Friday, 3 February 2023

learning fast as the weeks went past (10. 520)

Recorded in the studios of Chรขteau d’Hรฉrouville during the previous summer and put out as a pre-release for the forthcoming sixth studio album Don’t Shoot Me—I’m Only the Piano Player, the lead single by Elton John and Bernie Taupin climbed to the top of the charts in the US on this day in 1973—becoming the duo’s first number one hit in America—holding its position for three weeks. Played on a Farfisa (Fabbriche Riunite di Fisarmoniche) electric organ—derisively to imitate the nostalgic sounds of songs that sounds better in our memories though a popular instrument for Led Zepplin, Blondie, Pink Floyd and the B-52s—‘Crocodile Rock’ is a tribute to the Australian group Daddy Cool’s ‘Eagle Rock’ as a fun side project. While acknowledgedly derivative and escapist (and a number he stopped enjoying performing), John didn’t expect it to prove so popular and even rising to a lawsuit alleging plagiarism from the estate of the writer of the Pat Boone novelty song ‘Speedy Gonzales’ for the chord progression and falsetto. The matter was settled out of court.

Thursday, 2 February 2023

sugar plum fairy (10. 518)

Featuring pioneering prima ballerina Marie Tallchief (Osage ๐’ผ๐“ฃ๐“ธ๐“Ÿ๐“ค๐“˜๐“ธ๐“ฎ๐“ฐ๐“˜๐“ธ๐“ฒ๐“˜) in the principal role, following after her revolutionary performance in Igor Stravinsky’s The Firebird as choreographed by George Balanchine, the premier of The Nutcracker under the same creative team behind the staging by the company of the New York City Ballet on this day in 1954. Enchanting thanks to Tallchief’s magical moves, it has been an annual tradition ever since.

i think that i shall never see a poem lovely as a tree (10. 517)

Penned on this day in 1913 by journalist, writer and soldier Joyce Kilmer—best known for these twelvelines of verse—in Mahwah, New Jersey, those couplets, despite or because of their endurance and familiarity, by dint of being a rhyme practically everyone knows are the subject of disparagement and dismissal for being overly simplistic and sentimental and conversely celebrated with popular appeal as a heuristic that romances and rediscovers the virtues of delivering a simple and satisfying message. “Trees” is recited at Arbor Day events and upheld in the tradition of planting memorials in his name with several trees vying to have been the poet’s inspiration. Sergeant Joyce Klimer Triangle (he was killed in action during the Second Battle of the Marne in WWI) in Brooklyn, a traffic island, is the smallest park in New York City, though his memory is honoured akso with a much larger green space in the Bronx.

sometimes today is tomorrow (10. 516)

Guest blogger Tim Carmody takes the helm for the tenth anniversary of the twentieth anniversary of Kottke’s Groundhog Day live-blog, in a very recursive tradition of celebrating the 1993 fantasy, romantic comedy for a decade. Directed by Harold Ramis and written by Danny Rubin, it portrays a cynical TV weatherman assigned to cover the annual event in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania and gets caught in a time loop, him alone aware that the day is repeating and has the potential for perfecting.

Wednesday, 1 February 2023

9x9 (10. 515)

wickies: Fisheries and Oceans Canada is hiring assistant lighthouse keepers 

the montessori method: a look at the world’s mist influential school system  

little moving splat: Ze Frank (previously) covers the strange and wonderfully intelligent behaviour of plasmodial slime moulds  

unitar: a selection of one-string music—via Pasa Bon! 

blue harvest: a history of the spoiler alert—see also  

what is a map: an awful educational short from 1949 given the MST3K treatment 

dead as a dodo: a de-extinction company gets a one-hundred fifty million dollar investment  

the free-market tree: non-felonious children’s literature editions for the state of Florida  

coast guard: a collection of lighthouses of North America

la cage aux folles (10. 514)

The farce, “The Cage of the Mad Women,” by playwright Jean Poiret portraying the comedy of errors that ensues when the son of a Saint Tropez night club operator and his gay boyfriend invites his fiancรฉe’s conservative parents to meet their future inlaws had its debut this day in 1973 at the Thรฉรขtre du Palais-Royal, running for over eighteen-hundred performances. After being adapted as a Franco-Italian film—a trilogy ultimately, in 1978, it became a musical with book by Harvey Fierstein and music by Jerry Herman, with later cinematic premiere as The Birdcage in 1996.

Tuesday, 31 January 2023

7x7 (10. 513)

nothing, forever: an endless AI generated episode of Seinfeld, livestreamed—via Waxy 

construction spree: an annual survey of China’s Ugliest Buildings  

fictive flyover: still photographs of the Red Planet captured by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter transformed into a stunning video  

word of the day: eleemosynary—that which is supported by charity—and gives us the derived term alms  

he gets us: the billion dollar rebranding of Jesus—mostly financed through dark money, via Super Punch  

35f no pmh, p/w cp: OpenAI gives a correct diagnosis but can’t show its work, fabricating a fake citation for its conclusion—via the new shelton wet/dry  

yeldard: a forgotten British television oddity rediscovered in Paul Bradley

the golden arches theory (10. 512)

On the anniversary of the opening of the first McDonald’s establishment in Pushkin Square in 1990—an earlier earnest effort was undertaken by the Canadian master franchise for the 1980 Summer Olympic Games, famously boycotted by America, realising the host city offered no fast food options, arranged to open two pop-up restaurants by the main stadium but the plan was vetoed at the last minute by Moscow’s mayor, it’s a good occasion to visit the above adage of globalisation from Thomas Friedman that no belligerents both host McDonald’s. This conflict prevention measure is flawed, however, with the US invasion of Panama, the bombing of Serbia, Lebanon, the annexation of Crimea which shut down Russian outlets temporarily and the divesture of the company following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Nearly forty-thousand guests were served that day, queuing in the cold for hours.