Wednesday, 1 December 2021


Observed annually since being designated as an international day of awareness and mourning of the AIDS pandemic caused by the spread of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) which causes the life threatening and in most cases fatal acquired immunodeficiency syndrome by compromising resistance to other diseases, World AIDS Day in 2019 marked the first recorded case of another pandemic, far more contagious and readily transmitted with the World Health Organisation picking up on a report published in the medical journal The Lancet documenting the onset of symptoms in Patient Zero for COVID-19 on this day of that year. The WHO verified this diagnosis with their own official reports on the novel corona virus within the week. There is no vaccine for AIDS, which has claimed over forty million lives and untold collateral damage and forty thousand people contract the disease annually, though improved access to antiretroviral therapies as well as broad acceptance of interventions and preventative measures has significantly slowed the spread and meant that many can live with the illness.

Thursday, 25 November 2021

i killed that fat barkeep!

First airing as a Turkey Day—Thanksgiving special on this day in 1992, preceded by a classic episode of the soap opera General Hospital, Mystery Science Theater 3000 assayed the 1960 teensploitation crime film by Paul Frees (see previously, his first and only directorial credit) The Beatniks, shot in 1958 under the working-title Sideburns and Sympathy. A petty thug is discovered—during a stick-up of a small diner for beer money—for his vocal talents, but his success, appearing on television and an over-night sensation, earns the jealousy of his former partners in crime and try to drag him back down to their level and reconstitute the old gang, ruining our protagonist’s chances for a career. Shut up, Iris.

Friday, 24 September 2021


As our faithful chronicler reminds, this day since first championed in the United States of America by Jeff Rubin in 2004 is set aside to promote the correct use of punctuation, observed—among other rituals—by sharing the gravest transgressions. Also an occasion to celebrate the rarer or failed interpunction like the asterism or interrobang, we liked learning about the proposal for a friendly period to lighten the tone, formality or finality.

Monday, 13 September 2021


The anniversary distinct from Mario Day, on this day in 1985, Nintendo first released Super Mario Bros. (ใ‚นใƒผใƒ‘ใƒผใƒžใƒชใ‚ชใƒ–ใƒฉใ‚ถใƒผใ‚บ, Sลซpฤ Mario Burazฤzu) for domestic markets for their home gaming console as the continuation the franchise of characters first appearing in Donkey Kong. Scored by Koji Kondo and designed by Shigeru Miyamoto and Takasho Tezuka of the Creative Department, the Jump-’n’-Run side scrolling video game debuted in foreign markets two years later and is hailed as one of the most popular and influential games of all time with over fifty million copies sold of this single instalment.

Sunday, 15 August 2021

happy blogoversary—we are now thirteen years old

As PfRC passes this milestone, we wanted to again extend our gratitude to our readership for your encouragement and sustaining interest, and hope that we’ve given you all something to pique your curiosity and aspire to keep the internet engaging and old school.

Since our last celebration, here are the most popular posts:

10. An entry about the pirate broadcaster Radio Caroline

9. The “Washington Wives” call for the Parents’ Music Resource Center

8. General Motors commissions a trio of pro-capitalist propaganda cartoons during the height of the Red Scare

7. An entry comparing emojis for ringed planets

6. Live-tweeting revolutions, from previous years’ top ten.

5. Speculation about the etymology of OK, also from past years.

4. A cross-post from Art for Housewives about author and journalist Martha Gellhorn, Ernest Hemingway’s third wife

3. A treasury of typographical and graphic design resources curated by the Internet Archive

2. A post looking at Cyrillic numerals

1. Tying for number one are a duo of posts about the equal sign, one reminding us to practise social distance and about the advent of the glyph itself

Salutations to all of you and wishing you nothing but the best for the balance of 2021.

Friday, 13 August 2021

your daily demon: astaroth

Our twenty-ninth spirit is an infernal grand duke ruling from today through 17 August is part of the unholy trinity along with Beelzebub and Lucifer and likely derives his identity from the goddess Astarte, consort of Ishtar. Presenting as a fallen angel and commanding forty legions, Astaroth chiefly lures individuals to do wrong through laziness, self-doubt and rationisation but can be compelled to impart skill in mathematics and handicrafts as well as the power of invisibility. Treasurer of the Underworld, Astaroth is countered by the guardian angel Reyiyel as well as appeals to Bartholomew the Apostle who can repel the archdemon’s vices.

Monday, 26 July 2021

hanna montana

Only identified by name in apoccryphal books of the Bible and Qur’an and generally only identified as the wife of Imran / Joachim, Saint Anne (along with her husband) are venerated on this day in the Catholic Church, though the maternal grandmother of Jesus is revered in many spiritual traditions and is regarded as intercessor and patroness of grandparents, Britany, Canada, Sri Lanka and Detroit, lace makers, second-hand clothes dealers, seamsters, teachers, sterility (due to her miraculous birth of Mary at an advanced age and thought barren) and cabinet-makers.

Sunday, 25 July 2021

de imitatione christi

Theologian and best known for his devotional collection, The Imitation of Christ (see also), Thomas ร  Kempis (*1380) is venerated as a founder of modern spiritualism on this the anniversary of his death in 1471, beatified and contributions made church canon but not formally canonised yet. His maxims, including, “For man proposes but God disposes” and “Everywhere for peace I sought but I have found it only in books and nooks”—in angello cum libello, are considered essential study and quite lucid.

Sunday, 27 June 2021


This feast day marking the legend of the Seven Sleepers, a group of companions who hid in a cave outside of Ephesus to escape Roman emperor Decius’ persecution of Christians and emerged three-centuries later, also recalls one of the oldest and widespread artefacts of forecasting and weather lore (see also here, here and here) stemming from medieval Europe. The conditions on this day are supposed to be preview of how the skies and temperatures will be for the rest of the summer. I’d say, judging from here and now, we have a fine season ahead of us.

Thursday, 24 June 2021

fors fortลซna

Here depicted in the Carmina Burana manuscript, the Roman personification of fortune and luck often includes in her iconography a gubernaculum—that is a ship’s rudder for steering rather blindly for boon or for bane, the name of the goddess and what she represents seems to derive from vortumna—she who revolves throughout the year and whose temple was dedicated on this day, marked by celebrants floated downstream on the Tiber to the Forum Boarium for the event only after secret rituals were expected to row back to the city, bedecked with garland. The goddess has numerous aspects that were celebrated throughout the year and during life-events, including Fortuna Annonaria, luck in harvest, Fortuna Virilis, a lucky match, Fortuna Redux, to return home safely, Fortuna Huiuse Diei, luck of the moment and Fortuna Barbata, good luck in adolescents becoming adults.

Wednesday, 23 June 2021


Roughly corresponding with the June solstice and supplanting age-old rituals marking the changing season and agricultural and husbandry chores by calling it the eve of the Feast of John the Baptist, who according to liturgical sources was six months before Jesus, the festivities of midsummer making when the days start to diminish again after waxing longer to turn again on midwinter and Christmas, a reflection of the doctrine that John was preparing the way for Jesus and had to yield the stage at the right time. Customs leading up to the celebration include the lighting of bonfires and leaping over them—especially on the beaches, and the gathering of medicinal plants as those collected including verbena, rosemary, fennel, foxglove and Saint John’s Wort on this day are imbued with special potency. Originally titled St John’s Night on the Bare Mountain, Modest Mussorgsky’s iconic composition was renamed and revised to include a final daybreak movement and the peal of church bells to hasten away the mischievous and malevolent.

Friday, 18 June 2021


here fishy, fishy, fishy: a tale of a talking fishing lure and sixty counts of mail fraud  

goldenrod: behind-the-scenes footage of droids C3PO and R2-D2 trying on their costumes  

plastic tracker: monitor the likely course of one’s discarded waste to the seas—see also—via Maps Mania 

discothek: a commercial photographer captured the golden age of nightclubs with all their eccentricities and exuberance  

juneteenth: America gets a new federal holiday to commemorate the end of chattel enslavement in the United States  

downfall: dรฉgringolade n. a rapidly deterioration of circumstance or position, from the French to take a sudden tumble 

foreign exchange: a beautiful animated short of grains of sand and fiat currency explores the tenuous, specious agreements that underpin capitalism and the global economy  

the most compact, neatest, cheapest, and durable reel on the market: advertising niche that distresses and antiques modern sundries

Sunday, 13 June 2021

antonio di padua

Priest and Franciscan friar and Doctor of the Church, Anthony of Lisbon (*1195 - †1231 in the commune west of Venice) is one of the most popular and quickly canonised among the cult of the saints and was acclaimed in his lifetime for giving powerful and persuasive sermons, even keeping a school of fish in rapt attention once and reputation for care for the poor and sick. Invoked in the name of lost things—credited first with the restoration of his own psalter full of notes when Anthony feared it was gone forever—his extensive patronage (see previously) includes things prone to going missing like mail, mariners, shipwrecks, travellers and lost souls, though not all who wander… Anthony in the extended sense is also the protector of the elderly, fisherfolk, amputees, Native Americans, harvests, watermen, horses, travel hosts and counter-revolutionaries.

Saturday, 12 June 2021


Called the Day of the Adoption of the Declaration of State Sovereignty of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (RSFSR, a transitional state during the dissolution of the USSR) or Russia Day for short, this national holiday of the Russian Federation commemorates the passage of structural reform by the First Congress of People’s Deputies on this day in 1990, establishing primacy of the constitution, equal rights for all citizens and political parties and the separation of powers among three co-equal branches of government: the executive, legislative and judicial. The acclaim is not universal with quite a lot of ambivalence towards celebrating this declaration but the holiday is generally marked with awards assemblies, firework displays, parades and concerts.

Thursday, 10 June 2021


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, 8 June 2021


scream real loud: The 1954 “Pinky Lee Show” that prefigures in a way Pee-Wee’s Playhouse 

7/10: promoting health for the high seas on World Oceans Day—previously  

avian aftershave: crows treat themselves to ant baths  

squirrels under the hood: an AI researchers illustrates how algorithms are dangerously regressive reflections of the worst of us (previously) and are far from artificial or intelligent  

###: a short from Optical Arts repeats a range of actions with different objects in the key of A  

that’s my name—don’t wear it out: do yourself a favour and check out the blog of Pee-Wee Herman

Saturday, 5 June 2021

vitae bonifatius

Feted on this day on the occasion of his martyrdom (*675) on this day in 754 near Dokkum in Friesland, Boniface, from the Devon village of Crediton, was a leading figure of the Anglo-Saxon mission to the Frankish Empire and whose influence, reforms and alliances-including the union of the papacy with the Carolingian dynasty and the successor transnational organisations, like the Holy and Roman Empire of the Germans and the EU, and is celebrated as a missionary and uniter and peace-maker, the Apostle to the Germans acclaimed almost immediately after his death as patron of the country and Fulda, his major shrine. The basilica minor is not far away from the modern day town of Fritzlar where Boniface reportedly, dramatically chopped down the Donar Oak (considered sacred to Jupiter through interpretatio romana) to illustrate that no punishment would be meted out for this perceived desecration and went on to build a chapel dedicated to Saint Peter from the lumber. Winning converts, Boniface encouraged widespread destruction of pagan sites, especially sacred groves. Though probably only an inventive story, the saint is sometimes credited with the invention of the Christmas tree as a way to coopt and supplant native customs. Boniface and his retinue were killed by highway robbers en route to Frisia, hoping to find more followers in the north, their attackers sorely disappointed to find only books and manuscripts instead of treasure.

Monday, 31 May 2021

my soul doth magnify the lord

Celebrated as a minor feast day in the Catholic and Anglican rite, the Visitation marks the episode in the Life of the Virgin when Mary, pregnant with Jesus, leaves Nazareth to see her cousin Elizabeth, pregnant with John the Baptist and help with when she went into labour. The traditional day of 2 July is retained in Slovakia and Germany (Mariรค Heimsuchnung) for historical reasons and associated pilgrimmage opportunities. Upon their initial encounter, Elizabeth and John in the womb experience and inflowing of divine grace—prompting Elizabeth to praise her cousin, the experience also new to her—for her faith, forming some of the rubric of the Hail Mary, to which Mary gives in response what’s now referred to as the Magnficat, the canticle that is taken from the exchange as recorded by the Gospel of Luke.

Saturday, 29 May 2021

santa bona

Early eleventh century Augustinian nun venerated on this day, Bona of Pisa, helped conduct pilgrims on their journeys and is considered the patroness of tour guides, couriers, flight attendants as well as her well-touristed home town. Her father a Crusader in the Holy Land, Bona made no fewer than four sojourns there to visit him and see to his well-being and after being taken hostage by pirates and necessitating a ransom and rescue by her compatriots, redirected her focus to the route of Santiago de Compostela, undertaking the arduous trip ten times and leading others along the way.

Monday, 24 May 2021

joanna, wife of chuza

Also identified by her Roman name Junia (Greek: แผธฯ‰ฮฌฮฝฮฑ, Ivana), the figure mentioned in the Gospel of Luke who accompanied Jesus and the disciples and having brought spices to the tomb is counted among the myrrhbearers is feted on this day. Associated with Chuza, the caretaker of the home of tetrarch Herod Antipas, Joanna was cured of “evil spirits and infirmities” and became a devout follower and shares her feast day with the folk saint (see also) Sarah, a figure venerated by the Romani as their patron, identified as servant of one of the Three Marys and accompanied her to the Camargue to escape persecution.