Wednesday, 26 January 2022


reset: audiences of a hugely popular show in China about a video game programmer stuck in a time loop are upset about its positive ending  

orszรกgos kรฉktรบra: Hungary’s national long distance walking route (see also) from Irottkล‘ to the Austrian border 

the book of fate: an 1822 edition that appealed to contemporary British preoccupation with Ancient Egypt and Napoleon  

we only remember ‘long polio’: contemplating the lingering, debilitating effect of severe cases  

boharat cairo: a foundry explores the possibilities of Arabic script expression 

 encanto: we need to talk about Bruno  

where is my mind: an edit of problematic fav Fight Club available for streaming in China follows some different rules

corporate identity

We thoroughly enjoyed this object lesson in the importance of logos and branding via this collaborative work-space application called Kapwing taught by filtering iconic emblems through a suite of different graphical eras and movements—from Art Nouveau to Bauhaus, Psychedelic, Pop Art, Retro 80s and 3D. Check out the full matrix of iterations and various big name brands at the link above.

Tuesday, 25 January 2022

rax—you can eat here

Having previously run the gamut of fast-food mascots from Mac Tonight, the Hamburglar, Sexy Colonel Sanders to the Quiznos’ Spongmonkey, we appreciated learning this truly inexplicable spokesman in Mister Delicious, a conflicted mid-life crisis of a mascot that came off less than palatable and was the ruin of an American franchise that couldn’t quite on its identity. Check out the original commercials and a promotional documentary produced to alleviate franchisees’ fears.

batmobile lost its wheel

Having previously poured over the custom automotive creations of George Barris (previously here and here) and his various commissions for film and television, we enjoyed this introduction to the body of work of Jay Ohrberg, which aside from super-stretch limousines, include KITT from the last season of Knight Rider (see above), the DeLorean from Back to the Future and ECTO-1 from Ghostbusters. Much more from Messy Nessy Chic at the link above.

milia passuum

Usually during lunch, I make a circuit around the neighbourhood of Mainz-Kastell and though I pass it every day, it still strikes me as a marvel and privilege that this ancient Roman milestone—among other archaeological artefacts—from 122 CE is just basically someone’s garden gnome. The highly abbreviated inscription reads as a dedication to “Emperor Caesar Traianus Hadrianus Augustus, Son of the deified Traianus Parthicus, Grandson of the deified Nerva, Pontifex Maximus in the sixth year of his tribunician [veto] power, Father of the Fatherland. Six miles (M·P VI) to Aquae Mattiacorum.” A near identical inscription (a decade older) was discovered near the Damascus Gate of Jerusalem during an excavation in 2014, Hadrian being in power during the Revolt of Roman Judea—the rebellion and the effort to suppress it framed as Expeditio—expedition (see also) Judaica by the other side.

magnus manske day

As the precursor software platform to MediaWiki (see previously), on this day in 2002 Wikipedia upgraded to “Phase II,” developed by the titular programmer who had previously gifted to the research community open-source applications for molecular biology and genetics and was among the most active contributors to Nupedia and would author the first article for the German-version of Wikipedia—on polymerase chain reactions.

Monday, 24 January 2022

mล‚oda polska

Via Calvert Journal, we are introduced to the movement that has parallels with the near contemporary Arts and Crafts in England, owing as much to independence and freedom from foreign influence as it does to synergistic aesthetic opposition against Positivism in Young Poland discovered in the country’s sanatoria, Zakopane, high altitude and remote and relatively free from the intrigues that had despoiled the cities that became a focus of these restored values. Questioning the emphasis on progress, adherents sought to bring beauty and wonder into the daily dialogue of every individual regardless of their station or circumstance and a rebuffing of industry and occupation.

zanryลซ nipponhei

Incredibly SGT Shลichi Yokoi (ๆจชไบ• ๅบ„ไธ€, 1915-1997), among the last holdout soldiers found decades after the end of hostilities in the Second World War, was discovered by two individuals checking shrimp traps at the edge of a small river leading into the jungles of Guam on this day in 1972. When American forces took the island in 1944, Yokoi and others went into hiding, taking up isolated outposts in the wilderness. Though later admitting that he knew of the outcome of the war since 1952, he considered it a grave disgrace to surrender or be captured alive, Yokoi remained in hiding for twenty-eight years, making clothes out of plants and surviving off a diet of mango, papaya, snails and frogs. After his repatriation to Japan, Yokoi became a media sensation and advocate for simple living. Passing away, aged 82, Yokoi was interred at a cemetery in Nagoya in a plot with a headstone originally installed by his family in 1955 when the missing soldier was officially declared dead.