Tuesday, 14 March 2023

dita e verรซs (10. 610)

Translating to summer’s day in Albanian, the springtime rite with pre-Christian origins is observed on this day and corresponds to the beginning of the New Year on the Old Calendar, aligning with the seasonal shift from winter. Celebrations are marked with family reunions, intensive spring-cleaning, reverence for the life returning, and jumping over, through bonfires for a ritual purification to drive away the darkness and referred to as shedding the fleas—recalling an expedient method of delousing as well as with the Verore, a red and white bracelet worn to mark the occasion and the preparation of sugar cookies called ballokume—named for a review by one Ottoman rulers that: ร‹shtรซ ba si llokume—it was as good as lokum—that is, Turkish Delights.

Thursday, 9 June 2022

uovo di colombo

An example of hindsight bias and apocryphally attributed to the Italian navigator—though there’s no evidence that this exchange occurred, the Egg of Columbus is an expression that reduces the extraordinary to the inevitable after the fact but counters that assessment by showing that the solution was not an obvious one. Told by fellow explorers, reportedly, that discovering an oceanic trade route to the Indies was no great accomplishment and ships would have eventually gotten there without him, Columbus challenges his critics to balance an egg on its tip. Once his interlocutors fail to do so, Christopher bluntly demonstrates how its done by tapping the egg until it flattens just enough. The inelegant solution appears in literary references by Mary Shelley in her Frankenstein as well as in War and Peace by Tolstoy and in The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. It is also cited as a heuristic device by Charles Darwin and Nikola Tesla.

Monday, 9 May 2022

orbital resonance

Though the Octave of Easter refers to a specific eight-day celebration in connect to the Paschaltide, our

word week itself (via the German Woche) derives from the same root as octave and that one out-of-cycle unit of time—that is, seemingly the sequence repeated for countless generations not determined by the motion of the Heavens or our perception of them but nonetheless in most Western and Eastern traditions named for the astronomical objects visible to the unaided eye. The ordering does not accord with the classical model of the Cosmos—the “Chaldean order” that describes the apparent overtaking and retrograde motion relative to the Earth—nor hierarchy of the pantheon, however, but rather the seven strings of the Mesopotamian lyre with which the celestial spheres were thought to harmonise: (4) Sunday ☉, (1) Monday ☽, (5) Tuesday ♂ (Mardi in French), (2) Wednesday ☿ (Mercoledรฌ), (6) Thursday ♃ (Donnerstag), (3) Friday ♀ (Venres) and (7) Saturday ♄. Vexed somewhat by the onerous and complicated Roman subdivision of the days and the planetary officer appointed to each hours, the order of the weekdays seemingly recapitulates musical theory and progression through the major scale. More at the links above and in this video adaptation below from Sara de Rose.

Saturday, 23 April 2022

digital mnemonics

With early antecedents in committing the pillars of Buddhism to heart or for a manual reckoning of the date of Easter for any year—the Venerable Bede’s ‘loquela digitorum’ of the eighth century—contributing correspondent for Public Domain Review Kensy Cooperrider guides on a comprehensive survey of the ways that people used the topologies of the hand and fingers as a mnemonic device (see also) as a way to recall processes and protocols, notation and geography. The illustration of the oversized Guidonian Hand (named after ninth century music theorist Guido d’Arezzo) was a choral aid to facilitate learning of sight-singing—or rather how to read a musical score, the first documented use of solfรจge. Spanning three full octaves and spilling into a fourth—from (ab) ฮ‘ to ฮ“ (Gamma) ut—this diagram is the source of the phrase ‘running the gamut,’ that is—the full range. Much more at the links above.

Sunday, 17 April 2022


trebizond: explore this detailed map of Eurasia in the year 1444—via the always interesting Nag on the Lake  

gotham nocture: a Batman gothic opera  in pre-production

arrowdreams: an anthology of Canadian speculative histories—via Strange Company  

passion project: former store worker curating every last Gap in-store playlist  

out of black ponds, water lilies: an Easter Sunday poem from Better Living through Beowulf  

crisis on infinite earths: Marvel’s inspired splintered dimensions and alternate timelines  

neoliberal pieties: the organised religion of social media is vulnerable to same corruptions and is no substitute for a public good  

latent diffusion: an AI generates maps (plus other artifice) from a text-prompt, via Maps Mania


We quite enjoyed this extensive and on-point thread of the fabulous Miss Dolly Parton wardrobed like Easter eggs—or more specifically like chocolate confectionery eggs—see also. Let us know your favourite and do show off your similarly coordinated Sunday finest. 


Saturday, 16 April 2022

a moveable feast

Prompted by a League of Nations body called the “Advisory and Technical Committee for Commun-ications and Transit” that sought among other coordinating efforts to synchronise the date of Easter—which can wander between 22 March and 25 April due to lunar calculations—with the support of the Archbishop of Canterbury among other calendar reformists passed two years prior, the UK parliament introduced the Easter Act of 1928. Reigning in the holiday but still with concession to the sabbath with Easter Sunday falling on that day of the week after the second Saturday in April (see above). Though the act had the royal assent of George V, it has yet to be passed by both houses—and not without re-legistlation, still being inactive statute, attempted last in 1999.

Friday, 15 April 2022


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.

Sunday, 10 April 2022


improper fraction arena: Via friend of the blog Nag on the Lake’s superb Sunday Links and the depths of Wikipedia comes a list of articles submitted and ultimately rejected by dint of insanity  

possible to express in words: a useful term with a surprisingly sparse corpora 

reprise: another look at Davie Bowie’s 1973 The 1980 Floor Show through some raw footage—see previously 

a moveable feast: a look at the mode, median and mean dates for Easter and the method of computus  

a kitty bobo show: Kevin Kaliher’s pilot that went ungreen-lit in favour of Kids Next Door  

micromachines: researchers developing tiny molecular motors that could be deployed en masse to suck carbon from the air, supplement our own organs—via Slashdot  

did you know: from the depths to the Main Page

Sunday, 20 March 2022


Though possible an invention of the Venerable Bede as the name of the goddess does not appear in the historical record prior to its citation in his eighth century work on The Reckoning of Time describing the indigenous months of the English peoples (De mensibus Anglorum) with ฤ’osturmลnaรพ, whose deity was the namesake of Easter and many related words, since having been overtaken as Paschal Month, Eastertide celebrating the sacrifice of Jesus with the trappings of far more ancient customs. The Neopagan Wheel of the Year celebrates the equinox (by etymological reconstruction, the goddess of the sunrise) as the Feast of Ostarรข, another Germanic—and by migration and raids, Anglo-Saxon—form of her name.

Thursday, 25 March 2021

the penitent thief

As opposed to the impertinent thief to his left who challenges Jesus to save them both and prove that he is the Christ, the condemned robber to his right named by the apocryphal Gospel of Nicodemus (see previously) as Dismas asks that Jesus remember him in heaven. To the latter, Jesus replied “Amen I say to you today you will be with me in Paradise,” who venerated with a feast on this day in the Roman Martyrology and on Good Friday itself in the Eastern Orthodox Church and is the patron of the incarcerated, especially those sentenced for death, and the contrite.

Monday, 13 April 2020


The second day of Bright Week—the Octave of Easter, is a public holiday in Germany, the Netherlands and Scandinavia as an extension of Eastertide and events sometimes traditionally include egg races and other activities to use up, put away the festoonery—a pretty practical idea, which in parts of central Europe, including parts of Poland, Czechia, Slovakia, Hungary and Ukraine they had down to a science, once at least though the practise seems to be less and less common.
Called in Polish above and Oblรฉvaฤka in Czech, “Wet Monday” (or simply Dyngus Day by diaspora) was chance for adolescents to throw water on each other and flirtatiously beat each other with willow branches that made up traditional egg trees and decorative boughs. With suspected roots in pagan fertility ceremonies and the welcoming of spring countered by Christian missionaries trying impose their religion on the natives, linguists conjecture that ล›migus refers to baptism—an involuntary or unwanted one at that, going all the way back to the conversion of Mieszko I, the Duke of the Poles in 966 (coincidentally also on this day)—and Dingnis—from the old German for ransom—refers to the tribute that one can pay in leftover eggs to avoid getting doused or whipped.

Friday, 10 April 2020


egg²: check out Box Vox’ egg-themed week starting with this recipe for apรฉroeuf including innovations in cartoning and carting

public display: open up and curator your own virtual gallery space in this social simulation game

all hail our morlock overlords: after forcing the in-person ballot in Wisconsin, GOP death cult refuses to ban large gatherings for Easter holiday

contact tracing: a nice primer on how the method can combat the spread of contagious diseases without compromising individual privacy

animal crossing: a quarantined couple in London creates an art museum for their pet gerbils’ edification

armisonous: obsolete. rare. that which produces or is accompanied by the sounds of arms or armour, like clanging pots and pans

after all, you’re my wonder wall: a selection of collaborative music videos shot in isolation

victory garden: some ideas for plant anywhere seed beds and substrates

Thursday, 9 April 2020

maundy thursday

Called also Sheer, Great and Holy and Green (Grรผndonnerstag) this day initiates the Easter Triduum, the commemoration of the passion, crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus and is derived from a corruption of the Latin term mandatum for command—from the Vulgate of John 13:34, wherein the disciple relays that there is a new directive, namely, that we love one another as I have loved you (Mandatum novum do vobis ut diligatis invicem sicut dilexi vos) and whereupon Jesus demonstrates his humility and charity in washing the feet (pedelavium) of students to show there is no hierarchy in kindness. This courtesy ablution is not only a religious rite in many traditions but moreover a mark of hospitality in guest-host dynamics.

Sunday, 9 June 2019


On cue, our peonies (Paeonia officinalis oder echte Pfingstrose) are beginning to come into full bloom, coinciding with their namesake holiday Pentecost (Whitsunday, Pfingsten, seven weeks after Easter).
The plant was classified by Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus (who formalised the binomial nomenclature above) in the family Paeon, retaining the mythology that an apprentice of Asclepius, the Greek god of medicine, began to surpass his master—owing to the fact that mortals probably respond better to treatment regimes and in general clinically more remarkable than immortals—and Zeus transformed Paeon into a peony to spare him from Asclepius’ wrath. The flowers have a long history of use in traditional medicine, both in the East and the West and have pharmaceutical merit.

Sunday, 28 April 2019

xั€ะธัั‚ะพั ะฒะพัะบั€ะตั! ะฒะพั–ัั‚ะธะฝัƒ ะฒะพัะบั€ะตั!

Sunday, 21 April 2019

easter acclamations!

Friday, 19 April 2019

super ponte

Similar to the German concept of a Brückentag—taking an extra, intervening day off to bridge the gap in what would be a longer break from work and to make a longer, uninterrupted weekend when a public holiday falls on a Tuesday or Thursday, the Italian language has fare il ponte—to do the bridge.
Unlike in the States where most holidays are observed on the nearest Monday, there are not moveable feasts in other parts of the world and one isn’t given compensation if the holiday fell on a weekend. This year, however, owing to a late Easter and the following Easter Monday (Pasquetta), the celebrations bump up against secular public holidays with the anniversary of Italy’s liberation (Festa della liberazione) falling shortly afterwards on the twenty-fifth and then, if you can put off returning to the office long enough, there’s International Workers’ Day (Festa del lavoro) on 1 May. These happy quirks of the calendar are rare but most welcomed.

Sunday, 14 April 2019


Sourced back as a tradition expanding outward from the Frรคnkische Schweiz (Franconian Switzerland) region in the early 1900s when public fountains started to lose a measure of their civil importance as more homes were being retrofitted with modern plumbing, decorating them and the village centre with eggs, ribbon and garlands for Eastertide has spread to other areas in Germany.
Though the ritual of well-dressing is a custom that goes back much further, communities have grown acutely aware and proud of their handiwork, since the 1950s generally put out on the day before Palm Sunday, that continues to evolve as a teachable and instagrammable lesson—plastic eggs having become the norm due to vandalism but many are returning to more authentic materials to celebrate the season and the rites of Spring.

Sunday, 1 April 2018

thank you easter bunny - bawk, bawk!