Wednesday 22 May 2024

kalaallit nunaanni nuna eqqissisimatitaq (11. 571)

Founded on this day in 1974 and expanded in 1988 to protect nearly a million square kilometres in the northeastern part of the island, Grรธnlands Nationalpark is the world’s largest and tenth largest reserve in the world (the larger areas consist mostly of marine environments). Approximately the size of Egypt, the park has no permanent human population, though about four hundred encampments, research stations and cleanup sites of abandoned mining operations see use over the summer months. One of the least visited parks in the world, it is home to numerous walruses, polar bears, wolves, seals, narwals and whales and a significant portion of the world’s musk oxen.


one year ago: the Trevi Fountain (1762)

two years ago: Nsibidi signs, tramdriver championships, the Oompahs plus Icelandic horses answer your emails

three years ago: a crawling map, a generational chart, more on the blockchain, saving the Icelandic language plus politics and EuroVision

four years ago: PacMac (1980), assorted links to revisit plus the necessity of book culling

five years ago: a see-through church, IKEA’s test kitchen, heritage tourism, exploiting gig-workers, noctilucent clouds on Mars plus sacred groves in Ethiopia

Tuesday 21 May 2024

8x8 (11. 570)

nicht abgeholtes gepรคck: the main station in Freiburg has a mystery vending machine where one can buy unclaimed items left in delivery lockers—see previously 

the ahramat branch: a long ago dried up arm of the Nile may explain some of the mystery behind the building of the Pyramids of Giza 

takenoko: a public service announcement for when the bamboo shoots sprout, one of Japan’s traditional seventy-two microseasons—see previously 

endless shrimp: the American seafood chain was private-equitied into bankruptcy and not by dent of its generous promotions 

first draft: in a since deleted post, Trump advocates for a “united Reich” in a video featuring hypothetical newspaper headlines following his reelection  

on the town: the story behind the ten-year-old who in 1947 spent a week in San Francisco with twenty dollars 

we call it maize: an interesting hypothesis that ancient Incan stonework and other architectural elements may be an homage to corn kernels  

out-of-order: broken and unused vending machines from around Japan—via Cardhousesee also


one year ago: Croatia Diplomacy Day, a classic from David Bowie, an evergreen piece on American gun-violence plus assorted links worth revisiting

two years ago: Ok Computer, a rainbow fifty pence coin for Pride, more feathered friends plus Amelia Earhart crosses the Atlantic

three years ago: your daily demon: Beleth, Elton John in the Soviet Union plus trace a raindrop from river down to the sea

four years ago: vintage Las Vegas logos, an avant-garde art show (1951) plus The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

five years ago: the White Night Riots (1979), regional airline logos, OK Cola, African air-carriers, one hundred and twenty years of photography plus a camera on a sushi conveyor belt

Monday 20 May 2024

i am disappoint (11. 569)

The always interesting Language Log introduces us to a class of typos with two-subsets that we can find very relatable and gets the onus of the blame when conducting a bit of post-publication proofreading: completion errors, when typing or writing (there is both a motor-mechanical and muscle inertia in effect) starting out with one intention and an intrusive ending inserts itself, and capture errors, an action slip when a reflex behaviour creates an unwanted parallelism. What’s a sticky key you’re vexed by? Surely beyond spoonerisms such slippage happens in speech with frequency and I wonder how too such intrusions are compounded—or not—by auto-complete.

i’m feeling lucky (11. 568)

Well before the default search engine began adding AI overviews to its results, users expressed their frustration and rebellion by adding a /r to their query to solicit some community juried results from Redditors less biased towards optimisation and more geared towards what people drove through discussion. Whilst rankings on any platform have never been free from a certain tilt that may create unwanted obstacles—or produce the desired outcome—this sort of copilot mode be default risks the user blaming, shooting the messenger (see previously) for what’s served up through the enhanced algorithm. Although Google chose to showcase its latest AI-focused upgrade on its biggest forum, the alternative filter, emulator of familiar web-caches reaching back a decade before SEO and general bot buttinskis was announced quietly by a liaison on a competing site. Sans ads, knowledge panels and scraping metadata from websites—but with tradeoffs—the parameter and suffix udm=14 brings one back to the unadulterated web to an extent that’s probably more geared to utility rather than simply nostalgia. More from Tedium at the link above and here is a website that automates it for your browser of choice.

the great 404 (11. 567)

Via Maps Mania, we are invited to revisit the Kessler Effect (previously here and here) and the pressing, existential problem of space junk. NASA scientist Donald J Kessler conjectured in 1978 a upper-limit for density of satellites in low-Earth orbit, a threshold beyond which (a level that according to some estimates is already passed) even a minor collision could cause a catastrophic chain-reaction, an ablation cascade that would render subsequent launches impossible and leave future exploration grounded and triangulate the implications, connecting the dots, by finding constellations in the debris field as it becomes more fraught and a challenge to break through, like the pictured Broken Compass (see below, see also). What asterisms can you see?


one year ago: Blessed Alcuin’s logic puzzle, nine kings, one room (1910) plus an extreme exoplanet

two years ago: assorted links to revisit plus more Alcuin

three years ago: a brood of cicadas in North America emergestaxia of twist-ties, naming every colour plus the fly-bee

four years ago: World Bee Day, Theatre of the Orb of the World (1570) plus Meck Dec Day

five years ago: standardising le Grand K, the NSA (1919), fetishising the five-paragraph essay, medieval medical records plus a new single from Vampire Weekend

Sunday 19 May 2024

pfingstsonntag (11. 566)

Courtesy of H’s fancy drone piloting we had a nice bird‘s eye view of the grounds but we were soon sharing the airspace with avian friends (I had never heard the belching cries of swans or the clapping of a stork before) and craft launching from a nearby strip built for model airplanes which could really do some impressive stunt maneuvers—none of which I could manage to capture, not for the lack of trying. 

Later we took a longer hike in the opposite direction through a stand of forest to a Biergarten outside of Oberreichenbach and back again.


one year ago: St Ivo, The Phantom Menace (1999), assorted links to revisit plus more medieval collective nouns

two years ago: Amy Fisher (1992), St Dunstan, an altarpiece by Titian plus the zine of William Blake

three years ago: a birthday wish (1962), an animated stratified map, a classic by Paul Simon plus the stadio typeface

four years ago: the UK public terror alert system plus unsustainable arbitrage

five years ago: the Dutch Venice, etiquette as a social wedge, a tardigrade stress-ball plus flora and fauna of the New World charted out

Saturday 18 May 2024

neustadt a. / a. (11. 565)

We ventured out to visit the main town of the region, Neustadt an der Aisch—a member of the cohort of European municipalities called Neustรคdter numbering around a dozen—and saw the old town, which was cultivated through the auspices of House Hohenzollern under the burgraves of Nรผrnberg into a cultural, political and economic hub along the main overland trade route between Wรผrzburg and Nรผrnberg already by the twelfth century but ending after the Thirty Years War in the mid-1600s and falling under Prussian sovereignty. Neustadt faded in importance but due to subsequent developments in the rail network (which followed those ancient merchant roads) and repopulated with Germans expelled from the Sudatenland, Neustadt regained some of its former prominence.

We saw the Altes Schloss that now hosts a carp and aquaculture museum and the old town square that features a Neptune, referred to as the Gabelmensch like its former diocese of Bamberg, in front of the Rathaus. 

Afterwards we made loop along a hiking path through the forest from the campgrounds to a little community called Kรคstel with a twelfth century church dedicated to St Mauritius next to this ivy covered guesthouse. The church was closed by a tablet indicated that it was founded by the Knights Templar with the incipit Non nobis—from the Latin prayer of thanksgiving and humility: Nลn nลbฤซs, Domine, nลn nลbฤซs, sed nลminฤซ tuล dฤ glลriam or ”Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but to thy name give the glory.“


one year ago: a classic from Looking Glass plus assorted links to revisit

two years ago: the Geneva Convention on Environmental Modification (1977), another MST3K classic, a national assembly in Frankfurt (1848) plus more links to enjoy

three years ago: even more links plus the plan to put a roller coaster on the Golden Gate Bridge

four years ago: the eruption of Mt Saint Helens plus more links

five years ago: an old/new painting by Vermeer 

Friday 17 May 2024

einรถde (11. 564)

For a weekend getaway, H found a camping spot on a carp aquaculture site in the single settlement of Sintmannsbuch in the Aisch valley, a tributary of the Regnitz. 

The country estate (Guthof) with fish farm was informal campgrounds with room for a few pitches (surely usually outnumbering the nine residents of the community) has its first documented mention in 1348 on the rolls of the provost of Bamberg and in the imperially immediate city of Nuremberg and the tradition of raising fish in captivity (see previously) goes back over a millennium and the scheme saw a marked

increase from the thirteenth to the fifteenth centuries following the enforcement of fasting and dietary abstention and could be sold for a premium as free-range supplies failed to meet demand with secular landlords and monastic communities especially encouraging pond management.


one year ago: assorted links worth revisiting

two years ago: the first colour photography

three years ago: the East German film industry, Bob Dylan in Manchester plus more on Morse code

four years ago: the International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Bifobia, last normal photo plus a windshield tour around the region

five years ago: Morning Edition’s new theme, more on the TWA hotel, celebrating the work of IM Pei, mall muzak plus same-sex marriage legalised in Taiwan