Monday, 19 September 2022

last post

Whereas the B♭ version might be more familiar, the E♭ variation is employed by the State Trumpeters of the Household Cavalry and the particular flourish was acquired by British troops garrisoned in the Netherlands (see also), drawing on an older Dutch custom called taptoe—root of a military tattoo or send-off and the North American version of “taps”—signalling the end of the duty day, the solemnity of the taptoe itself adopted as an extension of last call, Doe den tap toe—a reminder to make sure that the beer spigots were closed before shutting down for the evening. More coverage of the historic state funeral, including this ceremony, from the BBC and the Guardian

Friday, 3 June 2022

your hit parade

The cover of the standard ล koda lรกsky (Wasted Love) by Jaromir Vejvoda known in the German Sprachraum as Rosamunde and released for English-speaking audiences under the title “Beer Barrel Polka” by accordionist and bandleader Will Glahรฉ topped the charts in the United States on this day in 1939, selling over one-million copies by 1943. Glahรฉ, prohibited by the Chamber of Culture of the Third Reich from spelling his name with an accent from 1934 to 1945, had toured internationally and were particularly popular in America and achieved further successes with his “Liechtensteiner Polka” and “The Cuckoo Waltz” and performed with the Glenn Miller Orchestra and Fats Domino.

Thursday, 19 May 2022

dunstanus

With a wildly popular cult following until eventually being overshadowed by the martyred Thomas Becket, Saint Dunstan, cleric, scribe, artist, blacksmith, brewer and advisor to many kings is feted on this day on the anniversary of his death in 988 (*909). Entering monastic life in the ruins of Glastonbury Abbey in the company of Irish monks who occupied the site, young Dunstan excelled at all forms of craftsmanship and scholarship and was soon appointed to the court of Athelstan. Palace intrigues ensued and other courtiers grew jealous of the noviciate’s influence and sought to disgrace Dunstan with accusations of witchcraft. Distaste for politics caused Dunstan to return to Glastonbury and build a small hermitage and during this interlude before eventually being recalled to London and then acclaimed archbishop of Canterbury as he got to know God, Dunstan reportedly developed a relationship with the Devil as well, rebuffing temptation several times, arranging for the late frosts of Franklin Nights (to fall around his future feast day) to spoil the cider harvest so his own beer might be more in demand and at the Devil’s request shod and unshod one of his hooves. The ill-advised experience turned out to be too painful for the Prince of Darkness and is apparently an enduring trauma as he cannot pass through a threshold under a horseshoe—the origin supposedly of the lucky symbol.

Saturday, 14 May 2022

mise of lewes

Reviewing the chronicle of historic events that happened on this day, I was reminded of something spotted on our 2016 trip across England and this marker in the town of Lewes that commemorated the settlement (a rare English term from legal French, the past participle of mettre—to put) struck on this day during the
Second Barons’ War in 1264 between embattled Henry III and the rebellious gentry under the leadership of Simon de Montfort, Earl of Leicester. On the brink of civil war, displeased with high taxation and tribute and foreign influence in the royal court, landholders and king negotiated a series of reforms that placed policy decisions in a council of magnates but was soon diluted and returned to status quo ante bellum, particularly after arbitration by Louis IX, a champion of royal prerogative and who certainly didn’t want a revolt on his hands, fighting broke out again at the fields of Lewes. Though with his victory,
Simon de Montfort was effectively made ruler of England, he was not able to hold power or maintain a stable government was was himself killed one year later during the Battle of Evesham. The monument to the battle and peace treaty was erected in 1964, the seven hundredth anniversary.  It was a nice occasion also to revisit some impressions (which I think we’ve not shared before) of this ancient town in Sussex with castle ruins and venerable brewery.

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, 15 February 2022

6x6

taxon: vintage animal family cards  

property values: Trump family accounting firm drops them as a client, disavows the validity of a decade’s worth of business assessments  

able baker: a collection of US museum ships—via Things Magazine  

daily constitutional: map out one’s lunch-hour ambulations 

wobo: Heineken breweries in the early 1960s produced brick-like bottles that could double as construction material, via Messy Nessy Chic  

metamates: Facebook staff receive a new official monicker aligned with corporate branding

Saturday, 11 December 2021

most efficacious in every case

Reaching number one on the UK single charts on this day in 1968and made that year’s signature Christmas novelty song, the Liverpudlian folk ensemble The Scaffold, led by Mike McGear—the stage name of Peter McCartney, Paul’s younger brother—along with comedian John Gorman and poet Roger

McGough, their rendition of “Lily the Pink” was based on a traditional ballad about American Lydia Estes Pinkham who marketed a patent medicine, a tonic which most dismissed as quackery (though this lending her name to a product should not detract from her contributions in the abolitionist and civil rights) for women to treat hysteria and other feminine maladies. Memorialised in a rather bawdy series of drinking songs (see also)—as Pinkham’s forty-proof elixir was still available with prescription during Prohibition—during Canadian soldiers in World War I with a version made the unsanctioned regiment tune of the Royal Tank Corps during World War II, the Scaffold’s version was sanitised, also on the top playlists in Austria, West Germany and Ireland. Later McGear would work with the McCartneys on Wings.

Friday, 26 November 2021

7x7

limerent limerick: help in recognising unhealthy obsessions and how to work one’s way out of intrusive think—hopefully through bawdy rhymes 

there and back again: Gene Deitch’s animated short The Hobbit—the first such adaptation  

roll for perception: a collection of resources, a florilegium from a Society for Creative Anachronism member for the LARP community—via Mx van Hoorn’s cabinet of hypertext curiosities  

avenue of the sphinxes: a restored promenade between Luxor and Karnak opened with fanfare  

opiate for the masses: drug use in Antiquity 

mlhavรฝ: Martin Rak’s fog-draped forests in Saxon-Bohemia—see previously 

here’s mud in your eye: a select glossary of beer and imbibing terminology—via Strange Company’s Weekend Link Dump


 

Sunday, 19 September 2021

make it another old-fashioned please

We quite enjoyed this guided tour of the digitised holdings of the Wine and Spirits Museum of รŽle de Bendor in south France from Messy Messy Chic with a trans-Atlantic focus on the American invention—or convention rather of the cocktail in their extensive archive of vintage mixology guides from dating from the 1820s to the 1940s, richly illustrated and full to the brim with drinks and sometimes substitute ingredients that limn a certain slice of history.
There are volumes with celebrities’ favourites, menus of famous watering-holes, all gauged for home entertaining (perhaps for us scoff-laws), like the above and rather forlorn frontispiece from William C. Feery’s 1934 Wet Drinks…. for Dry People, which includes one called the Bee’s Knees, one part gin to one part honey, well-mixed and served over ice shavings. Each of the dazzling covers opens and lets one browse the recipes and other tips inside. Peruse these guides and let us know if you discover a new and intriguing favourite. Leave out the cherry, leave out the orange, leave out the bitters and just make it straight rye!

Tuesday, 24 August 2021

7x7

roll out the barrel: eighteen spots that celebrate beer 

what fresh hell is this: a 1894, illustrated updating of Dante’s Inferno  

contraption: a soothing pinball drop render—see also   

kurzgesagt: a guided tour of our Solar System, unsere zu Hause im Weltall  

sifl & olly: the United States of Whatever (1999) 

landsat 9: a retrospective look at how the past five decades of satellite imagery has informed and transformed our world view 

klosterbrauerei: a visit with Germany’s last beer-brewing nun—see also

Wednesday, 16 June 2021

your daily demon: bathin

Ruling from today through 21 June, this eighteenth spirit is an mighty infernal duke who presents as a mounted muscular man with a serpent’s tail and imparts knowledge on plants and stones and has the power to transport people across wide swaths of land or sea instantaneously through astral projection. Governing thirty legion, Bathin is sometimes conflated with the Egyptian goddess Nephthys, sister-wife of Set, associated with funerary rites and the preparation and preservation of mummies and by the process of syncretion, patroness of the mourning, magic, health, embalming and beer. Bathin is opposed by the angel Caliel.

Sunday, 2 May 2021

o’zapft is!

Proposed by an events planner who helped organise German Weihnachtsmรคrkte and former Mรผnchener restauranteur surely also hit hard by the pandemic and whom now resides in Dubai, the announcement that the emirate plans to host a version of Oktoberfest has drawn ire and confusion from the annual party’s venue city. Mirroring its namesake to an extent with beer tents, food concessions and carnival rides, the proposal calls for it being a pavilion of the World Expo and to last for six months rather than the customary two weeks in September. Last year’s festivities were cancelled due to corona, and though uncertainly it seems as if the coming autumn celebrations may also have to be postponed.

Friday, 9 April 2021

7x7

tsugite: software that generates traditional Japanese joinery (previously) that can be 3D printed or precision cut

prince albert in a can: a collection of fish tin labels from a digital museum dedicated to the Portuguese canning industry 

cosmic nature: artist Yayoi Kusama exhibits at New York’s Botanical Garden  

tune-dex: the real-fake book of jazz standards, essential to musicians in the 1970s 

dingbat: thirty select works of Mid-Century Modern print for inspiration 

beer is proof god loves us and wants us to be happy: brew theorems post US National New Beers’ Eve ahead of the anniversary of rescinding parts of the Volstead Act that allowed for consumption of higher proof beer 

ukiyo-e: the unintentional ASMR of a master printmaker at work

Friday, 2 April 2021

francesco di paola

Venerated on this day—the occasion of his death at the then very advanced age of ninety-one in 1507 (*1416), the friar from Calabria was later appointed patron of his home region at the toe of Italy, Panama, ferrymen, mariners and naval officers for famously refusing to pay a boatman for passage and using his own cloak and staff as a sail and mast and crossing to Sicily under his own power, Francis of Paola also went on to establish the mendicant order known as the Minims. Membership including the botanist monk Charles Plumier who first encountered the fuchsia plant and a cloister in Mรผnchen who continues to brew Paulaner beer though they were expelled from the order for not following the rule that they should subside on charity and alms alone. Known for their humility, their name referring not only to the last among the faithful but also to the idea of having minimal impact, Francis—himself the namesake of St Francis of Assisi—advocated to keep the diet of Lent year round and ate no animals or animal products, vegan in modern parlance. Another legend recounts resurrecting a favourite trout, Antonella, who was caught and cooked by an unthinking brother who tossed out his dish once he saw how upset Francis was getting over a fish. Antonella, with some divine intervention, became whole again, swimming happily in the pond, and convinced the whole friary to abstain.

Thursday, 18 March 2021

6x6

gambrinus/ninkasi: five-thousand-year old industrial scale brewery in Egypt makes archaeologist rethink the history of beer, previously believed only to be made on a large scale with Christian monasteries  

star-fiend: one member of the pool of “human computers” realised that there were galaxies beyond our own by studying depth of field on photographic plates with a magnifying glass rather than a telescope  

pod squad: whales collaborated and learned to outsmart their human hunters in the nineteenth century—via Kottke, blogging for twenty-three years now 

dyi: join Van Neistat, The Spirited Man, for some fantasy fixing  

maslenitsa: celebrating Shrovetide ahead of Orthodox Lent  

vier-farben-satz: Colorbrewer generates ideal schemes for maps and data visualisations

Friday, 12 March 2021

isogloss

Via Language Hat, we are referred to a cartographic website called mapologies that specialise in linguistic, dialectical demarcation (see also here and here), like the Apfel-Appel line. It was not only engrossing to see the shifting sentiment, etymologies and root languages (like this toasting map of Europe) but also the distribution of use for a certain item or animal, like the multiple Spanish words for popcorn across the language’s Sprachraum, as attested by the saying “No two popcorns are called the same,” unsurprising as maize is native to the Americas but nonetheless the variety is striking.

Thursday, 11 February 2021

dial up the ambiance

Via Kottke, for those of us missing the sounds and atmosphere of the everyday, here’s a nice afterhours compliment to this office simulator as a transporting sonic experience for those missing their old bar—with adjustable sliders to tailor the mood to one’s personal preference. Once adjusted and running, it can be used as a video call background for a virtual evening out and includes a jukebox selection of ambient music.

Wednesday, 10 February 2021

the riot between town and gown on saint scholastica’s day

A dispute over some supposed subpar wine served in an Oxford tavern erupted into a violent and deadly unrest on this day in 1355 with some thirty townspeople and sixty students and professors dead by the end, testing the protected status of the benefit of the clergy and authentica habita—that is, the rules, rights and privileges of universities in medieval Europe, institutions that enforced a trial by one’s peers with punishment for infractions far less severe than in civil courts, which the was the jurisdiction of the ordinary public, and carceral facilities.

The bar brawl quickly escalated with armed gangs coming into the countryside to aid the townsfolk in overcoming the university, with king and commission (oyer and terminer) siding with the institution of higher learning, placing religious interdict on the town and an annual penance payable each year on the anniversary—Saint Scholastica’s Feast Day, the fifth century Italian nun who founded the Benedictine order and whose patronage includes reading, quizzes and book fairs, which was kept until 1825. On the six hundredth anniversary in 1955, with an act of reconciliation, the mayor was given an honourary degree from Oxford and the university chancellor was bestowed with the freedom of the city—equivalent to being given the key.

Thursday, 31 December 2020

see what one or toucan do

For a not so princely sum amounting to just over four-hundred thousand pounds once the lease lapses in the year 10759 CE (by which time the red giant Antares is expected to have gone supernova and is visible in the daytime sky of the Earth), Arthur Guinness (*1725—†1803), entrepreneur, brewer and philanthropist took over facilities established just outside of Saint James Gate in Dublin by Sir Mark Rainsford in exchange for an annual rent of 45£ on a contract to span the next nine-thousand years. Having wisely invested an inheritance from an uncle who was the archbishop of Cashel, Guinness first leased a brewery in nearby Leixlip on the Liffey, County Kildare (แ›šแ›…แšผแ›‹ แšผแ›šแ›…แšขแ›’—meaning salmon leap), and perfected his craft at ale and then porter, stout.

Friday, 4 December 2020

fraunces tavern

As our faithful chronicler reminds, on this day in 1783, a week after his triumphant re-entry into New York City, General George Washington disbanded and dismissed the officers of the Continental Army during a formal fรชte held at the storied public house (see also) at the corner of Pearl and Broad. Yet still a dining establishment and museum with artefacts and exhibits relating to the American Revolution, the mansion converted to tavern originally named the Queen’s Head was witness to several preceding and pivotal events. Meeting place of the local chapter of the secret society of the Sons of Liberty members organised protests against the 1773 Tea Act and subsequent import tax with a parallel Tea Party, tossing the cargo into the harbour disguised as Native Americans—as was done in Boston and as the war of secession approached its end, a sort of truce was negotiated to placate American leadership that none of their property—meaning formerly enslaved individuals who were emancipated by the British after impressment or other service to the Crown—be allowed to depart with the British, though the representatives of latter were relatively successful in ensuring that their freedom was their own and could be evacuated. Later during January 1785, under the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union (the purpose of the Continental Army was only to oust the British and then each would go its own separate way) the federal offices of Foreign Affairs, War and Finance were held there with the city as the first capital until 1790 when relocated to Philadelphia whilst Washington, District of Columbia was constructed over the next decade.