Britain Attacked; Media Begins Font Size Battle
Four coordinated blasts detonated on London's mass transit system today, killing at least 37 people and wounding at least 700 more. And as Britain geared up for a possible battle with the culprits of the act of terror, many sources in the media -- some British, but mostly American -- prepared for what many experts are calling one of the worst font size battles of recent times.
"Computers may run out of memory as various websites attempt to display fonts big enough to catch the eye of the person at the computer and anyone else within a 50 foot radius of it," said Jon Clearn, a font analyst. "This will be worse than Y2K."
Traditional fonts have a default high of 72 point in many typical programs, such as Microsoft Word. But many media sources blatantly brushed aside such standards in the interest of reporting the latest headlines about the attacks in letters big enough "that people knew it was big stuff", according to Clare Freed, an editor of CNN.com.
"We need to be sure people don't mistake this for just another run-of-the-mill train bombing, which Britain experiences almost every day," she said, pointing to CNN's gigantic letters, which require three servers to properly render. "When they see our big letters, which are bigger than our competitors', they will know something serious has happened."
Although CNN may have the biggest letters, other news sources are attempting to use large fonts alongside other tactics to make sure people get the message that the bombings are no joke.
"We feel that large fonts are not enough to scare the viewer, which is why we put up a video link entitled 'How likely is a copycat attack on U.S. soil?' on our site," said Foxnews.com webmaster Gerald Trell. "And the answer, of course, is very likely, as everyone knows the period right after a gigantic attack is the period when most countries -- countries like the U.S. -- will have their guard down."
Above: Fox News is also considering an even larger headline font to one-up CNN
But so far, the only attack that has actually happened today remains in Britain, where citizens are fighting back with dry British wit.
"Gee, an al Qaeda attack on a Western nation supporting the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq," said Michael Clanly. "I sure didn't expect that."
"Nobody expects an al Qaeda attack!" shrieked Tom Ximinez, leaping into a room with his two compatriots. "Amongst our weaponry are such diverse elements as: fear, surprise, ruthless disregard for human life, an almost fanatical devotion to killing ourselves...our four...no...I'll come in here again."
Still more Britons simply began chasing each other around in a comical fashion as "Yakety Sax" by Boots Randolph played out of nowhere.
Other than combating terrorism with their jokes, much of Britain quickly resumed life as usual as little as mere hours after the attacks, although the official statement released from the terrorists took issue with this.
"The heroic mujahidin have carried out a blessed raid in London. Britain is now burning with fear, terror and panic in its northern, southern, eastern and western quarters," read the statement."
"No," said one Briton. "We're fine, actually."
"Yup," said another. "Shaken but fine. We're all fine."
"Yeah...but...you...but...it was a mujahidin!" responded the terrorists in a new statement. "You're all freaked out! Whoa!"
Americans, who know all too well the pain of terrorist attacks and the eye damage that can result from reading ridiculously large fonts, were quick to offer their support.
"You can even have country music for the occasion," offered one of the genre's stars Toby Keith. "It works really well for this kind of stuff."