Sunday, 25 September 2022

7x7 (10. 165)

a tale of two times: the gift of a European mechanised clock was respectfully declined by a Japanese lord raised in a culture of variable hours, via Strange Company’s Weekend Link-Dump  

miner 2049er: Atari celebrates its fiftieth anniversary with game posters from Billy Butcher (previously)  

sequestration: a scalable carbon-capture facility is setting up in Wyoming, aiming on drawing down five million tonnes of CO2 annually  

the battle of the planets: the American syndication of the 1978 Japanese anime series Science Ninja Team Gatchaman  

skyline: a free rooftop garden in central London—via Nag on the Lake’s Sunday Links (plus lots more to explore) 

pyrotechnics: a look at how digital fireworks displays competed with the real shows—from the Tedium archives  

est: US Department of Transportation to map out time zones ahead of the permanent switch to Daylight saving time after it learned that no such comprehensive map exists

Saturday, 10 September 2022

c iii r (10. 120)

 

Already monarch at the moment of his successor’s passing (the Demise of the Crown being the legal term) as relayed in that coda that can seem crass and contradictory, “The Queen is dead, long live the King,” Charles III (cipher above) is formally proclaimed king during an ancient ceremony steeped in tradition (televised for the first time) in St James’ Palace. The Accession Council (consisting of chosen members of the privy council) who delivers the public proclamation, also delivered by appointed criers in the Royal Exchange, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. In addition to delivering a personal declaration about Elizabeth II and supporting a grieving world and pledging to for continuance of government and makes an oath to preserve the Church of Scotland due to the division of powers of church and state for that nation.

Thursday, 8 September 2022

rip your majesty

From a brief statement from Buckingham Palace: “The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon. The King and the Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow.”

Friday, 2 September 2022

music—makes the bourgeoisie and the rebel (10. 105)

The artist’s eighth studio album premiering just two weeks before, the lead single and title track accelerated to the top of the charts this week in 2000 worldwide and held that position for several weeks. According to Madonna, the song was inspired by an almost spiritual in the audience she detected at a Sting concert once he started playing some of the classics from his time with The Police. Its pirated appearance on websites like Napster and KaZaa prompted legal action, eventually leading to the suppression of such sites. The music video for this second-wave disco anthem features Madonna and comedian Sacha Baron Cohen in character as Ali G.

Saturday, 6 August 2022

6x6 (10. 043)

blue plaque special: a curation of the City of London’s Blue Plaque scheme—via Nag on the Lake (see also)  

harry potter and the chamber of narcissism: McMansion Hell (previously) show a yassified property in the Atlanta suburbs  

warwolf: a closer look at Edward I’s siege machine—via Strange Company 

i² = -1: the fundamental realness of imaginary numbers 

pferd is the word: some AI-generated horse-hybrids from Janelle Shane (previously)  

delft on a shelf: a house on Fournier Street with some animated tiles

Wednesday, 20 July 2022

the moonwalk (10. 005)

To commemorate the lunar landing on this day in 1969, head barman at the Hotel Savoy’s American Bar Joe Gilmore created a champagne cocktail that ought to be revived, equal parts Grand Marnier and grapefruit juice with a dash of rosewater and topped with champagne. During Gilmore’s long tenure, spanning from when he came in as a trainee at the swanky London establishment in 1940 until his retirement in 1976, he invented many more cocktails for royalty, politicians and other celebrities—including the My Fair Lady to celebrate Julie Andrews’ opening night in the musical (equal parts gin, lemon juice, orange juice and sirop de fraise with a dash of egg white, shaken and strained) and the Link Up for the joint Apollo-Soyuz mission in 1975 (Southern Comfort and vodka, tempered with lime juice). More to explore at the links above.

Sunday, 17 July 2022

hwv 348, 349, 350 (10. 000)

Premiering on this day in 1717 with great fanfare and accompanying the royal retinue of George I on a barge down the Thames from Whitehall to Chelsea, Georg Friedrich Hรคndel conducted a separate orchestral raft of about fifty musicians and their instruments to play the Water Music, three suites prefaced by an overture in the French style. Crowds lined the banks to join in and the event was reported by the Courant, London’s first daily, and the king was so pleased with performance, he requested no fewer than two encores during the four hour tour. One surmises that such quasi-public fรชtes were to help the aging king retain his relevance in relation to the charasmatic heir, George II.

Thursday, 2 June 2022

hrh

On the occasion of the seventieth anniversary of her coronation ceremony in Westminster Abbey, aged twenty-six and already proclaimed as monarch upon the death of her father in February the year prior, and one of the first major televised events in history, we quite enjoyed reviewing these facts and figures about Elizabeth II. As a corollary, we also quite liked this photo album spanning her life from the BBC. Just a sampling of the trivia included (41) That in order to avoid a wardrobe mishap, the hem of the Queen’s skirts are weighted, followed on by (42) that at Balmoral atop a piano, there is a Big Mouth Billy Bass (a novelty animatronic singing fish that held a degree of popularity around the turn of the century), (57) her admirable drinking regimen and (69) how she takes her scones. More from the Guardian at the link above celebrating this jubilee.

Saturday, 21 May 2022

heads or tails

In anticipation of the fiftieth anniversary of the first pride rally in London, 1 July 1972—chosen for the nearest available date to the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots of 1969—the Royal Mint is releasing a commemorative rainbow LGBTQIA+ fifty pence coin designed by artist and activist Dominique Holmes. The obverse of course like all monies features her Majesty. More at It’s Nice That at the link above.

Saturday, 14 May 2022

a show with everything but yul brenner

After previews and the critically-acclaimed release of a concept album, the musical collaboration by ABBA members Benny Andersson and Bjรถrn Ulvaeus and Tim Rice had its premiere in London’s West End on this day in 1986, depicting geopolitical tensions of the Cold War through the lens of a tournament between two grandmasters of the game, loosely based on the game careers of Bobby Fischer (Murray Head) and Anatoly Karpov (Tommy Kรถrberg) whose stakes were reflective of the sentiment of the era and the Reagan, Thatcher Doctrine of the mid-80s. Songs include of course “One Night in Bangkok.” Full-length bootleg recording of the original cast below.

Wednesday, 11 May 2022

7x7

homo loquax: Futility Closet refers us to an expanded listing for the taxonomical name sapient human with some choice Latinate adjectives to describe us 

crate-digging: Jimmy Carter’s grandson is exploring the White House’s surprisingly hip vinyl collection—via Messy Nessy Chic  

le bestiaire fabuleux: a 1948 artists’ collaboration of a surreal and abstract menagerie—see also  

sabbatical: Jason Kottke takes a break from blogging and poses the questions that probably haunt everyone in this community—come back soon  

mรถrkrets makter: the very different (though retaining the epistolary format) unauthorised translation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula familiar to Icelanders  

stratification: exploring the historic map layers of London—via Things Magazine  

word-horde: daily vocabulary lessons in Anglo-Saxon words

Friday, 6 May 2022

blitzcrete

Via the always intriguing Things Magazine, we quite enjoyed this introduction to the architectural vernacular of John Outram with news of his long overdue revival. Active since 1974 and producing a series of polychromatic public spaces that reference the temples of Antiquity. Commissions include the Pumping Station on the Isle of Dogs, projects for Cambridge and Rice University in Houston, Texas, the refurbished Old Town Hall of the Hague plus an unrealised shopping promenade for Battersea Power Station.

7x7

⚠️: a pictogramatical survey of caution wet floor signs—via Pasa Bon!  

load-bearing bifurcation: engineers incorporate sturdy, often-discarded tree forks in construction  

thameside tv: clips from London’s first pirate station—see also  

no tofu: the Noto typeface (previously) a suite of emoji  

unit patch: the more inscrutable badges of the US Space Force—see previously  

pocket mac: the process of designing a fake vintage product 

: Unicode Consortium’s growing list of astronomical glyphs, magical charms

Wednesday, 4 May 2022

strange drama of a captive sweetheart

Based on the 1938 play by Patrick Hamilton of the same name, the psychological thriller by George Cukor starring Ingrid Bergman, Joseph Cotten, Charles Boyer and introducing Angela Lansbury has its theatrical premiere on this day in 1944. To avoid confusion with a previous adaptation from four years prior, it was released as The Murder in Thorton Square for the UK box office, while the 1940 film was titled Angel Street in America. While departing from the stage piece significantly, the plot remains true to the essential premise of a husband undermining his wife’s grasp on reality in order to cover up his own crime spree, gradually isolating her from society and accusing her of kleptomaniacal tendencies. The title has been denominalised (that is—verbed) by popular psychology to describe the manipulation of Bergman’s character, persuaded that when she noticed the lamps dimming and flickering (as Boyer had brought up the lights on the sealed off upper storeys) it was all in her imagination. Though uncredited, the role of the butler was played by actor and entertainer and Hollywood that-guy Arthur Blake who was a respected female impersonator whose act included Zazu Pitts, Tallulah Bankhead, Carmen Miranda and Betty Davis among other celebrities and was even invited to the White House by FDR to do his impersonation of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, much to her delight.

Thursday, 28 April 2022

7x7

elizabeth tower: a tour inside of Big Ben—see previously  

the nine octave harp of the universe: outside scientist Walter Russell—for whom Nikola Telsa said the world was unprepared  

weblog: a nodal map of some of the blogosphere—via Things Magazine  

quilting bee: everyday signage as fabric mosaics by Jeffrey Sincich  

the panic office: fantasy arcade game casings

๐Ÿฃ: a gallery of of beautiful 1920s Japanese postcards   

dangerous intersection: decades of traffic collisions and other corner happenings captured by a young photographer (see also)

Wednesday, 20 April 2022

curtail call

On this day, Easter Monday, in 1992 Wembley Stadium, broadcast live to an estimated global audience of one billion spectators, hosted a tribute concert to Freddie Mercury (previously), whom had died of AIDS-related complications the previous November with proceeds launching an AIDS charity trust. The first part of the concert featured musicians performing short-sets of songs influenced by Queen and the latter section featured performances with the remaining members of the band, including Elton John on piano for “Bohemian Rhapsody” the iconic duet of Annie Lennox and David Bowie singing “Under Pressure.” The final number, “We are the Champions,” was led by Liza Minnelli and included everyone who had participated in the concert.

Saturday, 9 April 2022

jacob and sons

Originally recorded as a children’s pop cantata in 1968 at Cole Court School for Boys and workshopped some more before becoming a full-fledged fixture in the repertoire of musical theatre, Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber collaborated with the group The Mixed Bag to produce The Joseph Consortium in 1971, a cross between rock opera and psychedelic kids show (previsioning another parallel composition) that was a retelling of the biblical figure and patriarch of the Book of Genesis, Joseph.  Any dream will do.

Friday, 1 April 2022

w1a

We quite enjoyed learning about the somewhat inscrutable (to an outsider) rationale and reason behind the postcodes of London in this special exhibition on the Victorian origins of the assignments, how a WWII-era code-breaking computer facilitated sorting technology and what one’s address means in terms of signifiers internally and externally. To promote the adoption and accurate use of postcodes from the late 1950s onwards, the Royal Mail had a mascot, like Mister Zip across the Pond.

Sunday, 27 March 2022

rolling stock

Retelling the story of the “Little Engine that Could” with love-interest and with due inspirational credit given to Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends, the Andrew Lloyd Weber and Richard Stilgoe musical spectacle with all principals and dancers portraying locomotives on roller skates had its debut on the West End in the Apollo Victoria Theatre. Following a year-long run on Broadway, the show came to the industrial city of Bochum in 1988, and hosted in a custom-built theatre (designed like a skating rink) has become the most attended musical in Germany, still running and seen by over seventeen million. Much more, including the original cast recording of the musical numbers and various performance highlights at the link above.

Friday, 11 March 2022

portrait studio

We quite enjoyed learning about early colour film process and the society photographer and activist of 1930s London styled as Madame Yevonde who not only costumed and captured aristocratic women, actresses and dignitaries in ways that brought out their glamour and style, her commission often appeared in magazines of the day.  Having pioneered colour photos (see also) and helped to legitimatise the format that was held in lower esteem over black-and-white and associated with the novelty and sentiment of hand-tinting, Madame Yevonde’s career-trajectory was radically altered with the war which saw the only laboratory developing colour prints shut down and repurposed, working with only monochrome film for the rest of her professional years. See a whole gallery of her works at Messy Nessy Chic at the link up top.