Sunday, 26 June 2022

days of the international

Adopted and in use since February of 1918, the era of the Soviet calendar came to an end on this day in 1940 for the USSR, with 27 June again synchronised with its Gregorian counterpart, having dropped the first half of the above month from the Julian system to align with the Western year. After experiments with continuous production weeks—the three hundred sixty days with five national holidays maps to a grid quite well (see also), a six-day week with one day of rest and ultimately an alternating five-, six-day per week schedule, though this was erroneous interpreted by outside media as a perpetual calendar—like the French Revolutionary one—though there were concessions to the sabbath and retained the traditional monthsand Western style dates were almost always included parenthetically.

Saturday, 25 June 2022


morning chorus: a suspended hotel suite in Sรกpmi cladded with three-hundred fifty birdhouses 

meanwhile margaret atwood says hold my beer: teach and student, Aldous Huxley and George Orwell, spar over which dystopian vision is more plausible  

don’t say g*y: Disney introduces its first openly closeted cast of characters  

makeup and monobrow: a quick survey of the female eyebrow in art 

border and backsplash: the mosaic tile museum of Gifu—over ten-thousands exemplars, many rescued from buildings slated for demolition 

i had hoped that god would work one of his signature miracles and spare me from is also signature “horrible pain in childbirth” curse: the Virgin Mary reclaims her nativity narrative  

stonk-and-go: the US Securities and Exchange Commission weighs sweeping change to curtail meme-driven trades  

a doghouse for eddie: charmingly, Frank Lloyd Wright (previously) builds a home for a canine and his human companion

Friday, 24 June 2022

daytrip: bacharach am rhein

For a work-outing, we took a cruise on the Rhein from Rรผdesheim to the picturesque village dominated by the twelfth century fortified castle, Burg Stahleck, overlooking the Steeg gorge and Lorelei valley, and once residence to the advocatus (Vogt) of the archbishop of Kรถln but now a youth hostel. We spent the afternoon on the portico taking in the view, having hiked up from the river bank. Along the way we passed not so much as an architectural folly—though it looked the part and the castle itself was destroyed during the Thirty Years War, abandoned and not restored in its present form until 1927 (see also) and pointedly as a retreat for Hitler Youth and re-education centre, in the Gothic ruins of the Wernerkapelle, the unfinished chapel preserved in this state as a reminder of Germany’s and Christianity’s rampant, historical intolerance of other peoples and other faith traditions, the shell of a structure itself originally dedicated to the memory of a youth supposedly murdered by the region’s Jewish residents who were in turn expelled and their property seized—a common ploy and false excuse at time, and put into context with a dedication and prayer from Pope John XXIII, asking for forgiveness and reconciliation. It was a bright and glorious day out of the office by the privilege of the photogenic ought not sanitise the past but rather enhance our understanding of it. 



While most providers and recipients are prosecuted, abortion remains illegal (with broad exceptions) in Germany but there are pledges and plans to wholly decriminalise it—with the first major step in this direction coming with a government coalition moving to strike a law from the criminal code that dates back to Nazi times, which states that anyone publicly advertising or offers abortion services can face imprisonment or fines. Though sparingly enforced, the restriction (Werbung fรผr den Abbruch der Schwangerschaft) meant a distinct dearth of information accessible for those in a situation dealing with family-planning—such as the credibility of potential providers, possible side-effects and after-care processes. This decision was carried through on the same day as the US Supreme Court announced that they would be overturning the landmark case Roe v Wade, which guaranteed generally the liberty of choice to terminate a pregnancy.

Thursday, 23 June 2022

scheduled territories

Also known as the above legal entity the sterling area came into being in 1931 when the pound was unpegged from the gold standard and a number of countries, mostly Commonwealth nations, either employed the £ or had a fixed rate of exchange with it, effectively came to an end on this day in 1972 when the British government unilaterally applied exchange controls to all its participants—with the exception of the Republic of Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands—with the departure of forty-five members from the economic bloc in protest of UK monetary policies. Once the most robust and coherent currency areas, the realisation trade with the continent was more important that historical preferential trading with former parts of the empire prompted the UK to seek closer ties with the European Communities—the Common Market—and devalued, floated the pound ostensibly to halt outflow and flight to the US dollar but many saw it at the time as a concession to France’s objection to UK membership in the organisation that would go on to become the European Union, which repealed its veto the following year. Coincidentally, this day also marks the 2016 anniversary of the Brexit referendum.

enter sandman

Featuring the talents of Michael York, Jenny Agutter, Farrah Fawcett and Peter Ustinov, the dystopian sci-fi film set in a future where population and resource consumption is managed by rapturing (the Carrousel) people at the age of thirty, the cinematic adaption of the 1967 novel by George Clayton Johnson and William F Nolan had its debut in theatres on this day in 1976. Escaping the subterranean mega city, fugitives Logan 5 (whose job it was formerly to enforce this maximum age mandate but turned Runner himself) and Jessica 6 find themselves in an ice cave and encounter Box, a robot designed to capture fleeing individuals and freeze them for food. Expertly voiced by Shakespearian actor and director Roscoe Lee Brown, this commanding role influenced George Lucas to cast James Earl Jones the following year as the voice of Darth Vader. Below is an extended version of that performance, shortened in the release.

can you turn this up, please?

The debut single from by Berton Averre and Doug Fieger from the album Get the Knack was released on this day in 1979, quickly climbing to the top of the US charts where it remained for six weeks and achieving Gold status in the fastest time since “I Want to Hold Your Hand” in 1964. Inspiring muse and eventual girlfriend of Fieger, the titular Sharona Alperin was not only the subject of the song but also appears on the single-photo sleeve, recursively holding a copy of the record under her arm. Rhythmically similar to Smokey Robinson’s “Going to a Go-Go,” the number also features a stuttering vocal informed by Roger Daltrey’s “My Generation” for the Who and reportedly was a major influence on Michael Jackson’s “Beat It.” The song re-entered the charts in 1994 as part of the soundtrack to the film Reality Bites.

Wednesday, 22 June 2022


amelia bedelia: reading suggestions for adults informed by one’s favourite children’s literature  

the suwaล‚ki gap: Lithuania blocks some supply trains that transit its territory to the Russian exclave Kaliningrad  

mall rats: a huge collection of 1990s consumer aesthetics 

fluxburgh: a selection of offerings gamifying architecture  

children’s television workshop: a lost, pulled episode of Sesame Street with the neighbourhood terrorised by Margaret Hamilton, the Wicked Witch of the West—via Super Punch