Wednesday 17 July 2024

(11. 698)


one year ago: photos of the Anthropocene (with synchronoptica) plus a continued blockade on Ukrainian grain shipments

seven years ago: swimsuit models, Voltaire’s science-fiction, the premiere of SpongeBob plus the Golden Submarine

nine years ago: assorted links to revisit plus Merkel’s immigration policies under scrutiny

twelve years ago: climate change and too much water plus a branded look for US Commanders in Chief

fourteen years ago: a trip to the Baltic coast

Tuesday 16 July 2024

only the lonely (11. 697)

A part-talkie (with mixed audio-dialogue, sound-effects and score plus intertitles), Public Domain Review presents Paul Fejล‘s’ 1928 Lonesome, exploring the subject through following the lives of two working-class New York City urbanites apart and together over the course of a single July day, the telephone operator and factory worker get a break from their drudgery, met and have a splendid time at a funfair but are separated by a sudden downpour and regret loosing each other only to later discover that they’ve been neighbours in the same apartment block all along. The featurette, considered a masterpiece, has the narrative of an O Henry story and many innovations in terms of cinematography including fast-motion, split screens and a roller-coaster mounted camera.

⚶ (11. 696)

Observed between 1802 and 1807 before being identified as a minor planet by astronomer Heinrich Olbers, whom having already discovered and named what is now understood to be the asteroid Pallas gave the honours to mathematician Carl Friedrich Gauss, whose orbital calculations had enabled researchers to confirm the existence of the first such object in that region of the solar system, Ceres, presumed—incorrectly—to be fragments of a larger, destroyed planet, and called the discovery after the Roman goddess of hearth and home, Vesta. The Dawn mission, dispatched to explore the asteroid belt, entered into a year-long orbit around the brightest and second-largest asteroid on this day in 2011. Presently represented by the modern astrological variant of the original symbol conceived by Gauss, it was suggestive of the altar of the goddess and home-fire by extension, the first form is scheduled to return as a Unicode character, the pictorial representations repopularised following their retirement in the mid-1800s as impractical as the cosmic backyard became more crowded with eight major planets and over a dozen minor ones. During the interim until the 1950s, asteroids were given the naming convention of ordinal numbers, according to the sequence of their discovery, this one called ④ Vesta.


one year ago: professional uniforms (with synchronoptica), an experimental overland train plus the Trinity nuclear test (1945)

seven years ago: a linguistic curiosity

eight years ago: a beach on the รŽle d’Orรฉlon

nine years ago: classes of quarks plus a Mad, Mad, Mad Max mashup

eleven years ago: informant gadgets 

Monday 15 July 2024

trump-vance (11. 695)

Author and jurist turned politician and once among the ex-president’s staunchest and vocal critics, a Never-Trumper, within the party since transformed into an apologist for some of Trump’s most authoritarian aspirations and cheerleader for his style of populism, Ohio senator JD Vance was picked as Trump’s running mate, announced during the first night of the Republican National Conference held in Milwaukee, less than forty-eight hours after the assassination attempt on the GOP presumptive candidate. Vance blamed the political violence on the rhetoric of Biden and “legacy” media who characterise Trump as a dangerous autocrat that threatens democracy. Vance’s platform is aligned lock-step with Trump’s, and arguably the world-vision of this political heir and protege might be a darker one.

9x9 (11. 694)

fungal magic: an update on the mushroom documentary narrated by Bjรถrk  

always lands on its feet: the myriad ways animals negotiate the laws of physics—see also  

meisje met de parel: decoding Vermeer’s true colours—see previously—via Miss Cellania 

i’m your heat pump: a seductive slow jam seems to educate the public on the thermal energy transmission system 

eno: the generative documentary on the self-described non-musician that changes with each viewing  

legal daisy spacing: a purported 1985 manual for terraforming a planet that presents a warped bureaucracy and sterile landscaping  

nolle prosequi: federal judge overseeing illegal retention of classified documents trial against Trump dismissed the indictment over the improper appointment of the prosecution’s special counsel—see previously here and here  

reimann hypothesis: new insights about the distribution of prime numbers—via Damn Interesting’s Curated Links  

krรคuterbuch: Johannes Hartlieb’s fifteenth century treasury of herbs



one year ago: assorted links worth revisiting (with synchronoptica), Netscape plus the Rosetta Stone

seven years ago: dark matter, more on the election integrity commission plus the bicentennial of Frankenstein

nine years ago: thalassocracies, plutographies plus more links to enjoy 

eleven years ago: a slightly NSFW Soviet adult literacy reader

twelve years ago: the German banking system plus the Oberammergau Passion Plays

Sunday 14 July 2024

8x8 (11. 693)

priscila, queen of the rideshare mafia: the tale of a gig-economy pyramid scheme  

fรชte nationale: a comprehensive list of what Americans and the French know about each other 

80s lifestyle icons: health and fitness guru Richard Simmons and sex therapist Dr Ruth Westheimer pass away  

stillsuits: researchers develop Fremen inspired garments for astronauts that improve comfort, hydration and hygiene  

my israel home: US real estate companies profiting off expanded, illegal settlements in the West Bank—see also 

paranormal phenomenon: Japanese terms for dรฉjร  vu, telepathy and incredulous serendipity 

๐Ÿ›’: the trend of grocery store tourism really resonates with us and a cultural experience we always are sure to have—via Nag on the Lake 

kein brot und keine ehre: Georg Christoph Lichtenberg’s correspondent’s categories of human endeavour

no responsive documents (11. 692)

Our friends at Muckrock (previously) have successfully through a FOIA petition to the US National Security Agency to locate a historic lecture delivered by computing pioneer Admiral Grace Hopper, authoring COBOL as a demonstration of a machine independent high-level programming language, at the intelligence agency’s Fort Meade headquarters. The NSA, however, is refusing to release the 1982 recording from its archives, preserved on an AMPEX video tape reel, because it has no equipment capable of making a copy. Although not an unsolvable problem, particularly for one of the most powerful and well-connected spy agencies in the world, and the Freedom of Information Action cannot require the records-holding entity to obtain hardware to access outdated file formats, it does speak to the problems of obsolete technology and our coming digital dark ages.

the great white way (11. 691)

Via the New Shelton wet/dry, we are directed towards an interesting biography of the individual, coining the above nickname for Broadway in 1901 due to its dazzling electric lights, responsible for the spectacle of Times Square, OJ Gude. Taking advantage of the accident of civil planning that had created a bowtie-shape with the intersections of 45th Street and Seventh Avenue that was an ideal amphitheatre for showcasing the energy and dynamism of commerce and advertising, Gude designed many of the flashing, animated billboards that fill the skyline. This theatre-in-the-round upstaging the playhouse-district put the show on the periphery for a captive audience of consumers, who couldn’t ignore the advertisers’ messages, was a bit of promotional genius, the tradition upheld for over a century, with Gude’s salesmanship directly behind many of the iconic and colossal displays. More at the links above.