Friday, 30 September 2022

7x7 (10. 180)

ron’s house: a bid to save an immersive, eccentrically decorated apartment—via Strange Company’s Weekend Link Dump  

hermetic students of the golden dawn: an honest-to-goodness magic duel between William Butler Yeats and Aleister Crowley—via Boing Boing  

there’s a hole in my head where the rain gets in: medieval wound man, a medical diagram meant to assist surgeons of yore—see also  

it’s been zero days since the last catastrophic hurricane: more stats from Neal Agarwal (previously)  

self-paced: an AI powered language learning tool—via Web Curios  

photosculpture: a century before 3D printers, there was the rotoscoping technique M Franรงois Willรจme  

mid-management mezzanine: a tour of the S.C. Johnson Wax Headquarters building designed by Frank Lloyd Wright

qualifying life event (10. 179)

Via Waxy, videographer Brian David Gilbert, American with lapsed health coverage commissioned Louie Zong to compile a retro treasury of corporate music (see also) as accompaniment to his expert, genuinely helpful explainer (and insightful indictment) of the dread and kafkaesque jargon and fraught terminology of the US insurance industry as an aid for the next hapless soul to find themselves in this situation.

Thursday, 22 September 2022

emc/2012 (10. 156)

On this day a decade ago, public health authorities in the United Kingdom alerted the WHO about a novel coronavirus discovered in Saudi Arabia. Known either by its Erasmus Medical Centre designation above or more broadly as Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS-CoV), it was a strain of virus infecting bats, camels and humans, it first presented as isolated outbreaks of flu-like illnesses before being recorded in Europe, North America and Asia by 2015, despite low person-to-person transmission rates. The virus is still endemic and is a potential source for a future pandemic, should it mutate into a variant more compatible with human anatomy and social-structures, and diagnostic and preventative strategies continue to be explored for this species.

Friday, 2 September 2022

7x7 (10. 106)

homesteading: a survey of the extraterrestrial real estate market 

music to moog by: a DIY Theramin from Linus ร…kesson—see previously  

enhanced pat-down: twenty years of Homeland Security and America’s penchant for security theatre  

battleship island: an exploration of the now deserted speck of land that fuelled Japan’s industrial revolution, most the most densely populated place on Earth

sampo: more on the epic MacGuffin from Finnish lore—see also  

posture pals: exercises to combat computer slouch  

extremely well-planned void: a Greek Revival property in Denton County, Texas—see previously

Thursday, 25 August 2022

6x6 (10. 085)

the hero with a thousand faces: further exploration of Joseph Campbell’s monomyth—see previously 

well, the zombie-fighting phase of the zombie war is over: CDC issues updated guidelines for living with the zombie apocalypse 

pterygota: an exquisite look at insect launch and flight

vo₂: wonder alloy vanadium dioxide—via Damn Interesting’s Curated Links  

carta marina: Olaf Magnus’ sea charts complete with sea monster sounds  

pendragon: evidence that suggests King Arthur may be a historical personage—see previously—via Miss Cellania’s Links

Monday, 15 August 2022

6x6 (10. 063)

lawrence livermore labs: scientist achieve ignition, a long-standing and elusive goal for fusion research (see previously)

kiwa tyleri: the Guardian continues its profiles of denizens of the deep with the hirsute ‘Hoff crab’ who thrive at hydrothermal vents on the bottom of the ocean by picking sulfur-fixing microbes off their chests  

one year on: a photographic essay on Afghanistan one the anniversary of the fall of the flight of Aschraf Ghani and the takeover by the Taliban  

obligate predators: German town releases house cat from a special lockdown but questions linger on protecting nature from our feline friends  

rivers run dry: the climate emergency propelling the drought is making the Rhein and Danube unnavigable

o-positive: researchers discover a method for changing blood types (see also) of donated organs—increasing potential for compatibility for beneficiaries

Friday, 5 August 2022

dasymetric (10. 040)

Via the always interesting Map Mania, we are directed towards a clever and potentially revealing visualisation from Engaging Data that allows one to watch a world atlas be assembled in ascending or descending order of a range of demographic parameters like population or the featured vignette of life expectancy.  More at the links above

Monday, 13 June 2022

myoclonic contraction

Whilst attempting to restrain a hog to weigh it before slaughter, one Charles Osbourne (*1894 - †1991) of Anthon, Iowa caught a case of the hiccups on this day in 1922 which lasted for sixty-eight years, forty a minute and eventually relenting to around twenty over the decades for an estimated four hundred and thirty million of them, theorised as a result of an aneurism caused by the exertion that damaged the part of the brain that normally inhibits the response. Adopting a breathing technique that made the constant ordeal more bearable and a manner of speaking that swallowed the hic sound, Osbourne became a minor celebrity, appearing on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson and That’s Incredible and inscribed in the Guinness Book of World Records. This chronic, intractable attack ended abruptly a merciful eleven months prior to Osbourne’s death.

Wednesday, 25 May 2022

fixed penalty notice

The newly published report on the inquiry overseen by Second Permanent Secretary on the Cabinet Office Sue Gray investigating social gatherings held during the COVID-19 pandemic during times when social distancing and public health restrictions would have prohibited such behaviour includes a series of redacted photographs that illustrate the disdain and clubby atmosphere of the Johnson administration, detailing partying until 04:00, vomiting and guests booted with the discretion of making their drunken egress from Downing Street and Whitehall by the back exit. Whilst lockdown measures were in effect which prevented the general public from getting together in general and particularly during pivotal and solemn moments of birth and death, members of the government that put these measures in place and on the pains of enforcement were flagrantly ignoring them. The cost so far of the inquiry is estimated at £460 000.

Sunday, 15 May 2022

apicius

We quite enjoyed revisiting the topic of a mysterious, most-favoured herb of Antiquity called silphium (previously)—considered a gift from Apollo and used as condiment, perfume, aphrodisiac, and seasoning and with medicinal uses ranging from anti-haemorrhoidal to contraceptive, imported into the Greek and Roman world from a narrow, microclimate in Syria that was resistant to transplantation. Over-harvesting and over-grazing coupled with climate change curried its abrupt disappearance from cupboards and medicine cabinets two millennia hence and serves as a warning best heeded about our own culinary staples and how familiar and enriching flavours and seasoning might meet the same fate. Much more at the links above.

Saturday, 14 May 2022

matthias the apostle

Formerly venerated on the sixth day before the Calends of March but with the calendar revisions of 1969, the commemoration of the Apostle Matthias, nominated by an assembly of disciples rather than chosen by Jesus himself to replace Judas Iscariot, was translated to this day as to take the celebration out of Lent and closer to the historical date (and as patron-protector against smallpox, coincides with the first inoculation administered by Edward Jenner in 1796 on eight-year-old James Phipps, the son of the family gardener). Though there are scant canonical details regarding his life, tradition places Matthias on the Caspian coast and evangelising to the people of the region that is modern day Georgia. Matthias’ patronage also includes tailors, carpenters, Billings Montana, Gary Indiana, Trier and alcoholics.

Wednesday, 20 April 2022

dgim

 Founded in Wiesbaden on this day in 1882, the Congress for Internal Medicine (present headquarters as die Deutsche Gesellschaft fรผr Innere Medizin pictured) was held in the Kurhaussaal and attended by some one hundred and eighty physicians with the aim to champion science and research in applied medicine and to highlight and harmonise best-practises across the discipline. Working closely with professional credentialing organisations, membership over the past century, a tumultuous one that endured world wars, Nazis, partition and reunification and new the challenges of scepticism of expertise, has swelled to nearly thirty-thousand with special focus on mentorship and attracting young people to the field through honours and incentivisation. 


 

Tuesday, 19 April 2022

be the first to like this post

Some anonymous though obviously astute researcher left this decal on a lamp post a few weeks back coinciding with the return of testing stations which were prematurely removed in hopes that the unavailability of free screenings would encourage individuals to get their booster shots only to quickly learn and recover that one does not winnow down the arsenal in one’s quiver when facing a global pandemic. Medical authorities confer and confirm vaccination status with a QR-Code and a national app, though this has expanded, splintered into a suite of application and new codes to scan unique for every affiliate station. Feeling a bit under the weather with the arrival of Spring and the too-quick change in temperature, I wanted to be responsible and rule out a case of COVID and so availed myself of said near-by mobile PCR centre. I was relieved to learn that the results were negative and was given a mask (oh no) for my troubles, noticing the label on the packaging later on…

Sunday, 10 April 2022

facial recognition

Via Super Punch, we learn that one unique gashapon in Tokyo’s busy Shinjuku station is proving quite popular with commuters for vending capsules with the ID photos of strangers (though ostensibly fellow passengers) over the chance to connect on whatever social level with the crowd, unmasked. Those behind the concept are poised to launch the next series with people submitting their pictures to be added to the anonymous mix.

Saturday, 9 April 2022

narkotyki

We thoroughly enjoyed this introduction to the artist, novelist and political theorist of the inter-war period in Europe Stanisล‚aw Ignacy Witkiewicz (*1885 - †1939, known professionally as Witkacy), witness to quite a bit of history, through the lens of his portrait factory, with many of his commissions documenting his drug intake—even if just the dregs of caffeine from a cup of coffee—with coded annotations whist painting, usually under a course of self-medication of synthesised mescaline, cocaine, nicotine and alcohol, aggressively marketed to the masses at the time, despite addiction and substance abuse being acknowledged problems, as relief for those broken by World War I. Wikiewicz died by intentional overdose after fleeing to eastern Poland after learning of the Nazi invasion on the western border when he heard reports of the Soviets approaching from the opposite flank. More from Public Domain Review at the link above.

saponification

Accomplished French chemist and professional skeptic whose research and work had a immense influence in several disciplines of science, mathematics and the arts as well as helping to establish the field of gerontology with himself a subject of study, Michel Eugรจne Chevreul (*1786) passed away on this day in 1889 in Paris, aged 102. Revolutionary work with vegetable oils and animal fats fundamentally changed the manufacture and availability of soap and candles—incidentally leading to an understanding of the pathology and treatment of diabetes. Having first honed his acumen as chemist in a dye and pigment manufacturing plant, Chevreul expounded several volumes regarding the theory of colours and their compliments which particularly informed Impressionist and Pointillist styles, after his career with oleic experimentation, he set his focus on disenchanting, disabusing the public of popular charlatanism and mysticism and raging against seances and table-turning, giving one of the first explanations of the ideomotor effect for mediums and dowsers. Having lived through the French Revolution, Chevreul was one of the seventy-two scientists and engineers commemorated on the first balcony of the Eiffel Tower and was only one of two honorees alive to see the Tricolour raised at the top of the structure.

Wednesday, 30 March 2022

8x8

plotto: the prolific, formulaic writing of William Wallace Cook—see also  

harry lime: a Third Man tour of Vienna—see previously  

pinscreen: Claire Parker and Alexander Alexeieff animate Nikolai Gogol’s short story The Nose (1963)

anti-social media: Facebook organised a smear campaign against TikTok through a GOP shill—via Waxy 

zone: Dyson to offer noise-cancelling headphones that also creates a pocket of purified air  

the fauvist: the art of Marguerite Zorach, an early proponent of Modernism in America—via Messy Nessy Chic 

love me, feed me, don’t leave me: the strange saga of a Garfield-themed restaurant  

floriography: cryptological communication by means of floral arrangement through their symbolic and emblematic meaning

Monday, 28 March 2022

sozialer mord

Via Super Punch, we learn about a phrase and its applications coined by Friedrich Engels—one whom one doesn’t hear much about without the more well-known and charismatic Karl Marx—in his 1845 study The Conditions of the Working-Class in England, social murder, to describe the dominance of the aristocracy and consequences for the proletariat whose exploitation and negligence causes premature death for many in the under-class. Whilst originally directed towards Manchester and the regard that the South held for the North in Britain, the term has popular parlance from austerity measures, climate change and its first victims, to inequalities brought to the fore by the pandemic and the most vulnerable among us.  Often over looked and excused, Engels writes, “[S]ince the offence is more one of omission than of commission. But murder it remains.”

Friday, 18 March 2022

8x8

the fiume endeavour: Neutral Moresnet and other countries that fell off the map 

international male: thirty-three national costumes from the 2022 Mister Global pageant via Miss Cellania  

odette and odile: a diminutive chihuahua and human handler perform Swan Lake  

smpte colour bars: a BBC test pattern jumper and mural—see also  

bad actor mode: an AI normally tasked with developing new, novel medications had its parameters switched seek out toxicity and suggests tens of thousands of chemical weapons and poisons in the space of a few hours—via Slashdot 

 cameo appearance: Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams portrayed the President of United Earth on the season finale of Star Trek and brought the planet back into the Federation 

state-of-the-art: ten breakthrough technologies online now that could change our trajectory for the better—via Kottke  

geopolitics: charting the advance of democracy

Friday, 4 March 2022

pontypridd

Born this day in 1800 in Caerphilly, courtesy of Weird Universe, we learn about the singular figure of William Price (†1893), physician, Druid priest, vegetarian, marriage and organised religion contrarian and champagne enthusiast—would that we could stop with those epithets and skip nationalist and anti-vaxxer. Often seen donning an elaborate headdress of fox pelts, long hair and beard and emerald green onesie with incantations—or alternately stalk naked on his daily constitutional through the countryside, Price’s legacy includes the legalisation of cremation in Great Britain, previously against custom, when sadly his infant son, Iesu Grist—Welsh for Jesus Christ Price, died suddenly and Price burned his body on a pyre in accordance with Druidic traditions. Arrested for the unlawful disposal of a corpse, Price was however able to successfully plead his defence in court, leading to the passage of UK Cremation Act of 1902 and the establishment of crematoria throughout the country. Aged eighty-two, Price fathered a second son—also named Jesus (plus a daughter two years later called Penelopen) at which time he made detailed arrangements for the disposition of his estate and death, a funeral pyre a decade later attended by twenty-thousand mourners.