Friday, 10 June 2022

ั‚ะพั‚ ัะฐะผั‹ะน

After suspending operations due to the invasion of Ukraine and announcing its withdrawal after thirty-two years, the Russian fast food chain that now controls those franchises formerly operated as McDonald’s will reopen some restaurants over the weekend with this logo, which represents two fries and a hamburger bun—or the Bangladeshi flag and still suspiciously like the Golden Arches—on a green field to symbolise “the quality of products and service” guests are accustomed to. The new identity of the chain has not yet been revealed but there are eight contenders, including the above, which translates to “the same one.” The grand opening coincides with Russian Day, commemorating the 1990 adoption of the declaration of state sovereignty of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic with the intention to establish a democratic state within a liberalised USSR.

Friday, 27 May 2022

memorandum of understanding

Signed in Paris on this day in 1997, the Founding Act on Mutual Relations, Cooperation and Security between NATO and the Russian Federation was a declaration that included confidence-building measures and a framework for cooperation and disarmament that attempted to strike a balance between security and policy interests of both sides. Agreed upon principles included the renunciation of threat or use of force against any other state, respect of territorial integrity and political independence as well as inviolability of borders, the right self-determination and the right to choose the best means of ensuring their own security to be overseen by a joint council. Russia violated the agreement in 2008 with its war in Georgia, in 2014 with the annexation of Crimea and with the current war in Ukraine. In response to aforementioned incursions, NATO for its part has violated its pledge not to permanently station troops in new member states.

Wednesday, 18 May 2022

7x7

conservation of momentum: a Newton’s Cradle performs Psy’s K-Pop classic  

the tweter: a sweater for two  

the elephant: an Ames inspired trainer—see previously  

trust-fall: a collection of Italian ex-votos (previously) depicting divine intervention during a stumble 

the bond bug: a three-wheeled two-seater produced by Reliant Motor Company—via Pasa Bon!  

amphorae: Ukrainian soldiers digging trenches outside of Odesa discover ancient Greek artefacts   

bill medley: the ending sequence of Dirty Dancing set to the theme of The Muppet Show—via Boing Boing

Sunday, 1 May 2022

sama merdo

The group hailing from Kherson and active from 1993 to 2007, Piฤ‰ismo is a hard core punk band notable for performing in Esperanto (see below). In July of 1995, they organised and participated in a music festival in Hola Prystan’ called a “Concert of Loud Music in Incomprehensible Languages” and invited other Esperanto- and Volapรผk-speaking bands. In 2002, the again headlined a fest in Saint Petersburg called “Bored of the Conlangs” (see above). The title of their demo track translates to “Suddenly Crap.”

Tuesday, 26 April 2022

arch-fiends

Kyiv mayor Vitali Klitschko announced that the Soviet-era monument, a large titanium arch in the city centre over an ensemble of statues including two bronze workers erected in 1982 on the sixtieth anniversary of the USSR and fifteen-hundredth anniversary of the founding of Kiev representing the Order of Friendship of Peoples will undergo alterations.  Known locally as ะฏั€ะผะพ́, the comrades holding aloft a medal symbolising this accord that saw the reunification of Ukraine with Russia have been dismantled (see also), and whilst the arch—which since the 2014 annexation of Crimea has born a crack painted by activists to indicate the strained relationship—will remain but be highlighted in the colours of the Ukrainian flag.  Reportedly, the figure representing Russia was accidentally decapitated during removal, and further streets (see previously) named for Russian personages will be renamed—emphasising of course that Russian culture is not under attack but rather the ideology of monument and memorial is liable to be bankrupt given current affairs.

ั„ั–ะปะฐั‚ะตะปั–́ั

A couple weeks after members of the public queued to purchase postage stamps commemorating the defenders of Snake Island and Roman Hrybov defiantly telling off “Russian Warship,” the Mockva (originally built in 1979 in a Ukrainian shipyard for the Soviet navy as the Slava—Glory), the flagship of Russia’s Black Sea fleet now sunk, Ukrposhta announces it will be issuing a new stamp, from eleven year-old illustrator Sophia Kravchuk, dedicated to the memory of the largest airplane in the world, the Mriya, destroyed by the Russians during the opening salvos of the invasion.

Friday, 15 April 2022

paas

Though the pictured eggs are on our Ostereierbaum and are not generated by an artificial intelligence, we thought that they did have some of the same swirly effects as these iterations of Easter eggs created by Janelle Shane (see previously) and her neural networks, including Artstation and Midjourney (previously). The output “seasoned” with the Ukrainian traditional pysanky and krashanky patterns are inspired, as are the giant looming eggs in the style of a matte painting. Incidentally, scholars believe that the abundance of eggs for this time of the year is owing to the prohibition of eating them during Lent coupled with the fact that chickens couldn’t be persuaded to stop laying them, so they needed to be consumed quickly as soon as possible once the restrictions lifted. The name of the titular, ubiquitous and arguably less artful colouring dye comes from the Dutch Pasen for Eastertide.

Monday, 11 April 2022

tryzub

Officially adopted by the Rada after independence and the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1992 and with historical precedence going back to the Ukrainian People’s Republic of 1918 and in the historic seals and brands (tamga, ๐ฑƒ๐ฐข๐ฐ๐ฐ€, from the Old Turkic to mark the property of nomadic peoples—see also) of the Rurikid rulers of the Kyivan Rus, the country’s coat of arms, the Emblem of the Royal State of Volodymyr the Great, is described as a “trident” of gold (ะขั€ะธะทัƒะฑ) on an azure shield but likely was intended to represent the Trinity in the form of a stylised gyrfalcon (like this one from outside of St Petersburg connected to an eighth century Viking trading outpost on Lake Lagoda at the other extreme of the Rus’), consistent with the iconography associated with the Scandinavian extraction of the ruling dynasty.

Saturday, 9 April 2022

8x8

r/place: Josh Wardle’s (previously) first viral success with this collaborative subreddit  

modern screen: an annotated read along of a February 1961 celebrity magazine  

hey hey, rise up: Pink Floyd reunites to support Ukraine  

see you later, percolator: a gallery of vintage, commercial coffee makers  

spotifictional: a streaming back-catalogue of bands from television and the movies 

cheese heist: dairy crime-rings around the world—see also  

scratchcard lanyard: a song from Dry Cleaning 

explordle: guess the global cities as webcam images flit by—via Web Curios

Friday, 8 April 2022

imperial ambitions

On this day in 1783, Czarina Catherine the Great announced the annexation, following a favourable outcome in the Russo-Turkic Wars against the Ottoman Empire, of Crimea, the right-bank of the Kuban region and the Taman peninsula that separates the Azov from the Black Sea. Other territorial expansion during long reign included parts of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Novorossiya (roughly corresponding to the Bessarabia region of Moldova and coastal areas of Ukraine) as well as Russian America. Also on this day in 1812, Czar Alexander I (grandson of the former) issued a decree to make Helsinki the capital of the semi-autonomous Grand Duchy of Finland—having seceded from Sweden and part of the Russian Empire from 1809 until 1917

Thursday, 7 April 2022

putinversteher

In circulation since the 2014 invasion and annexation of Crimea (even nominated as Unwort of the year then but losing out to the below)  and now rising again to common-parlance and international recognition, the German term for a sympathiser or apologist of the president of the Russian Federation with the noun that generally means “understander” joins a cadre of words that have entered English in recent years (see previously), drawing sometimes apt but imperfect parallels to the US invasions of Iraq, Grenada, or Vietnam—careful not to condone or endorse violence but at the same time invoking deflection and whataboutism (a tu quoque fallacy). The article from Deutsche Welle goes on to report that the use of the letter ‘Z’ to signal support of the Russian aggression has been outlawed in this country, the letter with no unambiguous interpretation and a Cyrillic corresponding letter which seems strange considering the country’s nationalism. Theories on the distinguishing markers on otherwise identical tactical vehicles range from ะทะฐะฟะฐะด (Romanised as zapad—or a war against the West), ะทะฐ ะฟะพะฑะตะดัƒ (for victory) or grimly and commiserate with the atrocities seen ะทะฐั‡ะธัั‚ะบะฐ, an unofficial military term for a cleansing operation, room-to-room searches

Monday, 4 April 2022

breadbasket

Via Miss Cellania, we quite enjoyed this appreciation of the Ukrainian roots of wheat world-wide—see also—and how grain-cultivation and baking traditions owe a heavy debt to the Crimean peninsula and successive exoduses and displacement—and what those fleeing carried with them. National banner modelled on the blue sky over the waves of grain, times like these reveal the depth of our connections and dependence.



Saturday, 2 April 2022

frieden / ะผะธั€

H had discovered MEUTE, the techno marching band ensemble, a couple of years ago through their rooftop sessions in Hamburg and were very pleased to be reminded of this absolutely mind-blowing percussive and brass orchestra in their latest performance for peace in Ukraine in an abandoned power-plant (Kraftwerk) in their home town, courtesy of friend of the blog Nag on the Lake. Click through for more information on their recordings and a list of charitable organisations.

Thursday, 31 March 2022

catchascatchkhan

The unrecognised, break-away region of South Ossetia, in northern Georgia on the border with Russia willhold a referendum shortly for the fifty thousand residents of the militarily occupied territory to decide whether or not to begin the accession process to and be absorbed by its neighbour. The other break-away region, Abkhazia, maintains it has no such plans at the present. Declaring independence in 1991 with the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Russian forces have held de facto control since the 2008 Georgian-Russo conflict. The last time the Russia Federation annexed the land of another sovereign country was when it took Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, incorporating the independent Republic of Crimea and the federal city of Sevastopol after a much shorter period of transition lasting only weeks.

Monday, 28 March 2022

for my military knowledge, though i’m plucky and adventury has only been brought down to the beginning of the century

Caveats against drawing parallels respected, we quite enjoyed this lyrical military assessment of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine at a month on, which not only highlights how the aggressor is doing a reverse of what they did to Napoleon—as expounded by history and Tolstoy, but as one commentator finds, the rank inexperience and hubris of the Gilbert and Sullivan character (see previously). Here’s a couple of stanzas for an excerpt:

I am the very model of a Russian Major General

My standing in the battlefield is growing quite untenable

My forces, though equipped and given orders unequivocal

Did not expect the fight to be remotely this reciprocal

I used to have a tank brigade but now I have lost several

My fresh assaults are faltering with battle plans extemporal

I can’t recover vehicles but farmers in a tractor can

It’s all becoming rather reminiscent of Afghanistan

Friday, 18 March 2022

you have the true heart of russia

Arnold Schwarzenegger (previously) delivered a heart-felt and emotional appeal to the people of Russia to stop the violence and press for peace. Extremely popular in Russia and universally admired, during the Obama administration foreign policy advisor Fiona Hill lobbied for the actor and politician to be installed as US ambassador to Russia.

prank calls

Both the UK defence minister and and home secretary took video calls earlier this week from imposters claiming to be the Ukrainian prime minister and were posed leading questions in an attempt to solicit inappropriate and provocative responses but quickly saw through the hoax. Though unclear what party was behind it, officials are blaming Russian disinformation campaigns and the fact that fraudsters could gain access to top ministers is worrying regardless of motive—the report ending with a linguistic coda touching on the topic of shibboleths and that future callers should be credentialed or outed by how they pronounce palianytsia, a traditional kind of roll, that Russian speakers pronounce with a soft <ฤญ> instead of <ะธ>.

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

Sunday, 13 March 2022

6x6

choose your own adventure: the character-driven photography of Grzegorz Kurzejamski invites the viewer to create a narrative for them  

warp and werf: the Scottish Register of Tartans welcomes a new Ukrainian pattern  

(oh what a night): reaching number one on American charts on this day in 1976, the Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons hit was originally called “Fifth December 1933” and about the end of Prohibition 

cat naps: Hosei University researches what humans can glean from feline sleep patterns  

toad town: an exhaustive collection of level maps from many video game franchises—via Things Magazine  

photovoltaics: the photographic portfolio of Catherine Canac-Marquis

Tuesday, 8 March 2022

7x7

hopeful seals: the Cinderella stamp art of Nina Dzulkska 

rock, paper, scissors: the colour-coded courtship of male side-blotched lizards  

unrest: the harp jazz of Brandee Younger  

sessho-seki: a volcanic rock on Mount Nasu said to contain a malevolent spirit has split open  

heardle: a Name That Tune style game—via Kottke’s Quick Links 

ten times incalculable: The Atlantic correspondent Ed Yong speaks to our collective numbing to the news  

potemkin stairs: the Odessa Opera in 1942 and today