Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Stirring Coffee

I have been on the internet long enough to know what GIF means, and what these files were originally for. Graphic Interchange Format originated in the old days (1987, in fact) when modems were soooooo slow that it was difficult to see what an image was going to be until most of it was loaded, which could take quite a while. So the GIFs would load every 8th line or so, and then start filling in. (I write "or so" because I'm not quite enough of a geek to know exactly how many lines were involved or whether they varied.)

At some point, the same technique was applied to very simple animations -- by loading a bunch of different images in a single file. Now "GIF" has become synonymous with "cute or clever short video." It is the application of this usage to my more current expertise in coffee that brings us to the stirring image above. More specifically, though I am especially well versed in the geography of coffee, I also have more than a passing interest in the romance of coffee.

Actually, I use the term "romance" rather broadly to refer to genuine romance, libidinal effects of the beverage, sensual aspects of its marketing, and outright sexual implications of all of the above. Meanwhile, the animation at the top of this article is just one of more than two dozen that were complied in a recent set of GIFs promising to turn on true coffee addicts. Just one more will have to suffice for this space; readers will have to click through to Buzzfeed in order to judge the validity of the claim.


Cartoonists Wulff and Morgenthaler suggest a hot-sounding coffee trend that has not caught on. Thankfully.

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