Monday, 27 June 2022

from the 2 d

Apparently to universal acclaim with the vehicle and the venue raising no objection despite the collapse of crypto-currency and that non-fungible token handmaiden are the even better at uncovering the greater fool, established rappers Eminem and Snoop Dogg, in their Bored Ape Yacht Club avatars for the eponymous festival, premiered their new collaboration. What do you think? There are no words for these new heights of what used to be considered selling out and pandering. Reportedly an impersonator called Dupe Shogg showed up at the event unannounced complete with full escourt and entourage and attendees were a bit disappointed it was not the genuine article.

Saturday, 11 June 2022

jahrbuch fรผr sexuelle zwischenstufen

Having been acquainted with the ground-breaking research of sexologist Magnus Hirschfeld previously, we appreciated the opportunity to revisit to the progressive views of this champion of reform and inclusion and the regressive forces that would undermine and undo his legacy and contributions through the lens of his Scientific-Humanitarian Committee and its annual Yearbook for Sexual Intermediaries that explored the full spectrum of sexual and gender identities and activities of the queer community. These studies and ethnographies went on to inform Hirschfeld’s authoritative 1904 volume Berlin’s Third Sex, a modish label of convenience in common-parlance at the time to express a continuum for which we are still searching for the right words. Much more from Public Domain Review at the link above.

Tuesday, 31 May 2022

magic eye

Whilst the illusory depth-effect will vary for the beholder and can wax and wane with different strategies, the aberration in colour perception called chromo-stereopsis seems to be caused by the gradient of diffraction caused by the different wavelengths between red and blue which cause the light rays to converge on the eyes sooner does register as proudly strange insofar as it mimics the effect with 3D movies but without the need for separate, polarised images. The same principle is often seen in stained glass windows that take advantage of the same levels of contrast a visual cue to discover size and distance. Much more from Tom Stafford at Mind Hacks at the up top.

Saturday, 28 May 2022

the tiffany problem

Although as a given name it has a pedigree of over eight hundred years, the English, Bretagne version of the feminine form of ฮ˜ฮตฮฟฯ†ฮฑฮฝฮฏฮฑ, given to those born on the Feast of the Epiphany, it strains credulity to use in a historical, fictional context because we believe the name to be something thoroughly modern. Welsh-Canadian fantasy writer Jo Walton (see previously) was inspired by this counter-anachronism to coin the titular quandary as a stand-in for our recency biases—moreover the illusion that what’s recently popular is in fact recent—and the disconnect in how we perceive past and preface.

Saturday, 21 May 2022

paranoid android

Though perhaps as remarkable in its departure from the band’s usual fare that came before and after, the third studio album from Radiohead was first released on this day in 1997 and limns the world to come fraught with social alienation, political tribalism and unbridled consumption and commodification—as opposed to the era framed as the end of history and post-modernism—by means of a lyrical narrative that speaks to the vague anxieties perhaps represented by though not exclusively about y2k in the existential dread of loosing oneself to forces inscrutable lumped together as technology.

Monday, 9 May 2022

dmsmh

Celebrated as Dianetics Day in the Church of Scientology (previously), today marks the 1950 anniversary of the first sales of the foundational book by L Ron Hubbard subtitled The Modern Science of Mental Health. Colloquially and canonically referred to as “Book One,” it outlines the system developed by the author out of personal experience, his understanding of some tenants of Eastern philosophy and the psychoanalytic traditions of Sigmund Freud. Despite outright rejection by the community of medical and mental health professions and most critics who compared the repetitious and immature tautologies to the works of Wilhelm Reich, it was a best-seller and found an audience as well as an attendant religious movement, which number their years relative to its publication—this year being 72 AD—that is, after Dianetics.

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.

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.

Wednesday, 20 April 2022

like and subscribe

Leaning heavily into the idea that the Earth is a simulation (see also) has the natural consequence that its creators are hungry for feedback, Neal Agarwal (previously) invites us to rate anything and everything—to help improve the content and UX and what might be kept or removed in the next patch. Your feedback counts!

Saturday, 9 April 2022

narkotyki

We thoroughly enjoyed this introduction to the artist, novelist and political theorist of the inter-war period in Europe Stanisล‚aw Ignacy Witkiewicz (*1885 - †1939, known professionally as Witkacy), witness to quite a bit of history, through the lens of his portrait factory, with many of his commissions documenting his drug intake—even if just the dregs of caffeine from a cup of coffee—with coded annotations whist painting, usually under a course of self-medication of synthesised mescaline, cocaine, nicotine and alcohol, aggressively marketed to the masses at the time, despite addiction and substance abuse being acknowledged problems, as relief for those broken by World War I. Wikiewicz died by intentional overdose after fleeing to eastern Poland after learning of the Nazi invasion on the western border when he heard reports of the Soviets approaching from the opposite flank. More from Public Domain Review at the link above.

Sunday, 20 March 2022

oral traditions

First championed by networks of storytellers in Sweden and Australia in the early nineties before being organised as a global observance in 2004 and held on or near the March equinox World Storytelling Day is a convention of sorts for audience and authors to connect, inspire and synthesise diverse folklore and myth (see previously here, here and here). Acknowledging the craft as a form of art and our own penchant for and appear to narrative, each annual gathering has had themes, like 2018’s Wise Fools, 2020’s Voyages and for 2022, Lost and Found. See if you can come up with a tall tale to share today.

Monday, 14 March 2022

goblin mode

Not to shame or scold anyone for their coping mechanisms or lack thereof, we felt seen by this article by Kari Paul on the reframing of the hedonistic cycle that steps out of it with the same intention as those tactics of betterment and self-improvement only to be camouflaged as the lazy under-achieving escapism that this sort of behaviour is trying to distance itself from, albeit in not the most flattering fashion. Rather than embracing those incredibly narrow and niche trends that limned the beginning of the pandemic isolation, the phenomenon that simultaneously accepts and rejects the definition of a hashtag represents the opposite of the in-crowd.

Friday, 4 March 2022

that’s how the cookie crumbles

Via Web Curios we learn about a clever browser extension (along with a suite of similar incognito tools) sponsored by UNESCO that is designed to reveal the subjectivity of one’s tailored and idiosyncratic experience online by inviting one to adopt a range of personae that influences the direction and tone of one’s directed advertising and anticipation in inscrutable ways (see also) that the user would have no way of knowing was markedly different than the underpinnings presented to someone else.  While we may not be able to exactly remove the blinders, we can at least perhaps be attuned to different pitches, perspectives.

Sunday, 27 February 2022

8x8

glass menagerie: more microbiological models from Luke Jerram—see previously 

instant city: a 1971, tented utopian experiment on the northern coast of Ibiza  

dearc sgiathanach: superlative winged pterosaur found on the Island of Skye 

kye marn: incredible papier mรขchรฉ Carnival masks from Jacmel, Haiti 

the wags, jubilee plus christmas gambols: nautical song composer Charles Dibdin, forgotten eighteenth century superstar—via Strange Company 

a strange game—the only winning move is not to play: the rise of gamification in all systems and how to avoid getting caught up in it unawares  

ัะฝะต, ะฑะตะฝะต, ั€ะตั: a Russian counting rhyme, like yan, tan, tethera  

angiogenic properties: materials scientists development bioactive glass (also used to repair broken bones) that repels virtually all germs

Thursday, 3 February 2022

extraordinary popular delusions and the madness of crowds

On this day in 1537 in the flower market of Haarlem, tulips are unable to fetch or exceed their expected price for the first time during the speculative craze of the Tulipomania—results posted the following day, eroding confidence in contract calls and causing the exchange to collapse spectacularly. Though perhaps the Dutch enterprise as the leading economic and financial power of the time weathered the crisis with relatively few lasting scars—the account and effects taking hold in the popular imagination after journalist Charles Mackay’s above investigation in 1841 (perhaps dissuaded from writing about the more recent South Sea Bubble as hitting too close to home) and modern economists dismiss many anecdotes (patrimony and parcels of land for a single bulb) as illogical and inefficient, the new phenomena nonetheless establishes the discipline of socio-economics and how markets can deviate from intrinsic value.

Saturday, 29 January 2022

westanamerica

In a development as outrageous and unhinged as the so called Pizzagate conspiracy theory—which (take a deep breath) in case you had forgotten that madness posited that the hacked cache of emails of Hilary Clinton and other prominent Democratic Party officers contained coded messages that implicated them in a human trafficking ring run out of the Comet Ping Pong pizzeria in Washington, DC—the National Butterfly Sanctuary on the US-Mexico border is forced to temporarily shut down due to “credible threats” logged in connection with an upcoming Trump-adjacent political rally. Accusing the centre of facilitating illegal border crossings over the Rio Grande/Rรญo Bravo, money-laundering and using butterfly swarms to dispose of bodies, the rumours are being propagated by a fund-raising committee hoping to privately finance the Wall.

Friday, 28 January 2022

blocked-chain

The coalition of all that’s grift and gimmick—courtesy of Web Curios whose latest editions contains a plethora of examined scum and scams besides—we are directed towards an NTF minting operation that affords one the opportunity to document the irrefutable proof that one has been by excommunicated by our social betters. Ma’am, this is a Wendy’s.

Tuesday, 18 January 2022

tempus fugit

From our faithful chronicler we are introduced to the Weber-Fechner law, a pair of complementary psychophysical hypotheses that account for the common experience of the accelerated passage of time as we grow older. Named for Ernst Heinrich Weber (Gustav Theodore Fechner described it mathematically), the phenomenon suggests that we perceive ratios and given a sufficiently larger sample size—smaller contrast, we begin to gauge change in logarithmically rather than linearly. More at the link above, including a video presentation by Dr Hanna Fry of The Curious Cases podcast with co-host Dr Adam Rutherford.

Friday, 7 January 2022

web 3.0 is going great and is definitely not an enormous grift that’s pour lighter fluid on our already-smouldering planet

Via Web Curios (definitely lot’s more to check out there), we are introduced to a project by Molly White who curates articles and discussion threads that illustrate the dark side of tech utopian-thinking and how we can’t just code our way to equality and out of an environmental crisis that is exacerbated by Ponzi schemes and chasing that greater fool. There are some choice headlines about corporate malfeasance, lack of disclosure and how riots and disruptions to the internet in Kazakhstan (to quash the coordination of said protests) reveal the extent of bitcoin mining occurring there, subsidised and underwritten by the government’s policy of producing cheap fuel from the dirtiest sources.

7x7

sick sad world: our crypto-bro, cyberpunk dystopia  

brik: aesthetic LEGO typography  

just keep swimming: mobile aquaria allow fish to drive—via the morning news  

molten path: an ancient—though not inaccessible—airburst over the Atacama shed shards of glass across Chile—see also   

thinking of you, i mean me: a Barbara Kruger (previously) retrospective in Chicago on capitalism and its critique

queued-up: Instagram versus reality

a listicle in eight parts: Cory Doctorow expounds on the scam of fintech—via the New Shelton wet/dry