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.

Saturday, 15 May 2021

unanimiter et constanter

Fรชted on this day as the patron saint of Oslo, Hallvard Vebjรธrnsson (†1043) is venerated as a martyr for his violent death in defence of a pregnant slave woman (thrall or trell, see also).
The son and heir to a wealthy estate in Vikin in the south-eastern part of the kingdom near the capital region and relative of Saint Olaf, Hallvard believed in the professed innocence of the women in face of accusations of theft and attempted to ferry her to safety aboard his boat. The accusers killed them both with a volley of arrows, disposing of the woman on the shore they had sailed to, and realising that Hallvard’s absence would arouse suspicion, they tied a millstone around his neck to ensure the body could be sunk without a trace. Miraculous and inopportunely for the assailants, however, Hallvard’s corpse bobbed to the surface and revealed the men’s crimes. The contemporary coat of arms of the Norwegian capital portrays this iconography—this day also celebrated as Oslo-dagen, with the motto Unanimous and Constant.

Thursday, 13 May 2021


Meaning sweetness and sharing her feast day with the apparition of Our Lady of Fรกtima, the second century saint compelled to pray to a sculpture of Jupiter which turned to dust by her faith, for which she was sentenced to be torn asunder by wild animals. Glyceria expired, however, before she could be served. Interestingly, especially in light of the minor craze that erupted a few years ago over the chance to drink the mummy juice—sewage found in Egyptian sarcophagi, the relics of Glyceria are counted among the myroblytes, those whose remains (sometimes their icons as well as their coffins) exude the holy and healing Oil of the Saints.

Tuesday, 11 May 2021

ice saints

Sainted fifth century bishop of Vienne in Gaul Mametus is venerated on this day as the first of three feast days that fall on the last possible—according to forecasters’ lore—frosty nights of the year—heralding the full onset of Spring and marching towards should we weather this last cold snap. Usually falling just before the Feast of the Ascension, Mamertus is credited with establishing the traditional Rogation Procession, a parade leading up to major holidays and is considered a ritual to stave off earthquakes and other natural disasters.

Tuesday, 4 May 2021

revenge of the sixth

A bit deflating like learning a super hero’s catch-phrase was derived from a Ted Cruz joke or some other detestable tool, we were a little disheartened to learn the albeit non-canonical, not endorsed Star Wars holiday is sourced and cited to a celebratory message that the Conservative Party took out in the London Evening News just after exit polls declared Margaret Thatcher Prime Minister on this day in 1979:“Congratulations Maggie, May the Fourth be with you!” The advertisement caused some consternation among the Tories—thinking bringing in such a pop culture reference, though two years old by then, out of place, though calling Reagan’s his missile shield, the Strategic Defence Initiative after the space opera made the pun socially acceptable, and made the phrase, trope an enduring relic of the Reagan-Thatcher era.

Monday, 3 May 2021

information as a public good

The annual observance focused on the above theme, World Press Freedom Day was enshrined by the United Nations in 1998 as a time for reflection and remediation for governments to uphold their commitment to freedom of expression and an adversarial press and encourage journalists and media professionals to recount their struggles and pledge to truth and ethics in pursuit of reporting. The day falls on the anniversary of the forerunning Windhoek Declaration of 1991 when a consortium of newspaper reporters from all across Africa met in the Namibian capital resolved to promote an independent and pluralistic press for the continent. The Press Freedom Index is also updated at this time, ranking the ability for journalists to cover candidly government and corporate behaviour.

Sunday, 2 May 2021

o’zapft is!

Proposed by an events planner who helped organise German Weihnachtsmรคrkte and former Mรผnchener restauranteur surely also hit hard by the pandemic and whom now resides in Dubai, the announcement that the emirate plans to host a version of Oktoberfest has drawn ire and confusion from the annual party’s venue city. Mirroring its namesake to an extent with beer tents, food concessions and carnival rides, the proposal calls for it being a pavilion of the World Expo and to last for six months rather than the customary two weeks in September. Last year’s festivities were cancelled due to corona, and though uncertainly it seems as if the coming autumn celebrations may also have to be postponed.

Thursday, 29 April 2021

colin’s bear revisited

Andy Baio at Waxy noticed a viral resurgence of an animated dance moves of a thirteen-year-old short clip, rediscovered and remixed though sadly without any deference to the creator—which Baio seeks to remedy the record by recontextualising and exploring the evolution of the meme that untethered certainly carries the sentiment idk—ive never seen the show its from. Whatever iteration you prefer, you can make your own joyful celebration of International Dance Day, held annually of this day, marking the birthday (1727) of Jean-Georges Noverre, creator of modern ballet.

Tuesday, 27 April 2021

saint zita

Also known by her unofficial cult following in England as Sitha by domestics there, Zita of Lucca (†1227) whose feast is celebrated today was servant girl to a cruel household that beat and berated her incessantly despite working hard and without stint and her charity and even respect for the family she worked for.

Zita’s perseverance through faith in the face of challenges gradually turned the her family and others in the circle towards charity and piety and ultimately garnered a Cinderella-like reputation with angelic host helping her with the chores. In remembrance of Zita feeding the numerous poor people of the city with her meagre ratio of bread alone, the people of Lucca bake Zita Loaves on this day and she is venerated as the patron of maids, butlers and wait-staff and sought for intercession in recovering lost keys and like household objects.

Sunday, 25 April 2021


Venerated on this day in the Roman Catholic Church (31 July on the Anglican calendar), the late fifth century saint also known as Mawgan or Macc Cuill is the patron saint of the Isle of Man, was an Irish princeling of sorts and leader of a band of marauding freebooters who frequently derided Patrick and Brigid and their followers as fools and simpletons. According to one local legend, wanting to expose Patrick as a charlatan, Maughold presented a living man in a shroud and presented him to saint to revive and restore to life, only to find out that their decoy had in fact died in the interim. Patrick later resurrected him, and impressed and repentant, Maughold followed the advice to leave his career of piracy and to make amends for his past behaviour by committing himself to the mercy of the elements in a wicker boat set out to sea. The boat drifted to the Isle of Man, coming to rest in the pictured coastal headland, and a Christian community already established by Patrick’s disciples and was eventually acclaimed bishop.


One of a number of Roman celebrated during this time of year to ensure a good growing season and bountiful harvest, the feast of the for the god Robigus was held on this day in the agricultural outskirts of the city.
The god, which was designated as the divine representation of fungal blight or rust needed to be propitiated in order to ensure that the crops wouldn’t spoil in the fields. Understood as a separate, corrupt manifestation of the same infestation that could be harnessed for fermentation, the games held at this time with their attendant feasts (see also) were also marked by rather dark sacrifices that expressed their anxieties over crop failure—especially for one this late in the growing seasons that wouldn’t be easy to recover from. Whereas animal sacrifice generally was reserved for livestock that was part of the Roman diet and was shared in a communal meal, Robigalia rather gruesomely demanded a dog with a red coat—that matched the rust disease—as form of homeopathic magic.
Other observations included a celebration of—for whatever reason—of male sex-workers, professional female prostitution having had their own honours in the previous days, specifically on Vinalia urbana, the grape harvest on 23 April. Though without the cruel bits, thankfully—or the fun bits either, I suppose, the holiday is preserved in Western Christianity with the same day of prayer and fasting known as Rogation (from the Latin to beseech—to ask God for protection from calamity) and was done to cleanse the body and mind in anticipation of the Ascension and farmers often had priests bless their crops, often holding mass and processionals in the fields.

Sunday, 11 April 2021

godeberthe de noyon

Heiress to a considerable fortune in Amiens and with a solid educational background that eschewed mundane, temporal comforts and the requisite of a strategic marriage to retain a modicum of soft power, Godebertha (*640 - †700, her Gothic name meaning fervor) was displeased when she was when she was presented at the king’s court to be wed to a suitor of appriproate rank and standing. Sensing this reluctance, Saint Eligius put his episcopal ring on her finger, symbolising Godebertha’s betrothal to Christ. The king, impressed with her faith and conduct, gave her an endowment and permission to found a small abbey. Credited for saving the village numerous times from fires and outbreaks of cholera and typhoid fever through miraculous intercession both during her life and posthumously, Godeberthe is invoked against drought, plagues and epidemics and is venerated on this day on the occasion of her death after a long life of sanctity and solitude.

Thursday, 1 April 2021

an elaborate hoax

The fictive archipelago shaped like a semi-colon and full of puns related to printing and fonts, the Guardian featured a seven-page supplement (see also) celebrating a decade of independence for the nation of San Serriffe, discussing the island’s history, economy and tourism with in-depth articles. Originally it was to be positioned in the Atlantic neighbouring Tenerife but a tragic airline disaster a few days prior prompted the newspaper’s editorial board to move it to the Indian Ocean, near the Seychelles. In an era before desktop publishing and the wide adoption of home computers, the terminology of typefaces was specialists’ jargon and most readers would have missed the jokes.