Sunday, 2 October 2022

8x8 (10. 187)

vendedores ambulantes: the sonic landscape and signature cries (see also) of the street vendors of Ciudad de Mรฉxico—via tmn  

from erdapfel to equator: a globemaker’s glossary of cartographic terms—via the Map Room  

queenhithe: photographer Frank Merton captures London’s churches in the mid-1950s  

anti-cyclone: a proposal to tow a barge laden with jet engines blasting to dissipate the strength of an oncoming hurricane  

hyla orientalis: black tree frogs in Chernobyl demonstrate evolution in real time—via Slashdot 

blogoversary: a belated congratulations to Diamond Geezer on twenty years of posting   

the feral atlas: a journey of discovery and triangulation through our made environments from Stanford University and via Web Curios  

tlaltecuhtli: the iconography of the Aztec pantheon

Saturday, 1 October 2022

castillo del diablo (10. 184)

While visiting Rosarito in Baja California, friend of the blog, Fancy Notions, stumbled upon a most usual six-storey beach house bedecked with gargoyles and monstrous statuary and crammed to the brim with antiques that is yet uncompleted obsession of a real estate developer called Tony Wells. This Gothic residence chocked full of period furnishings, coffins and chandeliers has become quite the draw for tourists and there are plans to convert property into a museum, relenting to the throngs of visitors who wanted a peek inside. Much more at the link above.

Friday, 16 September 2022

el grito de dolores (10. 137)

Occurring on this day in 1810 in Dolores, New Spain, the Cry of Dolores that triggered the decade-long Mexican War of Independence, with local priest Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla ringing the church bells and inciting a call to arms to liberate themselves from the colonial government. Though the exact speech is lost to history, the President of Mรฉxico, from the balcony of the National Palace in the capital, ringing the same bell from back then—reenacts the moment with a patriotic rally.

Thursday, 4 August 2022

7x7 (10. 037)

@artbutsports: juxtaposing scenes from professional sports with classical painting  

nearly right: an intriguing Chinese language t-shirt circulating on social media  

sommelier: a Rube Goldbergesque contraption that we would be far too impatient for  

flying down to rio: a profile of movie star Lolita Dolores Martรญnez Asunsolo Lรณpez Negrette 

requiescat in pace: an obituary of antipope Michael, who believed that there had been no legitimate pontiff since Vatican II  

wikenigma: compiling a compendium of unknowns—via Pasa Bon!  

pop cars: visit an exhibit of Andy Warhol’s colourful automobiles alongside the classic models that inspired them

Sunday, 3 July 2022

8x8

el vehรญculo compartido: personal aerial shots by photographer Alex Cartagena in pickup truck beds reveal the hidden lives of day labourers off-duty  

skate expectations: concrete sculptural parks by Amir Zaki—via Present /&/ Correct 

rosรฉwave: a playlist from NPR to invoke relaxed summer afternoon vibes

press key when ready: the 1985 British children’s sci-fi series The Whizz 

i am your atypical neighbour: in an exhibit, Her Window, artist Dayu Ouyang broadcasts bold statements from her bedroom’s view  

hot slot: the escapingly small feasibility that Jeff Goldblum could have uploaded a computer virus to alien technology and win Independence Day plus other dei ex machinis  

friend-shoring: reprioritising globalisation and a metallic NATO to ensure critical rare-earths supply chains are kept viable  

a rising tide lifts all boats: laid out in a grid meant to resemble brain coral from above and protected by the sinking atoll, the Maldives is building an ingenious floating city that will rise with the oceans as perhaps a model for other threatened communities

Thursday, 31 March 2022

dรญa de cรฉsar chรกvez

Commemorated as a holiday in several food producing regions of the United States, the life and legacy of the civil rights reformer and labour activist of Cรฉsar Chรกvez, born this day in 1927 (†1993), whom along wit fellow farm worker Dolores Huerta unionised and rallied for better conditions for all.

Monday, 14 March 2022

7x7

be kind, rewind: the miniature dioramas of Marina Totino—via Waxy  

doobly doo: recreating a Hallstatt period hair-style  

wck: more on Josรฉ Andrรฉs’ World Central Kitchen (previously) and its work in Ukraine  

it is better to conquer our grief than to deceive it: solace from the Stoics and other timeless words of wisdom—via Messy Nessy Chic  

blogoversary: Kottke turns twenty-four  

the wife of ฯ€: a Pi Day (previously) round-up—plus this one  

family pictures: artist Martha Naranjo Sandoval reanimates antique stereoscopic photos

Saturday, 29 January 2022

westanamerica

In a development as outrageous and unhinged as the so called Pizzagate conspiracy theory—which (take a deep breath) in case you had forgotten that madness posited that the hacked cache of emails of Hilary Clinton and other prominent Democratic Party officers contained coded messages that implicated them in a human trafficking ring run out of the Comet Ping Pong pizzeria in Washington, DC—the National Butterfly Sanctuary on the US-Mexico border is forced to temporarily shut down due to “credible threats” logged in connection with an upcoming Trump-adjacent political rally. Accusing the centre of facilitating illegal border crossings over the Rio Grande/Rรญo Bravo, money-laundering and using butterfly swarms to dispose of bodies, the rumours are being propagated by a fund-raising committee hoping to privately finance the Wall.

Tuesday, 21 December 2021

intentos separatistas

Under the leadership of Empresario (the Spanish word for entrepreneur and referring to those granted right of settlement in exchange for pledging to develop an area) Haden Edwards, a group of Texians declared the breakaway Republic of Fredonia on this day in 1826.Arriving the year before with some eight hundred colonists families (mostly plantation-owners from the American south like himself)—overstepping his commission by claiming the authority to adjudicate the validity of the land claim of those already in residence, demanding deed and title to property else land would become forfeit and the property of fellow filibusters. The Mexican government repudiated Edwards' actions and ordered him out but he refused to leave his colony. By the last day of January, the occupiers were defeated by the Mexican army, though the cumulative effect of this rebellion and others instigated like it led to the eventual secession of the territory, both sides alternatively currying favour with and laying blame on indigenous tribes and forcibly relocated peoples.

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 Dรญa 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, 17 September 2021

the persuaders!

Last in the line of a spy, crime adventure syndicate that began in 1960 with Danger Man, The Prisoner, The Avengers and The Saint, the charismatic action-comedy vehicle of Tony Curtis and Roger Moore was first simulcast on ITV and ABC to UK and US audiences on this day in 1971. Though considered a crowning, ambitious and concluding series and played well in foreign franchises, dubbed as Dos Tipos Audaces (Two Bold Characters in South American markets), Minden Lรฉben Kรฉt Kanรกl (Two Spoons in Every Soup in Hungary), Snobbar som Jobbar (Snobs on the Job in Sweden), Amicalement Vรดtre in French-speaking areas (Amicably Yours) and Die Zwei in the Deutschsprachrรคume (one of the best titled cinematic adaptations The Sum of All Fears is plaintively called simply Der Anschlag, The Attack in German) the production of Baron Lew Grade (also behind the series of Supermarionation shows) about two individuals from starkly different backgrounds that have been reluctantly teamed together to solve international cases that the authorities cannot disappointed domestic viewers and was cancelled after one albeit complete season. The opening title sequence (see also) features music by John Berry.

Saturday, 11 September 2021

bpoty

Whilst everything has taken on a sense of urgency and imbalance, admittedly our avian neighbours usually seem to escape these awful Earthly bonds and bother even though our actions and omissions are pulling them in peril too. The overall winner for this year’s Bird Photography of the Year, “Blocked,” by Alejandro Prieto and featuring a Roadrunner (Correcaminos, Geococcyx californianus) and the US-Mรฉxico border indeed highlighted how the subject can limn the greater environmental and humanitarian crises we are failing to address. More outstanding feathered friends at the links above.

Saturday, 6 February 2021

7x7

high dive: Casa Zicatela in the Oaxaca coastal region references Le Corbusier and the retro look of municipal swimming pools 

rip: legendary actor Christopher Plummer (*1929) has passed away 

polar flare: visualising the true size of terrestrial landmasses through cartographic distortion plus mapping countries as offworld colonies  

gulf stream: lack of circulation during ice ages past may have meant the Arctic and North Atlantic Oceans had fresh water 

dataviz: sleek, informative infographics by the Great Grundini  

rรฉseau pneumatique: an exploration of the pneumatic postal system of Paris—see also  

hq2: a preview of the new Amazon headquarters (previously) building in Arlington, Virginia

Thursday, 21 January 2021

domestic agenda

Signalling a radical shift in policy priorities, Joe Biden for his first day and a half in office signed a tranche of executive orders reversing the direction that his predecessor (lest we forget the catalogue of horrors) had taken the country and the first steps to positioning America as a leader and innovative force. Redressing the pandemic crisis, Biden’s spending proposal for economic aid and relief and accelerating vaccination comes in at just under two trillion dollars, imposing a mask mandate on federal property and interstate transportation, extend student loan deferments and a moratorium on evictions and re-join the World Health Organisation. Moreover, Biden moved to bring the US back into the Paris Climate Agreement plus reimpose pollution restrictions recently relaxed and cancel the Keystone XL pipeline project that would shuttle a particularly pernicious type of petroleum from Canadian fields to American refineries. On immigration, Biden has directed the travel ban on some Muslim-majority countries to be repealed, reversed the inhumanly cruel practise of separating immigrant families at the border and ended the declared National Emergency that funded the Wall. In the Oval Office, the bust of Winston Churchill (previously) is replaced—in the background—by one of Cรฉsar Chรกvez.

Thursday, 26 November 2020

¡no lupita!

Released on this date in 1959 in Mexico (in October of the following year internationally, in America markets  under the same title though sometimes distinguished as Santa Claus versus the Devil), this Renรฉ Cardona and Adolfo Torres Portillo collaboration premises that Santa has a workshop in outer space and defeats a demon called Pitch who was dispatched to Earth by Lucifer to spoil Christmas by killing its spirit and cause all of humanity to do Satan’s despondent and joyless, and by defacto  evil, bidding. The movie received the Mystery Science Theatre 3000 (see previously) on Christmas Eve 1993 and one can watch the lampoon in its entirety below.

Sunday, 20 September 2020

alpha-beta

Not since the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season (see alternatively) has the World Meteorological Organisation run short of names for storms for the year, having issued a list of twenty-one names with forecasters now predicting up to twenty-five significant events. 2005 called for the first six letters of the Greek alphabet—through Zeta (ฮ– / ฮถ).

It being 2020 or that last best year with things only downhill from here on out, depending on how one frames we can halt and reverse climate change, we’ll see if that’s the Alpha and Omega. As history is yet good council even in these unprecedented times, today also marks the anniversary in 1971 when Hurricane Irene, having made landfall in Nicaragua weakened and dissipated, reconstituted herself (the first known instance since we had tracking capabilities) and remerged as cyclone Olivia, crossing from the Atlantic to Pacific coasts (see up top), raining out over Baja California. More recently, on the same day in 2017, Hurricane Maria made landfall on Puerto Rico.

Tuesday, 25 August 2020

6x6

a jay ward production: rediscover the classic cartoon Hoppity Hooper

distance learning is the art of applying the bride to the child: Dorothy Parker’s (previously) take on remote kindergarten

long in the tooth: a Greenland shark is recognised as world’s oldest veterbrate type specimen: explore the extensive Letter Form Archive—via Pasa Bon!

nimby, yimby: mapping applications that reveal percentage of golf course and parking lots in your town

casa azul: a virtual exploration of Frida Kahlo’s Blue House—via Messy Nessy Chic plus the edible sunflower and a tiny tug

owls to athens: a look at how our avian friends influenced language and limn thought (see also)

Thursday, 13 August 2020

saint cassian of imola, pray for us

Fourth century tutor and teacher, Cassian—whose martyrdom is venerated on this day (†303), refused to make sacrifices to the gods of the Romans—as was ordered by Emperor Julian the Apostate (the epithet a gift of the church he distrusted)—and so was turned over to his pupils, judging that their education and emendation should be an effective prescriptive. Cassian was bound to a stake and the students tortured him to death, stabbing him with their pointed styluses—eager to get revenge for the punishments and trials that their teacher had inflicted on them. This act is recounted in several contemporary cultural sources including the Annie Dillard novel The Living, John Kennedy Toole’s Confederacy of Dunces and the namesake of a teachers’ lounge at the Bethel College of Liberal Arts in Kansas and the parable open to interpretation. Cassian is the patron of the commune of Bologna, Mรฉxico City, Las Galletas in Tenerife as well as educators, stenographers and parish clerks.

Friday, 24 July 2020

el topo

Meaning The Mole in Spanish, with direction, scoring and starring Alejandro Jodorowsky in the titular role, the genre-defining acid Western is a cult classic—one of the first midnight screenings—enjoys many prominent devotees ranging from Yoko Ono to Kanye West and everyone in between. Bizarre as the film about a gunslinger’s quest for enlightenment who bests his philosophical betters through luck and treachery rather than skill is aiming to leave an indelible imprint on the audience from a creator that eschews psychedelics as superfluous, it is considered to be Jodorowsky’s most accessible and enduringly popular. Learn more from BBC Culture at the link above

Wednesday, 3 June 2020

zoot suit riots

On this day in 1943 in Los Angeles and continuing for the next five days, US sailors and Marines stationed there (either on rest and recuperative or transitioning for deployment to the Pacific theatre) and white residents, enervated by sensational coverage of the so-called Sleepy Lagoon murder trial of the summer prior, and ostensibly over the extravagance of their flamboyant clothes and accessorising that was seen as using up valuable fabric during wartime rationing, clashed with Mexican-American youth.
The attacks spread to other industrial cities across the US, expanding to other minority populations. The violence subsided by mid-June but tensions remained high and concern for the economy of southern California was brought to the forefront, given its reliance on the inflow of inexpensive labour in order to harvest produce, eventually leading to the papering-over of the underlying problems, with local authorities squarely assigning blame to delinquent and idle youths rather than systemic racism contrasted with the inquiry launched by the federal government into the riots which had the aims of determining whether Nazi or Axis agitators were not stoking unrest and sponsored the protestors. The defiance of the Zoot Suitors in the face of this unrelenting violence and antagonism is regarded as a pivotal moment for El Movimiento and related civil rights movements to combat institutional racism and disenfranchisement. As young men, civil rights leaders Cesar Chavez and Malcolm X were both Zoot Suiters.