Tuesday 27 February 2024

generally meant to be discarded (11. 385)

Via Colossal, we are introduced to the work of ceramicist Yoonmi Nam in her exhibit featuring pottery and architectural elements made on a substrate of single-use, disposable containers. Displayed on traditional soban (์†Œ๋ฐ˜, used as dining trays and general purpose tables) as pediments—Nam employs the green-grey hued glaze, which reminds us of Frankoma ware and also of the craft of kintsugi, both dating from the era of the Goryeo kingdom that once covered most of the peninsula. It is an interesting meditation on the nature of trash and consumption, encased forever as something beautiful and permanent.  Much more at the links above.


one year ago: Campbell’s cocktails plus the Lion-Eating Poet in the Stone Den

two years ago: assorted links to revisit plus the Peace of Stolbovo (1617)

three years ago: The Lady’s Mercury (1619), artist Carel Fabritius, most quoted and remixed works in the Anglophone literary canon, Walter Cronkite’s Report from Vietnam (1968), reanimating old photos plus the Conservative Political Action Conference

four years ago: more links to enjoy plus birthright citizenship in the US in jeopardy

five years ago: the Reichstag Fire (1933), the art of Alex Moy plus synthetic DNA

Monday 26 February 2024

handmaids’ tales (11. 384)

We are turned towards a coupling of sermons, one from a Methodist preacher from 2018 and another more recent commentary from the pulpit of US politics, that highlight the hypocrisy of American fundamentalism and championing the unborn, privileging potential and the least complicated, objectionable over those inconvenient actualities of the poor, unwell, indigent and alien who might not be sufficiently grateful or not present a challenge for the societal arrangement and power structures that put them in this situation to begin with, which—if redressed could take care and truly foster the former as well. The second piece has a more satirical tone but delivers the same message and both are worth reading in full.

7x7 (11. 383)

bacile calmette-guรฉrin: a century-old variolation against bovine tuberculosis technique might present a treatment route for dementia  

endangered language alliance: a survey of the rare forms of communication in communities in New York City  

marketable skill: Nvidia executive says kids shouldn’t learn to code 

icc: renewed calls to make ecocide the fifth international crime and within the scope of the UN’s court—via tmn  

kรผrschรกk’s tile: a visual proof a complex geometric tessellation  

project ceti: how, powered by AI, a first contact could play out between humans and whales—see previously, see also 

goldplate: research suggest that a treatment with nanoparticles of the element might be a cure for neurodegenerative diseases

wanna be starting something (11. 382)

Having been ratified by the Guinness Book of World Records earlier in the month as the best-selling album of all time, Michael Jackson’s sixth studio album, produced by Quincy Jones, reached number one on the US charts on this day in 1983, holding that position for an unprecedented thirty-seven weeks. With conflicted and at times contradictory themes that foreshadow Jackson’s later career, Thriller has a motif of paranoia, addressing feeling preternaturally cursed, possessed and railing against obsessive fandom and the tabloid press and gang violence—and its perception—and features the first instance of moon-walking as well as establishing his signature vocal hiccup. The album’s success afforded Jackson iconic status and an entrรฉe into the mainstream of culture that caused its definition in many respects.


one year ago: the invention of radar (1935) plus assorted links to revisit

two years ago: more links to enjoy, The Fall of the Damned plus Russian threats against the International Space Station

three years ago: friendly computer demons, more links worth revisiting plus pixelated birds of Japan

four years ago: The Cabinet of Dr Caligari (1920)

five years ago: more mass transit upholstery, an ambitious Moon Shot plus the establishment of US National Public Radio (1970)

Sunday 25 February 2024

brunswick, bailiwick (11. 381)

After a failed and humiliating attempt to naturalise the then-stateless Adolf Hitler by appointing him to a professorship of the fabricated discipline of “Politics and Organic Sociology” at the state college, rejected by academia for never having finished school and revealing the the subterfuge and subjecting them both to ridicule, the minister for the Interior and Education of Freistaat Braunschweig of the Weimar Republic—created from the former duchy of discontiguous holdings following the revolution of 1918—Nazi Party politician Dietrich Klagges was successful on this day in 1932 of procuring a government posting and citizenship for Hitler as a member of the state’s legation with the Reichsrat (upper house of parliament) in Berlin. This posting, in accordance with design, allowed Hitler to stand as a candidate for the office of president. Although the ascension was quickly and summarily rejected by the Reichskanzler and Klagges was punished subsequently for the public embarrassment with the abolishment of his polity (the only Nazi controlled state within the republic, an act recapitulated by the occupying powers of the Soviet Union and the British, dividing it into East and West Germany) and Klagges reduced to a provencal governor, Hitler nonetheless rose quickly in the ranks while the apologist and disgraced politician enabled him.

11x11 (11. 380)

sure, write stuff for free—but write it for yourself: maintaining one’s creativity in the bleak media sector brickwalling and the loss of journalistic records  

rage-baiting: viral Tik-Tok couple troll influencer culture with such precision most don’t realise it’s satire—via Super Punch  

the paint explainer: a primer on the twenty-seven amendments to the US Constitution—via Memo of the Air 

dark dimensions: there’s a new theory about where dark matter might be hiding  

the sony smartwig: a 2016 patent granted for a connected hairpiece one pairs with their phone for tactile feedback 

the navel on an orange is a mutation that created a conjoined twin: weird information to dispense on a first date—via Nag on the Lake’s Sunday Links 

the riker manoeuvre: small towns with monuments to Star Trek characters—via Marginal Revolution  

selectric funeral: the Boston Typewriter Orchestra hopes to appear in NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert with this submission  

awful yet lawful: US Supreme Court to entertain grievances on social media moderation for deplatforming hateful and dangerous content  

multi-level marketing: a supercut of huckster Donald Trump’s merchandising scams 

you can out-buzzfeed buzzfeed after all: media group in takeover talks with UK’s The Independent—see previously

land der berge, land am strome (11. 379)

Adopted as the national anthem a few months prior, the official lyrics were announced on this day in 1947, the verses penned by poet Paula von Preradoviฤ‡. With the end of World War II, the country wanted to replace the state anthem, the so called Kernstock-Hymn which substituted the words to Hayden’s “God Save the Kaiser” set to the tune of the “Deutschlandlied” (supplanting the imperial substitute following the Anschluss), performances of both outlawed since the defeat of the Third Reich—soliciting for ideas. Upon hearing of the selection of their mother’s ode to the natural wonders of Austria, Preradoviฤ‡’s son, Otto and Fritz, immediately composed a parody (see above) of “Land of Mountains, oh, Land of Rivers,” to the same rhyme as Land der Erbsen, Land der Bohnen, Land der vier Besatzungzonen… satirising the post-war rationing and austerity and the occupation by the Allied Powers and became a popular version recited in schools.


one year agoArmenia’s radio-telescope plus the transcendental claymation of Art Clokey

two years ago: NFT graffiti

three years ago: a walk through the woods and fields 

four years ago: Rubber Duckie (1970), the dissolution of Prussia (1947), Khrushchev’s secret speech (1956) plus the Fight Between Carnival and Lent

five years ago: assorted links to revisit, a useful Dutch term, 1969 in pictures plus mysterious stream-of-conscience fiction


Saturday 24 February 2024

joe’s hill (11. 378)

Via tmn circling back to this viral map of the island of Kiritmati and select toponyms of the Republic of Kiribati (Christmas Island, pronounced Kirimass after the Gilbertese phonology, quite a feat of exonymy) piqued our curiosity—especially the debunked detail, rumour that the government of the Micronesian nation was behind the original posting to draw attention which has nevertheless attracted a spike in interest and has helped its campaign to promote sustainable tourism for this paradise existentially threatened by sea-level rise. Just so you know, Paris is a former settlement with a coconut plantation named by priest Emmanuel Rougier who was homesick, also through a lease from the British named the village Londres (London, Ronton). Poland was named in honour of mechanic Stanisล‚aw Peล‚czyล„ski who improved the island’s irrigation systems. The village of Banana, possibly conflated with the reef isle of Banaba, is of unknown etymology, but was designated such in 1962 when four thousand American military personnel were stationed there in support of Operation Dominic, a series of thirty-one multi-pronged nuclear tests carried out in response to the resumption of Soviet trials following the breach of an informal moratorium and the Bay of Pigs Invasion. It is near the international airport. The oldest and largest village of the island chain is Tabwakea, native for sea turtle be bestowed by Captain James Cook. The title refers to the highest point of the atoll, originally la Colline de Joe, a twelve metre elevation named after Joe English of Medford, Massachusetts, one of the supervisors of Rougier’s coconut farm.  Under US dominion as a claim of the Guano Islands Act from 1882, independence was granted in 1979 and ratified in 1983.