Thursday, 30 September 2021

the colossus of rรผgen

Things Magazine directs our attention to documentary about the resort of Prora (see previously here, here, here and here) built as a part of the Kraft durch Freude (KdF or Strength through Joy) programme of Nazi Germany. The three kilometre long complex that runs parallel to the beach on the Baltic has been recently redeveloped as a hotel and luxury vacation apartments.

Monday, 9 August 2021

typically tropical

Best remembered for the 1975 Song of the Summer “Barbados,” reaching its pinnacle of popularity on this day those decades hence, the duo comprised of recording engineers Jess Calvert and Max West, the track was covered by the Vengaboys in 1999 as “We’re Going to Ibiza.” Typically Tropical performed the song on Top of the Pops, rounding out an album called Barbados Sky, and three years later received a song writing credit for the Hot Gossip disco number “I Lost My Heart to a Starship Trooper,” inspired by the Star Wars craze. “…Or are you like a droid—devoid of emotion?”

Saturday, 24 July 2021


yรคchtley crรซw: a cover band’s homage to the genre (previously

sky mall: the inevitable fate of all platforms, selling botware to other bots in glossy format—via Things Magazine plus an update on the Metabolist capsule hotel of Kisho Kurokawa 

๐’€ญ๐’„‘๐’‰‹๐’‚ต๐’ˆจ๐’Œ‹๐’Œ‹๐’Œ‹: assaying the Epic of Gilgamesh—previously here and here  

this beach does not exist: using generative adversarial networks (previous snowclones) to create fantasy shorelines—via the New Shelton wet/dry  

hearse: a concept Airstream funeral coach, circa 1981, which never caught on—also h/t to Things  

not affiliated with project shield, loki or the world security council: an exclusive exposรฉ on cyber surveillance abuse on a global scale 

 transatlanticism: US withdraws objections to completion of Nord Stream 2—previously, now ninety-eight percent done—after negotiations with Germany 

 murphy’s law: an abcedarium of the maxims of management—see also

Monday, 29 March 2021


disaster capitalism: paintings of banks alight and other artworks by Alex Schaefer (previously) via Everlasting Blรถrt  

convergent evolution: sea life becomes the plastic that is polluting it 

do geese see god: a documentary about the world palindrome championship  

full-stop: punctuation can really set a tone—see also  

№ 2 pencil: a fantastic Eberhard-Faber catalogue from 1915 

r.u.r.: online sci-fi dictionary (see previously) sources the term robot to 1920

living with the consequences: government austerity raises COVID deaths

Thursday, 18 March 2021

100% birgitta

Pictured here among the influential and aspirational on the beach in Ibiza in crocheted attire, we quite enjoyed learning about the crafter and dyer become wardrobe artist and celebrity in her own right Stockholm native Birgitta Bjerke who turned the patchwork of old-timey bedspreads into fashion that the rock royalty of the mid- to late 60s with icons like Jimi Hendrix, Roger Daltrey, Eric Clapton and Mick Jagger sporting her outfits. Much more at Collectors’ Weekly at the link above.

Wednesday, 18 November 2020

let me reach, let me beach, far beyond the baltic sea

Via Miss Cellania, we are directed to one of the more recent renditions from bardcore band Hildegard von Blingin’ (previously here and here), Enya’s Orinoco Flow, reworked with medieval instrumental as a sort of sea shanty—which Sail Away kind of always was. Geography and locations mentioned are altered to mostly align with the boundaries of Western Europe during the Middle Ages.  More of these covers at the links above.

Wednesday, 28 October 2020


Illustrator and filmmaker especially beloved for the hundreds of shorts he created or produced for Sesame Street beginning in 1970—a Yakety, Yakety Yak for example, Al Jarnow’s signature techniques of stop-motion and time-lapse have an indelible aesthetic that even comes across in this three minutes of meditation and reflection at the seashore—via Pasa Bon! Learn more about the artist, his exhibits and beachcombing at the artist’s home page.

Sunday, 23 August 2020


From the desk of NPR’s Photo Stories comes this review and curation of a recently published portfolio of four decades of the evocative photography of beachcombing Harry Gruyaert. His compositions frame seaside tableaux from his native Belgium, France, Ireland and dozens of other places and are collected in the new anthology Edges, referencing that liminal divide between shore and sea. Many more postcards from ocean-front holidays at the link above.

Saturday, 20 June 2020

you’re gonna need a bigger boat

Appropriately as the world tries to restart the economy (which in its old form was irreparably doomed from the moment that this microscopic menace first began to spread) and return to a normal that we’ve been graced through it all with the chance of rejecting and eradicating and starting over as some new and more just, sustainable and equitable society and instead in many places chooses to ignore and disdain the experts in favour of return to the status quo, on this day in 1975, the motion picture Jaws went into general release. Mindful of the economic impact that closing the beaches will have for his town Amity (is a summer town—we need summer dollars), Mayor Vaughn decides to reopen despite the fact a marauding menace is still in the waters.

Thursday, 2 April 2020

house proud

From the always excellent Things Magazine that’s been performing real yeoman’s service over the best week to keep us entertained and engaged comes this interesting study and reflection on the British practise of naming houses—sort of parallel to the American conceit of naming cabins and beach homes which I still think continues apace, how it fell out of fashion and what that says about class and aspiration.
Though the christenings of their original builders are upheld for the most part by later residents, Elsinore, Sans Souci, Rosemont or even whole resort towns to give them place in history, the custom is sneered at as a bit naff (I term I first learned applied to Cats, perhaps not justifiably) and one common appellation (considered the worst offender) Sunnyside turned out to have a surprisingly ancient pedigree. Much more to explore at the links above.

Saturday, 29 September 2018

visual vernacular

Thanks to Present /&/ Correct, we can now correctly name an art movement known as Suprematism (ะกัƒะฟั€ะตะผะฐั‚ะธ́ะทะผ) through the careful temporary arrangement and proper disposal of trash that washes ashore by Hungarian photographer Balรกzs Csizik as a homage to the style.
Founded by painter Kazimir Severinovich Malevich in 1913, his work garnered international attention and a following after being exhibited in a 1915 show in Saint Petersburg (Petrograd), provocatively called the Last Futurist Exhibition of Paintings 0,10 (like saying version zero point one, having erased the past and inching forward fresh).
Departing from Cubism and Russian Constructivism, Malevich’s art is distinctively anti-material and employed sparse compositions of simple geometric shapes and basic colours and are more akin representationally to a sort of visual grammar rather than a depiction of things. Though not allowed to be displayed per Stalinist cultural policy, Malevich’s work was quite resonant and influential, inspiring among others architect Dame Zaha Mohammad Hadid to create purely abstract buildings.

Sunday, 27 May 2018


Just in time for the start of the summer vacation season of the northern hemisphere, we’re given a timely reminder via Strange Company that drowning does not look like drowning.
For a host of physiological reasons, a panicked person in the water will be unable to flail about their arms or bellow for help—as seen dramatized on movies and television, and recognising a swimmer in distress is not obvious for someone who is not a trained lifeguard or sailor. Just being aware of the fact that drowning can happen quietly is powerful.  Do take a moment to read the short but potentially life-saving article at the link above.

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

pet project or message in a bottle

Via Slashdot, we learn that building on the 2016 discovery of a strain of bacteria in a dump in Japan that ate plastic, a group of researchers at the University of Portsmouth accidentally prodded the catalyst that allows the bacteria to breakdown and metabolise PET (polyethylene terephthalate) plastic into overdrive.
Curious to understand the evolutionary mechanism that selected for such appetites in the first place, scientists altered the enzyme inadvertently whilst taking it apart. Though further trials are needed, researchers are confident that the process is scalable and could be a tool (this is a big problem whose solutions take a concerted effort and shifts in behaviours, as well) in combating the problem of plastic waste in the oceans.

Friday, 6 April 2018

neap tide

Though perhaps only a cold comfort and little consolation to imagine how the same cadre that benefit for the present from these regulatory changes are also the ones who are behind the policies that contribute to global warming and sea-level rise and their ocean-front properties will be soon conquered by the waters, the state of Florida has enacted legislation that could potentially severely curtail public access to state-controlled beaches.
A seemingly innocuous change in wording that extends the property-rights boundary out a bit caught only by the fact that the bill contained a rider prohibiting municipalities from passing legislation to countermand state law will give hoteliers and other land owners greater power to control who trods over private holdings to reach what the wealthy cannot yet own outright. Despite the governor’s exuberance and confidence that the landed-gentry won’t abuse this gift and deny people egress, many mayors have protested that such a move will destroy the state’s tourism industry, tossing favour to only a few establishments catering to a particular clientele.

Friday, 18 November 2016

time and tide

Via Colossal, we are treated to wonderful, modern and almost brutalist at times sandcastles of sculptor Calvin Seibert. Spending part of the summer beachcombing at Rockaway in New York, Seibert reflected on the nature of his temporary edifices and how their construction is a race against time that defies advanced planning and develops rather organically. Explore more of Seibert’s amazing geometric sculptures at the link above.

Saturday, 16 July 2016


We discovered on the Atlantic stretch of beach leading to the lighthouse (Phare) of Chassiron on the northernmost tip of the รŽle d’Olรฉron thousands of stone piles (cรกirn).  It was a really arresting and surprising composition, like a landscape from the imagination of Anton Gaudรญ.  The collected and arranged stones were obliviously bleached and hewn by the sea, pock-marked and made me think of the received folk-belief of the Hรผhnergotten (equivalent to the Celtic idea of the Adders’ Stone) that a rock with a naturally (or preternaturally) bored hole is a lucky charm—presumably because it can be strung through easily and worn as an amulet.  Not all of these stones could have been eroded by time and tide to specifications like this one I spied but left on the beach to achieve a perfect poultry-form (I realise that hรผhn has nothing to do with chicken but it is an association that gets reinforced like Sparkasse as Cheese Bank) as I think that would have been too magical.  I knew, however, that each stone was tending in that direction at least as we stacked and balanced ours along the beach as well before proceeding to the lighthouse and latter day ensemble at the promontory.

Thursday, 30 June 2016

bathing beauties or adult-swim

From around the mid-eighteenth century through the Victoria Era, females wanting to take the sea air and enjoy a day at the beach were wheeled out past the maddening crowd of potentially gawking and leering males in personal stage-coaches, as Presurfer informs.
Etiquette and modesty (though these rules were recent impositions and far different from the practise of mixed skinny-dipping) dictated dictated that women bathers would enter a mobile changing booth, “bathing machines,” in formal street garb and disrobe, doffing her dress in for an equally concealing swim-suit and in the shallows, be allowed to frolic on a tether or at the strong hand of attendant. After this experience, the swimmer would be escorted back, drying off and donning her street clothes again for the sake of decorum. Maybe this production is less showy and less inclusive than a burkini.

Thursday, 10 October 2013

aus dessus des vieux volcans or le grand bleu

PfRC will be taking a much needed sabbatical soon. In the meantime, please stay-tuned to our little travel blog for continued adventures. Same cheesy time, same cheesy station. Fromage, fromage.