Monday, 28 February 2022

horodecki house

Via the always excellent Everlasting Blรถrt, we learn about the remarkable Art Nouveau structure that has been the backdrop of President Zelenskyy’s latest dispatches to the nation and the world, opposite his office at № 10 Bankova Street in Kyiv. Also known as the House with Chimaeras, it was created by architect Wล‚adysล‚aw Horodecki in 1902 as a luxury apartment block and features a number of ornate decorative elements of rhinoceros, elephants, lotuses, giant catfish grotesques and frog battlements by sculptor Emilio Sala, earning the collaboration high praise and comparison to Anton Gaudรญ. With occupants including a safari club, sugar baron and exclusive clinic for party elite, it is presently used as a governmental residence and conference centre. More at the links above.

Wednesday, 9 February 2022

7x7

desert fox: play-through for a complex, WWII-themed board game, The Campaign for North Africa, that requires over fifteen hundred hours to complete  

hill house: a giant drying-box that preserves an Art Deco marvel by Charles Rennie Mackintosh—via Things Magazine 

the greatest thing since sliced bread: a satisfying video showing the steps in production in an industrial bakery in South Korea  

lightsaber flavour: alternative designations from young people that far surpass their proper names—via Miss Cellania’s Links 

rip: a celebration of the life and vision of Douglas Trumbull, special effects artist behind Silent Running, Close Encounters, 2001 and many others

multiple arcade machine emulator: after a quarter of a century, the MAME project is still releasing monthly new additions for home play—via Waxy  

ltee: the E. coli long-term evolution experiment has been running since 1988 and monitoring the mutations in twelve original strains over tens of thousands of generations

Tuesday, 1 February 2022

6x6

putting the fun in fungible: NFTs appraised on Antiques Roadshow, via Messy Nessy Chic  

anagrams everywhere: the intrusive, obsessive thoughts of a Scrabble enthusiast—via Kottke’s Quick Linkssee also  

maths hysteria: a celebration of vintage calculator manuals  

dishes for luck and prosperity: traditional Lunar New Year cuisine laden with word-play and symbolism  

old brown ears is back: a cover album from under-appreciated Muppet character, Rowlf the Dog  

nasm: Smithsonian Air & Space museum accepts donation from a tech billionaire—notably absent a “morals clause” which would allow the institution to disassociate itself with their benefactor should their values become misaligned

Monday, 24 January 2022

mล‚oda polska

Via Calvert Journal, we are introduced to the movement that has parallels with the near contemporary Arts and Crafts in England, owing as much to independence and freedom from foreign influence as it does to synergistic aesthetic opposition against Positivism in Young Poland discovered in the country’s sanatoria, Zakopane, high altitude and remote and relatively free from the intrigues that had despoiled the cities that became a focus of these restored values. Questioning the emphasis on progress, adherents sought to bring beauty and wonder into the daily dialogue of every individual regardless of their station or circumstance and a rebuffing of industry and occupation.

Wednesday, 19 January 2022

7x7

tomm¥ €a$h: rapper presents a sofa in the shape of bread  

banana republic: an exhibit that takes a critical look at the fruit trade—see also  

field manual: the predecessor agency to the US CIA issued a guide to simple sabotage which speaks to America’s present state 

bio-rovers: Marimo moss balls (previously) could become ambulatory—see also here and here  

spinthatiscope: an actual 1940s toy harnessing radioactive decay fragments of life: a suite of animated emoji from Andreas Samuelsson 

 middle c: a space-saving piano designed to fit in a corner—see also

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

Sunday, 17 October 2021

the tragical death of an apple pie, who was cut to pieces and eaten by twenty-five gentlemen, with whom all little people ought to be acquainted

In the midst of the season for apple picking and pie baking, Spitalfields Life presents us a rhyming Abecedarium (also called battledores, from the wooden tablet or paddle used in the classroom for instruction that resembled the racket from the game of shuttlecock) first in print in the late seventeenth century
and then republished by prolific printer Jemmy Catnach (*1769 - †1813) at the end of his long career, whom produced thousands of chapbooks and affordable literary material, in the form of educational pamphlets, political satires, poetry revues and other ephemera to surfeit a voracious and newly literate public in the Seven Dials (named for the horological devices strategically placed there to record the hour with the sun for the rest of the city, which was not necessarily free of the impediment of shadow) district of London. Go through the whole alphabet with much more to explore at the links above.

Saturday, 16 October 2021

atlas des champignons: comestibles, suspects et vรฉnรฉneux

Unsuccessful in our foraging this year (and usually coming up with the suspect varieties, if not outright poisonous ones), we appreciated pouring over the detail and descriptions from physician, botanist and accidental chronicler of the Haitian Revolution Michel ร‰tienne Descourtilz’ 1827 guide, lusciously illustrated with the lithographs of Auguste Cornillon. More from Public Domain Review at the link above.

Sunday, 19 September 2021

make it another old-fashioned please

We quite enjoyed this guided tour of the digitised holdings of the Wine and Spirits Museum of รŽle de Bendor in south France from Messy Messy Chic with a trans-Atlantic focus on the American invention—or convention rather of the cocktail in their extensive archive of vintage mixology guides from dating from the 1820s to the 1940s, richly illustrated and full to the brim with drinks and sometimes substitute ingredients that limn a certain slice of history.
There are volumes with celebrities’ favourites, menus of famous watering-holes, all gauged for home entertaining (perhaps for us scoff-laws), like the above and rather forlorn frontispiece from William C. Feery’s 1934 Wet Drinks…. for Dry People, which includes one called the Bee’s Knees, one part gin to one part honey, well-mixed and served over ice shavings. Each of the dazzling covers opens and lets one browse the recipes and other tips inside. Peruse these guides and let us know if you discover a new and intriguing favourite. Leave out the cherry, leave out the orange, leave out the bitters and just make it straight rye!

Saturday, 11 September 2021

kuba komet

Only associating Wolfenbรผttel with the digestif Jรคgermeister, we were grateful for friend of the blog Nag on the Lake for letting us also know about the town’s console furniture (Tonmรถbel) factory that specialised in housing and cabinets for radio, record players and televisions. In operation from 1948 to 1972, the pieces often integrated into one luxury home entertainment unit, founded by inventor and entrepreneur Gerhard Kubetschek (*1909 - †1976), like the pictured model, a true status-symbol and epitome of Mid-Century Modern. More to explore at the links above.

Wednesday, 1 September 2021

6x6

this slaps: the Kiffness and friends (see previously) remixes the little melody of a harmonica playing rat—debuting here


ร  la recherchรฉ du temps perdu: wondering how Marcel Proust’s Instagram might look is a pathway into memory in the age of social media 

melts in your mouth: the long and cursed history of the sexy green M&M—via Things Magazine  

development hell: scores of unfinished films that we would watch  

sit a spell: a visual essay on the American porch 

latch-mediated spring actuation: scientists engineer a robot that packs the wallop of the powerful punch of the mantis shrimp

Saturday, 28 August 2021

outside the lines

We very appreciated the introduction to surrealist photographer Arthur Tress whose portfolio was informed by the pivotal year of 1964 in politics, segregation and civil rights via his series of antique colouring-book collages paired with complementary or juxtaposing found photography, likely sourced from the same flea markets. Tress’ sense for mismatch went on to aid him in delivering his commission for the US Environmental Protection Agency to document and publicise the social pressures and injustice underpinning lax ecological stewardship. More at Collectors’ Weekly at the link up top and at the artist’s website.

Wednesday, 25 August 2021

7x7

the dance of the proletariat: a cultural revolutionary ballet 

reefer madness: an excerpt from “Cocaine, the Princess of Perdition” (1939)  

beef and dairy network: a 1986 board game called “Grade Up to Elite Cow” 

music to moog by: Melbourne’s Electronic instrument museum  

old growth: an anthology of the most memorable trees in the literary canon  

ambiguate: a notable lacuna, lexical gap for a word that ought to have been formed 

rhythm is a dancer: a comprehensive dance music archive covering the recent past—via Things Magazine

Monday, 9 August 2021

9x9

form follows function: a Bauhaus poster generator—see previosly—via Kottke 

reddy made magic: a gallery of images plus the Walter Lantz theme song for mascot and industry shill, Reddy Kilowatt   

dining car: vintage railway menus (see also) illustrate the evolution of American cuisine—via Nag on the Lake’s Sunday Links  

ฮด ฮด ฮด, can I help ya, help ya, help ya: a guide to joining the right sorority this fall  

jeux de la xxxiiie olympiade: the upcoming Paris games will be sustainable and moderately priced—see also  

attention k-mart shoppers: Americans emerge from the pandemic less patient, less empathetic than before and the service industry culture that fuels the cruel fantasy  

cycles pour animaux: a 1907 patent for a bicycle for horses to amplify their speed and le cheval-vapeur 

divergent association task: help science gauge creative reflexes by thinking up ten words as different as possible (in English only for now)  

betaplex: colourful retro cinema space in Ho Chi Mihn City recalls Saigon’s Art Deco architecture

Monday, 26 July 2021

style #5253

Dubbed the “Christmas Pattern” by factory workers as production demands for the affordable, utilitarian linoleum flooring of textured, interlocking bricks touted as the perfect choice for small kitchens (see also) guaranteed holiday bonuses during the Great Depression when most others were desperate for work, the enduring pattern with an older vintage than one expects with those harvest palettes of a later time owes its decades-spanning success to residential interior designer Hazel Dell Brown, who helped impart personal expression, ingenuity and improvisation with respect to space and budget in her innovative directions that she took the industry re-calibrated to fulfil the needs of a growing middle class. Learn more from 99% Invisible at the link above.

Wednesday, 16 June 2021

8x8

what sophistry is this: Mark Liberman discusses the rhetoric of “elevated stupidity” 

truly toastmasters: a virtual toaster museum with fine exhibits from many eras and manufacturers  

water shrews: the BBC Science & Environment desk examines these superb divers of this large group of insectivores called collectively Eulipotyphla, “the truly fat and blind”—via Super Punch 

les citรฉs obscures: revisiting the imaginative utopias of architect Luc Schuiten (previously)  

games for crows: like Where’s Waldo but with emoji—via Waxy red rover: Zhurong Mars explorer sends a selfie  

letragraphia: the sleek, revolutionary graphic design of Felix Beltrรกn

urbane dictionary: a gloss of cancel-culture terminology

Friday, 11 June 2021

london international surrealist exhibition

Held at the New Burlington Galleries off Savile Row in Mayfair from this day through 4 July 1936, the organising committee hosted works from several popular and influential artists of the movement, including Alexander Calder, S. H. Tauber-arp, Victor Brauner, Gala and Salvador Dalรญ, Man Ray, Marcel Duchamp, Joan Mirรณ, Pablo Picasso, Len Lye, Renรฉ Magritte and Paul Klee and attracted a thousand visitors per day with Switzerland, Austria, Belgium, Germany, Denmark, the US, the UK, New Zealand, Italy, Roumania and Czecho-Slovakia represented and distinguished presenters delivering a series of lectures to large assembled audiences. Salvador Dalรญ wore a diving helmet whilst giving his seminar on fantรดmes paranoรฏaques authentiques and nearly suffocated at the dais and had to be rescued by poet David Gascoyne with a spanner.

Thursday, 10 June 2021

w.a.n.d.

Since organisers at the Budapest Museum of Applied Arts put together the first events in 2013, World Art Nouveau Day has grown into an annual, international observance to celebrate the style and influence of the movement and its affiliate, Secessionist periods. The date was chosen to honour the anniversary of the death of two major architects of art nouveau, Antoni Gaudรญ (*1852 - †1926) and the tragically lesser-known ร–dรถn Lechner (*1845 - †1914), prolific Hungarian artist behind among many other iconic buildings the sponsoring museum compound.

Tuesday, 11 May 2021

7x7

caption this: a celebration of strange, out-of-context vintage photography—via Boing Boing scroll + click: an elegant paintbrush diversion via Kottke’s Quick Links  

mudlarking: more trash and treasures dredged from Amsterdam’s canals—see previously here and here—via Messy Nessy Chic  

stille orte: a travelogue of scenic rest stops in the Swiss Alps   

laundry day: a clever stop-motion dirty clothes brawl 

this is a stub: a list of lists on Wikipedia—via Swiss Miss  

down in bedrock: antique snapshots of people posing with dinosaurs

Sunday, 2 May 2021

9x9

why are you still here: our houses get sick of us never leaving too—via Nag on the Lake’s Sunday Links (lots more to see here)  

fake id: the unfortunately inevitable rise of counterfeit vaccination credentials  

disaster girl: meme as NFT (previously) nets a half-million dollars at auction 

comically overwrought: an oral history of the Crying Dawson gif  

resident evil village: games company produced a musical, gory puppet show to promote its latest instalment  

sunshine state: Florida will make it illegal for social media to deplatform politicians, with a especial carve-out for Disney—via Slashdot  

euphonium: found poetry in the history of acoustic waves  

web curios: Waxy lets us know that the fine and well-connected newsletter returns after a sabbatical of nine months with the folding of Imperia   

windows on the world: artwork by Liam Cobb that fills one with Wanderlust—via the morning news