Saturday, 7 January 2023

dei gratia, emperor of the united states and protector of mexico (10. 394)

Via JWZ, we are directed towards a recently uncovered cache of proclamations, carried in the newspapers no less, from Norton I (previously) on the 1868 smallpox epidemic that had arrived in San Francisco, commanding authorities of all cities on the Pacific ensure, under severe penality that 1) every person be vaccinated and that 2) teamsters driving persons to hospital shall not get drunk and leave their charges on the streets to spread contagion, and moreover 3) physicians shall change their clothing after attending patients and lastly that churches 4) expose and punish all persons who administer poisonous food and drinks during religious or political discussions. Much more at the links above.

Monday, 2 January 2023

6x6 (10. 381)

your posture is correct if you can lift your right foot in the air and rotate it effortlessly without falling: a Finnish tutorial from 1979 on the proper way to open doors—with subtitles in several languages

gebrausgraphik: the ornament and logo design of Max Kรถrner 

de laudibus sanctae crucis: the medieval pattern poems—that reference the Phaistos Disk and anticipate calligrams—of Magister Rabanus Maurus (see previously here and here)  

sword out of the stone: King Tut’s space dagger and other superlative archaeological finds—see previously  

wood wide web: ethereal ghost flower forgoes photosynthesis—via Damn Interesting’s Curated Links  

inside story: an appreciation of Slim Goodbody

Friday, 23 December 2022

ice cream assassins (10. 356)

Again with the distinction between neologisms and characters and courtesy of Language Log, we are directed towards an omnibus listing of internet slang that dominated social media in China (see previously) this past year. The title (้›ช็ณ•ๅˆบๅฎข) refers to the sticker-shock of the frozen treats associated with inflation and the pictured “let it rot” cites the trend of leaning into a situation that’s failing apart rather than trying to salvage it and like lying flat signals a generation growing weary with social competition in the face of a possibly bleak future. We also quite liked the incantation—Tuรฌ! Tuรฌ! Tuรฌ! ้€€!้€€!้€€!, to banish an unpleasant presence in one’s life.

Saturday, 10 December 2022

7x7 (10. 376)

symphony № 9 boogie: a one hundred and seventy piece orchestra plays Beethoven on the Matryomin—a theremin inside a Russian nesting doll 

psychopomp: Santa Claus has origins as a magic-mushroom dispensing Sami shaman—see previously

 

your yolo years: Pinterest Predicts for 2023 with their not-yet-trending report—via The Curious Brain 

747: after fifty-four years, the final production model of the Boeing aircraft leaves the factory  

cancel couture: at just under a thousand dollars and designed to filter out noise and air pollution, the Dyson Zone is perfect for the misanthrope on your Christmas list 

dumpster fire: marginal Democrat now declared independent as trash receptacles—via The Everlasting Blรถrt 

dearmoon: billion selects eight artists for first voyage around Earth’s satellite aboard prrivate orbiter

Thursday, 8 December 2022

8x8 (10. 372)

low-poly: needlepoint designs based on vintage video games—see previously 

ghost mall: visiting a virtually abandoned yet very much open for business shopping centre in New Jersey 

zenosyne: from The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows (previously here and here)—that feeling that time is getting faster  

digichromatography: a survey of the seconds, the raw files, of Sergei Prokudin-Gorsky’s documentation of the Russian Empire is a study in the development of colour photography—see also  

the pandoravirus: the melting Siberian permafrost is reviving long dormant but viable germs  

q-zone: a racing timeline of the most popular social media from 2003 to the present  

์‚ด: South Korea will abandon traditional age-reckoning in favour of an international recognised counting method beginning next year 

akka-arrh: Atari reprises a 1982 arcade game that was never released commercially as it proved too challenging for test-audiences

Friday, 2 December 2022

8x8 (10. 352)

fomites: turns out that COVID virus can stay of some grocery items for days—see previously    

fabulous fakes: an engrossing documentary about a Chinese painter whose specialty is creating pictures in the style of Van Gogh (see also) and travels to see the originals  

baguettes, bell-ringing and bee-keeping: UNESCO inscribes more human treasures  

foghorn: a celebration the floating lighthouses called lightvessels  

geopolitics is for losers: the infectious idea was concocted to account for defeat and hold influence  

gen-x studs terkel: the death of boredom is the biggest loss of a generation—a conversation with Joe Hagan  

viva magenta: Pantone announces its colour for the coming year—previously here and here 

such freedom: social network drops policies in place to limit the spread of misinformation on COVID

Thursday, 1 December 2022

dwa (10. 349)

Organised by VisualAIDS in New York City in 1988 and first observed the following year, Day Without Art (corresponding with World Aids Day), now a global event observed by art institutions, is a day of action and mourning for those who have died of the disease. Museums close their doors and send staff to volunteer at AIDS services centres or sponsor special exhibitions that confront the visitor with the chilling prospect for a future without art or artists, one of the most arresting displays hosted in 1991 by the Museum of Modern Art that featured a gallery of empty frames and pedestal.

Sunday, 20 November 2022

8x8 (10. 321)

yotta, yocto: prolific data generation drives the need for uniform names for extremely large and extremely small numbers—see previously—via Marginal Revolution  

quarantine caper: narrow escape from Jingdezhen just before lock-down  

a classic non-equilibrium thermodynamic reaction: a demonstration of a Belousov-Zhabotinsky oscillation in a Petri dish—via Nag on the Lake’s Sunday Links  

don’t copy that floppy: an overview of a few anti-piracy schemes of the late 1970s and early 80s  

jpeg morgan: the rise and fall (and broader fall-out) of crypto bank and exchange FTX 

infantry: Academy Award winning Czechoslovakian animated short Munro (1960) about a four-year old drafted into the army  

fangcang: artist, after being identified as a “close contact” is confined in a remote hospital and transforms room into exhibition space  

euler equations: computers make break-throughs in understanding fluid dynamics

Friday, 11 November 2022

menas of egypt (10. 293)

Early third century wonder-worker and Coptic soldier in the Roman army martyred for refusing to recant his Christian faith, Menas (โฒ€โฒƒโฒƒโฒ โฒ˜โฒโฒ›โฒ—Amen), is commemorated on this day, corresponding to 15 Hathor on the Egyptian calendar. Garnering a posthumous reputation for intercession on any number on ailments, Abu Mina, the site where his body was buried (according to legend, the camels bearing his corpse stopped twice in this exact location and refused to move further) after being dismembered by fellow soldiers became a popular pilgrimage—following Constantine I (previously) sending his ill daughter, Flavia Valeria Constantina—later known as Saint Constance, destination with terracotta flasks with the saint’s iconography taken as souvenirs and found from Heidelberg to Cheshire and all points in between. Protector of the falsely accused, peddlers and travelling salespersons, Menas is the patron of the city of Heraklion, Koblenz and many Swiss villages in the north Alps.

Thursday, 3 November 2022

hubertustag (10. 268)

Fรชted on this day as the Apostle of the Ardennes and patron protector of hunters, opticians, metalworkers, mathematicians and chicken roasters, the sainted eighth century bishop of Liรจge (see previously here and here) is regarded as the originator of ethical deer stalking and preached compassion for animals as God’s creations—Hubertus himself converted whilst pursuing quarry in the woods and had the vision of a Crucifix floating suspended between the antlers of a stag—and is credited with formulating a set of rules and tactics to follow. Until very recent times, the saint was invoked as a cure for rabies (see also) through the use of a sacramental metal nail worked into the form of a cross called a St Hubert’s Key (Hubertusschlรผssel, Clef de Saint-Hubert), heated in fire and branded at the site of an animal bite, possibly with the effect of cauterising the wound.

Wednesday, 19 October 2022

7x7 (10. 239)

actually: summoning the Candymansplainer 

doktor semmelweis i presume: how it took three decades to convince surgeons to wash their hands in the context of contemporary inconvenience  

kessler syndrome: more on orbital space junk—see previously  

one-dimensional: construction starts on the linear megacity in the desert—see previously  

woodpeckers in space: an 80s Danish hit 

not alone: most kanji readers cannot read it in cursive—see also  

based on a true story: horror classics inspired by actual events

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.