Friday 10 November 2023

the one with all the war mongering (11. 108)

In the latest in her ongoing series of US presidential debate recaps, McSweeney’s contributor Maura Quint presents the third Republican session from Wednesday, again absent the forerunner in this race for sloppy seconds, moderator reminding the audience “that this is all a farce performed by unloved toddlers and that Donald Trump will undoubtedly be the nominee.” After placing blame on the corrupt media and Democratic leadership for America’s wayward trajectory, brinksmanship built over how to deal with China, Russia and the active conflicts in Ukraine and the war in Palestine between Israel and Hamas—satire that corresponded with the actual exchanges on the dais, the debate concluded with the closing remarks of hopeful Chris Christie: “It’s a gift to be an American. Maybe it’s not what you wanted but your parents gave it to you and they expect you to be grateful for it anyway. So show some respect, you ingrates.”

Tuesday 3 October 2023

speaker pro tempore (11. 037)

In stark contrast to the fifteen rounds of voting that it took for McCarthy to secure his conditional speakership, radical members of his own party in Congress sided with the Democratic opposition to abruptly end his shaky nine month tenure, instigated by representative Matt Gaetz, ostensibly for while making good on his promise to launch an impeachment inquiry against Joe Biden negotiating with Democratic lawmakers to avert a government shutdown with a stopgap funding bill. Gaetz was possibly also motivated by a personal vendetta against the California congressman for an ethics investigation against the junior Florida statesman over misuse of campaign funds, sexual misconduct and drugs use which McCarthy as House leader allowed to proceed. This unprecedented removal leaves the lower house of legislators without a chair in control, making it more difficult to bring bills and administrative proceedings to the floor, and as chaotic and unruly as Congress was under McCartney, his replacement may turn out to be much worse.

Friday 29 September 2023

lapse in appropriations (11. 030)

With the deadline looming and only hours left before a government shut-down (previously) looks more and more inevitable, continued in-fighting amongst Republican members in Congress sabotaged a bill sponsored by the Senate that would have have been a stop-gap measure, a continuing resolution, to keep the funded government and operational through mid-November. The Speakership in hock and the House of Representatives held ransom by a radical element willing to let the government run out of money, insistent on a thirty-percent across the board cut in budgets and halting aid to Ukraine. Despite a precariously narrow majority in Congress that cannot enforce its will (captivity to an arch-conservative, pandering wing notwithstanding) without compromise and concession, particularly in mixed jurisdiction (and again, gerrymandering that protects their seats notwithstanding), the GOP is refusing to negotiate and willing to force a crisis costly in terms of economics and repute that may prove difficult to resolve.


one year ago: the Mayak disaster (1957) 

two years ago: assorted links to revisit

three years ago: Star Trek tarot,  the Feast of the Archangels, the cartoons of R Cobb plus more links to revisit

four years ago: more Theremin maestros plus more Middle English vulgarities

five years ago: the Munich Agreement (1938) plus the Suprematism movement

Wednesday 27 September 2023

9x9 (11. 028)

space lab: a 1992 futuristic glass room with modular rooms that can be rearranged along its spine  

overburdened, overscheduled: the anti-homework movement is picking up momentum—found especially resounding the editorial comment: as a blogger I’m still doing homework  

star the glaze: an 1860 dictionary of contemporary English slang, cant and vulgarities—with a gloss of two secret argots  

memorandum of agreement: the contents of the Writer’s Guild of America’s draft deal with the studio seems like a decisive victory and a Hollywood ending

i am worth billions more than my very conservatively stated financial statements, and therefore could not have defrauded the banks, who all made money & were all: a New York judge rules that Trump exaggerated his worth in order to secure more financing  

felt a bit violated, really: a viral account using facial recognition is doxxing random individuals to the amusement of viewers—via the new shelton wet/dry  

drank the kool-aid: Big Tobacco’s legacy comfort foods 

 do you have information about permanent people: more questions pulled from the New York Public Library system reference desk—see previously 

vertical villages: unbuilt utopian hi-rise communities—via Messy Nessy Chic


one year ago: for the Queen to use, the Discovery of the True Cross, Marimekko Oyj plus assorted links to revisit

two years ago: France’s TGV goes into service (1981) plus a change in UK license plates post Brexit

three years ago: Art Povera, pet diplomacy plus Trump’s latest nominee to the US Supreme Court

four years ago: the flag of China plus US-Germany relations

five years ago: more links to enjoy plus the economics principle of chartalism

Friday 22 September 2023

6x6 (11. 013)

schedule f: Trump and the Heritage Foundation’s plan to dismantle the administrative state, replacing federal workers with sycophants—via Miss Cellania  

chinoiserie: a grand tour of Rococo era architectural follies as homage and aspiration to Eastern aesthetics—see also  

disco demolition night: more on the publicity stunt that incited a riot and brought down a whole genre of music 

agrostology: of grasses and lawns  

we’re safety now, haven’t we: US federal consumer safety commission drops an album that includes some bangers—but hardly for the first 

time swing time for hitler: new audio book by Scott Simon explores how Nazis banned jazz as degenerate art and repurposed it to dispirit the Allies—with more on Lord Haw-Haw and other propagandists


one year ago: MERS-CoV (2012),  the premier of West Wing (1999), Putin addresses the public and announces a draft plus an early Hobbit computer game

two years ago: assorted links to revisit plus Fiddler on the Roof (1964)

three years ago: Ruth Bader Ginsburg lies in state, the last day of summer, more links to enjoy plus dazzling skylines made of dot-stickers

four years ago: exploring the Messel Pit plus a highly idiosyncratic language

five years ago: rehabilitating coral ecosystems with electricity, an AI makes college course catalogues, typhoon naming conventions plus an M-class exoplanet

Thursday 14 September 2023

motion to vacate (11. 001)

In the face of another US government shutdown over perceived cultural agendas, vacant military leadership roles by a single senator opposed to the armed forces providing reproductive care to service members and diminished deadlines over internecine posturing with bald majority of only a few party members, the beleaguered Speaker of the House whose appointment was conditional and easily unseated is making further concessions and pandering to the malcontents by pursuing an impeachment inquiry into the Biden administration, couching his justification in the belief that the president mislead the public about his family’s foreign business relations, with tinny and circumstantial echoes of the self-dealing of the Trump crime family syndicate. 

Conservative elements in the Republican Party want to oust McCarthy as leader for negotiating with Biden over the debt ceiling standoff and now the same group a threatening to force a government shutdown, unless a formal impeachment inquiry is launched—the GOP having wanted to eject Biden on any pretext since the election with the attack on the Capitol and the false narrative accompanying the vote, spurious lawsuits, the withdrawal from Afghanistan—which his predecessor also instigated, Biden’s handling of the immigration crisis but are now turning to old developments over unsubstantiated allegations that the president’s son used his father’s influence and position to secure wealth for himself (Trump was impeached the first time for badgering the Ukrainian president for dirt on Biden and his son, threatening to withhold military aid if Zelenskyy could not produce) to build a case, brought unilaterally by the Speaker himself since there are not the votes in support to bring the motion to the chamber.

Friday 1 September 2023

8x8 (10. 977)

diyarbakฤฑr: archeologists discover a massive subterranean city under the Roman garrison at Zerzevan 

aaro: the Pentagon launches a website to explore declassified information on unidentified anomalous phenomena, via Slashdot—also watch this instead 

space for kitchen aerobics: the latest oversized monstrosity from McMansion Hell—previously

the parable of the pig: philosopher Pyrrho’s hog as a model of tranquillity in a ship on a stormy sea—from Futility Closet happily back after a hiatus  

queso de cabrales: a hunk of artisanal cheese from Asturias fetches a record-setting price—via Strange Company 

a directory of wonderful things: an expert curated selection of weird and delightful corners of the internet  

chatgop: a conservative media outlet may have interviewed an AI generated Donald Trump 

colossus of constantine: plans to restore the monumental statue of the Roman emperor built as a triumph for his victory in the Battle of the Milvian Bridge

Thursday 24 August 2023

7x7 (10. 962)

miracle house: a singular property that survived the devastating wildfires opened up to the community as a beacon of hope for a destroyed Lahaina neighbourhood 

service manual showcase: a growing curated archive of quirky and niche instruction guides—via Waxy  

book ‘em danno: Trump arrested and released on bail in Fulton County in the US state of Georgia—with a historic mug-shot 

take the d-train: artist Stipan Tadiฤ‡ documented a year long route from the Bronx to Brooklyn and back—via Nag on the Lake 

spaghetti mayhem: Jan Hakon Erichsen has fun with uncooked pasta 

word of the day: Susie Dent’s logophilia  

ฯ…ฮณฯฯŒ ฯ€ฯฯ: emergency responders struggle to contain fires ravishing Greece—the largest in the EU

elephant in the room (10. 961)

Beginning with counter-programming parallel to the actual televised Republican primary debate in the form of an interview with fired Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson and staging an encore the next day with his arrest and release on bail in Georgia that will surely negate the spectacle and grandstanding, Trump was conspicuously absent from this quorum of contenders, carefully vying for cabinet positions yet haunted the pundits and hopefuls who could focus their attacks on a surrogate, political outsider and Trump apologist in the form of businessman Vivek Ramaswamy—described by Fox hosts as a “skinny guy with a funny last name,” exactly the same words used for Barack Obama. While not a forgone conclusion, Trump calculated sitting out this debate would be to his advantage, leading the polls for the GOP nominee by a compelling majority, with his major rival, Florida governor and cultural-crusader DeSantis seeming much diminished in this forum. And while the split-screen seemed not garner the attention wanted or expected, all but one of the candidates pledged (albeit meekly) to support Trump for re-election should he be convicted on one or all of his four indictments and ninety-one criminal charges and no one on stage really addressed policy but rather personality and credentials.


one year ago:  assorted links to revisit plus the party’s response to the 1991 attempted coup in the Soviet Union

two years ago: more links to enjoy, ant architecture plus Bohemian Rhapsody (1975)

three years ago: cocktails for on-line courses, the International Garden PoTY plus vintage Soviet pop

four years ago: a sorceress’ trove found in Pompeii 

five years ago: Kalashnikov makes an electric vehicle,  a White House press briefing, drought in Europe reveals ominous Hunger Stones plus one community’s fight to keep a fast food giant at bay

Tuesday 15 August 2023

rico (10. 944)

Ex-president Trump and a cadre of his closest confidantes were indicted by the state of Georgia on forty-one counts of racketeering and conspiracy charges to subvert his loss during the 2020 campaign, the eighteen other defendants including Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, justice department official Jeffrey Clark, election lawyers Rudy Giuliani, Sidney Powell and Kenneth Chesebro as well as a slate of rogue “fake electors” that certified Trump as the winning candidate. The charges stem from a solicitation to break an oath of by Trump’s infamous directive to the Georgia Secretary of State to “find” him the needed votes, pressuring other election officials and breaching electronic ballot machines to undermine confidence in the democratic process. This represents Trump’s fourth indictment and because it was initiated on the state and not the federal level and potential re-appointment to high office and the opportunity for self-pardon would not make these charges go away.

Saturday 5 August 2023

the smoking gun (10. 927)

Released to the prosecution on this day responding to a subpoena decided by SCOTUS a few weeks prior that ruled executive privilege did not confer immunity from cooperating with the courts, one recording among the cache of tapes documented the preliminary stages of the Watergate coverup, with Nixon and H R Haldeman, Chief of Staff, overheard in a meeting in the Oval Office discussing how to thwart the ongoing investigation by the FBI of the break-in at the Democratic National Headquarters. Acknowledging both the risk involved if the plan came to light and giving the approach his approval, this revelation ran counter to the narrative presented that Nixon was not involved in the scandal nor had interfered with the FBI’s work—assigning the jurisdiction to the CIA. Political and public support evaporated immediately and the ten Republican senators on the impeachment jury who had initially voted to acquit the president changed their position, prompting Nixon’s almost immediate resignation in lieu of conviction and removal.

7x7 (10. 926)

strange new worlds: Star Trek’s upcoming musical episode  

peaceful transition of power: US Department of Justice requested to issue protective orders following Trump’s threats to go after prosecutors during a fund-raising event in Alabama 

nuclear noir: a selection of psychological thrillers at the cusp of the Cold War and the malleability of McGuffins  

carbon black: Massachusetts Institute of Technology develops supercapacitors that store energy in cement

family-friendly: the Kids On-Line Safety Act is posed to severely curtail speech on the internet and anonymous browsing—see also—via Waxy  

and until this battle station is fully operational, we are vulnerable—the rebel alliance is too well equipped: the US Space Force headquarters to remain in Colorado Springs  

english, do you speak it: a foretaste of Pulp Fiction—the musical

Tuesday 1 August 2023

outcome-determinative fraud (10. 920)

Characterised by the campaign to re-elect Trump and ostensibly much of the cult-like Republican party as election interference and may well boost his chances, the former president has been indicted—his third and second on the federal level, for his role in attempting to overturn the results of the 2020 election on four counts of criminal behaviour that came to a violent denouement with the January Sixth storming of the Capitol. Enumerated as defrauding the government, conspiring to obstruct official proceeding, the case of the prosecution alleges Trump spread false rumours about voter fraud, called false slates of electors and encouraged the attempt to halt the certification of the ballot through encouraging above insurrection, determined to remain in power, knowing that his narrative and claims were baseless—eroding confidence in election officials and a rather sacrosanct process that equates to disenfranchisement against counsel who tried to disabuse him of this narrative tactic. Six accomplices were cited anonymously and not yet charged, suggesting that they could be induced to cooperate with the investigation that could mean a jail sentence long enough to keep Trump behind bars for the rest of his life—though he can still run for president despite conviction, like his antithesis Eugene V Debs of the Socialist party, and should he be re-elected, appoint a new attorney general and justice department to overturn the charges.

Tuesday 18 July 2023

which almost always means an arrest and indictment (10. 892)

Donald Trump announced in a post (and fund-raising appeal) on his platform Truth Social that special counsel Jack Smith informed him that he was the subject of the investigation, uncorroborated, though if true according to the former US president’s characterisation it would represent the third charge rising to the threshold of criminal offences and perhaps the most consequential after falsifying business records to cover up hush money and mishandling classified documents with the suggestion he is the ‘target’ of the January 6th grand jury investigation. Though not confirmed by the prosecution—having repeatedly cited Trump for public comment regarding ongoing matters, a range of recommended filings emerged this past December including conspiracy in support of false statements, aiding and abetting an insurrection, obstruction of official business and attempts to defraud United States—the latter two specifically in attempts to overturn election results with frivolous, costly and disproven demands for recounts which have exhausted party coffers in several polities.


two years ago: your daily demon: Naberus, Castle Lรคckรถ plus a gallery of pets through the looking-glass

three years ago: Trump and paramilitary organisations, “Obloquy to most men is more painful than death,” plus more on corporate sing-a-longs

four years ago: les Horrible Cernettes, the first image on the world-wide-web, West Germany’s film rating scale (1949) plus the unrelenting assaults on rights and decency from Trump

five years ago: “they are an aggressive people” plus the sophisti-pop genre

Saturday 8 July 2023

lone star (10. 867)

Truckloads of giant meter-diameter buoys arrived on the Rรญo Bravo to be assembled into a floating chain of obstacles to prevent individuals from Mรฉxico from crossing the river and into Texas as part of larger programme to deter migration, but as David Martin Davies reports, like many other initiatives facing legal challenges, this experimental yet unoriginal and pricey idea may not only prove ultimately ineffectual, dangerous to life and limb and result in further negative environmental impact for the beleaguered waterway, it may also flaunt international law, potentially altering the flow and the border between the US and Mรฉxico. Opponents also note that the buoys could become unmoored—no infrastructure or ecological assessments were conducted prior to the planned installation (end product visualised)—and float downstream and cause damage to bridges.

Thursday 29 June 2023

robot roll call (10. 843)

Via Super Punch comes confirmation from a Disney imagineer that the theory that the rather poor likeness of Donald Trump added in 2017 to Disney World’s Hall of Presidents attraction—a non-thrill ride from 1971 with all the US commanders-in-chief past and present brought together in Philadelphia’s Independence Hall to extol, uncannily the virtues of American governance and democracy—was in fact a hastily repurposed Hilary Clinton audio-animatronic, assuming like many that she would be the victor. As with all new incumbents, the exhibit shut down for six months in preparation for the presidency of Joe Biden to design and choreograph and Trump reappeared with a more refined, sculpted look which is distinctly less like Trump’s face stretched over Clinton’s cranium but as the park has a tendency to recycle suggests that she might be waiting in ambush as an extra in the Haunted Mansion or Country Bears’ Jamboree.

Friday 9 June 2023

united states of america v. donald j trump and waltine nauta (10. 796)

On International Archives Day, no less, one could not expect better timing.  More developments here from NPR.

Thursday 8 June 2023

9x9 (10. 794)

all star festival: the 1963 charity concert sponsored by the UN for refugee aid with headliners Ella Fitzgerald, Doris Day and Louis Armstrong  

smoke from a distant fire: New York City’s air quality falls to the most hazardous in the world—see also  

progressive punishment: a speeding driver in the ร…land region gets a six-figure ticket  

bezold-brรผcke shift: the Sun shines green  

better living through chemistry: a glossary of manufactured terminology  

wopr: Nicolas Temese creates dioramas of miniature vintage computers—see previously  

espionage act: Trump summoned to the federal courthouse in Miami on charges of illegally retaining classified files  

cop 28: the warming weather cycle of El Niรฑo is upon us  

wall of sound: the logistics of touring that defies credulity

Wednesday 24 May 2023

7x7 oops all america (10. 764)

the hills we climb: Amanda Gorman’s inspirational poem (previously) during the inaugeration for Joe Biden among reading materials subject to a ban in Florida 

gen-z-span: a C-SPAN and Tik Tok split-screen is “giving democracy”—via Waxy  

sealioning: the baiting, false pretence for an honest discussion 

love is love: US retailer removing some LGBTQ+ collection apparel from its stores after backlash directed at employees plus more attacks against allied merchandise  

line-in-the-sand: negotiations on the impending US debt ceiling have stalled with little time to spare 

patent troll: the state of Louisiana introduces legislation to curtail the private equitisation of supposed infringement on intellectual property—via Super Punch  

won’t someone think of the children: analyses reveal that the majority of book ban challenges for curricula and libraries come from eleven people

Tuesday 23 May 2023

6x6 (10. 762)

nightingale-olympic: the time capsule that is Bangkok’s first specialty retail establishment—via Messy Nessy Chic 

splinternet: legal jurisdictions—for reasons real, specious and facetious dividing the internet

recruitment bonus: Florida governor is offering cash incentives to bring violent police officers to departments across the state—more here  

loveboat insanity: Poseidon’s Underworld reviews their lodestar film and more shared movie DNA  

puriteens: prudishness is taking over some parts of the internet   

bhs downtown: a Vermont high school hosted in an abandoned department store