Wednesday 13 December 2023

7x7 (11. 186)

itsy-bitsy: a performance on the SpiderHarp, a large scale model originally developed to study vibrations and triangulation on a web  

origin story: how Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer began as a department store promotional giveaway  

owl001: BBC hacked live on the air in 1983—see also—via Damn Interesting’s Curated Links  

marie mathรฉmatique: the adventures of the younger sister of Barbarella, scored by Serge Gainsbourg—see more  

ggwp: the E3 gaming conference has been shuttered permanently  

the great toy robbery: an animated classic from the National Film Board of Canada 

ikea monkey: the happy life of Darwin the macaque after its moment of fame—previously

Wednesday 20 September 2023

9x9 (11. 010)

: play around for a moment with the Water web toy—via Miss Cellania and the Everlasting Blรถrt  

green new deal: modelled on FDR’s Civilian Conservation Corps, US president Biden creates a federal jobs training and climate protection force  

won’t someone think of the children: UK passes Online Safety bill—see previously  

piramida: architectural photographer Danica O Kus documents the newly-repurposed monument in the Albanian capital of Tirana

nine-man morris: archeologists discover a board game carved in the ruins of an ancient Polish castle  

qed: a tiny Irish child has a brilliant solution to the trolley problem—see previously  

the mascot of ascot: the magnificent millinery modelled by Gertrude Shilling—via Messy Nessy Chic

once i played a tanpura: electronic music from India from the early 1970s—via Things Magazine  

written on water: physicists using an ionic pen and Brownian motion can draw lines and letters in liquid

 

synchronoptica

one year ago: assorted links to revisit 

two years ago: the Global War on Terrorism declared (2001), photographer Charles Cylde Ebbets plus more links to enjoy

three years ago: St Eustace plus running out of hurricane names

four years ago: an AI names mushrooms,  exploring a local wayside chapel, more links plus Randy Rainbow for the Emmy

five years ago: retro web bumpers, a then-and-now of New Zealand’s government, modern-day occupations plus the board game Careers

Monday 31 July 2023

5x5 (10. 917)

scream real loud: Paul Reubens, actor who portrayed Pee-wee Herman has died after a private struggle with cancer

nudge theory: top behavioural science researchers fabricated data about engineering honest responses  

platonic solid: the enduring mystery of Gallo-Roman dodecahedra 

maxwell’s demons: plans to use AI to detoxify speech only dial up the rhetoric

live at the roxy: the 1981 HBO special that introduced the character Pee-wee

synchronoptica 

one year ago: a classic from The Eurhythmics, assorted links to revisit plus an antique celebrity abecedarium

two years ago: a potentially perpetual time crystal, the photography of Lora Webb Nichols, a new Olympic motto includes togetherness, assorted links worth revisiting, vintage internet radio plus David Bowie Halloween costumes

three years ago: more links to check out, China’s moon mission plus a new, smaller batch of emoji

four years ago: more Brexit omnishambles plus reforesting efforts in Ethiopia

five years ago: Franklin Armstrong (1968), more links, an exoplanet survey plus bands as football clubs


Monday 24 April 2023

9x9 (10. 696)

precariat: the antithesis of job security—via Miss Cellania 

le jeu de monde: a seventeenth century geography-themed board game 

sell ∀ ∃ as ∃ ∀ scam: AI “prompt engineering” distilled—via the new shelton wet/dry  

ad infintum: a survey of the websites that ChatGPT and other large language models glean from to appear smartly confident 

fox and friends: rightwing ideologue Tucker Carlson abruptly announces he is leaving the network  

reductio ad hilterium: fake diaries to go on public display after forty years since their spurious authorship  

mister hepster: Cab Calloway’s jazz lexicon  

tea and sympathy: the Teasmade museum—via Messy Nessy Chic  

permission slip: inside the wave of American legislation looking to overturn laws restricting child labour

Tuesday 11 April 2023

9x9 (10. 667)

pass****123: a visualisation of pilfered passwords aggregated from various leaks and breaches

event horizon: a streak of young stars may be the wake of a supermassive black hole ejected from its host galaxy  

pop: speeding locomotives in an animated short by Yoji Kuri—see previously  

you sank my battleship: leaked NATO plans for bolstering Ukraine’s military were first circulating on a Minecraft gaming forum—more here  

what, me worry: a celebration of the long life and career of cartoonist Al Jaffee 

bierpulver: the Neuzeller Klosterbrรคu, known for other innovative libations, introduces a dehydrated beer that one needs only add water to   

example handshake: a look at the squelch of the dial-up modem  

trapezoidal flux deviation: an alternative proposal for the non-existence of exoplanets—via the New Shelton wet/dry  

a generator and a discriminator: AI can crack most users’ passwords in under two minutes—via Dam Interresting’s Curated Links

Thursday 6 April 2023

6x6 (10. 657)

locus ludi: play ancient Greek and Roman board games and more—via Pasa Bon! 

carriage-return: an illustrated appreciate of maintenance trains of the Japan’s railways  

you, me and ui: the logoff button is defunct king kong (your song): Bobby “Boris” Pickett’s other attempts to recapture the success of Monster Mash  

castaway huts: a guide to shelters for shipwrecked sailors 

็ต„ใฟ็ด; the traditional Japanese art of making chords and braids  

never bet against the house: a group of in tune gamblers find a way to beat the odds with Roulette with preternatural timing—via Damn Interesting’s Curated Links

Saturday 1 April 2023

7x7 (10. 649)

the house of mouse: Disney lawyers thwart Florida governor’s interference plans by linking status quo to the British monarchy 

the highrise collection: a drone exploration of beautiful early twentieth century skyscrapers of the US

mambabatok: Vogue Philippines has 106-year-old traditional tattoo Apo Whang-Od artist on its cover  

fraktur folk art: the lettering of German dissident รฉmigrรฉ communities in Pennsylvania (see also

pretty fly for a white guy: Finnish politicians, as their rapping alter-egos Qruu and Cstar, drop some rhymes for their campaign platform—via Miss Cellania    

gelatinous cube: the 1977 Dungeon’s & Dragons Monster Manual  

g: all. of. the. above: a Trump indictment quiz

Tuesday 7 February 2023

7x7 (10. 531)

business vulnerable: dress codes for your wedding to confound invited guests 

boom and bust: in stark contrast to last year’s showcase dubbed Crypto Bowl, no cryptocurrency ads have been purchased for Super Bowl Sunday  

fanilect: more eggcorns and mondegreens in misheard lyrics to Taylor Swift songs  

gaming like it’s 1927: annual public domain table-top project playing and remixing expired IPs—via Things Magazine  

overworld theme: beatboxer recreates the songscape of Super Mario Bros. 2

only the shadow knows: a noir short by Fabrice Mathieu  

family dining: Facebook to open Metaverse to children to try to rehabilitate flagging interest 

assistant to the regional manager: the Great Resignation and unethical reclassification practises helped create inflated job titles

Wednesday 11 January 2023

a very rich lotterie generall, without any blankes (10. 405)

Officially chartered by Queen Elizabeth I three years prior as the earliest recognised state lottery notwithstanding earlier experiments with drawings and raffles to raise funds, as our faithful chronicler informs, the first drawing for the jackpot occurred on this day in 1569, designed to raise money for the “reparation of the haves and strength of the Realm, and towardes such other publique good workes.” At ten shillings a piece, the four-hundred thousand tickets issued—some three weeks wages for the ordinary subject and pricing most out of the competition—were essential an interest free loan for the government with the grand prize, a combination of fiat tender and valuable fineries such as silver and tapestries, assessed at around £5 000. The winner was also entitled to granted immunity from one arrest—a get out-of-jail free card, provided that the crime was not piracy, murder, felonious or treasonous. State lotteries in England ran through 1826, folding under pressure from parliamentary opposition and public ridicule for dignifying such speculative pursuits.

Tuesday 11 October 2022

proto-zoetrope (10. 212)

Via Messy Nessy Chic, we are directed to an artefact found in sizable archaeological Bronze Age settlement of Shahre-e Sukhteh (ุดู‡ุฑ ุณูˆุฎุชู‡, Persian for Burnt City) found amongst of treasure of the Helmand culture including an artificial eye, the oldest known board-game with playable pieces and dice, a human skull displaying evidence of successful brain surgery and this earthenware goblet, all items approaching five millennia in age, that depicts was researchers consider to be first animation—see previously. When the vessel is rotated, it reveals a leaping goat taking a bite off a leaf.

Saturday 26 February 2022

8x8

squirrel monkey: imagining Wordle vintage 1985—see also  

ะผะธัั‚ะตั†ั‚ะฒะพ: Ukrainian art community despairs as invasion advances

rumble: the overlooked musical virtuosity of Link Wray  

snake island: Ukrainian soldiers stand their ground and face off a battleship defending a military outpost on Zmiinyi, the rocky islet where Achilles was entombed 

regression to the mean: a spate of controversial laws passed in the US to curtail discussions in classroom that would make straight, white cis people uncomfortable (previously)

existential crisis: dread creeps into the everyday and makes it difficult to focus on what’s vital and the ultimately inconsequential  

ะฐั€ั…ั–ั‚ะตะบั‚ัƒั€ะฝะพั—: Ukrainian designers and architects fight back against Russian incursion  

acrophobia: sociable early internet word game that solicited wrong answers only plus several contemporaries

Wednesday 9 February 2022

7x7

desert fox: play-through for a complex, WWII-themed board game, The Campaign for North Africa, that requires over fifteen hundred hours to complete  

hill house: a giant drying-box that preserves an Art Deco marvel by Charles Rennie Mackintosh—via Things Magazine 

the greatest thing since sliced bread: a satisfying video showing the steps in production in an industrial bakery in South Korea  

lightsaber flavour: alternative designations from young people that far surpass their proper names—via Miss Cellania’s Links 

rip: a celebration of the life and vision of Douglas Trumbull, special effects artist behind Silent Running, Close Encounters, 2001 and many others

multiple arcade machine emulator: after a quarter of a century, the MAME project is still releasing monthly new additions for home play—via Waxy  

ltee: the E. coli long-term evolution experiment has been running since 1988 and monitoring the mutations in twelve original strains over tens of thousands of generations

Tuesday 1 February 2022

6x6

putting the fun in fungible: NFTs appraised on Antiques Roadshow, via Messy Nessy Chic  

anagrams everywhere: the intrusive, obsessive thoughts of a Scrabble enthusiast—via Kottke’s Quick Linkssee also  

maths hysteria: a celebration of vintage calculator manuals  

dishes for luck and prosperity: traditional Lunar New Year cuisine laden with word-play and symbolism  

old brown ears is back: a cover album from under-appreciated Muppet character, Rowlf the Dog  

nasm: Smithsonian Air & Space museum accepts donation from a tech billionaire—notably absent a “morals clause” which would allow the institution to disassociate itself with their benefactor should their values become misaligned

Friday 26 November 2021

7x7

limerent limerick: help in recognising unhealthy obsessions and how to work one’s way out of intrusive thinking—hopefully through bawdy rhymes 

there and back again: Gene Deitch’s animated short The Hobbit—the first such adaptation  

roll for perception: a collection of resources, a florilegium from a Society for Creative Anachronism member for the LARP community—via Mx van Hoorn’s cabinet of hypertext curiosities  

avenue of the sphinxes: a restored promenade between Luxor and Karnak opened with fanfare  

opiate for the masses: drug use in Antiquity 

mlhavรฝ: Martin Rak’s fog-draped forests in Saxon-Bohemia—see previously 

here’s mud in your eye: a select glossary of beer and imbibing terminology—via Strange Company’s Weekend Link Dump


 

Monday 6 September 2021

ฤlea iacta est

Via the ever excellent Everlasting Blรถrt, we are directed to this pair of Roman anthropomorphic dice, silver squatting figurines weighted (equitably presumably) to fall in one of six (tesserae, though usually in games in the Empire tossed in threes) positions.

The above phrase attributed to Julius Caesar by the historian Suetonius when the general brought his provincial army into the capital is like other quotations a likely translation from the Greek borrowing from the humorist Menander, «แผˆฮฝฮตฯฯฮฏฯ†ฮธฯ‰ ฮบฯฮฒฮฟฯ‚», let a die be cast in either form the phrase meaning metaphorically reaching a point of no return from whose juncture the decisions are irreversible.

Friday 25 June 2021

beige

Commissioned originally by a paint company for voice-over artist Ken Nordine to write and perform radio spots in the style of signature his “word jazz” albums (also long-time WBEZ Chicago public radio host of the programme of the same name), the work expanded by 1967 into a full recording of some thirty tracks, personifying a different colour each, kind of like Eighty-Eight Lines about Forty-Four Women. Covered hues include Puce, Chartreuse, Ecru and Mauve. The reverse of the sleeve and liner-notes included byzantine instructions for a board game and make a finger-painting based on the order prescribed and scoring was self-apparent.

Friday 19 February 2021

6x6

seven minutes of terror: Perseverance lands on Mars, beginning its search for signs of past life  

cyborg tomato: AI Weirdness (previously) generates its own mascot—plus others  

polar flare: examining every map projection and how it distorts our world view at once—see previously  

simon says: a vast archives of electronic handheld and table-top games and consoles from decades past—via Swiss Miss  

fabian society: capitalism coexists with constructivism in Czech city of Zlรญn  

hello world: the newest Martian probe beams back its first images

Tuesday 15 December 2020

six wedges

On this evening back in 1979, over a game of Scrabble two newspaper editors, Chris Haney and Scott Abbott—unable to locate all their letter tiles, decided to make up their own game, establishing the basic concept for what would become Trivial Pursuit—the board game commercially released in 1981.

Monday 21 September 2020

disrupted chess

Via the always excellent Nag on the Lake, we are introduced to the range of multi-sensory board games—fluxchess sets—conceived and crafted by studio artist (see previously) Takako Saito to question the primacy of vision to play and in the artistic aesthetic in general by tethering experience to higher planes through the richness of perception and incorporating all the senses.

In addition to the pictured version where players have to ascertain each phial-piece’s rank and range of motion by sampling the liquor it contains, there is also spice chess with the chessmen identical and distinguished into one of the six by its scent and more tactile and acoustic games. Much more to explore at the source link up top.

Thursday 18 June 2020

park place and pall mall

With a long layover and an afternoon to wander Londontown, markets consultant Dan Barker (via Kottke’s Quick Links) used his time to document the properties on that city’s version of the game Monopoly (previously) and provide a bit of history and context for each as he moves around the board with the capital’s streets and stations still in the grips of quarantine and social distancing. Real estate costs have increased significantly as compared to Atlantic City.