Chris Ware on the New Yorker


Over the last ten years, Chris Ware has been capturing the shifting values, worries and conventions of 21st century parenthood on his covers for The New Yorker. From the playground full of fathers to the ubiquitous glowing screen of the always-online parent, these scenes will be all-too familiar to any parent. Here are some of the best.


Isn't the English language a wonderfully broken and ridiculous thing? For example, it turns out that "Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo" is a grammatically sound sentence. How utterly splendid. A little explanation from io9

"It has been the talk of grammarians since 1972. According to William Rapaport, its creator and a professor at the University of Buffalo, it means, 'So, buffalo who live in Buffalo (e.g., at the Buffalo Zoo, which does, indeed, have buffalo), and who are buffaloed (in a way unique to Buffalo) by other buffalo from Buffalo, themselves buffalo (in the way unique to Buffalo) still other buffalo from Buffalo.' The sentence relies on a few tricks. The first is that 'buffalo' is a verb as well as a noun and the name of a place. To buffalo someone is to confuse or fluster a person. There's also a missing 'that.' Under normal circumstances, we can sometimes drop a 'that' from a sentence, as long as the nouns still make the meaning clear. All-buffalo sentences muddle it up a bit."

I'm now going to dedicate the rest of my life to finding a conversation in which this sentence would naturally come up. Living near Buffalo Zoo would probably help. A perfectly fine excuse to move to New York. 

NYCTA Graphics Standards Manual

Recently discovered in a locker beneath some old gym clothes (a bit random, that), this first edition New York City Transit Authority Graphics Standards Manual is quite, quite superb. Designed by Massimo Vignelli at Unimark International (of lab coat aficionado fame) in 1970, it's barely aged a day – testament to just how influential the great man still is.

Every detail deserves closer scrutiny, so it's well worth visiting the Standards Manual site for shots of the whole thing. Or, for a more concentrated graphic burst, lovely chap Matt Coyne has put together this video flick-through. Get it on the biggest display you can find, prise you're eyes open with matchsticks and stick it on loop for a few hours.

York New York

I need some help from you wise, handsome folks. The beautiful Dr B and m'self are heading from York to New York for our honeymoon this summer, and our wedding gift list is basically going to be made up of New Yorkulous activities that people can get us.

We have a couple of things – a lunch of pastrami on rye at Katz's Deli, a pop to the top of the Empire State Building – but other than that, we're not entirely sure what to put on the list. We'll probably be heading to the High Line and MoMA at some point, but as far as I'm aware, they're both free. And cocktails will have to be had … somewhere.

So what would you recommend?