Thursday, 24 November 2022

6x6 (10. 329)

turkey in the straw: Thanksgiving with Liberache (1952)  

the blockchain eight: post-mortem of the collapse of FTX  

woty: the short-list for the publicly juried OED word of the year includes metaverse, #istandwithX and goblin mode 

ooh directory: an omnibus of blogs on every subject—via Waxy  

what sophistry is this: Facebook’s artificial intelligence labs design a negotiator called CICERO to gameify diplomacy—see also 

gratitude, don’t give me no attitude: the nine best Thanksgiving songs that I definitely didn’t just make up

Saturday, 19 November 2022

fissorium (n): a place where one splits (10. 318)

Via Language Hat we are directed towards Lyre’s Dictionary, a bot that generates English nonce words—see also—based on detected roots, patterns and meanings. Sometimes it reframes existing but rarely used terms like botanize, meaning to do what botantists do, but as to make a plant or bibible as able to be drunk whose more widely circulated antonym unbibible means sober or abstemious, but the machined logorrhoea is insightful and speaks to perhaps the unnoticed entendre and frameworks in ways that words are put together. From the more recent roster or ersatz vocabulary, we particularly liked: 

obvindicant (n): one who avenges away
mediciculture (n): the rearing of physicians
speculigerent (adj): bearing mirrors
diacosmy (n): the state of being across the universe 

What are your favourites? Which suggested words ought to be incorporated into common parlance?

Tuesday, 15 November 2022

6x6 (10. 306)

honkbal hoofdklasse: Dutch for ‘Major League Baseball’  

fragrant, acid, burnt and caprylic: the Crocker-Henderson odour classification system 

dinosaur.pocket: AI generated Mastodon instances by Janelle Shane (previously

the floor is lava: a fun looking arcade experience though the best part was climbing over the furniture and leaping from place to place  

pontifex: the cathedral-like under-girding of the bridges of Seoul 

phryge-fest: Paris unveils its Olympic and Paralympics mascots—anthropomorphic hats

Sunday, 6 November 2022

7x7 (10. 276)

aeiou—red, green, yellow, purple, blue: the virtuosity of polymath Francis Galton and his 1883 work on synaesthesia—see previously  

toots, blorts and kerflunks: alternate social media network Mastodon grows a pace—via Language Log

wwjd: struggling corporations should look to the Jesuits as models of stability and longevity  

tragedy of the commons: a look ahead to COP27—more here  

momentum i: a 1983 synth compilation for runners by Matt Sullivan—see also  

kant generator: programmer Giacomo Miceli’s Infinite Conversation between interlocutors Werner Herzog and Slavoj ลฝiลพek   

sensory world: crossed-wires result in great art

Friday, 21 October 2022

7x7 (10. 242)

lettuce rejoice: a bit of highly monitored produce outlasts the prime minister 

cincinattus: the real and fraught possibility that Boris Johnson could be brought back as the Tory leader

jazz swing and joy wheel: revisiting the playground and its antique architecture—via tmn  

hive mind: how studying the decision making approach of bumble bees can lend insights into the mechanics of human memory  

on pointe: ballet dancers caring for the tools of the trade  

not another experiment: UK opposition political parties call for a General Election 

every inch of you: a punny produce display

Sunday, 16 October 2022

7x7 (10. 229)

symphony of the birds: CBS Radio director Jim Fassett’s 1960 experimental arrangement  

home row: Google Japan develops a long, horizontal keyboard for messy desks—reminded us of the iPhone Taller that doubles a guitar  

benevolent dictator: a profile of President Kevin Baugh and his micronation of Molossia—via the New Shelton wet/dry  

kunstradfahren: a graceful bicycle ballet by a skilled practitioner of this 130 year old sport  

barcalounger: ten homes whose decor is tied together with classic Eames chairs—see previously

unreliable narrator: microbrews and hipster beer names  

peer-reviewed: birdsong helps alleviate human anxiety and paranoia

Tuesday, 11 October 2022

it gets better (10. 213)

In recognition of Coming Out Day (see previously), Wikipedia’s Hauptseite refers us to the interactive browser game made by developer Nicky Case, whose other titles include the Parable of the Polygons and Adventures in Anxiety, in their semi-autobiographical, interactive game Coming Out Simulator 2014—see also. Styled to appear like an instant messaging application, play imparts possible scenarios in conversations about coming out to one’s friends and family—with no right or wrong answers—and to provide a forum for LGBT youth to understand their sexuality and gender identity. Though imperfect from the perspective of the present and focused more on engendering empathy among heterosexuals and characters are presented as cis and binary, this game played a big role in self-acceptance for many young people and the range of answers and angles is purposeful architecture of discomfort to induce stress and cause players to carefully weigh the consequences of their decisions and actions and develop life-skills. An emulator of the simulation is available here.

Sunday, 9 October 2022

to sprinkle, especially with holy water (10. 208)

Freighted already as commonly defined as above, asperge—from the same root as disperse and sparse, the tear-stained terms, as in casting aspersions, is a slander against another’s good reputation. An asperger itself refers to the implement for scattering holy water or those whom held the office, like the Dutch-orgin of the namesake for the former syndrome now referred to as the autism spectrum. According to one commentator (who is a fount of knowledge) baptism can be accomplished by immersion, affusion (anointing with water) or aspersion, according to different traditions.

Thursday, 6 October 2022

supernormal (10. 199)

Our gratitude to Boing Boing contributor Mitch Horowitz not just for the introduction to botanist and founder of the field of parapsychology Joseph Banks Rhine but more over for upholding his rigour and the scientific approach that he and his wife and intellectual partner Louisa, also holding a doctorate in plant studies and statistics, applied to phenomena of mediumship, telepathy, precognition and telekinesis, taking interest in the paranormal after attending a lecture in May of 1922 delivered by Arthur Conan Doyle extolling reputed proof for communicating with the dead. Championing the scientific method for a branch that Rhine considered an off-shoot of abnormal psychology, he later earned the ire and denunciation of the Sherlock Holmes author for exposing his favourite sรฉance host as a fraud. While the Rhines’ exhaustive research in extrasensory perception (helped by colleague Karl Zener) have resisted reduplication, by dint of their transparency and volume should not be dismissed as pseudoscience and certainly have endured in popular and practical culture.

Wednesday, 5 October 2022

liber null & the psychonaut (10. 196)

Courtesy of Boing Boing, we are given a chance to revisit artist, occultist and acolyte Austin Osman Spare through a campaign to reprint the tarot, cartomancy deck of his design. Spare’s fusion of the mystic and the symbolic prefigure—to some—the surrealist movement, and considered a foundational figure in the realm of Chaos Magic, Spare used magical techniques including automatic drawing and sigilisation as a heuristic to explore how the conscious and unconscious mind inform and influence one another. A growing disdain for Aleister Crowley and his Thelemite followers issuing from what Spare saw as ceremonial and performative magic caused him to split from that side of the occult and focus his studies on psychoanalysis and meditation, triangulating those fields with his particular theories on evolution that freighted much on desire, repression and aspiration. Much more on Spare’s cartomancy and other forms of divination at the links above.

Sunday, 2 October 2022

l'escargophone (10. 189)

Reportedly convincingly demonstrated to a journalist from La Presse on this day in 1851, though business partners remained sceptical and suspected a hoax, the apparatus known as the pasilalinic-sympathetic compass (la boussole pasilalinique sympathique, the snail telegraph, incredibly—see previously) was a heuristic contraption meant to take advantage of the supposed permanent telepathic link (a subtle form of animal magnetism that naturally drew in the public in parallel with the technical achievements of actual telegraphy) that mated pairs of snails form. Inventor and noted occultist Jacques-Toussaint Benoรฎt, called de l’Hรฉrault, constructed two remote scaffoldings each with one gastropod partner labelled with a letter of the alphabet, whereby the operator touched one that was supposed to cause a reaction in its corresponding mate that could be decoded by the receiver. Attempts to repeat the near successes of the first trial for the public failed and Benoรฎt promptly vanished.

Tuesday, 13 September 2022

8x8 (10. 131)

le milieu du monde: influential Swiss director Alain Tanner has passed away at 92  

zodiaco: we liked these astrological sign matchboxes from Josรฉ Marรญa Cruz Novillo—see previously  

circadian rhythm: an infographic comparing sleeping patterns across the animal kingdom  

landscape, portrait: a relatable, cautionary comic from xkcd  

punching down: US Republican governors ask Joe Biden to be less generous with his student debt forgiveness plan  

moxie: Perseverance’s experimental oxygen generation—via Super Punch 

trap set: chimpanzees in Uganda demonstrate their signature drum-beats, can communicate across great distances 

maรฎtre ร  penser: French New Wave film pioneer Jean-Luc Godard has exited the scene, aged 91

Monday, 29 August 2022

8x8 (10. 095)

clippit: a biography of the MicroSoft Office virtual assistant  

banana for scale: megalophobia-inducing images to make you as a human feel small and insignificant  

scotty, bones and chekov: Tom Snyder (previously) interviews Star Trek personalities during a 1976 convention 

flagship store: fashion brand Gucci opens up in Detroit—via Nag on the Lake  

pillow-talk: the history of bundling, the sixteenth and seventeenth custom of allowing pre-martial sleeping arrangements—via Messy Nessy Chic 

sabbatical: oh no—after seventeen years Futility Closet is taking a hiatus—see also  

it’s a reference to don quixote: a selection of literary nods from They Might Be Giants—see previously  

book it: incentivising reading with pizza

Wednesday, 3 August 2022

primal therapy or songs from the big chair (10. 034)

Via our faithful chronicler not only do we learn that on this day in 1985, Tears for Fears attained the top of US charts for a second time with Shout, moreover we discover that the title squares with the duo’s affinity for psychologist Arthur Janov (though also meant as a statement in support of protests during the Cold War) and his school of thought that posits that repressed pain of childhood trauma results in neuroses and can be exorcised by re-experiencing them in a fashion less cerebral and re-packaged and rather more immediate than in traditional talking sessions. Originally billed as the History of Headaches, the band learned about this form of psychotherapy which gained public attention when John Lennon endorsed it and renamed themselves after a dictum elaborated on in Janov’s book Prisoners of Pain.

Thursday, 14 July 2022

bringing up baby

Originally published on this day in 1946, the volume by pediatrician and psychologist Benjamin Spock and its subsequent editions (updated through 2018 to address same sex parents, gender identity and equity and advocating for a vegan diet) revolutionized and informed the post-war baby boom generation in the US and worldwide with his approach to child rearing that encouraged mothers and care-givers to trust their instincts and was a distinct departure from the conventional wisdom that emphasized regiment and regularity and withholding displays of affection. With the intent to disseminate a comprehensive primer to all parents and provide guideposts as to what to expect at various points of growth and development, Spock's book was made available broadly at a low cost of twenty-five cents so as to be affordable for any budget.

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.