Sunday 18 February 2024

ั€ะตะฒะพะปัŽั†ั–ั ะณั–ะดะฝะพัั‚ั– (11. 359)

At the end of the Euromaidan protests, a series of demonstrations and civil unrest beginning the previous November in response to the president’s sudden reversal on signing the European Union-Ukraine Association Agreement—instead against the Verkhova Rada choosing to forge closer ties with Russia and the Eurasian Economic Union—and against government corruption and abuse of power, the Revolution of Dignity began on this day in Kyiv in 2014 with violent clashes between authorities and the opposition. Five days of rallying resulted in the ousting of Viktor Yanukovich and the restoration of the amendments to the constitution put in place a decade earlier (won during the Orange Revolution, installing a parliamentary system that put checks on the office of the presidency). Having fled the city for Kharkiv, a majority of the rada voted to remove Yanukovych from office on 22 February and free political prisoners, and in absentia, Yanukovych appealed to Russia for help in this “coup” and reinstall him. Within a few days, Russia deployed peacekeeping troops to Crimea, occupying the peninsula and eventually annexing it and stoking secession in regions in the south and east of the country.

synchronoptica

one year ago: the King Biscuit Flour Hour (1973), assorted links to revisit using the seas to pull carbon from the air

two years ago: more links to enjoy, a collection of dynamic historical maps plus more time-slice photography

three years ago: a tour of North Korea, ditches and retaining walls plus therblig units

four years ago: corporate Christian America, the art collective Inges Idee plus RIP Andrew Weatherall

five years ago: a stellar eclipse, more official state crap, Minnie Pearl, Petri dish lamps plus the Know-Nothing’s first political convention

Saturday 30 December 2023

mmxxiii (11. 224)

As this calendar draws to a close and we look forward to 2024, we again take time to reflect on a selection of some of the things and events that took place during the past year. Thanks as always for visiting. We’ve made it through another wild year together.

january: Hundred of thousands pay their respects, attend funeral of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, presided over by his predecessor in Vatican City. Supporters of defeated president Jair Bolsanaro stormed the capitol in Brasilia.  Caches of official records and classified files have been discovered mishandled and stored in offices used by Joe Biden after his vice-presidency. Yardbirds guitarist Jeff Beck passes away, aged 78.  Lisa Marie Presley, artist and singer, has died, aged 54.  Wracked with successive and endemic problems, Haiti descends into anarchy after the last of its elected officials depart the country.  Singer David Crosby has passed away, aged 81.  Jacinda Arden steps down as Prime Minister of New Zealand.  US and Germany agree to send tanks to Ukraine.  A group of five police officers in Memphis, Tennessee brutally murder Tyre Nichols with no justifiable provocation. After speaking out against the criminalisation of same-sex partnerships and denial of basic civil rights, the Pope will journey to South Sudan, joined by the Archbishop of Canterbury and the head of the Church of Scotland for a dialogue with local church leaders preaching a gospel of intolerance.  Lisa Loring, the original Wednesday Addams, passes away, aged 64.

february: After announcing that conflict with China was on the near horizon, the US acquires additional bases in the Philippines to encircle its rival and potential adversary.  Just days ahead of US Secretary of State’s visit to Beijing, NORAD announces the detection of a Chinese spy balloon over western America, prompting Blinkin to cancel his trip. Fashion designer and perfumier Paco Rabane passes away, aged 88.  The EU holds a summit in Kyiv on Ukraine’s bid for membership.  Former Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf passes away, aged 77, after contending with a long illness.  A powerful earthquake on the border of Syria and Tรผrkiye claims over five thousand lives, the death toll soon quadrupling.  Songwriter Burt Bacharach passes away, aged 94.  Facing a series of crises and increasing pressure from the war in neighbouring Ukraine, the government of Moldova is dissolved.  Top-tier Czech footballer Jakub Jankto comes out as homosexual, the first professional player to do so.  Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon surprises her party by announcing her departure with no clear successor.  Actor Raquel Welch passes away, aged 82.  North Korea resumes missile tests in the Pacific and the US warns that China may attempt to arm Russia and delegates at the Munich Security Conference urge immediate fortification of Ukraine in order to prevent imminent defeat.  Stand-up comedian and tv detective Richard Belzer dies, aged 78.  Humanitarian and former US president Jimmy Carter enters hospice care.  Just ahead of the one year anniversary of the start of the invasion, Joe Biden makes a surprise visit to Kyiv.  Tech companies and media outlets continue tranche after tranche of staff layoffs.  US House Speaker gives previously unreleased trove of January Sixth insurrection footage to conservative pundit Tucker Carlson.  The Russian invasion of Ukraine marks its one year anniversary.

march: Evidence emerges that Ukrainian saboteurs were responsible for the underwater explosions that ruptured the NordStream I pipeline though questions remain.  In the second largest bank collapse in the history of the US and the first of its kind since the 2008 crash, the Silicone Valley Bank servicing tech-sector start-up has become insolvent and went into government receivership.  Thousands of civil servants in France go on strike in protest of legislation to raise retirement age.  After Manhattan district attorney investigation into Trump directing hush-money to Stormy Daniels, US presidential candidate announces that he expects to be arrested and calls for protests.  Mounting evidence seems to vilify suggestions that COVID originated from a lab leak in Wuhan.  Despite attempts to contain the contagion, the fall out from the crisis with California fintech institutions cause havoc with banking stocks worldwide.  UBS absorbs a beleaguered Credit Suisse.  Xi and Putin enter an apparent entente against American influence.   UN warns that time has run out on combating runaway climate change.  Deadly, hour-long tornado strikes ravage rural Mississippi and Alabama.  Intel Corp founder and thinker behind the eponymous law about the exponential improvement of technology Alan Moore passes away, aged 94.

april: Trump arraigned in the Manhattan district court over falsifying business records pursuant to hush-money payments to Stormy Daniels.  A US federal judge in Texas suspends the 2000 approval by the country’s food and drug regulatory body on the safety of an abortion pill, restricting its use.  Demanding stricter gun-laws in the wake of another school and church mass-shooting, the Tennessee state legislator expel two Black lawmakers for their stance.  Preoccupied with filibusters over trans-rights, the Nebraska state senate fails to pass a single law in this year’s legislative session.  Tory ministers begin to walk-back plans for a full-scale repeal of EU regulations following an inter-party revolt against the post-Brexit arrangement.  Phasing out of nuclear energy entirely, Germany closes its final remaining reactors.  Revival military leaders have brought Sudan to the brink of civil war as factions of the regular army face the paramilitary rapid response force in Khartoum.  More media organizations fold as ad revenue dries up and newsrooms turn to AI to generate copy, like BuzzFeed and Vice being the two latest to declare bankruptcy and curtail operations.  Comedian and creator of Dame Edna Barry Humphries has passed away, aged 89.  Civil rights activist and entertainer Harry Belafonte dies, aged 96.  Joe Biden declares his party’s candidacy for a second term for president of the United States.

may: Gordon Lightfoot, folk legend, dies, aged 84.  The WHO declares the global COVID-19 health emergency over.  Charles III and Camilla are enthroned during a lavish ceremony in London.  A jury finds Donald Trump guilty on the charge of sexual abuse and battery, labelling him a predator and pest.  Elon Musk appoints a former television advertising executive as head of Twitter as he announces plans to transform the ailing social network into a multi-purpose app similar to China’s WeChat.  Harry and Meghan are recklessly pursued by paparazzi in New York—with strong echoes of the death of his mum’s fatal encounter.  China begins to call in loans to some of the world’s most impoverished countries after making them dependent on cheap credit.  Tina Turner passed away peacefully, aged 83, in her home outside of Zurich—Simply the Best.  Florida governor Ron DeSantis announces his presidential candidacy on Twitter.

june: The death toll of a catastrophic train crash in India approaches three hundred with countless more injured.  After months of drama and tension, the US raises its debt ceiling to avoid default.  A dam breach, blamed on Russia, causes massive flooding along the Dnipro river and forces tens of thousands to
evacuate.  Astrud Gilberto, the Queen of Bossa Nova, and original singer of the infinitely covered ‘Girl from Ipanema,’ has passed away, aged 83.  Wildfires rage in Canada, smoke enveloping the Eastern Seaboard.  The awaited Ukraine counteroffensive begins.  Four children who survived an airplane crash in the jungles are Columbia are found alive having survived the forty day ordeal.  Donald Trump is indicted on federal charges for retention of classified documents imperilling US national security. Boris Johnson quits Parliament ahead of an official rebuke from the House of Commons over Partygate. Ted Kaczynski, the Unabomber and CIA UK Ultra test subject, is dead, aged 81.  Media tycoon and former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi passes away, aged 86.  NATO holds large scale military exercises in Germany.  The whistleblower and leaker behind the Pentagon Papers, Daniel Ellsberg, passes away, aged 92.  A submersible taking a compliment of five tourist to the wreck of the Titanic is lost.  Mercenary Wagner Group turns critical of the invasion of Ukraine and stages a mutiny after announced take-over by the Russian defence ministry, occupying Rostov-on-Don and proposing a march on Moscow, reaching half-way to the capital before a truce is negotiated by the Belarusian president.  France riots over the death of a teenager after being shot by a police officer.  US Supreme Court overturns affirmative action in college admissions, student loan forgiveness and LGBTQI+ anti-discrimination laws, though at least on the last case, it looks as if evidence was fabricated.  

july: Joseph Pedott, marketing virtuoso, passed away, aged 91.  Israel conducts a major military raid into a Palestinian refugee camp in Jenin.  Despite warnings from humanitarians and a ban in place for their use by over a hundred countries, the US is sending surplus cluster-bombs from the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts to Ukraine.  Catastrophic flooding devastates Vermont and other parts of New England.  Hollywood’s Screen Actors Guild joins the writers’ strike.  Jane Birkin, singer, activist and French icon, dies aged 76.  Crooner Tony Bennett passes away, aged 96.  After months of media hype and anticipation, the Barbieheimer phenomenon comes to cinemas.  Singer Sinรฉad O’Connor has died, aged 56—nothing compares 2 u.  Hunter Biden appears before court on charges of tax evasion and illegal gun-ownership, days after boudoir photos of him enter the congressional record, possibly in violation of laws against revenge porn. The Nigeria government falls to a military coup d’etat with the president taken into custody.  Paul Reubens, the actor who portrayed Pee-Wee Herman, passed away aged 70, after a private bout with cancer.  Voyager 2 after two weeks of radio silence has re-established contact with Earth.

august: Donald Trump is indicted for his role in fanning the flames that culminated in the January Sixth raid on the Capitol and attempts to over turn the 2020 election.  Wildfires devastate the Hawaiian island of Maui and the town of Yellowknife is evacuated as forests are engulfed in Canada.  A rare hurricane, the first in eighty years, passes over Baja California, causing flooding and heavy rains, a year’s worth in a single day.  Ex-Wagner chief and senior leadership perish in an airplane crash.  Indian lands a probe at the lunar south pole.  Trump is arrested, booked and released on bail after in Fulton County Georgia.  Long-time US game show host Bob Barker dies, aged 99 (playing by Price-is-Right rules until the end).  An unprecedented hurricane strikes Florida’s Big Bend region between the panhandle and peninsula.  “Margaritaville” singer Jimmy Buffett passes away, aged 76.

september: Drought and wildfires are followed by flooding in Greece. An earthquake strikes the High Atlas Mountains in Morocco, killing hundreds and destroying parts of Marrakesh.  Rupert Murdoch steps down from News Corp.  Fighting erupts in Nagorno-Karabakh, the breakaway region of Azerbaijan. After more than five months, the Hollywood Writers’ Guild reaches a deal with the studio and ends its strike.  In solidarity with striking autoworkers, US president Joe Biden joins the picket line, the first for a sitting holder of the high office.  As counter-programming to the second Republican debate, Trump also makes an appearance with union workers.

october: Hamas and other terror groups launch a surprise attack on Israel, causing Tel Aviv to declare war against Gaza with thousands killed on both sides.  Earthquakes in Afghanistan leaves over a thousand dead.  An eastern Pacific tropical cyclone devastates Acapulco with hundreds killed and many more displaced. 

november: Three-hundred thousand marched for peace in Palestine through London during Armistice Day celebrations after earlier rallies drawing in huge numbers to urge Israel enact a humanitarian cease-fire in Gaza.  Pope Francis dismisses an ultra conservative bishop in Texas who criticised the pontiff's more progressive stance on non-gender-conforming members of the Church. OpenAI’s board of directors have ousted founder and CEO Sam Altman, the chief representative of the chatbot revolution and proponent for regulatory framework, for his lack of candour and transparency.  Microsoft immediately hired Altman and fellow defectors.  Humanitarian and former US First Lady Rosalynn Carter passes away.  Rightwing populist Geert Wilders wins a controlling share of the Netherlands’ parliament. A temporary cease-fire is called in Gaza to allow the release of hostages and more humanitarian aid to enter the beleaguered city.  Henry Kissinger dead at one-hundred.

december: Fabulist and fraudster George Santos expelled from the US congress.  Israel renews attacks on Palestine after a temporary truce. Legendary television producer Norman Lear passes away at 101. Israeli forces extend attacks in southern Gaza, where many fled to avoid the violence.  Ousted US Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy tenders his retirement from Congress, leaving the Republicans a controlling majority of only two seats.  The EU enacts the world’s first comprehensive AI regulatory framework.  A volcanic eruption occurs on the Icelandic Reykjanes peninsula with Sundhnรบkagรญgar dumping lava and prompting evacuations.  Trump confidant and former New York City mayor Rudi Guliani declares bankrupcy after being ordered to pay nearly one hundred-fifty million dollars in restitution for libelling Georgia election workers.  Houthi pirates attacking cargo ships in the Red Sea cause transportation to round the Cape of Good Hope.  A mass shooting in Prague leaves fifteen individuals dead.  Missing Russian opposition figure Alexei Nalvalny emerges, detained in a penal colony above the Arctic Circle.  A heavy barrage of missiles hit Kyiv as US financial and materiel backing driess up.Veteran German parliamentarian Wolfgang Schรคuble passes away, aged 81.  Jacques Delors, statesman who helped shaped the European Union dead at 98.  Entertainer Tommy Smothers dies at 86.  Israeli bombardment of Gaza continues, with the death toll of civilians surpassing twenty-thousand.

Monday 17 July 2023

tรชte de pont (10. 891)

Within hours of the announcement that a deal brokered by Tรผrkiye that would allow vital Ukrainian grain shipments would be allowed to resume from Black Sea ports, forces attacked (sabotaged for the second time) the bridge linking the Russian mainland to the peninsula illegally annexed by Russian in 2014, prompting the Kremlin to call off the deal and continue its naval blockade. The overland corridor across the Kerch straits which allows would-be vacation-goers to bypass most of the war zone is also, according to Ukrainian military intelligence, a logistics hub for moving men and materiel deeper into Ukrainian territory and the multi-billion dollar, nineteen kilometres long bridge was considered a prestige project. The EU and UN accuse Russia of weaponising food staples as the embargo will only exacerbate shortage and inflation in developing nations dependent on these exports.

Monday 10 July 2023

7x7 (10. 871)

terracotta army: new excavations in Shaanxi reveal the site contains more than the familiar infantry unit—see previously  

mizhuvkhamy: a group of Ukrainians documenting the graffiti left by Russian occupiers for future research on the invasion 

jazz kissas: the ambient sounds of Japan’s listening cafรฉs—see also 

i never thought i’d be cheering for zuckerberg: in response to the runaway success of Instagram’s Twitter mode, Elon Musk threatens to sue, resorts to name-calling  

adequacy decision: EU rules that Big Data has sufficient controls in place, with the US to monitor compliance, to allow transfer to US servers  

vilnius: developments to watch during this week’s NATO summit in the Lithuanian capital  

dromolaxia vizatzia: Bronze Age tombs of unknown rulers discovered in Cyprus

Sunday 9 July 2023

6x6 (10. 869)

kherson herbarium: botanists risked their lives in war-torn Ukraine to save a unique plant collection—see also  

public access: cute stuffed animals jam to vintage records at Otto’s Shrunken Head Tiki Bar & Lounge  

mctrains: a look at the fast food giant’s failed ventures 

fรถhnkrankheit: alpine downdrafts attributed to outbreaks of madness—via Strange Company  

msg sphere: a colossal orb covers an events venue in Las Vegas  

weedwork: a tour of the first cannabis coworking space in New York City

synchronoptica 

one year ago: Tron (1982), the first animated adaptation of The Hobbit, Chroegraphy for Copy Machine (1991), the Charles Bridge of Prague (1357) plus assorted links to revisit

two years ago: past life regression for pets, the presidency of Millard Fillmore plus transiting through Denmark

three years ago: more adventures along the Moselle plus independence for the Republic of Palau (1981)

four years ago: electromagnetic pulse experiments (1961) plus the minimal republics of Rubรฉn Martรญn de Lucas

five years ago: spider ballooning, salterns from above, the Brexit Bulldog resigns plus artist Joshua Reynolds

 

Sunday 25 June 2023

ะฒะพััั‚ะฐะฝะธะต (10. 832)

More than half-way to the capital under lockdown and preparing for a siege with the whereabouts of Putin unknown, a negotiated truce brokered by Alexander Lukashenko at the behest of the Russian president saw Wagner group boss call off the march to Moscow with blanket amnesty for the mercenaries who participated in the insurrection (with the option of enlisting in the regular army) and the boss Yevgeny Prigozhin’s exile to Belarus, facing no criminal charges. Praised for his efforts in preserving peace within the federation, Lukashenko can possibly use the de-escalation as a bargaining chip to forestall the its planned annexation by Russia and prevent deployment of Belarusian armed forces in the Ukrainian occupation and the abrupt turn of events leaves more unresolved, particularly the standing of Russian leadership, brought to the brink by the tantalising promise of rebellion.

synchronoptica 

one year ago: assorted links to revisit 

two years ago: jimoto—local favour, weird vintage McDonald’s commercials plus word jazz on colours 

three years ago: more on exonyms and demonyms, Rhode Island’s name gets less racist, Blade Runner (1982), butterfly spotting plus returning the Lamentation of Christ 

four years ago: the first Rainbow Flag flown (1978) plus Dutch bicycle culture 

five years ago: cutting off Qatar, a trip to Urspringen plus the adventuresome Piccard brothers

Saturday 24 June 2023

ะผัั‚ะตะถ (10. 830)

Mercenary forces of the Wagner group have mutinied following escalating tensions between the organisation’s leader, Yevgeny Prigozhin, and the Russian Ministry of Defence, with allegations that corruption and incompetency has squandered initial successes in the invasion of Ukraine and talk of the MoD nationalising these soldiers-of-fortune after rather unrestrained criticism which dismissed Russian pretexts for occupation as only benefiting the parasitical elites who depend on the grace and favour of Putin to retain their standing. Wagner troops captured Rostov-on-Don, the command and control centre in the occupied Donbas region and have crossed over into Russian-proper territory, reportedly marching onward to Moscow. Characterising the oligarchs and the extreme inequality between the comfortably oblivious and those families sending their sons to fight and die for an illegal and pointless war as a prelude to the social unrest that sparked the 1917 revolution against the aristocracy, Prigozhin apparently brought the wrath of the Russian army on one unit, firing missiles at a camp of Wagner troops—though this open provocation quickly transformed into a rallying point with a column advancing first to the southern city of Voronezh. In response, Chechnya has mobilised its military against the attempted coup in order to “preserve Russian unity” and the Kremlin has increased security. Events are unfolding at an unprecedented speed and some voices are pronouncing the beginnings of if not a civil war then surely a severe blow to Putin’s hold on power.

Thursday 25 May 2023

8x8 (10. 765)

simply the best: tributes pour in from around the world for the Queen of Rock and Roll, Tina Turner—previously

fabric swatches meticulously arranged: piecing together the mystery of the dress diary of Missus Anne Sykes—via Nag of the Lake  

midnight train: routes of Europe’s overnighters—see previously—via Kottke  

pasteurised prepared cheese product: attempts at rehabilitating the impoverished state of American caseiculture  

cotton tree: Sierra Leone’s iconic landmark brought down by a heavy storm  

ะบะพะฝั†ะตะฟั‚ัƒะฐะปัŒะฝั‹ะน ะบะพะฝัะตั€ะฒะฐั‚ะธะทะผ: chief of Russian mercenary forces, retreating from Bakhmut, says that the offensive in Ukraine has backfired  

chintzy: a history of the calico, block printed textile

hollywood babylon: occultist and underground maker of experimental short films, Kenneth Anger has passed away—see previously

Wednesday 3 May 2023

no-fly zone (10. 716)

Responding to accusations from the Kremlin that Ukraine carried out alleged drone strikes overnight to assassinate the leader of the Russian Federation with “We don’t attack Putin or Moscow. We fight on our territory,” Volodymyr Zelensky frames the attack as a false-flag operation and a pretence for retaliation. Unverified footage being circulated appears to the aftermath of a thwarted operation, with no casualties and Putin being absent from the capitol compound at the time, both straining credulity and calling into question the degree of protection that Mr Putin really is afforded and whether the security theatre is commensurate with the apparent paranoia. The culmination of a recent series of sabotage blamed on Ukraine, the Russian government is labelling the “Kyiv regime” as terrorists to be eliminated.

Thursday 27 April 2023

atomgrad (10. 701)

A closed town founded in 1970 to serve the neighbouring Chernobyl Nuclear Power Station but not restricted like other cities and a showcase of Soviet engineering and innovation, Prypriat (ะŸั€ะธ́ะฟสผัั‚ัŒ) was evacuated on this day in 1986 following the disaster and has remained, within the exclusion zone, a time capsule slowly being reclaimed by nature and a draw for urban explorers. One particular attraction is the amusement park, slated for a grand opening for May Day celebrations in a state of abandon and ruin, with the iconic ferris wheel (ะšั€ัƒะณะพะฒะพะน ะพะฑะทะพั€, circular overview) photographed as a symbol of the catastrophe and the delayed announcement of the danger, a population of some fifty thousand imperilled by high radition exposure for over thirty-six hours since the initial fire and steam explosion.

Wednesday 29 March 2023

the first transport is away—repeat—the first transport is away (10. 644)

Via Boing Boing, in an admittedly a small but welcome, uplifting and surreal condolence, Jedi knight and accomplished voice actor Mark Hamill is issuing incoming warnings for the beleaguered and embattled people of Ukraine, announcing on an app connected to the ministry of defence, “Attention—air raid alert. Proceed to the nearest shelter,” accompanying the barrage of sirens preceding a missile attack from Russia. With the further advisement of, “Don’t be careless—your overconfidence is your weakness,” once the danger passes and the air alert is over, Hamill leaves attendants with “May the Force be with you.”

Saturday 18 March 2023

7x7 (10. 617)

aquifer: new research suggests that rocky exoplanets may have ways to sequester and protect their water until their host stars stabilise 

blogoversary: a very happy twenty-fifth to Kottke—home of fine hypertext products 

icc: the Hague issues an arrest warrant for Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin and accomplice over child trafficking, forced adoptions from Ukraine to occupied territories  

hee-haw: an appreciation of donkeys—by any name—see previously  

the jabalaires: the gospel group active from the 1930s to the 1950s that helped inform the development of rap music  

๐Ÿ‘: a selection of funny posts from Super Punch  

hot neptune: astronomers watch as an exoplanet has its atmosphere and ocean stripped away

Friday 17 March 2023

9x9 (10. 614)

telegeography: the current map of submarine cables connecting the world  

blogoversary: a belated birthday greeting to Fancy Notions 

rightish: Microsoft touts AI’s factual errors as “usefully wrong”  

goldenes buch: German communities’ official, historic guest logs are a chronicle of the times and Zeitzeugnisse  

media matters: if journalists cannot call out propaganda—what’s even the the point of coverage—via Kottke  

gว’utรณu mฤo nรญng—literally dog’s head, cat’s meow: cute Chinese animal transcriptions for English salutations  

seoul ring: the world’s largest spokeless ferris wheel being built in South Korea  

linkrot: more thoughts on three broken links and internet conservation  

mappa mundi: the thirteenth century chart of the mundane and exalted—see previously

Monday 20 February 2023

7x7 (10. 561)

posse: Cory Doctorow’s Pluralistic turns three  

surprise visit: President Biden makes unannounced appearance in Kyiv, just ahead of the one year anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine  

meta verified: other social media networks want to sell you blue checks 

the hawthorne effect: one of the most influential social studies of the past century is also the one of the worst—via Damn Interesting’s Curated Links  

architectural follies: a strangely satisfying collection of faux ruins—via Messy Nessy Chic  

msc: key points from the Munich Security Conference  

e pluribus unum: the numismatics of coppers and silver coinage of the American colonies

Tuesday 31 January 2023

the golden arches theory (10. 512)

On the anniversary of the opening of the first McDonald’s establishment in Pushkin Square in 1990—an earlier earnest effort was undertaken by the Canadian master franchise for the 1980 Summer Olympic Games, famously boycotted by America, realising the host city offered no fast food options, arranged to open two pop-up restaurants by the main stadium but the plan was vetoed at the last minute by Moscow’s mayor, it’s a good occasion to visit the above adage of globalisation from Thomas Friedman that no belligerents both host McDonald’s. This conflict prevention measure is flawed, however, with the US invasion of Panama, the bombing of Serbia, Lebanon, the annexation of Crimea which shut down Russian outlets temporarily and the divesture of the company following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Nearly forty-thousand guests were served that day, queuing in the cold for hours.

Friday 20 January 2023

entente, dรฉtente (10. 482)

NATO leaders and affiliates met on the US Air Base in Ramstein with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy to discuss continued commitment to arming the beleaguered nation against Russian incursion and again press donor countries on the issue of the delivery of tanks and other heavy armaments. The US and Germany (newly minted Defence Minister Boris Pistorius on his second day on the job) unwilling to pledge either their Abrams tanks or their Leopard 2 Panzer (many European militaries are equipped with this German-made assault vehicle but cannot export them without German consent) and waiting for the other party to make the first move. This coyness is continued in the argument that stocks of the Soviet era weapons that Ukrainian forces are accustomed to are running low and that Western models are notoriously fussy, high maintenance and require specialised training to operate, but conceals the more salient factor of firing range that puts Russian territory within reach and could swiftly escalate the conflict already characterised as a proxy war between NATO and Russia on one side and dread hesitation on the other.

Saturday 14 January 2023

8x8 (10. 417)

mouldiness manifesto: a celebration of the architecture of Friedensreich Regentag Dunkelbunt Hundertwasser—see previously here and here 

olympus mons: detailed maps of Martian terrain from the United States Geological Survey 

cobra mist: a tour of the deserted Orford Ness, the UK’s Area 51 

the george santos special: disgraced congressional representative (see previously) has a really specific skill—via Super Punch 

yurt of invincibility: Kazakh community in Ukraine provides warm-banks, accommodations for those without power  

welcome to garbage town: or how three decades of social media urged us to stop talking and start buying things  

portland district: the US Army Corps has a collection of monumental felines with their engineering projects—for those not yet with their 2023 calendars—see previously 

triple aught foundation: revisiting Michael Heizer’s City in the Nevada desert—via Things Magazine

Thursday 12 January 2023

7x7 (10. 410)

salt of the earth: a tour of Ukraine’s Soledar salt mines—presently under siege 

black mass: Boston is hosting the Satanic Temple’s SatanCon—see previously

verpertilio-homo: what the Great Moon Hoax of 1835 reveals about contemporary misinformation  

lhs 475ฮฒ: JWST discovers its first exoplanet—via Damn Interesting’s Curated Links  

discretionary time off: salaried Microsoft employees given unlimited vacation leave  

jot and tittle: an unorthodox scholar ferrets out biblical forgeries  

russie d’aujourd’hui: a look back at Soviet boosterism and propaganda publications

Sunday 8 January 2023

ะปัŽะดะธะฝะฐ ะท ะบั–ะฝะพะฐะฟะฐั€ะฐั‚ะพะผ (10. 396)

Released on this day in 1929, the experimental Soviet documentary by Dziga Vertov—with camera work by his brother, the eponymous Mikhail Kaufman and edited by Vertov’s wife Yelizaveta Svilova—and produced by the studio All-Ukrainian Photo Cinema Administration (ะ’ะฃะคะšะฃ/VUFKU), Man with a Movie Camera (Kinoapparartom) portrays contemporary urban life in six parts from dawn to dusk in Kyiv, Odesa and Moscow. With no actors or intertitles (in the silent film), its innovative cinematography and editing, reverse footage, close-ups, tracking shots, jump cuts and split screens were to radical for most critics, it has been since re-evaluated and recognised as one of the most significant works in movie history.

Friday 30 December 2022

cccp/cpcp (10. 371)

While recognised as a union of soviet republics since 1919 with a federated, central government based in Moscow, the Soviet Union as it existed (though borders were not static during the seventy-two year period) until its dissolution in 1991 came into being effective this day in 1922 after the signing of the Treaty on the Creation of the Union Soviet Socialist Republics (ะ”ะตะบะปะฐั€ะฐั†ะธั ะธ ะดะพะณะพะฒะพั€ ะพะฑ ะพะฑั€ะฐะทะพะฒะฐะฝะธะธ ะกะพัŽะทะฐ ะกะพะฒะตั‚ัะบะธั… ะกะพั†ะธะฐะปะธัั‚ะธั‡ะตัะบะธั… ะ ะตัะฟัƒะฑะปะธะบ), negotiated and approved by delegations from the Russian, Byelorussian, Transcauscasian (containing Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia) and Ukrainian SSRs. The preamble and twenty-six articles outlines the imperative of forging a union as a counterweight to the political ideology of responsible for the Great War through exploitative capitalism, colonialism cultural hegemony with a transnational society based on mutual trust, solidarity and cooperation.