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

Friday, 30 September 2022

accession treaties (10. 182)

In a wide-ranging address that included the annexation of the regions of Kherson, Zaporizhzhia, Donestsk and Luhansk (newly-appointed governors pictured) in addition to Crimea as well as the concession that his partial mobilisation was an unpopular imposition for many, Vladimir Putin delivered one of his most combative speeches yet, threatening to use all forces at his disposal to ensure the protection of his ill-begotten new territory. In response, the West, which Putin characterises as ‘satanic’ and determined to undermine Russia with Kleinstaaterei, responded with condemnation and more targeted sanctions and Zelenskiy announced his formal application for NATO membership.

Tuesday, 27 September 2022

8x8 (10. 174)

on pointe: an Australian ballet company recites an alphabet of foot poses  

detour: experts urge adding a Venus-flyby to first crewed mission to Mars  

suaviter in modo, fortiter in re: the Royal Mail’s Investigative Branch is the oldest recognized crime fighting organisation in the world—via Messy Nessy Chic  

puffling: with blรกsa Icelanders help to reset sea bird chicks internal compass  

bisexual lighting: the story of a strange picture and other Wikipedia articles in need of an illustration—via Super Punch  

only you could be so bold: whilst Putin invades Ukraine, a studio in Kyiv is creating the voice of Darth Vader

asteroid! coming in from the void: ripped from the headlines 

tiptoe: performer dazzles with their bottle-walking routine

Thursday, 22 September 2022

partial-mobilisation (10. 158)

In a wide-ranging first address to the public since the announcement of the invasion of Ukraine on 24 February, a desperate and defeated Vladimir Putin declared his intention on Wednesday night to initiate a limited conscription of three-hundred thousand males with military experience (all males from seventeen to twenty-three have a term of compulsory service) to bolster a costly war whose impact on the broader public the Kremlin strove to minimize. Militants in the People’s Republics of Luhansk and Donetsk will be considered as official soldiers of the Russian Federation. Putin additionally repeated his threats to use Russia’s nuclear armaments arsenal against the West—emphasising that it was no bluff. In response to this significant escalation and potential imposition, hundreds of protest rallies broke out in cities across the country, with more than twelve hundred detained. All flights out Russia—to the limited places that have not restricted air-traffic—have been sold out, with the last planes to Istanbul priced at eleven-thousand dollars per seat. Further Putin elaborated on the scheduled referenda for the regions under tenuous Russian-control, the two listed above plus Kherson and Zaporizhzhia to take place this weekend. As happened with Crimea back in 2014, there is expected to be a sham vote in favour of annexation, thus carving out more Ukrainian territory that Russia will try to claim its right to defend as its own. In parallel, a prisoner-exchange was brokered by Tayyip ErdoฤŸan, which saw the release of some two hundred fighters defending the Azovstal steelworks in Mariupol on the condition that they remain in Turkey until the conclusion of the war, with other foreign mercenaries aiding Ukraine set free as well.

Wednesday, 24 August 2022

ะดะตะฝัŒ ะฝะตะทะฐะปะตะถะฝะพัั‚ั– (10. 083)

In response to the attempted coup to restore central party control and Mikhail Gorbachev’s resignation as head of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, the Verkhova Rada (Supreme Soviet) of Ukraine drafted and adopted on this day in 1991 a declaration to reestablish itself as an independent state in a tense, eleven-hour parliamentary session spanning from Friday night into Saturday, passed swiftly and with near unanimity to avoid risking re-subordination and calling for a public referendum the same day. The vote was held on the first of December, with Canada and Poland first recognising Ukrainian independence the following day after the results were tallied and was soon followed by Boris Yeltsin and the rest of the international community—ten days ahead of the scheduled Belavezha Accords in Minsk that dissolved the USSR and established a commonwealth of sovereign nations as a successor entity.

Wednesday, 6 July 2022

cosmic call

The latter of two sets of interstellar radio missives were beamed out to the Cosmos on this day in 2003 from the RT-70 (Radio Telescope with an aerial antenna with a seventy metre diameter and former Soviet Centre for Deep Space Communications) located in Yevpatoria, Crimea. This iteration and the first message sent in 1999 follow the same bitmap structure and include the Dutil-Dumas primer about mathematics, universal constants, chemical elements and physics plus the Arecibo Messages, the Braastad Message (to illustrate concepts of family and procreation, similar to the plaque on Pioneer) and contributions from the staff and public. Transmitted at four hundred bits per second, the message was beamed out over the span of eleven hours and targeted five diverse stars with known exoplanets, with the first arrival date of April 2036 at Gliese 49 ฮฒ, a superearth orbiting a red dwarf star.

Thursday, 30 June 2022

snake island

Though unclear if the Russian withdrawal was in goodwill as a part of an international effort to open up a corridor to transport grain and advert a famine or were surrendering from a Ukrainian advance to recapture the strategically important Black Sea islet near the port of Odesa, relieving this blockade and restoring control over the waterways to the country—both previously under siege and mined by Ukraine itself in order to prevent a full-om assault unabated by the aggressor, regaining control of Zmiinyi Island (ะพัั‚ั€ั–ะฒ ะ—ะผั–ั—́ะฝะธะน, previously here and here) could mean the resumption of staple exports and blunt the likelihood of a land attack in the future on this stretch of coast. This victory comes on the heels of Turkey’s assent for Sweden and Finland’s bid to join the NATO alliance during its summit in Madrid and are expected to sign accession protocols soon for ratification by the thirty current member states.

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.