Tuesday, 24 May 2022

section 28

With echoes of Florida’s current controversial Don’t Say Gay Bill and in effect until 2003 (Scotland dropped the series of laws in 2000 as one of Holyrood’s first items of business as a newly devolved parliament), the government of Margaret Thatcher introduced and enacted legislative measures that prohibited the “promotion of homosexuality” by local authorities on this day in 1988, causing many support groups to fold or severely curtail their activities. Named after the amendment to the Local Government Act of 1986, the language stated that municipal authorities shall not “intentionally promote homosexuality or publish material with the intention of promoting homosexuality or promote the teaching in any maintained [public] school of the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship.”

ancient aliens

Opened to the public on this day in 2003 (bankrupt and shuttered three years later and three years after that rehabilitated as a children’s theme park—named Jungfrau after the alpine mountain it is framed by), Mystery Park in Interlaken was designed by Chariots of the Gods? author Erich von Dรคniken and included several pavilions featuring what the pseudoscience proponent described as the great unsolved mysteries that could only be explained by the theories he espoused on paleo-contact and ancient astronauts, including the Mayan calendar, the pyramids of Egypt and monoliths like Stonehenge explaining how the achievements of the primitive past must be linked to extraterrestrial encounters, his showmanship being chiefly responsible for the popularity of this rather narrow and dim view of a world just beyond record.

Sunday, 14 November 2021

inner oort cloud

Co-discovered on this day in 2003 by astronomical teams in Caltech, Yale and the Gemini Observatory, the planetoid, trans-Neptunian object (previously) provisionally nicknamed the Flying Dutchman because of its slow (eleven-thousand plus years) and solitary journey around the Sun that made researchers almost miss it for a fixed star, it was welcomely given the official designation 90377 Sedna in honour of the Inuit sea goddess who dwells at the bottom of the frigid Arctic Ocean, and establishing that future objects found in the same orbital region should be named after polar mythologies.
The astronomical monogram, which matches the ones of ancient astrology quite well, is a combination of the Eastern Canadian Inuktitut characters แ“ดแ“แ“‡, Sanna—the modern version of the name and suggests a leaping seal. Because of the extreme eccentricity of its perihelion—too great to have been caused by the gravitational influence of the known worlds, Sedna’s existence lends credence to either interstellar interlopers or a so called Planet Nine, ten-times the size of Earth but hidden as a cosmic counter-balance.

Sunday, 7 March 2021

seven nation army

Released as a single from their album Elephant on this day in 2003, the song from musical duo the White Stripes with its simple yet catchy riff and drumbeat marked a moment of revival for the garage band and has been adopted by numerous sports clubs as a game anthem, chanting favourites, athletes, personalities and even Labour leader Jeremy Corbin. Originally the guitarist Jack White wanted to save his riff in chance the group was ever approached regarding composing a James Bond theme but ultimately decided to include it on their fourth studio record—thinking it unlikely that they’d ever get the chance to do so—although five years later, singly White did write and perform “Another Way to Die” for Quantum of Solace. Though most teams wail the chant with “oh,” as the unofficial theme song of the Italian national football league, the audience refers to it as the “po po po po po” tune.