Saturday 6 July 2024

9x9 (11. 665)

won’t back down: Biden committed to remain his party’s candidate for the US presidential election

wall∙e: facing a labour shortage, Japan railways deploys a colossal humanoid robot to maintain train tracks  

conspiracy theory rock: the 1998 Saturday Night Live TV Funhouse cartoon that may or may have not been banned by the network  

if it’s so smart, why does it live like this: next version of ChatGPT has post-doctorate level intelligence and the poor life choices to back it up  

shadow secretary: the political upbringing of Sir Keir Starmer  

wish you were here: beforehand postcards to prepare prior to departing for vacation—see previously  

oberheim ob-1: a short documentary on the revolutionary analogue synthesiser that allowed musicians to record and save patches for playback  

a face to a name: researchers create life-like robotic skin to express emotion and self-healing from harvested juvenile foreskin cells  

dark brandon: Democrats backing Biden’s decision to run 


one year ago: advice for urban day-trippers in the countryside (with synchronoptica)

eight years ago: gameifying one’s wellbeing

nine years ago: pushing Greece out of the EU plus assorted links to revisit

ten years ago: more dragnet surveillance 

eleven years ago: a history of fireworks 

Thursday 20 June 2024

8x8 (11. 642)

crazy logic: a rather seamless mashup of Gnarls Barkley, Rockwell, Pink Floyd and Sumpertramp  

ั‹าปั‹ะฐั…: the Yakut people of arctic Siberia celebrate New Year on the Summer Solstice  

culicidology: a fascinating two-part discussion of mosquitoes with Alie Ward 

baggage carousel: an animated journey of checked airline luggage 

the phrygian cap: the Paris Games’ mascot with a revolutionary past—via Miss Cellania  

the beige begins early here folks: McMansion Hell (previously) presents another instalment of the American Medieval Revival—via Things Magazine  

re-alignment: just ahead of Solstice celebrations, activists with Just Stop Oil douse the megalithic calendar with orange paint power 

chiroptera: a ballet chroegraphed by Thomas Bangalter, formerly of Daft Punk—via tmn

Tuesday 23 April 2024

the lost mixtape (11. 508)

Via Kottke, we are directed to rediscovered audio sampler from the Hood Internet (previously) while producing year instalments of pop music mashups—described as a plane crash of nostalgia scattered across a desolate beach—talk about Desert Island Discs, given fidelity and released for their fans. I enjoy these revues quite a lot but always want to pause and hear the whole song before returning to the medley track. There are a lot of juxtaposed jewels to discover.


one year ago: assorted links worth revisiting, the first Youtube video plus the coronation of Charles II

two years ago: more links to enjoy, finger mnemonics, more on the Chunnel plus New Coke (1985)

three years ago: Sticky Fingers (1971), reforming the radio-spelling alphabet, the art of Alex Hyner, The Third Man theme plus more concatenation

four years ago: more on the old Icelandic calendar, a break-away key in Florida plus stunt actors in quarantine

five years ago: more links worth the revisit

Friday 5 January 2024

9x9 (11. 243)

sine cure: many jobs in the tech sector are busy work and inducements to stymie the competition—via the New Shelton wet/dry  

smooth operator: one-hundred eighty songs and other cultural touchstones turning forty this year 

shake your hips, puppet legs: a David Byrne dance tutorial—via Nag on the Lake  

crackberry: a physical keyboard attachment for one’s smart phone  

the rise and fall of ziggy stardust: the chance encounter with Vince Taylor, the inspiration for the David Bowie persona 

 long live friendship: the Cantonese version of Auld Lang Syne (see previously) performed at the handover ceremony of Hong Kong in 1997  

the (disco) sound of music: a Meco-like dance rendition of the classic tracks (see previously) from Sarah Brightman  

pole position: the Vectrex, the 1982 revolutionary but mostly forgotten video game console, gets a second look 

mobile aloha: an off-the-shelf, DIY robot that can perform complex tasks and chores—via Waxy


one year ago: US mid-term elections

two years ago: two Star Wars adjacent films set in 2022Twelfth Night plus building the Golden Gate Bridge

three years ago: Waiting for Godot, Moonstone plus an unusual patent-filing

four years ago: puffy planets, the asteroid Eris, mobile car-chargers plus Nazi name mandates

five years ago: notes on Dante plus animal sounds in other languages

Tuesday 26 December 2023

cut the flowers (11. 216)

Never failing to far exceed expectations and always delivers, DJ Earworm (see previously) releases his annual United States of Pop mashup—which is more of an exercise in triangulation as a third, hybrid song and lyrics emerges from each combination from the catalogue of the top twenty-five most popular hits of the past twelve months.  The Taylor Swift compositions are especially enjoyable but do give the whole album a listen and seek out the 2009 edition—you won’t be disappointed.


one year ago: another MST3K classic,  AI does weird Christmas cards, a gig-worker’s Christmas Carol plus Greek Christmas goblins

two years ago: the Feast of the Holy Family,  a hit from Fine Young Cannibals plus 2021 in photos

three years ago: The Exorcist (1973), assorted links to revisit, psychogeography plus Boxing Day

five years ago: a portrait of a young blogger plus more links to enjoy

Monday 11 December 2023

merry mixmas (11. 180)

Via Pluralistic, we are reacquainted with the seasonal tradition of DJ Riko that’s spanned two decades and is still going strong. Begun as CD mix-tape sent to friends as a very special Christmas card, his unadulterated but refreshed playlists covering multiple eras, interpretations and genres started circulating on the internet and caught the attention of established media and their use is encouraged for one’s own holiday greetings and personal soundtrack. Good for those wanting to avoid the standard programming, click the cover image to listen to the full album.

Thursday 7 December 2023

9x9 (11. 169)

sub-space: the potential problems of communications with relativistic spacecraft, traveling at a fraction the speed of light with solar-sails  

new quality productivity: Chinese buzz-words of the year, including a coinage by President Xi 

ailex: artist Alicia Framis announces her marriage to a hologram  

der nussknacker: the Fรผchtner family who made the first traditional nutcracker is still in the business  

wallsynth: Love Hultรฉn’s custom, one-of-a-kind musical creations have a Mid-Century Modern aesthetic  

the day of the animals: a 1977 nature rampage film from William Girdler  

network effects: building a better, unbundled Craigslist turned out like the trajectory of Twitter 

american dream: Investopedia’s most searched economic terms of the year reveal a lot about how people feel about their financial situation 

 in space, no one can hear you kern: when lost in the inner Solar System, typography can come in handy


one year ago: Blue Marble (1972), Sovereign Citizens plus using AI to invent a language

two years ago: galaxies outside our own plus assorted links to revisit

three years ago: birdsong in December, more links to enjoy, non-conterminious territory plus more words of the year

four years ago: the Guzman Prize awarded (1969), Scientology HQ plus a lunar cruise

five years ago: the etymology of chauvinism, Dr Magnus Hirschfeld, circular economies, more movie typography plus juxtaposing photography


Friday 3 November 2023

8x8 (11. 093)

outsider art: revisiting the narrative embroidery of Agnes Richter and other works in the Prinzhorn Collection  

market sundries: the paper bag baron of the East End—via Strange Company  

the crispy r: more on rhoticity and unusual consonant 

pentimenti: conservators reveal a hidden demonic figure in Joshua Reynold’s “The Death of Cardinal Beaufort”—see also 

the statistical breviary: an overview of the history of digital design 

uno, dos, tres, quatro, cinco, cinco, seis: DJ Cummerbund (previously) presents a mashup of the The Offspring and Boney M—with quite a few other musical cameos 

face-hugger: the parasitic crustacean Phronima sedentaria was the inspiration for Ridley Scott’s Alien  

sgraffito: the alleged safe-room where Michelangelo hid from his political enemies, decorated with his anatomical and engineering studies opens to the public

Thursday 26 October 2023

suiko t-50 (11. 075)

Via Pasa Bon!, we are directed towards a rare, vintage synthesiser hardly known outside of the Japanese specialists’ market made as a training device for Koto (็ฎ) players, the plucked zither-like instrument, and as accompaniment to recited, classical poetry, with a keyboard following the fret and bridge layout of the strings and tuned to the minor Hirajลshi scale and mode. More at the links above. 


one year ago: more adventures in Crete

two years ago: a Roger Corman classic (1958),  Austria declares neutrality (1955) plus assorted links to revisit

three years ago: William Shatner in an Esperanto language film, more links to enjoy plus the Trump-Biden debate

four years ago: more links worth revisiting 

five years ago: Monster Mash, time travel with the dictionary plus Star Trek: Lower Decks

Monday 25 September 2023

featured ruinations (11. 023)

Via Kottke, this is more fun than expected. Admittedly though I had seen musician Dustin Ballard’s intriguing series “There I Ruined It” but dismissed them as a bit too jarring (of course delivering as promised) after a few seconds, however, we know have a restored appreciation for favourite songs, lovingly destroyed—like Eminem v Mario.Whoops there goes gravity.

Sunday 24 September 2023

scissor sisters vs the beatles vs george michael vs aretha franklin (11. 018)

Pluralistic from Cory Doctorow, settling up his link debt of interesting quick-takes, directs us towards a musical montage by Danny Moore (aka DJ Earworm, previously) composed of equal parts of the above seemingly incongruous group of artists called “No One Takes Your Freedom.” It’s got a nice beat—you can dance to it. Many more curated curiosities to be found above as well as thoughtful long-form reads to be found at the hyperlink up top.


one year ago: assorted links to enjoy,  Our Lady of Mercy plus more links

two years ago: more links to revisit plus punctuation appreciation day

three years ago: Pope Liberius, more links worth revisiting plus the 1976 Swine Flu outbreak

four years ago: Trump pressures Ukrainian authorities for dirt on his apparent political opponent, more synthetic models, UK courts rule that the suspension of Parliament was an abuse of power plus variations on Misirlou

five years ago: an atlas of remote islands, theatrics trumps discourse, and more links plus twenty-seven songs about the twenty-seven amendments to the US constitution

Sunday 3 September 2023

diskลพokej (10. 980)

Courtesy of Fancy Notions, we are directed to Czecho-slovakian animator Jiล™รญ Barta’s 1981 short Disc Jockey, that documents the day in the life of a DJ with a day-job in a world dominated by circles (as opposed to rectangles) where their beats evoke the mechanisms of the gears of the daily grind—as consolation in kind for music fests missed due to the climate catastrophe. Specialising in stop-motion techniques, Barta created an adaptation of the Pied Piper fable whilst working in the studio of Jiล™รญ Trnka and later became a member of the teaching faculty at the University of West Bohemia in Pilsen in addition to continuing to produce projects in film and theatre.


one year ago: a visit to the Saalfeld Fairy Grottos

two years ago: Gumbasia (1955), The Quadripartite Agreement renewed over a divided Berlin (1971), attempts to discredit the Pentagon Papers leak, more mushroom mania plus Ukraine at Thirty

three years ago: pioneering journalist Marguerite Higgins Hall,  a peaceful transition of power in question in the US plus assorted links to revisit

four years ago: a diplomatic gaffe in Iceland, la Maison du Gouffre plus the founding of San Marino

five years ago: right wing activity in Germany plus more links to check out

Monday 21 August 2023

i can listen to you—it keeps me stable for nights (10. 956)

Courtesy of our faithful chronicler, we learn that the foundational New Wave track by Gary Numan, launching his career as a solo artist after disbanding Tubeway Army, the lead single from his debut album, The Pleasure Principle, was released on this day in 1979. Although genre-defining first and foremost, the song is a bit transcend and bigger than its era—particularly in the postamble with rather epic harmonisation of a second synthesiser, a Minimoog and a Polymoog. The lyrics were inspired by an escalated road rage incident that Numan escaped by driving over the kerb and on to the sidewalk, the autonomy and splendid isolation responsible for both inciting and diffusing situations like this. In cars.


one year ago: medieval chess gaming conventions, assorted links to revisit plus the third album from Oasis (1997)

two years ago: visiting all the rudest toponyms in the UK plus The Baltics are Waking Up! (1991)

three years ago: only one saint per jurisdiction, please (1970), Comrade Gulliver, the history of paper ballots, the Hundred-Horse Chestnut Tree protected (1745) plus vintage Japanese meal wrappers

four years ago: GAP founded (1969), more links to enjoy plus face-swapping for 2001

five years ago: medieval alewives, a gigantic inner-bellum seaplane plus real-time tube maps

Wednesday 9 August 2023

it’s all too beautiful (10. 932)

Peaking at number three after entering the UK singles charts on this day in 1967, bested by Scott McKenzie’s “San Francisco” (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair) and The Beatles’ “All You Need is Love,” The Small Faces’ “Itchycoo Park” was among the first songs to use the technique called flanging that can be heard in the post-refrain bridges—the swooshing audio effect is produced by mixing two identical signals one with a delay of a few milliseconds that resolves in harmonisation. Classed as psychedelic-pop, the identity of the titular park has been subject to debate, proposals ranging from Manor Park or Wansteads Flats in East London to Little Ilford or Valentine’s Park in Charring Cross—regardless of the location, so nicknamed for the preponderance of stinging nettles. Regarded as “refreshing” and inspired with their other hits “All or Nothing,” “Lazy Sunday” and “Tin Soldier,” The Small Faces’ classic had a 1995 techno version released by M People.


one year ago: a 1970 promotional short from Bell Labs plus an artist homage to cinematic classics

two years ago: assorted links to revisit plus the 1975 Song of the Summer

three years ago: science lost to aggressive formatting, an anthology of Tarot cards, more links to revisit plus St Edith Stein

four years ago: a short by Ishu Patel,  Nixon tenders his resignation (1974), Solomon’s Paradox plus more US gun-violence

five years ago: the bombing of Nagasaki (1945), bokeh plus a search-and-rescue robot

Friday 28 July 2023

7x7 (10. 912)

barbieworld: a survey of a thousand advertisements contextualises the box-office phenomenon—see also 

gigo: a fundamental law of computing will ultimately thwart digital dictatorships  

lake berryessa: Dorothea Lange (previously) documented the flooding of a Napa Valley community in the 1950s—via Strange Company 

chamber music: a poorly received Baroque Beatles Book from 1965

i want to do whatever common people people do: a new genre was born in the sixteenth century when Pieter Bruegel began specialising in peasants, merchants and mongers  

word vectors: a bit of demystifying for Large Language Models—via Waxy 

 a census-designated place: explore Oppenheimer’s secret city of Los Alamos

Thursday 29 June 2023

captain planet, arab spring, la riots, rodney king (10. 844)

Quite a meaningful reflection at the time though the artist—vis-a-vis “57 Channels and Nothing’s Ondidn’t think much of its composition at the time other than a realisation of turning forty, Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start the Fire” which covered a litany of events of note and circumstance from 1949 to 1989 has been remade to highlight anachronistically (to preserve the rhyme scheme) moments from 1989 on. What else do I have to say? While perhaps speaking to later generations who have also lived through a lot, this version from Fall Out Boy is a bit infuriating. What do you think? Oklahoma City bomb, Kurt Cobain, Pokรฉmon, Crimean Peninsula, Cambridge Anaylica, Kim Jong Un.

Tuesday 20 June 2023

stars on 45 (10. 821)

On this day in 1981, a medley of Beatles songs reinterpreted as disco topped the US singles charts, launching an onslaught of similar remixes, including for the Beach Boys, The Carpenters, Stevie Wonder, the Andrews Sisters and various punk compilations.

The concept originated when the sessions band cum novelty pop group had visited a record store and heard what was expected to be a cacophonous playlist but realised that the rhythms complemented each other. The long-play album, “Let’s Do It In the 80s Greatest Hits” was regarded as a bootleg release at first since the band had not secured permission from the original artist or recording labels. The US title (the longest at forty-one words to reach number one) was “Intro Venus/Sugar Sugar/No Reply/I’ll Be Back/Drive My Car/Do You Want to Know a Secret/We Can Work It Out/I Should Have Known Better/You’re Going to Lose That Girl/Stars on 45” as the artists insisted that the cover tracks‘ names be included. Stars on 54 produced the soundtrack for the 1988 film about the New York City nightclub, including the dance version of Gordon Lightfoot’s “If You Could Read My Mind.”


one year ago: the second Glastonbury Festival (1972) plus more on the formulaic nature of streaming shows  

two years ago: Germany decides to move the capital to Berlin (1991), wandering like a cloud, the Rosemary Stretch (1972), Nazi rocketry plus some good sportsmanship (1932)

three years ago: North Korean character coding, Cher performs all the parts for West Side Story (1978) plus the premiere of Jaws (1975)

Thursday 15 June 2023

9x9 (10. 808)

seo arms race: ploys for attention bifurcate the internet marketplace—one for humans and the other for robots 

please have your boarding pass and identification ready: an appreciation of departure soundtracks of airliners—via Things Magazine 

musical tangents: a genius, deranged mashup compilation—via Waxy 

dynasty x: the world’s first curated, public museum established by Babylonian Princess and High Priestess Ennigaldi-Nanna, rediscovered in 1925, had a collection of artefacts as far removed from its time as Ur was from ours 

literal lexical calques: a new Spanish-English dialect emerges in southern Florida 

nada: car dealer trade group writing state legislation prohibiting factory sales, requiring manufacturers to work with middlemen—more here  

convergent evolution: Nature keeps making crabs and scientists aren’t sure why—via Kottke  

phrygian mode: Ancient Roman popular music  

unfulfilled: Amazon’s predatory cycle is transforming the EU into a planned economy

Wednesday 17 May 2023

8x8 (10. 747)

me and coolio down by the school yard: a treasury of DJ Cummbund’s mash-ups—see previously  

pedestrianised zone: Tokyo, the largest city in the world, achieved at level of automobile usage almost without compare to all other urban areas—via Kottke 

oo-de-lally: Disney’s Robin Hood at fifty—via Waxy  

was involved in a quid pro crow: during an interview, a politician introduces an interesting error  

sentence grimes: tag yourself in the unimpeachable list of seventh- and eighteenth century Quaker names—see also—Experience Cuppage is also very good 

contes de ma mรจre l’oye: fabulist, architect and meteorologist, the passions of the Brothers Perrault informed the modern age  

conservancy: the gradient of corporate and public, historic interest for digital preservation and possible solutions—see previously 

soda stereo: an appreciation of the Argentine musical sensation, four decades on

Sunday 5 February 2023

9x9 (10. 527)

famous one hundred twenty-three metre spire of salisbury cathedral: Polish coast guard rescues divers near critical infrastructure who were searching for amber 

macroagression: some GOP members in the US congress have switched their American flag lapels for tiny assault rifles—see also  

backbox: watch composer and sound designer Suzanne Ciani, Diva of the Diode, create a soundscape for a pinball game  

donks: a new animated short from Felix Colgrave explores lost cargo, avatars and adaptive bottom feeders  

mastodon flock: find your following—via Waxy  

cel-ray: a peppery, celery soda that one can still find for sale  

rosetta stone: two trilingual ancient clay tablets rediscovered help scholars decipher a lost Canaanite script  

brought down by the left-wing economic establishment: Liz Truss attempts to revive her political career with a long screed in the Sunday Telegraph  

sรฆstrengur: Iceland developing contingency plans in case the undersea cables connecting it to the rest of the world are severed