Monday 8 July 2024

shoestring budget (11. 672)

Via Miss Cellania, we are afforded a quite fascinating look at the 1948 London Games, the first Olympics held after Munich’s 1936 event and the marking their post-war resumption, which compared to the current expense and corporate sponsorship is not only remarkable for the level of thrift and resourcefulness—a make do and mend attitude with athletes stitching together their own uniforms and college campuses and military bases acting as the Olympic Village—but also how the spectacle was pulled off in the name of international sportsmanship and provided much needed relief with the fighting in fresh memory and rationing and austerity continuing for many.


one year ago: half the world in the sun (with synchronoptica)

eight years ago: proxemics plus machine mirages

nine years ago: a maths sleight of hand plus ghost malls and the Gruen Transfer

ten years ago: border security, home and abroad

eleven years ago: US-EU trade disputes

Friday 21 June 2024

don’t cry for me argentina (11. 644)

Originally conceived as a rock opera concept album two years prior to popular and critical acclaim, the collaboration by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber (see previously here and here) was adapted for the stage and debuted on this day in London’s West End on this day in 1978 and relates the life and political career of of the wife and widow of Juan Perรณn. Rice, interested in philately in his childhood, was somewhat taken by her images on stamps but knew nothing of her significance to the country’s history, social reform and charitable works until intrigued by catching the end of a radio biography and became highly interested on the verge of obsession, research, traveling to Buenos Aires and even naming his first born daughter Eva after her before pitching the idea to Webber, whom at first rejected the idea in favour of producing a musical based on Jeeves, the PG Wodehouse character—a decided flop—before reconsidering Rice’s proposal.

Friday 19 April 2024

9x9 (11. 499)

pumping iron: Technogym invites forty artists to reinterpret its exercise bench for Milan Design Week  

wikipedia rectangles: a collage of images sourced from the Commons subdivides one’s screen in increasing smaller sections of disparate pictures—via Web Curios  

the microcosm of london: an illustrated three-volume set by Rudolph Ackermann showcasing the public spaces of the capital 

๐Ÿ‰: the massive Quilt for Palestine unveiled at the Met 

rundown royale: a look at the family tree of Charlemagne, the Father of Europe—via Miss Cellania 

ulnar nerve: the etymology of the expression funny bone and variants—including the Swedish terms enkelstรถt/รคnkestรถt  

dua lipa stuns as congressional gerrymander: that and other headlines from Super Punch  

from our correspondents: World Press Photo contest captures destruction and devastation 

the revolution will not be biennalised: the withdrawal of the Israeli pavilion in Venice was performative and opportunistic

Thursday 4 April 2024

9x9 (11. 467)

and palmeres for to seken straunge strondes: the Gentle Author makes a pilgrimage along London’s ancient Black Path 

the 2531 sato-san problem: given demographic trends, legal requirements and custom, all Japanese residents could eventually share the same surname  

symphony № 42: animator Rรฉka Busci presents forty-seven ironic vignettes  

double doors open, why aren’t i reacting in this shot: a literal video version of Total Eclipse of the Heart—I walk out on a terrace where I think I’m alone, but Arthur Fonzarelli’s got an army of clones  

into the butterverse: the variations of the Unicode emoji—via Pasa Bon!  

chalcolithic tattooing: a study of ร–tzi the ice mummy’s body markings on living volunteers—via Super Punch  

apiculture: experiments involving social problem-solving suggest that bees have the capacity to pass on learnt experience  

not a bug but a feature: a collection of absurd software and end-user errors solved—via Waxy  

the society of wood engravers: the art and illustration of carver Harry Brockway—via Things Magazine


one year ago: New York v Trump plus Finland’s accession to NATO

two years ago: Japanese police boxes plus the Ukrainian roots of world-wide wheat

three years ago: your daily demon: Samigina, Winston Smith makes a diary entry plus the Hildesheimer Dom

four years ago: the flag of Hong Kong (1990), assorted links to revisit plus St Tigernach

five years ago: the founding of NATO (1949),  saving the pollinators, the Buttigieg bid for US president plus historic mass transit systems

Thursday 11 January 2024

11x11 (11. 259)

cheesemongering: a specialist seller experiments with fifty-six varieties to find the perfect grilled sandwich 

vector portraits: photographs of drivers at speed traveling in Los Angeles  

decision 2024: this is the biggest year yet—and possibly democracy’s biggest test with over half the world’s population voting within the next twelve months  

run, rabbit, run: an AI-powered gadget designed to use one’s apps for one sells out 

electronics gives us a way of classifying things: Microsoft (now the most valued company in the world thanks to its part in AI, a font of misinformation) once explained to author Terry Pratchett how technology referees would make propaganda a thing of the past  

squaring the circle: Substackers against Nazis—reloaded—and a reminder that one can’t be just a little bit facist  

re-migration: a coalition of the far-right met outside of Berlin in November to discuss mass deportations  

blanket immunity: Trump’s legal team presents arguments for a president above the law—setting up the US Supreme Court to either rule on his exoneration or eligibility  

proxima swarm: US space agency supports bold proposal to reach the next nearest star system with a wall of tiny craft propelled by photons—see previously 

flower taxi: a mobile florist from 1960s London  

marie harel: producers of Camembert in Normandy fear EU recycling regulation could mean the end for their traditional wooden box packaging