Monday, 6 February 2023

negative test (10. 529)

Approached by Facebook executives with a request to run an experiment tweaking power demands of certain applications to make using them drain one’s phone batteries, a data scientist refused to do so on ethical grounds citing that by dint of the sheer volume of users—in excess of one billion individuals—some were bound to be negatively impacted by a dead phone, lost, stranded or otherwise able to purchase items or verify their identity or alternatively to be gaslit by ones own gadgets, was fired and revealed the existence of this rather sinister experiment (see also) in a lawsuit suing for wrongful dismissal. Details beyond the allegations are sparse since the plaintiff’s employment contract included a clause for binding arbitration, effectively surrendering his right of recourse to legal remedy and submit to the decision of a judge paid a retainer by the social media enterprise.

Sunday, 5 February 2023

9x9 (10. 527)

famous one hundred twenty-three metre spire of salisbury cathedral: Polish coast guard rescues divers near critical infrastructure who were searching for amber 

macroagression: some GOP members in the US congress have switched their American flag lapels for tiny assault rifles—see also  

backbox: watch composer and sound designer Suzanne Ciani, Diva of the Diode, create a soundscape for a pinball game  

donks: a new animated short from Felix Colgrave explores lost cargo, avatars and adaptive bottom feeders  

mastodon flock: find your following—via Waxy  

cel-ray: a peppery, celery soda that one can still find for sale  

rosetta stone: two trilingual ancient clay tablets rediscovered help scholars decipher a lost Canaanite script  

brought down by the left-wing economic establishment: Liz Truss attempts to revive her political career with a long screed in the Sunday Telegraph  

sรฆstrengur: Iceland developing contingency plans in case the undersea cables connecting it to the rest of the world are severed

Thursday, 2 February 2023

sometimes today is tomorrow (10. 516)

Guest blogger Tim Carmody takes the helm for the tenth anniversary of the twentieth anniversary of Kottke’s Groundhog Day live-blog, in a very recursive tradition of celebrating the 1993 fantasy, romantic comedy for a decade. Directed by Harold Ramis and written by Danny Rubin, it portrays a cynical TV weatherman assigned to cover the annual event in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania and gets caught in a time loop, him alone aware that the day is repeating and has the potential for perfecting.

Friday, 27 January 2023

corecore (10. 501)

Just as a digital culture correspondent hailed the movement as an “anti-trend,” the Dadaists that it is being compared to proclaimed that “Dada is the anti-Dada,” but the facetious take on the burdened suffix to denote a range of highly specific aesthetics and welling, small-batch fads do both attach meaning to the meaningless. Attendant with all the staples of being chronically engaged in online platforms, the best examples of the super-cut meme are touchstones of both estranging anxiety (keenly self-aware that the same platforms are a major and perpetuating contributor) and over-familiar nostalgia. Sample more at Hyperallergic at the link above.

Tuesday, 17 January 2023

down-scrolling (10. 477)

Ur-blogger and fellow internet peripatetic Cardhouse (EstD 1994) shared their experience making a strips version of their site that captures all the years of posting over the years as a rolling-snapshot—which reminded me of these tributaries and outflows of history, some ways of displaying, including one custom, handcrafted approach that reflects the website’s own navigation buttons. If you’ve a long blog, give one of these methods a try and share what you’ve found to be best.

Saturday, 14 January 2023

8x8 (10. 417)

mouldiness manifesto: a celebration of the architecture of Friedensreich Regentag Dunkelbunt Hundertwasser—see previously here and here 

olympus mons: detailed maps of Martian terrain from the United States Geological Survey 

cobra mist: a tour of the deserted Orford Ness, the UK’s Area 51 

the george santos special: disgraced congressional representative (see previously) has a really specific skill—via Super Punch 

yurt of invincibility: Kazakh community in Ukraine provides warm-banks, accommodations for those without power  

welcome to garbage town: or how three decades of social media urged us to stop talking and start buying things  

portland district: the US Army Corps has a collection of monumental felines with their engineering projects—for those not yet with their 2023 calendars—see previously 

triple aught foundation: revisiting Michael Heizer’s City in the Nevada desert—via Things Magazine

this is fine (10. 416)

Via Waxy, we are directed to portfolio of webcomic author and cartoonist KC Green and their reflections on a decade since the “On Fire” featuring the dog (Question Hound he’s called) panel first appeared—originally in a series called Gunshow—and how when something becomes a meme, an idea that usually does not age well (anniversaries are bad for the internet, like cheugy was for a class of aesthetic) unlike other aspects of culture that become more refined with time, and as pervasive as this image and its statement, it’s become something for history and not a single byline any longer. Though at times harrying and overshadowing, Green is still able make a living doing what they prefer. This is fine.

Wednesday, 11 January 2023

1337 (10. 408)

A cache of behind-the-scenes Polaroid photographs from the 1995 crime thriller starring Angelina Jolie, Lorraine Bracco and Matthew Lillard film Hackers has been making the internet rounds again recently and is responsible for a whole range of nostalgia, like its debut that corresponded with the rise of the medium itself in the public consciousness and the manifesto of this new frontier authored a decade prior quoted at length: “This is our world now—the world of the electron and the switch… We exist without skin colour, without nationality, without religious bias and yet you call us criminals,” with the admission of guilt for the transgression of curiosity. These snapshots really capture a moment.  Much more at the link above.

Saturday, 7 January 2023

8x8 (10. 395)

notional counting: amateur archaeologist proffers the theory that markings on ancient cave paintings may communicate information about quarry animals’ life cycles—pushing back the origins of writing ten-thousand years  

social recession: declining trust, friendship and adult activities by the numbers—via tmn  

brick and mortem: the surprising, seemingly non-sequir resurgence of a chain of bookshops  

arrakhis: the European Space Agency launches a tiny satellite to search for dark matter  

metroid as directed by paul verhoeven: imaging 90s video games as feature films—see previously  

little d: a Defender-style camper conversion kit unveiled at the Tokyo Auto Salon  

upward falling payloads: proposals for an orbiting warehouse and fulfilment centre  

mirabile scriptu: phony but possibly plausibly kanji generated by AI for abstract concepts—particularly appealing is one for the Chief Twit, ็Ž‹ (pronounced wang, meaning king)

Wednesday, 4 January 2023

and now for something completely different (10. 387)

Via Kottke, we are given over to ruminate on all the ways we can rush through reading, research and watching and optimising our time—our output and personal curation left in the able and dull-dealing hands of automation and outsourcing—and compelled to beg the natural and consequent question to what end. I have no pretensions about what others might call a good work ethics is just my motivation to be done with the tedious bits and to get to sneak away a little time for something that’s more interesting—and often not related to work and would entertain a degree of algorithmic enhancement if that might help me get swifter and better. While career wise, I wouldn’t exactly mind being made—regardless the inevitability and having little choice in the matter, this drive to get on to the next, equally loathsome chore is resonant and suggests being in the wrong business, addled and attended fairytales of endless growth and unbound productivity. See more from Alan Jacobs at his blog The Homebound Symphony at the link above.

down the garden path (10. 386)

Via Waxy, we invited to contemplate the awful prospect of a Web, already increasingly made for the interactions of bots and automation, totally overrun with generative artificial intelligence creating catchpenny content that estranges the human user further by expanding the Dark Forest of the Internet—a hypothesis borrowed from cosmology as one way to account for Fermi’s Paradox by positing that alien civilisations are silent and paranoid, reasoning that any other equally or more advanced life out there would pose an existential threat, that relegates us to our private, insulated spaces that echo and reinforce our points of view and preclude new discoveries. Seemingly more life-like, spaces become life-less with algorithms serving us exactly what we want and optimising visibility and virality with actual humans wise to avoid public-facing ventures lest they be ambushed by predictably pedestrian engagement and relentless marketing that we’ve let encroach on us in a complacence—which in all fairness only took a few months from funny and precocious to mealy, dull and wholly convincing.

Sunday, 1 January 2023

9x9 (10. 379)

run with us: Lisa Lougheed vocal talents showcased for the Canadian animated television series The Raccoons—1985 to 1992  

the number 23: Tedium looks forward to the dawning year  

artisanal bitcoin: crypto mined with only slide rules and graph paper  

rip: this more inclusive, Sgt Pepper’s style (previously) obituary of those we lost in 2022—to include the very recently passing of Anita Pointer, Barbara Walters and Pope Benedict 

next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual: a literary guide to New Year’s resolutions and more from Nag on the Lake’s Sunday Links 

web 1.0: a clarion call to bring back personal blogging—also the upteenth time this appeal has circulated since 2007—via Kottke’s Quick Links  

penny-farthing: a pocket-sized battery that can enhance a mechanical bicycle  

magic clock: a 1960 Mel-O-Toons classic reminds us it’s late than we think  

fever ray: a selection of new musical artist from Super Punch

Friday, 30 December 2022

mmxxii (10. 369)

As this calendar year draws to a close and we look forward with anticipation to 2023, we again take time to reflect on a selection of some of the events that took place in 2022. Thanks as always for visiting. We’ve made it through another wild year together, and we’ll see this next one through together as well.

january: Violent protests erupt in Almaty in response to the Kazakh government ending fuel subsidies and lift price caps on petrol and heating oil, prompting a coalition of former-Soviet military forces to intervene. The US reflects on the one year anniversary of the Capitol insurrection and the fragile state of democracy.

Legendary actor Sidney Portier passed away, aged 94, as did singer Ronnie Spector (*1943). Tragically, seventeen individuals are killed in an apartment fire in the Bronx. Disturbingly the US Supreme Court blocks vaccination mandates for private companies-upholding the requirement for public sector workers. Two Democratic senators-who derailed president Biden’s Build Back Better plan-are also opposed to changing legislative rules to overturn the filibuster, allowing Republicans to block the enactment of a voter-rights protection bill. There are widespread calls for the resignation of Boris Johnson over revelations of work-dos during strict lockdown. The Queen strips Prince Andrew of his titles and military leadership roles over his association with sex pest Jeffrey Epstein and allegations of sexual assault. Russia seems poised to re-invade Ukraine, first undermining their cyber capabilities.  The Pacific island group volcano Hunga Tonga-Hunga Haสปapai erupted violently, triggering tsunami waves halfway across the world in California and Nova Scotia. Performer Meatloaf has passed away, aged seventy-four as did comedian and actor Louie Anderson at sixty-eight.  Zen Buddhist monk and peace activist Thich Nhat Hanh who protested the Vietnam War and introduced mindfulness to the West dies aged ninety-five.

february: The leader of a defeated though resurgent ISIS, Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Quarshi, is killed in a US airstrike in Syria.

Tensions continue to mount in Ukraine over the spectre of an Russian invasion, with the US suggesting that Russia will stage a false-flag operation as a pretext to advance.   Truckers in Canada protesting COVID restrictions, mandatory passports blockade Ottawa; separately Justin Treudeu, Jacinda Arden and Keir Starmer need police intervention to be rescued from rioters.  The Queen celebrates her Platinum Jubilee with seventy years on the throne.  So called Canadian Freedom Convoys of big rig truckers shut down three key border crossings into the US, causing knock-on effects including factory shut-downs.  Provocatively, Russia begins military exercises in Belarus and on the Black Sea. 
Two powerful, successive windstorms, Ylenia and Zeynep, cause damage through a corridor in German after wreaking havoc in England and Wales (as Dudley and Eunice).  The Candy Bomber, Gail Halvorsen (previously) passes away, aged 101.  As the UK announces the relaxation of legal measures to combat the spread of the COVID virus, the palace announced that the Queen has contracted a mild case of it.  Putin recognises the sovereignty of break-away Ukrainian territories Donetsk and Luhansk and deploys peace-keepers to the regions nearly eight years to the day after applying a similar tactics to Crimea. 

march: Numerous Western companies suspend operations in Russia as sanctions intensify.  Shelling of civilian targets across Ukraine shows no signs of abating though the invasion has not been the easy and instant take-over that was apparently expected. 

Inflation surges as the price for everything spikes with the price of oil.  Many news outlets suspend reporting from Russia following passage of legislation that threatened individuals with fifteen-year sentences for spreading “fake news.” Sustaining a minor infection, US supreme court justice Clarence Thomas was discharged from hospital, a week after he was admitted. The news comes as the congressional panel investigating the 6 January attack on the US Capitol sought testimony from his wife and conservative activist, Virginia Thomas, after the revelation of a text message exchange between her and the White House chief of staff, urging him to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.  People Power Party candidate is narrowly elected president of South Korea.

april:  The US Senate, after much acrimony, confirms Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court. Though vice president Harris would have been the tie-breaker in the case of a fifty-fifty split, no Black woman in this forum had the chance to vote.  Viktor Orbรกn with fourth consecutive term as leader of Hungary. 

North Korea appears to be on the verge of resuming nuclear tests after a pause of five years, escalating regional tensions, after demolishing a symbolic hotel that held out the possibility of reconciliation. Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan was ejected by a vote of no confidence.  Hundreds die from mudslides in the Philippines and flash floods in South Africa.  Russia retaliates to the destruction of its flagship of the Black Sea fleet with renewed shelling in Kyiv and Lviv, having shifted focused to the southeastern part of Ukraine to create a corridor through rebel-held areas to Crimea and the sea.  Emmanuel Macron holds his presidency against Marine Le Pen.  Twitter agrees to sell itself to Elon Musk.  Moscow confirms Russia assault on Kyiv during visit by UN secretary-general Antรณnio Guterres, meeting with the Ukrainian leader just after a summit with Putin.

may: A leaked draft opinion from US Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito suggests that the court is poised to over-turn the 1973 precedent that affords women access to abortion. 

The remaining contingent of soldiers holding Mariupol’s bulwark of resistance in the Azov steel plant have surrendered to Russian forces.   Australia’s conservative coalition government is defeated for the first time in a decade and the Labour party takes control.  A gunman espousing the Great Replacement Theory, tying into all the regressive, racist social movements in the United States, murdered ten individuals in Buffalo, New York.  A shooting at an elementary school in Texas takes twenty-one lives.  A dire shortage of baby formula in the US is on-going.  Monkeypox is spreading rampantly.  

june: the UK and the Commonwealth celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. 

Prompted by the publication of the Partygate investigation, Boris Johnson weathers a confidence vote by fellow party members but with more negative ballots than the votes that ended the ministries of Thatcher or more recently May. Portions of the January 6 select committee hearings are being televised.  The US Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade and Planned Parenthood v Casey, prohibiting access to abortion in more than half of America and putting at risk same-sex marriage, gay rights and access to contraceptives. 

july: Russia takes control of the Luhansk region of eastern Ukraine.  Yet another mass shooting occurs in the US, this time at an Independence Day parade in a Chicago suburb. 

Compelled by the resignation of over fifty chief ministers and secretaries (including those appointed a day and a half earlier) ultimately, cumulatively over the Chris Pincher scandal, Boris Johnson announces he will step down as leader of the Conservative Party but plans to hold on to his prime ministership until the party conference in the autumn.  Former Japanese prime minister Shinzล Abe is fatally wounded in an assassination attempt.  Actor James Caan passes away, aged 82. After massive unrest and protesters storming the presidential palace, Sri Lankan leader Gotabaya Rajapaska steps down.  After reaching a deal brokered by Turkey, the first Ukranian grain transport vessel sails into the Bosporus, bound for Lebanon.  Pioneering actor Nichelle Nichols passed away, aged eighty-nine.

august: In the backdrop of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and intensifying incursions from mainland China, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi visits Taiwan.  Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri is killed by a blade-wielding drone in Afghanistan.  The conservative state of Kansas rejects a referendum to outlaw all abortions.  The FBI conducts a search of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate for mishandled government documents.  The US congress passes Joe Biden’s Build Back Better act. 

Taking a cue from Belarus, the governors of Texas and Florida are bussing migrants to New York and California.  Olivia Newton-John passes away after a long battle with cancer.  Fashion designer Issey Miyake (ไธ‰ๅฎ… ไธ€็”Ÿ) has also died, aged eighty-four.  Actor Anne Heche died after sustaining serious injuries in a car accident.  Salman Rushdie was stabbed by an assailant whilst delivering a lecture in Chautauqua, New York.  Joe Biden announces a jubilee on student debt that will positively impact millions of borrowers.  A redacted affidavit shows that over one hundred eighty classified documents were being sought at Mar-A-Lago, which Trump illegally removed when he left office.  Pakistan is devastated by heavy monsoons.  Ukraine begins a counter-insurgency to retake Kherson.  Mikhail Gorbachev passes away, aged 91.  

september: Liz Truss is chosen as new Prime Minister to replace Boris Johnson.  Queen Elizabeth II passes away, aged 96, with London Bridge protocols enacted.  Ukraine is seen to make major incursions into Russian held territories as municipal officials in Moscow and St Petersburg call for Vladimir Putin’s resignation. 

Charles III is proclaimed as new monarch as UK and Commonwealth enter a period of remembrance and mourning.  A Florida federal judge appoints a Special Master to review documents seized from Mar-a-Lago.  The UK economy tanks after Truss chancellor Kwarteng borrow more to reduce tax on business, garnering rebukes from Germany, the US and the IMF as the Pound Stirling approaches parity with the US dollar.  Iranians rage against their government after a young girl dies in custody of the morality police.  Russia appears to have sabotaged the Nordstream pipelines, rendering them unusable even if the gas is turned back on.

october: A hurricane batters Puerto Rico and Cuba, Florida and South Carolina.  Putin annexes four more regions in Ukraine though the hold is tenuous.  Coolio and Loretta Lynn pass away.  A mass shooting, knife attack takes place at a nursery in Thailand with two dozen children killed.  Joseph Biden pardons all of some six-thousand individuals charged with marijuana possession on the federal level.  Rhetoric over the use of tactical nuclear weapons by Russia is increasing. 

Ukraine damages the twenty kilometre bridge linking the annexed Crimea to the Russian mainland, a key supply route, across the Kerch strait.  In retribution, Russian attacks on civilian targets and infrastructure increase markedly.  Kwasi Kwarteng is dismissed, giving the UK four chancellors in as many months amid wide-spread calls for Liz Truss to resign.  Accomplished actor Robbie Coltrane passes away, aged 72, as does Angela Lansbury, aged 96.  Rishi Sunak becomes prime minister of the UK after being voted leader of the Tory Party. The husband of senior congressional member Nancy Pelosi is attacked by a man with a past of espousing fringe right wing theories with a hammer, the target intended to be the Speaker of the House.  Twitter is delisted from the stock exchange as Elon Musk takes over the platform.  Over one hundred and fifty individuals in Seoul are crushed in a stampede during a Halloween party in a narrow alleyway.  Citing continued Ukrainian drone attacks on its Black Sea fleet, Russia pulls out of a UN brokered arrangement to facilitate grain-shipment.

november: World leaders gather in Sharm el-Sheikh for COP27.   Ukrainian cities contend with power blackouts after Russia targets the country’s infrastructure.  Founding father of election science Sir David Butler passes away, aged 98. The anticipated repudiation of the US Democratic party failed to materialize, counter to polling and pundits’ expectations with those Republican candidates aligned with Donald Trump underperforming and falling short in the broad sense, holding the GOP bastions of Florida and Texas.  The UN announces the world population is at eight billion. 

At a ceremony at Mar-a-Lago, Donald Trump announces his third candidacy for the presidency, much to the dismay of a Republican party whom cannot challenge his bid.  Artemis I launches on its way to the Moon.  Speaker Pelosi steps down as party leader in the House of Representatives.  In response to Trump announcing his intent to run for president, a move in part calculated to frustrate legal action against him, Attorney General Merrick Garland appoints a special counsel to investigate the insurrection that Trump instigated and the US Supreme Court rules that Trump must turn over years of tax returns to Congress.   Mired in controversy, the World Cup hosted by Qatar commences.  Continued Russian airstrikes on Ukrainian infrastructure and utilities have caused a near total blackout in neighbouring Moldova.  Earthquakes cause mass destruction in West Java and Turkey.   The UK Supreme Court blocks a second referendum for Scottish independence.  Fame and Flash Dance singer Irene Cara passes away, aged 63.  Demonstrations against the government and the ruling party not seen in China since Tienanmen Square erupt in China over COVID lockdown protocols and after the emergency response to an apartment fire is apparently delayed due to restrictions and added barriers to restrict movement. Fleetwood Mac singer Christine McVie dies, aged 79. 

december: Chinese authorities begin relaxing COVID prevention measures in response to protests.  The G7 nations and the European Union try to enforce further sanctions against Russia by banning oil shipments by sea and placing an upwards price cap per barrel. In response to massive protests, Iran disbands its morality police.

Scientists at the Lawrence Livermore National Labs announce a breakthrough in harnessing the power of nuclear fusion for energy production.  During its final session before dissolving, the January Sixth Committee recommends to the Justice Department to bring four criminal charges, including inciting insurrection, against Trump.  The Specials lead singer Terry Hall passes away, aged 63.  In his first trip abroad since the Russian invasion, Zelenskiy speaks before a joint-session of Congress in Washington, DC––appealing for continued aid from the United States.  Much of the US is pummelled by a bomb-cyclone, a monstrous winter storm that forces the cancellation of holiday travel. Bolivian police detain opposition leader Luis Fernando Camacho for his role in the 2019 protests that prompted then-president Evo Morales to resign. Putin issues a decree prohibiting the export of Russian oil to countries and organizations that adhere to the US$60-per-barrel price cap that Australia, the European Union, and the G7 member states agreed upon earlier this month. The decree will be in effect from February through the summer.  Legendary footballer who made soccer the beautiful game, Pelรฉ, passes away, aged 82, as well as fashion icon Vivienne Westwood.


Friday, 23 December 2022

ice cream assassins (10. 356)

Again with the distinction between neologisms and characters and courtesy of Language Log, we are directed towards an omnibus listing of internet slang that dominated social media in China (see previously) this past year. The title (้›ช็ณ•ๅˆบๅฎข) refers to the sticker-shock of the frozen treats associated with inflation and the pictured “let it rot” cites the trend of leaning into a situation that’s failing apart rather than trying to salvage it and like lying flat signals a generation growing weary with social competition in the face of a possibly bleak future. We also quite liked the incantation—Tuรฌ! Tuรฌ! Tuรฌ! ้€€!้€€!้€€!, to banish an unpleasant presence in one’s life.

Thursday, 22 December 2022

green-eyed monster (10. 353)

A perennial favourite, the editorial staff at Bloomberg Businessweek honour their journalistic peers and and players with their Jealousy List—a tradition going back to 2015—by calling out reporting that they wish they had scooped or otherwise explored in depth. There is a whole of articles to pour over and especially liked the by-lines and attributes for new and taken for granted sources to follow. We especially enjoyed Wired’s article on “How Telegram Became the Anti-Facebook” plus also deserving of an honourable mention, the BBC’s series on the collapse of Communism in Russia, a GQ piece on lifelong projects through the lens of Francis Ford Coppola and a range of articles from Atavist magazine, a new read for us to revisit. Do peruse the whole index and let us know your most engrossing finds.

Wednesday, 21 December 2022

8x8 (10. 350)

gadgetbahn: displacing solid public transportation networks with amusement park rides won't address underlying traffic problems 

senior superlatives: the most interesting fonts and typefaces of the year  

๐Ÿ‘: the ten best films of 2022  

seneca falls: the altruistic act that is said to have inspired It’s A Wonderful Life and other festive adventures in audio with Josie Long  

fรฆรฐingarsaga: listen again to an eleven-year-old Bjรถrk Guรฐmundsdรณttir recite the Nativity Story in Icelandic  

as it was: some the most popular songs of the year  

shot sage blue marilyn: the most expensive works of art trading hands this year  

chief twit: abiding by results of a poll, Elon Musk announced he will step down as CEO of the social media platform as soon as a replacement can be identified

Monday, 5 December 2022

8x8 (10. 362)

under attended: when only two individuals show up to a new author’s reading, much of the establishment commiserates and share words of encouragement—via Super Punch 


giving face
: Poseidon’s Underworld takes a moment to reflect after a month’s sabbatical  

postcards of dead birds: more on strange Victorian Christmas greetings—see previous here and here  

monochrome: an AI tool to colourise black-and-white images—see previously 

government attic: Things Magazine reminds of us this great aggregator of FOIA logs—see previously 

the christmassy chord: a deconstruction of iconic holiday standards 

the tartarian empire: an introduction to a bizarre architectural conspiracy theory—via ibฤซdem  

rsvp: journalist was one of six attendees who showed up for an expensive Metaverse party hosted by the European Union

Friday, 2 December 2022

8x8 (10. 352)

fomites: turns out that COVID virus can stay of some grocery items for days—see previously    

fabulous fakes: an engrossing documentary about a Chinese painter whose specialty is creating pictures in the style of Van Gogh (see also) and travels to see the originals  

baguettes, bell-ringing and bee-keeping: UNESCO inscribes more human treasures  

foghorn: a celebration the floating lighthouses called lightvessels  

geopolitics is for losers: the infectious idea was concocted to account for defeat and hold influence  

gen-x studs terkel: the death of boredom is the biggest loss of a generation—a conversation with Joe Hagan  

viva magenta: Pantone announces its colour for the coming year—previously here and here 

such freedom: social network drops policies in place to limit the spread of misinformation on COVID

Thursday, 1 December 2022

jodorowsky’s tron (10. 351)

Returning to regular blogging after a restorative sabbatical, Kottke directs our attention towards surrealist, psychedelic version of Tron filtered through the lens of the style of filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky in an imaginative collaboration between an AI platform and creative prompter Johnny Darrell. These stills are pretty fantastic and makes one wonder how far away we are from realising Jodorowsky’s famously unmade adaptation of Dune. Much more at the links above.

week-by-week (10. 350)

Contributing correspondent and consultant Tom Whitwell, in an annual tradition has posted a collection of interesting facts he has gleaned over the past twelve months, highlighting one intriguing idea per week. The entire list is well worth your while to peruse. We've previously encountered item twenty—if you want a question answered on the internet, then post a wrong answer—in the form of Cunningham’s Law and the penultimate Swiss cheese cartel behind fondue but most were wholly new to us. We especially liked the advice on using conversational doorknobs to afford both parties to digress and confess, the fanciful Russian history articles on Chinese Wikipedia that went unnoticed for a decade (see also), inscrutable AIs—one accurately differentiating male from female eyes but none can figure out how—and the proposal for heavenbanning: instead of deplatforming an individual, replace their followers with artificial sycophants, ditto head bots and cutting off that bad actor from human interaction. Which one is your favourite?