Saturday, 1 October 2022

the new people (10. 183)

Produced for a single season and clocking in at forty-five minutes per episode (a rarity for regularly-scheduled programming), the 1969 Aaron Spelling and Larry Gordon collaboration for the ABC network was developed by Rod Serling (under the pseudonym John Phillips—see previously) and centres around the struggle for survival of a group of American college freshman returning from a trip in Southeast Asia (to present as goodwill ambassadors during Vietnam) whose plane crashes on a deserted island in the Pacific, which had been slated and provisioned for a nuclear-test that never took place. Foreshadowing the later ABC series Lost, it explores rather melodramatically the premise of Lord of the Flies, killing off all of the adults and letting the young fend for themselves—plus the counterculture adage of the time not to trust anyone over thirty—and is echoed in Logan’s Run and the Star Trek episode “Miri.” Here is the pilot with the full series available online:

Monday, 12 September 2022

beachcomber (10. 128)

Via the always engaging Everlasting Blรถrt, we are reacquainted with the photorealistic painting of Philip Barlow with this end-of-summer, evocative series of studies in bokeh entitled Beach. Malleable and dreamy without seeming intentionally vague, one can really insert a range of characters and settings into these images—more to discover at the links above.

Saturday, 10 September 2022

8x8 (10. 124)

the girl from ipanema: the Yahoo! GeoCities (previously) Midi project has gathered a collection of over one-hundred and fifty thousand chiptunes, via Web Curios  

summer island: a graphic horror novella that’s a collaboration between a story authored by a human and illustrations courtesy a machine 

bill-of-sale: receipts and letterhead of the Old East End  

null island: the imaginary location at the intersection of the Equator and Prime Meridian (see previously) that exists by necessity  

premium vector: a selection of 90s cursor effects (trails, rainbows) that can be incorporated into one’s website—via ibฤซdem  

trichromacy: fascinating etymologies of words for colours—via Damn Interesting’s Curated Links  

b-poty: avian photography of the year  

pattern recognition: more on mondegreens and misheard lyrics

Saturday, 4 June 2022

das rollende hotel

Given the continued popularity of touring coaches especially in Germany and river cruises that offer similar sleeping berths, we were delighted though not completely surprised to learn of this hybrid experience (see also), a hotel on wheels, Rotel, first conceived by Gerog Hรถltl in the late 1941 to trek passengers through the Bavarian Alps, expanding as far afield as pilgrimages to Israel, journeys across the Sahara starting in 1969 and a two month voyage to India. No artefacts relegated to the past, one can still book tours through Europe, Africa and Asia. More from Messy Nessy Chic at the link above.

Friday, 29 October 2021

let me reach, let me beach

On this day in 1988, Enya’s Orinoco Flow (see previously) from her second studio album Watermark topped the charts for the first time in the UK and held number one for a run of three weeks. Emblematic of the New Age/SophistiPop genres, its distinctive pizzicato plucking chords were produced by a custom tuning of a Roland D-50 synthesiser called the “Pizzagogo” patch.

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.