Tuesday 9 July 2024

in the year twenty-twenty-five (11. 676)

By inference, example and declaration, the American people and the world has been warned repeatedly, relentlessly of what a second Trump term would entail, a conservative agenda of policy proposals that failed to coalesce on the first attempt radically transforming the republic into a regressive evangelical hypocracybased on the rule of tribal grievance and restoring the patriarchy. With the express aim of purging what’s characterised as “woke propaganda” in regulation and curriculum under a Trump regime, emboldened and enabled, the administration not only is plotting to gut the administrative state under a unitary executive with autocratic powers, eliminate environmental regulation (framing global warming as a hoax), consumer safety, civil liberties and protections (framing affirmative action and equality as “reverse racism”), mass deportations, stripping of citizenship, abortion access, pornography as well as no-fault divorce—essentially rolling back the hard-fought progress of the past seventy years and this all, with the extensive blueprint pre-positioned, might happen on day one.

Sunday 20 August 2023

9x9 (10. 954)

cucumber castle: a star-studded promotional film for the Bee-Gee’s medieval-themed, chivalrous 1970 album  

as big as a football pitch: the vague rulers of informal metrology 

good(bye) design: a tribute to the aesthetic of vintage consumer tech by Miki Nemcek with a special focus on Braun  

grand master: World Chess Federation places restrictions on trans competitors  

1:25: a tour inside the scale model of St Paul’s, hidden in a chamber in the attic 

 : like Zuckerburg explored before—in violation of app store policies—Elon Musk is threatening to remove Twitter’s block feature  

magalog: combination magazine-catalogue that was successful print model in the 1970s  

langue รฉtrangรจre: faced with budget-shortfalls, US public university cutting foreign language from its ciriculum 

elephant in the room: the imprint of favourite songs of our formative years and what that says about our capacity for new things

Friday 30 June 2023

biden v nebraska (10. 846)

In a succession of more punching down, the US Supreme Court has struck down the Biden administration’s signature student loan forgiveness programme meaning millions of indebted borrowers burdened. Along the political leanings of the justices, they ruled that federal law does not authorise the Department of Education the right to reduce or discharge loans taken out to cover tuition fees that have become exorbitant, impacting the personal economies of some one in eight citizens, some forty million Americans. The suit, the plaintiff being one of the largest student debt servicers, alleged that erasing the financial obligations would impair its ability to offer future aid to college students and was a “direct injury to the host state itself.” The dissenting argument pointed out that the states (mostly Republican dominated ones that wanted to kneecap this perceived concession to young voters for transparently political reasons) did not have a right to sue and the court was overreaching its mandate by hearing it at all. Repayments are expected to resume in October.  In the same session, the court also struck down a law preventing businesses from discriminating against LGBTQI+ individuals.


one year ago: the standoff at Snake Island, International Asteroid Day, document 5 (1972) plus assorted links to revisit

two years ago: more links worth the revisit, leap seconds introduced (1972) plus the history of stereotype

three years ago: French video-text service (1980),  happy birthday Kate Bush and Emily Brontรซ, the first dada exhibition (1920), a car by Raymond Loewy plus more Japanese yลkai

four years ago: burning draft cards plus a Thunderbirds hotel in Slough

five years ago: Marybel the Doll that Gets Well plus mothballed commemorative statues of the US presidents

Monday 19 June 2023

come up to the lab and see what’s on the slab (10. 819)

Preview performances given at a couple of other venues earlier in the week, the B-movie, schlock horror musical—see previously—by Richard O’Brien opened on this day in 1973 in the experimental space, “upstairs,” at the Royal Court Theatre in Chelsea, under the direction of Jim Sharman, renowned stage producer for his earlier work on Jesus Christ Superstar and Hair. The show ran for seven years, approaching three thousand performances, and the original cast whom crossed over into the 1975 cinematic adaptation included the starring roles of Tim Curry as Dr Frank N Furter, Patricia Quinn as Magenta the Usherette and O’Brien himself as Riff Raff.


one year ago: Juneteenth, assorted links worth revisiting, Saints Gervasius and Protasius plus an early home office set-up 

two years ago: rendered realities plus generated fabric patterns

three years ago: ecclesiastical courts, more dazzle camouflage, Trump censored for his social media posts plus a queen bee’s performance

Saturday 17 June 2023

drag race (10. 813)

Spotted earlier and thought even for corporate inclusively and arguably once-a-year rainbow washing it was too good not pass up, especially considering the frothing assault directed towards other companies for their Pride Month campaigns—but learned that this promotion was from last summer. Though apparently more subdued (we can’t recall the furore), it wasn’t received with out controversy from dismissal to outrage and without explicitly addressing the contemporary developments, the outreach was believed to prompted by inviting the governor Greg Abbott to officiate pre-race rituals and waving the the green starter flag for the All-Star Rally at the Texas Motor Speedway just following his announcement directly state agencies to investigate gender-affirming therapies for transgender individuals, a decision which NASCAR later recanted. Still an ongoing and escalating attack, I hope they’re launching a bigger one this year.


one year ago: the continuing voyages of Star Trek: The Animated Series, the Watergate Break-In (1972), plus assorted links worth revisiting 

two years ago: Iceland makes it easier to change one’s matronymic, patronymic and gender markers, the introduction of ASCII (1963), Sons of Kemet, plus calendar conventions

three years ago: the East German Uprising of 1953, the US judiciary’s agenda against LGBTQ+ individuals, Beyond the Valley of the Dolls (1953), plus a Prayer for Relief

Saturday 10 June 2023

8x8 (10. 799)

within the wok’s embrace, the dance begins, as secrets blend with savoury sins: Scott D Seligman asked ChatGPT for a pad thai recipe in the style of Emily Dickinson and got an epic 

dockhands: the latest line from Faith O’Hare is inspired by the workwear of the shipyards of the Cylde

hongmeng project: China’s space agency is placing a ring of telescopes in orbit around the Moon to explore the cosmic Dark Age just after the Big Bang  

take care now: inclusive Pride post by Cracker Barrel provokes conservative fury over the loss of this family-friendly bastion—see previously 

reference material: Ars Technica contributor Benj Edwards purchased a copy of the only encyclopaedia still in print  

supergranulation: Parker probe exploring the Sun offers science clues on the origin of solar wind 

blitz kids: a celebration of the fashion of Gary Kemp and Spandau Ballet—previously here and here

 expandart: B3ta community teaching AI how to think beyond the frame—see previously—via Waxy

Wednesday 7 June 2023

6x6 (10. 792)

extremadura: BBC Reel has more on the disappearance of the Tartessos civilisation—freighted with myth and legend—at the edge of the known world

uspto: strengthening the case for junk patents could severely stifle innovation in America—see also—via the new shelton wet/dry  

crowbox: an experimental platform for the autonomous education of corvids—see previously 

l’agence tous risques: the title them for the A-Team on French television had jaunty little lyrics—see also—via Super Punch 

know before you go: the Human Rights Campaign joining others in declaring a state of emergency and issuing travel warnings for LGBTQ+ people in the US  

pogostemon cablin: ancient vial of Roman perfume identified as patchouli oil

Sunday 28 May 2023

7x7 (10. 771)

schachtรผrke: a fraudulent chess-playing automaton launched the AI debate in 1770 

bart: the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit has new anime mascots—each of the characters has a backstory 

pattiegonia: facing the expected backlash from staunch conservatives after featuring a drag star in their ads, the North Face refused to back down—this is not a white flag 

beyond the yellow brick road: the reading that The Wizard of Oz is a Populist political allegory is kind of an incoherent mess, suggested over six decades after it was written—via Strange Company  

buena vista social club: a restored, enhanced 1972 tour of Disney World 

priority road: one individual’s quest to document the unusual, confusing traffic signs of Japan  

lexus nexus: lawyer turns to ChatGPT for help in finding precedence a client’s case, citing a wholly fabricated disputes and settlements—via Waxysee also

Sunday 26 June 2022

a part of your world

Starting their own local chapter—one of thousands across the globe—a “pod” after finding the experience of donning the tail suit and monofin positively transformative, a self-described middle aged Filipina transgender woman left called Queen Pangke Taboraher career as an insurance agent to sponsor other merfolk and teach mermaiding and free-diving full time. Honing in on something meditative, peaceful and liberating about being submerged, millions of “mers” as they prefer participate in pageantry, Mercons, and competitive sporting events—to say nothing of a supportive community that recognises the feeling of being liminal and embraces change and fluidity.

Saturday 11 June 2022

jahrbuch fรผr sexuelle zwischenstufen

Having been acquainted with the ground-breaking research of sexologist Magnus Hirschfeld previously, we appreciated the opportunity to revisit to the progressive views of this champion of reform and inclusion and the regressive forces that would undermine and undo his legacy and contributions through the lens of his Scientific-Humanitarian Committee and its annual Yearbook for Sexual Intermediaries that explored the full spectrum of sexual and gender identities and activities of the queer community. These studies and ethnographies went on to inform Hirschfeld’s authoritative 1904 volume Berlin’s Third Sex, a modish label of convenience in common-parlance at the time to express a continuum for which we are still searching for the right words. Much more from Public Domain Review at the link above.

Thursday 17 June 2021


As Iceland drops fees and bureaucratic onus to change one’s (to opt out of the matronymic or patronymic construction scheme) name and gender marker, the Czech Republic is poised to enact legislation that would reform the centuries old requirement for feminised surnames, further dismantling the patriarchy. If successful, all women will be able to choose whether or not to formally adopt the “-ovรก” suffix upon marriage and buck the declension rules of the language—exemptions granted in rare cases when the betrothed intends to live outside of Czechia or marries a foreigner. There is a heated debate between progressives and purists. Though many media outlets have chosen not to respect the naming convention, the rule applies to public figures as well with activist and tennis star Martina Navratilova rendered in the domestic press as Martina Navrรกtilovaovรก.

Wednesday 31 March 2021

listen to me coppertop—we don’t have time for twenty questions

Going into general release in US theatres on this day in 1999, though the tropes and themes have been to an extent ironically co-opted by more right leaning and extremist elements, The Matrix (previously) written and directed by the siblings Wachowski, whom years after their movie debuted came out as transgender women, acknowledged some subtle allegory in the plot and dialogue:“an error in the Matrix,” that sense that something is fundamental wrong—“like a splinter in your mind” suggests body dysphoria and the red pill that for some in the above-mentioned circles has become representative for throwing down the gauntlet for seeking truth inside conspiracy did for others draw comparisons to red oestrogen pills that transitioning individuals might take. In the original script, the character of Switch (quoted above) was to be portrayed as male in the real world and as female in the Matrix but that idea was dropped during filming.

Sunday 29 November 2020

hello frens

Born on this day in 1752 (†1819) to Quaker settlers in the colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations as Jemima Wilkinson after succumbing to severe illness—probably a bad case of typhus—died and was reborn as a genderless evangelic to be henceforth known as the Public Universal Friend. Preaching beliefs fairly in line with Quaker heterodoxy, the Friend eschewed her former identity and rejected gendered pronouns and generally referred to themselves as PUF. Rejecting the notions of predestination and the elected, the Friend believed that revelation could come to anyone and the congregation, the Society of Universal Friends, included enslaved people and Native Americans and was an early advocate for emancipation and equal rights.

Wednesday 17 June 2020

17-1618 or equal opportunity omission

Rather than relying on hit-or-miss labour protections different in every jurisdiction (or lack thereof) or the charity of corporate policy, the Supreme Court, against expectations and the judge-stacking efforts of Trump and the Stepford Republicans that have tolerated his antics to push their social agenda, ruled earlier in the week that gay and transgender individuals (LGBTQ+) are protected under the Civil Rights Act of 1964 in a landmark case that protects (having not universally fallen under the covered categories before) them from employment discrimination on a federal level.

The decision hinged on two parallel cases, one county employee dismissed over his joining of a gay softball league and recriminations against an undertaker for presenting as transgendered, interpreting that the prohibition of exclusionary practises based on sex extends to cover sexual orientation and well as gender identity and non-conformity.

Sunday 17 May 2020


Originally in deference to a subsection of German Basic Law and penal code § 175 with colloquially homosexuals sometimes referred to as einhundredfunfundsiebsiegers (twice the fun, see previously) and the association reinforced by the decision of the World Health Organisation to declassify homosexuality as a mental disorder on this same date in 1990, since 2005 and expanded in 2009, a human rights coalition has commemorated this 17 May as the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia to mobilise and raise awareness of discrimination and repression of individuals in that community.

In solidarity, many national celebrations and legislative reforms are observed and enacted around this day, with Massachusetts holding the first lawful same-sex ceremonies in the United States in 2004, France in 2009 to normalise transgender identification and Taiwan in 2019 to legalise gay marriages.

Friday 7 December 2018

anders als die andern

Artist Shelby Criswell, syndicated in The Nib, introduces us to the one of the early pioneers of studying human sexuality and gender identity in a comic about the life and career of Doctor Magnus Hirschfeld (*1868 - †1935), a physician and outspoken advocate for homosexual and transgender rights.
Hirschfeld set up a pioneering research facility in Berlin-Charlottenburg under the more liberal and enlightened auspices of the Weimar Republic and even co-produced a film, Different from the Others, which was a vehicle for legal reform and featured one of the first portrayals of a gay man in cinema. The rise of Nazism saw the end of his work and outreach—with his institute’s records being ransacked and used to track down undesirables. Dying of a heart-attack while in exile in Nice just as the Nazi government was becoming entrenched, the slab of his tomb bears his personal motto, “Per Scientiam ad Justitiam”—through Science to Justice.  Learn more at the link above.