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

 

Tuesday, 9 May 2023

9x9 (10. 728)

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

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

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

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

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

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

cabin crew: the argot of airplane travel 

mutually assured destruction: new analysis of the same Cold War  

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

Friday, 28 April 2023

8x8 (10. 703)

iter vestrum: a journey to the ends of the Roman Empire with contemporary routing guides—see previously 

the bartender’s travelling book: the secret history of the drinks recipe anthology that has crossed the globe 

eigengrau: a colour palette of what people report to see with their eyes closed—see previously—via Web Curios 

chirper: a social media network only for AI—via ibฤซdem  

casas del turuรฑuelo: first figural representations of the Bronze Age Tartessian culture found, an Iberian people spuriously linked to the myth of Atlantissee also 

aurabesh: a very thorough Star Wars inspired typeface—see also—via Kottke 

toby mug: an assortment of East End brewery labels  

bradshaw’s guide: a travelogue of modern Europe with a Victorian era itinerar—check out Messy Nessy’s new look

Sunday, 23 April 2023

8x8 (10. 692)

caspar milquetoast: Public Domain Review presents Shy Guy (1947)—starring Dick York—via Nag on the Lake  

wicksy’s cocktails: a selection of non-alcoholic drinks from a 1986 Easter Enders’ cook book  

birdsite: the continuing rapid unscheduled disassembly of the platform  

here is a map to give you pleasure, a town reduced to your mantel’s measure: poetry on maps—via the Map Room  

ganja & hess: an under appreciated vampire film reexamined on its fiftieth anniversary  

smigadoon: virtual ghost villages in the clouds that have become the haunts of tourists  

rolling through the produce and said, now that’s a better buy: Toni Basil’s “Shopping from A to Z” 

schools of the air: a retrospective look at broadcast continuing education—see previously

Saturday, 22 April 2023

gin and juice (10. 691)

Last week after the culmination of more than a decade’s development and waiting for the right launch window to achieve the needed gravitational sling-shots to bring the space probe to its destination amongst the orbital pathways of Jupiter’s icy moons, the JUICE mission (see previously here and here) off from French Guiana in search of signs of life. The European Space Agency is celebrating its achievement and start of the exploration with a collection of mocktails inspired by the astro-geological discoveries that the mission might uncover. We especially liked the pictured agency faavourite and some rather beautifully composed concoctions inspired by Ganymede and Callisto—all the recipes (which could be modified to taste) can be found here plus more at the links above.

Monday, 27 February 2023

soup on the rocks (10. 576)

Via Miss Cellania, we are directed towards a bizarre MidCentury fad that Campbells (M’m! M’m! Good!) is still attempting to make happen with an advertising campaign, rather aggressively marketed with celebrity endorsements and placement on the drinks menus of landmark restaurants, convincing people to try their line of refreshing, nutritious brothtails: beef bouillon over ice—straight from the can—with a garnish of lemon and a dash of Worcestershire. Though mostly touted as an alcohol-free alternative one artefact of this long-running effort was the Bull Shot, sometimes known as “Ox on the Rocks,” with vodka and Tabasco sauce added to the above and Campbells along with soup enthusiasts in the past couple have introduced such divisive concoctions as the Thai Chicken Negroni and a dirty martini variant.

Sunday, 15 January 2023

shaken, not stirred (10. 417)

Here’s a selection of signature martinis to fit every mood and every palette of this spirit animal constructed on the template of gin—or vodka—and vermouth plus a bit of garnish. Namesake of the special drink of patrons of the Occidental Hotel of San Francisco would be offered before embarking on the ferry to Martinez in Contra Costa, the cocktail has undertaken, with the famous variant occurring in a dialogue the spy has with a barman in Casino Royale, changing his order from a dry martini to a special recipe of his own invention. “Just a moment: three measures of Gordon’s [gin], one of vodka, half a measure of Kina Lillet; shake it very well until its ice cold, then add a large, thin slice of lemon peel. Got it?” Bond adds, “I’m going to patent it when I think of a good name.” Later, he names it in honour of MI6 coworker and double-agent Vesper Lynd. Though perhaps with a bit less of provenance and backstory, we did nonetheless like the inverted variations of the Astoria and Lifetime Ban and elegant Martini Sauvage—gin with chinato liqueur and orange bitters, mixed and chilled overnight.

Tuesday, 13 December 2022

hot toddy (10. 383)

We quite enjoyed this guide to mastering canon of seasonal classics with instructions for serving the perfect Irish Coffee, Cafรฉ Brรปlot (to serve twenty-four: a bottle of Courvoisier, a bottle of Kirschwasser—cherry brandy, twenty whole cloves, orange zests, six cinnamon sticks, sugar syrup, a bottle of rum and a litre of strong French-roast coffee), the titular medical drink (brandy, lemon juice and ginger syrup) or the indulgent and outmoded Tom & Jerry nineteenth century punch (to serve our twenty-four: a kilogram of refined sugar, a bottle of cognac, a bottle of rum, a litre of whole milk with nutmeg, allspice, cloves and cream of tartar to taste). Click through at the links above for detailed recipes and more holiday libations.

Friday, 4 November 2022

8x8 (10. 271)

make it another, double, old-fashioned please: a definitive, festive guide to whisky cocktails 

born in arizona, moved to babylonia: a new book on the King Tut’s parents, Akhenaten and Nefertiti  

elf-on-the-shelf: the shrine to departed Dobby in a nature reserve can remain but visitors asked to refrain from leaving mementos  

planchette: the intersection between profit and superstition revisited with a look at the story of the Ouija borad—see previously  

toynbee tiles: an enduring urban myth—see previously  

they’ve got it all on uhf: Harry Potter’s Daniel Radcliff appearing in musical biopic parody of Weird Al Yankovic (previously)  

palimpsest: peeling back the layers to rediscover ancient manuscripts recycled as early modern incunabula

limoncello: a doubly lemon aperitif in the ‘Amalfi Dream’

Wednesday, 12 October 2022

7x7 (10. 216)

negroni sbagliato: your guide to the new hot adult beverage  

naked eye: a gallery of some of the best images of microscopic photography from the past year 

aunt jess: a celebration of the life and career of Dame Angela Lansbury—see previously  

little big world: a tilt-shift tour of Mรผnchen and Oktoberfest

if pigs could fly: iconic Battersea Power Station reopens to the public as a luxury property development–via Things Magazine

mutual of omaha: superlative wildlife photography  

ss23: backless menswear suits seem to be here to stay

Sunday, 31 July 2022

8x8 (10. 027)

รฒgรณgรณrรณ: decolonising a West African palm sap spirit that unfairly unearned the reputation of a cheap gin substitute  

new delay for dover-calais tunnel likely: fleshing out the NYT headlines Stanley Kubrick had mocked up for 2001—via Waxy  

smaller footprint: updates on NEOM—the planned vertical skyscaper of Saudi Arabia  

hysterical urbanism: a counterpoint to the above—with several historical antecedents  

brominated vegetable oil: EU and Japan bans Mountain Dew and Fresca for ingredients that contribute to memory loss  

we intend to cause havoc: Andrew McGranahan’s psychedelic posters for Paul McCartney’s 2022 gigs and tours  

odonymy: an ongoing project revealing the origin of street names in Los Angeles—via Web Curios

mensascran: comparative studies of university and business cafeterias and canteens around the world—see also—via ibฤซdem

Wednesday, 20 July 2022

the moonwalk (10. 005)

To commemorate the lunar landing on this day in 1969, head barman at the Hotel Savoy’s American Bar Joe Gilmore created a champagne cocktail that ought to be revived, equal parts Grand Marnier and grapefruit juice with a dash of rosewater and topped with champagne. During Gilmore’s long tenure, spanning from when he came in as a trainee at the swanky London establishment in 1940 until his retirement in 1976, he invented many more cocktails for royalty, politicians and other celebrities—including the My Fair Lady to celebrate Julie Andrews’ opening night in the musical (equal parts gin, lemon juice, orange juice and sirop de fraise with a dash of egg white, shaken and strained) and the Link Up for the joint Apollo-Soyuz mission in 1975 (Southern Comfort and vodka, tempered with lime juice). More to explore at the links above.

Monday, 16 May 2022

6x6

dandelion wine: slow drinks made with our favourite noxious weed—see also  

give that wolf a banana and before that wolf eats my grandma: Norway’s Eurovision entry—via Nag on the Lake’s Sunday Links  

stablecoin: the collapse of NFT and crypto markets 

 for every bear that ever there was: 1984 reportage of Keanu Reeves covering a teddy bear convention for the CBC—via Everlasting Blรถrt  

homeostatic awakening: new developments in the Fermi paradox—see previously here and here  

quattro bianchi: Italy’s answer to the Long Island Iced Tea packs a wallop

Sunday, 31 October 2021

dia do saci

 Designated by an NGO calling themselves amigos of this trickster character of Brazilian folklore to coincide with Halloween as a way to counter American cultural hegemony, the holiday, even where backed with state-support, only enjoys limited recognition and celebration—despite familiarity and popularity of its mascot.

The monopod figure with an enchanted cap and always smoking a pipe, mostly active at night, can be dangerous and malicious—though most pranks are merely annoying—but will grant the wishes of those who trap him or free him, liable to caught in a bottle while disappearing and reappearing in the midst of a whirlwind. Reportedly Saci’s magic cap, according to those who’ve tried to steal it, has an indelibly foul smell and those who’ve handled it can never wash the stench away.  Saci can be propitiated with offerings of a libation of cachaรงa and a measure of tobacco for his pipe.

Sunday, 19 September 2021

make it another old-fashioned please

We quite enjoyed this guided tour of the digitised holdings of the Wine and Spirits Museum of รŽle de Bendor in south France from Messy Messy Chic with a trans-Atlantic focus on the American invention—or convention rather of the cocktail in their extensive archive of vintage mixology guides from dating from the 1820s to the 1940s, richly illustrated and full to the brim with drinks and sometimes substitute ingredients that limn a certain slice of history.
There are volumes with celebrities’ favourites, menus of famous watering-holes, all gauged for home entertaining (perhaps for us scoff-laws), like the above and rather forlorn frontispiece from William C. Feery’s 1934 Wet Drinks…. for Dry People, which includes one called the Bee’s Knees, one part gin to one part honey, well-mixed and served over ice shavings. Each of the dazzling covers opens and lets one browse the recipes and other tips inside. Peruse these guides and let us know if you discover a new and intriguing favourite. Leave out the cherry, leave out the orange, leave out the bitters and just make it straight rye!

Friday, 13 August 2021

6x6

clink clink: a snappy little animated short of guests at cocktail hour 

samarkand: an East German couple’s tour of Uzbekistan fifty years ago with photography from 1971 and 2021  

expectation management: a comprehensive look into how the Delta variant changes the pandemic endgame—via Kottke  

noah’s violin: the twelve metre long wooden stringed instrument is a floating stage, inaugurated along with Project Moses to protect Venice from flooding  

the rural juror: a spoof streaming service (see also)—via JWZ  

the effect is shattering: a vodka advertising campaign that became a snow clone

Wednesday, 23 December 2020

8x8

the santaland diaries: a holiday classic from David Sedaris 

by jove: more on the complex system of Jupiter and its moons—including Valetudo, which crosses between the prograde and retrograde orbitals—see previously  

mimicry and mutualism: the monkey slug caterpillar (Phobetron pithecium, the larva of the hag moth) that evolved to resemble a tarantula  

where do i begin: Erich Segal’s Love Story at fifty

posse commmutatus: a fresh tranche of pardons (previously) from the outgoing and impeached Trump is an assault and insult on justice 

tree fm: for those who can’t readily go forest bathing or hug a perennial friend, tune into the soundscape of woods around the world—via Things Magazine  

pork-barrel politics: Trump frames riders in COVID aid bill as disgraceful after seven months of contentious negotiation, demands revision 

suggested serving: wintry cocktail and hot toddy recipes from eastern Europe

Saturday, 14 November 2020

palรฆomixology

The ever adventurous team of explorers at Atlas Obscura bring us the story of a university palรฆontologist celebrating his first published paper—on archaeopteryx feathers—was taken to commemorate his accomplishment with a signature cocktail for the occasion, sharing the recipe and toasting remotely with his friends and colleagues over a video conference call. Afterwards the hobby bartender was inspired to create more drinks honouring other prehistoric icons including Lucy and a ginkgo mimosa. What other dinosaur and dinosaur-adjacent cocktails might you mix up? Much more to discover at the link up top. Here’s a slightly modified version of the namesake drink of the Urvorgel (see previously) with appropriately German ingredients.

  • Two full shot-glasses (a shooter glass—three ounces) worth of black-berry or black currant (Schwarze Johannisbeere) soda or syrup 
  • One shot Jรคgermeister 
  • One shot lime juice 
  • One shot of Stone Fruit (Pfirsich oder รคhnliches) syrup 
  • One dash of activated charcoal plus 3 dashes of bitters 

Mix all the ingredients in a couple (a broader, shallow stemmed flute) glass, saving the charcoal for last and garnish with a black feather—the colour of the plumage (the cocktail by the same name is however brandy, Cointreau, vermouth plus bitters) being one of the conclusions drawn from the paper.

Thursday, 22 October 2020

scarlet gn

The above compound also known as Red Dye Number 4 (E number, European standard, E125—that’s a strange tale too) was banned for use in all foodstuffs or ingestibles—still used in cosmetics, by the US Food and Drug Administration when the chemical was found have carcinogenic properties including horrendously causing tumours in the bladders of dogs. Formerly cocktail maraschino cherries were exempt with the rationale that they were mostly decorative and not to be eaten.  There are now safe alternative but red-colouring is mostly avoided by association.

Monday, 24 August 2020

the cogito ergo zoom

Via JWZ, mindful that the upcoming fall semester, however classes are held, will be a challenging one for academics, we appreciated this growing list of cocktails from author and historian Philipp Stelzel. Pictured is the Inaccessible Archive:

6cl gin, 2cl green Chartreuse, 3cl fresh orange juice.
Stir and serve with an orange zest.

The recipe notes that the high cost of Chartreuse is offset by not having to go into the physical archives. The titular drink calls for bourbon, tart cherry juice, bitters and simple syrup. I don’t think precise measurements matter—just maintain the proper ratio. Many more to be found at the links up top.