Sunday 23 July 2023

9x9 (10. 901)

effective altruism: FTX lobbyist tried to purchase the island nation of Nauru as a doomsday bunker and create a genetically enhanced human species  

getting drunk at a disco: 1977 found footage of an evening not necessarily going downhill 

this is not a love poem: a round-up of favourites that are not all lovey-dovey—via tmn  

rambler: a collection of illustrated exteriors of California ranch homes—see also

1975: Kuala Lumpur authorities shut down the Good Vibes festival after headliner Matty Healy criticised Malaysia’s anti-LGBTQ+ laws  

point of no return: time is running out on the Climate Clock  

stooping: trend adopted by Chinese young people involves decorating with cast-off furniture left by the curb 

smokey, this is not ‘nam—this is bowling, there are rules: Big Lebowski (previously) inspired bowling alley via Nag on the Lake’s Sunday Links (lots more to explore there) 

typoglycemia: bypassing chatbot’s ethical subroutines using word scrambling and transposed letters

Wednesday 28 April 2021

billiard balls & bowling green bowles, turnt correctly

We quite enjoyed perusing these antique furniture trade cards (see previously) from the shops and emporia of old London—reportedly discovered in a secret drawer of a hypothetical cabinet. There are carpenters and casket-makers, upholsters as well as looking-glass and chair manufacturies. 

Sunday 2 June 2019


Curbed’s Los Angeles bureau introduces us to the Chinese-American architect that helped establish and inform the Atomic Age style of vernacular architecture that originated in Southern California and manifested itself as Streamline Moderne and populuxe elsewhere in the pioneering personality Helen Liu Fong (*1927 – †2005).
Iconic works including Norms restaurants, Pann’s coffee shops and Bob’s Big Boy among other roadside attractions, many casualties of progress, Fong’s most celebrated and culturally significant project, helping a community on its recovery from internment and ostracizing treatment was the Holiday Bowl in the diverse Crenshaw neighbourhood of the segregated city, the lanes serving as a civic anchor for four decades. Much more to explore at the link above.

Friday 22 December 2017


daft the halls: a fun, festive musical compilation in the style of the artists, via The Awesomer

tulip mania: companies unrelated to cryptocurrency craze are garnering attention by adding “blockchain” to their names

not to scale: Tanaka Tatsuya’s creative dioramas comprised of tiny people interacting with everyday objects, via Nag on the Lake

jรณlnar: the yuletide Icelandic Ogress Grรฝla seems far more formidable than Krampus (more on her extended family here), via Miss Cellania

bowling for elves: a look back at the viral 1999 computer game that circulated by email and the ensuing scare that made the public more wary about cyber-security

tuin der lusten: an animation studio reinterprets Hieronymous Bosch’s triptych Garden of Earthly Delights (previously) with contemporary vanities

Tuesday 23 May 2017


Via Boing Boing, our attention is turned to marvel at the photographic eye of Robert Goetzfried as he explores the patterns and retro architecture that frame bowling alleys—lanes for Kegeln to be more precise, that one finds in bars, restaurants, sports club houses and guest houses in Germany. With the rules of the game having been codified by none other than reformer Martin Luther, it’s probably apt to characterise devotion to the game, especially in rural Bavaria where most of the images were captured, as a religious one.  Ogle the photographer’s whole gallery at the links up top.

Wednesday 21 November 2012

the dude abides

After spending a fun evening at a genuine American-style bowling-alley with friends in a neighbouring village, I was inspired to fulfill some of my self-imposed continuing-education class requirements with a training presentation called Introduction to Bowling! I thought I might acquire some trade secrets that might give me an advantage next time, like which ball colour is repelled from the gutter or magnetically attracted to the pins, which shoes are the lucky ones. The material, however, was mostly dry and concerned with safety and the dangers of not respecting the pin-setter and ball-return machines. There was one pretty interesting part that gave a quick survey of the game's history.
One slide, with little in the way of explanation, posed, “You may know that Martin Luther translated the Bible into German, but did you also know the Church Reformer basically invented the modern game of bowling? Luther thought nine pins were ideal.” Wirklich? That sounded to me like one of those nice but apocryphal tales that people attribute to George Washington or Abraham Lincoln, so I had to investigate further. It turns out since medieval times, cloistered monks ritually stoned totems, carving wooden clubs into pagan deities and tried to bowl them over. Eventually, this test of one's character made its way to the rest of the congregation, and peasants, who carried around a beam (which was the style at the time, I guess) called a Kegel (hence the German name for the game), started to repeat the monks' challenge with their own totems in the nave. A ball replaced rocks for safety purposes and the ritual evolved into a game. Martin Luther in fact was an avid bowler, having his own personal gaming pitch and later indoor lane, and turns out did write, among other things, the first rule book on bowling. Luther's influence probably did save the sport from obscurity, too, since it had been banned several places for promoting idleness among the working-classes.