Friday, 7 January 2022

tetsudล-eki

Via ibฤซdem, we are directed towards a really engaging visualisation of the precision feat of civil engineering behind the transit systems of Tokyo and environs (see also)—animated in realtime (so activity may vary throughout the day) with schedules, further information and street-cams to complement the blocky trains and buildings.

Monday, 20 December 2021

6x6

kentucky christmas: the origins of KFC for festive dinners in Japan traced to the Osaka World Expo  

you sure have a way with people—well, they’re my species: Harold and Maude at fifty, with soundtrack by Yusuf (Cat) Stevens  

lake toilet-brush: the toponymic curse of IKEA product names 

 ๐Ÿ’Š: a round-up of the Resurrections premier  

build back better: US president Joe Biden’s legislative agenda derailed  

die hard’s a christmas movie: Eyes Wide Shut (1999) re-evaluated

Wednesday, 15 December 2021

7x7

the hallmark channel: a treasury of classic festive films from Eastern Europe  

savage garden: the ruins of Rome’s Colosseum was once a wild green oasis full of exotic plants—via Messy Nessy Chic 

touching the sun: the Parker Solar Probe enters and safely exits the corona  

barcode architects: a new triangular high-rise for Rotterdam’s maritime district  

smart tweed: artificial intelligence predicts the next holiday, must-have gifts  

็‚ฌ็‡ต: Japanese in-situ heating solutions called kotatsu (see previously) have been around for a long time  

what day is it boy: the labour shortage hits Scrooge & Marley

Saturday, 4 December 2021

week-by-week

In what’s become an annual treat, Tom Whitwell again shares fifty-two items he has gleaned from the past year. In the compilation, drawn from experiencing editing projects for Fluxx / Medium, Whitwell’s shared new facts learned include that daily over a million images of coffee grinds are uploaded to a fortune reading app (the process of divination called tasseomancy), advice on how to solicit better answers, the MSG hoax, the truth behind the mystery seeds from China hysteria, and a few we’ve previously covered like how cowpox vaccine was transported around the world, traditional Japanese microseasons, how film was formulated to privilege lighter complexions, and how the threshhold effect applies even to a doorway on screen. Many more astonishing correlations at the links above—do let us know your favourites.

Wednesday, 1 December 2021

forget-the-year

Though in practise perhaps a bit premature and ill-advised given the milieu of a resurgence in COVID cases, we did nonetheless enjoy augmenting our vocabulary with the Japanese tradition of bลnenkai (ๅฟ˜ๅนดไผš) office parties that take place usually during December sponsored by companies for their employees that involves banqueting and a lot of drinking. As respite from the pandemic and the lengthening past or otherwise, not everyone is ready to embrace mandated festivities and bureikล—็„ก็คผ่ฌ›, nomunication—that is, loosened tongues facilitated through drink, nomu ๆ„ๅ‘ณ, which allows one to albeit temporarily, perhaps regrettably disregard hierarchy and distinctions in rank and seniority.

Friday, 15 October 2021

8x8

day-walker: monster lore invented by Hollywood—via Miss Cellania’s links 

tastes like pencil-shavings and heartbreak: niche Chicago liquor Jeppson’s Malรถrt  

vermithrax pejorative: dress up as Galen (Peter McNicol) from Dragonslayer plus other obscure, vintage costumes—via Super Punch  

modelleisenbahn: real-time model railroading with Hamburg’s transit system—via Maps Mania 

hedge rider: an etymological celebration of wizards, witches, warlocks and more 

๐Ÿ•‰: chanting, harmonised breathing and parasyphonic sounds  

mundane outfits: revisiting a tradition of dressing as highly specific yet relatable, everyday, social faux pas—an unfancy dress ball held in Japan and Taiwan 

the calls are coming from inside the building: a lampoon of the haunted house film trope

Tuesday, 5 October 2021

8x8

heir apparent: after over a century, Russia hosts a royal wedding for a member of the Romanoff family

9m²:a luxury apartment in Tokyo that makes very efficient use of space—at more than twice the size, my work-week flat feels rather sprawling and and ilunder-utilised 

pandora’s box: a trove of leaked records, following on from the Panama papers shows how the wealthy and connected hide their riches 

faux mcdoo: a fake McDonald’s in Los Angeles for filming purposes, via Messy Nessy Chic 

tx-33: new lows attained in gerrymandering and voter-marginalisation 

full circle: a retrospective exhibit of Judy Chicago  

deuce court: a demonstration of medieval tennis  

ะฒั‹ะทะพะฒ: cast joins crew aboard ISS to film scenes of the first movie shot in microgravity

Tuesday, 14 September 2021

wara art festival

The above named byproduct of the annual rice harvest (see also), the left-over straw (็จฒใ‚ใ‚‰) was traditionally used a feed for livestock, fertiliser and for weaving doormats and other household items, but the use of industrial materials over the years has led to a lot of surplus, and inspired the Niigata farming community to concoct a creative solution, first organised in 2007, with artisans sculpting monumental figures over a wooden framework. Subjects are wild animals and creatures from mythology, including the beaked sea-going yลkai called Amabie. Learn more from Hyperallergic at the link above.

Monday, 13 September 2021

1up

The anniversary distinct from Mario Day, on this day in 1985, Nintendo first released Super Mario Bros. (ใ‚นใƒผใƒ‘ใƒผใƒžใƒชใ‚ชใƒ–ใƒฉใ‚ถใƒผใ‚บ, Sลซpฤ Mario Burazฤzu) for domestic markets for their home gaming console as the continuation the franchise of characters first appearing in Donkey Kong. Scored by Koji Kondo and designed by Shigeru Miyamoto and Takasho Tezuka of the Creative Department, the Jump-’n’-Run side scrolling video game debuted in foreign markets two years later and is hailed as one of the most popular and influential games of all time with over fifty million copies sold of this single instalment.

Monday, 30 August 2021

6x6

headgear: Languagehat is no longer neglecting the latter portion of its remit 

on seeing the 100% perfect girl one beautiful april morning: a pair of short stories from Rysuke Hamaguchi adapted for film  

aggregate accessory fruit: the curious, circuitous route of the misnamed garden variety strawberry  

like astrology for businessmen: a look at the Myers-Briggs personality test 

strokenteelt: see strip cultivation at work in the Netherlands 

erm: a discussion on intonation and a hummed “I don’t know”

Wednesday, 25 August 2021

็พ…็”Ÿ้–€

Premiering in cinemas in Tokyo on this day in 1950, the classic psychological thriller by Akira Kurosawa and Kazuo Miyagawa, Rashลmon (previously), is the recounting of various testimonials about the murder of a samurai, witnesses betraying their ideal self-images through embellishment and omission. The film’s enduring legacy includes its narrative arc of self-serving and contradictory accounts, refuted through a Shinto medium channelling the spirit of the killed victim, and was one of the first Japanese movies to garner international acclaim, subtitled in a host of other languages and honoured at the Venice Film Festival the following year.

Friday, 20 August 2021

miniature life

Courtesy of the always excellent Kottke, we really enjoyed the chance to revisit the creative tiny landscapes of Tatsuya Tanaka (็”ฐไธญ ้”ไนŸ, previously) crafted daily out of everyday objects in a way that makes us regard our microcosm and macrocosm differently and peopled with proportional figures. Be sure to check out the link up top to see a video of Tanaka at work and connect to calendar pages, diary-entries dating back to 2011.

Thursday, 12 August 2021

the matter of facts

Via the always brilliant Nag on the Lake, we are directed to installation above the reception area of the Tokyo National Art Centre of ephemera curated by an architectural studio consisting of fliers, brochures and other promotional material of events, art exhibits, trade shows, concerts, conventions, that were cancelled or delayed due to the pandemic over the past eighteen months that aims to commemorate the city and its many venues by making it a part of collective memory and the shared experience. More to explore at the links above.

Saturday, 31 July 2021

hendiatris

Discouraged from being shown openly and in general taboo in Japanese societies, stigmatised for their associations with organised crime (see also), tattoos—of the commemorative variety especially, were widely on display during the Olympics, the athletes’ bubble meant no mingling with the public. See a whole gallery from the Associated Press’ photo pool, via ibฤซdem. The motto of the Games, Citius, Altius, Fortius (Faster, Higher, Stronger) is a famous example of the above Greek figure of speech แผ“ฮฝ ฮดฮนแฝฐ ฯ„ฯฮตแฟ–ฯ‚, “one through three,” a phrase where three words express one idea. This year the committee added a fourth term, “Communiter,” Latin for Together.

Wednesday, 28 July 2021

7x7

imprint and intaglio: a treasury of antique book illustrations—via Swiss Miss  

antipodes: find the furthest populated place away from your home town—via ibฤซdem  

endless loop: a superb collection of vintage Japanese cassette tapes and related accessories  

dolce come il sale: an Italian town furnishes the Pope with an annual delivery of gourmet salt  

full-house: the Guardian profiles the outdoor venue in Cornwall, the Minack Theatre, as it welcomes back audiences  

down periscope: the Viewfinder installation affords visitors to Sydney’s coast a look at the roiling ocean below  

etidorhpa: John Uri Lloyd’s 1895 pharmacologically inspired science fantasy novel

Tuesday, 27 July 2021

beckoning cat

My Modern Met gives us an overview of the fascinating history and iconography of the maneki-neko (ๆ‹›ใ็Œซ), the greeting figurine meant to attract customers and good luck that first became commonplace during the Edo era, typically featured clutching an oval gold coin from that period and the phrase multiplying it ten million times. Traditionally depicted only in white, Feng Shui theory introduced further colours with red invoking protection from illness and blue a charm for success in education. Learn more at the link above.

we go undercover, wait out the sun

Rare and unseen, we are enjoying this preview of a retrospective exhibit of the portrait photographer Masayoshi Sukita going on display at Tokyo’s Blitz Gallery that includes a collection of previously uncirculated pictures of David Bowie, whom the artist first encountered in 1972 to see what all the fuss was about and remaining friends until the singer’s death in 2016. An iconic image (see also) with significantly more exposure, Sukita took the image that became the cover art for Bowie’s 1977 Heroes album. More at Wallpaper at the link up top.

Saturday, 24 July 2021

music-minus-one

Via Card House, our attention is directed to a record format called Sopic Cap Player and their portable party-in-a-box from 1976, impeccably sleek and modern looking for that vintage, that prefigured karaoke (a clipped compound meaning “empty orchestra,” ใ‚ซใƒฉใ‚ช) machines. The playlist includes “Champs Elysee” and “Waterloo Road” from Jason Crest with quite a few other cosmopolitan classics, demos and comparable technology linked in the comments section on this video shared by Techmoan’s Youtube channel.

8x8

yรคchtley crรซw: 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 

๐’€ญ๐’„‘๐’‰‹๐’‚ต๐’ˆจ๐’Œ‹๐’Œ‹๐’Œ‹: 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 exposรฉ 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

Saturday, 17 July 2021

emojional rescue

Via the always brilliant Present /&/ Correct —please check out their sundries, we are reminded that today is Emoji Day (see previously) with the original character set as designed by Shigetaka Kurita in 1999.

https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1gb0oOAbxX2qqIQHwEQHQdjay27srZxYm