Wednesday, 18 May 2022

7x7

conservation of momentum: a Newton’s Cradle performs Psy’s K-Pop classic  

the tweter: a sweater for two  

the elephant: an Ames inspired trainer—see previously  

trust-fall: a collection of Italian ex-votos (previously) depicting divine intervention during a stumble 

the bond bug: a three-wheeled two-seater produced by Reliant Motor Company—via Pasa Bon!  

amphorae: Ukrainian soldiers digging trenches outside of Odesa discover ancient Greek artefacts   

bill medley: the ending sequence of Dirty Dancing set to the theme of The Muppet Show—via Boing Boing

Saturday, 26 March 2022

7x7

the hay-bailer, that chain-maker: an assortment of highly satisfying precision industrial machines at work

mars & beyond: a 1957 Disney film narrated by Paul Frees about extraterrestrial life

pelagic zone: the highly specialised eyes of the strawberry squid (see previously)  

nymphรฉas: often dismissed as victim of his own popularity and over-exposure, Claude Monet’s Water Lilies series was far from a tame variation on a theme but rather a memorial to lives lost in the Great War  

aerial photo explorer: historic birds-eye-view images of England—see previously—via Things Magazine  

tired vs wired: a Twitter bot that generates aphoristic comparisons between Web 2.0 and the Web 3.0 to come, via Web Curios  

vertical parking: towering garages to remedy congestion

Tuesday, 25 January 2022

batmobile lost a wheel

Having previously poured over the custom automotive creations of George Barris (previously here and here) and his various commissions for film and television, we enjoyed this introduction to the body of work of Jay Ohrberg, which aside from super-stretch limousines, include KITT from the last season of Knight Rider (see above), the DeLorean from Back to the Future and ECTO-1 from Ghostbusters. Much more from Messy Nessy Chic at the link above.

Friday, 21 January 2022

dmc-12

With iconic gull-wing doors and a brushed steel exterior, the first DeLorean sports cars—designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro—came off the production line on this day in 1981 in Dunmurry, Belfast, Northern Ireland. Before the enterprise folded in December of 1982 with John DeLorean’s Motor Company filing for bankruptcy, allegedly turning to drug-smuggling to make up for shortfalls in financing, about nine thousand cars were made with around six thousand still roadworthy. Several custom models were produced including a gold-plated one as a promotional deal with a credit card company for its gold members and turbo-charged versions and most notably of course for featuring as the time-machine of the Back to the Future Franchise.

Sunday, 16 January 2022

6x6

teed-off: the worse examples of gerrymandered voting precincts in the US portrayed as formidable mini-golf hazards—via Print Magazine  

blursday afternoon is never ending: time reforms for 2022 

toponymy: Wordle (previously) place-names editions—see also 

la pista automobilistica: Nag on the Lake gives us the chance to revisit the incredible Fiat factory in Turin with rooftop test-track  

crying is for plain women—pretty women go shopping: season one Golden Girls are younger than the cast of the Sex in the City reboot and other essential reading  

undercounted: email traffic reveals how Trump interfered with US census to ensure polities with large immigrant populations didn’t gain clout

Thursday, 11 November 2021

by-way or the highway

Albeit not on quite the same scale, these extreme commutes executed without an automobile and via slower, more deliberative modes of transportation really speak to me as I have undertaken similar excursions myself, only out of curious necessity, though the office is only ten kilometres away in most cases and not through dangerous terrain however through places not designed for pedestrians or flรขnuers (see also) to explore, fascinated by such transit-zones and will regularly make an afternoon’s errands out of something that would be quickly dispatched by car and a few extra stops.

9x9

silent haitch: the voicing of this letter is “still a significant shibboleth”—a look at h based on modern usage and notes on wh by Alfred Leach  

kinship and pedigree: genealogical mapping shows historic spread and retreat of surnames for British Isles and much of Europe 

rural free delivery: a superb, thematic collection of vintage picture postcards—via Things Magazine  

zeta reticulans: a tarot deck from Miguel Romero features the history of UFOlogy  

ั‚ะต ัะฐะผั‹ะต ะบะฐั€ั‚ะธะฝะบะธ: collection of avant-garde children’s book illustrations from the USSR 

retromod: Hyundai brings back its 1986 luxury Grandeur with a fully electric powertrain 

trebuchet: another start-up envisions flinging satellites into space via spinning centrifuge—see previously  

get lost losers: a rock band flotilla entertaining the cargo crews stuck in the seemingly insurmountable backlog waiting to unload containers at the ports of Los Angeles

agent of chaos: agnotology, the study of deliberate spreading of confusion

Friday, 29 October 2021

suite №4

For the iconic motor carriage’s sixtieth anniversary, the design studios of Mathieu Lehanneur made some modifications to the classic Renault 4L (“Quatrelle,” manufactured from 1961 to 1994)—now fully electrified and with photovoltaic cells to help charge engine batteries as well as glamping accessories—the first hatchback as sort of an open, motel on wheels. More at designboom at the link 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

Wednesday, 6 October 2021

strรถmungswiderstandskoeffizient

Designed with a similar streamlined aesthetic as the tear-drop trailer, the Stout Scarab and Buckminster Fuller’s Dymaxion car, we enjoyed making the acquaintance of the prototype Schlรถrwagen presented at the Berlin Auto Show in 1939, developed at the aerodynamic testing institute in Gรถttingen (hence the nickname the Gรถttinger Ei) to produce a body profile with a low drag coefficient. Though less than well received by the public at the time, the test vehicle trialled faster speeds at significantly great fuel-economy. The namesake engineer, Karl Schlรถr von Westhofen-Dirmstein—from a Frankonian noble family, saw his project derailed by the war and impressed into working on submarine propulsion systems and later imprisoned for assisting Jewish families—afterwards entered into politics, returning home and helping Kitzingen and Wรผrzburg secure fuel rations and promote their responsible use, studying and championing biogas and wind turbines. More from friend of the blog Nag on the Lake at the link above, including a demonstration of the car in a wind-tunnel.

Monday, 27 September 2021

distinguishing signs of vehicles for international traffic

From tomorrow on (28 September, 2021) and with no official reason cited though one suspects it is in show of support for Northern Ireland, the United Kingdom is switching its national identifier decal for cars and lorries from GB (Great Britain, the nations nominally to the exclusion of NI) to UK. License plates which also currently bear the GB identifier and the circle of stars on a blue field representing the European Union will also require a change, to UK above a Union Flag. The new stickers, needed for travel outside the UK but not applicable to Gibraltar or other overseas territories, will be available for £1.50.

Saturday, 11 September 2021

trip odometer

Via Things Magazine, we enjoyed pursuing this gallery automobile digital dashboards from the 1980s, which focused more on dazzle and filling the cockpit with placebo gauges and skeuomorphs exemplified especially in this wildly over-engineered 1987 Cadillac Allante designed by the venerable Italian studio Pininfarina.

Friday, 20 August 2021

6x6

1:1: a growing collection of architectural models appearing in film and television—via Everlasting Blรถrt

brutsch 200 spatz: an unproduced concept microcar trialled in 1954  

hej, hello: the first episode of a Finnish television programme that taught English language skills featuring two very British bobbies and a cat on the Moon 

subway: a comprehensive map of subterranean Washington, DC—via Things Magazine  

purple prose: the 2021 Bulwer Lytton (previously) literature prize winners and dishonourable mentions—via Web Curios  

demosaicking: a biographical history of the pixel and its correspondence to reality

Saturday, 7 August 2021

dazzle camo

Via the always brilliant Things Magazine, we quite enjoyed this look into this demonstration project with automotive camouflage (see previously, see also) not necessarily meant to conceal but rather confuse and overwhelm the proliferation of prying eyes, perhaps containing a hidden QR code to throw ubiquitous spyware off the trail and send it down the garden path. Prior to the ubiquity of spy technology, the article also contains an interesting aside regarding how auto manufacturers first explored this type of detailing in order to combat corporate espionage when sleuthing photographers tried to capture images of road-testing prototype vehicles before their R&D was ready for market and perhaps steal their design—these concept cars out in the wild published under the caption, catagory Erlkรถnige (with the less poetic English translation, development mule) after the Johann Wolfgang von Goethe ballad about the Fairy King with the opening line Wer reitet so spat durch Nacht und Wind—Who rides so late through night and wind? to refer to the drivers who thought they were being stealthy when they were just rather conspicuous.

Saturday, 31 July 2021

7x7

70% cรดte d’ivoire, 66% cyprus, 65% republic of ireland: doodle world flags and let a computer guess—via Web Curios  

peaky finders: a selection of interactive mapping application still functional and chugging along a decade later  

cult of the sun: a look at the Athon, a 1980 Lamborghini concept car  

ss experiment: an unsuccessful ferry, powered by eight horses on a treadmill  

astronomia: a lovely antique deck of playing cards with celestial charts and information on the planets and stars 

flsa: US congressional representation introducing legislation for a four-day work week—see previously here and here  

google doodle: a selection of the best commemorative banners—via Things Magazine

Thursday, 24 June 2021

djet et dรฉcoratifs

Though we tend to mostly imagine the chassis of classic automobiles as neatly unadorned, artist Sonia Delaunay, co-founder of the movement known as Orphism, a branch of Cubism emerging as distinct from 1912 onwards, bestowed a quite remarkable and unexpected amount of detailing to the bodies of older autos, especially in the 1920s when a
custom job was very much in order. First living woman artist to enjoy a retrospective exhibition in the Louvre and officer of the Legion of Honour, Delaunay’s introduction of geometric abstraction as a regular and customary feature helped establish brilliancy and the Gestalt across her chosen canvas. More to explore at the links above.

Tuesday, 22 June 2021

zagato zele

Courtesy of the always interesting Things Magazine, we discover this delightful electric microcar (see also)—sold in US markets as the Elcar with Wagonette models available—from 1974 to 1976. Manufactured in Milan with a run totalling about five hundred, the cubic vehicles came in seven bold, harvest colours.

Monday, 7 June 2021

9x9

glass menagerie: a Murano bestiary on display in Venice  

glow up: beauty tips from Ancient Roman—via Strange Company’s Weekend Link Dump  

coconuรŸritter: a short about Foley artists and creating soundscapes  

happy little clouds: explore a relaxing gallery of Bob Ross paintings (previously), via Nag on the Lake’s Sunday Links   

culaccino: a database of words that do not readily translate succinctly, like this Italian term from the mark left on a table by a cold glass—via Swiss Miss 

electrobat vi: antique electric forerunners side-by-side with modern EVs  

the perils of everybody: a ‘mistake waltz’ that illustrates the pratfalls all ballet recitals are prone to  

where the buffalo roam: restoring the ecosystem of the North American Great Plains by reintroducing charismatic megafauna  

kitchenette: re-examining Liza Lou’s beaded exhibits

Friday, 28 May 2021

8x8

pier 54: Thomas Heatherwick’s Little Island on the Hudson off NYC’s Meatpacking District opens to the public 

al fresco: limited edition Rolls-Royce Boat Tail to take picnicking 

cosmism: the cosmic religion of Nikolai Fyodorov that inspired and informed Soviet space-faring aspirations  

astronomicum cรฆsareum: a beautifully illustrated scientific text from 1540  

circle of friends: a visualisation of the intimates that one can socially maintain—see previously  

rollercoaster tycoon: an engineer explains the different types of amusement park rides  

pole of inaccessibility: plotting when the ISS crew are one’s closest neighbours when one lives near Point Nemo  

project plywood: non-profit Worthless Studios transforms discarded materials used to board up storefronts from inclement weather and civil unrest into art

Friday, 30 April 2021

sffd

Via Super Punch, we are directed to a joyful and pure interview a San Francisco Chronicler reporter conducted with a gentleman who bought a tiny, retired Japanese fire truck (see also) during the pandemic at auction and had it shipped to the city—where it has become a welcome sight on the streets, like an exchange student. Bringing the fully-functional vehicle called Kiri overseas seems like it would have presented several expensive logistical hurdles, but the adoptive owner assures that the intimidating factors dissolve once one actually embarks on such an acquisition and would encourage others to do the same.