Sunday, 2 January 2022

7x7

2020—too…: the moment it hits you 

the colours of motion: spectral analysis of contemporary film classics  

the timekeepers of eternity: a printed, pagination interpretation of Steven King’s novella The Langoliers  

forefather time: on the trial of the masqueraded, marauding Jukace that herald the New Year for one Polish city  

visual vernacular: Jayme Odgers—one of the montage artists behind California’s New Wave aesthetic, creates a legacy repository of his works 

ham and banana hollandaise: a cursed collection of dishes from McCall’s Great American Recipe Card Collection 

those we’ve lost: a more comprehensive compilation of celebrity obituaries from the past year from Bob Canada’s Blogworld

Friday, 10 December 2021

nobelfesten

Cancelled for a second year due to the pandemic, normally the Nobel Banquet (previously here and here) is held annually on this day (the anniversary of the death in 1896 of its benefactor, inspired to become a philanthropist after reading a premature obituary of himself that described him as a war profiteer, indeed having amassed his fortune from dynamite), the fรชte hosted in the Blue Hall of the rathaus of Stockholm for 1971 would have included amongst its guests Willy Brandt, chancellor of West Germany, Pavlo Neruda, Chilean poet and diplomat, Simon Kuznets, responsible for turning economics into an empirical, cyclical science, and Gรกbor Dรฉnes, inventory of among other things holography.

Tuesday, 7 December 2021

6x6

recursive: Ghislaine Maxwell sketches the courtroom artist sketching her 

temporal distortion: an xkcd comic that references every ambiguous birthday scenario 

check out those gams: a pair of pageants with a narrower focus on beauty—via Nag on the Lake 

menty-b: Macquarie Dictionary’s short-list for Word of the Year  

qed: an overview of maths in film and television 

hungry eyes: the canon of Western art as viewed through the lens of food

Sunday, 26 September 2021

unknown foods

Also growing up with grocery store chains named Piggly Wiggly, Food Lion, Safeway and Skaggs Alpha-Beta (wherein items were originally stocked and arranged in alphabetical order for ease of location and retrieval), we could appreciate this exercise from AI Weirdness (previously) that trained various neural networks on generating suggestions for naming supermarkets. We especially enjoyed how quickly it picked up on real world marketing conventions and served them back to us. Some of our favourites in addition to the entitled included: See How Much! Jumbo Boost Built in Juice, Fair-Oil Edible Foods and Little More Large Brook. Discover more about the methodology behind machine learning and be sure to subscribe to Janelle Shane at the links above.

Friday, 17 September 2021

6x6

pontifices maximi: the denatured bridges of euro notes 

top banana: the fruit label collecting community—via Weird Universe  

toccata and fugue: Bach’s compositions—see previously—from eight perspectives  

trolley problem: pedestrians recruited involuntarily in self-driving car trials—see also 

trivia killed the video star: a look back on how quiz games replaced arcade fascination  

soli cui fas vidisse minervam: polymath Lauri Maria Caterina Bassi Veratti, nacknamed after the goddess of wisdom, first salaried female professor

Tuesday, 7 September 2021

pantry and pageantry

Via Things Magazine, we are directed towards a thoroughgoing article about the social engineering behind of the relatively new field of kitchen design and how a whole—though not necessarily comprehensive and to the exclusion of many—spectrum of political and philosophical alignments, communists, feminists, capitalists, have tried, with various degrees of success and endurance, have essayed this part of the home that only garnered attention in the twentieth century once domestics started to be less common. We especially appreciated the chance to revisit the Frankfurt Kitchen and its designer, whom was also an early advocate for planned-obsolesce in order to encourage continued manufacture and innovation and the Cold War battleground of model home-making. Much more at By Design at the link above including the consequences of home economics, reinforcement of gendered roles and expectations, how labour is valued and the under representation of minorities of kitchen-utilisers that together makes up the majority.

Wednesday, 1 September 2021

6x6

this slaps: the Kiffness and friends (see previously) remixes the little melody of a harmonica playing rat—debuting here


ร  la recherchรฉ du temps perdu: wondering how Marcel Proust’s Instagram might look is a pathway into memory in the age of social media 

melts in your mouth: the long and cursed history of the sexy green M&M—via Things Magazine  

development hell: scores of unfinished films that we would watch  

sit a spell: a visual essay on the American porch 

latch-mediated spring actuation: scientists engineer a robot that packs the wallop of the powerful punch of the mantis shrimp

Tuesday, 31 August 2021

6x6

slough off old skins: the rise and demise of an Internet Onion—via Kicks Condor  

posture pals: a gallery of awkward, outstanding stances  

gravy boat: kitschy vintage table settings  

a little pick-me-up: the lovely Flowers for Sick People project by Tucker Nichols—via Nag on the Lake’s Sunday Links  

news at eleven: screen grabs of 1990s reporting captions  

more like a simile: an experiment searching the web with AI contextualised natural language—via Web Curios

Tuesday, 10 August 2021

toast malone

Via Kottke’s Quick Links, we learn of the supremely economical recipe included in the invalid cookery (medically restricted diets, see also) section of an 1861 volume on household management by one Isabella “Mrs” Beeton (still in print, a best-selling though highly plagiarised compendium formative for the middle-class image of the Victorian Era) for a toast sandwich, whose filling is unsurprisingly a thin slice of toasted bread, buttered with salt and pepper to taste.


Wednesday, 7 July 2021

the greatest thing since sliced bread

The benchmark for greatness and idiomatically highlighting something clever that just works, especially a recent innovation was introduced into common parlance on this day in 1928 when the bread slicing machine of inventor Otto Frederick Rohwedder (a prototype he had developed back in 1912 was destroyed in a fire and it took nearly sixteen years to make a second go at it) was used by the Chillicothe Baking Company of Chillicothe, Missouri in the United States and sold their first pre-sliced loaves. The more common German equivalent is, however, das GrรถรŸte seit der Erfindung der Bratkartoffel, the greatest invention since roasted potatoes.

Wednesday, 23 June 2021

breatharians

As Slashdot reports, a research team studying molecular plant physiology under the auspices of the Max Planck Institute and the University of Naples is demonstrating that making food from air, isolating carbon-dioxide with a spark of energy from a solar cell in a process that mimics photosynthesis, is poles more efficient than growing food crops, such as soy, corn, wheat or rice. Feeding microbes in a bioreactor produces as a nutritious by-product a protein powder suitable for consumption.

Sunday, 30 May 2021

music for grocery stores

We really enjoyed this ambient soundtrack, via r/ Obscure Media, to accompany one’s shopping list in this 1975 muzak selection Sounds for the Supermarket. The track titles that I suppose match the arc of the hunter-gatherer quest and could be suited to some independent gaming adventure are a bit strange and evocative: Mister Satisfied, Mister Lucky, To a Dark Lady, A Touch of Class, Harvey Wallbanger, Delicate Treasures, Departure, etc.

Tuesday, 27 April 2021

the planet on the plate

Via Kottke’s Quick Links, we are directed towards the announcement of one influential cooking website that going forward (the policy change has been essential in effect for over a year to overwhelmingly positive reception) won’t promote any new recipes with beef as an ingredient—the decision based on sustainability and “not giving airtime to one of the world’s worst climate offender.” Rather than being anti-cow, Epicurious—whom hope others follow—acknowledges that giving up meat alone is not a panacea for our predicament and that in a broken food system, soy, seafood and most everything else is potentially problematic but it’s definitely a start and a signal to the industry at large.

Tuesday, 6 April 2021

the antoinette perry award for excellence in broadway theatre

Founded by theatrical producer Brock Pemberton and namesake of the above director, actor and guild administrator who had recently died, the first Tony Awards ceremony occurred on this day in 1947 and are the fourth achievement of a EGOT—someone who has won all four industry honours, with the Emmy for a television role, the Grammy for musical accomplishment and the Academy Award (Oscar) for film.

They are the national equivalent of the UK’s Laurence Olivier awards (originally the Society of the West End) or France’s Nuit des Moliรจres. Held in the Waldorf Astoria, the prizes included a scroll of achievement, a cigarette lighter and an article of jewellery, with the Tony medallions not introduced until two years later. This first class of winners included Ingrid Bergman, Patricia Neal, Elia Kazan, Kurt Weill and the proprietor of Sardi’s restaurant for decades of unstinting hospitality for theatre people.

Wednesday, 24 March 2021

kartoffelbefehl

The last of fifteen so called potato decrees, also known Circular-Ordre, was issued on this day in 1756 by Friedrich II to encourage the cultivation (see also) of the food crop in the Prussian provinces addressed to the landholders of Silesia. Spurred on by a famine in Pomerania in 1746, government administers enforced the planting of potatoes for human consumption and for livestock and enlisted itinerant pastors known as “tuber preachers” to monitor implementation and compliance and teach farmers how to grow them and cook them. Reportedly, in order to reduce scepticism and encourage people to eat this strange, New World vegetable by planting a patch of land with them on the palatial grounds of Sanssouci, guarded by soldiers to pique the curiosity of neighbours and farmers, a bit of reverse-psychology and overlooking the pilfering of the potatoes.

Friday, 12 March 2021

isogloss

Via Language Hat, we are referred to a cartographic website called mapologies that specialise in linguistic, dialectical demarcation (see also here and here), like the Apfel-Appel line. It was not only engrossing to see the shifting sentiment, etymologies and root languages (like this toasting map of Europe) but also the distribution of use for a certain item or animal, like the multiple Spanish words for popcorn across the language’s Sprachraum, as attested by the saying “No two popcorns are called the same,” unsurprising as maize is native to the Americas but nonetheless the variety is striking.

Monday, 22 February 2021

5x5

vanishing london: the Topographical Society laments and documents changes to the city—1900 to 1939 

a murder of crows: a captivating thread about accidentally creating a fiercely loyal avian regimen 

kaitenzushi: a 1948 proposal to move diners from course to course  

genius loci: an investigation into the character Tom Bombadil from the Middle Earth legendarium 

forwarding address: moving a Victorian mansion in San Francisco

Friday, 12 February 2021

the one that got away

Via our peripatetic companion, Things Magazine, we learn about a centuries’ old Japanese method that fishermen used as a means of recordkeeping for logging their catch that is still employed though somewhat rarefied as an art form. ้ญšๆ‹“ (gyotaku, from fish + [stone] impression) is a printmaking technique which renders caught subjects as printing plates, brushing them with ink and carefully pressing a rice paper sheet over it. Details about the fish species, location and other conditions were captioned with the image along with an authenticating, notarising seal and traditionally a few gyotaku exemplars were prepared and dispatched to sellers as way of evaluating the quality of the harvest, which could also be thought of a regulatory measure to “brand” stocks and mitigate over-fishing. The detail transferred in the anatomy of aquaculture represents one of the first large scale nature studies.

Saturday, 30 January 2021

pigs is pigs

The Friz Freleng short first released on this day in 1937 relays the seemingly insatiable gluttony of one Piggy Hamhock (Porky’s brother, though last seen in this cartoon) and the hardship it has caused the family.

Falling into a food coma after receiving chiding and warnings from his mother that he needs to reform his eating habits, Piggy has a fugue-like dream that he is lured into the laboratory of a mad scientist, who subjects Piggy to a force-feeding by a tireless machine. Piggy waddles away but on the way out the door, takes a drumstick, which proves too much. Awakened from the dream, Piggy is relieved that he is back home and unharmed but devours breakfast without restraint—apparently none the wiser for his experience. Though Freleng’s cartoon shares the same name it does not tell the same story about a rapidly reproducing pair of guinea pigs whose numbers soon grow out of control from a 1905 Ellis Parker Butler work—which went on to inspire a Disney animation in 1954 and the 1967 “The Trouble with Tribbles.”

Thursday, 14 January 2021

munchies

Though one might have the inclination to dismiss these findings as patently obvious, a US academic study shows a correlation between legalisation of recreation cannabis consumption and junk food sales—up to five percent. Whereas most accept that marijuana in itself is harmless if not beneficial, it does have unintended after effects that confirm stereotypical beliefs about smoking. As a counterbalance that rather tips the scales in the opposite direction, there is also as much as a twelve percent dip in alcohol sales found in the same jurisdictions. The snacks and drinks lobby peddled state legislatures with opposing overtures.