle. Boobs versus butts. Tits versus asses. Bazoombas versus badonkadonks. This question has been debated since the dawn of objectifying women, i.e. the dawn of time. As a straight white man, one of my many serious struggles is consistently being asked, “What do guys like more, boobs or butts?” Now, the answer to that question is entirely in personal preference. Some guys like a little more junk in the trunk, like my station wagon. Others are all about the junk in the front, like my station wagon (Note: If anyone is looking to purchase a ’76 Dodge Monaco, call me at 325-368-6237). What I’m here to put to rest, once and for all, is what is the RIGHT answer when choosing between the front butt and the more primary butt. After constant deliberation, a pilgrimage on the Himalayas, and a citation for climbing the Himalayas without a permit, here’s the verdict — Boobs over butt.

This is not only anatomically correct, but also the final word on this argument. As a disclaimer, I am not expressing my personal opinion on the matter; what I’m delivering here are the facts, confirmed by professionals. I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “Blake, who on Earth has the authority and knowledge to make this conclusive call?” I’ll tell you who – the Lord. Stick with me here. Trust me, I would have gone the scientific route if I could, but our evolution as a species has been accompanied by expansion of both the female bust and waist. Thanks a lot, Science. So instead, it’s time to consult the Lord Almighty on boobies and booties, and guess what – God’s a boob man. Let’s delve into this.

Proverbs. A book of the Old Testament of the Christian Bible, most known for it’s wack-ass metaphors and prevalence in Instagram captions. This book was written by Solomon, who was bestowed immense wisdom by God for being a selfless king, making him the wisest man to ever exist – past, present, and future. Basically, he was as wise as Morgan Freeman sounds, so he knew his shit. He opens the book talking about fidelity and marriage, and in it, he says this in Proverbs 5:19 – “May her breasts satisfy you always, and may you always be captivated by her love.” You don’t see any wisemen writing verses about relishing a fine keister. And this isn’t merely one translation, it’s consistent across the board – “may her breasts satisfy you, may her beasts fill you with delight, let her breasts satisfy thee,” it goes on. There is one translation that says something about an “affectionate mountain goat,” but I’d rather call that one a fluke.

So there, the wisest man in existence, an emissary of the Most High himself, is all ‘bout them titties. If one instance is not enough, let’s look at King David, the man after God’s own heart. He spent his entire life following God’s will; fighting Goliath, leading the Israelites into battle, taking the helm of a nation, and running through the streets naked (long story). 2 Samuel tells the story of Bathsheba, a woman who led David astray when he saw her incomparable beauty. How did he see it, you ask? She was bathing on her rooftop (as all women do, I assume). Now, unless she was bathing ostrich-style, head underwater and endangered rump raised, we all now exactly what milk-producing mounds David saw that brought him down from the path of righteousness. This is the man who put his life on the line several times in the name of the Lord, but with the cards on the table, it was mammaries that made this man merge with the malevolent. Would a firm behind have had the same effect? We may never know, as King David is probably dead. Regardless, we know it was a game of peek-a-boob that derailed the righteous king, not follow the caboose, giving hooters the leg up once again. We can conclusively say, as supported by the Alpha and the Omega, that tatas beat tushes for sure. Sir. Sir.

“SIR!” I hear yelled in my direction, and I regain my composure. A barista is standing in front of my table, and apparently not happy about it. “Sir, you’ve been staring at my chest for the past ten minutes,” she says sternly. “What’s the matter with you?”

“Sorry,” I reply. “Just… deep in thought.”

By Blake