Friday, 30 September 2022

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.

Sunday, 25 September 2022

sip (10. 167)

Via tmn, our attention is again directed towards bespoke, luxury fallout shelters, bunkers, panic rooms flogged (also a punishment for criminal offences for the not so well-appointed) to the rich and powerful—only this time, the glamorous, underground residences, replete with fake skies over courtyards with swimming pools, private theatres, wine cellars, conference centres and showcase galleries and garages, or anything else the client can imagine, are being pushed on the influx of multi-millionaires resettling in the United Arab Emirates. What do you thinK? The firm offering such fantastical and secure retreats is a Swiss company called Oppidum—the Latin term for a fortified city. I thought only pharaoh in his pyramid could only be so entombed.

Friday, 23 September 2022

tortious acts (10. 160)

Whilst not the competent authority for an arraignment, the office of the New York attorney general has announced that the Trump family syndicate, at the conclusion of the a three-year investigation, are facing a civil lawsuit over rank fraud by grossly exaggerating the worth of their assets and property over at least the past decade in order to get preferential treatment from banks and take on more loans in order to lessen their tax liabilities. Among over two hundred cited examples of this inflation to increase the net-worth of their portfolio through alleged misleading of accountants, underwriters and insurers the case includes the Trump’s valuation of $740, 000, 000 for his estate and resort Mar-a-Lago whereas it has been appraised (generously) at less than a tenth of that amount and more than trebling the square-footage of his Manhattan penthouse, and the most expensive in the borough. Among other things, the suit seeks to prohibit the family from conducting business activities within the court’s jurisdiction. This legal development comes as a higher court vacates the earlier ruling and allows investigative proceedings to continue using the classified material discovered in Trump’s Florida residence. Regarding this new development and violation of the Presidential Records Act, Trump maintains that he had the prerogative to mentally declassify documents.

Thursday, 22 September 2022

potus (10. 157)

Premiering on this day in 1999 on NBC and running for seven seasons with two specials, the serial political drama created by Aaron Sorkin with ensemble cast including Stockard Channing, Allison Janney, Rob Lowe, Moira Kelly, Martin Sheen, Dulรฉ Hill, Bradley Whitford and Janel Moloney The West Wing covered the fictitious administration of US President Josiah Bartlet. Showered with accolades including two Peabodys, three Golden Globes and twenty-six Emmys, the series ranks among the best television shows ever produced. The short segment from the pilot episode shows the first occurrence of Sorkin’s signature ”walk and talk” expository technique.

Tuesday, 20 September 2022

6x6 (10. 151)

teenage rampage: 70s sing-a-long pop was edgier than one thought   

on tyranny: twenty lesson on unfreedom and defending democracy

heptominos: geometric magic squares from Lee Sallows—see also

cross-hatched: dozens of security envelope patterns  

quiet quitting: these scenes of office drudgery are a form of protest

rainbow quest: Pete Seeger’s 1960s folk music television show

Saturday, 17 September 2022

kleiner freiheitsbrief (10. 142)

Drafted and issued in the milieu of the conflicts between the great houses of the Holy Roman Empire and struggle for overlordship, Frederick Barbarossa signed the title deed known as Privilegium Minus that elevated the frontier march of Austria to the status of a duchy, separate from Bavaria and an inheritable fiefdom, on this date in 1156.This denotation is perfect contrast to the Privilegium Maius (der GroรŸer Freiheitsbrief), a forgery drawn up at the behest of Hapsburg duke Rudolf IV, a beneficiary and ruling by grace of the former proclamation, two centuries later in 1359 which not only raised Austria’s status higher to an archduchy, it was not intended to replace Barbarossa’s deed but rather supplant it by sourcing some of the documentation to Julius Caesar for the Roman province of Noricum (roughly modern day Austria). The original was conveniently lost and many courtiers found the new document suspect—including Petrarch, who openly declared it a fake. Any grumblings were for nought, however, with the election of Frederick III to the imperial office in 1452, who had the prerogative to confirm the authenticity, making fiction fact, and conferring in perpetuity the rights contained therein.

Monday, 12 September 2022

ccc (10. 126)

Founded on this day in the offices of the West Berlin newspaper Die Tageszeigtung (TAZ) by journalist and information security advocate Wau Holland in 1981, Chaos Computer Club is Europe’s largest association of white-hat hackers was established with the mandate to champion freedom of information worldwide, transparency in government and business practices and universal access to digital information. Through its hacktivism and penetration-testing, it has exposed several weaknesses and structural shortcomings that undermine privacy and user rights and it often deferred to as an expert witness for German and EU legislation and court filings, informing policy and openly criticizing decisions that fail to redress concerns for public-welfare. Their activities rose to prominence first in 1984 when exposing the security flaws of teletext (Bildschirmtext, see also here and here), arranging a large transfer of funds from a bank to the club’s account. More recently, they demonstrated that inherent insecurity of biometrics by obtaining and publishing the fingerprints of the Interior Minister (lifted off of a water glass) in 2008. The group hosts the annual Chaos Communication Congress, originally hosted in Hamburg but since 2017 at the Leipzig Trade Fair Grounds (Leipzigermesse) in addition to retreats, camps and workshops to supplement its media outreach. The pictured flag (Pesthรถrnchen, Datenpirat—a variant on the federal postal service logo, indicting their careless custody of customer data) is from a local chapter.

Saturday, 10 September 2022

c iii r (10. 120)

 

Already monarch at the moment of his successor’s passing (the Demise of the Crown being the legal term) as relayed in that coda that can seem crass and contradictory, “The Queen is dead, long live the King,” Charles III (cipher above) is formally proclaimed king during an ancient ceremony steeped in tradition (televised for the first time) in St James’ Palace. The Accession Council (consisting of chosen members of the privy council) who delivers the public proclamation, also delivered by appointed criers in the Royal Exchange, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. In addition to delivering a personal declaration about Elizabeth II and supporting a grieving world and pledging to for continuance of government and makes an oath to preserve the Church of Scotland due to the division of powers of church and state for that nation.

Friday, 2 September 2022

music—makes the bourgeoisie and the rebel (10. 105)

The artist’s eighth studio album premiering just two weeks before, the lead single and title track accelerated to the top of the charts this week in 2000 worldwide and held that position for several weeks. According to Madonna, the song was inspired by an almost spiritual in the audience she detected at a Sting concert once he started playing some of the classics from his time with The Police. Its pirated appearance on websites like Napster and KaZaa prompted legal action, eventually leading to the suppression of such sites. The music video for this second-wave disco anthem features Madonna and comedian Sacha Baron Cohen in character as Ali G.

unquote (10. 104)

Though not wholly spurious, the attribution does seem a bit suspect—verging on the never said ever, but in a rebuttal given on this day in 1858 during the series of Lincoln-Douglas debates hosted in Clinton, Illinois, the statesman sort of said, maybe “You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time.” There is a distinct lack of reliable contemporaneous notes but if Abraham Lincoln said it at all, he said something more to the effect: “Judge Douglas cannot fool the people: you may fool people for a time; you can fool a part of the the people all the time; but you cannot fool all the people all the time.”

Saturday, 27 August 2022

pandora’s box (10. 090)

Finally getting some lab time with Open AI (previously), Andy Baio of Waxy shares some of his first impression as he came to the realisation that the apparent virtuosity isn’t just a parlour trick but the unnerving, new uncanniness that comes with the wholesale laundering of the canon of human illustration and creativity—a genie that cannot be put back in the bottle. In addition to the ease of conjuring up any number libellous scenarios and the fraught, inadequate legal framework to address intellectual rights and licensing disputes. Though perhaps not the embodiment of the quandary and more of the magic remixing that make the platform so compelling and conflicted, but we were quite taken with the response to these prompts of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater and Pizza Hut and the highly specific, not disappointing “two slugs in wedding attire getting married, stunning editorial photo for bridal magazine shot at golden hour.”  See a whole gallery of images at Waxy at the link up top.

Monday, 15 August 2022

private equity (10. 064)

Reinforcing the reality that the US is the biggest tax haven, the carried interest loophole, whose perennial but feeble attempts at reform nearly cost the US government and people a significant legislative win in terms of environmental protection and financial recovery, represents the bonus cut an investment manager—arguably a fee earned for enhancing the performance of stock portfolio—which are not in America taxed as regular earnings. Although the concept dates back to the sixteenth century and the age of colonialism—ships’ captains taking a share of profits ultimately earned on goods carried or transported as a way to build and maintain boat and crew and avoiding the prohibition against usurious loans, the idea was not codified, incentivised until 1913 and the explosion of domestic hydrocarbon exploration. Applying a lesser tax liability to the explorers’ profit (versus the share that the partners received) based on the above reasoning that the explorers were also shouldering a risk if their venture was unsuccessful, the immediate returns were classified as capital gains and due to the difficulty of assessing future value, taxes on carried interest can be deferred until cashed out. This is why poor-mouthing billionaires take out successive loans rather than reify their worth on paper. Moreover, with this continued concession to current regulations, wealth managers, hedge fund operators and the like are able to further exploit the returns on an investment above and beyond their individual exposure to the total profits earned by gambling with other people’s money, taxed at about half what earners in a much lower income bracket would be liable for.

Sunday, 14 August 2022

9x9 (10. 059)

i’m sorry but this is quite clearly a haunted murder panda and/or the protagonist of moshfegh’s next novel. do not buy: an assortment of random oddities that one preeminent author is selling her online emporium—via Nag on the Lake’s Sunday Links (check it out!)  

quasi-modal: apparently “thy shall be done” is a thing now  

eye of the beholder: an AI visits a contemporary art museum 

printers’ auxiliaries: a beautiful 1940 book of typefaces from the Gujarati foundry  

if marisol and nilofer are the only non-white women at the staff meeting, how frequently will each be called by the other’s name: word problems for female professionals that aren’t so non-sequitur  

pulp power: the mainstay illustrative style of 1930s and 40s serial fiction  

heat dumping: searching for the etymology of the adaptive behaviour of splooting—which is referred to in England as squirrel “pancaking” 

world englishes: the OED on Irish’s contribution to language—see previously  

a lamb himself: an excerpt from Ottessa Moshfegh’s novel Lapvona

Thursday, 11 August 2022

petard hoist much? (10. 052)

Not only was the FBI search conducted on Trump's private residence and club largely informed from a confidential source whom was able to identify what government records Trump had removed and retained in violation of the 1978 Presidential Records Act—mandated after the Watergate scandal—and timed the investigation for when Trump would not be at home (under the direction of Christopher A Wray, a Trump appointee), furthermore President Trump made this infraction a far more serious crime Citizen Trump than it otherwise would have been. After repeated calls for his 2016 opponent and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to be thrown in jail for her private email server, Trump endorsed a law that made mishandling of classified materials a felony offense, punishable by up to five years in prison. The bureau of course knew what sort of partisan sh—tshow they would stir up with this unprecedented action and calculated that tempting the media circus was worth the pursuit.

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

Sunday, 31 July 2022

so we spin (10. 029)

Published in part at the link, we enjoyed this introduction to the graphic design portfolio of Elinor and Joe Selame in their 1971 data-visualisation (see also here and here) volume that poses the question whether one is a wheel or a cog and demonstrates the discipline’s commitment to limning socio-economic realities and communicating an class and ethnographic truth. Widening inequalities create a thesis and antithesis that can be convey clearly in a family of symbols, which not only project and reflect society, the technique can also help one to understand one’s role within the context of community. More at Print Magazine at the link above.

u is for undine pursuing ulyssess and umberto, who fee her damp, death-dealing kisses (10. 028)

Via Nag on the Lake’s always excellent Sunday Links (lots more to see there), we are directed towards a concise, antique abecedarium (previously) of celebrities of 1899—most of whom are recognisable and accessible to modern audiences—with rhyming verses that gently lampoon fin de siรจcle poets, authors composers and politicians paired with figures from Antiquity. There’s no context really for this tightly rhymed (Q, V and X are done well) and nicely illustrated work by Oliver Herford that tosses together historic and contemporary personages in a bizarre manner but no matter. Columbus, who tries to explain how to balance an egg—to the utter disdain of Confucius, Carlyle, Cleopatra, and Cain.

Saturday, 16 July 2022

7x7 (9. 999)

featherbase: a consortium of ornithologists join their collections and make them freely accessible on-line—via Web Curios 

cut-up technique: Artbreeder (previously) creates collages with your help—via Waxy 

harry and the hitman: Oklahoma man pleads self-defence, claiming potential assailant had summoned a Bigfoot to kill him  

deep scatter library: stellar cartography mapping a billion stars in the Milky Way  

culmen > columna > compagna colonnella > coronnel > colonel: explore etymologies with this interactive tool from the creators of Interlinear Books and Language Hat  

unsleeved: an exhibit on the art of the record cover and designer Alex Steinweiss 

trainspotting: an obsessive database of European rolling stock—also via Web Curios

Saturday, 2 July 2022

6x6

a$ap pocky: Ardnira Putra creates immersive, nostalgic Nintendo 64 vapour wave landscapes  

clean air act: the US Supreme Court curtails the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to regulate carbon emissions, pollutants 

kopen op afstand: the auction clock of royal FloraHolland—and how it was victim of its own popularity  

forty text-tone compilation: a duo expressively dances to all the iPhone alerts  

tpv: researchers develop thermophotovoltaic cells that passively converts white hot heat into electricity—via Slashdot 

biaoqingbao: the lexicon of emoji and memes are being admitted as evidence in more and more lawsuits in China—see previously

Friday, 1 July 2022

riaghaltas na h-alba

Coming into effect on this day in 1999 following a 1997 referendum, devolution meant that legislative powers for the constituent nation within the United Kingdom were transferred from the old Scottish Office in London (where the Lord Advocate had been responsible for many of the executive decisions of Scotland) officially to St Andrew’s House in Edinburgh where a cabinet of ministers accountable to the Scottish Parliament (previously here, here, here and here) are responsible for domestic policy and administration. While legislatively foreign and economic policy, consumer rights, pensions and trade are reserved matters for the UK parliament, major aspects regarding healthcare, education, justice, environment, policing and housing are devolved. That inaugural session of Parliament opened by Queen Elizabeth II also falls on the anniversary of the 1543 that united the kingdoms—though not before the terms were ultimately rejected by Scotland, leading to eight years of conflict known as the Rough Wooing.