Sunday, 21 February 2021


gerontologists hate them: two Florida women disguise themselves as “grannies” hoping to get vaccinated sooner—via the New Shelton/Wet-Dry 

the sleeping sharks of isla mujeres: Jaws-inspired speedo-fest that’s a favourite of Quentin Tarantino

orchestral manoeuvres in the dark: thirty-five years on, the soundtrack to Pretty in Pink is timeless

a searchlight productions: find actors, colours, objects in movies—try kitten, fox or cheese, via Waxy  

a working-class hero is something to be: an obsessive photographic provenance of every figure featured on the Sgt Pepper’s album cover—see also here and here 

it gettu betur each time you watch the clip: gentleman on Icelandic quiz show responds poorly to losing ruling against his answer 

covax, co-pay: prices per vaccine paid globally varies widely, often not representative of purchasing-power

Saturday, 20 February 2021


Via Spoon & Tamago, we learn that graphic designer Kenya Hara and Nippon Design Centre studios have released over two-hundred-fifty pictograms reflecting Japanese culture and lifestyle in support of the eventual return of tourism free for all to use. We especially liked the icons for sumo wrestling (็›ธๆ’ฒ) and udon (wheat flour noodles, ใ†ใฉใ‚“) Some are even animated to convey the ritual relaxation of bathing at an onsen (see previously). Much more to explore at the links above and at the Experience Japan project website.

nyan cat

In anticipation of the wholesome meme’s tenth birthday in April, the animator behind the original gif file, put a newly re-mastered version up for auction. It sold for the equivalent of over half-a-million dollars—or rather three hundred Ether (ETH) on a crypto art platform  As oxymoronical as it may sound, this sale represents part of a trend in high valuation for rare digital works of art with these one-of-a-kind pieces backed up by what are called “non-fungible tokens” (NFTs) that are allocated for unique assets.

¼ tonne, 4x4

Covering a publicity stunt on this day in 1941 with the general purpose vehicle descending the steps of the US Capitol, the Washington Daily News called the Willys Overland Army Truck as a “Jeep” for the first time in print. Whether the name came from Popeye’s “jungle pet” Eugene the Jeep, the initialism GP from general purpose above or from some other etymology, the name stuck and the automobile manufacturer used it in promotional material and popularised it in the public imagination.

Friday, 19 February 2021

the big guava revisited

We’ve previously called out the City of Tampa, Florida for its particularly horrendous flag (though not to go unrivalled elsewhere and even by the state itself), and now learn that there is a revitalised campaign with the city’s mayor (in whom is vested the unilateral right to change it) to petition for change complete with a host of modern, vexillologically adherent alternatives under the hashtag #fixourflag. What’s your favourite or do you have something else in mind? Do let us know—especially if your municipal banner is in need of a re-think.

si un jour

On this day back in 1942, Winnipeg and the surrounding area staged a simulated attack and occupation by Nazi Germany in order to spur the public into purchasing more war bonds and change the attitude of citizens not directly impacted by the fighting efforts overseas called If Day—or in French, “If one day…”
The large scale exercise that involved some thirty five hundred Canadian troops acting both as defenders and invaders and the municipal government was fully committed to the project, the mayor and lieutenant-governor of the province arrested and replaced by a Gauleiter and civilians were harassed and subject to curfew and severe restrictions on civil liberties. With the help of volunteers, the entire operation only cost Winnipeg around three thousand dollars and netted nationwide over two billion dollars in victory bonds—the fundraising effort not only contributing to the push in Europe but also raising the profile of the urgency of the matter for all of North America, whose press outlets also covered the event. Learn more from Futility Closet and listen to a whole podcast on the subject at the link up top.


seven minutes of terror: Perseverance lands on Mars, beginning its search for signs of past life  

cyborg tomato: AI Weirdness (previously) generates its own mascot—plus others  

polar flare: examining every map projection and how it distorts our world view at once—see previously  

simon says: a vast archives of electronic handheld and table-top games and consiles from decades past—via Swiss Miss  

fabian society: capitalism coexists with constructivism in Czech city of Zlรญn  

hello world: the newest Martian probe beams back its first images

your daily demon: amduscias

With a charge and a voice like a thunder-clap, this infernal duke governs from this day through 23 February, the first part of the sign of Pisces, Amdusias presents in the form of a unicorn and is the Kapellmeister of Hell, responsible for the cacophonous music of the dread realm and can manifest and possess other instruments. Opposed by the Angel Eiael, this sixty-seventh spirit controls twenty-nine legion and can reportedly bend trees at his will.