Sunday, 18 April 2021

guilty feet have got no rhythm

Just ahead of the duo’s ground-breaking pair of concerts in China, the first Western pop band to play to this venue, Wham! released its album Make It Big in Chinese markets—with the hit singles “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go,” “Freedom” and “Careless Whisper”—on this day in 1985. Having taken a break from the studio George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley embarked on an extensive world tour that included coveted stops (see previously) in Beijing and Guangzhou. Knowing what a publicity coup the concerts meant, the negotiations with authorities were not entirely above-board, as one of Wham!’s managers later owned up to, admitting that he presented his group as pleasant, clean-cut and conservative whereas with the competition, Queen, he emphasised the flamboyance of Freddie Mercury, also securing approval over the Rolling Stones.

point danger

Erected on the headland marking the boundary between New South Wales and Queensland near Coolangatta and Tweed Heads and inaugurated on this day in 1971 to commemorate the bicentenary of Captain Cook’s first voyage along this part of the Australian Gold Coast, the original source of the lighthouse’s signal being a laser-beam as part of an experimental approach to develop more efficient warning beacons. The technology however did not work according to plan and the lighthouse was retrofitted with a traditional light source in 1975. 



general entertainment content division

Though first proposed as early as 1977 as a cable television conduit for studio-sourced content, the idea was sidelined in favour of developing the Epcot (see previously) and the brand’s other theme parks, the Disney Channel—as an independent venture—began its first programming day on this day in 1983 in US markets, garnering some six-hundred thousand subscribers within the first six months. The first shows included “Contraption” in which adolescents competed across a giant board game obstacle course, “Dreamfinders” meant to spur critical thinking skills in young people, “Mousterepiece Theatre” a cartoon show hosted by George Plimpton and “Mousercise,” a daily exercise routine hosted by Kellyn Plasschaert.

Saturday, 17 April 2021

not of this world

Reportedly, on this day in 1897—with parallels to the more famous incidents at Roswell, New Mexico a half a century later—a UFO grazed a windmill on a farmstead outside of the small town of Aurora, Texas and crashed. The extra-terrestrial pilot, some witnesses calling the being a Martian, died in the process and was buried—accorded Christian rites—in a grave in the town cemetery. The wreckage was sealed by a concrete slab in a spent well and the authorities have refused requests for mass exhumation of the cemetery (the stone marking the plot having since disappeared, taken as a souvenir), and most participants, the journalist of The Dallas Morning News whom originally wrote the story included, have recanted their accounts as a hoax to bring tourists to the small town—though one wonders what was in the Zeitgeist to prompt the fabrication of such a legend so early.

he who waits behind the wall

First invoked by name in a 2004 on-line form for creepypasta and attributing it to the influence of the eldritch, Lovecraftian primordial deities, Zalgo text, epithet above, refers to the certain aesthetic of overly adorning and stacking text with diacritical marks to produce a glitchy, destructively (sometimes maliciously in the form of copy-bomb and can result in transmission errors) spooky effect (see also)—with the reader either interpreting their computer or brain malfunctioning, overcome by the preternatural and unfathomable.


cortรจge: the custom Land Rover hearse that will convey Prince Philip on his funeral procession

whiter-than-white: ultra-reflective coating (previously) could help cool the climate—via Slashdot  

eboracia: housing developer Keepmoat Holmes discovers sprawling Roman ruins in North Yorkshire  

elenctic debate: honing one’s critical thinking with the Socratic method 

emojinal rescue: the Unicode subcommittee reconvenes, heralding the coming of new glyphs  

ramshackle: illustrations of antient structures that survived the Great Fire of London before they were ultimately demolished  

pleurants: bright and bold floral urns for cremains

Friday, 16 April 2021


oh, i travel—a sort of licenced troubleshooter: a lexicon of the Bond franchise in all its forms 

riptide: an homage to the pre-code (previously) Hollywood actress Norma Shearer 

dead pilots’ society: CBS Summer Playhouse and similar vehicles were venues for anthologies of failed television shows—see also  

la vie รฉlectrique: Albert Robida’s 1893 vision of the future includes a remote courtship by means of a tรฉlephonoscope 

the sensational she-hulk: Marvel comics hand-lettering from Reagan Ray—previously  

buzz-saw: the ancient shark-like Helicoprion had spiral tooth-whorls 

reinventing the wheel: engineers in Seoul develop transforming, load-bearing tyre using principles of origami—see previously  

oh—the pint pot, half-a-pint, gill pot, half-a-gill-quarter-gill, nippikin and the brown bowl: conventional measurements of liquid (see also) anticipated the next in a binary fashion  

shaguar: if Austin Powers were to be revived today, he would have been cryogenically frozen in 1991

Thursday, 15 April 2021

tragically hip

Though without the spectacle and international audiences and whether it can even be safely executed even with the most stringent health and hygiene precautions, some fashionistas are citing the planned apparel that the Canadian nation team will don for the Closing Ceremony in Tokyo as an overpowering reason to cancel the Olympics. I endorse these bespoke, graffiti clad jean jackets and think it’s going to be a statement that we’ll later pretend to have always been behind—like a twist on the so called Canadian Tuxedo—if not not at least remember. One can peruse the rest of the uniform and kit-up from Hudson’s Bay here.