Monday 28 August 2023

ydinjรคtteen loppusijoitustila (10. 968)

Via fellow internet peripatetic Messy Nessy Chic, we are directed towards a quick but ruminative tour of an installation in Finland, which in two short years will see no human traffic for the next hundred thousand. The deep geological repository of Onkalo near the Eurajoki power plant on the western coast will be the first long-term disposal facility for spent fuel rods and other highly radioactive material currently warehoused in storage depots around the world, the site chosen for its geologic stability and informed by residents around the site’s location. The reflections of being among the last to tread these caverns is particularly poignant as one imagines the surface landscape taking on a new character in the intervening aeons and how might these seals remain unbroken for untold future generations.

 synchronoptica

one year ago: Culture Beat’ Mister Vain (1993) plus the short-lived BBC spy drama Quiller

two years ago: your daily demon: Asmodeus assorted links to revisit plus the art of Arthur Tress

three years ago: the death of Emmett Till (1955)

four years ago: the iconic artwork Marianne Saxl-Deutsch

five years ago: the Ramstein Air-Show Disaster, Late-Stage Capitalism, more links to enjoy plus more on the Great Span

 

Thursday 8 June 2023

9x9 (10. 794)

all star festival: the 1963 charity concert sponsored by the UN for refugee aid with headliners Ella Fitzgerald, Doris Day and Louis Armstrong  

smoke from a distant fire: New York City’s air quality falls to the most hazardous in the world—see also  

progressive punishment: a speeding driver in the ร…land region gets a six-figure ticket  

bezold-brรผcke shift: the Sun shines green  

better living through chemistry: a glossary of manufactured terminology  

wopr: Nicolas Temese creates dioramas of miniature vintage computers—see previously  

espionage act: Trump summoned to the federal courthouse in Miami on charges of illegally retaining classified files  

cop 28: the warming weather cycle of El Niรฑo is upon us  

wall of sound: the logistics of touring that defies credulity

Sunday 9 April 2023

sampo (10. 665)

A rock formation and cave system in Sipoo some thirty kilometres from Helsinki reputed to house the Lemminkรคinen Hoard (see previously), a mythical treasure trove of gold, jewels and ancient artefacts of immense value is in the news again after first making headlines three decades ago, with excavators and treasure-hunters claiming to be once more on the brink of a break-through as was asserted back in 1987 when a Finnish-born tantric yogi and mystic related his family saga passed down generation after generation, revealing the location of a ritual site on his family’s property. Though an archeological survey determined the buried chambers to be of a natural origin, the guide and corroborating folklore holds that the area, the birthplace of humanity, was sealed off for protection once Christianity was introduced to the region in the tenth century. More from BBC Reel at the link above.

Tuesday 4 April 2023

liittyminen (10. 654)

founding of the organisation in 1949, Finland’s accession to NATO, approved by all members in under a year and prompted by Russian aggression in the region more than doubles its the size of the border abutting the Western alliance and Russia. In a process that saw its formal beginning in last May, along with neighbouring Sweden, Finland abandoned decades of military nonalignment for increased security and mutual, multilateral response.

Saturday 1 April 2023

7x7 (10. 649)

the house of mouse: Disney lawyers thwart Florida governor’s interference plans by linking status quo to the British monarchy 

the highrise collection: a drone exploration of beautiful early twentieth century skyscrapers of the US

mambabatok: Vogue Philippines has 106-year-old traditional tattoo Apo Whang-Od artist on its cover  

fraktur folk art: the lettering of German dissident รฉmigrรฉ communities in Pennsylvania (see also

pretty fly for a white guy: Finnish politicians, as their rapping alter-egos Qruu and Cstar, drop some rhymes for their campaign platform—via Miss Cellania    

gelatinous cube: the 1977 Dungeon’s & Dragons Monster Manual  

g: all. of. the. above: a Trump indictment quiz

Sunday 26 March 2023

9x9 (10. 635)

concrete sign: Pope Francis returns marble fragments held by the Vatican Museum to the Parthenon

house of thunder: the everlasting lightning storm over Venezuela’s Lake Maracaibo 

queen street: a personal view of the prettiest thoroughfare in Ontario, in Niagara-on-the-Lake plus assorted links to visit 

april showers bring may flowers: the joyful floral illustrations of Iancu Barbฤƒrasฤƒ  

thinking outside of the box: innovations in pizza 

beauty paget: the varied career and roles of Miss Deborah Paget  

the theory of mediatization: press coverage of pseudo-events, like press-conferences and political rallies, has increased significantly while journalistic rigour in actual reporting (see also) has stagnated—via the New Shelton wet/dry  

master class: Finland offering a crash course in happiness, securing the title for six years in a row  

age-appropriate: Florida principal forced to resign after including Michelangelo’s David in middle schooler’s art curriculum without prior parental approval—see also

Monday 16 January 2023

lemminkรคinen, very pretty (10. 421)

First subjected to the MST3K treatment on this day in 1993 (broadcast edition below, preceded by the short “Here Comes the Circus”), the 1959 cinematic anthology of Finnish folk tales and loosely based of the national epic sage Kalevala, the co-Suomi-Soviet production by Aleksandr Ptushko and Risto Orko was also marketed under the title of the main MacGuffin, the mystical Sampo (see also)—a magical mill that will grant limitless prosperity to whomever possesses it. The only person in the realm able to craft a Sampo is the smith Ilmarien, who cannot make it until his sister Annikki falls in love, which she eventually does, enamoured with our pure-of-heart and hard-working protagonist. A evil witch called Louhi, ruler of the dark and dismal Pohjola is also desirous of a Sampo and ransoms Annikki to her land, kidnapping her by means of an enchanted cloak. Lemminkรคinen must perform a series of seemingly impossible tasks to win her back, with the last challenge going to her brother, Ilmarien, to fashion a Sampo. ”Look, it‘s Thomas Edison and his Electric Child!“

Monday 2 January 2023

6x6 (10. 381)

your posture is correct if you can lift your right foot in the air and rotate it effortlessly without falling: a Finnish tutorial from 1979 on the proper way to open doors—with subtitles in several languages

gebrausgraphik: the ornament and logo design of Max Kรถrner 

de laudibus sanctae crucis: the medieval pattern poems—that reference the Phaistos Disk and anticipate calligrams—of Magister Rabanus Maurus (see previously here and here)  

sword out of the stone: King Tut’s space dagger and other superlative archaeological finds—see previously  

wood wide web: ethereal ghost flower forgoes photosynthesis—via Damn Interesting’s Curated Links  

inside story: an appreciation of Slim Goodbody

Saturday 17 December 2022

7x7 (10. 342)

the gate of the exonerated: a new entrance to be named in honour of the falsely accused Central Park Five, Raymond Santana, Antron McCray, Yusef Salaam, Korey Wise and Kevin Richardson 

mighty mikko: a 1922 adaptation of Finnish fairytales 

time performance: taipa (ใ‚ฟใ‚คใƒ‘) and the Ukrainian pronunciation of Kyiv (ใ‚ญใƒผใ‚ฆ) are among Japan’s neologism—not characters—of the year  

mpi: social contagions, mass psychogenic illnesses, can lead to physical maladies—see also, and certain platforms may be superspreaders 

feliz navidad: beautiful vintage Christmas cards by artist Alejandro Rangel Hildalgo—via Marco McClean’s Memo of the Air  

blue light special: more Kmart reel-to-reel soundtracks—this one from December 1974  

heroes act: US supreme court admits more challenges to Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan

Tuesday 6 December 2022

itsenรคisyyspรคivรค (10. 364)

Celebrated as a national holiday, on this day in 1917 the Finnish Declaration of Independence was adopted by the country’s parliament (eduskunta), simultaneously severing its autonomy within Imperial Russia as a Grand Principality and forming a independent republic, prompted the Bolshevik Revolution, in turn caused by hardships experienced during World War I, and the subsequent abdication of Czar Nicholas II, who held the title of Grand Prince, which nullified the personal union between the two territories. Russian revolutionaries acknowledging a general right to self-determination—including the right of secession ”for the peoples of Russia”—the People’s Commissars, members including Lenin, Trotsky and Stalin, approved of Finland’s decision and recognised its status by late December and establishing diplomatic relations by January 1918.

Sunday 6 November 2022

king gustavus adolphus day (10. 278)

Celebrated annually on this day in Sweden (Gustav Adolfsdagen), Finland (Kustaa Aadolfin pรคivรค) and Estonia (Adolfi pรคev), becoming popular first in the nineteenth century some two centuries after the king’s death on the battlefield in Lรผtzen on this day in 1632 (OS 16 November—see previously). Whereas formerly observed with patriotic parades, contemporary traditions primarily consist of pastry-consumption, centred in Gรถteborg (a city founded by his person, styled Gustav II. Adolph) which has sold this confection known locally as Gustav Adolfskaelse since the 1850s and hosts a yearly competition to honour the best version without the royal, bas-relief portrait.

Tuesday 27 September 2022

maripedia (10. 173)

Our gratitude to the Everlasting Blรถrt and Present /&/ Correct for acquainting us to the venerable Helsinki textile company, Marimekko Oyj and being able to associate the distinctive patterns, like the unikko (Finnish for poppy), with an artist—namely Maija Isola—and a brand through this delightful library and look-book featuring designs from the early 1950s through today. Their fashion line climbed to international fame when Jacqueline Kennedy wore eight Marimekko dresses during her husband’s presidential campaign and again saw a resurgence in the 90s when clothing and accessories were featured on the series Sex and the City. Much more to explore at the links above.

Friday 8 April 2022

imperial ambitions

On this day in 1783, Czarina Catherine the Great announced the annexation, following a favourable outcome in the Russo-Turkic Wars against the Ottoman Empire, of Crimea, the right-bank of the Kuban region and the Taman peninsula that separates the Azov from the Black Sea. Other territorial expansion during long reign included parts of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Novorossiya (roughly corresponding to the Bessarabia region of Moldova and coastal areas of Ukraine) as well as Russian America. Also on this day in 1812, Czar Alexander I (grandson of the former) issued a decree to make Helsinki the capital of the semi-autonomous Grand Duchy of Finland—having seceded from Sweden and part of the Russian Empire from 1809 until 1917

Thursday 9 September 2021

7x7

terrorstorm: the garbage documentaries that fulled the cult of conspiracy theorist, fragility and New Age Paranoia  

chestbursters and facehuggers:an official Alien xenomorph cookbook to liven up the dinner table  

en hobbits รคventyr: Moomins’ creator Tove Jansson illustrates Tolkien’s work 

skeuomorphs: vestigial, hidden parts of consumer electronics  

docudrama: a guide to making a Netflix style serial on the topic of one’s choosing  

next sunday a.d.: a neglected remix, compilation of the MST3K Satellite of Love theme  

white rabbit: redpilling (previously) and the regime

Friday 20 August 2021

6x6

1:1: a growing collection of architectural models appearing in film and television—via Everlasting Blรถrt

brutsch 200 spatz: an unproduced concept microcar trialled in 1954  

hej, hello: the first episode of a Finnish television programme that taught English language skills featuring two very British bobbies and a cat on the Moon 

subway: a comprehensive map of subterranean Washington, DC—via Things Magazine  

purple prose: the 2021 Bulwer Lytton (previously) literature prize winners and dishonourable mentions—via Web Curios  

demosaicking: a biographical history of the pixel and its correspondence to reality

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 24 February 2021

6x6

street legal: these stunning automobile illustration are from a 1930 Soviet children’s book by Vladimir Tabi—via Present /&/ Correct 

conferment ceremony: Finnish PhD students receive a Doctoral Sword and Hat on graduation 

a coney island of the mind: Beat Poet and activist Lawrence Ferlinghetti passes away, aged 101 

train ร  grande vitesse: Roman roads of Gaul presented in the style TGV routes across France, Belgium and Switzerland—see previously  

epilogue: French electronic music duo Daft Punk disband after twenty-eight years  

usps: design proposals for the next generation US mail truck

Tuesday 24 November 2020

8x8

tanssinopettaja: a few dance lessons from the reigning king of disco, ร…ke Blomqvist

haunted bohemian shrine aunt: a truly cursed real estate listing from McMansion Hell (previously)—via Pluralistic  

ascertainment: Trump directs General Services Administration to credential President Elect Joe Biden’s transition team 

philately: United Nations honoured with a beautiful, retro series of postage stamps for its seventy-fifth anniversary 

mons rรผmker: China launches a unscrewed mission to the Moon to retrieve mineral samples from a young crater—all to be accomplished in the span of one lunar day (a terrestrial fortnight)  

after school special: times when television grappled with social issues in affecting ways—via the morning news  

monumenta antiquitatis: a scribe’s quill and quiver 

linus & lucy: tag your Charlie Brown dance—via Swiss Miss

Sunday 11 October 2020

facial action coding system

Originally conceived by anatomist Carl-Herman Hjortsjรถ in his 1969 study Mรคnniskans ansikte och mimiska sprรฅket (in English) as a system to qualify and quantify expression and movements, FACS as it was later adopted by multidisciplinary teams proved extremely valuable to psychologists in reading unconscious tells and signals, physicians assessing pain, and to animators in rendering true-to-life characters.  Of course, marketers soliciting feedback have also found this vein of research invaluable.

The underlying protocols articulated over the decades have become an algorithmic procedural to extract, isolate and understand human reaction and encode presentation accordingly—see also here and here for notable exceptions. The derivative Emotional Facial Action Coding System (EMFACS) and the Facial Action Coding System Affect Interpretation Dictionary (FACSAID), considering the grammar of musculature, give us among other things that it takes more energy to frown than to smile, indexing units and descriptors that characterise the range of reactions progressing from slight to maximum in terms of intensity.

Tuesday 8 September 2020

7x7

bouncing here and there and everywhere: a Finnish maths rocks band—via Things Magazine

wrr-fm: the strange and wonderful account of the first radio station in Texas—via Miss Cellania’s Links

infinity kisses: Carolee Schneemann (*1939 – †2019) experimental montage of her smooching her cats

smashedmouths: an all deep fake rendition of All Star using wav2lip subroutine—via Waxy

the medium is the message: hunting down the first mention of cybersex

eeo: Trump bans diversity training, citing them as divisive, engendering resentment and fundamentally un-American

recessive traits: heredity illustrated with gummy bears