Friday 1 December 2023

⌘ (11. 155)

Via Things Magazine, we are only introduced to the enthralling blog of Gingerbearman but also can put a name to the early computer artwork and illustrations of Barbara Nessim as featured in Byte magazine and elsewhere. Not just pixelated renditions, these graphics, produced thanks to a residency with Time-Life in 1984 that gave her access to state-of-the-art technologies, were vector drawings formatted and encoded to display on televisions and terminals. See more of Nessim’s extension portfolio and learn about her contributions at the link up top.

6502 (11. 153)

With news that it’s available as an emulator for almost any platform, we are reacquainted with the version of the Beginners’ All-Purpose Symbolic Instruction Code as the native programming language for the micro personal computer released in 1981 as part of a UK computer literacy initiative (see also) by the national broadcaster in 1981. Chiefly written by Sophie Mary Wilson, a transgender pioneer in design and informatics fields, the optimised dialect ran faster that than Microsoft versions and an inline feature for assembly language. BBC2 series launched the following year, The Computer Programme (see also), was an accompanying primer on its use and capabilities and stirs memories of experimenting with lines of code and tweaking until getting the desired outcome but wonder what the utility is with such a skill nowadays when debugging is automated.


one year ago: a day without art, fifty-two lessons from fifty-two weeks plus TRON reimagined with the help of AI

two years ago: World AIDS Day, office parties plus assorted links to revisit

three years ago: Wรถrter des Jahres, Japan’s buzzword of the year plus St Elsewhere

four years ago: a duet from Leon Redbone and Dr John, the Moravian star, Germany’s Word of the Year plus Gorbachev’s Pizza Hut ad spot

Sunday 26 November 2023

7x7 (11. 143)

sonic deconstructions: 1950s radio broadcaster’s album of Foley art, “Strange to Your Ears”  

onfim’s homework: a Wikipedia rabbit hole inspires an individual to get a tattoo of an eleventh century Novgorod pupil’s writings and illustrations discovered preserved on birch bark—via Hyperallergic’s Required Reading  

year in review: Time magazine’s one hundred top images of 2023—via Nag on the Lake’s Sunday Links (lots more to explore here) 

amaterasu: scientists detect an ultra-high energy cosmic ray—the most powerful in thirty years of observation 

<!--: a collection of historic HTML innovations—see also  

kenough: the story of Denny Fouts, hustler and literary muse for Truman Capote, Gore Vidal and Christopher Isherwood  

pie hole: a silly twenty-year-old vocal exercise that holds up

Monday 6 November 2023

dak industries incorporated (11. 100)

Via Waxy, we are directed to Cabel Sasser’s decade-long curation of a consumer electronics catalog print editions from company founder and enthusiast Drew Andrew Kaplan who operated his mail-order service out of North Hollywood from the mid-1980s to the early 90s. Assembling the ephemera to complete the collection, a retrospect appreciation of the Golden Age of Gadgetry and it’s a rather fascinating anthology of glossy, ad-filled hand-selected inventories to see what was available and aspirational, including pedometer, heart-monitoring wrist watches, exquisite telephones, synthesisers and all variety of hi-fi and recording media and is certainly worth the slow scroll though this gallery (with links to the complete catalogues) of competitors, antecedents and predecessors, like the iconic though arguably derivative Sharper Image.


one year ago: assorted links to revisit, a Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes classic plus Gustavus Adolphus Day

two years ago: a classic from Cher plus more links to enjoy 

three years ago: clashes in the Gutenberg workshop plus even more links worth revisiting

four years ago: the geometrical art of Lorentz Stรถer

five years ago: low-angle satellite imagery, Meet the Press,  recreating the Old Dutch Masters with packaging material plus an illustrated Roman iterarium

Friday 3 November 2023

wax; or, the discovery of television among the bees (11. 094)

Written and directed by David Blair and staring the talents of the filmmaker himself, William S Burroughs and Clyde Tombaugh, the psychedelic collage of found-footage, live-action and digital animation was the first to be available to stream (at two frames per second) over the internet as its hypermedia version, Waxweb, following its cinematic release in 1991. As a statement against Gulf War I and drone combat (see also), the structuralist work edited over a six year period is set in an flight stimulation and weapons research laboratory in Alamagordo in the desert of of the US state of New Mexico were the narrator (Blair) is a computer programmer and hobbyist apiarist, having inherited his hives of “Mesopotamian” bees from his grandfather. Whilst at work designing sighting displays, the protagonist realises that these bees have the ability to insert intrusive thoughts in his mind (a television), luring him into the bees subterranean home under the arid wasteland surrounding the test range and revealing through a series of hallucinations that he must become the become the weapon he is designing and destroy his target in Iraq before he can be released from this madness and reborn.

the murmur of the snarkmatrix (11. 092)

In honour of the collective’s twentieth anniversary, Kottke has declared today Snarkmarket Day—actually the quietly influential, occasional blog that’s not been so active in the past few years (I can relate) is pretty thoughtful and reflective and not particularly snarky—and is turning over the reins to members and guest hosts Tim Carmody, Robin Sloan and Matt Thompson for an indulgent cast back to earlier days of the blogosphere and think about how online interactions have changed in the past two decades. Much more at the links above including some pieces I can remember from over the years and a prescient 2010 coinage about generative chat called the “speakularity.”


one year ago: another classic from Enya, Saint Hubertus plus assorted links to revisit

two years ago: a classification of creatives, another MST3K classic plus more links to enjoy

three years ago: the November Revolution that led to the formation of the Weimar Republic plus Carrie (1976)

four years ago: a pervasive number from Rusted Root, more awful library books plus an embarassment of social media platforms

five years ago: Nixon’s Silent Majority plus a trip through the Rhรถn

Wednesday 1 November 2023

7x7 (11. 089)

rough trade № 5: experimental post-punk band The Raincoats recording their first single  

seo: an after-party for those who helped ruin the internet 

fungiculture: narrated by Bjรถrk and presented by biologist Melvin Sheldrake, an upcoming documentary on on the ties that bind—see previously 

top level domain: Anguilla’s .ai internet suffix is a significant portion of the island’s gross-domestic product  

spectral analysis: the missing colours of the rainbow accounted for with Frauenhofer lines

survey sez: a newspaper accuses an advertiser of reputational damage after a poorly placed poll 

the kingsmen: the story behind Louie Louie—see previously

Monday 30 October 2023

6x6 (11. 085)

popular superstition: how belief in ghost became a class-marker and high-society aspired to more refined practises with spiritualism and horoscopes 

late night horror: the obscure 1970 UK anthology nearly consigned to oblivion  

jack skellington: a massive pumpkin mosaic sets a new world record  

sql: the infamous database “Halloween Problem” that reveals weaknesses in common information architecture  

very very scary: a 1990s rebroadcast of Nick at Nite vintage television seasonal specials—complete with commercials  

jimi halloween: the tradition of costumes so mundane they need to be explained continues—see previously 


one year ago: drawing with Ed Emberley plus assorted links to revisit

two years ago: another MST3K classic—The Brain that Wouldn’t Die, more links to enjoy plus artist William-Adolphe Bourguereau

three years ago: the first residents board the International Space Station (2000), more on murderous dioramas, a wizarding curriculum from 1925 plus star charts for the yet to be born

four years ago: East German counter-programming, Brexit postponed plus the lost dative case

five years ago: stochastic terrorism, folksonomy, corporate fairy tales, birthright citizenship plus “Egyptian” Rocky Horror

Sunday 29 October 2023

colly (11. 083)

Via Waxy, we are directed to a rather brilliant 1995 undergraduate thesis on Amiga-based ASCII art (previously) and its use in BBS in the late 1980s to early 90s. With a friendly competition emerging among enthusiasts, a typographer’s repertoire was brought together in a volume—a text file—referred to as collies, and due to the display constraints of terminals accessing the bulletin boards, custom logos, indices and menus were limited to grids of eighty-by-twenty-five characters but were also meant for scrolling through. The bachelor candidate accentuates their essay by creating their own collection of type-specimens documenting work (and procrastination) on this paper, intended to be viewed continuously, with an addendum on the challenges of finding and hacking a suitable dot-matrix printer to accomplish the effect in hardcopy.

Wednesday 25 October 2023

8x8 (11. 074)

hilma af: a planned towering gallery for the Swedish artist realised as a virtual reality experience  

papercraft: gorgeous moderne four palette architectural models to make 

the book of hallowe’en: a 1919 illustrated, syncretic study of the appropriated holiday in the spirit of the Golden Bough  

swarm charms: a go-to guide of medieval bee spells 

trainspotting: an omnibus post on avoiding rail collisions including a nineteen century timetable still in use 

reconstruction: the sounds of ancient languages—see also 

the logo is formed from minifig hands: the new LEGO Dune playset  

flow-chart: a study on the abandoned shopping-carts of America  

you may touch the artefacts: a gallery of early internet relics from Neal Agarwal—see previously


one year ago:  further adventures in Crete

two years ago: the US Invasion of Granada (1971)

three years ago: a hexadecagonal country retreat, SS Crispin and Crispinian plus pandemic gods and heroes

four years ago: a lyrical headline (1924), a video game atlas plus the world’s first erotic boutique proprietress 

five years ago: The Master Key of Futurity, virtual restaurants and ghost kitchens plus programming a more ethical Pac Man

Wednesday 18 October 2023

digital chindลgu (11. 066)

Via fellow internet caretaker Pasa Bon!’s latest link roundup, we are pointed to an constantly updated directory of “pointless sites” to poke around and play with. In the spirt of the Tiny Web and recalling the above concept of “unuselessness,” this carefully curated catalogue of dedicated pages and apps that do (or don’t do) one thing is anything but pointless and enjoyed discovering infuriatingly challenging games and puzzles like pick the colour not the word, a museum of dead links and the lava lamp emulator. There’s a showcase of most popular places to visit and a reliquary of the least favourited spots to waste one’s time.

Monday 25 September 2023

happy blogoversary (11. 022)

Go check out fellow internet caretaker’s veteran blog, Everlasting Blรถrt, and raise a glass for twenty-three years of finely curated posts, active non-stop since we were collectively recovering from our y2k celebration hangover. Some greatest hit have been collected from the past years but do indulge in a long scroll. I regret that EU service providers seem to take objection to the ‘meepzorp’ extension and we find ourselves not able to visit as much as we’d like, but we take advantage whenever we can to check in.  Here’s to many, many more years of quality hyperlinked content.


one year ago: assorted links to revisit, the JWST eyes Neptune, more luxury bunkers plus exploring the inaccessible with elementary particles

two years ago: a Scissor Sisters’ hit, a Wagner classic, sneakers patterned off of vintage VHS packaging plus a visit to Gemรผnden am Main

three years ago: the first radio-controlled robot (1906), Facebook modelled itself off Big Tobacco plus something expressed in gesture alone

four years ago: the first newspaper in the Americas, the downfall of Thomas Cook plus the US constitution’s Bill of Rights

five years ago: Looney Tunes’ propaganda, the Rubik’s Cube plus misheard lyrics of a Star Wars anthem

Sunday 24 September 2023

10x10 (11. 020)

osiris-rex: fulfilling a seven-year mission (previously) a space probe to collect samples from an asteroid—with further adventures planned 

succession: Rupert Murdoch’s departure from News Corp is a cold-comfort for the millions brainwashed by Fox and Friends 

be the first to like this post: more on the meaning and origins of the chain of riders and horses dispatched to send missives—see previously  

project cybersyn: more on Salvadore Allende’s plans to build a socialist internet 

fanfare: the history and physics of the trumpet  

shear madness: 1980 reportage on a cutting-edge hair salon in Kensington  

the joke and dagger department: an appreciation of the genius of Spy vs Spy, a political cartoon that wasn’t a political cartoon 

3r’s: the Swedish educational system has a renewed emphasis on handwriting, quiet reading time  

omni consumer products: New York City police lease a robocop to patrol Times Square subway station as a trial run  

all these worlds are yours—except europa, attempt no landing there: the JWST detects carbon on the surface of the Jovian moon

Saturday 16 September 2023

webring (11. 003)

Via the always worthwhile Web Curios weekly roundup, we are directed toward this curation of the Small Web in this directory-assistance project from search-engine Kagi that brings back the serendipity of twenty years ago of advancing to the next blog post—see previously here and here. One could really spend hours of exploration here.  Open-source (so one can replicate the feed and make one’s own) and taking nominations, it’s a better way to get back to the roots of the larger project of the internet and getting to know one’s neighbours.


one year ago: the Mexican War of Independence, The Hounds of Love (1985) plus assorted links to revisit 

two years ago: the founding of Harvard, a wild orchid plus a Wikipedia digest

three years ago: narrative yoga not just for kids, a comparison of sci-fi worms plus the beginnings of Big Data

four years ago: fleeing East Germany by balloon (1979),  the Montreal Convention to eliminate CFCs (1987), RIP Ric Osasek plus more Brexit omnishambles

five years ago: culling social studies curriculum, the untrodden path plus repurposing an Italian protest anthem

Sunday 10 September 2023

6x6 (10. 993)

wordwhile: whilst Damn Interesting takes a short sabbatical to recoup and regroup, try their fun word game  

home-ec: kakeibo (ๅฎถ่จˆ็ฐฟ) the century-old method of household budgeting devised by Motoko Hani, Japan’s first woman journalist  

germinating hope: seed art with a message at the Minnesota state fair  

bullet points: an encomium for the co-creator of PowerPoint Dennis Austin (RIP)  

vim and vigour: more on the nineteenth century cocaine-fortified wine—see previously 

 ☕️๐Ÿซ: more on universal words, Betteridge’s and Cunningham’s law—browse through the comments


one year ago: Hey Jude (1968), links to enjoy, more telling the bees plus more assorted links to revisit

two years ago: St Aubert, the ecological importance of oyster-beds, comparable to coral reefs plus even more links worth revisiting

three years ago: the largest basilica in the world, artist Marianne von Werefkin, a devastating earthquake in Constantinople (1509), the original and the reprised Fresh Prince, burning skies plus Hongkonger neologisms

four years ago: the dissolution of the Austrian Empire (1919), Boris Johnson suspends Parliament, Sharpiegate plus more assorted links

five years ago: Denver airport plays up conspiracy theories,  towing an iceberg to the desert, an innovative wind-turbine plus the premiere of X-Files (1993)

Tuesday 5 September 2023

9x9 (10. 984)

built on sand: UN monitoring reveals the alarming scale of marine dredging 

but the meteor men beg to differ, judging by the hole in the satellite picture: revisiting a cringey faux academic essay on “All Star” to realise that Steve Harwell (RIP) had more to tell us  

j-mouse: a procession of dead-end peripherals—I would get the PC in an ottoman 

⡆⠄: LEGO’s braille bricks offered free-of-charge to parents and educators now available to the general public 

the secret-sharer: a confessional box from Simone Giertz (previously) where one’s messages are only present for a few seconds before self-destructing  

phil a. o’fish: a short-lived McDonaldland mascot and early beef alternatives—via Weird Universe  

mixed media: experiential scale-models of Tracey Snelling inspired by the architecture of Berlin—including the Mรคusebunker 

premeditatio malorum: fifty short rules for better living from the Stoics  

thermohaline circulation: scientist support using the oceans’ inclination for equilibrium to pull in excess atmospheric carbon-dioxide—see previously


one year agoTainted Love (1981) plus assorted links to revisit

two years ago: a film from D W Griffith, armorial bearings plus the debut of the Muppet Show (1976)

three years ago: the opening of the Gotthard Tunnel (1980)

four years ago: the greenwashing of the recycling movement plus a legendary kingdom in Bretagne

five years ago: a Freddie Mercury birthday bash, a Queen arrangement in brass, outsider artist James Henry Pullen plus reconciling with the end of coal through art

Saturday 2 September 2023

team badger (10. 979)

Launched on this day in 2003 on and looping indefinitely ever since, the flash animation meme by Jonti Picking (also known as Mr Weebl) was a benchmark of the on-line cognoscenti before virality could be otherwise gauged and consists of badgers performing calisthenics (with a snake and a mushroom) to a beat inspired by Whigfield’s Saturday Night with the placeholder lyrics making the final cut. Several different versions were produced over the years, including a zombie and an Advent special—as well as a tenth anniversary appeal to stop badger culling referencing Flash Gordon with the help of Brian May and Brian Blessed and a twentieth anniversary retrospective. More to explore from Miss Cellania at the link above.

Thursday 31 August 2023

8x8 (10. 973)

energy makes time: a resonant essay about how doing those essential things enables everything else—via Kottke 

kopienkritik: Ancient Roman souvenirs and mementos limn their culture and makes their lived experience more accessible—see previously    

: a clock correlated to YouTube videos that mention the current time—see previously—from Russell Samora—via Waxy

motes: what the tiniest specks of dust reveal about the world—via Damn Interestingsee also

honky chรขteau: more on the Abbey Road of the Val d’Oise—see previously  

coenties slip: the East River waterfront street that was witness to New York City’s cultural evolution—via tmn  

e-meter: the Church of Scientology urge the US government to walk-back right-to-repair legislation—via Slashdot 

a spell against indifference: Maria Popova laments her discounting of the power of poems—via Swiss Miss


one year ago: RIP Mikhail Gorbachev, Rolling Stones’ Street Fighting Man (1968) plus more Gorbymania

two years ago: assorted links to revisit, numeracy and conspicuous calculation plus the animation studio of John Hubley

three years ago: Dungeon Master for Halloween, the Gdaล„sk Social Accords (1980), more links to revisit, Lincoln Logs (1920) plus Tom Hiddleston as macaroons

five years ago: a LEGO Bugatti, a corporate logo font, an intimate rave at Stonehenge plus the art and maps of Jo Mora

six years ago: unexploded munitions from WWII prompts an evacuation in Frankfurt plus more links to enjoy

Tuesday 29 August 2023

7x7 (10. 970)

pagerank: Google has lost the quarter-century battle over overindexing versus useful search results—via Waxy  

1 346 000/km²: a tour of what was once the most densely populated area in the world, a largely ungoverned Chinese exclave within the territory of Hong Kong—see previously here and here  

corner suite: a visit to a unique corporate headquarters in Czechia with an office in an elevator—see previously 

lunar codex: an archive and time capsule of human creativity launched to the Moon—see also  

motor overflow: sticking out our tongues during complicated manual tasks reveal truths about our brains’ connections—via Damn Interesting  

gone to pasture: an abandoned luxury development in China overtaken by farmers and livestock—via Messy Nessy Chic

cryogenics: Wordpress offers to archive one’s digital estate for a century


one year ago: another MST3K classic plus assorted links to revisit

two years ago: the chemical element meitnerium, the founding of Greenland, white-winged doves and saguaro cactuses plus introducing Nirvana (1991) 

three years ago: mystic Manly Palmer Hall, Wuppertal’s Schwebebahn, inventor Otis Frank Boykin, liturgical cheese plus Netflix (1997)

five years ago: Trump lashes out against perceived social media bias against him plus Keith Houston on the history of emoji

Saturday 12 August 2023

7x7 (10. 939)

glas musterbuch: an unending catalogue of antique glassware 

bob hope presents the chrysler theatre: a star-studded television anthology airing from 1964 to 1967  

ziff-davis: more on CNET’s culling, content-pruning internal memo  

numa numa: Gary Brolsma recreates the viral dance video to the O-Zone song nineteen years later—via Waxy 

if you’re not paying, then you are the product: Zoom’s new terms of service agreement grants it perpetual rights over the contents of your meeting in exchange for turning it into an email with AI  

take two: slant board setting that allowed actors to rest in between shooting without getting out of costume

ti 5100: before the iPhone, calculators were regarded as aspiration personal electronics—see also