Friday, 7 January 2022

web 3.0 is going great and is definitely not an enormous grift that’s pour lighter fluid on our already-smouldering planet

Via Web Curios (definitely lot’s more to check out there), we are introduced to a project by Molly White who curates articles and discussion threads that illustrate the dark side of tech utopian-thinking and how we can’t just code our way to equality and out of an environmental crisis that is exacerbated by Ponzi schemes and chasing that greater fool. There are some choice headlines about corporate malfeasance, lack of disclosure and how riots and disruptions to the internet in Kazakhstan (to quash the coordination of said protests) reveal the extent of bitcoin mining occurring there, subsidised and underwritten by the government’s policy of producing cheap fuel from the dirtiest sources.

Thursday, 6 January 2022

soylent green is people!

With the environment ravaged by dead oceans, pollution, poverty and scarcity, the 1973 film with Charlton Heston, Joseph Cotten based on Make Room! Make Room! the science-fiction novel on resource-hoarding and over-population by Harry Harrison is set in the milieu of 2022. The titular foodstuff is reportedly harvested from plankton and in short-supply due to popularity. During investigations, however, it is determined that the seas are no longer viable and the protein is sourced to human remains gathered during protests by “scoops” and state-sanctioned euthanasia.

Sunday, 26 December 2021

the year in photos

2021 beginning a continuation of the previous year in many ways and not the grand departure we were counting on, changes and improvements are incremental rather than escapingly exponential and so appreciated, these collections of superlative images that chronicle the course of the past twelve months. There were of course too many arresting and consequential photographs to include them all, but this one picture framed by Don Seabrook of after school band practice addresses that stepwise nature of best-practices trialled and abandoned, sometimes without explanation, like those directional arrows in supermarket aisles that aren’t apparently needed any more or the rules of masking at restaurants and how safety bumps and personal mitigation-measures up on the limits of science. Much more to explore from Kottke at the link up top aggregating the lists from various news outlets.

Thursday, 23 December 2021

stillgelegt

On this day in 1986, the Zeche (Coal Mine Industrial Complex) Zollverein in the city of Essen ceased operations, workers leaving for Christmas break not to return, due to dwindling output that did not justify the high maintenance costs, among the last mining and coking facilities in operation in the Ruhrgebiet. The campus, built in the New Objectivity (Neue Sachlichkeit) style, is considered an architectural and engineering masterwork and the conserved landmark, Shaft 12, was inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage registry in 2001.

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

Saturday, 11 December 2021

6x6

level 5—the scent represents a fully personal experience with some unrelated property. the experience itself has no aroma or shared understanding: Yankee Candle’s Stages of Abstraction—via Waxy  

pine-eleven: conservative pundits suggest arson attack on network’s Christmas tree a ‘hate crime’ and an assault on religious freedoms  

by-line: Bloomberg’s annual jealousy list of articles they wish they’d written—via Kottke  

a new system of arithmetic and metrology: Johan Nystrรถm’s hexadecimal tonal and temporal notation (1863)  

alpine exports: Little Switzerlands abroad—see also here and here  

you buy—i die: Indian handicraft as indictment against thoughtless consumption

Wednesday, 8 December 2021

from the depths of wikipedia

Via Waxy, we very much enjoyed this interview with Wikimedian and influencer—kindred spelunker and caretaker—Annie Rauwerda who shares her adventures lured down strange rabbitholes, daisy-chains and cul-de-sacs across several platforms. Perhaps the lone social media mogul whose project the public can intuit, Rauwerda regales, entraps us with delightful and seductive trivia, like Dolbear’s Law for instance, which describes the relationship between ambient air temperature and the frequency of cricket chirping (the number of chirps in eight seconds plus five is pretty close to the thermometer-reading in Celsius).

Saturday, 4 December 2021

wรถrter des jahres

The panel jury of the Society for the Germany Language (GfdS, Gesellschaft fรผr deutsche Sprache) in Wiesbaden has submitted its selection for Word of the Year (see previously) chosing Wellenbrecher (Breakwater, in the sense of disrupting successive waves of viral outbreaks) as the overall top neologism of 2021. Runners-up included Pflexit for the mass-exodus of nursing staff (Pflegekraft) from the profession from burnout, stress and even threats of physical violence, Impfpflicht (mandatory vaccination), Ampelparteien, the English borrowing Booster over the German word Auffrischungsimpfung—which was the preferred term for second-dose, and the new formulation Funf nach Zwรถlf instead of Five Minutes to Midnight in addressing the climate crisis.

Thursday, 25 November 2021

7x7

brickover: iconic album covers recreated in LEGO from Pasa Bon’s curious links 

sand castles: an innovative intervention to counter desertification 

all about photos: arresting, colourful best-in-show exhibits from the AAP annual competition—via Kottke

no one listens to cassandra: rediscovering a 1997 article on what could go wrong in the twenty-first century that’s eerily prescient  

parks & rec: a huge collection of vintage outdoor living catalogues and magazines—via the morning news   

what—it’s not magaggie’s birthday: an unauthorised Simpson’s cookbook  

spin-cycle: a gorgeous, inviting laundrette outfitted by Yinka Ilori and LEGO

Wednesday, 24 November 2021

ampelkoalition

After over two months of negotiations, the dominant political parties of Germany faring best in the last general election, the so-called Traffic Light Coalition by the colours of their respective factions, have agreed to form a new government with centre-left Olaf Scholz of the Social Democrats (SPD, Red) appointed as chancellor. Under this power-sharing agreement, the once deputy to Merkel will allot cabinet seats to other affiliates with Greens candidate Annalena Baerbock expected to become foreign minister and the fiscally conservative, neoliberal Free Democrats (FDP, Yellow) under the leadership Christian Lindner positioned to take control of the finance ministery.

Monday, 22 November 2021

merkmal

Already holding the distinction since 2014 of being the senior leader of the G7 and longest term in the European Union of any elected head-of-state, Angela Merkel,  holding a doctorate in quantum physics, was appointed to the chancellorship of Germany on this day in 2005, following federal elections and creation of a coalition government as chair of her Christian Democratic Union (CDU-Partei), in partnership with the Bavarian sister-party and the Social Democrats.  Acting as chancellor still under a caretaker administration until a successor is appointed, Merkel has helped the EU and her own country weather the Great Recession, expansion of the supranational bloc, a green power revolutions—Energiewende, ended military conscription, oversaw healthcare reforms, crafted domestic and international responses to migrant and asylum crises, Brexit, Trump and attendant horrors, COVID-19 and the climate emergency.

Friday, 12 November 2021

warp and weave

With a significant portion of global power devoted to air-conditioning, the search for ways to shift the burden of keeping cool, passively, has garnered quite a sense of urgency. Researchers in Nanjing and Stanford, harnessing and enhancing the natural properties of silk and sericulture, learn from the New Shelton wet / dry, which deflects most of the radiant energy falling on it rather than absorbing it like other fabrics embedded fibres with nanoparticles to reflect the portion of the spectrum not already covered, thereby creating a sort of high SPF, super-conducting cloth that blocks fully ninety-five percent of heat, remaining cooler than ambient air temperatures by three-and-a-half degrees Celsius and a whopping twelve degrees difference for the skin’s surface, reducing the risk for heat-exhaustion and dehydration.

Wednesday, 10 November 2021

under the waves or government in exile

Soberingly and with an eye to a bleak future of runaway climate change, as Slashdot reports, the island nation of Tuvalu exploring its legal options to retain its statehood in the worst-case scenario that sees all land submerged and its population of eleven thousand relocated. With sea-levels rising, the land will eventually disappear and the government hopes to retain international recognition for its maritime zones and territorial sovereignty as well as compel domestically and internationally what the cultural impacts and losses of such uprooting will be for this and other coastal communities.  More at the links above.

Saturday, 6 November 2021

9x9

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

ะณั€ะฐั„ะธั‡ะบะธ ะดะธะทะฐั˜ะฝ: 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

Monday, 1 November 2021

starting point

Via Super Punch, we are treated to a piece of superlative copy-writing in this advertisement from Patagonia outerwear outfitters displayed on a LitfaรŸsรคule in the vein of this powerful poem from Brian Bilston that invites, compels  us to shift our perspective and not be resigned and nihilistic when the time for decisive action is urgent in the face of this climate crisis.

Saturday, 30 October 2021

8x8

the motion picture that pits steel weapons against steel nerves: Joan Crawford in Herman Cohen’s 1967 Berserk! plus a medley of other horror films 

phenaskistiscopic vinyl: animated record albums—see previously  

cop26: designer installs a sinking Monopoly style house on Putney Weir ahead of this crucial climate conference 

ghostly footsteps (with chains): in 1977, BBC’s foley artists (previously) released a best-selling record of spooky sound-effects  

cloaca maxima: Rome’s revered sewer-system—see also  

auchan daily mascarpone cheese: a decade of Russian music videos  

the high-handed enemy: director Denis Villeneuve storybooks the gom jabbar scene 

 kitchen witchery: a tarot deck to divine one’s dinner

Wednesday, 27 October 2021

field camp

Via Messy Messy Chic, we enjoyed learning about Council of Managers of National Antarctic Programs whose mission is to promote efficient and collaborative operations among the seventy permanent research stations scattered across the continent from nearly thirty countries and
reduce redundancies that might further jeopardise this more pristine environment through the profiles of the facilities of its constituent members. We especially liked the more veteran stations whose architecture and style dates them, like the Belgian Federal Science Policy and Polar Secretariat’s Princess Elisabeth Base research centre or the Taishan lab of China. Much more to explore at the links above.

Tuesday, 26 October 2021

7x7

in the stacks: museum curators uncover what may be the oldest depiction of a ghost on an ancient Mesopotamian tablet 

1928 porter: a look at the 1965 short-lived sitcom (see also) My Mother the Car 

this climate does not exist: visualisations of one’s neighbourhood under the climate crisis from Nag on the Lake  

ev: more outstandingly odd electric vehicles from the on-line market Alibaba—via Things Magazine  

reasonable person: “a moron in a hurry” is codified in Anglophone legal statute—via the New Shelton wet/dry 

graphics processing unit: glitch art in medical imaging—via Waxy  

don’t go wasting your emotion: the ABBA classic, as performed by a vampire—via Everlasting Blรถrt

Tuesday, 18 June 2019

keep britain tidy

As much of a focus-steeling, attention-grabbing sideshow Brexit and Theresa May’s leadership were her desired legacy and commitment—bringing the UK’s carbon contribution down to net-zero by 2050—is pretty admirable and make up for what she made everyone endure, notwithstanding a predecessor even more repugnant who’ll try to change course, though enshrined in law, it will be tougher to rescind.
Before leaving office nearly thirty years ago, Margaret Thatcher made a similar pledge, urging a global treaty on climate change and enacted policies to protect the ozone layer and curb acid rain. Would that all rubbish politicians had such redeeming potential. Although there’s quite some rough terrain yet to cover to attain that goal and admittedly we all ought to be in a better place by now, courtesy Maps Mania, we should pause and consider this interactive essay, chart and timeline from Carbon Brief illustrating the progress that the UK has already made in overhauling how it gets and uses its energy, an achievement encapsulated in the record-setting span of time that the country has gone without having to resort to coal. Records are made to be broken. Much more to explore at the links above.