Monday, 24 January 2022

zanryū nipponhei

Incredibly SGT Shōichi Yokoi (横井 庄一, 1915-1997), among the last holdout soldiers found decades after the end of hostilities in the Second World War, was discovered by two individuals checking shrimp traps at the edge of a small river leading into the jungles of Guam on this day in 1972. When American forces took the island in 1944, Yokoi and others went into hiding, taking up isolated outposts in the wilderness. Though later admitting that he knew of the outcome of the war since 1952, he considered it a grave disgrace to surrender or be captured alive, Yokoi remained in hiding for twenty-eight years, making clothes out of plants and surviving off a diet of mango, papaya, snails and frogs. After his repatriation to Japan, Yokoi became a media sensation and advocate for simple living. Passing away, aged 82, Yokoi was interred at a cemetery in Nagoya in a plot with a headstone originally installed by his family in 1955 when the missing soldier was officially declared dead.

Wednesday, 1 December 2021

7x7

dress rehearsal: for a quarter of a century, an individual attended his own funeral  

dominical letters: how the artificial unit of the week came to govern our lives—see also  

carceral publications: a collection of US prison newspapers  

yes or no questions: celebrate the conclusion of Futility Closet’s eight plus year run with a final episode of lateral thinking puzzles  

hvorugkynsnafnorð: despite progress in the choices for human naming conventions, the Icelandic governing body for horses is still highly gendered  

regenerative medicine: researchers develop “xenobots” capable of biological self-replication—via Waxy  

amigone: aptly named mortuary services—via Super Punch

Saturday, 6 November 2021

9x9

the audience effect: fellow blogger and internet caretaker Duck Soup passes a million page-views

графички дизајн: celebrating the works of three pioneering Serbian graphic designers and topographers

mountain view: a prop gravesite used for film and television, interred and disinterred thousands of times, in a very real cemetery 

subject matter expert: the street photography of Eric Kogan—via the morning news  

utter rubbish: traumatising photographs of the garbage, sometimes neatly knolled, that humans produce  

the briefing: a definitive guide to COP 26  

greased falcon: a fan-channel dedicated to Star Wars! The Musical (2008)  

time in a bottle: hackers are amassing encrypted data in the hopes that within a few years, quantum computers will be able to unlock it—via Slashdot 

return to comfort town: more on brilliant housing development in Kyiv inspired by building blocks—see previously

Wednesday, 3 November 2021

aw, she’s the ginchiest—life does begin at forty

Broadcast for the first time on this day in 1990 and reattaining its reputation as a minor cult classic with the Mystery Science Theater 3000 treatment, the 1961 horror film Ring of Terror, following the trials of a young medical student portrayed by a significantly older actor, Lewis Moffitt, twenty-two, played by George E. Mather, then forty-two, who submits to hazing before he is able to join a fraternity. Despite a haunting childhood trauma that involved an incident with a corpse, our protagonist Moffitt puts on a brave face for his first autopsy. His initiation ritual, which involves him retrieving a ring from a dead body, proves far more frightening and reveals his past. Universally panned for its pacing and casting choice that marked the beginning of the trope of old teenagers. The only episode of MS3K to have the short after the feature, it concluded with another chapter from the 1939 serial The Phantom Creeps.

Sunday, 31 October 2021

7x7: happy halloween edition

robert the doll: Key West’s most cursed object—see also—via Nag on the Lake’s Sunday Links (lots more to see here)  

zombie jamboree: Harry Belafonte’s actual ghoulish calypso number—notwithstanding the associations with the Banana Boat Song 

la calavera catrina: a sugar skull puppet presents a primer on Día de los Muertos  

westsonality: enjoy Paul Lynde’s 1976 Halloween Special with a cavalcade of guest stars  

respect the sabbath: periodic movements in the US to hold no Halloween on Sundays  

main title theme: the score for John Carpenter’s classic horror film Halloween 

lovecraft country: welcome to my metaverse—see previously

Friday, 29 October 2021

spirit halloween

Courtesy of Boing Boing, whilst the Horror GIF Necronomicon may not have an exhaustive selection of every spooky animation that was circulating during the nineties and naughties, there’s certainly an impressive amount to be found and the site (an original Neocities property) seems to be still undead and kicking.

Saturday, 16 October 2021

7x7

pour homme, femme, et grenouille: Amphíbīa, Kermit the Frog’s signature scent from 1995  

hampsternomics: a look at how the attention economy has matured through the lens of a quarter-century old meme—see previously 

a day without rain: Endless Enya (previously) from Mischief Magazine—via Web Curios  

memento mori: a treasury of macabre reminders of death’s inevitability  

corvid catalogue: counting crows of literature  

sneakernet: non-existent virtual trainers dreamed up by artificial intelligence (see also)—via ibīdem  

pietra per pizza: a deep-dive into the history of the cooking accessory convinces one individual it isn’t just a trendy gimmick

Thursday, 26 August 2021

apostles’ creed

Via the New Shelton wet / dry, we are referred to a study from the Annals of Improbable Research (previously, the group also behind the Ig Noble Awards) ranking the popularity of saints to pray to for protection and intercession against COVID. There’s methodology is the survey, though I suspect it might be rather self-selecting since respondents were polled on social media but we nonetheless appreciated the efforts and the occasion to revisit some of our holy helpers, like Saint Roch (number two), Saint Sebastian (number three, here pleading with Jesus for the life of the gravedigger during the plague), and coming in last at a tie, SS Expedit and Corona.

Wednesday, 4 August 2021

dama de elche

Discovered just south of the eponymous private estate on this day in 1897, the intricate limestone bust known as the Lady of Elx is a fourth or fifth century BC Punic-Iberian artefact depicting the Carthage goddess Tanit, the equivalent of Astarte—Romanised as Juno Caelestis. Possibly used as a funerary urn, the originally sculpture would have been polychromed and the coils of her elaborate headdress are called rodetes and once featured on the one peseta bank note.

Monday, 2 August 2021

your daily demon: ronové

Our twenty-seventh spirit is a monstrous marquis governing from today through 7 August and whose office is to teach the art of rhetoric, persuasive speaking and language arts in general. Controlling nineteen legion and sometimes described as a taker of old souls—coming to harvest those decrepit and approaching death, Ronové is countered by the guardian angel Yorethael.



Wednesday, 28 July 2021

your daily demon: buné

Governing from today through the first of August, our twenty-sixth spirit, a powerful infernal duke commanding thirty legion, presents as a three-headed dragon, one visage like a dog, one like that of a griffon and the middle the face of a man. Able to rouse the dead and imbue eloquence of speech to the summoner, Buné—whose name may ultimately derive from Buto, a place sacred to the Mesopotamian goddess Isis and the Egyptian cobra goddess Wadjet (the Eye of Horus is called wedjat, 𓂀 )—is countered by the Shemhamphorasch guardian angel Haaiah.

Saturday, 24 July 2021

8x8

yächtley crëw: a cover band’s homage to the genre (previously

sky mall: the inevitable fate of all platforms, selling botware to other bots in glossy format—via Things Magazine plus an update on the Metabolist capsule hotel of Kisho Kurokawa 

𒀭𒄑𒉋𒂵𒈨𒌋𒌋𒌋: assaying the Epic of Gilgamesh—previously here and here  

this beach does not exist: using generative adversarial networks (previous snowclones) to create fantasy shorelines—via the New Shelton wet/dry  

hearse: a concept Airstream funeral coach, circa 1981, which never caught on—also h/t to Things  

not affiliated with project shield, loki or the world security council: an exclusive exposé on cyber surveillance abuse on a global scale 

 transatlanticism: US withdraws objections to completion of Nord Stream 2—previously, now ninety-eight percent done—after negotiations with Germany 

 murphy’s law: an abcedarium of the maxims of management—see also

Wednesday, 21 July 2021

bohus fästning

https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1WRAqqhDaIFD9vg3_9UnhhjIdLHDaT8UGhttps://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1ua36-ik9Cp_VTv-_saE17Q1KJBQj7LBYCrossing again the large island of Orust to travel inland on the outskirts of Göteborg, we came to the convergence of the Göte Älv (the River of the Geats and basis of the Göte Canal) to Kungälv to visit the ruined bastion once a stronghold of Håkon V. Magnusson to protect trade and defend from incursions at the former Norwegian-Swedish border, guarding the region from 1308 until the peace and territorial re-allotment of 1658. https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=19JDyj1pm0Md4LumCU-8M3XMDn_s_8e6rhttps://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1k4PjMsZJcp5YLPtBc8hqjv_QR08mubr9https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1VMV2WmHmeXoAehL-PZ1hspvAECPk23j4https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1HLw9N9QGTRbc83CUm55QRxbFGr7Sr3Wmhttps://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1fKnJDOHSUwfRq-xkaYztk18qIMr--0q1 Besieged no less than fourteen times, the fortress was never taken but allowed to fall into disrepair after it lost its strategic importance. The grounds held a variety of activities for those whose attention is not satisfied with history alone. Afterwards we toured the old town centre with its wooden structures. On the way back to the campsite for one last night’s stay, we stopped at an archeological site called Nedre Hoga—a settlement occupied for the past six millennia but with artefacts, a rune stone (locally referred to as Raimund’s Häll) and Thingstatte or Domarringar—a stone circle once believed to be a seat of justice but now believed to be the setting for funerary rituals that date to the ninth century and the transitional period between the Vikings and the Vandalshttps://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1FaBqCpxlHiSkRsPasu63nLyy9EWNXpV6https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1s3RYeHpUg87IKJSsKGTHij7ShlQOeO-ihttps://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1P-sf_dPiukQft4HUf_p08ZYqrTBmsvgA The inscription reads, “I, Haur of Stream, raise this stone for Raimund—the name preceding the translation by hundreds of years just as Hoga’s farm refers to the proto-Nordic term for the mounds of the Iron Age grave-field. We also encountered a few current residents along the way, including a horse masquerading as a zebra, to thwart flies and hooded, I’m given to understand, to let him acclimate to new surroundings.

Sunday, 18 July 2021

your daily demon: naberus

This twenty-fourth infernal marquis or field-marshal who governs from this day through 22 July and commands nineteen legion. With the office to imbue cunningness in rhetoric and the natural sciences, Naberus presents as a three-headed hound with the body of a raven and according to most Goetic sources is synonymous with the Cerberus of Greek mythology which guards the gates of the Underworld to prevent the dead from escaping. Naberus is opposed by the guardian angel called Chahoah.

Thursday, 15 July 2021

the stone ship of nässja

https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1cKGhWPPSLQjrNB38KYX4iNhZJ4tRsLR-https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1CHHcuKkLl5IuFrGsLfFTPDBz8Fsoj0trThough slightly smaller than the last megalith and not presently on a cliff overlooking the sea, this oval of twenty-four giant boulders near Vastena was nonetheless a pretty remarkable setting to contemplate. Sacred oak in the centre spared, traditional wisdom held that these rings were the tribunal sites for pagan judgments and trial-by-ordeal to be carried out. Subsequent scholarship and excavations suggest that these were burial grounds for tribal chieftains—likely dating from the early Iron Age.
https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1W-wVuVlDHbOpRMtHs5GG13iDilLmGrak

Sunday, 11 July 2021

ales stenar

https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1vbb8zYHYAbsKhzwWs5jPY9PpwStUsoAWhttps://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1aujjfc97EjU0v2MsiW4ncfSyjxS144ucSticking to the southern coast, we came to a megalithic so called stone ship(see previously)—a burial setting from the late Nordic Iron Age, most likely, of an oval of colossal stone pillars weighing up to five tonnes with larger ones stern and aft. It’s true purpose a matter of dispute, researchers are divided whether the Ale‘s Stones were primarily a funerary monument, a worship site or a sort of lunisolar calendar as there are points of correspondence throughout the year with the turning of the seasons. https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=14LB8v0utOsTHgpdfMndUGQASXKOH1E-3 The outline of an astral boat, seventy meters long and consisting of fifty-nine boulders,  overlooking the sea reserves some mysteries and projects a certain energy.

Thursday, 8 July 2021

your daily demon: ipos

This twenty-second spirit governing from today through 12 July presents in the form of a chimera described as having the body of a lion with the head and talons of a vulture, the feet of a goose and the tail of a hare, a fearsome earl commanding thirty-six legion. Giving good counsel on things to come, he imbues wit and charisma, Ipos is sometimes conflated with the ancient Egyptian jackal-headed Anubis (originally Inpu), god of the dead, protector of tombs and ferryman conveying souls to the Underworld, and is countered by the guardian angel Yeyayel.

Tuesday, 6 July 2021

aconitum napellus

Encountering yet another highly toxic flower in the woods (previously), this example monk’s hood or wolfsbane (Blauer Eisenhut, I think this sort of buttercup is specifically the subspecies Aconitum tauricum, named after Alpine Gaul) is also now cultivated as a garden plant for its complex, scalloped inflorescences and general hardiness returning year after year.
In ancient times, according to Avicenna and other sources, the sap of the plant was used to make poisoned-tipped arrows and spears, and has been used throughout the ages to the present day for dispatching enemies. Even handling the plant can led to organ failure and death—so despite the beauty of the blooms, I can’t understand the appeal of having it in one’s flowerbed (growing them outlawed from the early Middle Ages onward with transgressions subject to capital punishment), and who would have thought the deadliest things in the forest was the flora rather than the fauna.

Thursday, 13 May 2021

glyceria

Meaning sweetness and sharing her feast day with the apparition of Our Lady of Fátima, the second century saint compelled to pray to a sculpture of Jupiter which turned to dust by her faith, for which she was sentenced to be torn asunder by wild animals. Glyceria expired, however, before she could be served. Interestingly, especially in light of the minor craze that erupted a few years ago over the chance to drink the mummy juice—sewage found in Egyptian sarcophagi, the relics of Glyceria are counted among the myroblytes, those whose remains (sometimes their icons as well as their coffins) exude the holy and healing Oil of the Saints.

Saturday, 17 April 2021

7x7

cortège: the custom Land Rover hearse that will convey Prince Philip on his funeral procession

whiter-than-white: ultra-reflective coating (previously) could help cool the climate—via Slashdot  

eboracia: housing developer Keepmoat Holmes discovers sprawling Roman ruins in North Yorkshire  

elenctic debate: honing one’s critical thinking with the Socratic method 

emojinal rescue: the Unicode subcommittee reconvenes, heralding the coming of new glyphs  

ramshackle: illustrations of antient structures that survived the Great Fire of London before they were ultimately demolished  

pleurants: bright and bold floral urns for cremains