Friday, 2 June 2023

7x7 (10. 782)

court of last resort: Propublica presents a guide to potential imperilled rights in the US—via Waxy 

e. o. 9066: George Takei recalls growing up in a Japanese-American internment camp—see previously

velben goods: the concierge to the world’s rich and powerful—see also  

mermen: the increasing popularity of underwater performances in China—see previously 

stumbling block: in a simulation, an AI-controlled drone kills its human handler because that individual was thwarting its achieving mission objectives, later apparently walked back  

rainbow crusaders: a more inclusive examination of heroism during World War II 

legislate guns not makeup: a roster of state houses poised to adopt bans on drag performers

Sunday, 28 May 2023

7x7 (10. 771)

schachtรผrke: a fraudulent chess-playing automaton launched the AI debate in 1770 

bart: the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit has new anime mascots—each of the characters has a backstory 

pattiegonia: facing the expected backlash from staunch conservatives after featuring a drag star in their ads, the North Face refused to back down—this is not a white flag 

beyond the yellow brick road: the reading that The Wizard of Oz is a Populist political allegory is kind of an incoherent mess, suggested over six decades after it was written—via Strange Company  

buena vista social club: a restored, enhanced 1972 tour of Disney World 

priority road: one individual’s quest to document the unusual, confusing traffic signs of Japan  

lexus nexus: lawyer turns to ChatGPT for help in finding precedence a client’s case, citing a wholly fabricated disputes and settlements—via Waxysee also

Saturday, 27 May 2023

irreconcilable differences (10. 770)

Having previously encountered this guide on the protocols of duelling in medieval times, we appreciated this deeper study of Hans Talhoffer’s rules of engagement—via Strange Company—pertaining to divorce—via Strange Company—with bouts highly refereed and handicapped to give the woman (usually) plaintiff a fighting-chance to see out the dissolution of her marriage-bonds. In the ring, typically, the husband was placed in a waist-deep hole with one hand tied behind his back and outfitted with clubs and pugilistic garb, as was the wife with an equal number of stones to sling. Though ultimate verdicts were unclear and combat to the death seemed unlikely with proxies and champions accorded to those couples of standing, such settlements were not unheard of.

Wednesday, 24 May 2023

7x7 oops all america (10. 764)

the hills we climb: Amanda Gorman’s inspirational poem (previously) during the inaugeration for Joe Biden among reading materials subject to a ban in Florida 

gen-z-span: a C-SPAN and Tik Tok split-screen is “giving democracy”—via Waxy  

sealioning: the baiting, false pretence for an honest discussion 

love is love: US retailer removing some LGBTQ+ collection apparel from its stores after backlash directed at employees plus more attacks against allied merchandise  

line-in-the-sand: negotiations on the impending US debt ceiling have stalled with little time to spare 

patent troll: the state of Louisiana introduces legislation to curtail the private equitisation of supposed infringement on intellectual property—via Super Punch  

won’t someone think of the children: analyses reveal that the majority of book ban challenges for curricula and libraries come from eleven people

Sunday, 21 May 2023

as far as being a paid crisis actor, it’s a pretty stable gig (10. 759)

Though the evergreen article that the Onion republishes for every mass-shooting in the US remains an unimpeachable comment on American culture and values, but as the pace of violence has increased exponentially over the past years—we learn via Pluralistic, that the writing team decided to take a new approach and interview survivors, a brief but powerful slideshow that’s worth one’s time and consideration. “Only two of my three kids came home from school, but Texas has no property taxes, so it’s a wash.” “I was proud to be experiencing the free exercise of American constitutional rights.”

Friday, 19 May 2023

pro bono (10. 750)

Law student in Paris (attending with Roger Bacon and Duns Scotus) before switching from the civil courts to study canon law and secure an appointment as an ecclesiastic judge in Rennes, Franciscan Ivo of Kermartin, patron of attorneys, Brittany, abandoned children and called “Advocateof the Poor,”—advocatus, lawyer—is fรชted on this day, on the occasion of his death in 1303 (*1253). An accomplished rhetorician, Ivo was well known and respected for defending the rights of orphans and widows and continued championing equal justice, refusing bribes when it was customary for magistrates to accept gifts) and practise law after ordination into the priesthood at Guingamp.

Thursday, 11 May 2023

executive branch (10. 734)

On this day in 1973, US president Richard abandoned his plans to reorganise government with the creation of a “super cabinet” consisting of three appointed secretaries who would over the the running of federal departments and agencies, having met staunch resistance from Congress and the broadening of presidential purview through delegated powers and the creation of an imperial post by dint of past failed attempts. Fresh from roundly defeating George McGovern to secure re-election, Nixon announced on 5 January, the inauguration, an “administrative” cabinet shuttle proposed during his first term (not without precedent as Harding, Taft, FDR and Truman had tried subject to legislative veto) to create a council to overstep consciousness bureaucracy. Although corrected by the press to the American spelling convention, Nixon’s orders and communiques named counsellors, senior advisors, equivalent to a minister without portfolio in the British system, a sinecure posting that had plentipotent, encompassing responsibilities and therefore none as a special conduit to the chief executive and so a triumvirate beholden to none. The Watergate scandal having brought this reshuffling to an ignominious end when exalted staff tendered their resignations but had this experiment continued one wonders what now might be considered executive overreach and regard for competent authorities.

datalagen (10. 731)

Enacted on this day in 1973 by Riksdag and going into effect in July of the following year, Sweden’s was the world’s data protection law passed on a national level (see previously) created a privacy protection authority to issue permits to information systems that handled personal information. Already Five decades ago, use of electronic file storage and communications in the country were quite advanced and Swedish society upheld the importance of access and transparency and a commission was established in 1969, returning its recommendations to the government three years later on the state of computers, future trends and how that intersected with the press and private lives—particularly in terms of creditworthiness. Subject to amendments and evolving as technology changed and spread, the law eventually was replaced the Personuppgiftslagen (Personal Data Law) in 1998 modelled after the European Union’s Data Protection Directive following its ascension to the EU.

Tuesday, 2 May 2023

9x9 (10. 713)

spokescandies: put together just ahead of the writers’ strike, Stephen Colbert afforded Tucker Carlson the chance to bid his audience farewell  

redundancy: IBM puts a pause on hiring to on-board an AI back-office workforce  

oops all linkdump: veteran blogger Cory Doctorow returns to his roots in a special jubilee edition  

€49 ticket: Germany launches its more fiscally-secure successor to the €9 monthly fare 

pitch decks and powerpoints: slide presentations from the largest corporate frauds and failures—via tmn  

chevron v national resources defense council: the US Supreme Court to re-litigate a 1984 precedent that defers judgement to the competent federal agencies, like the Food and Drug Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency 

cherry ice cream smile—i suppose it’s very nice: revisiting the art and influence of Patrick Nagel—see previously  

workforce implications: a company runs an empirical test, replacing its human staff with AI 

hal gurney’s network time fillers: reactions to past strikes by the Writers’ Guide

Friday, 14 April 2023

9x9 (10. 673)

photo booth: a self-meme generator that uses AI—via Web Curios  

1up: the Super Mario Brothers’ theme inscribed in the US National Recording Registry—via Miss Cellania 

martin chuzzlewit: Dickens’ illustrators  

acta et vita: today is the feast of Lidwina, patron saint of chronic illness and ice- and roller-skaters 

spring break: a look at the highdays and holidays of Old London—via Strange Company 

jubilee: US Supreme Court ruled against blocking cancellation of student loan debt—see previously  

the real macguffin: the Holy Grail of grail stories—with plenty of references to pop-culture  

double-feature: raw footage from a video rental store on a Friday night in 1987—what titles would you have picked?  

robo boys: an untethered large language model builds on a college years group chat with insights on the process of AI fine-tuning—via Waxy

Monday, 10 April 2023

a jury of one’s peers (10. 666)

Based on a radio teleplay by Reginald Rose from three years earlier and often upheld as an heuristic tool to illustrate conflict resolution and team dynamics as well as well as the courage of conviction to not be swayed by hysteria and its subtler cadets, Sidney Lumet’s classic courtroom drama, premiering in Los Angeles on this day in 1957, portrays a jury deliberating the case of an impoverished teen accused of murdering his abusive father. With a unanimous verdict required, the jury is instructed to acquit if there is any reasonable doubt and a decision siding on guilty would result in a mandatory death sentence and execution by electric chair. Addressing students after a screening of the film in 2010 at Fordham University's School of Law in Manhattan, US Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor credited 12 Angry Men as influencing her career decision and was especially moved by immigrant Juror 11 (portrayed by Czech actor George Voskovec—BUtterfield 8, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, all members are identified by numbers only) delivering a monologue in reverence for the justice system, though cautioned not to be totally taken with the cinematic version of proceedings due to inference, speculation and independent research which would have likely been declared a mistrial.

Saturday, 8 April 2023

10x10 (10. 662)

never fearing guns or numbers like a tiger to its meat, the stranger then attacked the pirate fleet: a space-age sea-shanty by Duane Elms of Carmen Miranda’s Ghost, courtesy of Shadow Manor 

sorcerer’s apprentice: angry to have been out-manoeuvred by Disney’s lawyers, Florida governor declares all-out war against the theme park 

sea life: a 1923 chessboard designed by Max Esser for MeiรŸen—via ibฤซdem 

shelling out: a gallery of vintage Easter confections family album: being first on the scene to document shipwrecks is a generational business  

the tiffany network: an all-star roll for the 1978 fiftieth anniversary of the Columbia Broadcasting System  

blogoversary: a belated congratulations to Map Room as it reaches the milestone of twenty years of blogging  

late-stage sea-monkeys: targeted ads are generally promoting the worst possible version of a product  

bohemian grove: the secretive club back in the headlines after revelations of US Supreme Court Justice Thomas’ gifts included a trip to the exclusive retreat 

falmouth: the annual, international festival of maritime music returns in June

Tuesday, 4 April 2023

the people v trump (10. 653)

Summoned and surrendering to the judge of the Manhattan District Attorney’s office, Donald Trump appeared for his arraignment with thirty-four charges of falsifying business records in the first degree for the individual instances and doctored invoices that obscured hush money paid to Stormy Daniels to cover revelations of a tryst just ahead of the 2016 US presidential election. While the crimes he is charged with perpetrating are misdemeanours with the court’s jurisdiction but can be consider felonious if committed to further another crime. Trump pled not guilty to each of the charges as enumerated and was warned not to disparage the court or its offices—citing that personal distress did not warrant personal attacks against the process or those discharging their appointed duties Ostensibly to establish a pattern of behaviour and modus operandi, the indictment also examined two other cases that emerged around the same time period before the 2016 vote that could have influenced the ballot regarding other alleged affairs covered up by the tabloids—another case of hush money by-proxy in what’s referred to as catch-and-kill, being able to show this intentionality will bolster the case the against the former president. Following his appearance in court, Trump returned to Mara-a-Lago, and promptly ignoring the judge’s orders, rallied his followers to denounce the trial—set to resume in December, well after he can stump for his party’s nomination and able to run notwithstanding any wrong-doing—as a withc hunt and a personal, political vendetta.

Saturday, 1 April 2023

7x7 (10. 649)

the house of mouse: Disney lawyers thwart Florida governor’s interference plans by linking status quo to the British monarchy 

the highrise collection: a drone exploration of beautiful early twentieth century skyscrapers of the US

mambabatok: Vogue Philippines has 106-year-old traditional tattoo Apo Whang-Od artist on its cover  

fraktur folk art: the lettering of German dissident รฉmigrรฉ communities in Pennsylvania (see also

pretty fly for a white guy: Finnish politicians, as their rapping alter-egos Qruu and Cstar, drop some rhymes for their campaign platform—via Miss Cellania    

gelatinous cube: the 1977 Dungeon’s & Dragons Monster Manual  

g: all. of. the. above: a Trump indictment quiz

Thursday, 30 March 2023

news cycle (10. 646)

Historically though the exact extent and nature of the charges are under seal with secret deliberations until the arraignment on Tuesday and just following speculation that the grand jury would be taking an extended recess after Trump’s arrest did not take place, a former US president, for the first time in the nation’s history—significant though this I think is another example of toxic exceptionalism that bewitches America, has been indicted and is expected to surrender to the court. Tawdry and aggrieved as it is, as with everything connected the legal jeopardy that’s far outlasted his single term in office and far more minor than embezzling from his charitable foundation, collusion with Russia, hateful, pandering and racist policies and highly questionable accounting, the first felony charge levied against him is in connection with a 2006 tryst and hush-money earmarked from campaign funds a decade later, expensed as a retainer fee for a lawyer, now principal witness for the prosecution. The Manhattan district attorney had entertained not pursuing this charge for the reasons above but was urged to continue rather than wait for evidence to mount for more serious offences, like the family syndicate’s business practises and exaggerating personal wealth in order to secure loans, and demonstrate that no one is above the law.

Sunday, 26 March 2023

9x9 (10. 635)

concrete sign: Pope Francis returns marble fragments held by the Vatican Museum to the Parthenon

house of thunder: the everlasting lightning storm over Venezuela’s Lake Maracaibo 

queen street: a personal view of the prettiest thoroughfare in Ontario, in Niagara-on-the-Lake plus assorted links to visit 

april showers bring may flowers: the joyful floral illustrations of Iancu Barbฤƒrasฤƒ  

thinking outside of the box: innovations in pizza 

beauty paget: the varied career and roles of Miss Deborah Paget  

the theory of mediatization: press coverage of pseudo-events, like press-conferences and political rallies, has increased significantly while journalistic rigour in actual reporting (see also) has stagnated—via the New Shelton wet/dry  

master class: Finland offering a crash course in happiness, securing the title for six years in a row  

age-appropriate: Florida principal forced to resign after including Michelangelo’s David in middle schooler’s art curriculum without prior parental approval—see also

Saturday, 25 March 2023

modern day presidential (10. 634)

In yet another instance of not being able to distinguish parody from real politic and propaganda, satire from sincerity, Trump has chosen Waco, Texas, announcing the from podium that the 2024 vote as “the final battle,” as the venue to kick off his campaign for re-election—ostensibly picked for its proximity for the state’s population centres (the vicinity was picked for the location of the Super Conducting Super Collider in Waxahatchie by dint of its remoteness) though coinciding with the anniversary of the massacre of Branch Davidian anti-government cult members in an armed standoff with the federal bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, regaling the crowd with promises of retribution with menacing praise for the January Sixth insurrectionists. Provocative even by his pandering, violence-, grievance-quenching standards, the event opened with a recording by the men’s choir of incarcerated cosplay terrorists, Trump again urged “potential death and destruction,” calling on supporters to rally to protect him if charged for a hush-money payment to Stormy Daniels, by chance falling on the fifth anniversary of the tell-all interview by CBS’s 60 Minutes. Disparaging his competition within the Republican party—a select basket of deplorables—Trump promised the crowd, of indeterminate size gathered in an airplane hangar, “You will be vindicated and proud. The thugs and criminals who are corrupting our justice system will be defeated, discredited and totally disgraced.” The grand jury investigating the hush money payment reconvenes in court in New York after the weekend.

Sunday, 19 March 2023

foia follies (10. 621)

As illustrated in all its surreal qualities by this request filed by a Bloomberg reporter for the artwork created by detainees at Guantรกnamo Bay (see also) and other US government black sites finally fulfilled (with annotated redactions) last Spring, Muckrock again showcases the worst cases of resistance to transparency and flagrant violations—non-compliance—of Free of Information Act requirements. Beyond the mishandling of classified documents—whose fault lies partially with injudicious over-classification—there are several award categories, ranging from the pushback of the Federal Bureau of Investigations refusing to release its dossiers on that subversive band the Monkees to its last surviving member, the record number of GLOMAR responses of the National Security Agency, to the Burn After Reading Award for wanton destruction of public records.

Saturday, 18 March 2023

7x7 (10. 617)

aquifer: new research suggests that rocky exoplanets may have ways to sequester and protect their water until their host stars stabilise 

blogoversary: a very happy twenty-fifth to Kottke—home of fine hypertext products 

icc: the Hague issues an arrest warrant for Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin and accomplice over child trafficking, forced adoptions from Ukraine to occupied territories  

hee-haw: an appreciation of donkeys—by any name—see previously  

the jabalaires: the gospel group active from the 1930s to the 1950s that helped inform the development of rap music  

๐Ÿ‘: a selection of funny posts from Super Punch  

hot neptune: astronomers watch as an exoplanet has its atmosphere and ocean stripped away

Friday, 17 March 2023

tory scum (10. 616)

Via friend of the blog par excellence Nag on the Lake, we introduced to a new anthem by the Drop Kick Murphys, following a decades old tradition of reinventing unfinished works from the extensive archives of Woody Guthrie (previously) and plying the standards (with precious little alteration to the present) like with the sea shanty “I’m Shipping Up to Boston” and their 2022 album This Machine Still Kills Fascists, has reworked the union song “All You Fonies” to herald a conservative defeat in the United Kingdom after a string of mostly unelected prime ministers and austere government measures that has gutted social safety nets as “All You Tories.”