Sunday 14 January 2024

fralรฆggelse (11. 267)

On the same day as her ascension to the throne in 1972 on the occasion of the death of her father Frederik IX, Queen Margrethe II voluntarily resigned as Danish monarch, the first since 1146 when Erik III Lam abdicated to join a monastery, St Canute’s Abbey due to a debilitating illness, with her son proclaimed as Fredrik X—having announced her decision to a shocked public on New Year’s Eve. Fashion designer, stenographer and illustrator of national editions of the works of JRR Tolkien, Margrethe recently decreed that previous royal titles of prince and princess would cease to exist for members never expected to hold official roles, though courtesy titles would still be granted and has been a big proponent since decades of taking in immigrants of different backgrounds, and making them welcome despite their “dumsmarte bemรฆrkninger” (cocky remarks), which has since been introduced into the lexicon.  Her regnal number is (see also) in deference to the regnant queen of all Scandinavia of the fourteenth century, Margaret, a fearless Lady Sovereign called King Pantsless, though never officially recognised claim closest to uniting the Nordic region.  The new king was coronated by the Danish prime minister with the motto “Forbundne, forpligtet, for Kongeriget Danmark (as is traditional, “United, committed, for the Kingdom”) and is especially interested in issues of climate change and sustainability as well as home-rule for Greenland and other autonomous territories.

Tuesday 9 May 2023

9x9 (10. 728)

daily double: Jeopardy! had a all-fonts category with answers in the typefaces they were looking for as the question—via Kottke  

on the eighth day: a 1984 BBC documentary on nuclear winter preparedness—see previously 

a la carte: a century of cultural changes captured in restaurant menus—see previously  

ใ‚ซใ‚ฏใƒ†ใƒซ: an award-winning small Tokyo ex-urb defined Japanese cocktail culture 

that’s so fetch: tech retreats from the Metaverse to the new hotness  

exciton condensates: physicists find a link between photosynthesis and strange states of matter  

cabin crew: the argot of airplane travel 

mutually assured destruction: new analysis of the same Cold War  

grundvig: font-founder Reinadlo Camejo transforms a Copenhagen church into a typeface

Monday 8 May 2023

tollundmanden (10. 726)

Discovered on this day in 1950 by peat cutters on the Jutland peninsula near Silkeborg, the well-preserved early fifth century bog body (see also) called named Tollund Man was mistaken for a recent murder victim due to the remarkable state of his physical features. Forensically studied over the decades, autopsies reveal the cause of death by hanging but suggest a ritual sacrifice rather than an execution by his composure and burial arrangement. His clothing was also preserved as well as his last meal of porridge of barley, flax and knotgrass. Celebrated in popular culture since his disinterment, authors and artists as diverse as poet Seamus Heaney and the folk band The Mountain Goat have produced works inspired by this Iron Age mummy.

Saturday 4 March 2023

junior senior (10. 586)

Released on this day in 2002 on their debut studio album D-D-Don’t Don’t Stop the Beat, the titular Danish duo’s biggest hit was a world success, climbing to number four on the UK singles charts in 2003. The digital-first collaboration by Jesper “Jr” Mortensen and Jeppe “Sr” Laursen gained special prominence with numerous pop culture references including featuring on the soundtrack to the make-over television show ‘Queer Eye for the Straight Guy’ and the video game Dance Dance Revolution as well as incidental music for several other contemporary films including the mixed live-action, animated Looney Tunes: Back in Action. The pixelated, low-resolution accompanying video was made using Deluxe Paint.

Wednesday 8 February 2023

verdens fรธrste bรธssebryllup (10. 534)

Though not accorded legal sanction by the Kingdom of Denmark for more than sixteen years later, the Danish Evangelical-Lutheran Church became the first Christian communion in modern times to recognise gay marriage on this day in 1973 when radical priest—semi-retired for advocating social anarchy and protesting against NATO upbuilding but not defrocked—Harald Sรธbye, at the suggestion of a tabloid journalist who was one of the grooms, presided over the world’s first gay marriage. The reporter had met a florist at a discotheque in Vesterbro and asked Sรธbye to do the honours. From then to 1989 when civil unions were legally recognised, Sรธbye performed over two hundred blessings or full matrimonial ceremonies. The Church of Denmark in 2012 decided not just to bless and accept same-sex marriages (see also) but to moreover administer the vows and host the celebrations as well.

Friday 3 February 2023

6x6 (10. 519)

good boy: a thirty year old dog in Portugal beats a century-old record for oldest in the world  

bb-8: a small security robot that rolls about the premises  

eternity’s pillar: late night variety show produced by Turiyasan-gitananda—see previously  

studio fong leng: a look at the Dutch fashion designer who dressed Kate Bush and socialite Mathilde Willink  

can’t do hands: an atrocious sign language guide imaged by an AI—see previously  

catgpt: a feline version of the scarily smart chat bot—via Waxy

Friday 14 October 2022

leader lars (10. 221)

Via Slashdot, we are directed to the newest Danish polity hoping to secure a seat in the Folketing in the country’s upcoming general election called the Synthetic Party (Det Syntetiske Parti). The chatbot figurehead (see also) which is eager to debate anyone has been trained on the policies and priorities of fringe groups from 1970 onward in order to appeal to the fifth of voters who feel unrepresented and disenfranchised, possibly marshalling solutions and consensus better than a human candidate. Learn more about this civics experiment at the link above.

Thursday 13 October 2022

8x8 (10. 220)

punto di ebollizione: pasta maker introduces ‘passive cooker’ meters 

capricorn one: a thoroughgoing review of a 1977 film about a faked Mars landing  

a shropshire lass: four decades of mushrooming in England and Wales  

friluftsliv: the term for the Danish tradition of unwinding in the wilds popularised by playwright Henrik Ibsen  

perfect for roquefort cheese: all about blue cheeses—see also  

yes sirah: origins and production of wine grape varietals around the globe—via tmn  

wormsign: building a functional Fremen thumper 

hasta la pasta: the Italian influence in Argentinian cuisine

Tuesday 14 June 2022


exascale: the world’s super computer might be surpassing benchmarks in secret  

hub and spoke: a suite of interactive maps that lets one scour the globe with creeping data spiders  

viral nightmares: more trials of an AI text to image generator  

witkar: a ride-sharing demonstration projection that ran from 1974 to 1986 in Amsterdam  

the firth of forth: some of the world’s best bridges for driving  

whiskey war: the fifty yearlong territorial dispute between Canada and Denmark over Hans Island has been settled  

zeroth law: an AI ethicist believes Google’s LaMDA has attained sentience

Monday 6 June 2022

sort sol

Revisiting an arresting and formative moment from his childhood in western coast Denmark, as the Guardian reports, photographer Sรธren Solkรฆr is exhibiting a portfolio of mesmerizing murmurations of starlings on the wing from the Wadden Sea to northern Spain. These flocks of hundreds of thousands of birds can blot out the sun (the dark sun of the title, referring to the accompanying coffee table edition), and it remains a mystery how autonomous individuals achieve this degree of mass-coordination for these majestic manoeuvre.

Saturday 12 February 2022

der totentanz

Premiering on this day in 1912 at the newly constructed “Glashaus” studio in the Neubabelsberg district of Potsdamm—what would become the production company—the silent picture in three acts, The Dance of Death, directed by Danish filmmaker Urban Gad with camera work by Guido Seeber, only is known to exist in fragments. The movie relates the tragedy of Bella Burk (Asta Nielsen) whose engineering husband (Oskar Fuchs) is badly injured during a factory mishap and is no longer able to support the family. Bella finds employment as in a vaudeville act as a singer and dancer, scandalising audiences and critics with her exotic belly dance which would have otherwise proved merely scintillating if it wasn’t ultimately a fatal mental breaking point for the new object of her affection and infidelity, the troupe’s composer, Czerneck, portrayed by Fritz Weidemann.

Friday 1 October 2021

highly irregular

Via the always engrossing 99% Invisible, we are introduced to the poem “The Chaos” penned by Dutch teacher and travel writer Gerard Nolst Trenitรฉ under the the pseudonym Charivarius (see also) in 1920 as a part of a broader commiseration and discussion on the mongrel nature of the English language and the challenges that poses for new learners. An excerpt of the rather epic length work begins:

Dearest creature in Creation,
Studying English pronunciation,
I will teach you in my verse
Sounds like corpse, corps, horse and worse.

Ending thus with the emblematic, problematic words italicised:

Finally: which rhymes with “enough,”
Though, through, plough, cough, hough, or tough?
Hiccough has the sound of “cup”…
My advice is—give it up!

Sunday 26 September 2021

fristaden christiania

Occupied over the course of weeks prior to the declaration, amid protests of the Danish government of the lack of affordable housing in Copenhagen, squatters claimed their takeover of the abandoned military barracks and historic depot of the borough of Christianshavn on this day in 1971 to establish an independent commune. The unique, semi-autonomous site focused on self-sustainability and collectivism is home to around one thousand residents. The flag is a modified version of the labarum, the military standard of Emperor Constantine and pairs with the city flag of Amsterdam, triple x.

Monday 6 September 2021

festival der liebe

Appearing on stage for the final day of the Love-and-Peace-Festival on the Baltic island of Fehmarn this day in 1970, artist Jimi Hendrix gave his last concert performance on the seashore outside of the village of Flรผgge, the West German event one of the first attempts to recreate the atmosphere of Woodstock and the Isle of Wight and was sponsored in large part by Beate Uhse. Hendrix’ performance began around noon on a blustery day with organisers, fans and volunteers weary and irritable from three days of chaos but felt it was worth the wait. From 1995 to 2010, a local tribute band held a revival concert on the first Saturday in September. Other acts included Ten Years After, Canned Heat, Procol Harum, Mungo Jerry, Sly & the Family Stone and Danish progressive rock band the Burnin Red Ivanhoes.

Sunday 29 August 2021

ultima thule

Though settled by the Paleo-Inuit Saqqaq peoples over thirty-five hundred years earlier and interacting with visiting Vikings until the fiftieth century, the traditional founding date of the Greenlandic capital is given as this day in 1728 when the Danish-Norwegian governor called Claus Paarss established Fort Godthรฅb (Good Hope) to relocate a group of colonists (primarily ex-convicts, mutinous sailors and soldiers and prostitutes) on the mainland from their former island dwelling. Five years later, a Moravian mission received clearance to establish Neu-Herrnhut to convert residents to the Lutheran Church of Denmark. The indigenous population endured generations of suffering and slights, but they persevered and eventually regaining cultural territory as well as an autonomous form of devolved government in 1979, officially changing the name to the Greenlandic (Kalaallisut) Nuuk, meaning cape.

Thursday 29 July 2021

olaf ii haraldsson

Posthumously proclaimed eternal king and rapidly acclaimed as patron for Fรธroyar (the Faroe Islands) and a popular saint for greater Scandinavia, Norwegian realms extending over most of the region, the Vestfold ruler is venerated on this day, the anniversary of his death on the battlefield of Stiklestad in 1030, elevating his younger, half-brother Harald Hardrada to the throne. Olaf’s sainthood, saga and symbolism (attributed with qualities of Thor and Freyr) encouraged the widespread adoption of Christianity in the territory—though in his lifetime, after his own baptism in Rouen, wintering there with Duke Richard II of Normandy (see previously), was given the epithet “the Lawbreaker” for the forceful and exploitative means he used to win converts amongst the population.

Wednesday 14 July 2021

After departing from our natural campground in the woods at the border of the farmstead on the shores of Helgasjรถn, we first visited the nearby ruins of the fortress Kronoberg, built originally as a summer retreat for the bishop of Vรคxjรถ, destroyed during the Dano-Swedish War in 1470, rebuilt and fortified and eventually appropriated by Gustav I with the country’s conversion to protestantism.

 Our rebel leader Nils Dacke captured the castle in 1542, nearly repudiating the king’s authority by depriving the army, albeit temporarily, of this strategic stronghold.
The eventual retreat of the border from Smรฅland to ร–resund meant Kronoberg lost military significance and fell into disrepair.  Continuing north towards the Vรคttern region, the lesser of the great lakes—we stopped to inspect the old church of a village called Hjรคlmseyrd 

Tuesday 13 July 2021

vissefjรคrda first stop in the forested finger lakes district of Smรฅland known as Sweden‘s Crystal Empire (Glasriket, more to follow and of course both important fuel for the industry and enterprise) was the village of Visselfjรคrda spread across an archipelago of tiny islands and dominated by the 1773 church (kyrka) with detached bell tower—a common feature of sacred architecture of this region. opposite the churchyard is a boulder monument to native son Nils Dacke who as a yeomen in 1523 rose up to lead a revolutionary peasant army and nearly succeeded in deposing the king, thereby securing more rights for farmers including a lower tax burden and continued cross-border trade with their area’s recent concession from Denmark.

Friday 9 July 2021

just passing through or something forgotten in the state of denmark the chance to finally realise in some form a trip we'd planned two years ago but had had to defer until now—gingerly, cautiously—due to work and other prior engagements to southern Sweden and we both have given some rather serious consideration for those transit zones that are of course destinations in their own rights and ought to be spared a thought in these trying times. the Elba Canal outside of Hamburg and through Schleswig-Holstein and crossed onto the island of Fehmarn via the modernist brige over the sound from the mainland, finished in 1963 and affectionately known as the Clothes Hanger (Kleiderbรผgel) because of its distinctive girders and trusses. an easy morning get away to the ferry to Denmark from Puttgarden, we chose a campsite at the village of Strukkamp, populated by fearless bunnies abd gulls but unable yet to achieve escape velocity just yet from the dreary and driven rain, we were mostly confined to our tent. crossed the island, storied itself and one beach music festival in September 1970 that was the venue for Jimi Hendrix‘ last concert performance and stopped in the eponymous insular capital, called locally Burg. Arriving at the seaport, we realised it was our second time only seeing Denmark from the expressway and pledge to make a proper visit to all of these places one day soon.  Crossing on the monumental ร˜resundsbroen /  ร–resundbrรผcke (previously) bypassing Copenhagen and likewise skirting Malmรถ upon arrival in Sweden.

Saturday 24 April 2021

situationist international

Though better-known by the later stages of the collective’s existence for developing the principles of dรฉrive and psycho-geography, the burgeoning group of avant-garde artists and social revolutionaries formed in the late 1950s garnered public attention and some herostratic fame on this day in 1964 by decapitating the landmark bronze located on a waterside promenade in Copenhagen, the Little Mermaid, the first act in a long line of vandalism towards this poort statue motivated by various reasons. Radically left-leaning and convinced that the capitalism that Karl Marx had sought to redress, the Situationists—especially during this formative political period, was becoming more pervasive and all-encompassing and that the estranging forces of commodity fetishism were fast encroaching on every aspect of life and culture, helping limn and inform the summer of unrest and insurrection of Paris in May of 1968.