Thursday, 3 November 2022

7x7 (10. 269)

memorymoog: Mark Mothersbaugh of Devo shares his synthesizer collection  

erry & merry: the portfolio illustrator Walter Schnackenberg whose subject and style was informed by Toulouse-Lautec’s Parisian cabarets 

unalloyed: scientists discover a way to synthesise a cosmic compound that may be a cheap and abundant substitute for rare earth elements  

star-bellied sneech: verification for sale 

astronomicum caesareum: an exploration of an intricate, antique tome commissioned to prognosticate one’s destiny  

waverly abbey: an ancient yew in Surrey is accorded the UK Tree of the Year title  

ondioline: a demonstration of this precursor to the synthesizer from Jean-Jacques Perry—via Pasa Bon!

Tuesday, 13 September 2022

8x8 (10. 131)

le milieu du monde: influential Swiss director Alain Tanner has passed away at 92  

zodiaco: we liked these astrological sign matchboxes from Josรฉ Marรญa Cruz Novillo—see previously  

circadian rhythm: an infographic comparing sleeping patterns across the animal kingdom  

landscape, portrait: a relatable, cautionary comic from xkcd  

punching down: US Republican governors ask Joe Biden to be less generous with his student debt forgiveness plan  

moxie: Perseverance’s experimental oxygen generation—via Super Punch 

trap set: chimpanzees in Uganda demonstrate their signature drum-beats, can communicate across great distances 

maรฎtre ร  penser: French New Wave film pioneer Jean-Luc Godard has exited the scene, aged 91

Sunday, 3 July 2022

dies caniculares

A calque, a near word-for-word translation of “the puppy days”—from today through mid-month in the northern hemisphere mark the beginning of the hottest, sultriest period in the summer and a time for extreme heat, drought, sudden thunderstorms as well as the maladies of lethargy, mad dogs and poor luck and is heralded by the annual reappearance of the brightest star in the night sky ฮฑ Canis Majoris, called Sirius, “the Scorcher” in the Greek tradition and Sopdet in Egypt and venerated as the precursor to the flooding of the Nile. Lasting through mid-August, the waning of this oppressive, uncomfortable time of high summer is marked by the Feast of Roch, patron saint of dogs.

Saturday, 4 June 2022

7x7

2slgbtqia+: a calendar of Native American and First Nations’ Pride events—the 2S is for “Two-Spirits”  

about the damn end: DJ Cummerbund (previously) mixes Lizzo and Linkin Park—via Waxy  

sacred modernity: McGregor Smith explores Europe’s superlative post-war churches—via Things magazine

why ernest saves christmas: wholly machine-generated articles on any number of topics—the logorrhoea of infinite neural networks producing infinite copy, via Web Curios  

signature sound: a 1957 musical horoscope album (see also here and here) orchestrated by Hal Mooney  

the endangered california bumbletrout: court declares bees are fish to afford them better defence under the state’s species protection act  

night of a thousand judys: a tribute concert for charity on what would have been Garland’s one-hundredth birthday

Friday, 11 February 2022

summa theologica

Via the weekly anthology of Web Curios, we get this nice appreciation and reminder that the resources underpinning the Internet are not self-sustaining artefacts but require care and maintenance—even if only for academic pursuits and no aspirations for virality or attempt to monetise or capitalise on the scholarship of its subject matter as the Non-Fungible Testament—in revisiting the venerable repository the Internet Sacred Text Archive, which for twenty-three years has weathered all sort of trends and beaten back the spectre of the Digital Dark Ages to curate and present foundational texts in comparative religious and folklore traditions.

Sunday, 14 November 2021

inner oort cloud

Co-discovered on this day in 2003 by astronomical teams in Caltech, Yale and the Gemini Observatory, the planetoid, trans-Neptunian object (previously) provisionally nicknamed the Flying Dutchman because of its slow (eleven-thousand plus years) and solitary journey around the Sun that made researchers almost miss it for a fixed star, it was welcomely given the official designation 90377 Sedna in honour of the Inuit sea goddess who dwells at the bottom of the frigid Arctic Ocean, and establishing that future objects found in the same orbital region should be named after polar mythologies.
The astronomical monogram, which matches the ones of ancient astrology quite well, is a combination of the Eastern Canadian Inuktitut characters แ“ดแ“แ“‡, Sanna—the modern version of the name and suggests a leaping seal. Because of the extreme eccentricity of its perihelion—too great to have been caused by the gravitational influence of the known worlds, Sedna’s existence lends credence to either interstellar interlopers or a so called Planet Nine, ten-times the size of Earth but hidden as a cosmic counter-balance.

Saturday, 23 October 2021

your daily demon: sabnok

Our forty-third spirit ruling over the initial degrees of Scorpio, from today through 27 October, is a dread, infernal marquis presenting in the form of a lion astride a pale horse. Controlling fifty legions, fortifying cities and alike raising them asunder on his whim, Sabnok was confined to a brass vessel, it is said, by King Solomon. Also having the power to plague populations with festering sores, Sabnok is countered by the guardian angel Vevaliah.

Saturday, 18 September 2021

your daily demon: stolas

Governing from today through 22 September, the cusps of Virgo and Libra, our thirty-sixth spirit is an infernal prince that presents in the form of a crowned owl with long-legs. Commanding twenty-six legion, Stolas is knowledgeable in the art of astronomy, herbs, plants and precious stones and can be a trusted teacher. The demon is opposed by the guardian angel called Menudael.

Monday, 30 August 2021

6x6

headgear: Languagehat is no longer neglecting the latter portion of its remit 

on seeing the 100% perfect girl one beautiful april morning: a pair of short stories from Rysuke Hamaguchi adapted for film  

aggregate accessory fruit: the curious, circuitous route of the misnamed garden variety strawberry  

like astrology for businessmen: a look at the Myers-Briggs personality test 

strokenteelt: see strip cultivation at work in the Netherlands 

erm: a discussion on intonation and a hummed “I don’t know”

Thursday, 24 June 2021

rotation № 17

Born this day in 1926 in Berlin (†1999), Robert Rotar was a painter, sculptor and photographer whose contemplative, meditative repertoire drew on symbolism, instructions—flow-charts from alchemy and astrology and was quietly prolific and accrued many patrons from all over the world. Receiving artistic training in Kรถln after the war—his studies at the Waldorfschule and Vitte in Hiddensee interrupted, Rotar became a member of the Deutsch Werkbund, collegial with Mies van der Rohe, Joseph Beuys, Florence Knoll, Alfred Schmela and other gallerists and artists, departing somewhat from the school’s usual output with a doctrinaire opus that conveyed a certain philosophic correspondence, indulging a trance-like state as he worked, especially with spirals, which embraced the motif of coincidentia oppositorum—out of the union of opposites wisdom is gained and cultivated close friendships with such contemporary thinkers as Werner Heisenberg, Niel Bohr, Wolfgang Pauli and Erwin Schrรถdinger.

Tuesday, 22 June 2021

your daily demon: sallos

Governing the first degrees of Cancer—from this day until 26 June, the nineteenth spirit is an infernal duke ruling thirty legion of subordinates and presents as a soldier riding a crocodile, as can be seen in his sigil. Despite this fearsome appearance, Sallos is a peacemaker and helps to reconcile relationship strife and encourage fidelity between partners. Opposed by the angel Leuviah, Sallos is possibly a conflation of the iconography associated with the Ancient Egyptian goddess Taweret, a fertility deity often portrayed with Nile crocodile and hippopotamus attributes or the Hindu river gods often personified as carried by the reptile.

Sunday, 25 April 2021

your daily demon: barbatos

This infernal grand duke rules thirty legions of spirits with four subordinate companies of kings in his control—governing from today through 29 April, when the Sun is in Sagittary (☉♐︎, the constellation of the Centaur within Taurus). Formerly of the angelic rank of Virtues, this demon that presents as a wizened, bearded man as his name implies (Latin barbatus), retains insight of all things past, present and future and holds the office of interpreting the singing of birds and other animal calls and cries and seeing through the enchantment of other. Barbatos is countered with the angel Cahetel.

Sunday, 21 March 2021

your daily demon: bael

The first Goetic spirit listed on the calendar of demons, the infernal and principle king that commands sixty-six legions and rules from this day, the beginning of Aries, until 25 March, is probably a syncretism of the Canaanite deity Ba’al and presents in the forms of a cat, man or toad simultaneously. Sometimes conflated with Beelzebub—Lord of the Flies—Bael’s office is to impart the power of invisibility to the exorcist and is countered by the Shem HaMephorash angel Vehuiah.