An interesting article appears over at the American Thinker. The gist of it is that if you take the word “Hospital” and the word “Highway” from the Savannah Guthrie photo and line them up (cut & paste), the author claims that you can easily see that the words are typed at two different pitches (number of horizontal characters per inch). They say that different pitch implies different typewriters, and different typewriters implies fraud. The image from the article that supposedly shows the different pitches is:
Here’s what you are supposed to see:
Looking at the above pictures, you can then see that the pitch of the two words is different, as the H of "Highway" is well to the right of the o of "Hospital." You can clearly see that the two words were typed by different typewriters …. Even the size of the letters is visibly smaller in the word "Highway" than in the word "Hospital."
Is the image showing a real difference in pitch, or is it an illusion, an artifact of the way Guthrie made the photo? Let’s see.
First look at the top line of the certificate form. It is not horizontal – the whole image is rotated! I took their image and rotated it back to the vertical using the top horizontal line on the form for alignment with the grid. Here’s what the image looks like “on the level.”
You can see two things. First the “H” in Highway doesn’t look so far over, and second the horizontal line above “Island” isn’t quite level, demonstrating some aberration in the photo, presumably taken up close with a cell phone camera.
The next photo shows another problem, and that is that they didn’t properly position one word over the other. When I drew, with great care, lines connecting the “a,” they weren’t vertical.
What would a properly-done positioning of the two words for comparison look like? I went to the source for the Guthrie photo and did my own analysis. I found out that how you did the experiment affected the results.
I took the second Guthrie photo because it was bigger. Instead of pasting one word next to another, and giving the possibility of a visual illusion, I pasted the second word, “Highway” on top of “hospital,” and made it 50% transparent. I tried to perfectly overlay the letter “a” in the experiment.
Overlaying the “H” it is clear that one is not bigger than the other:
So is this all just artifacts of Guthrie’s tiny lens camera, off angle, not level and with spherical aberration? I’m took the high-resolution press version of the certificate to look at. Again, rather than pasting the words over each other and leaving the possibility of illusion, I have made the word “Highway” semi-transparent and actually placed on top of “Hospital” and aligned the letter “a”:
The letter “H” appears very slightly to the right, but we already know that the typewriter used for the long form has variation in the horizontal spacing of letters and this “H” seems to be reasonable. I overlaid the two “H” instances and one can see that both are identical in size.
Typewriters type in one of two pitches, 10 characters per inch and 12 characters per inch. I used Microsoft word to create a precise 10 pitch and a 12 pitch example. The numbers show that the pitch is done correctly:
What it really looks like when you compare the two pitches (again aligning the “a”):
You can see that real different pitches make a huge difference, not the tiny fly speck the birthers see.
Essentially the “H” is a bit to the right on the birther certificate and the author has created an image that makes the shift appear larger than it is. In essence the mechanical play in the typewriter was first erroneously called “kerning” and now the same artifact is called “different pitch.”
The birthers are still looking at the clouds and seeing the face Santa Claus. Or is it the smiling face of Alvin Onaka.