Thursday 6 June 2024

ents and huorns (11. 612)

Via tmn, we directed to the thirty-two metre tall lone rฤtฤ (Metrosideros robusta) on the west coast of South Island that’s been picked by the public as New Zealand’s Tree of the Year. Given the nickname “The Walking Tree” after JRR Tolkien’s motile, sentient arboreal characters due to appearance of being frozen in mid-stride, the unusual lifecycle of the rฤtฤ bears out the comparison as well with the seeds germinating as hemiepiphyte high in the forest canopy (conspicuously absent for this exemplar) before slowly lowering roots that descend to the ground, forming a hollow pseudo-trunk around its host composed of interlocking rhizomes, and can live upwards of a thousand years. Threatened, replanting and rehabilation campaigns have seen their return.  In contrast to the Ents of Middle Earth (see also, Tolkien invented the army as a more satisfying belligerent for the coming of “Great Birnam Wood to Dunsinane” of Macbeth) that become more tree-like as they age, a huorn is undergoing the process of becoming more animated.

Sunday 26 May 2024

schutzzieles schutzwรคlder (11. 583)

Traveling a bit further on towards Suhl, we came to a crossroads of many trails through the Thรผringer Wald but with an an embarrassment of choices but finite time could only pursue hiking a segment instead of the proper loop that was nearly thirty kilometers to see all the highlights and returning to the campsite, we picked a peak in the Rennsteig and walked to Adlersberg through the protected landscape, sensibly managed since 1937 after exploitation dating from the Middle Ages. 

There we found a restored observation tower from the late seventeen-hundreds that afforded a really commanding view of the region, with summits of the Kreuzberg. Gleichberge and Wasserkuppe in the panorama


one year ago: assorted links worth revisiting

two years ago: more links to enjoy

three years ago: your daily demon: Leraje, Johnny Mnemonic, the murder of George Floyd one year on, an educational short, more links to revisit plus a precursor to NFTs

four years ago: Dracula (1897) plus a cursed alignment chart

five years ago: Sweden traffic switches orientation, the EU votes plus a trip to Saxony’s Elbsandsteingebirge

Saturday 25 May 2024

fairytale jungle trail (11. 582)

For another long-weekend getaway, H and I traveled an hour northeast back to the Thรผringerwald nature reserve and found a campsite in Breitenbach along the Vesser river valley and southwest entrance to the park, with a lot of paths for wandering in the forest. 

Officially called straightforwardly “Urwaldpfad,” the app that we were using gave it the rather creatively translated name above and had a nice long hike along both banks of the river—originally planning to return via a second trail but it was proving too rough with a series of felled trees that had collapsed on the bank of the stream. 

The trail had advertised some attractions along the way like a Sensenhammer, an early industrial water-powered scythe forge for making tools and machine parts, and a historic mill (see also), but these were only waypoints with markers for installations gone and never rebuilt. 

Still the walk in the ancient woods was very pleasant with a stand of super-high firs and a nice stroll along the river—plus lots of lupines. On the way back, we stopped at a fine guesthouse with character perched on a hill overlooking the forest and village.


one year ago: assorted links to revisit

two years ago: Ciao! Manhattan, Return of the Jedi (1983) plus investigating Partygate

three years ago: HMS Pinafore, synchronisation plus Bosch with emoji

four years ago: Toki Pona, a delightfully translated menu, the Interregnum plus artist Nikolas Knรผpfer

five years ago: Towel Day

Wednesday 22 May 2024

kalaallit nunaanni nuna eqqissisimatitaq (11. 571)

Founded on this day in 1974 and expanded in 1988 to protect nearly a million square kilometres in the northeastern part of the island, Grรธnlands Nationalpark is the world’s largest and tenth largest reserve in the world (the larger areas consist mostly of marine environments). Approximately the size of Egypt, the park has no permanent human population, though about four hundred encampments, research stations and cleanup sites of abandoned mining operations see use over the summer months. One of the least visited parks in the world, it is home to numerous walruses, polar bears, wolves, seals, narwals and whales and a significant portion of the world’s musk oxen. 

* * * * *


one year ago: the Trevi Fountain (1762)

two years ago: Nsibidi signs, tramdriver championships, the Oompahs plus Icelandic horses answer your emails

three years ago: a crawling map, a generational chart, more on the blockchain, saving the Icelandic language plus politics and EuroVision

four years ago: PacMac (1980), assorted links to revisit plus the necessity of book culling

five years ago: a see-through church, IKEA’s test kitchen, heritage tourism, exploiting gig-workers, noctilucent clouds on Mars plus sacred groves in Ethiopia

Tuesday 7 May 2024

7x7 (11. 544)

group tape №1: a 1981 compilation from the International Electronic Music Association collective  

the light eaters: plant cognition and agency—see previously  

hardfork: the duality of Vernor Vinge’s Singularity 

to share something is to risk losing it: an update on the beloved Broccoli Tree (not pictured), which was loved to death—see also  

mai-1: Microsofts new AI model could potentially over take rivals 

pod squad: Project CETI gains more insights into whale communication  

haus 33: a ride on the Techno Train that loops from Nรผrnberg to Wรผrzburg


one year ago: the Devil’s Bible

two years ago: a classic from Spandau Ballet

three years ago: cheugy plus Kraft Television Theatre

four years ago: cereal and straw craft, Kraftwerk plus Shelter-in-Place

five years ago: the long-delayed passage of a US constitutional amendment, designer Georg Elliot Olden, the unending attraction of nature plus haunted dolls 


Monday 15 April 2024

das rennsteiglied (11. 489)

First performed on this day in 1951 in community hall of the Hirschbach (presently the Hotel Zum goldenen Hirsch) of Suhl by local musicians Herbert Roth and Waltraut Schulz, the hymn extolling the joy of wandering in nature (see previously here and heresee also) has become an auxiliary state anthem and better known than the official, Thรผringen, holdes Land (Fair Country). 

The refrain goes: “I often walk this path to the Hรถhn (apparently a picturesque high hill with the ruins of Fischberg castle on top that we will make it a priority to see) , the little song birds singing / If I am far away, Thuringer Forest, I only long for you!”


one year ago: Samuel Johnson’s dictionary (1755), General Dynamics’ playing cards plus assorted links to revisit 

two years ago: more links to enjoy, the Universal Day of Culture plus AI Easter eggs

three years ago: your daily demon: Valefor, more Star Fleet uniforms plus Canada’s Olympics closing ceremony costumes

four years ago: a North Korean holiday plus a prescient comic from 1990

five years ago: more on the cannibalisation of the Old Web plus the art collective messy modernism

Friday 22 March 2024

truth windows (11. 441)

Courtesy of fellow internet peripatetic Messy Nessy Chic’s latest link curation (which also includes segments on the Satanic Panic and the colourful churches of Kerala worth a look as well), we were really enamoured with the the idea of keeping unfinished a small section of wall, as is traditional particularly in strawbale homes, for perspective, grounding and gratitude of what our sheltering places are constructed of—the alcove often serving as an ersatz altar. As we were moving in and had the interior of the house redone and modern, up-to-code insulation installed, we were surprised to see under the drop-ceilings in the oldest part of the house twigs and branches—certainly sourced from the woods behind us—and was a little sad to see them unceremoniously removed and replaced.  Maybe just retain a small first storey skylight in a nice antique frame.


one year ago: assorted links to revisit 

two years ago: more links to enjoy

three years ago: St Dareca plus even more links worth revisiting

four years ago: a big bomb detonated (1970), a gallery of conversation pits plus America’s Stonehenge (1980)

five years ago: a proposal to standardise toponymy, illustrator Rachel Eleanor, a submerged restaurant in Norway, replacing politicians with AI, more links plus a vintage Lada advert

Monday 18 March 2024

7x7 (11. 435)

deadwooding: Banksy acknowledges authorship of a new mural bringing back some greenery to an aggressive prune tree in Finsbury Park  

subspace: an ultra high-definition video of a cat chasing a laser-pointer was beamed over thirty million kilometres to improve future video calls to the Moon and Mars 

running-stitch: beautiful embroidered portraits from Karola Pezarro  

deadspin: more on the internet’s undead, reanimated by private equity and name recognition—see previously, see more  

bunga bunga: Italy’s Foreign Press Association to move into former home of Silvio Berlusconi, who famously disparaged reporters as Communists  

honeytrap: Aphra Behn’s intersecting careers as a professional writer and spy  

sequoiadendron giganteum: imported by the Victorians as status symbols, Giant Redwoods (see also) are thriving in the UK at more than half-a-million and growing

Sunday 17 March 2024

wรผstungsperioden (11. 432)

Travelling a few villages over towards the former border, driving past some abandoned settlements, vacated owing to they’re being a liability too close to the boundary, we took another nice hike with the dog up to the ruins of Hutsburg on the summit of the Hutsberg, which also was a victim of its formerly strategic location and shifting allegiances.

On the way back, we stopped in Filke to revisit the so called Mauerschรคdel, another ruined remains, this time of early abandonment and then rendered inaccessible, like the above stronghold, during DDR times and its nave acting as the line of demarcation. 


Saturday 16 March 2024

heimatblick (11. 428)

 Before the weather turned, we took the dog on a hike up above Stockheim for a panoramic view of the village below. The diversion in the trail up the Tanzberg was a bequest from a local landowner stipulated in his will after an unfortunate farming accident. A bit further along the main path, we encountered a Blitzstein, a memorial for an anonymous resident and likely not the above donor struck and killed by lightning though now an unlikely occurrence given tree height in the vicinity though yet memorable and cautionary. 

I’ve noticed such small headstones before and wondered if they memorialised similar Acts of God—and wondered whether if this was all the individual received for funerary rites since it did sort of seem like divine punishment. When I first came to Germany and began noticing makeshift cenotaphs the just off the shoulder of the road, commemorating the victims of a traffic accident, I remember first thinking, there sure are a lot of people walking on the side of the road and getting killed by cars and thought that the country must have a problem with pedestrian deaths. 

Of course, during our walkies, I wasn’t preoccupied with such morbid thoughts, just wanted to know more about the practise and customs but was not able to find anything else out. Both spots were equipped with a nice picnic area and a wooden sun lounger for warmer weather.  It was a beautiful early spring day and we went on down the valley with a glimpse of the next town of Mellrichstadt off in the distance.


Friday 27 October 2023

9x9 (11. 078)

page rank: the SEO trend of naming establishments X Near Me seems to actually drive customers—via Waxy  

cyanea pohaku: a species of tree discovered right before it was driven to extinction

saint eom: the psychedelic compound of folk artist and fortune-teller Eddie Owens Martin outside of Buena Vista in the US state of Georgia and listed on the National Register of Historic Places  

usonian homes: a pair of Frank Lloyd Wright (see previously) houses on the market in Kalamazoo in the US state of Michigan  

saob: the official Swedish dictionary published after one hundred forty years of work

the united states of guns: another sadly evergreen post about how an armed society is not a free society   

happiness hotel: a luxury kennel once occupied the grounds of New York City’s Lincoln Center 

report of my death having been most industriously circulated by several of the london daily newspapers, would the times permit me to contradict the same through your valuable columns and refute the account: sculptor John Ternouth, designer of the plinth for Nelson’s Column, was surprised to learn of his premature demise—via Strange Company  

i am altering the deal—pray i don’t alter it any further: Amazon’s Alexa is ending inoperability support with severe punishment for those who try to hack their way around it

Saturday 7 October 2023

dschungelweg (11. 042)

Deciding to try again to find the route we were searching for yesterday but from a better trodden starting point and walked through the vineyards on another educational trail (Lehrpfad) that this time had information about the different varieties of grapes grown and harvested here with more views of Escherndorf, Nordheim and the Main valley, passing the Vogelsberg and the orchards on the other side of the Weinberg. 

We entered an ancient old-growth stretch of woods hugging the bank of the river, untouched except for a very narrow footpath through the forest. Passing Fahr and back up to the top of the ridge through a second nature path for some more views of the valleys and vineyards before returning to the campground. 
one year ago:  absinthe banned in Switzerland, the Feast of Sergius and Bacchus plus assorted links to revisit

two years ago: a cool ghoul and your ghost host, the Cyrus Charter, a bird wife plus a catalogue of invasive toys
three years ago: most senior US government officials in quarantine,  a typing tutor, a birdhouse apartment plus more historic maps
four years ago: a minimum wage machine
five years ago: more links to check out, East Germany’s Tag der Republik, a visit to an automotive and aviation museum plus himpathy and related neologism

Thursday 28 September 2023

sycamore gap (11. 029)

Made famous internationally by a cameo appearance in 1991’s Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves but a regional landmark for generations, the picturesque lone tree (see previously) growing in a dramatic dip in the Northumbrian landscape near Hadrian’s Wall was chopped down by a vandal for a chance to achieve some dread and senseless Herostratic fame (more here).  The community near the craggy terrain are of course very saddened to loose a natural monument in this fashion, especially when so much more is threatened with accelerated climate change, and there are already plans in place to coax it into regrowing but it won’t have the same character.


one year ago: assorted links to revisit plus St Leoba

two years ago:  your daily demon: Halphas plus more links to enjoy

three years ago: Pope John Paul I plus Trump’s taxes

four years ago: hitchhiking returns to Brussels 

five years ago: William the Conqueror crosses the Channel (1066) plus the #MeToo movement

Friday 1 September 2023

limes regis (10. 976)

We are treated to a field-trip, courtesy of Strange Company, along an ancient footpath called the Ridgeway that clings to chalk cliffs of Berkshire Downs along the Salisbury Plain down to the Thames at the Goring Gap, the narrow river valley between Reading and Oxfordshire, the Ridgeway—described as the oldest trail in Britain and in use for over five-thousand years, the high ground a preferable trade route since travellers could spot potential highwaymen and marauders. Tour highlights include several ruined castles and forts and megalithic monuments.

Tuesday 11 July 2023

7x7 (10. 874)

fit for a king: a selection of ersatz castles for sale in the US 

caliology: corvids using anti-bird spikes for nesting material
100ยบ in the shade
: mapping tree shadows 

free agent: labour force of the outsourced talk about the effects of the AI revolution—via Waxy  

ravensbourne: finding the lost rivers of London—see previously  

involuntary memory: the aetiology of earworms 

cheese royal: Burger King in Thailand introduces a menu item composed of twenty slices of American cheese