Saturday 25 May 2024

fairytale jungle trail (11. 582)

For another long-weekend getaway, H and I traveled an hour northeast back to the Thรผringerwald nature reserve and found a campsite in Breitenbach along the Vesser river valley and southwest entrance to the park, with a lot of paths for wandering in the forest. 

Officially called straightforwardly “Urwaldpfad,” the app that we were using gave it the rather creatively translated name above and had a nice long hike along both banks of the river—originally planning to return via a second trail but it was proving too rough with a series of felled trees that had collapsed on the bank of the stream. 

The trail had advertised some attractions along the way like a Sensenhammer, an early industrial water-powered scythe forge for making tools and machine parts, and a historic mill (see also), but these were only waypoints with markers for installations gone and never rebuilt. 

Still the walk in the ancient woods was very pleasant with a stand of super-high firs and a nice stroll along the river—plus lots of lupines. On the way back, we stopped at a fine guesthouse with character perched on a hill overlooking the forest and village.


one year ago: assorted links to revisit

two years ago: Ciao! Manhattan, Return of the Jedi (1983) plus investigating Partygate

three years ago: HMS Pinafore, synchronisation plus Bosch with emoji

four years ago: Toki Pona, a delightfully translated menu, the Interregnum plus artist Nikolas Knรผpfer

five years ago: Towel Day

Friday 24 May 2024

6x6 (11. 581)

gyermekvasรบt: the Budapest Children’s Railway, a functioning training project founded in the Communist era—see previously 

funny farm: an Ancient Greek agricultural emulator 

beacon hill: Massachusetts millionaire surtax surpasses revenue targets—via Miss Cellania 

he spends £1 a week on his hair: early reviews of British pop icons—via Strange Company 

god mode: a world simulation where the user has complete dominion—via Web Curios 

 east side story: a documentary about musics in Warsaw Pact countries—see previously

internal audit (11. 580)

Our trusty AI wrangler, Janelle Shane (previously) vents her frustration over a shared lament that many artists, marketers and prompters—to the point where close enough is good enough—are experiencing with generated images. Often times tantalised with results that are preternaturally approaching the desired outcome, asking for an edit with a minor detail results, yields instead a completely different picture, ruining the assignment over a small and clearly articulated revision. I suppose AI doesn’t have object permanence despite the fact it clearly remembers, and this limitation is a strong argument for engaging a human artist who can understand one’s notes. More at the links above.

airfoil (11. 579)

Via Super Punch, we get this chance to revisit renowned industrial and commercial designer Lutz “Luigi” Colani with his Polymorph Space Shuttle concept model showcased at the 1984 Expo held in Otaru, Hokkaido (awarded with top honours however during the show for his designs for Canon cameras, including the prototype for the T90). The aerodynamic proposal failed to take off at the time but is perennially revisited by companies in the orbital freight business and included a new stylised logo for the US Space Agency.

i haven’t had this many people in my garage since the vice squad raided fang’s going-out-of-marriage party (11. 578)

We enjoyed this fun 1987 VHS guide from legendary comedian Phyllis Diller (see previously) on how to have a successful yard sale—we’ve been thinking of the same but one generally finds centralised Flohmรคrkte over here rather than individual sales at homes and to participate takes some planning, organisation and an entire weekend of committent—and really presents some practical advice on decluttering and culling as well as the importance of presentation and merchandising. More tips from Boing Boing at the link above.

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one year ago: the Judgment of Paris (1976) plus assorted links to revisit

two years ago: Mystery Park in Interlaken plus an earlier version of “don’t say gay” legislation overturned

three years ago: St Joanna, more links to enjoy, a classic film montage plus phonetic courtesy characters

four years ago: the Kola Superdeep Bore Hole, Diamond Dogs (1974), obituaries, more links worth the revisit, a walk in the woods, city fonts plus plutodemocracy

five years ago: even more links, Queen Victoria, a Prime Minister steps down, more bad flags plus a unique house in Oklahoma

Thursday 23 May 2024

aerophone (11. 577)

Officially recognised and granted a patent for his invention on this day in 1829, Armenian extract working in Vienna the accordion (from the German Akkord for concord of sounds) of Cyrill Demian (ิฟีตีธึ‚ึ€ีฅีฒ ิดีฅีดีตีกีถ) and sons was only half of modern version with bellows and a single button board but was considered distinct enough for court authorities from the portable klezmers and harmonicas available for vocal accompaniment. Numerous variations followed and there is some debate amongst historians who credit Friedrichroda native Christian Friedrich Ludwig Buschman with the innovation but the accordion of Demian’s was clearly based on a common prototype called the Handรคoline with a lot of competing models being introduced at the time (see also), and Garfield’s dad Jon, an attested aficionado, states in the comic strip that Demian is his hero, making it cannon.

a compilation of reliable recipes with a casual culinary chat (11. 576)

Originally self-published in 1931 as means of coping with the loss of her husband, the jacket design which captured the popular poster, cut-out style of the day was created by the author’s daughter Marion Rombauer Becker, who helped write subsequent editions. The Art Deco cover features Martha of Bethany, the patron saint of Home Economics, vanquishing the dragon of domestic drudgery—according to the Golden Legend, the Tarasque, a fearsome chimera that tormented the people of Gaul, that Martha tamed with her faith, though once obedient and docile was unfortunately beset by angry villagers with rocks and spears until it died. Rombauer Becker was the director of the Art Department of a school in Ohio and the typeface is inspired by a Cassandre specimen of the contemporaneous excess of the decorative font Bifur. In print continuously since with over twenty-million copies sold, it is considered the quintessential American cookbook, its popularity sustained by Julia Child, and is a snowclone for many topical overviews.

saltando (11. 575)

Via Waxy, we are given a chance to revisit the godfather of anime, Osamu Tezuka (ๆ‰‹ๅกš ๆฒป่™ซ, see previously) in his 1984 award-winning short Jumping (ใ‚ธใƒฃใƒณใƒ”ใƒณใ‚ฐ). Shot in one continuous cut over four thousand cells—more on the making of the work with whole storyboard mapped out—and animated from the perspective of a small child skipping down a suburban street, jumps become progressively higher, striding across the city and higher and higher, eventually gaining a view on all of humanity, bounding through jungles and a battlefield and harrowing Hell, before bouncing back to the quiet lane where the adventure started. As with Tezuka’s other works, there is a strong and earnest anti-war sentiment grounded by privileged but everyday magic.

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one year ago: assorted links worth revisiting

two years ago: Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984)

three years ago: a close encounter, toponymy of the British Isles plus John Steinbeck’s werewolf novel

four years ago: The Shining (1980), an anti-compliation of short clips, watermelon snow, the French language assigns a gender to the virus, the etymology of epidemics plus more typographical samplers

five years ago: more links to enjoy, gardening and medical intervention, EU hoodies plus a scandal in the Austrian government