Thursday, 31 January 2019

division bell

We’d heard the term of course from the Pink Floyd album but hadn’t realised what the eponymous title referred to until encountering this helpful civics lesson from Atlas Obscura.
In parliamentary procedure, a division of the assembly is a more formal way of gauging the consent or non-consent of the house on an item—especially when a issue is contentious or demands a super-majority. By house rules, once a vote is challenged, members have eight minutes and not a moment more to return to their respective lobbies (sides) and cast their ballots or lose their chance to weigh in on the matter. Most of the alarms are within the halls of the Palace of Westminster itself—also signalling the start of the start of the session (the House sits)—but as proceedings, speeches and debate can be a drawn out affair, exterior restaurants, public houses and clubs in the vicinity are also outfitted with division bells to recall members who might be taking a personal recess. Sort of like referring to the Beltway as the figurative boundary separating Washington, DC from the rest of America, the geography of the division bells stakes out the Westminster’s bubble.

15 x 15

Delightfully, some eight decades after it was first prototyped and trialled in the basement of a Methodist church in the neighbourhood of Queens, the board game Scrabble, still enduring and having gone multi-lingual, has earned a semi-official historic marker in the form of this street sign.
In 1938, out of work architect Alfred Mosher Butts (*1899 – †1993) came up with the concept of play and conducted a frequency analysis on letters, assigning values to the tiles. The street sign may not be a high-scoring hand and was originally probably an homage of an enthusiastic Scrabble club but the city’s department of public works have dutifully replaced the modified marker when it was inevitably pilfered.

Wednesday, 30 January 2019

𝄐

Interred with honours in the Composers’ Corner of Moscow’s Novodevichy Cemetery close to Dmitri Shostakovich who influenced much of his works, German-Soviet symphony writer Alfred Garrievich Schnittke (*1934 – †1998) chose for his gravestone the musical notation fermata—the pause or hold sign, indicating an enduring and profound (fortissimo) rest. Here’s the energetic overture from his Gogol Suite as a sample of his music.

dia da saudade

The subject of many songs—like the blues—and yet whose exact definition is elusive with English lacking an equivalent, today in Brazil (plus for the wider Portuguese-speaking diaspora) is the official celebration of the emotional state known as saudade. More than homesickness or nostalgia and not wholly melancholy, this frame of mind recalls the longing and yearning for something absent mixed with the consolation of the memory that lingers and its non-transferable nature. To add to the intrigue of untranslatable sentiments, we could not find anything to point to why this commemoration is assigned to this particular day of the calendar, so if any of our Brazilian readers know, we would appreciate being informed. 

7x7

sp!n doctor: this is indeed a clever top

take a number: considering queueing theory and misconceptions about waiting one’s turn

bismillah: an homage to “Bohemian Rhapsody” (previously here and here) in dank meme form—stick with it at least until after the first Brian May guitar solo

like some cat from japan: archivists uncover hitherto unknown footage of David Bowie’s first televised appearance as Ziggy Stardust

oppositional research: a desperate Facebook deputises young people as data-dragnets—updated

cornucopia: artist Uli Westphal artfully arranges produce to highlight agricultural diversity

hanziverse: an interactive exploration of Chinese characters, via Maps Mania  

get back to where you once belonged

On this day in 1969, the Beatles staged one last, impromptu concert together from the Savile Row headquarters of the band’s Apple Corps headquarters. Though unannounced and very much to the surprise of all within earshot and beyond, the event was not a spontaneous—the planning at the set-up taking place over the previous few days. Accompanied by Billy Preston on keyboards, the group played nine takes of five songs, including the title one three times, which was to be their last public statement together before disbanding. John Lennon bowed out with, “I hope we’ve passed the audition.”

Tuesday, 29 January 2019

claroscuro

We appreciated Colossal’s introduction to Spanish artist and photographer Javier Riera through his series of luminous projections on trees and branches to tease out depth and perspective though his geometrical highlights. Nature tends not to admit hard edges but it’s sometimes that imposition that brings out the organic, like with these chequerboard forests that the project reminded us of. Learn more and see a whole gallery of Riera’s pictures and installations at the links up top.

they know, daniel

Via the always excellent Miss Cellania, we discover that former Trump associate Roger Stone’s recently retained attorney, Robert C Buschel Esq., wrote a political thriller back in August of 2016.
A member of the twitterati has helpfully “live-tweeted” it complete with memetic footnotes and annotations that enhance the special prescience of the work. One does not necessarily need the insight or confirmation of how these people think—the unreadable “By Silent Majority” is predictably problematic even by pre-Trump standards, but it is nonetheless beneficial to know what one is dealing with, replete with self-recrimination.

briar rose

On this day in 1959, Walt Disney’s adaptation of the fairy tale “Sleeping Beauty” (previously) went into theatrical release.
Despite the grandeur of the storytelling, wonderful villainy and Academy Award-nominated score, critical reception was mixed and tepid at best, accused of being too much like Snow White. This reaction prompted the studio to abandon the folklore genre altogether, not to again revisit princesses and magic (the reserve of anthropomorphic rodents and canines, arguably with the exception of the other commercial failure of 1985’s The Black Cauldron, loosely based on a Welsh myth that nearly bankrupted the company) for three decades until the 1989 release of The Little Mermaid.

goldberg variations

We thoroughly enjoyed this find from TYWKIWDBI that showcases quite a masterwork of engineering and synchronicity that perfectly exemplifies a Rube Goldberg machine (previously)—that is, a deliberately over-complicated apparatus for accomplishing a simple task, in this case serving dessert. The featured video has no soundtrack but that one you might be mentally accompanying it with is from the group “Powerhouse,” a sextet formed by Raymond Scott in 1937 that joined the Warner Brothers catalogue in 1943.

the silicon chip inside her head gets switched to overload

On this day in 1979 a sixteen-year old Brenda Spencer opened fire at a neighbouring elementary school as pupils were arriving for the day in Santa Barbara, California, killing the principal and a janitor and injuring nine others, tragically marking one of the first in a painfully legacy of senseless gun violence and school shootings, well-covered in the media but resulting in no change in attitudes.  The rifle and ammunition an unbidden Christmas gift from her father, interrogators asked Spencer why she had committed such an atrocity, to which she responded, “I don’t like Mondays. This livens up the day.” Musician and activist Sir Robert Frederick Zenon (Bob) Geldof and his band The Boomtown Rats were touring in the area about a month after the incident occurred with legal proceedings on-going and was inspired to pen the song after the unreality of the call of the reporters and Spenser’s response. Far from wanting to glorify the act through infamy, Geldof hoped his song would help prevent acts like this in the future.

Monday, 28 January 2019

omoshirogara

Via the always excellent Everlasting Blört, we are directed to the archives of Dangerous Minds and given a lesson in the propaganda kimonos produced in Japan from the turn of the century through the war years. Unlike more visible banners of provocation and hate, the above, 面白柄, denote a private novelty on display in the home only or perhaps as the interior inner lining of apparel—in any case, for a restricted audience and not for public display. This particular garb, celebrating industrial progress and the war-effort and ultra-nationalism alike, has garnered considerable scholarship of late and more excellent specimens are to be found curated at the links above.

wonder galaxy

Messy Nessy Chic directs our attention to the annual Madrid design expo Casa Décor with the fantastic future “childhood revival” aesthetic of interior designer Patricia Bustos de la Torre. Not only is the style informed by the hues of Millennial pink and turquoise to question why we tend to lose our sense of awe for what the future has in store but also reflects an inflection of Ettore Sottsass’ Memphis Group. The suite of Bustos’ instalation (among scores of entrants) includes a kitchen and a dressing room.  More to explore at the links above.

smelting

To the justified and reasoned protests of lawmakers from both political parties, Trump directed the Department of the Treasury to quietly lift sanctions on three Russian firms, originally imposed punish the country for its 2014 annexation of the Crimea and meddling in the US 2016 presidential election and the proxy war in Syria,
citing concern for the global aluminium industry that China has come to monopolies due to broader trade wars as well as the bar to entry for Russia. The business magnate behind the firms is a close ally of Vladimir Putin as well as known business associate of former Trump campaign manager, Paul Manafort. Members of congress strongly objected to relaxing these prohibitions, especially in light of the ongoing investigations into the administration’s ties to the oligarchy. As with Trump, the chief executive officer of the companies has divested himself of business interests, making the companies ostensibly independent of his influence, and the personal sanctions levied against him, including frozen US assets and travel restrictions, remain in place.

les foulards rouges

As a counter-balance—though a mostly politically agnostic one—to the unrest that the gilets jaunes have visited on France, a group of about ten-thousand members and growing, accessorized with red scarfs (EN/FR), to separate them from the yellow, high-visibility vests of the group opposed to the policies of Emmanuel Macron and his En Marche party, has mobilised. Professing no specific agenda, the group’s aim is to restore public order so that the dialogue that affects lasting and meaningful change can prevail.

wi-finder

Via Duck Soup, we discover the really relatable story of a flâneur collecting specimens of service set identifiers (SSIDs, the natural language label of one’s choice) to distinguish their wireless networks. What’s the story behind the name of your home WiFi?
Have you encountered memorable ones in your wanderings? Increasing fascination with the invisible world of call-signs set our walker on the path to more sleuthing, eventually mapping out these locations, categorising them by the nature of the monikers—promotional to passive-aggressive. I wonder how radically the landscape has changed since then and how territories and borders have become unmoored and mutable.

6x6

marenostrum: deconsecrated church in Barcelona houses Catalonia Polytech’s super computer

el helicoide: the dreadful-excellence of Caracas’ space age intelligence services headquarters turned into a sprawling prison complex

ectoplasm: nothing is prepared for the overwhelming slime of the hagfish

love you: we face our first Valentine’s Day bereft of classic Sweethearts candy, the company having folded back in July

accumulus nimbus: a gallery of skies and cloudscapes from arcade games, via Present /&/ Correct

visa-free score: limits of roaming without a passport and other quirks of international travel 

Sunday, 27 January 2019

generative adversarial network

We’ve previously explored what we’ve called the electronic brain’s experience of pareidolia and generative adversarial networks synthesising images—things only exist in the mind of a computer
but we were quite pleased to have our accomplished neural network trainer Janelle Shane (previously) guide us through the methodologies and application of one of the most powerful processors and for sharing some of the chimera conjured up.  Still a bit off-putting but nowhere near as disturbing as some of the nightmares of the early stages of Deep Dreaming, this image is the result of querying bookshop plus radio telescope with a little bit of Boston terrier thrown in. Explore more at AI Weirdness (aka Lewis & Quark) at the link above and learn how to use the application itself here.

Saturday, 26 January 2019

logography

Via Kottke’s Quick Links, we are referred to a collaboration between the Hochschule Mainz and the Linguistics Department at University of California, Berkley
campus, which represents each of the known world’s historic and extant writing systems, two hundred and ninety-two of them, with a single glyph that opens up an orthographic landscape to explore. Of these scripts, only just over one hundred are easily rendered in computer code—a rather severe imposition to the further study of those that are not, including several syllabaries in current use.

crypt and call-box

From Public Domain Review comes a retrospective look at the life and times of influential early nineteenth century collector and architect Sir John Soane, who build structures sacred and profane and defined the layout of one particular sort of place of worship and wonder—museums and art galleries. Appointed Clerk of Works with responsibility for renovations of Whitehall, Westminster and Saint James’ Place, Soane also went on to design the Bank of England, the Bank of Ireland and the dining rooms of 10 and 11 Downing Street, respectively the official residences of the Prime Minister and the Chancellor of the Exchequer. Soane also designed the mausoleum where the earthly remains of his wife, himself and one son were entombed, which served as further inspiration decades after his departure.
Located in the churchyard of Old Saint Pancras, Giles Gilbert Scott, apprentice architect who would go on to build the iconic Battersea Power Station, whilst studying his father’s construction of St. Pancras Station, was much impressed with Soane’s grave and the younger Scott would return to that rounded, neoclassic capstone when it came to tendering his entry for what would become another ubiquitous and iconic design, the telephone kiosk.

thirty-four days, twenty-one hours, eighteen minutes

NPR correspondent Jessica Taylor presents a thoroughgoing post-mortem for the longest partial government shutdown in US history, which has just been conceded by Trump without funding for his shining beacon of white supremacy. We are happy that the individuals and families who suffered needlessly—and for the imperilled public lands and public safety—that relief is forthcoming. The dedication of the few, labouring without pay, keep catastrophe in abeyance but one does have to wonder about that month of lost time and sunk costs that’s never coming back.
Payments might come out of arrears but security vulnerabilities exposed and exploited because no one was at the helm of certain agencies, research lapsed, loss of morale and cohesion, meals forgone, austere compromises and perhaps one or two incidents of bribery—since a kick-back can seem quite tempting not knowing when pay day comes next—all have lasting consequences that are not easily undone. A three-week respite, as welcome as it is, probably also means that the US government will find itself at the same fiscal impasse again in mid-February—prone to repeat itself until the administrative state force lasting resolution. Acquiescing to the desire of the legislature to reopen the government should moreover be taken with a grain of salt as it coincided with the arrest and indictment of long-time ally and advisor, Roger Stone, noted cartoon arch villain who stroked Trump’s ego for decades and encouraged his serial contention for high office, by furloughed agents of the FBI.

Friday, 25 January 2019

organization 1


words to live by

Though having encountered the concept of ikigai previously, these other select Japanese principles were quite new to us—as presented in this review of the upcoming reflection by linguist Mari Fujimoto, which mediates on some of the language’s unique terms and phrases that allows one to gain a purchase cross-culturally as well as examining the deficit in one’s own outlook. All seven of these calming, cardinal notions (plus the thirty odd others covered in Fujimoto’s book) but were especially taken with the aesthetic quality of shibui (渋い) as a corollary to wabi-sabi (侘寂, finding beauty in imperfection) refers to the beauty in things revealed over the passage of time.

6x6

grapheme: the evolution of the alphabet

beamish: the British Antarctic survey have bored over two kilometres into the ice sheet

gingivitis: research suggests that Alzheimer’s and gum disease may share a common cause

magical mystery tour: mapping all the places mentioned in the lyrics of Beatles’ songs

ink trap: an assortment of puzzle and maths inspired typefaces, via Coudal Partners’ Fresh Signals

кино-аппаратом: a look at the pantheon of early Soviet filmmakers (previously) through the seminal work of director Dziga Vertov

paintception

Not only did this “slow meme” phenomenon remind us of the Droste effect (mise en abyme) in Annie Wang’s photography, this recursive challenge strikes us as rather uncharacteristically uplifting and positive, devoting oneself to an undertaking that’s bears our vulnerabilities while at the same time being an enriching exercise—honing goodwill and empathy as well as our painterly skill-set.

timeliness, objectivity, narrative

We enjoyed learning about the career of America’s first credentialed female photojournalist, Jessie Tarbox Beals (*1870 – †1942) through her assiduous documentation of Bohemian Greenwich Village. I especially liked her neatly written captions of the characters and haunts she encountered. The school teacher and hobby photographer got her first professional assignment from the Boston Post to take pictures of the Massachusetts state prison, teaching her husband the basics of the craft and bringing him along as her darkroom assistant, and went on—aside from opening a studio and gallery in the New York neighbourhood—to shoot such events as the Saint Louis World’s Fair and its Louisiana Purchase Exposition, as well as photographing presidents Theodore Roosevelt, Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover, William Howard Taft and celebrities Mark Twain, Emily Post as well as their furry companions.
While earning her bona fides as a night photographer as well, Beals’ breakthrough also reminds us how physically demanding and perilous taking pictures was (and is still a risky business), hauling upwards twenty kilograms of equipment and keeping letter-sized glass plates on hand for each exposure.  Much more to see at Messy Nessy Chic at the link above.

Thursday, 24 January 2019

exploratorium

As a celebration and showcase of the port city’s rich history of trade, manufacturing and research, the coastal metropolis of northern China, Tiānjīn (天津 – the delta of the Yellow River and literally meaning the “Ford of Heaven”), commissioned the international architectural studio of Bernard Tschumi to create a huge exhibition and conference space.
The perforated copper façade covered with portholes evokes the smokestacks of industry and will be the focal point of an urban revitalisation project that establishes a cultural centre in the Binhai New Area—just adjacent to the old town—and will be ready to receive its collections and first visitors in the autumn of this year. Learn more and see additional interior and exterior shots at Dezeen at the link above.

my god, it's full of stars

The inestimable Kottke directs our attention to the half hour National Film Board of Canada 1960 documentary “Universe,” which portrays the Cosmos as it would be experienced by a voyager barrelling through time and space, and was a cinematic touchstone for filmmaker Stanley Kubrick, informing the look and tone of his adaptation of 2001: A Space Odyssey. If the voice of the narrator seems oddly familiar, that’s because it is late actor Douglas Rain, renowned for his role as the voice of HAL 9000.

e mare libertas

We’ve had a passing acquaintance with the Principality of Sealand, one of the constellation of micronations whose territory consists of a disused anti-aircraft platform off of the coast of Suffolk, for a few years and even knew of the coup d’état and the power struggles, but we sorely failed to appreciate the outsized intrigues (recommended by Digg) that this rather long-lived, tiny princely state has experienced—with the overthrow and leadership in exile being a far more dramatic and stranger story than we had supposed.
In addition to this singular offensive, the micronation’s uncertain legal status and sovereignty has been co-opted by a rash of pretenders, including an operation to issue ten of thousands of passports in the name of Sealand, unofficial, unsanctioned internet presences, shell companies and claims of diplomatic immunity by dint of above fabricated associations.
For this dynastic enterprise that began as a pirate radio station to escape the hegemony of the BBC, subsequently proclaiming independence and creating all the trappings of statehood, it’s disheartening that it is yet attended by this persistent and darker, parallel version of itself and we hope that going forward, in keeping with the spirit of staking one’s independence, that the Principality is allowed to tell its own story.

Wednesday, 23 January 2019

droste effect

Via the always engrossing Kottke, we are introduced to vivid and thoughtful portfolio of artist and photographer Annie Wang through her ongoing series “The Mother as a Creator,” documenting raising her son. Each successive image, layer of her and her growing son contains the snapshot of the past ones—coaxing out many levels all sharing the same surface. Find out more at the links above.

encom

We are enjoying these promotional stills, studio cards from the 1982 production of TRON of cast members posing for candid shots in their uniforms bereft of the benefit of post-production ethereal glow.
It’s worth noting that the film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Costume Design but was famously disqualified for Oscar consideration in the category of visual effects because the film’s extensive reliance on computer-generated environments and simulations—a rather myopic assessment that the Academy made amends for fourteen years later. Much more to explore at Dangerous Minds at the link up top.

bahn-verspätungsschal

Via the always excellent Nag on the Lake with a bit of an update from Colossal, we learn about a loyal but frustrated rail commuter who, much like Andean quipu or the zealous knitter who got carried away with the Doctor’s scarf, documented delays experienced in coloured wool bands during her daily trip (two a day—round-trip, hin- und züruck) between Moosburg an der Isar and München, which should take approximately thirty minutes on regional trains—once infrastructure repairs and diverting to buses meant that long interruptions became the norm.
Her one hundred-twenty centimetre long handiwork (reminiscent of a DNA test result in the rawest form) garnered a lot of attention after her daughter, a prominent journalist and news editor, posted it on social media. The knitter decided the auction off the “train-delay-scarf” for the charity Bahnhofs Mission, an outreach and assistance programme for the homeless, transient and precarious based in train stations, raising several thousand euro. Claudia Weber, the creator, is working on a new shawl for 2019.

decimated

The Ten Year Challenge would be an otherwise harmless trend if the internet had not become such an awful, prying panopticon where all the fun and frivolity is siphoned out of things and we pressure each other to participate in a training module that teaches algorithms to account for and better predict age progression, criminal tendencies and uncorrected personality traits, so we enjoyed seeing it re-appropriated by environmental activists. Stark and depressing—though with at least a few signs of positive rehabilitation—side-by-side images that compare and contrast (previously) the myriad ways humans are destroying ecosystems are becoming a powerful call to action. Learn more and help stop the clock at the links above.

Tuesday, 22 January 2019

you said it would last but i guess we enrolled

Our faithful chronicler informs that on this day, among many other momentous occasions, during a US Super Bowl commercial break—a showcase and vehicle for maximising the exposure of new releases—Apple aired its “1984” advertisement (previously) directed by Ridley Scott. Thought police pursue a rogue runner through a monochrome, dystopian landscape but fail to prevent her from hurling a sledge hammer at the main telescreen where Big Brother—portrayed by David Graham (voice actor who played the Darleks and several characters on Thunderbirds Are Go!—is addressing the gathered throngs of labourers:

Today, we celebrate the first glorious anniversary of the Information Purification Directives. We have created, for the first time in all history, a garden of pure ideology—where each worker may bloom, secure from the pests purveying contradictory truths. Our Unification of Thoughts is more powerful a weapon than any fleet or army on earth. We are one people, with one will, one resolve, one cause. Our enemies shall talk themselves to death, and we will bury them with their own confusion. We shall prevail!

The screen shatters into smithereens at the Big Brother proclaims victory and the grey scenery is replaced with the company’s rainbow logo.

be kind, rewind

The Verge directs our attention to videographer and animator 4096 whose collection of projects celebrate the bookended beauty of obsolete media storage formats (previously), vintage video game consoles, etc. It’s not only vinyl album covers that are canvases that deserves attention but also the sleeves meant to archive one’s film library for the ages.

avatar

We very much enjoyed being introduced courtesy of BOOOOOOOM’s illustrator spotlight to the rather extensive and featured portfolio of Berlin-based illustrator Max Guther, whose collages are limned by architectural elements and explore how the human body is framed and engages with constructed spaces. Though his figures and environments are far more bespoke, Guther’s work reminds us a little bit of the Sims life simulation worlds. Much more to discover at the links above.

Monday, 21 January 2019

9x9

aaron burr, sir: Alexander Hamilton’s mostly fraught relationships with the first five US presidential administrations

four baths in the course of a month: how to bathe in January, according to seventh century philosopher Hierophilus the Sophist

faux châteaux: drone footage reveals surreal failed real estate development project between Ankara and Istanbul

messrs. 1569 and 1571: some of the strangest declassified artefacts that are stumping the investigative team at Muckrock

got to catch ‘em all: custom-tailored Pokémon dress shirts

népzene: a quick-sort algorithm demonstrated by Hungarian folk dancing

heatseekers: night time skiing guided by overhead flares, via Memo of the Air

muzzy von hossmere: a fond appreciation of the life and career of the late Carol Channing (*1921 – †2019)

the president shall from time to time give to the congress information of the state of the union: until 1913, most State of the Union addresses were delivered in writing

Sunday, 20 January 2019

sunday drive: kloster kreuzberg

Built on the western-face of Franconia’s “holy mountain” with some six hundred thousand visitors and host to eighty pilgrimages yearly and not to mention one our favourite nearby locales, I was a bit taken aback to find that I had neglected to make mention of the Franciscan Kreuzberg Cloister beforehand—but will make amends for the place we went to again today, taking advantage of the sunny and clear though cold day.
Until Irish missionaries arrived in the mid-seventeenth century, the mountain was known as Aschberg (after a warlike race of Norse gods Æsir, like the titans as distinct from the Olympians, and not the tree, however) and ostensibly the site of a tree-worshiping cult before being rebranded in the native language after Golgotha.  A convent was later formed and in the early 1700s, the brothers were granted a charter to brew beer (it is hard to object to a group of sequestered individuals who earn their keep through prayer and beer), which is still a major attraction to this day.
After making sport in the snow or hiking the trails, most repair to the guesthouse for a beer and refreshments. The monks also raise Saint Bernards to rescue the wayward, but the newest additions in the kennel were not in the mood to have their pictures taken.  We are sure to return another time when the place is a bit less crowded and once again more conducive to exploring.

mnemonic device

Having indulged before the Cathedrals of the Mind and cultivated our own memorisation tricks, we enjoyed very much being outfitted with additional mnemonic devices with seventeenth century English mystic and polymath Robert Fludd, with due deference to its predecessors and earlier influences. His first comprehensive correspondence to given orthographic alpha-numerical values sought to create narratives based off of the ways each glyph could interact and passing down that particular story in order to remember it.
Such are the tools of champion memorisers but with just a little practise and a non-sense scenario (the more ridiculous, the more memorable), one could easily commit an elusive yet useful to know-by-heart account number or passkey to memory. It might even make the exercise more effective should one transcribe the alphabet from Fludd’s 1617 Utriusque Cosmi…Historia into a more familiar and accessible set of symbols.  Much more to explore at the ever-excellent Public Domain Review at the link above. 

Saturday, 19 January 2019

big pixel or shanghai surprise

Via Super Punch, we learn of a massive photographic panorama of the city shot from the two-hundred thirty metre tall Oriental Pearl Tower that allows users to zoom in and pivot from all angles. Resolution and clarity is especially sharp as the image is comprised of one-hundred ninety-five giga (billion) pixels—whereas for reference, the standard smart phone is a paltry twelve megapixels.
Though taken in 2015, there is a renewed interest in the image over rumours that it is satellite telemetry enhanced by “quantum technology,” which has since been debunked. Still having this sort of snap-shot available for inspection is a rather fraught development when it comes to surveillance and personal privacy. The controls for Big Pixel are optimised for a touchscreen interface but will work on laptops as well. After four years, I wonder how much technology has improved.

wahllokal

After having secured the right to vote and stand for public office the preceding November, women in Germany and Austria for the first time had the occasion to participate in the democratic process on this day in 1919 during federal elections (Nationalversammulung)—the Austrian constituent assembly elections were held a few weeks later on 16 February.

style, wit and snack-sized bits

To celebrate moving into two districts in London, Soho and Spitalfields, with a long history of being forerunners in creativity and movements, a co-working space firm called Fora commissioned a fun and visually striking promotional animation on the historic character of these neighbourhoods, Via Stash magazine, Soho is featured below and check out the link above to learn more.

Friday, 18 January 2019

diva plavalaguna

Via My Modern Met, we are treated to a very talented Chinese opera singer named Jane Zhang perform a nearly pitch-perfect rendition of the iconic “Diva Dance” from Luc Besson’s The Fifth Element (previously) to the accompaniment to a full orchestra.
The alien performer on the interstellar cruise, named in the title, bears some resemblance to Bib Fortuna, the majordomo of Jabba the Hutt and wonder if there wasn’t some cross-inspiration there as well. According to cinematic lore, the original performance was voiced by Albanian lyric soprano Inva Mula with the assistance of some post-production audio-editing for achieve the series of high notes in quick succession. More to explore at the link up top including the scene from the movie.