Sunday, 4 December 2022

mary celeste (10. 360)

The American-registered brigatine, sailing from New York to Genoa was found (see also) by fellow Nova Scotian vessel Dei Gratia on this day in 1872 in the waters of the Azores, mysterious abandoned and remaining an enduring conundrum. One lifeboat missing but still well-provisioned and sea-worthy—with her cargo of rum untouched—the salvage proceedings held in Gibraltar following recovery entertained a range of possible explanations from mutiny, piracy to giant squid attacks and paranormal interventions but no theory was ever confirmed nor were the missing nine crew members ever found. Following the hearings and under new ownership, the ship was wrecked deliberately in Haiti in an attempt to collect on insurance fraud. Legendary fodder for myths, her fate was sealed with a treatment by Arthur Conan Doyle with a fictitious accounting from reportedly the ship’s surgeon—one statement by J Habakuk Jephson—among many other alleged survivors of this ghost ship.

Friday, 2 December 2022

8x8 (10. 352)

fomites: turns out that COVID virus can stay of some grocery items for days—see previously    

fabulous fakes: an engrossing documentary about a Chinese painter whose specialty is creating pictures in the style of Van Gogh (see also) and travels to see the originals  

baguettes, bell-ringing and bee-keeping: UNESCO inscribes more human treasures  

foghorn: a celebration the floating lighthouses called lightvessels  

geopolitics is for losers: the infectious idea was concocted to account for defeat and hold influence  

gen-x studs terkel: the death of boredom is the biggest loss of a generation—a conversation with Joe Hagan  

viva magenta: Pantone announces its colour for the coming year—previously here and here 

such freedom: social network drops policies in place to limit the spread of misinformation on COVID

Friday, 25 November 2022

7x7 (10. 334)

 the winnowing oar: an itinerant floating city in the Pangeos Terayacht and other mega projects from Saudi Arabia—via Things Magazine  

mรถnitรถr nรธn: previously unheard audio from the first gigs of British rock band The Fall  

imperial isolate: gold coin in a museum cupboard proves existence of Sponsian, an emperor heretofore dismissed as fake—via Digg  

artificial gravity: spinning spacecraft don’t supply a wholly satisfactory solution to the effects of zero-g for human anatomy 

purple tomato: an anthocyanin-rich vegetable is a heuristic for exploring the distinction between genetic modification and selective-breeding—via Damn Interesting’s Curated Links  

feed-back loop: schema for artificial neural networks from the 1940s up to the present—via Web Curios   

anyox: an abandoned copper mining operation in British Columbia is Canada’s largest ghost town

candida navis (10. 333)

Precipitating a succession crisis and a nearly two decades long civil war in England, a period known as the Anarchy, the White Ship (la Blanche-Nef) and its manifest of noble figures sank in the Channel after departing from Barfleur. Among the some three hundred drowned in the overloaded vessel were William Adelin, the sole, legitimate heir of Henry I, his half-siblings Matilda of Perche and Richard of Lincoln, the Earl of Chester, Royal Justice Geoffrey Ridel, with future, fated king Stephen of Blois disembarking due to the boisterous crowd. Taking off in the dark in an effort to overtake the King’s ship which had left earlier, the captain struck a submerged rock called Quillebษถuf and quickly capsized. The disaster left Henry with only one heir that he could pass the throne to, another daughter unoriginally also named Matilda, but her marriage to the Count of Anjou, a traditional enemy of Norman England and the fact she was a woman (none had yet ruled England in their own right) caused the Barons to rebel against these founders of the Plantagenet dynasty and reject Mathilda as queen regnant after Henry’s death in 1135. The only survivor was a butcher from Rouen called Berold, who likely was only on board in an effort to collect on the monies owed to him by the travellers.

Tuesday, 19 July 2022

overnighter (10. 002)

Arriving in the port of Amsterdam at the mouth of the IJ, we took a ferry to New Castle upon Tyne to travel on to points north.



Friday, 24 June 2022

daytrip: bacharach am rhein

For a work-outing, we took a cruise on the Rhein from Rรผdesheim to the picturesque village dominated by the twelfth century fortified castle, Burg Stahleck, overlooking the Steeg gorge and Lorelei valley, and once residence to the advocatus (Vogt) of the archbishop of Kรถln but now a youth hostel. We spent the afternoon on the portico taking in the view, having hiked up from the river bank. Along the way we passed not so much as an architectural folly—though it looked the part and the castle itself was destroyed during the Thirty Years War, abandoned and not restored in its present form until 1927 (see also) and pointedly as a retreat for Hitler Youth and re-education centre, in the Gothic ruins of the Wernerkapelle, the unfinished chapel preserved in this state as a reminder of Germany’s and Christianity’s rampant, historical intolerance of other peoples and other faith traditions, the shell of a structure itself originally dedicated to the memory of a youth supposedly murdered by the region’s Jewish residents who were in turn expelled and their property seized—a common ploy and false excuse at time, and put into context with a dedication and prayer from Pope John XXIII, asking for forgiveness and reconciliation. It was a bright and glorious day out of the office by the privilege of the photogenic ought not sanitise the past but rather enhance our understanding of it. 


 

Tuesday, 26 April 2022

ั„ั–ะปะฐั‚ะตะปั–́ั

A couple weeks after members of the public queued to purchase postage stamps commemorating the defenders of Snake Island and Roman Hrybov defiantly telling off “Russian Warship,” the Mockva (originally built in 1979 in a Ukrainian shipyard for the Soviet navy as the Slava—Glory), the flagship of Russia’s Black Sea fleet now sunk, Ukrposhta announces it will be issuing a new stamp, from eleven year-old illustrator Sophia Kravchuk, dedicated to the memory of the largest airplane in the world, the Mriya, destroyed by the Russians during the opening salvos of the invasion.

Sunday, 24 April 2022

dirigible

Via The Morning News and apparently not a parody—confirmed I think by the unexamined marketing itself as ‘sustainable’ and unspoken ploy as a way for oligarchs to escape impoundment (albeit such a means of conveyance we imagine would be even harder to conceal)—we are directed towards a company that combines a two-hundred metre blimp with a sixty-metre yacht, detachable from the airship—for sailing sea and sky.

Tuesday, 5 April 2022

roche ripple

Its peaks removed by one of the biggest controlled explosions in history and a major feat of engineering on this day in 1958 to mitigate potential navigational hazards and the event covered live in one of the first national, coast-to-coast televised broadcasts, Ripple Rock is a seamount in the Discovery Passage, an inlet between Vancouver Island and the mainland of British Columbia. The geological formation was so named as the summits were only metres below the surface and made a unique standing wave in the fast currents of the strait.

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

Sunday, 9 January 2022

rms queen elizabeth

Whilst undergoing renovations to be re-christened as the “Seawise University,” the gargantuan ocean liner launched in 1938 and named in honour of Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, caught on fire and was capsized in Victoria Harbour, Hong Kong on this day in 1972. Tycoon and shipping magnate Tung Chao-yung had bought the decommissioned cruise ship with the intention of making her into a float international campus for a semester at sea programme two years earlier and there was some speculation that either insurance fraud or sabotage by Chinese ship-builders played a part in the destruction. The wreck was salvaged to prevent risk to other boats passing through the bay but about half of it remains at the bottom of the harbour and was the setting of a secret annex of MI6 in the 1974 Bond film The Man with the Golden Gun.

Saturday, 1 January 2022

rogue waves

Distinct from tsunamis, killer waves—defined as reaching twice the height of waves in a wave record—occur in open-water as a convergence of constructive interference and other conditions but were considered at best anecdotal, tall-tales and the stuff of maritime myth until quite recently when one was detected on New Year’s Day in 1995 and measured by instruments housed on the Draupner gas pipeline support platform in the North Sea. Subsequent research has shown the phenomenon to be a common one, occurring in multiple media, including finance and has been retroactively used to account for shipping accidents, including the 1975 sinking of the SS Edmund Fitzgerald and the iconic titular wave portrayed in The Great Wave off Kanagawa by Hokusai.

Sunday, 19 December 2021

8x8

schwibbogen: a look at Germany’s Erzgebirge’s Christmas decorative arts traditions—see also

lakshmi-narayan: a looted sculpture returned to Nepal becomes a god again  

wind in your sails: a giant kite will pull a ship across the ocean in a demonstration project to cut emissions

all songs considered: NPR’s Bob Boilen’s recommended listening from the past year  

farmscrapers: advances in hydroponics and robot-assisted harvesting are making vehicle crop-growing a reality  

wysiwyg: Anna Mills on her typography and creative outlook  

carry on regardless: the comic language pf Professor Stanley Unwin  

god rest you merry, gentlemen: the comma in this carol makes us wonder about punctuation

Thursday, 11 November 2021

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, 22 October 2021

distinguished hydrography

Hosted by Washington, DC, delegates gathered from twenty-six countries for the International Meridian Conference adopted the resolution on this day in 1884 that made the Royal Observatory in Greenwich (see previously here and here) the prime “meridian to be employed as a common zero of longitude and standard of time reckoning throughout the world.The resolution was passed but not without some abstentions and serious objections—foremost being France, which until settling on the compromise term Coordinated Universal Time in 1978, did not refer to the selection as GMT but rather “Paris mean time, retarded by nine minutes and twenty-one seconds.” Contrary to popular belief, the meeting did not establish time zones.  Also making it a universal convention to begin astronomical and nautical days at the stroke of midnight, the summit coincided with the enactment of the Longitude Act of 1714 from Queen Anne, establishing a board of judges and prize monies for anyone coming up with a practical way to accurately measure whereabouts on the y-axis while at sea.

Monday, 18 October 2021

your daily demon: velar

Our forty-second spirit is an infernal grand duke that presents as a merman, who is able to both raise dread tempest and drown sailors or provide safe passage, according to the will of a skilled exorcist. Ruling from today through 22 October, Vepar controls twenty-nine legions of subordinates and is opposed by the guardian angel Mikael.

Tuesday, 14 September 2021

6x6

moo-loo: calves are being toilet-trained to mitigate some of the greenhouse gasses the livestock produce

รผber die bestimmung des weibes zur hรถheren geistesbildung: a look at philosopher Amalia Holst, whose 1802 work is comparable to Mary Wollstonecraft’s A Vindication of the Rights of Woman  

ferryman: an interesting look at legally-mandated river-crossings in Manchester  

the colour of money: a mesmerising video to accompany the Blake Mills song  

microcosmos: outstanding photographs of the world not visible to the naked eye  

charismatic megafauna: a biotech firm is raising funds to de-extinct the woolly mammoth—see previously

Wednesday, 1 September 2021

รพorskastrรญรฐin

With precedent disputes just after WWII and reignited after a fashion with Brexit fishing negotiations, the Cod Wars began in earnest on this day in 1958 when Iceland expanded its territorial waters to the edge of maritime claims by the UK and West Germany, with all sides sustaining losses over the next two decades as this protracted conflict continued with boats ramming into one other and the fishing nets of trawlers cut. Although in the aftermath of each skirmish, the International Court of Justice sided with Iceland’s claim, no resolution was reached until 1976 when Iceland threatened to withdraw from NATO if the matter wasn’t settled once and for all, an action that would denied the alliance’s submarines access to a strategic part of the North Sea (see also) at the height of the Cold War, brokering an agreement amenable to all parties. Following on from the truce, the United Nations codified the Law of the Sea and standardised exclusive nautical economic zones.

Wednesday, 21 July 2021

ns savannah

Though following the first civil application of nuclear-power for civil maritime purposes after the atomic-fueled ice-breaker Lenin (see also), the first cargo and passenger liner, a flagship for the US president’s “Atoms for Peace” initiative (see previously), was launched on this day in 1959 by First Lady Mamie Eisenhower. With several educational ports of call in US coastal cities, the vessel was a demonstration project on the safe and responsible harnessing of nuclear energy, including exhibits on the preservation of food through irradiation, x-rays and other medical diagnostics and other emerging technologies—like the microwave oven, and had the state rooms and galley and the other amenities of a regular cruise ship with swimming pool, promenade deck and lounge all decked out with Atomic Age styling. 



In 1964, the ship crossed the Atlantic for the first time, stopping in Southampton, Dublin, Bremerhaven, Hamburg and Rotterdam on an international good will tour. Ultimately decommissioned in 1971, the Savannah is now a museum ship moored at Pier 13 in Baltimore, Maryland and can be visited by the public.

Monday, 19 July 2021

bohuslรคn

https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1rK3alDA8Lg0xv7hQcLIW2-edgrDEdFguhttps://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1GabgE9IQw1b6q6SpbCHAtPTNf_UM8FBEhttps://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1tXwpM0qw2-6VuBOwPjBH1NiF6rnWn-tqHaving secured a well-situated site to act as base camp at the marina of island of Vindรถn, we had the chance to leisurely explore the colourful and craggy harbors and fishing villages of the granite cliffs and fjords of Sweden‘s south central west coast, sharing the North Sea with Norway and Denmark—this rocky archipelago approaching ten thousand islands and skerries, though mostly linked by land bridges today. 
 
https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=14dyLC32f_IOypIMmGmxcNeCW1yYzstLHhttps://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1Jh7U3L59GIQZTRGIhhW09Y_xu3PgJRWKhttps://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1-ddtWEzVXh7iqDg-Sydfh15FPRwL-iCoFirst we visited the larger port of Lysekil, a formerly important trading centre and a quarry but now focused on oil refining and tourism. 
https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1X6-uecwSC1Q9qGzohYnUGUPVal-p2Jbshttps://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1AFV7KKyMHlVRpAgOaatex41myDue9fC6
Next we saw the cove of Kungshamn and Smรถgen with its ensemble of fisher huts. https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1hItCOXJPEeWYj5RipUP0HopLyk2JVEn5https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1iQw5tQ5tBKyMBEhW2HUnAyGZyfYMdpv-
Not the Reeperbahn or St Pauli’s in miniature but picturesque and pleasant nonetheless, we saw Hamburgsund whose short-haul cable ferry takes passengers over the hundred-meter sound to the island of Hamburgรถ a hop away, and finally the beautiful Fjรคllbacka, built around a massive boulder in the centre of the village and holiday home to Ingrid Bergman.