Friday, 15 April 2022

7x7

who’s in your wallet: personalities and personages on banknotes—via Waxy (who is turning twenty)

simoom: a decade of dust storms 

hurrian hymn: paean to Mesopotamian goddess Nikkal is the oldest know surviving work of notated music

found photos: saved from oblivion and shared—via Things Magazine (plus a lot more to check out)  

alphabet truck: the whole ABCs on the backside of lorries captured by Eric Tabuchi—via Pasa Bon!  

meme-maker: Dutch national library offers a tool to scour medieval illustrations and marginalia—see also here and here  

the colour of money: a survey of banknote hues from the archives

Wednesday, 16 February 2022

the simpsons sing the blues

The first cartoon ensemble to reach the top spot on the singles charts since the Archies’ fabricated band’s performance of “Sugar, Sugar” back in 1969, on this day in 1991 the song “Do the Bartman” from the titular album grabbed and held the number one position. Never officially released as a single in the US despite air-play, the song written and produced by Michael Jackson earned critical acclaim including a nomination for the year’s MTV Video Music Awards. Track listings included several remixes including a cappella and a So So Krispy version by artist Diplo.

Sunday, 30 January 2022

supernintendo chalmers

Via Kokatu we discover that a clever programmer has turned the segment from 1996’s “22 Short Films About Springfield” (a reference to the biopic Thirty-Two Short Films About Glenn Gould from 1993) wherein Principal Skinner invites his boss over for lunch, proceeds to ruin the meal and tries to convince Superintendent Chalmers that burgers are called “steamed hams” in upstate New York into a graphic adventure. Download the game or view the playthrough at the links above, which include more detail on the episode, the meme it inspired and other fan-made Simpsons arcade games.

Thursday, 25 November 2021

7x7

brickover: iconic album covers recreated in LEGO from Pasa Bon’s curious links 

sand castles: an innovative intervention to counter desertification 

all about photos: arresting, colourful best-in-show exhibits from the AAP annual competition—via Kottke

no one listens to cassandra: rediscovering a 1997 article on what could go wrong in the twenty-first century that’s eerily prescient  

parks & rec: a huge collection of vintage outdoor living catalogues and magazines—via the morning news   

what—it’s not magaggie’s birthday: an unauthorised Simpson’s cookbook  

spin-cycle: a gorgeous, inviting laundrette outfitted by Yinka Ilori and LEGO

Sunday, 31 October 2021

meine propositiones

According to most sources, Augustinian monk Martin Luther (see previously here, here and here—not a fave, just problematic), upset with leadership in the Catholic Church—chiefly over the indulgences racket—posted his Ninety-Five Theses to the door of the Wittenberg Palace Church of All Saints on this day in 1517, setting off the Reformation Movement in Germany.

Saturday, 28 August 2021

8x8

letraset press: a collection of instant lettering dry-transfer sheets (see previously) from Coudal Partners’ Fresh Signals 

the woman who stared at the sun: the circumstance and contributions to astronomy of Hisako Koyama who helped hone our understanding of solar cycles 

a good walk spoiled: an in-depth look at how golf course exacerbate the housing shortage  

couch gag: a clever individual shares their construction of a miniature replica of the Simpsons’ purple television set that plays random episodes 

one week supply: a podcast discussing Damn Interesting’s curated links section 

the china syndrome: a super-tunnel simulator that illustrates the quickest, shortest routes to connecting points around the globe—see also  

tartu snail tower: the spiralling skyscraper in Estonia’s second city  

the art of letters: a typographical study from Mark Gowing

Tuesday, 15 June 2021

the rashomon effect

Via friend of the blog Nag on the Lake, we are introduced to eponymous phenomenon named after the one of the greatest films ever made in Akira Kurosawa’s 1950 masterpiece, based on Ryunosuke Akutagawa’s short story “In a Grove.” The framing narrative has various relatable, archetypal characters whose contradicting testimony speak to the inherent unreliability of eyewitness accounts (see also) and the malleability of memory, clouded by motive, mechanism, interpretation and the act of remembering itself changes a memory. Much more to explore at the link up top.

Wednesday, 17 March 2021

hypospray or mister x

Via Waxy, here’s a nice survey of jabs and vaccination campaigns as portrayed in film and television, including classics like the Star Trek TOS episode Miri, biopics of Louis Pasteur and Edward Jenner, and a multiplicity of Simpsons episodes like the December of 2000 show “The Computer Wore Menace Shoes” wherein Homer’s alter ego creates a conspiracy website (after his first, innocent attempt failed to draw interest) that unfortunately speaks across the decades. As punishment for being too clever, Homer is imprisoned on an island for people who know too much. Seriously, get your shot and protect yourself and others.

Monday, 22 February 2021

like chalk and cheese

Though attested since the late fourteenth century and surely encountered in every day speech, we were unaware of this delightful idiom, said of things that are superficially alike but very different in substance, like a crumbly, unaged cheese that’s never mistaken as flaking chalk (though some attribute the etymology to an unscrupulous cheesemonger that tried to pass off adulterated product). The Turkish equivalent DaฤŸlar kadar farklฤฑ, “As different as the mountains” conveys the same sense. Its extended meaning covers things that don’t pair well.  Learn more at Nag on the Lake at the link up top.

Wednesday, 10 February 2021

couch gag

In a highly satisfying sequence, story-teller and filmmaker Matthew Highton recreates the title opener to The Simpsons, indelible as it is, using carefully selected and synchronised stock footage. We agree that this clever compilation ought to be used one time instead of the animated version

Thursday, 4 February 2021

¡ay caramba!

We enjoyed this news segment from 1990 about some school districts banning Simpsons t-shirts and other merchandise over messaging and to assuage parents’ fears that such taglines might stoke rebellion. There’s some real Stranger Danger and Satanic Panic energy (a vibe that unfortunately is pretty tenacious) in the reporting—by a national media outlet—and some heavy moralising with the profusion of marketing tie-ins including bootleg goods (see source link above) that came out with the phenomenon not even a year old.

Saturday, 26 December 2020

8x8

greatest hits: resonant echoes and forgotten curiosities from another internet caretaker of this past year 

every who down in whoville was sick of the rules—all the masks, sanitisers and closures of schools: how the Grinch stalled whovid  

connoisseur: the importance of sustaining good taste to nourish good work  

dj earworm: five decades of pop music 

the great conjunction: a keen-eyed photographer captures the International Space Station moving between Saturn and Jupiter (previously)

you’ll have to speak up—i’m wearing a towel: decoding the catalogue of Simpsons’ gags and one-liners that might have sailed over some viewers  

crimes of the art: casing the most stolen painting ensemble, the Ghent Altarpiece (see previously), through history  

2020: the musical: Miss Cellania’s annual assortment of lists recapping the year

Wednesday, 9 December 2020

show dna

Informed earlier by our faithful chronicler and now reprised for the cinematic adaptation of Larry McMurtry’s 1975 novel of the same name going into general release in US cinemas on this day in 1983, James L. Brooks directorial debut film (also writer and producer) has a throughline to the Simpsons. As a thank you gift for securing her and her production team an Academy Award (Terms of Endearment starring Shirley MacClaine, Danny DeVito, Debra Winger, Jeff Daniels, John Lithgow and Jack Nicholson did quite well at the Oscars) assistant Polly Platt had procured for her collaborator an original panel of the comic Life in Hell—a bleak strip about a depressed, neurotic rabbit called Bongo, specifically one from 1982 entitled “The Los Angeles Way of Death”—as imagined and illustrated by Matt Groening. A year later, with a new television project, a variety show with a series of sketches, Brooks reached out to Groening about developing a series of animated interstitial bumpers between segments. Fearing loss of creative control over his original characters, Groening created a wholly new cast based on his own family, giving the world the Simpsons as a regular part of The Tracey Ullmann Show.

Wednesday, 28 October 2020

couch gag

Including familiar locations like Moe’s Tavern and the Springfield nuclear power plant sector 7-G, a group of interior designers have given some of the Simpsons’ sets a clever makeover in the style of Wes Anderson (see also here and here). Acknowledging how these suite of rooms have looked the same for the past three decades, the team behind these redesigns are hoping to inspire others to think about refreshing their own haunts.

Wednesday, 15 July 2020

aloha สปoe

Though it’s just adding insult to injury after annexing then colonising Hawaiสปi to impose the feeble-mindedness of official state junk to be nominated and subject to legislation, we are quite enjoying this latest instalment on the topic (see previously) from Lowering the Bar. We can definitely relate to the felling of dread and trepidation about getting a diacritical wrong, especially with the ‘okina seems so critical to the islands’ name (or not) and is typographically substituted—the other being the macron the kahakล. Check out the usual categories like trees, mottoes, song, fruit, etc. plus the rather all-encompassing and koan-like part of the statues outlining the official state spirit and let us know what you think.

Sunday, 26 April 2020

dynasty

The Simpsons did not predict the ascension of Kim’s sister Yo-jong to the senior leadership position of North Korea—rather this circulated image is from the 2015 episode called Goo Goo Gai Pan in which a post-menopausal Selma adopts an infant from a Chinese orphanage and is challenged by Madame Wu—a sort of Miss Hannigan from Annie character, who eventually relents and allows the adoption to be finalised but has to stop Homer from kidnapping a panda cub.
Here is the heir-apparent behind the seated US vice-president and Second Lady, mushy-headed Mike and Karen (whom he calls ‘Mother’) Pence, however, at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang. Alternate member of the country’s politburo, Kim is also reported vice director (her full portfolio being a matter of speculation) of the Workers’ Party’s Department of Propaganda and Agitation (PAD), a steering committee for all state media outlets and cultural programming.

Sunday, 5 April 2020

sunday night line-up

On this evening in 1987, the fledgling Fox television network, we learn courtesy once again from Doctor Caligari’s Cabinet—our faithful chronicler, debuted its first two prime time offerings in Married… with Children followed by the sketch, variety programme The Tracey Ullman Show.
The later slotted with musical numbers conceived and choreographed by Paula Abdul, memorable comedic scenes and regular animated interstitials, the Simpsons premiered on episode three on 19 April, voiced by members of the troupe. The former show, airing for over a decade and exported to markets globally, launched the acting career Christina Applegate and Matt LeBlanc, ultimately developing the series Friends from one of the show’s spin-offs.


Monday, 16 March 2020

pyhรค urho

Overlooking the possibly fictional but actually assigned patron Bishop Henrik (martyred and fรชted on 19 January with a well-articulated legendarium of his own), a department store clerk of Finnish-extraction in the confusingly named town of Virginia, Minnesota lamenting that his homeland did not have a figure like Saint Patrick to celebrate their heritage and as a source of shared cultural cohesion and as an excuse to extend the general revelry (this year especially, please drink responsibly by staying at home or forever forfeit the right to be around other people hereafter) invented Saint Urho (hero) in 1956. Only known to diaspora (with the exception of the folklore and ethnography department at the University of Turku), Urho is variously credited with driving out the frogs (see also) or grasshoppers (with the command Heinรคsirkka, heinรคsirkka, mene tรครคltรค hiiteen! – Grasshopper, grasshopper, go back to Hell!—thus saving the grape harvest but inspiring acts that seem suspiciously like Springfield’s Whacking Day, incidentally on 10 May) and one is to regale themselves in royal purple and enjoy wine and/or purple beer so as to not mix one’s beverages.

Monday, 6 January 2020

some at a very high level

As an encore to his threat to bomb fifty-two undisclosed Iranian targets (one for each American hostage detained from 1979 – 1981), some of which are cultural sites (Iran hosts twenty-four places on the UNESCO World Heritage registry) and whose willful destruction, putting US might on the level of the Cosplay Caliphate and al Qaeda, constitutes a war crime, should the Iranian government or actors retaliate in response to the unprovoked murder of its top paramilitary commanders, Trump threatened further punishing sanctions on Iraq should its parliament pursue the expulsion of foreign troops (including thousands of US soldiers, materiel and installations).
Committing to remaining entrenched until a return on investment materializes, Trump conditioned any decision that led to redeployment or eviction with repaying the US billions on the new air base being built there, much in the same manner than Mexico is reimbursing the US for its racist folly of the border wall or the suggestion that host nations pay more for the privilege of quartering the US military. “If they do ask us to leave, if we don’t do it in a very friendly basis, we will charge them sanctions like they’ve never seen before ever. It’ll make Iranian sanctions look somewhat tame.” Meanwhile, the Iranian parliament decided to drop its commitments to the 2015 brokered nuclear deal, from which the US withdrew unilaterally in May 2018 much to global consternation, conditional on America relieving its tariffs and trade restrictions. All sides, I think, are running short of capital to leverage but America especially so.

Tuesday, 31 December 2019

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