Monday, 10 August 2020


Using surplus modern construction materials in combination with antique glass, handmaid locally in the1950s, and ceramic ornamental elements, the design duo Folkform—we discover via Dezeen—created a beautiful mural for the public bath of the community of Spรฅnga (Dolph Lundgren’s hometown) outside of Stockholm whose ordered mosaic is informed by the village plan as seen from above. Upcycling such elements in a public and shared milieu is hoped to inspire others to apply the practise to their own designs.

Sunday, 9 August 2020


r.o.u.s. (rodent of unusual size): a LEGO Princess Bride playset

fifteen men on the dead man’s chest: beach sand skeletal impression kit

colouring london: an ongoing project amassing architectural statistical data from Maps Mania

antimandering: redistricting software that illustrates the trade-offs of proportional representation, via Waxy

splinternet: discouraging trend championed now by the US towards compartmentalising the once global web—via Slashdot

duly appointed rounds: another one of Trump’s antithetical department heads bent on dismantling the institution he is in charge of (see previously)

mind the gap: subway and metro announcements from around the world

Saturday, 8 August 2020

kosmischer lรคufer

Via Things Magazine, we discover the lost and now found motivational sessions for the long distance runner created for the East German Olympic Programme that shows the DDR was far ahead of its Western counterparts when it came to harmonically harnessing the Tetris effect. One amateur runner of that period took the repetitive but catchy strains of the so called Krautrock genre—a Western import but also an East German export soon after—and tethered his playlist to the arising technology called the Stereobelt that was sort of a proto-Walkman. More Cold War innovation and intrigue—as well as more of the soft but integral diplomacy of sport and song at the links above.

Thursday, 16 July 2020


houstonia: a century of the Texas city told though iconic photographs—via Things Magazine

bovine flatulence: a strange fast food campaign touts its efforts to reduce greenhouse emissions and improve animal welfare

triple word score: a Star Wars round-up including Scrabble tiles in the script of Galactic Basic, Aurebesh (previously)

eggs over easy: an introduction to Britain’s influential pub rock scene of the 1970s and its lasting legacy

when she walks, she’s like a samba: a deconstruction of the complex Girl from Ipanema (see also July 2019), the second most covered song in history

le vetture tranviarie: engineer Arturo Tedeschi redesigns a tram car for social distancing (see previously)

eponymous first album: quarantined residents in of a senior assisted living centre recreate iconic record covers

unclaimed baggage: more on the small town Alabama store (previously) that resells the world’s lost luggage—via Duck Soup

Sunday, 28 June 2020

a free masculinity simulator video game

Via ibฤซdem, we are directed to a playable application that captures the tension and the drama packed into a memetic phenomenon filmed on a phone—with that same POV—of two hunky young men beating each other with chairs that circulated on the internet in 2015 that speaks to Lad Culture, the strange performative normative of “no homo” and affirming stunts of manliness. These sort of toxic displays (see also) remind it’s no wonder that we are not able to overcome challenges whose only requirement is showing mild consideration for others but maybe by confronting it and dissecting it, we can perhaps disarm it. Game play allows one to play with the sequence and duration of steps and see how the variation affects the outcome. Be sure to check out developer Robert Yang’s website at the link above for the full story and extra food for thought.

Sunday, 21 June 2020


Celebrated annually since 2015 after its nomination and adoption by the United Nations General Assembly the year prior, this day has been set aside for reflection on the ancient practise and its practitioners of healthful and mindful, spiritual aspects of yoga. It is an occasion to perfect one’s exercise and perform essential asanas—poses—and the meditative quality of the session. See if you can improve your form and awake body and mind.

Wednesday, 27 May 2020


Recently, H and I took a hike around a rock face (Felswand) at the foothills and steepening calved cliffs of the Maulkuppe, near the Milseburg.
A few climbers were out scaling the rocks—which are volcanic phonolite (Phonolith—sounding stone, named after the characteristic clink that this uncommon mineral makes when struck—we’ll have to be more attentive and listen next time) and not the more common basalt formations (see here, here and here) as we’d originally thought made up the mountain side. There are some one hundred climbing paths (Kletterrouten) on the Steinwand—which while it is on private property, is freely accessible for all.

Saturday, 16 May 2020


From the venerable bon viveur Card House, we are presented with another novel approach to teaching those aspiring touch typists in the form of this melodious marvel from 1945 whose notes correspond to keystrokes (see previously) which surely must have resulted in a discordant cacophony with the prescribed exercises. No font specimen is available as the contraption instead operated like an accordion and though it seems rather counter-productive to play a QWERTY keyboard like that of a clavier, perhaps there was some method to this music box.

marginal adventure

Via Art of Darkness, here is a fun little arcade game with role playing elements for one’s hand-held devices wherein one battles the strange, fantastic beasts (previously) that medieval scribes embellished in the white spaces of the manuscripts that they faithfully copied.  It seems challenging and quite well put together and nicely scored, as well as appealing to the fan of scholasticism during the Middle Ages and worth giving it a try.

Friday, 8 May 2020


it’s-a me francis: an upcoming immersive papal simulator

what wizardry is this: augmented reality copy-and-paste

in like flynn: weaponised US Justice Department dismisses case against former National Security Adviser for lying to FBI about Russian connections

the great realisation: or, why we say hindsight is 2020

4f: new rules prohibit individuals who have recovered from corona virus infections from enlisting in the US military

logic gate: cookie-consent walls ruled to violate GDPR (previously)

nation-building: a profile of the Home Shopping Club mercenaries that tried to topple the government in Venezuela (previously)

canvasing: though unable to visit constituents in person, one representative is island-hopping on-line

Sunday, 3 May 2020


In a decision reached in mid-April, we learn that the Court of Appeal of the province of Quรฉbec has vacated the outcome of a dispute resolved through the means of best of three rounds of “rock, paper, scissors” and reinforcing the ruling of a lower court that the settlement of debts by the above means was not a legal valid or sufficient one.
The case, which is in fact far more salacious, involving a love-triangle and a soured business investment, than the salient factors was heard and the verdict reached not by dint of poor documentation of said contract, the personalities of the menage e trois or even the stakes involved but rather the technicality that according to legal code gaming and wagers are only an acceptable means of resolution if the underlying contest involves skill or bodily exertion—ร  la seule adresse des parties ou ร  l’exercice de leur corps, with the court finding their match involved no strategy and was purely a game of chance. Much more at Lowering the Bar at the link above.

Monday, 20 April 2020

and the word mini

Via friend of the blog, Nag on the Lake, we are directed towards this set of spot the difference games from the museum and gallery consortium Europeana with this works of fine art altered in eight subtle ways for you to puzzle out.

 Each round is fiendishly busy with a lot of details to pour over but we really liked The Merry Family (Het vrolijke huisgezin, 1668) by Jan Havicksz Steen which resides in the Rijksmuseum. This colourful and boisterous scene is typical of the Dutch Golden Age painter’s portfolio—including Peasants before an Inn, Woman at her Toilet, Rhetoricians at a Window, and A Burgomaster of Delft and his Daughter—and the note hanging from the mantle sums up the situation: “As the old sing, so shall the young twitter.” See if you are able to find all eight changes in eight pairs of paintings.

Friday, 17 April 2020

light and tuneful

Even as sporting events are being postponed for another time, we can still appreciate some of the great riveting power theme tunes for big tournaments and regular shows, like this first track by composer Sam Fonteyn (*1925 – †1991) for BBC Sport called Pop Looks Bach (1978)—whose countless works have also been sampled for the intros and incidental music for SpongeBob, Ren & Stimpy and Family Guy.
The second and third track are from Keith Mansfield with the former called Light and Tuneful (1970) and of course announces the Wimbledon Championships and the later the theme to sports round-up Grandstand (1958). Even if not a fan oneself, they still invoke a feeling of nostalgia, even if it was to signal to leave as televised sports coverage was about to start.

Friday, 10 April 2020


egg²: check out Box Vox’ egg-themed week starting with this recipe for apรฉroeuf including innovations in cartoning and carting

public display: open up and curator your own virtual gallery space in this social simulation game

all hail our morlock overlords: after forcing the in-person ballot in Wisconsin, GOP death cult refuses to ban large gatherings for Easter holiday

contact tracing: a nice primer on how the method can combat the spread of contagious diseases without compromising individual privacy

animal crossing: a quarantined couple in London creates an art museum for their pet gerbils’ edification

armisonous: obsolete. rare. that which produces or is accompanied by the sounds of arms or armour, like clanging pots and pans

after all, you’re my wonder wall: a selection of collaborative music videos shot in isolation

victory garden: some ideas for plant anywhere seed beds and substrates

Monday, 6 April 2020

qwerty or ๐Ÿฆ†๐Ÿˆ๐Ÿ„๐Ÿฟ️๐Ÿฆƒ๐Ÿข

To our delight we discover that in the mid-1930s—in order to raise qualified typists Smith Corona introduced a portable unit with animals on the keys to make the exercise more kid-friendly plus a set of nine rings—one for each finger and the right thumb to drum the space bar, to teach touch-typing and reinforce and associate letters with their rows through muscle-memory—knowing that one should use the birdie finger, doggie finger, etc, rather than by hunting and pecking. The most ambitious tutorial toy of its age, the typewriter looked to have promising Christmas sales the year it premiered but the Great Depression rather put a damper on further production and idea was abandoned to be championed later in other forms.

Friday, 20 March 2020


a healed fracture: anthropologist Margaret Mead fields a student’s question about the earliest hallmarks of civilisation

money tree: the 1964 New York World’s Fair American Express Pavilion

pivot point: watch the ministry for Propaganda and Public Enlightenment shift their rhetoric on COVID-19

byob: a virtual bar in Saint Petersburg lets people socialise while eliminating the possibility of contagion

dragula: an 80’s jazzercise video synchronised to the Rob Zombie song (in turn the namesake of Grandpa Munster’s race car)—via Memo of the Air

chaotic good: a social-distancing alignment chart

delightful creatures: with the city under lockdown and the waters waning cleaner, dolphins are returning to the canals of Venice after sixty years

Monday, 9 March 2020

n&b block

Previously we’ve explored Nintendo’s business enterprises prior to video games but didn’t know about their foray into toy building blocks to compete with LEGO bricks until encountering this range of construction sets. Designed to be compatible and complementary with the Danish original, N&B blocks (courtesy of Present / & / Correct, produced from 1968 to 1972) though unlicensed were not a simple counterfeit and offered several unique kits and accessories.

Wednesday, 4 March 2020


Via tmn, we learn about a particular subset of mountaineering called sawanobori—literally stream-climbing that involves ascending a tributary to its source be that up and over ravines and waterfalls and always against the current. Although speciality gear is usually now employed—as the video advertises—traditionally climbers wore straw-rope shoes called waraji (่‰้ž‹), differentiated from other sandals by how the toes protruded over the edge to help one gain a purchase whilst hiking up an incline.

Thursday, 27 February 2020


barras de mono: vintage playgrounds of Mรฉxico

๐Ÿ˜ท: Centres for Disease Control’s facial hair grooming recommendations for mask compatibility—see previously

open access: the Smithsonian Institution releases millions of images and model instructions into the public domain—via Kottke

mad props: a behind-the-scenes look at the exquisite visual artefacts Annie Atkins creates for cinematic productions—via Nag on the Lake

jodhpurs: these weirdly delightful inflating trousers on the catwalk

minitel: more on the ascent and decline of France’s early internet—see previously

cheesweet: an unlikely Swiss cheese candy that got a mention in a John Steinbeck anthology

Tuesday, 25 February 2020

i’m awfully fond of you

Voice by Jim Henson as an ode to the Muppet character Ernie’s bathtub toy, Rubber Duckie’s first performance aired on this day in 1970 on an episode of Sesame Street. An unexpected hit, it inspired homages, cover-versions and was even nominated for a Grammy.
The latex toy itself—which the number greatly popularised—was conceived by Georgian-American sculptor Peter Ganine (*1900 – †1974) whom otherwise worked with ceramics and produced rather avant-garde chess pieces, including those used on set in Star Trek’s tri-dimensional version of the game—there’s a franchise cross-over. Musical contributors Jeff Moss and Joe Raposo also collaborated to produce the Sesame Street and the Electric Company theme songs as well as [It’s not Easy] “Being Green” and “C is for Cookie.”