Wednesday, 4 May 2022

8x8

saved: Diane Keaton’s coffee table book of quirky photography  

broadacre city: Frank Lloyd Wright’s experimental community of the future—via Nag on the Lake  

23 skidoo: enhanced footage of flappers from 1929 

senator palpatine needs to flip just five seats to take back power: a fund-raising solicitation from the galactic majority leader (previously)

spelunking: surveyors discover the largest cave system in North America 

 they’ve got an awful lot of coffee in brazil: the novelty song as performed by Frank Sinatra  

homage to the squares: a rhythmic revisiting of the art of Josef Albers via Pasa Bon!  

vacansopapurosophobia: an assortment of very cromulent vocabulary

Wednesday, 27 April 2022

where have all the merrymakers gone?

In wide release on this day in 1998 after being first previewed to Seattle radio stations and quickly picked up and circulated as an international and enduring hit, Harvey Danger’s Flagpole Sitta (from the Marx Brothers’ Animal Crackers which features a dialogue about the 1920s fad after the stylites of old and the eye-dialectical for other contemporary compositions like Fame Throwa or Straight Outta Compton) is a literate critique of the self-same music scene and the ramifications it had for popular culture as a post-grunge anthem. I’m not sick but I’m not well.

Sunday, 24 April 2022

dirigible

Via The Morning News and apparently not a parody—confirmed I think by the unexamined marketing itself as ‘sustainable’ and unspoken ploy as a way for oligarchs to escape impoundment (albeit such a means of conveyance we imagine would be even harder to conceal)—we are directed towards a company that combines a two-hundred metre blimp with a sixty-metre yacht, detachable from the airship—for sailing sea and sky.

Monday, 14 March 2022

goblin mode

Not to shame or scold anyone for their coping mechanisms or lack thereof, we felt seen by this article by Kari Paul on the reframing of the hedonistic cycle that steps out of it with the same intention as those tactics of betterment and self-improvement only to be camouflaged as the lazy under-achieving escapism that this sort of behaviour is trying to distance itself from, albeit in not the most flattering fashion. Rather than embracing those incredibly narrow and niche trends that limned the beginning of the pandemic isolation, the phenomenon that simultaneously accepts and rejects the definition of a hashtag represents the opposite of the in-crowd.

Monday, 17 January 2022

ayn of green gables

On a property tour of the suburbs of Chicago, McMansion Hell (previously) explores the turrets, cornices and entryways that are, couched as architectural elements, the gross signifiers of ostentatious wealth. It’s as if the local Home Owners Association are spurring on a competition to see which monstrosity can project the most power. More at the links above and be sure to subscribe so as not to miss an update.

Sunday, 9 January 2022

think different

Developed in great secrecy under code name Project Purple, the first generation of the iPhone—given the retronym 2G to establish its place in the lineage among some thirty-three different models made, Apple Chief Executive Officer Steve Jobs introduces the public to the concept of the revolutionary, universal smart mobile phone on this day in 2007 during a keynote address during the Macworld Expo in San Francisco. Models would go on sale at the end of June, on the anniversary of the first trials of the Apple I by Steve Wozniak back in 1975.

Thursday, 30 December 2021

achievable goals

Courtesy of our friend artificial intelligencer and Smithsonian’s designated futurist-in-residence for next month, Janelle Shane (previously here and here) we are treated to a neural network’s attempt at coming up with a New Year’s resolution. With a few prompts, it generated suggestions like, “Make broccoli the national currency and then paint that,” or “take photos of my toes daily,” and intriguingly “act like a cabbage for a month,” “dress in a way that only a ghost could love,” “throw a birthday party for a tree” and “attempt to find peace living with an army of puppets.” More at the link above and see if you can find a resolution that’s particularly resonant for you. “I will now treat every worm I see as if it is an old friend.”

Tuesday, 21 December 2021

kennel club

Vicar of Swimbridge in North Devon and avid fox-hunter, Right Reverend John “Jack” Russell was born this day in 1795 (†1883) who would go on to develop his namesake breed. Anecdotally, whilst studying a Exeter College in Dartmouth, Russell came across a dappled white terrier belonging to a local milkman and offered to buy her on the spot. Calling her Trump, she became the matrilineal founder of the variety endowing her offspring with traits suited to Russell's preferred sporting.

Monday, 13 December 2021

high times and misdemeanors

Although the Netherlands may be the European country most closely associated to legal marijuana, it officially only tolerates commerce and possession that are still regarded as criminal, the small island nation of Malta, with the bill expected to pass through parliament and be signed into law in time for the weekend, will be the first polity within the EU to legalise cannabis.   The move comes ahead of broader drug enforcement harmonisation expected for governments in Switzerland, Germany and the Benelux in 2022.

Friday, 10 December 2021

very peri

Possibly at the risk of sounding quite misaligned with the current Zeitgeist wherein COTY, WoTY could do better to provide a reprieve from the destruction of the planet and erosion of democracy Pantone nominates a lilac, periwinkle shade as the Colour for 2022, informed by the, according to the press-release, by the metaverse and as well as the “impact of coronavirus lockdowns.” I don’t know—what do you think? Not everything has to be on fire and dread serious but this strikes me as particularly disconnected and fraught with associations of social distance and hierarchies.

Thursday, 9 December 2021

sex-postive

Perennially indebted to our faithful chronicler, we are reminded that on this day in 1994, that US Surgeon General under Bill Clinton, VADM Dr. Minnie Joycelyn Elders, was forced to resign for expressing her views frankly on what at the time was considered taboo topics of discussion including drug legalisation, distributing contraception in public schools and most controversially introducing masturbation (on World AIDS Day) to sex-education curricula. Championing control of reproductive rights and decriminalisation of drug offences during her sixteen month tenure, Elders’ ideas for visionary for a stage in American cultural that pivoted particularly in the prudish direction, though rather than being about what’s discussed in polite company was never the issue but instead the societal norms and strictures put in place to uphold and perpetuate the patriarchy and class-structure.

Wednesday, 1 December 2021

forget-the-year

Though in practise perhaps a bit premature and ill-advised given the milieu of a resurgence in COVID cases, we did nonetheless enjoy augmenting our vocabulary with the Japanese tradition of bลnenkai (ๅฟ˜ๅนดไผš) office parties that take place usually during December sponsored by companies for their employees that involves banqueting and a lot of drinking. As respite from the pandemic and the lengthening past or otherwise, not everyone is ready to embrace mandated festivities and bureikล—็„ก็คผ่ฌ›, nomunication—that is, loosened tongues facilitated through drink, nomu ๆ„ๅ‘ณ, which allows one to albeit temporarily, perhaps regrettably disregard hierarchy and distinctions in rank and seniority.

Saturday, 27 November 2021

can’t resist a list

Our AI Intelligencer (see previously), expounding on how the above protocols or inventory—being perhaps what artificial intelligence is—has this remarkable tendency to derail otherwise passingly competent machines as they carry instructions out to their unnatural conclusions, like with the prompt for baking a cake with the nth steps being Wait for the timer to ring. Smell the baked good. forgot to take it out. Hide it all under a carpet. Or the next cue to generate traditional wedding gifts after being supplied the first four anniversaries:

5th Year: Fowl Feathers, etc.
9th Year: Small Dainty
11th Year: Soapsugar Jelly
17th Year: Green Surpluses & Leaves
25th Year: Paper, Spreads and White Sea Shells
34th Year: Wool/Reindeer Hair
48th Year: Lying In Blankets

I seriously want this bot to be my personal shopping concierge for Christmas as it seems to have no problem conjuring up an inexhaustible wish-list. Much more at the links above.

Friday, 26 November 2021

7x7

limerent limerick: help in recognising unhealthy obsessions and how to work one’s way out of intrusive think—hopefully through bawdy rhymes 

there and back again: Gene Deitch’s animated short The Hobbit—the first such adaptation  

roll for perception: a collection of resources, a florilegium from a Society for Creative Anachronism member for the LARP community—via Mx van Hoorn’s cabinet of hypertext curiosities  

avenue of the sphinxes: a restored promenade between Luxor and Karnak opened with fanfare  

opiate for the masses: drug use in Antiquity 

mlhavรฝ: Martin Rak’s fog-draped forests in Saxon-Bohemia—see previously 

here’s mud in your eye: a select glossary of beer and imbibing terminology—via Strange Company’s Weekend Link Dump


 

Wednesday, 24 November 2021

his grooms and companions, the autobiography of a horse

Though considered the foundational work of pony fiction--that genre of juvenile novels involving teens and learning equestrian skills—Anna Sewell’s final work published on this day in 1877 by Jarrold & Sons, Black Beauty, the first non-human memoir was not necessarily targeted to an audience of children. Instilling sympathy and respect for animals as well as people, the enduring best-seller recounts the stages of the narrator's life--first as a foal, a colt, then a working-horse pulling cabs whose hardships and experiences reflect those of his drivers and passengers in London before being put out to pasture for retirement.

Sunday, 21 November 2021

8x8

turnspit: eccentric, utilitarian canine breeds that have passed out of fashion but could be revived—via Nag on the Lake’s Sunday Links (lots more to see there) 

ball-and-chain: this leashless ankle weight system to control one’s toddler will only make baby invincible—via Super Punch  

miss spirit world 1960: a pageant sourced in spectral photography of the departed  

something—that if true, you couldn’t handle it: a close reading of the recently indicted QANon Shaman’s manifesto  

on รฉcrit aussi ielle: the authoritative French language Petit Robert adds a third, gender-neutral personal pronoun—a concatenation of the masculine and feminine forms (see also)  

the midnight special: eight hours of footage from David Bowie’s television programme the “The 1980 Floor Show,” an episode guest-curated by the artist  

hocus-pocus: the hidden overhauls happening the faรงades of Russian construction sites (see also)  

yes, this is dog: a video phone that allows apartment-bound dogs to call their humans

Sunday, 14 November 2021

meanwhile back at the manse

Via two of our absolutely favourite fellow internet caretakers Nag on the Lake and Things Magazine, we are directed latest to the latest annual from McMansion Hell Yearbook (previously) with this 1981 fever-dream of a property in DuPage County, in the state of Illinois, US of A—aptly introduced as “dentist office meets cult compound meets late-stage Frank Lloyd Wright (Wedding-Cake era).” Much more to explore at the links above.

Thursday, 11 November 2021

by-way or the highway

Albeit not on quite the same scale, these extreme commutes executed without an automobile and via slower, more deliberative modes of transportation really speak to me as I have undertaken similar excursions myself, only out of curious necessity, though the office is only ten kilometres away in most cases and not through dangerous terrain however through places not designed for pedestrians or flรขnuers (see also) to explore, fascinated by such transit-zones and will regularly make an afternoon’s errands out of something that would be quickly dispatched by car and a few extra stops.

Saturday, 2 October 2021

how does it feel when you got no food?

Released mid-September as a single from their debut studio album, The Youth of Today, the song from the British-Jamaican reggae band topped the UK charts this week in 1982 with their bowdlerised cover of The Mighty Diamonds’ 1981 tune “Pass the Kutchie,” a slang term for a cannabis pipe from the patois for Dutch oven, which excised and substituted all drug references for poverty, launching the song’s popularity outside of the Caribbean community. The original line “How does it feel when you got no herb?” became the above but with dutchie itself becoming synonymous with a marijuana joint. Give me the music—make me jump and prance.

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!