concept to publication

Month: February 2007

The Cult of the Talking Cross

the spring of the talking crossI’m starting to put up some images from my recent trip to the Yucatan. As part of the project I’m revamping the Maya World section of my site (making it a little more autonomous, on the theory that people who are interested in the Maya aren’t necessarily equally interested in typography or publishing or gardening in the Bay Area or others of my hobby horses). Anyway, the image at left is a picture of the little spring that sustained the rebel community of the Talking Cross, the Maya band that nearly drove the non-Maya from the peninsula during the Caste War in the second half of the 19th century. (The spring is located in present-day Felipe Carrillo Puerto.) The image is part of a page I’ve put up on the Cult of the Talking Cross (the Talking Cross revolt figures in the novel that I’m currently completing).

Cenote X’Keken near Valladolid

cenote x'keken I’m just back from a trip to el mundo Maya.

This photo (click the photo — or here — for a larger view, via Flickr) was taken in very dark conditions at Cenote X’Keken near Valladolid in the Yucatan. Travelers to the Yucatan know that cenotes are sinkholes formed by water erosion through acidification of the limestone of which the peninsula is composed. Historically, cenotes were the main water source for the Yucatan Maya. Some cenotes are open like ponds, others are covered caves, like this one. This cave is entered through a tunnel. Above the water is an opening through which a small amount of light enters.

On the left is the original photo, which approaches being completely black. On the right is a fix that at least gives some sense of the cave atmosphere and the turquoise color of the water (which is cool and is used as a swimming hole; in the fix I removed some ropes that were installed as aids to swimmers).

For an explanation of this photo technique, see this post on restoring dark images.

How to Disable Snap Link Previews

You’ve seen them — the annoying little bits of bling, as Nick Wilson aptly characterized them — that pop up a little thumbnail of the page a link points to. How can you get rid of these bothersome gnats that flutter up all over blog and web pages these days? Well, you could go to the snap site and download a cookie, but if you don’t want to do that, follow these simple steps:

1. Use Firefox as your browser and download and install the adblock extension.

2. Go to adblock preferences (under the tools menu) and add as a new filter:


Dicussion at download squad.

Another Stupid Quiz

You paid attention during 100% of high school!


85-100% You must be an autodidact, because American high schools don’t get scores that high! Good show, old chap!

Do you deserve your high school diploma?
Create a Quiz

New World / New Words Finally Being Published?

This project (which I did as a volunteer, to support the mission of the Center for the Art of Translation) has really been moving at a snail’s pace. The publisher was in a big hurry for me to review edits back in September, but the first design pages have only just appeared. I have no idea what was going on in the four intervening months, or when I’ll see proofs. Oh well, at least I’m finally seeing the book announced.


Related post: “From Manuscript to Finished Art Book in Four Weeks.”

Angry Black People Not Welcome at Wikipedia?

angry black womanThe Wikipedia gestapo have struck again. Some idiot named “Acalamari,” who is a big Christina Aguilera and Star Trek fan, believes that “having race and an extreme emotion in one username … is likely to cause problems.”

Shortly after signing up for Wikipedia ABW found her name the subject of an extensive discussion. Read all about it in her post “the people over on Wikipedia is crazy, yo.” I hope that Acalamari‘s activities on Wikipedia will henceforth be thoroughly scrutinized by concerned citizens.


This item via Exloding Aardvark, an “irascible woman of indeterminate ethnicity.”

“The Dumbing Down of America”

That’s how the source titles this page. It’s said to be actual courtroom testimony, taken down by “court reporters who had the torment of staying calm and quiet while these exchanges were actually taking place.”

Some examples:

ATTORNEY : What gear were you in at the moment of the impact?
WITNESS : Gucci sweats and Reeboks.


ATTORNEY : Are you sexually active?
WITNESS : No, I just lie there.


ATTORNEY : So the date of conception of the baby was August 8th?
ATTORNEY : And what were you doing at that time?

Go here for more.

Cousin Kerry, Master Alpine and Western Yodeler

cowboy kerrySista Annie will like this one. I figure Kerry Christensen must be someone’s cousin, even if not ours. Click the groovy photo to hear samples of his yodeling artistry.

For more information, visit the official Kerry Christensen website.

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