Friday, 1 October 2021


cultured: beautiful Petri dish art (see also) from Dasha Plesen  

tax centinels: protesting college students conspired to create “penny famines” across the US in the late 1930s 

rediffusion: the Thames Television archives—via Things magazine  

fat bear bracket: follow the celebration of survival and success with Katmai’s nature preserve ursine residents—via Hyperalleric’s Required Reading 

the thing on the fourble board: a 1948 episode of the radio programme Quiet, Please! is considered to be one of the scariest broadcasts ever 

bisection: the spiralling figural sculpture of Isabel Miramontes  

frustule: the rich diversity of diatoms illustrated in an 1890 volume

Friday, 10 September 2021

bi-valve or blast me barnacles

Even more threatened than their beleaguered colonial cousin the corals reefs, we learn that over eighty-five percent of coastal oyster beds, living shorelines, have been destroyed by human activity over the last two centuries through dredging, development, pollution and overfishing. Recent efforts to restore the habitat of this indicator species, however, are demonstrating that oysters are keystones of their ecosystem, purifying, filtering waters, recycling organic materials and preventing algal blooms, building a sheltering environment for various fishes and crustaceans, sustenance for water fowl, carbon sequestration in their shells, and acting as a breakwater structure to reduce the impact of storm surges and runaway erosion. Learn more at Kottke at the link above.

Friday, 13 August 2021


clink clink: a snappy little animated short of guests at cocktail hour 

samarkand: an East German couple’s tour of Uzbekistan fifty years ago with photography from 1971 and 2021  

expectation management: a comprehensive look into how the Delta variant changes the pandemic endgame—via Kottke  

noah’s violin: the twelve metre long wooden stringed instrument is a floating stage, inaugurated along with Project Moses to protect Venice from flooding  

the rural juror: a spoof streaming service (see also)—via JWZ  

the effect is shattering: a vodka advertising campaign that became a snow clone

Monday, 2 August 2021


roll for perception: the official video for the 1987 Rick Astley hit (previously) surpasses one billion views   

until proven safe: EURIDICE, the eponym from the mythological Eurydice who Orpheus failed to retrieve from the Underworld, is the acronym for European Underground Research Infrastructure for the Disposal of Nuclear Waste in a Clay Environment  

a clokey production: a bot scours Gumbasia for random screen-grabs

pelagic waters: exploring the oceans’ midnight zone beyond the reach of the sun’s rays

portrait of a teenage alcoholic: a 1975 after school special starring The Exorcist’s Linda Blair and Star Wars’ Mark Hamill  

an eternal golden braid: some crib-notes and a course on the 1987 classic Gรถdel, Escher, Bach

Wednesday, 28 July 2021


imprint and intaglio: a treasury of antique book illustrations—via Swiss Miss  

antipodes: find the furthest populated place away from your home town—via ibฤซdem  

endless loop: a superb collection of vintage Japanese cassette tapes and related accessories  

dolce come il sale: an Italian town furnishes the Pope with an annual delivery of gourmet salt  

full-house: the Guardian profiles the outdoor venue in Cornwall, the Minack Theatre, as it welcomes back audiences  

down periscope: the Viewfinder installation affords visitors to Sydney’s coast a look at the roiling ocean below  

etidorhpa: John Uri Lloyd’s 1895 pharmacologically inspired science fantasy novel

Tuesday, 8 June 2021


scream real loud: The 1954 “Pinky Lee Show” that prefigures in a way Pee-Wee’s Playhouse 

7/10: promoting health for the high seas on World Oceans Day—previously  

avian aftershave: crows treat themselves to ant baths  

squirrels under the hood: an AI researchers illustrates how algorithms are dangerously regressive reflections of the worst of us (previously) and are far from artificial or intelligent  

###: a short from Optical Arts repeats a range of actions with different objects in the key of A  

that’s my name—don’t wear it out: do yourself a favour and check out the blog of Pee-Wee Herman

Friday, 21 May 2021

watershed moment

Via Web Curios, we are directed towards an application for our fans in the continental United States of America (for the present) called River Runner that allows one to drop a raindrop anywhere and trace its path to the sea through run-offs, watercourses, creeks and rivers and explore the precipitation cycle drip by drip, navigating their path over the terrain and residence times through reservoir, adjacent table and flow.

Saturday, 1 May 2021

moraines and drumlins

Via Maps Mania, we are confronted with the profound and consequential loss of the world’s glacial cover visualised with an animated comparison of ninety of the planet’s largest and best surveyed moving, dense bodies of ice (see previously) on the march and on the retreat. Scientists project that the rate of melting will double by the next decade and will contribute some twenty percent to sea-level rise rather than being the natural water towers and frozen reservoirs that they were meant to be.

Thursday, 8 April 2021

under the sea

Informed by the futuristic pavilions constructed for the World Expo in Osaka (previously here, here and here), we were delighted to pay a virtual visit to the Ashizuri Underwater Observation Tower (see also) built in 1971 by architect Yoshikatsu Tsuboi (ๅชไบ•ๅ–„ๅ‹). Seven metres under the waves, submerged guests can view fish, coral and other marine life in this reserve along the Tatsukushi coast in Kochi prefecture. More at Design Boom at the link up top.

Wednesday, 22 April 2020

we have met the enemy and he is us

First observed on this day fifty years ago and now celebrated in every polity around the globe as the largest secular holiday of them all, organisers in colleges and universities brought out roughly twenty million individuals into the spring sunshine to peaceful demonstrate for environmental reform.
The original impetus was a devastating oil spill of the coast of Santa Barbara, California that was responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of marine creatures during the previous winter with city solemnly marking the one-year anniversary of that disaster in January with an Environmental Rights Day, further advancing the idea for a day of action generally for ecological responsibility and justice. For the occasion, illustrator Walt Kelly created an anti-pollution poster with his comic strip character declaiming the above quotation, parodying a missive sent by Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry (older brother of Commodore Matthew Perry) to General William Harrison on his victory, more confident and less contrite, in the Battle of Lake Erie—another environmental mess we are trying to remediate—“We have met the enemy, and they are ours.”

Wednesday, 4 March 2020


Via tmn, we learn about a particular subset of mountaineering called sawanobori—literally stream-climbing that involves ascending a tributary to its source be that up and over ravines and waterfalls and always against the current. Although speciality gear is usually now employed—as the video advertises—traditionally climbers wore straw-rope shoes called waraji (่‰้ž‹), differentiated from other sandals by how the toes protruded over the edge to help one gain a purchase whilst hiking up an incline.

Saturday, 15 February 2020


Researchers from the City University of Hong Kong are developing a new technique to harness the power of falling rainwater and convert it into electricity for passive applications and battery recharging.
One water drop alone under this novel way of converting and redistributing its kinetic energy can generate enough of a spark to light up a matrix of one LED bulbs. While the rain may not be appropriate for energy-intensive scenarios, the project leader believes that the field effect transistor method could be overlaid with other energy harvesters to multiply their efficacy—on rooftop solar panels, for instance, to ensure a steadier power-supply even when the conditions aren’t so sunny, or even one’s own umbrella whose cane would become a power-wand. Learn more at the link above.

Friday, 28 June 2019

saturn vi

Though exploration of the Cronian satellite cannot begin before 2034 (distant-seeming but only fifteen years hence), NASA has committed, choosing among twelve contending proposals, to send a fleet of aerial drones to survey Titan, more planet than moon-like with a dense atmosphere, complex terrain, weather and methane driven precipitation similar to the water cycle on Earth, only sustainable at much lower temperatures, to seek out alien life.

Extra special care and precautions are being factored into the Dragonfly mission so as to not disturb the primordial conditions of the surface as the craft take samples of the moon’s chemistry. Under this frozen substrate (see also), which while having the necessary building blocks for life as we conceive it, scientists believe there is a water-ammonia lies a panthalassic ocean where abiogenesis is suspected to have occurred.

Wednesday, 15 May 2019

ะณะพะปะพั ะฒะพะดะธ

Commissioned for the 23 March annual observance of World Water Day (previously), a group of one hundred sound engineers and musicians—including the group DakhaBrakha—teamed up to create a tone poem from the waters of Ukraine, designing special accompanying instruments to capture the character of currents coursing down the Carpathians. More to explore at Calvert Journal at the link above and for those of you who missed the commemoration like we did, it’s your cue to appreciate and collect the music of your local body of water.

Wednesday, 1 May 2019


Instead of the usual plastic cups or bottles of water offered to parched runners, for this past London Marathon participants were handed out some thirty thousand gulps of a sports drink encapsulated (previously) in a seaweed-based edible container. Among the newest wonder material, designers and the industry are just beginning to appreciate the potential of seaweed as a sustainable bio-plastic which, incorporated dietarily, can also combat the bio-genesis of methane.

Monday, 1 April 2019

plop, plop, fizz, fizz

Swedish sound artist Alexander Hรถglund ordered different effervescent pain-relieving tablets from around the world and brought them to his recording studio in Malmรถ to press a limited run of vinyl records as a meditation on the fizzing sounds as the pills slowly dissolve.
The resulting album, Substance, is surprisingly soothing and perhaps a nice placebo—resonant with me as well for the morning ritual H calls my “vitamin water”—and makes me want to experiment a bit with the drinking vessel and water levels and makes me wonder how much of the experience one has to take in to achieve the desired result, like the impression that the angry hiss of tablet finding just a few drops of moisture instead of the full glass would probably begrudge any pharmacological efficacy.

Friday, 27 July 2018

water column

Oceanographers in Queensland for the first time have produced a comprehensive, global map charting out the pristine, untouched areas of oceanic wilderness, which sadly reveals that there is only a small percentage not already befouled by mankind.
Researchers admit that they were expecting to find much broader expanses of unspoilt waters and ecosystems but these contrary results, testament to the endless assault that people are waging with careless pollution, climate change heating up waters and disrupting currents, over-fishing, sand-mining (the chief component of all the concrete and glass that goes into new construction) and intensive shipping, demonstrate the degree of negative, disruptive impact that humans have had above and below the waves.