Monday, December 18, 2006

It's Not How You Feel; It's How You Look.

Although Alison is the one who frequents a web site called The Superficial, I'm perhaps more interested in appearances than she is. Here's a breakdown of my various superficial interests, with some fun links:
  • Heraldry. Yeah, yeah, I admit it's pretty dorky, but I think representing something as complex as an individual or family identity with a two-dimensional image that can easily be describe in plain text is rather fascinating. Additionally, I've always thought the sometimes silly mythological animals used in heraldry were fun.*
  • Flags. Vexillology is much like heraldry, but with nations in place of individuals, so it's no sureprise that I'm interested in it. I'm certainly no vexillologist, but I can sometimes tell a lot about a country just by looking at its flag, and I think that's cool.
  • Logos and Wordmarks. Logos are, of course, modern-day coats of arms, representing corporate entities, sports teams, bands or even individuals**. Plus, logos are not constrained by all the heraldic rules, so they can be extremely creative. Males in the readership may be horrified to hear this, but I'm not much of a sports fan. In fact---gasp!---I'm often more interested in a team's logo or uniform than their performance. If you are at all like me, you may want to check out the Society for Sports Uniform Research for the latest news on logo, uni, and color changes.
  • Sports uniforms. See above entry, then go to SSUR and Uni Watch.
  • Names. Even though Alison and I aren't planning on naming an children any time soon,*** I find personal names quite fascinating. The most interesting online resource I've found in this category is the NameVoyager, which uses Social Security data to plot the frequency (in children per million) of a name as a function of time, since the 1880s. If you enter a partial name, it will plot all names starting with that string. Neat, eh? For maximum fun, enter "Willow" or "Xander" and look for the spike after Buffy the Vampire Slayer hit the airwaves. Hah! Nerds, you gotta love them.
So there you go. If you are interested in these topics, too, just click on "superficialities" under "Subject Tags" to the right, and you'll see all our bloggin' in this category.

* Perhaps that's related to my passing interest in cryptozoology.
** And I'm not just talking about superheroes like the Batman or eccentrics like Prince Rogers Nelson here.
*** I repeat, for our parents, we are not planning children in the immediate future.

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