Like, printed magazines, not the other kind. There are generally two kinds of magazines, the expensive, subscriber-driven, content-rich format, a trade journal, to some, with a few pages in the back for classified advertising. The other kind of magazine, for this reference point, is the splashy, beautiful cover art, advertising-driven magazine.

With that in mind, stop at the newsstand and pick up an advertising driven magazine, leaf through it. Calculate the number of pages against the column inches of real content. There will be at least one or two full page spreads with inch-tall headlines, pullout quotes, and hopefully, the page’s spread has a visual hook that stretches across both pages. Two column inches of content, after that. That’s less content than one sign’s horoscope here.

Frequently, the authors or regular columnists are celebrities – experts in their fields. The newsstand price is, like, $2.95 per issue. The subscription price, over a year, is usually much less. The money made from subscriptions doesn’t cover the cost of the production. The newsstand price really doesn’t even cover the cost of printing, much less distribution.

ASTROFISH.NET: Horoscopes Remixed.

Trade journals, the academic answer to the glossy magazine, that’s different, to some degree. One magazine subscription I’ve inherited, the annual subscription is over a hundred bucks a year – includes a membership in the “society,” which offers dubious merits to me, but as I suggested, it was inherited. The magazine itself offers detailed technical and scientific reports with a few glossy images, but even then, the layout is spartan, at best, and personality points are few and far between.

I never fact-checked the data, but I’ll (safe bet) bet it has been properly peer reviewed. What interests the technician in me is the fine print ads in the back. Not all good deals, and nothing I might seriously consider buying, but I like looking at what is proffered. Goods and services.

I think that group has an annual meeting, and I think there’s a hook into their website. Membership has its privileges.

Laeti edimus qui nos subigant!
(cure for the common horoscope)