Monday, 18 October 2021

lying awake intent at tuning in on you

Originally recorded by songwriter Bruce Woolley and the Camera Club—featuring Thomas Dolby on keyboard, the follow-on version performed by the synth-pop group the Buggles, released a month prior as the debut single from their first studio album The Age of Plastic, the foundational, nostalgic hit, influenced by the music of Kraftwerk and inspired by memories of covertly listening to Radio Luxembourg late at night, topped the UK charts this week in 1979. The accompanying music video, first aired on Top of the Pops, went on, just after midnight on the first day of August 1981, to mark the beginning of MTV’s broadcasting run.

i stopped an old man along the way

Recorded in studio on this day in 1981 to be released a year later as their eponymous fourth studio album’s third single, the David Paich and Jeff Porcaro collaboration, Africa, was met with immediate critical acclaim, which in its latter day, reprised existence has been certified as platinum six-times. Naive and benighted, with some experimental placeholder lyrics (see also), like the line about the Serengeti, it was nonetheless an earnest attempt to raise attention about the plight and suffering on the continent as told through television documentaries, magazine articles and second-hand missionary accounts. After the session, Toto was split about letting its release compete with that of their own lead single from the album, “Rosanna,” some band members saying it wasn’t in line with their signature sound and considered debuting it as solo work for Porcaro alone.

your daily demon: velar

Our forty-second spirit is an infernal grand duke that presents as a merman, who is able to both raise dread tempest and drown sailors or provide safe passage, according to the will of a skilled exorcist. Ruling from today through 22 October, Vepar controls twenty-nine legions of subordinates and is opposed by the guardian angel Mikael.

Sunday, 17 October 2021

the tragical death of an apple pie, who was cut to pieces and eaten by twenty-five gentlemen, with whom all little people ought to be acquainted

In the midst of the season for apple picking and pie baking, Spitalfields Life presents us a rhyming Abecedarium (also called battledores, from the wooden tablet or paddle used in the classroom for instruction that resembled the racket from the game of shuttlecock) first in print in the late seventeenth century
and then republished by prolific printer Jemmy Catnach (*1769 - †1813) at the end of his long career, whom produced thousands of chapbooks and affordable literary material, in the form of educational pamphlets, political satires, poetry revues and other ephemera to surfeit a voracious and newly literate public in the Seven Dials (named for the horological devices strategically placed there to record the hour with the sun for the rest of the city, which was not necessarily free of the impediment of shadow) district of London. Go through the whole alphabet with much more to explore at the links above.

Saturday, 16 October 2021


pour homme, femme, et grenouille: Amphรญbฤซa, Kermit the Frog’s signature scent from 1995  

hampsternomics: a look at how the attention economy has matured through the lens of a quarter-century old meme—see previously 

a day without rain: Endless Enya (previously) from Mischief Magazine—via Web Curios  

memento mori: a treasury of macabre reminders of death’s inevitability  

corvid catalogue: counting crows of literature  

sneakernet: non-existent virtual trainers dreamed up by artificial intelligence (see also)—via ibฤซdem  

pietra per pizza: a deep-dive into the history of the cooking accessory convinces one individual it isn’t just a trendy gimmick

atlas des champignons: comestibles, suspects et vรฉnรฉneux

Unsuccessful in our foraging this year (and usually coming up with the suspect varieties, if not outright poisonous ones), we appreciated pouring over the detail and descriptions from physician, botanist and accidental chronicler of the Haitian Revolution Michel ร‰tienne Descourtilz’ 1827 guide, lusciously illustrated with the lithographs of Auguste Cornillon. More from Public Domain Review at the link above.

counterpunctual or slashdot

Another kindred internet caretaker, TYWKIWDBI, picked up on an idea we were wondering about after an earlier encounter with site that distills one’s writing down to its constituent punctuation marks

While no refined work of literature or self-consistent as canon, we did wonder if there was a certain detectable cadence or scansion to our posts on PfRC—and indeed whether hypertext markup, virgules, separatrices, etc. counted or should be counted, but from the Latin to score with points, it does seem right to include after all.

st. gall

Traditionally counted among the twelve companions of Saint Columbanus on his mission from Ireland to win converts in the lands of the Franks—having been ejected from Gaul where they first landed by local chieftains who wanted nothing to do with Christianity—Gallus (*550 - †646) is venerated on this day. Patron of geese, poultry and birds in general (for no particular reason) and St. Gallen, the saint’s rather complicated iconography relates the legendary encounter he had with a fierce bear, who was said to be terrorising the local settlement as well, in the woods. The holy man rebuked the bear for its behaviour and compelled it thereafter to gather firewood and became Gall’s trusted sidekick.