Friday 1 December 2023

9x9 (11. 156)

the saw lady: the virtuosity of Natalia Paruz  

tribalism: the worsening internet is an uncomfortable fun-house reflection of our inchoate proclivities  

holiday train show: a miniature NYC constructed from twigs and leaves at the city’s Botanical Garden  

bouzingos: the overlooked precursor to the Bohemian subculture  

microsleep: penguins take ten thousand seconds’ long naps per day to be rested but alert in noisy, hunted colonies

state-sanctioned socialist realism: the artistic duo of Komar and Melamid who turned subversive 

fairytale of new york: celebrating the life and talent of legendary Pogues’ singer Shane MacGowan—see previously, see also  

all about winning: Japan’s buzzword of the year continues a baseball-related streak 

busking: mapping live music public venues

Sunday 2 July 2023

civics semiotics (10. 850)

As part of an ongoing series of glossaries on diverse themes (previously), Tedium presents an interesting index of Americana ahead of its national holiday, not as a patriotic apology but rather a celebration of the miscellany that has influenced the shape of the country—and there are some choice facts and figures, like how the Clinton impeachment helped launch Netflix, with the company selling DVDs of the grand jury testimony for 2¢ (plus shipping), Kraft dinner, disco demolition Night at ballparks, Jackalopes and other domestic cryptids, suppressing the metric system, or the phenomenon that is BJ Snowden—a cult figure more for the neighbour to the north of the US for her songs covering each province but also celebrated as an outsider musician in America as well for her album Life in the USA and Canada and this power ballad.

Tuesday 15 November 2022

6x6 (10. 306)

honkbal hoofdklasse: Dutch for ‘Major League Baseball’  

fragrant, acid, burnt and caprylic: the Crocker-Henderson odour classification system 

dinosaur.pocket: AI generated Mastodon instances by Janelle Shane (previously

the floor is lava: a fun looking arcade experience though the best part was climbing over the furniture and leaping from place to place  

pontifex: the cathedral-like under-girding of the bridges of Seoul 

phryge-fest: Paris unveils its Olympic and Paralympics mascots—anthropomorphic hats

Friday 21 January 2022


wheelie bins: a collection of municipal-issue recycling bins from across the UK—via Pasa Bon! 

filmovรฝ plakรกt: a gallery of vintage Czech movie posters  

1 000 trees: drone footage showcases Heatherwick studios’ Shanghai shopping centre  

northwoods baseball sleep radio: a fake game with no jarring sounds designed for podcast slumber  

holkham bible picture book: a 1330 curiosity that illustrates select passages from the Old and New Testaments  

the great british spring clean: projects and programmes (see also) sponsored by Keep Britain Tidy

Saturday 2 October 2021

net promoter score

Incredulously and with much the same hubris and spirit that the American baseball commission calls its big annual play-off the World Series (it’s not) or organisers an international beauty pageant Miss Universe (she’s not), we learn thanks to the always authentic and as-advertised Miss Cellania that unsurprisingly there’s not only no US airline placing in the top ten globally, because America can’t rise to the challenge to compete on the world-wide stage, there’s a separate ranking for North American airlines. The US doesn’t even manage to sweep this category with Air Canada placing third.

Tuesday 15 October 2019

roughly the kinetic energy of a well-pitched baseball

In operation from 1986 to 1993, the Fly’s Eye ultra-high-energy cosmic ray observatory in the desert of western Utah detected on this day in 1991 a particle whose excited state was off-the-charts with nothing remotely close ever seen again (see also), though similar subsequent events suggest that it is not a malfunction. This anomaly was dubbed the “Oh-My-God particle” (not to be confused with the God Particle) due to the wallop it packed. Though this probably does not sound like an astronomical amount, to take it in context, the importance of this reading begins to take shape.
The signal represented the energy carried by a single photon—as if a beam of light could nudge something aside, concentrated on one particle and represents something magnitudes stronger than any radiation measured from the gamma bursts of distant exploding galaxies (by some twenty million fold) and twice again as much as the CERN is able to create. The cosmic ray, to have attained the title heft, was propelled along at near the speed of light (one-sextillioneth shy—that is, nine-nine percent followed by twenty-one significant digits, short scale). Were it possible to boost the particle through the infinitesimal fraction, it would have the kinetic equivalent to the potential (chemical energy) of a small automobile on a full-tank of gasoline. The Oh-My-God particle and others approaching this class originate from the direction of the asterism Ursa Major though there is no consensus on the source.

Tuesday 1 November 2016

hand jive or out of the park

Little did we know that not only is the origin of the high five as a congratulatory greeting well documented, it is also a fairly recent one and was conceived (on 2 October, 1977 to be precise—although there are antecedent anecdotes and competing stories) by a largely forgotten professional athlete called Glenn Burke, who just happens was and remains the only major league baseball player in the US to come out as a homosexual during his career. Visit ร†on magazine at the link above to watch a documentary on the Burke, his struggle with prejudice and his salute.

Tuesday 2 December 2014

double the pleasure, double the fun

Collectors’ Weekly features an engrossing profile on the rediscovery of one of the advertising world’s most influential but unknown duos, whose iconic output from the 1930s to the 1960s was the defining style and technique for airbrush art. Dorothy and Otis ‘Shep’ Shepard collaborated on a lot of marketing campaigns and employed a hallmark design that really captured that era of Americana, fusing memorable visual elements and jingles. Ann Harnett, who founded the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League as portrayed in A League of their Own, commissioned the Shepards to design the team’s new uniforms.

Tuesday 10 December 2013

rookie card

Artist Glen Brogan offers a rare, uncut series of iconic meme cards for swapping. These are great, like Garbage Pail Kids, something to trade and collect like baseball cards for someone not necessarily affiliated with sports fandom. The artist created these images for a gallery showing last year but I hope that more will be forthcoming, though fame and recognition is ever a relative and fickle thing. I firmly believe, however, so long as one person gets the reference—either now or later, it is all worth the effort.