Sunday 25 February 2024

brunswick, bailiwick (11. 381)

After a failed and humiliating attempt to naturalise the then-stateless Adolf Hitler by appointing him to a professorship of the fabricated discipline of “Politics and Organic Sociology” at the state college, rejected by academia for never having finished school and revealing the the subterfuge and subjecting them both to ridicule, the minister for the Interior and Education of Freistaat Braunschweig of the Weimar Republic—created from the former duchy of discontiguous holdings following the revolution of 1918—Nazi Party politician Dietrich Klagges was successful on this day in 1932 of procuring a government posting and citizenship for Hitler as a member of the state’s legation with the Reichsrat (upper house of parliament) in Berlin. This posting, in accordance with design, allowed Hitler to stand as a candidate for the office of president. Although the ascension was quickly and summarily rejected by the Reichskanzler and Klagges was punished subsequently for the public embarrassment with the abolishment of his polity (the only Nazi controlled state within the republic, an act recapitulated by the occupying powers of the Soviet Union and the British, dividing it into East and West Germany) and Klagges reduced to a provencal governor, Hitler nonetheless rose quickly in the ranks while the apologist and disgraced politician enabled him.

Monday 19 February 2024

8x8 (11. 364)

moses j robinette: for US Presidents’ Day, researchers find that Lincoln pardoned Biden’s great-great grandfather  

we are a nation in decline, a failing nation: with an incredible lack of empathy or courage, Trump compares the murder of Alexei Navalny to his own legal and political woes—see more  

you never forget your first: the evolution of the holiday that started as a celebration of the birthday of George Washington—see up top

first wives’ club: searching for the likeness of Martha Washington and AI creative chaos

ask not what the drama can do for you, but what you can do for the drama: Real Housewives catchphrases for the American presidents 

stats: scholars access American administrations—Lincoln still number one, with FDR displacing Washington—and Biden ranked in the top fifteen, via Miss Cellania 

non-interventionism: America’s isolationist’s policy on the up-wing—see previviously 

i cannot tell a lie: George Washington’s parents are rather upset he chopped down that cherry tree

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.


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

Friday 16 February 2024

forgive me if this sounds pompous, but it’s better to die standing up than live on your knees (11. 354)

Against the backdrop of the Munich Security Conference during which his widow was scheduled to speak, the Russian presidential election less than a month away, Trump’s rubbishing of the NATO alliance, the US withholding foreign aid for Ukraine and the prospect of another term locked, vocal critic of Vladimir Putin and official corruption Alexei Navalny has been found dead in the remote arctic penal colony where he has been transferred recently, detained for the past three years, foregoing exile in Germany. Recuperating from a case of poisoning in 2021 that was blamed on the Kremlin, Navalny choose to return to Russia and register to run for the presidency (having finished in a close second against the incumbent mayor of Moscow in 2013 despite the backing of Putin’s political machine) and accept almost certain arrest in order to continue his oppositional stance. Navalny was serving a nineteen year sentence, charged with the crime of extremism.

Wednesday 14 February 2024

news cycle (11. 350)

The US presidential campaign season has been underway for a long, long time already and with ten months to go, we are already feeling the fatigue and feeling a bit overwhelmed keeping up with it all, and it’s remarkable to notice how much is already packed into the events of one day. Whilst arguably from the present perspective of just a few days hence it does not quite rise to the constellation of reporting on the seventh of October 2016 that saw the release of the infamous Access Hollywood tape, Obama announcing Russian election meddling, a possible case of Kompromat for Trump and the leak of Clinton’s campaign manager’s emails, incredibly the backhanded and cruel exoneration of Joe Biden for retaining classified materials over his perceived failing memory and mental acuity, was overshadowed by Donald Trump, speaking at a campaign rally, nearly simultaneously, dragging out a tied and false accusation of the NATO alliance being full of freeloaders dependent on the US and taking advantage of its largess, not only said that he would not defend a fellow member under attack by Russia, he would moreover encourage the invasion. While some media outlets are refusing to turn their attention from Biden’s gaffes and lapses—pulled selectively and from testimony given during interviews conducted (also on 7 October) just as Hamas began incursions into Israel, and some still take a dismissive tone on Trump’s words, the rest of the world is understandably grim and anxious at the thought of another term.

Sunday 11 February 2024

8x8 (11. 343)

๐Ÿ˜ถ: a Good Internet cross-posting of Good Music, featuring a mix of tracks from Wilco, Kim Gordon, the Beths and many more  

nato backstab: in a Drudge Report style headline, the Huffington Post reports Trump at a campaign event that he might encourage Russia to attack ‘deadbeat’ allies 

internal monologue: philosophers explore new field of the inner voice at the intersection of psychiatry  

compliance moats: anti-anti-monopolists and data-brokers wrangle over regulation 

story-walk: using olfaction with narrative to simulate reflection and retention  

certificate of honourable discharge: explore the best-preserved Roman military diploma (constitutio) in a new 3D exhibit  

grand bargain: US Supreme Court seems poised to keep Trump on state ballots but deny him blanket immunity 

i’m only sleeping: a Grammy winning painted music video of the Revolver track from Em Cooper

Thursday 25 January 2024

11x11 (11. 292)

liar’s dividend: digital propaganda and implausible deniability—via the New Shelton wet/dry 

working cows dairy: a collection of superlative cheeses—via Kottke 

the blazing world: a 1666 novel considered the first world of science fiction by a woman author 

everglades jetport: uncovering the ruins of a failed supersonic runway floundering in the in the Florida wetlands—see previously  

the furby panic: US National Security Agency compelled to release a trove of documents outlining their ban of the toy as a potential instrument of espionage—via Waxy  

press-gang: while most news outlets block AI crawlers used to scrape training data, right-wing media welcomes them—see previously 

mac@40: a website showing every model of the Apple computer as it enters its fifth decade  

winter in aizu: a woodblock series from Sosaku Hanga artist Kiyoshi Saito 

you are both so much more than kenough: Hillary Clinton weighs in the Oscar nominations for Barbie—via Super Punch  

time in a bottle: one bar’s water-clock has drained—though we’d not be adverse to a Harvey Wallbanger  

white stork: the Ukraine war-sandbox and the rise of the AI-Military Complex—see previously


one year ago: data-scrapping and copyright

two years ago: MediaWiki Day, more custom cars, Roman milestones plus an inexplicable fast food mascot

three years ago: your daily demon: Valac, assorted links to revisit plus the Torlonia Marbles

four years ago: vintage virtual dressing rooms, happy birthday Volodymyr Zelenskyy, more on the US Space Force plus Mendelssohn’s Wedding March

five year ago:  photojournalist Jessie Tarbox Beals, a Droste homage, more links to enjoy, a Trump associate arrested plus cardinal notions

Wednesday 24 January 2024

refractive index (11. 291)

Opening on this day in 1955 in New York City’s Museum of Modern Art, sparking many revivals and alternative exhibitions, the curation of some five hundred images from all over the world was the culmination of the the career of Edward Steichen, director of the MoMA’s department of photography—having earlier played a significant role in legitimising the medium as a recognised art form—drawing record-setting number of visitors. The ambitious project’s title was taken from the stanza of the Carl Sandburg poem, written as a prologue for the show: 

There is only one man in the world and his name is All Men.
There is only one woman in the world and her name is All Women.
There is only one child in the world and the child's name is All Children.

People! flung wide and far, born into toil, struggle, blood and dreams, among lovers, eaters, drinkers, workers, loafers, fighters, players, gamblers. Here are ironworkers, bridge men, musicians, sandhogs, miners, builders of huts and skyscrapers, jungle hunters, landlords, and the landless, the loved and the unloved, the lonely and abandoned, the brutal and the compassionate—one big family hugging close to the ball of Earth for its life and being. Everywhere is love and love-making, weddings and babies from generation to generation keeping the Family of Man alive and continuing.  

If the human face is “the masterpiece of God” it is here then in a thousand fateful registrations. Often the faces speak that words can never say. Some tell of eternity and others only the latest tattings.  Child faces of blossom smiles or mouths of hunger are followed by homely faces of majesty carved and worn by love, prayer and hope, along with others light and carefree as thistledown in a late summer wing.  Faces have land and sea on them, faces honest as the morning sun flooding a clean kitchen with light, faces crooked and lost and wondering where to go this afternoon or tomorrow morning. Faces in crowds, laughing and windblown leaf faces, profiles in an instant of agony, mouths in a dumbshow mockery lacking speech, faces of music in gay song or a twist of pain, a hate ready to kill, or calm and ready-for-death faces. Some of them are worth a long look now and deep contemplation later.

Embarking later on a global, goodwill tour partly under the auspices of the United States Information Agency (see also), a manifesto of peace during times of turmoil and division, the images were selected to communicate a story and the gallery of faces engendered mutual recognition and seemed to look back at the audience, inspiring tributes, sequels and re-examinations, beginning with West Germany’s 1965 Weltausstellung der Fotografie and some critical revisions, re-appraisals to shift perspective and build inclusivity and exposure on the intent. Ultimately inscribed to the UNESCO Memory of the World Register, the physical catalogue of prints is displayed (according to the original set-up) and archived at Clervaux Castle of curator Steichen’s native Luxembourg.


one year ago: drawing lessons from an ukiyo-e master, the US army leaves the Rheinland (1923) plus assorted links to revisit

two years ago: more on Saturn’s moons, a WWII holdout (1972) plus the Young Poland art movement

three years ago: geneticist Beatrice Mintz

four years ago: negative harmonies, City Roads, more synthetic humans, a belle รฉpoque residence plus French territories in Jerusalem

five years ago: the micronation of Sealand, a 1960 documentary on the Cosmos plus an impressive cultural centre in Tฤซanjฤซn

Monday 15 January 2024

remigration (11. 268)

For the thirty-third time, a jury of linguists and journalists from Darmstadt has selected the German Unwort of the Year in a portmanteau for the return of refugees, asylum-seekers and Einwander introduced into common-parlance by members of the Identitarian Movement and other rightwing groups (see previously) a euphemism for forced expulsion and even mass-deportation of those considered to be of a non-native background. The organisation fears that this “un-word” is being harnessed to normalise extremist positions in political discourse. Runners-up that the jury also criticises for its rise in use include “Sozialklimbim”—social climate as a classist dog whistle for the poor and disenfranchised as destined to remain on the margins of society and politics, joining a constellation of disparaging expressions, including a soziale Hรคngematte, a safety-net viewed as a hammock, Gratismentalitรคt, entitlement-thinking, and “Heizungs-Stasi,” from the perceived dictatorial approach of regulatory framework meant to make heat and homes more energy-efficient.


one year ago: signature martinis, Land Down Under, the endangered apostrophes of London plus Kurosawa’s Macbeth

two years ago: a history of the crossword puzzle, Un-Word of the Year, Bloody Mary plus assorted links worth revisiting

three years ago: more links to enjoy, Snowflake Bentley, a curation of ignored artefacts plus whaling ship logs

four years ago: more links worth the revisit, the Republic of Vermont plus Swiss land-use

five years ago: the launch of Wikipedia (2001), 1999 in film, seedlings on the Moon, more on Trump’s atrocities plus other smokable plants

Tuesday 9 January 2024

10x10 (11. 254)

job security: the US only created seven-hundred new IT positions last year—compared to two-hundred seventy thousand in 2022—via the New Shelton wet/dry  

tidy mouse: an industrious rodent sorts out a human’s workspace 

a theft from those who hunger: Dwight Eisenhower’s Chance for Peace Speech of 1953   

seo: how Google’s search algorithm has shaped the web  

past is precedent: Austin Kleon shares one-hundred things that made his year—a very good list 

the big mac index: the rising costs of fast food and its political implications 

high school high: graphic designer Veronica Kraus curates gems from old yearbooks—see also—via Messy Nessy Chic  

armed conflict survey: mapping wars around the world  

double fantasy: celebrated photographer Kishin Shinoyama, who captured the intimate moments of John Lennon and Yoko Ono for their album art (see below) passes away, aged 83 

 year-on-year: the word from Davos forecasts anaemic economic growth


one year ago: Nobody Told Me plus canal workers’ jargon

two years ago: Mambo Italiano, RMS Queen Elizabeth plus the premier of the iPhone (2007)

three years ago: classic rebrands, assorted links to revisit, a snowy day, more on Cats plus a diet inducing doorway

four years ago: attempts for a peaceful resolution to the Iraq War (1991), the yacht whisperer plus plans for a Woven City

five years ago: the diplomatic status of the EU downgraded, more Hampsterdance, repairing the Azure Window plus more links to enjoy

Sunday 7 January 2024

ensh*ttification (11. 250)

As shared by Waxy, the venerable American Dialect Society, founded in 1889, selected as its Word of the Year (technically referred to in the broader sense as a “vocabulary item”) the coinage from Cory Doctorow used to describe, and perfectly encapsulate, how digital platforms degrade and become decrepit, following a tragic bait and switch trajectory of first being good and usefully, then abusing users by commoditising them for the sake of advertisers to finally abuse those sponsors and shunt value for themselves as a brand—to die the death. Among other contenders short-listed were ceasefire for those calling to stop the hostilities in Palestine, context for its invocations from university presidents on free-speech, Kenaissance for the depiction of the heroine’s companion in the Barbie movie, “let someone cook” as an urging to allow an individual to do something they are good at without interference and stochastic parrot for the tendency of language models to generate plausible text without any understanding. The jury also announced categories of most useful, mostly likely to succeed, such as a gendered-x, girl math, boy math and era defined as a personal period of defining style or behaviour. Their euphemism of the year nominees included effective altruism as a movement to benefit all of humanity but as an excuse to spend the money of others, and in the politics category, ๐Ÿ‰ (employed for the similar colours to the flag) was picked as a symbol of solidarity with the people of Gaza with hot labour summer in second place. More at the links above.


one year ago: close-up photos of the year, the US House of Congress elects a Speaker, a tiny generative remixer, Emperor Norton I plus assorted links worth revisiting

two years ago: the Slovak gaming community, the Tokyo metro in real-time, Powers of Ten, St Distaff’s Day, more links to enjoy, Web 3.0 plus Macron’s vulgarities

three years ago: words that are their own opposites plus the introduction of DALL·E

four years ago: here come the seventies, an animated medieval songbook, the tattoos of a Danish king, fancy apple varieties plus covering GITMO

five years ago: more Japanese New Year cards plus more on the Year of the Periodic Table

Sunday 17 December 2023

i’m not against wishful thinking—not now (11. 191)

As our faithful chronicler informs, just in time for the holidays, the bleak, apocalyptic adaptation of the Nevil Shute’s novel of the same name by director Stanley Kramer had its premier (on both sides of the Iron Curtain simultaneously) on this day in 1959. A cast including Fred Astaire, Ava Gardener, Gregory Peck and Anthony Perkins portrays the aftermath of a nuclear conflict (which unlike in the book version, no one is assigned blame for instigating World War III) where the entire population of the northern hemisphere is killed by the effects of radio active fallout. The lone surviving American nuclear-powered submarine berths in Melbourne as prevailing air currents are slowly carrying the nuclear debris south, threatening to make the other half of the globe uninhabitable as well. Despite a brief hope that dispersement calculations were too conservative and that there might be a chance for salvation, the radiation does not dissipate sufficiently to make it less lethal.


one year ago: Saturday Super Store plus assorted links to revisit 

two years ago: Saturnalia, an exceptional millipede plus Hunky Dory (1971)

three years ago: your daily demon: Murmur plus more links to enjoy

four years ago: Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire (1989), dispatches from Kew Botanical Gardens plus navigating spaces not designed for accommodation

five years ago: a breakthrough for nuclear fission plus the origin of the word gun

Monday 4 December 2023

the peace ship (11. 165)

With detectable parallels to modern day technological utopianists and branded altruism, industrialist and automaker Henry Ford launched his chartered vessel Oskar II from Hoboken, New Jersey on this day in 1915 on as trans-Atlantic mission to petition for a cease-fire in Europe and a de-escalation (anti-preparedness) in armaments. Inviting prominent pacifists to join, Ford hoped that the audacity of the act would spur a truce among belligerents, Ford’s plan was at first greeting with respect by the press and public, however opinion began to sour on this attempt at amateur diplomacy with in-fighting amongst the activist and fabricated claims that the European powers were willing to negotiate, at the behest of Ford or anyone else, fears that such antics might make the situation worse—and for embarking during an influenza pandemic, which spread through crew and passengers during the five-day voyage. Violently ill and receiving a cold reception from skeptical delegates in Oslo, Ford retired to his hotel suite, granting one talk with reporters (not mentioning the Peace Ship) before convinced to seek out of the county by way of a steamer departing from Bergen. Despite the organiser’s conspicuous absence and the inability to secure any meetings of consequence with any officials with influence, there were several other ports-of-call around Europe, under the banner of the Neutral Conference for Continuous Mediation, still financed by Ford up until 1917 when it became clear that US entry into fighting was inevitable.

Wednesday 29 November 2023

32/40 b (11. 148)

Commemorated since 1978 on the anniversary of the passage of the United Nations resolution 181 on the partition of Mandatory Palestine, which proposed the creation of independent Arab and Jewish states with a special, international regime governing the city of Jerusalem, the UN-organised observance, a day of solidarity, calls for immediate steps to be taken to grant the Palestinian people full sovereignty and independence. The declaration also established a commission to study The Origins and Evolution of the Palestine Problem to couch regional conflict and contemporary violence and displacement in terms of historical perspectives and past miscalculation and transgression.

Monday 20 November 2023

 ▄▄▄ ▄▄▄ ▄ ▄▄▄ ▄▄▄ ▄ ▄ (11. 128)

Our faithful chronicler informs that on this day in 1983, ABC aired The Day After—portraying a skirmish at the East and West German border that quickly escalates in a full-scale nuclear war between the Soviet Union and the United States told through the lens of several farming communities seemingly far-removed from the front but near American missile silos. Starring Jason Robards, John Lithgow, Steve Guttenberg and JoBeth Williams, the made for TV-movie garnered an incredible audience-share of over sixty percent of households (no commercial interruptions) and showed the struggle and aftermath of nuclear fall-out for the survivors—see also—and was rather incredibly re-broadcast by Soviet state television (dubbed but true to the original dialogue) just four years later during the negotiations for the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Force Treaty between Reagan and Gorbachev. The film ends with a disclaimer right before the closing credits that the work is fictional and the actual outcome of a nuclear war would be far worse.


one year agoCabaret (1966), assorted links to revisit plus Incense and Peppermint (1967)

two years ago: Dasius of Durostorum plus more adventures in Poland

three years ago: more links to enjoy, Italy’s fateful day plus St Felicity

four years ago: emoji storms plus the Occupation of Alcatraz and Unthanksgiving

five years ago: a variation on Nyan Cat plus another lesson in Slang School

Friday 17 November 2023

the streisand effect (11. 124)

US teens and young adults are not stanning (the term itself taken rather ironically from an Eminem rap song as a portmanteau of stalker and fan about a fictional encounter with an obsessed, ardent admirer whose pleas to get the artist’s attention turn desperate and deadly and this complex and unsavoury form of adulation has been simplified into shorthand for something short of support and mild interest) terrorist and al Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden. Rather this supposed trend of discovery on the escapingly recent past through bin Laden’s Letter to America is a moral panic triangulated with an unrelenting attack on the TikTok platform for its virality and tenuous connections to the Chinese government and the war in Palestine and generational division, and raises serious questions about how we can (selectively) gauge shares and views and how exposure (propelled in part through censorship and timorous outrage) is different from indoctrination.

Saturday 11 November 2023

constructive ambiguity (11. 113)

Credited as the prime negotiation tactic of US diplomat Henry Kissinger, employed both as a way to mask an irreconcilable impasse when sides remain far apart on an issue and as a means for both parties to save face and claim concessions from the other. Postponing true resolution is in retrospect disparaged as papering over systemic and deeper conflicts for its tendency for subsequent eruption for a temporary stay. Examples include the Shanghai Communiquรฉ, considered America’s first expression of the one-China policy during Nixon’s visit and the so called “Six-Point Agreement”—both brokered by Kissinger—and the latter signed on this day in 1973 at the Kilometre 101 of the Cairo-Suez highway. At inroads after the first phase of peace talks to end the Yom Kippur War achieved little progress in de-escalation with the encirclement of the Egyptian army by the Israeli Defence Forces and neither side willing to withdraw. Provision B of the settlement was ambiguously worded so as to incentivise further negotiations to go back to status quo, which both sides choose to interpret as favourable to their cause: Egypt as clear mandate that Israel would surrender its claim on their territory and for Israel a disentanglement of belligerents without the obligation for capitulation.

clip show (11. 111)

The 1976 musical documentary by Susan Wilson that juxtaposed Beatles covers with newsreel combat footage and propaganda vignettes that was roundly rejected by critics and audiences was released on this day in 1976 and pulled from cinemas after less than two weeks of screenings. Shrewdly realising that money was to be made from the soundtrack with new renditions by popular artists, the accompanying film score debuted three weeks earlier and generated far more revenue than the movie, remanded mostly to obscurity outside of a few airings that attracted a cult-like fascination with several charting singles like Rod Stewart’s “Get Back,” Elton John’s “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds,” the Bee Gees’ “Carry That Weight,” Helen Reddy doing a version of “Fool on the Hill,” Tina Turner on “Come Together” and introducing Peter Gabriel with “Strawberry Fields Forever.” It was rumoured that Monty Python cartoonist Terry Gilliam was approached to contributed animated interstitials but that was apparently untrue. As singular as this enterprise seems, All This and World War II was inspired by a documentary by Philippe Mora from the previous year called Brother, Can You Spare a Dime? made up of newsreel footage and interspersed with clips from contemporary films and songs as a scrapbook of the Depression Era through the Attack on Pearl Harbour, with musical selections from Cab Calloway, Bing Crosby, Billie Holiday, Woody Guthrie, Busby Berkley and the Andrews Sisters. More from Open Culture at the link above.


one year ago: assorted links to revisit, MacArthur Park, the Feast of St Menas plus Kurt Vonnegut Jr at 100

two years ago: more links to enjoy, 3 quarks daily, superannuated image formats, Bliss symbols, an autumnal walk plus more out of the way wanderings

three years ago: the Trizone anthem, more links worth the revisit plus an observatory receives a new name

four years ago: the Feast of St Martin plus early generative text

five years ago: the Armistice of 1918, more assorted links plus a Bosch-bot

Friday 10 November 2023

the one with all the war mongering (11. 108)

In the latest in her ongoing series of US presidential debate recaps, McSweeney’s contributor Maura Quint presents the third Republican session from Wednesday, again absent the forerunner in this race for sloppy seconds, moderator reminding the audience “that this is all a farce performed by unloved toddlers and that Donald Trump will undoubtedly be the nominee.” After placing blame on the corrupt media and Democratic leadership for America’s wayward trajectory, brinksmanship built over how to deal with China, Russia and the active conflicts in Ukraine and the war in Palestine between Israel and Hamas—satire that corresponded with the actual exchanges on the dais, the debate concluded with the closing remarks of hopeful Chris Christie: “It’s a gift to be an American. Maybe it’s not what you wanted but your parents gave it to you and they expect you to be grateful for it anyway. So show some respect, you ingrates.”

Wednesday 18 October 2023

a conference divided (11. 065)

Entering its third week without a leader, the US House of Representatives’ Republican forerunner for the gavel and Speaker of the House, a hard right conservative, Trump apologists and noted obstructionist, having blocked far more legislation than sponsored, failed to secure the required majority with some rather brave GOP hold-outs refusing to allow Congress to fall further into the control of a radical minority element of the party. Despite not having secured the commitment of other fellow Republicans for support, the vote was brought to the floor, hoping that a public forum would draw the ire of their constituents in a rather unprecedented campaign for a congressional leadership role. Under pressure to fill the vacant role of House Speaker, Congress is unable to introduce new bills and severely handicaps its ability to address immediate concerns of funding the government with a looming deadline in mid-November, approving the appointment of ambassadors and military commanders or for extending aid and armaments to allies of two wars.


one year ago: the BBC at 100, rallying against the totalitarian regime in Iran plus a gallery of nightmare art

two years ago: an obtunded opportunity, your daily demon: Velar, Toto’s Africa plus Video Killed the Radio Star

three years ago: International Necktie Day, more musical mashups, more mushrooming, drills for the zombie apocalypse plus put our service to the test

four years ago: the Peaceful Revolution of East Germany,  a font inspired by Greta Thunberg, more US gun violence plus prayer goes digital

five years ago: International Credit Union Day, Big Bird retires plus the Postal Illuminati