From sea to shining sea.

No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right. The judgment of the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit is reversed.

It is so ordered.

It’s Getting Worse

It Gets Worse

The state of web design in the news business has always been bad, but it seems to be getting progressively, demonstrably worse. It’s not just that the designs are bad. It’s that the people making the designs don’t appear to have any desire at all to make the experience pleasurable for the reader — how likely you are to click an advertisement (intentionally or not) is clearly the only measure of success in this type of design. recently “redesigned” their site — I use dick quotes because the design of articles has not changed at all — they’ve just added a terrible webfont, a lot of yellow, and a bunch of extra links in the header. Once you get beyond all the yellow, the article still looks exactly like it did 10 or so years ago when the site first launched, Verdana body text and all. They did add a “responsive” stylesheet — one so responsive that it’s been broken ever since the day it launched (prompting this initial reaction from me):!/iammattthomas/status/200693238976356353

How bad does the business of publishing free news articles in exchange for banner clicks have to get before something fundamental changes? Hard to say — even, which now requires a subscription to read regularly, still hasn’t even attempted to use the design talents of their staff or modern web technologies to roll out a site more focused on article readability than ad visibility. But looking at the example above, I’d like to hope that we’ve almost hit the bottom.

UPDATE: On May 23, Advance Digital rolled out this new design to, home of the major Alabama newspapers. There’s a great roundup of reaction to the redesign at Wade on Birmingham.

UPDATE 2: On May 24, the news broke that the New Orleans Times-Picayune will cease daily publication, scaling back to a thrice-weekly schedule. I’m sure I’m going to have more to say on this later, but for now, it’s just sad. I don’t know who at the Times-Picayune is being laid off as a result of this decision, but I have a feeling it’s a pretty safe bet to say it includes their entire design staff.

Read it on a WordPress blog today, or in the newspaper tomorrow.

Just three days ago, blogger BirdAbroad posted a fascinating account of China’s fake Apple Stores (I reblogged the story myself). Today, you can read about the repercussions of the story going global in the Daily Mail or Reuters. It’s fascinating to see how quickly a blog post can get the attention of the international press. And remember, if you want to read it first, read it on a WordPress blog. :)