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11 Comic Sans Disses and Tributes

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background: thinkstock

When Vincent Connare designed Comic Sans for Microsoft, he couldn’t have known how controversial his font would become. Initially a favorite when it was released in 1994, it has since become a subject of scorn among designers and Internet users alike. People really, really love to hate Comic Sans. “Like the tone of a spoken voice, the characteristics of a typeface convey meaning. … Clearly, Comic Sans as a voice conveys silliness, childish naivete, irreverence,” reads Ban Comic Sans, just one of many websites devoted to getting rid of the font. “By banding together to eradicate this font from the face of the earth we strive to ensure that future generations will be liberated from this epidemic and never suffer this scourge that is the plague of our time.” But the font has its defenders, too. Here, a compilation of Comic Sans disses ... and tributes.

1. TRIBUTE: Comic Sans Day

Since 2009, Dutch radio DJs have celebrated Comic Sans Day on the first Friday in July, encouraging listeners to “send all your mails, print all your reports and all your sticker address labels in this illustrious font.” In 2013, even Dutch airline KLM got in on the fun, changing the font on their website to Comic Sans and giving people named C. Sans the opportunity to win plane tickets.

2. DISS: Skype’s Judging Frown

Change your font to Comic Sans in Skype messenger, and the emoticon next to the text field changes to a frowny face. Change it to any other other font, though, and the smiley face returns.

3. TRIBUTE: CERN’s Higg Boson Announcement

In July 2012, CERN spokeswoman Fabiola Gianotti used Comic Sans in the presentation that announced the discovery of the Higgs Boson—and controversy exploded over the internet. But Gianotti didn’t get the fuss. She used it, she told Symmetry magazine, “Because I like it. It's so cute. I find it a sweet and pleasant font. I was amazed [by the reaction]. It made such a big splash. I learned that a person in the UK is running a campaign to rename Comic Sans to Comic CERN.” (Connare is on board with the idea.)

4. DISS: CERN’s Comic Sans April Fools

In 2014, CERN poked fun at the Comic Sans controversy by announcing that all of its webpages would be written in Comic Sans. “The change of font is the first in a series of proposals ratified by management to update CERN's image, including suggestions such as adding a selfie of Justin Bieber to the CERN logo and rebuilding the LHC in the shape of a triangle,” the press release noted. “CERN management also decreed that especially important physics results would from now on be accompanied online by animations of little clappy hands.”

In 2011, Google also made Comic Sans the butt of its April Fools Day joke: Users who googled Helvetica got search results entirely in Comic Sans, and if they googled Comic Sans, they got search results in … Comic Sans.

5. TRIBUTE: Princeton Study

Although students in a 2004 study called Comic Sans “too childish,” a 2010 Princeton study found that if students studied material in harder-to-read fonts—including Comic Sans—they retained more and did better when tested.

6. DISS: Kill Comic Sans Game

In this game, you can "do the world a favor" by shooting at Comic Sans.

7. DISS: Comic Sans Must Die

This tumblr is described as “a project that satisfies every designer's dream: to see Comic Sans die a slow and painful death. Every day the individual glyphs of Comic Sans will have their demise displayed for all to see.”

8. TRIBUTE: The Comic Sans Song

“How can you hate a font that’s so fantastic?” asks Andrew Gunadie, a.k.a. Gunnarolla, before following up with a kinda-sorta-maybe burn: “Comic Sans is the best font in the world / If you want your designs to look like they’re done by little girls / Comic Sans, best used in moderation.”

9. DISS: Comic Sans Criminal

This site walks so-called offenders through the reasons why this font is just so awful, then asks them to take a pledge that the person will “seriously consider whether Comic Sans is an appropriate font choice before using it in any printed work in the future.” End your experience by letting other Comic Sans criminals know the error of their ways.

10. TRIBUTE: In Defense of Comic Sans, VSauce

Host Mark Stevens outlines why we hate Comic Sans, and why we probably shouldn’t hate it so much, in this video. It was “a pragmatic font, a font that worked remarkably well in its era, and exists today as one of the most recognizable relics of one of the most important design revolutions in history,” he reasons. “Sure, Comic Sans is a bit ugly, but it’s ugly in the same way that the first few chords of ‘Smoke on the Water’ are ugly, as played by almost every beginning guitarist. … Sure, it sounds annoying and a little bit fumbly, but it represents someone who is using tools to move toward mastery.” Stevens sums up: “Comic Sans, overused by the untrained majority, may seem unsavory to some people, but as such, it most loudly represents something phenomenal: Today, it is possible for the whole world of thought to be made legible and be shared by the whole world.”

11. DISS: Orange is the New Black (Spoilers for the second season!)

In the seventh episode of the Netflix show's second season, protagonist Piper Chapman and a few other inmates are tasked with starting a newsletter. "Are you sure about this font?" one inmate asks Daya. "Just because it's a comic doesn't mean you have to use Comic Sans!"

"Hater!" Daya replies.

BONUS: McSweeney’s “I’m Comic Sans, A**hole”

This humor piece, a transcript of Comic Sans’ imagined inner monologue, is hilarious.

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Health
20 States With the Highest Rates of Skin Cancer
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They don’t call it the Sunshine State for nothing. Floridians get to soak up the sun year-round, but that exposure to harmful UV rays also comes with consequences. Prevention magazine reported that Florida has the highest rate of skin cancer in the U.S., according to a survey by Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS).

BCBS surveyed 9 million of its insured members who had been diagnosed with skin cancer between 2014 and 2016 and found that Florida had the highest rate of skin cancer at 7.1 percent. People living in eastern states tend to be more prone to skin cancer, and diagnoses are more common among women.

Here are the 20 states with the highest rates of skin cancer:

1. Florida: 7.1 percent
2. Washington, D.C.: 5.8 percent
3. Connecticut: 5.6 percent
4. Maryland: 5.3 percent
5. Rhode Island: 5.3 percent
6. Vermont: 5.3 percent
7. North Carolina: 5.2 percent
8. New York: 5 percent
9. Massachusetts: 5 percent
10. Colorado: 5 percent
11. Arizona: 5 percent
12. Virginia: 5 percent
13. Delaware: 4.8 percent
14. Kentucky: 4.7 percent
15. Alabama: 4.7 percent
16. New Jersey: 4.7 percent
17. Georgia: 4.7 percent
18. West Virginia: 4.5 percent
19. Tennessee: 4.5 percent
20. South Carolina: 4.4 percent

It may come as a surprise that sunny California doesn’t make the top 20, and Hawaii is the state with the lowest rate of skin cancer at 1.8 percent. Prevention magazine explains that this could be due to the large population of senior citizens in Florida and the fact that the risk of melanoma, a rare but deadly type of skin cancer, increases with age. People living in regions with higher altitudes also face a greater risk of skin cancer due to the thinner atmosphere and greater exposure to UV radiation, which explains why Colorado is in the top 10.

The good news is that the technology used to detect skin cancer is improving, and researchers hope that AI can soon be incorporated into more skin cancer screenings. To reduce your risk, be sure to wear SPF 30+ sunscreen when you know you’ll be spending time outside, and don’t forget to reapply it every two hours. 

[h/t Prevention]

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Food
9 Healthy Frozen Meals to Keep in Your Freezer

Frozen dinners don’t exactly have the best reputation when it comes to nutrition. Many of the pre-made meals you’ll find at your local supermarket are loaded with sodium, fat, and calories. But there are still a few nutritious (and tasty) options, as long as you know where to look. Here are a few frozen food brands to keep in your freezer for those times when you need something quick, painless, and yes, healthy.

1. LOVE THE WILD

Pescatarians rejoice: This Colorado-based company specializes in meals made from sustainable, farm-raised seafood. They have your traditional microwaveable meals—like the Baja-style fish taco bowl and the sweet and spicy Korean BBQ bowl—but they also offer oven-ready fish kits. Cooking is easy: Simply place the provided (heart-shaped!) parchment on a baking sheet with the filet on one side; put the frozen sauce cubes on top; wrap it up; and pop it in the oven to bake for 20 to 25 minutes. You can also throw in any veggies you might have in your freezer, and Love the Wild provides some tasty recipe ideas on its website. Even Leonardo DiCaprio is a fan: “LoveTheWild’s approach to sustainable, responsible aquaculture is promoting the development of a secure and environmentally-conscious solution to feeding our planet’s growing population," he said last year after investing in the company.

2. CAPPELLO'S

Who says pizza has to be bad for you? With Cappello’s naked pizza crusts, you can build your own healthy pie just the way you like it. The crusts are made from arrowroot and coconut flours and are gluten-free, grain-free, and paleo-friendly. The brand also makes pre-made pizzas, vegan cookie dough, and a few varieties of pasta, including lasagna sheets, fettuccine, and gnocchi. Cappello's recommends recipes on its website, and the summer pesto pizza with chicken breast, goat cheese, and arugula is a great, light dish to serve at outdoor parties this season.

3. BEYOND MEAT

Vegetarian burgers on the grill
Beyond Meat

The Beyond Meat team set out to create a vegan burger that looks, tastes, and even "bleeds" like a real beef patty (due to the beet juice used to make the patties red). Ethan Brown, the company's founder, insists that the patties aren't much different from meat burgers. "Our company observation has always been that you don’t need an animal to produce a piece of meat," he tells Forbes. "You can obtain all of the core parts of meat—the amino acids, the lipids, the trace minerals and of course water from non-animal sources. And you can assemble those in the same architecture as animal meat." Some of their products are sold in the meat section of grocery stores, but a few items are available frozen, including The Beast Burger 2.0. Bill Gates and DiCaprio are both investors, and the company just announced it will start selling its products on six continents this summer.

4. GOOD FOOD MADE SIMPLE

As the name suggests, you’ll find simple, wholesome ingredients here. Since it was founded in 2011, the brand has been on a mission to offer minimally processed meals that "add nothing unnecessary" by way of ingredients. The company abides by a long list of "unacceptable ingredients" [PDF], including a variety of hydrogenated oils as well as artificial preservatives, colors, flavors, and sweeteners. Although they originally dealt only in breakfast dishes for busy workers on the go—burritos, scrambled egg bowls, pancakes, steel cut oatmeal, and more—they later branched out and started offering ready-made entrées. Their egg white patties are perfect for making your own customizable breakfast sandwiches.

5. DAILY HARVEST

This subscription food service proudly wears the frozen food label. "For decades, the space has been dominated by unhealthy or pseudo-healthy products that are hyper-refined and preserved," Daily Harvest founder Rachel Drori told the Huffington Post. "We are working hard to tell a new story, about the potential in freezing unadulterated to solve the modern eating dilemma of wanting convenience without compromise." Daily Harvest points out that after three days, some frozen fruits and vegetables contain more antioxidants and vitamins than their fresh counterparts. Their produce is frozen on the farm within 24 hours of harvesting, and they offer everything from cauliflower rice and kimchi harvest bowls to chocolate protein and almond chia parfaits. The pre-portioned meals, which are delivered to customers’ homes, are backed by the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow, Serena Williams, and chef Bobby Flay.

6. EVOL

A burrito
Evol

Evol urges its customers to “think outside the microwave.” The brand’s burritos and quesadillas can be heated up in a panini press, on the stove top, or on the grill, allowing a level of customization that most frozen food brands don’t offer. A range of Asian, Italian, and Mexican dishes are available, all of which are free of antibiotics and preservatives. When asked by Dining Out why Evol has become so popular, the company's founder, Philip Anson, replied, "We built a brand rooted in love and farm-to-table values, but with some hipness to it in a category known as a cold and lonely place—legacy brands, uninspiring, mystery meat, sodium and fat." He said Evol's bowls—like truffle parmesan mac and cheese and butternut squash-sage ravioli—are their most popular dishes.

7. LUVO

Luvo’s meals are based on what they call the 3-2-None policy. This involves balancing protein, whole grains, and veggies; limiting sodium and added sugar; and avoiding all artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, and antibiotics. In addition to steam-in-pouch meals and pasta bowls, Luvo offers “power bowls” that are packed with at least two servings of vegetables. The company's emphasis on nutrition goes beyond its products, though: Luvo also partners with WhyHunger, an organization that's addressing the issue of hunger in America by tackling the root cause of the issue while recognizing "nutritious food as a human right." Luvo also partners with A Sense of Home, which helps foster children who have "aged out" of the system transition into a new home.

8. BEETNIK

Organic frozen meals with simple ingredients are the name of the game for Beetnik. Their meals are free of preservatives, gluten, MSG, high fructose corn syrup, hormones, artificial colors and flavorings, and antibiotics. One of their most popular dishes is their Peruvian seasoned chicken stew, made with tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, and spices. The company's founder, David Perkins, is a chef; when asked by Paleo Foundation what his favorite Beetnik dish is, Perkins replied, "I love our flat iron steaks, our Peruvian chicken stew, and our sablefish, but tomorrow I might give you three different items. I eat our products regularly, which is how I got into the business. Start with great ingredients."

9. EATOLOGY

Like Daily Harvest, this subscription food service delivers frozen meals right to your door via UPS. Eatology meals combine aspects of both the paleo and zone (low-carb) diets, while also incorporating lots of lean proteins and healthy fats. In addition to being paleo-friendly, there are plenty of low-carb, Whole30, and vegetarian options available. Bad news for carb lovers, though: You won't find bread, potatoes, or pasta on the menu. Their dishes change daily, but past meals have included white chicken chili on a bed of yellow squash, ratatouille, cilantro jalapeno burgers, and chili cheese fries (using sweet potatoes and carrots).

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