Tuesday, 5 October 2021


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

Thursday, 12 August 2021

fava beans and a nice chianti

Our gratitude again to Nag on the Lake for the update on this incredibly, impeccably preserved ancient thermopolium (see previously) excavated on the site of Pompeii is opening to the public. With only the wealthy cooking at home, most Romans would have patronised such snack bars, with more than eighty found in the rubble of this ill-fated city alone. Much more to explore at the links above, including an amazing gallery of frescos advertising the menu.

Thursday, 1 July 2021


banning: a 1967 forgotten film about a sordid tryst at a country club 

remains of the day: six relics of once ubiquitous fast-food empires  

plain chachalaca: more badly named bird friends—see previously here and here, via Super Punch

awestruck: short, initial pieces optimised for joy and wonder from NPR 

gallery 88: an electronics line for kids from Sony—see also  

dhead xlvi: a David Bowie painting (see previously) saved from a landfill fetches over one hundred thousand CA$  

grand opening: a brief history of the ribbon-cutting ceremony  

britbox: an interactive fiction project for a cult 70s television programme that dabbled in paganism and the paranormal—see also—which never existed

Friday, 25 June 2021

bravo nuvo

Appreciative of the chance to revisit some advertising psychedelia we’ve encountered in the past, like for drive-in cinema concessions, and strange, culturally-informed McDonald’s commercial pitches being in a category of their own, we quite enjoyed sampling this roundup of seemingly drug-addled ad-campaigns. Particularly we enjoyed this mellow trip through McDonaldland and try-hard nature of a decaffeinated coffee substitute that really had to overcompensate to be convincing. It’s strange to witness this unironic appropriation of counter-culture by marketing executives appealing to conservative middle America.

Saturday, 3 April 2021


treasureland adventures: an arcade game made for McDonald’s that’s a lot better than most licensed vehicles—see also  

campfire tales: Haunted Tik-Tok (see also) and the art of the scary narrative in new media  

self-defence for cowards: our social skills have atrophied but we still bid our time before we get back to old, awkward habits  

die frankfurter kรผche: more on the modern kitchen designed by Margarete Schรผtte-Lihotzky—see previously  

cave ร  vins: incredible wine collection hidden beneath a chicken coop 

look at me: heretofore unseen footage of John Lennon and Yoko Ono 

catch it if you can: a McDonald’s employee training video from 1972

Wednesday, 3 March 2021


spongmonkey: though not a cultural shibboleth for myself personally, this history of the Quiznos’ submarine sandwich franchise’s mascot was an interesting object lesson in internet culture—via Miss Cellania  

backmasking: fun with that portrait animation application, via Super Punch  

puce chintz alert: a truly cursed McMansion built in 1978  

micro-face: a fascinating, multistage look at the process of acquiring a super hero with the Planet Money podcast  

garage mahal: vlogger pays house-calls to the ostentatiously wealthy, asks what they do for a living

previous tenants: buildings that used to be a Blockbuster video rental shop—in the tradition of This Used to be a Pizza Hut—via Things Magazine

Saturday, 13 February 2021

here we come on the run with a burger in a bun

We enjoyed very much this appreciation of the Cabazon dinosaur ensemble, a novelty roadside attraction two decades in the making created by theme park artist and sculptor Claude Bell (of Knox Berry Farm fame) off the freeway near Palm Springs to draw diners to his nearby restaurant, the Wheel Inn (1958 - 2013). The Brontosaurus, Dinny the Dinosaur, and Mister Rex are made of out of salvaged, reclaimed road construction materials and since the restaurant’s closure, have been host, in a surprising turn, to a gift shop and a museum devoted to doctrine of creationism (inside of Dinny—the Tyrannosaur formerly had a slide in his tail but has been since filled with concrete due to safety concerns)—selling dinosaur related souvenirs with the rather shrill caveat that the “fossil record does not support evolution” (see also) and espousing young Earth beliefs, that place Adam and Eve among the dinosaurs about six millennia ago. Exhibits run counter to a frieze that Bell painted along the internal passage way that portray a scientific point of view and timeline that includes Cro-Magnon, Java Man and Neanderthals. More from Pasa Bon! at the link up top.

Saturday, 9 January 2021


The comprehensive rebranding—new uniforms, colour scheme, packaging, signage plus digital assets and merchandising (see also here and here) returning to the fast food franchise’s corporate branding circulated and experimented with from 1969 through 1999. Especially brilliant is the letterform, a double-struck B and K in a bun for Burger King by Jones Knowles Ritchey.  The mascot and monarch are not featured in this new roll-out but we are assured that he has not abdicated or been otherwise dethroned.

Monday, 28 December 2020


Previously we’ve covered this exciting find in the ruins of Pompeii suggesting a well-preserved snack bar, and appreciated the update regarding the excavation and research into this Roman fast food franchisee. Such stalls (from the Greek ฮธฮตฯฮผฮฟฯ€ฯŽฮปฮนฮฟฮฝ for “a place where something hot is sold” but colloquially known also as popina, caupona or hospitium) were common all over the Empire but this discovery represents the first complete short-order diner uncovered and is yielding insights into the dining habits and diets of the patrons from two millennia ago. Preliminary analysis shows that pig, duck, fish and snail were among the menu items.

Tuesday, 22 December 2020


schrรถder staircase: prize-winning optical illusions 

well, the spam, eggs, sausage and spam—that’s not got much spam in it: McDonald’s in China releases a special, limited edition burger  

every day, the same, again: miscellany from the New Shelton wet/dry 

black mirror: a Claude glass was a handheld Instagram filter of artists and sightseers in the late 1700s

back contamination: NASA’s efforts to contain a lunar pandemic (see previously) that never came to pass and what lessons it can teach us in this current situation

frame-included position shift: another impressive optical illusion

Thursday, 26 November 2020


surrogate: Trump issues pardon to former national security advisor Michael Flynn, who pled guilty twice to making false statements to the FBI involving his Russian connections 

thermochromic: windows go from transparent to tinted while generating electricity  

l’atlas: an intriguing new approach to mapping France’s natural glory—via Things Magazine 

 : reimagining the Queen’s Gambit as a MS DOS PC game 

fry guys: one intrepid connoisseur revives a long lost recipe  

stonks: only pausing to take credit for and praise the teetering high of the Dow Jones, Trump presents a very abbreviated brief

Friday, 20 November 2020


vangelis: with ambient sounds and moments of dialogue interspersed, the soundtrack from Blade Runner is extended into a feature-length soundscape  

metaphorical portraits: deep and heartfelt images of table-scraps and toss-aways 

sessile by nature: a nice crafted series of time-lapse movies illustrate how houseplants move throughout the day—via Things Magzine  

adobe add-on: after the announcement that support for Flash Player will be discontinued, crippling huge swaths of the early web, the Internet Archive comes to the rescue again with a forever home to hundreds of files  

upton sinclair was an optimist: chicken processing plant executives place wagers on how many workers would get sick with COVID-19  

waiting in the wings: clear and present implications of delaying the trans—Dcccf Rex zzz. @#z@smaan anaNN—see also  

you deserve a break today: a detailed look at a bespoke Nintendo DS game created as a training tool for a fast food franchise—see also  

patch cord productions: the musical stylings of Moog maestro Mort Garson

Thursday, 1 October 2020


cheese tetrahedrons and synergetic stew: a celebrity cookbook presented to author and futurist Buckminster Fuller (previously) reissued for the one hundred twenty-fifth anniversary of his birth  

lรผften: tried and true ventilation and fresh air may be the most effective way to stave off more infections  

heart of sharkness: winning images and honourable mentions from a drone photography contest  

fรถrรคldrapenning: a South Korean man living in Sweden documents his daily routine 

adobe flash: an appreciation of the platform that shaped the internet and the implications of suspending support for the multimedia plug-in and player—via Kottke  

disaster constitutionalism: EU taking the UK to court, despite only breaking international law in a “specific and limited way”  

can our government be competent: celebrating Jimmy Carter’s ninety-sixth birthday (previously) in campaign buttons

eat fresh: with tax implications for the franchise, Irish high court rules that one fast food chain’s bread cannot be called bread or a dietary staple due to its high sugar content—via Boing Boing

Saturday, 25 July 2020

person, woman, man, camera, tv

Thursday, 16 July 2020


houstonia: a century of the Texas city told though iconic photographs—via Things Magazine

bovine flatulence: a strange fast food campaign touts its efforts to reduce greenhouse emissions and improve animal welfare

triple word score: a Star Wars round-up including Scrabble tiles in the script of Galactic Basic, Aurebesh (previously)

eggs over easy: an introduction to Britain’s influential pub rock scene of the 1970s and its lasting legacy

when she walks, she’s like a samba: a deconstruction of the complex Girl from Ipanema (see also July 2019), the second most covered song in history

le vetture tranviarie: engineer Arturo Tedeschi redesigns a tram car for social distancing (see previously)

eponymous first album: quarantined residents in of a senior assisted living centre recreate iconic record covers

unclaimed baggage: more on the small town Alabama store (previously) that resells the world’s lost luggage—via Duck Soup

Sunday, 23 February 2020


ร  la russe: a guide to Russian Paris

turntabling: musical pairings of diverse songs that sound the same

grow apple trees and honey bees and snow white turtle doves: soft drink giant ravages communities already water-insecure to produce more of its product and raise the next generation of loyal customers—see also

#beardedbuttigieg: many people are advocating for US presidential candidate Mayor Pete to grow facial hair and helpfully previewing his new look

two-up two-down: a home in Osaka with sixteen levels  the beauty of real food is that it gets ugly: to promote its cutting of artificial preservative, one fast food giant features a mouldy hamburger, as compared to this exhibit

shortlisted: a gallery of some of the images to advance to the next round of judging in the Sony World Photography Awards

Tuesday, 19 November 2019


mudras: nifty exercises for your hands and wrists

holy rollers: A reformed, formerly anti-LGBTQ fast food franchise announces it will make amends

konmari: life style guru and evangelist of de-cluttering now wants to fill that tchotchke-shaped void in your soul

flea circus: the marvelous performing Savitsky cats, via Everlasting Blรถrt

between two ferns: eight-two famous and infamous interviews animated

anti-archiv: a massive cache of photographs and home movies from the DDR, via Things magazine

discerning audiences: light entertainment from 1972

self-policing: a browser extension uses machine learning to highlight AI generated content, via Waxy

Thursday, 19 September 2019

cracker jack

In response to a petition levied against the fast food industry championed by two young people from Hampshire in southern England, one chain has committed to stop handing out promotional plastic toys with children’s meals, foregoing the chance for market tie-ins, out of respect for the environment.
Restaurants will also have an amnesty bin to return old, unwanted toys, whose plastic cannot be recycled in the collection schemes used by most municipalities for packaging, where they can be melted down and reincarnated as something else. The franchise’s chief rival countered that while it will not eliminate toys giveaways altogether, it will offer customers alternatives and look into manufacturing them from less polluting materials.

Sunday, 15 September 2019

eleven herbs and spices

A master of self-promotion with its past campaigns to include sun-screen that smelt of fried chicken and Bluetooth enabled dining tray inserts to help patrons keep their phones grease-free, we learn via Miss Cellania’s Quick Links, that the latest marketing ploy from a fast food chain is a dating simulator (I am not quite sure what that even means) called ❤️I Love You❤️ Colonel Sanders!, pursuing a hotter, younger version of the franchise’s founder, Harland Sanders—an honourary title granted by the state’s governor for excellence in restaurateurship. Inexplicably, one of the playable characters is a dog, who is also a professor at the culinary institute that you all attend.  The property will be released later in the month, for those of you who might be interested, on a platform where enthusiasts watch one another play video games.

Friday, 13 September 2019


alltid รถppet: McDonald’s franchises in Sweden (previously) install insect hotels in their signage and billboards

.xlsx: a concerning amount of scientific research contains data misinterpreted by spreadsheet software

glory to hong kong: protestors create their own anthem and rallying cry

metallic wood: researchers create a porous nickel-based matrix (see also) as strong as titanium though exceedingly light

schism: Pope Francis unafraid of conservative groups calling his leadership too progressive

k2-18ฮฒ: astronomers detect water vapour in the atmosphere of a distant super earth that could harbour life as we know it

gravy train: bug-based pet food better for canine and feline companions and for the environment