Tuesday 16 April 2024

web elements (11. 491)

Via Waxy, we discover a unique time of digital time capsule in this tribute and trove of early 1990s clip art collections (see previously), capturing a snapshot of the decade frozen in time, like contemporary advertising ephemera—which were also informed by the graphic templates in the era before computers when designers had libraries of pre-printed icons at their disposal—showcasing obsolete technologies, vintage fashions and monoculture. More from Benj Edwards’ Vintage Computing and Gaming at the link up top, plus search for yourself, rummaging through the DiscMaster archives.


one year ago: the Shrug Guy from Wikipedia plus a new notional system

two years ago: a moveable feast

three years ago: assorted links to revisit 

four years ago: more found art, St Drogo, hug a tree plus flag mashups

five years ago: AI gives us the answers we want to hear plus Notre Dame in flames


Sunday 7 April 2024

neocities (11. 473)

Via the Verge, we are directed toward a fine little interior decorating pastime for iPads in the form of Rooms—inviting players to cultivate and share their cozy cubbyholes—in the tradition of the old school web and good old fashioned building-blocks or paper-dolls putting together a pixellated diorama put together with modular elements voxel by voxel—see previously. It’s like dressing up and perfecting one’s avatar within predefined but expansive parameters and features a social aspect to meet one’s virtual neighbours and follow their home improvements.

macchine da caffรฉ (11. 472)

Via Present /&/ Correct, we thoroughly enjoyed inspecting the various models and designs of coffee and espresso makers collected over three decades by curator and connoisseur Enrico Maltoni celebrating a century of Italian cafe culture with an expansive exhibit to visit virtually. Styles and innovations are presented chronologically and an accompanying coffee-table book tells more about the manufacturers and small businesses that inform this cornerstone of society.


one year ago: pollutants as disease vectors plus Roxanne (1978)

two years ago: Putin apologists plus a sheet-like organism

three years ago: assorted links to revisit plus South Pacific (1949)

four years ago: cell towers and COVID, ghost crashes plus more mudlarking

five years ago: a Finnish term for resilience plus a logograph for the new imperial era

Wednesday 3 April 2024

9x9 (11. 464)

avis de rรฉception: Gertrude Stein first draft of her manuscript for The Making of Americans returned by a publisher  

greener pastures: ranchers embrace the benefits of virtual fencing  

แผ€ฮบฯฮฑฯƒฮฏฮฑ: philosophers weigh in on why we do things against our better judgment—via Kottke  

classroom setting: The Function of Colour in Schools and Hospitals (1930)  

haute couture: McDonald’s fashion in France  

heliopause: a NASA-endorsed app designed to photograph the North American total eclipse 

rhapsody in green: warm earth music for plants… and the people who love them 

could’ve been a contender: for what would be his hundredth birthday, some screen highlights of Marlon Brando

peer review: the Journal of Universal Rejection


one year ago: assorted links to revisit

two years ago: Planet of the Apes (1968)

three years ago: musical hypercards, more links to enjoy, missionary cats plus Blue Moon (1961)

four years ago: vintage railway memorabilia plus drawing elephants sight unseen

five years ago: the Marshall Plan (1948), more links worth revisiting plus conserving Soviet Almaty

Tuesday 19 March 2024

bascรญlica i temple expaitori de sagrada famรญlia (11. 436)

For the anniversary of the laying of the ground stone for the largest unfinished Catholic church in the world (see also) initially under the direction of architect Francisco de Paula del Villar y Lozano in 1882, whom resigned his commission from the Spiritual Association of Devotees of St Joseph over creative differences and was subsequently awarded to Antoni Gaudรญ (previously) who transformed the project into his magnum opus. Passing away in 1926 when the structure was only an estimated fifteen percent completed and leaving future builders to finish his vision, Gaudรญ reported answered to the slow progress of construction with “My client is not in a hurry.” Impediments to progress arose during World War I, the Spanish Civil War and World War II but the cathedral is open to the public, with regular masses held since 2017. Executed in Gaudรญ’s unique fusion of Cubism and Art Nouveau and rich withsymbolism, one can take a virtual tour courtesy of Open Culture at the link above. 


one year ago: the history of paper shredding, more FOIA follies, the excavation of Knossos, Germany’s biggest union plus the Second Iraqi War (2003)

two years ago: assorted links to revisit plus Plagiarism Today

three years ago: more links to enjoy

four years ago: Spring is coming

five years ago: C-SPAN, Hitler’s orders to destroy infrastructure in Germany (1945), more links worth revisiting plus music for cheese

Monday 18 March 2024

eternal ascent (11. 434)

Via the Awesomer, we are directed to the latest 3D rendering challenge from computer-graphics designer Clinton Jones (see previously) soliciting from artists around the world to create a background and protagonist facing a seemingly endless climb. Working from the same template, it is amazing how each seconds-long clip in the montage, selected from the hundred best submissions, can do the heavy-lifting of world-building and stimulates the imagination to learn the character’s backstory and join this quest.

Saturday 16 March 2024

auto sportive (11. 426)

Renowned Italian car designer associated with Gruppo Bertone, producing a number of iconic models for Lamborghini, Alfa Romeo and Ferrari, Marcello Gandini has passed away, aged 85. His signature Stile Bertone developed chiefly in a studio outside of Turin, created many prototypes and concept cars, innovative wedge formats, like the pictured mid-engine mounted Miura, the futuristic flagship of the company in production from 1966 to 1973, scissor doors for the two-seaters, also lending his talents to Volkswagen with the first Polo, Lancia’s rally car and BWM’s 1970 Garmisch—as well as venturing into architecture and interior design. More from designboom at the link up top.


one year ago: Florida tries to outlaw cabaret shows

two years agobicolour

three years ago: your daily demon: Andromalius, global stock markets crash, the bombing of Wรผrzburg (1945) plus proposed repurposing submarines as oil tankers

four years ago: St Urho, a portentous sea monster plus pandemic restrictions and air quality

five years ago: Sushi Singularity, more Olympic pictograms, hydrogen-power plus the Vessel

Saturday 9 March 2024

8x8 (11. 411)

๐Ÿšซ: the origins of the circle-and-slash prohibition symbol, its adoption as an ISO standard coinciding with 1984’s Ghost Busters  

return to sender: as part of the Prize Papers Project, a pristine Faroese hand-knitted sweater was discovered in an impounded parcel from 1807 

electronic labyrinth: the 1967 student film from George Lucas that would be later reworked into the feature  

snowdrops: Robert Marsham’s Indications of Spring (1789)  

clairaudient: more on Rosemary Brown with other classical compositions from beyond the grave  

if it doesn’t exist on the internet, it doesn’t exist: as of the beginning of the year, the venerable repository, the Ubuweb whose founder Kenneth Goldsmith is famous for the axiom, of the avant-garde has gone into archive-mode—via Web Curios 

sella rotalis: Paul de Livron crafts beautiful wooden wheelchairs, including one for the Pope

belinda new: exploring the typography of Oscar nominated films

Thursday 7 March 2024

synchronise (11. 405)

Via Miss Cellania, we are directed towards the latest project from GMUNK (see previously, artist and director Bradley G Munkowitz) in the form of a music video produced for the Folktronica duo Milky Chance hailing from Kassel. Harnessing cutting edge technical developments in the digital arts for decades, GMUNK and team have created a rather brilliant rendered, dynamic landscape to accompany the song. Learn more about the human-AI collaboration to create effects not possible just a short while ago at Colossal at the link above.


one year ago: Gone with the Wind’s Rainbow Script

two years ago: the Comet of the Century plus more odonymy

three years ago: Seven Nation Army (2003),  Die Sendung mit der Maus (1971) plus wandering words

four years ago: the Battle of Remagen (1945), broadening the search for extraterrestrial life plus pandemic hoarding

five years ago: Van Life

Tuesday 5 March 2024

7x7 (11. 402)

beyond the edge: the paradox of an infinite Cosmos  

why don’t you come up some time, see me: vocal fry and the valence of husky voices  

the complete commercial artist: the graphic design that informed modern Japan  

urschleim: primordial ooze as animated putty from 1911 

l’urythmics: an anaerobic exercise routine led by jazz dance pioneer Eugene “Luigi 5-6-7-8” Faccuito  

auteur: an omnibus collection of the most beautiful shots in cinematic history from the Solomon Society—including Barry Lyndon—sure to elicit lots of movie memories 

biosigns: an array of telescopes trained on potentially habitable exoplanets confirm a sample size one in a demonstration of its capability

Saturday 24 February 2024

flag carrier (11. 375)

From 1965 to 1967, JAL—once the jet age was firmly established and the airline had a full schedule of international routes, launched a marketing and public outreach campaign and printed a series of thirty-two pamphlets for passengers on all aspects of Japanese and Asian Pacific culture and industry. Entitled “New Views,” they have absolutely frame-worthy covers. More at Present /&/ Correct at the link above.


one year ago: an Ibsen premier (1876), more beautiful infographics plus how uu became w

two years ago: a Midnight Moment in Times Square

three years ago: your daily demon: Belial, assorted links to revisit, a Monteverdi premier (1607) plus architectural illustrator Margarethe Frรถhlich

four years ago: common areas of Hong Kong housing, the Battle of Los Angeles (1942) plus revisiting I, Claudis

five years ago: the Icelandic calendar plus a Ukrainian folk band

Friday 23 February 2024

10x10 (11. 374)

walden 7: photographer Sebastian Weiss captures the epic nature of an outstanding apartment block in Barcelona 

shootball: January Sixth themed pinball machines and other Republican swag at the Conservative Political Action Conference—see previously 

swimming with sharks: an overview of the hidden terror that’s haunted, informed humanity for millennia  

google blobs: the animated emoji character set that ought to be brought back—via Web Curios 

38°n: a news source on North Korea rex melly: the riches of Mansa Musa of the Mail Empire—adjusting for inflation and other factors, possibly the wealthiest person in history 

shift to socials: Vice Media is folding, laying off hundreds of journalists—via Waxysee more  

pale usher: introducing a blog mini-series on Moby Dick with a curious etymology  

every sperm is sacred: following the ruling in Alabama that grants personhood to frozen embryos—and the subsequent suspension of IVF treatment for fear of legal implications—conservative think tank forming Trump’s policy wants to end recreational sex 

batpole: homes with alternate stairwells—see previously

welcome to my ted talk (11. 371)

Founded on this day in 1984, the first Technology, Entertainment, Design conference of the US-Canadian non-profit media organisation—freely distributing “ideas worth spreading—featured futurist Mickey Schulhof demonstrating the compact disc, invented some eighteen months prior, and the Apple Macintosh with presentations by mathematician Benoit Mandelbrot, Nicholas Negroponte (with some rather prescient predictions, see also) and Whole Earth Catalogue’s Steward Brand. Broadening to scientific, cultural, humanitarian and academic topics, the main symposium has been held annually in Vancouver with other events interspersed throughout the year hosted globally and has been available universally under a Creative Commons license online since 2006.


one year ago: assorted links to revisit, Civilisation plus number names

two years ago: more on the Royal Order of Adjectives plus London’s courting of oligarchs

three years ago: Quo Vadis (1951), the names of chess pieces plus Unworter of the Year

four years ago: more links to enjoy, ending NDAs, a superspreader event plus leap days

five years ago: a visit to the Neroberg

Wednesday 21 February 2024

vielecke u. vielflache (11. 368)

This 1900 study of polyhedra by geometer Johannes Max Brรผckner, who taught at a Gymnasium (a secondary, preparatory school) in Bautzen after earning a degree in mathematics and physics from the Universities of Leipzig and Heidelberg and earned his teaching credentials for constructing many models of stellated shapes, compounds of the Platonic solids projected outward until the result in a new uniform and congruent three dimensional figure (see also), is not only noted for its aesthetic and inspirational value (M C Escher’s work was largely informed by exposure to this publication) but is considered among the foundational proofs of the field, documenting all the then known possibilities. In 1930, Brรผckner’s collection of models were donated to the institution in Baden-Wรผrttemberg, which in turn awarded him with another honorary degree. More at Present /&/ Correct at the link up top.

Sunday 18 February 2024

colonel sanders’ tijuana picnic (11. 361)

Via Good Internet, we are treated to a travelling exhibition of the worst album covers on display presently at the Alnwick Bailiffgate Gallery in Northumberland, featuring some four hundred aesthetically challenging vinyl sleeves from the collection of Steve Goldman, amassed over the years from bin sales and charity shops with the purchasing, inclusion criteria of it being laughably bad—nothing mean spirited but rather when choices went awry, irrespective of music quality—see also judging a book by its cover, via Web Curios. Select tracks from the collection will also be playing, with visitors invited to dance a bit and vote for their favourites, ranging from education, promotional, devotional, obscure artists and more well-known musicians. The pictured cover for the 1979 album from Peter Rabbit was what inspired Goldman’s hobby and share his obsession.

Thursday 1 February 2024

we don’t service your type here (11. 311)

Incredibly just introduced in 1994 (we thought that font snobbery and people, ourselves included, being so vested in these details had been going on for much longer), we enjoyed this excerpt from a new book outlining the history of the much-maligned Comic Sans, designed by Microsoft employee Vincent Connare (also creating the typeface Trebuchet and the rather cryptic levitating businessman emoji) in order to give a friendlier look for a new user interface the company was developing, more legible and scalable than the default Times New Roman, inspired by comic book captions and speech bubbles. Despite its reputation as ugly, ubiquitous and misuse, studies have shown that its superior legibility can help with retention and comprehension, particularly for those with dyslexia and Connare takes no offence to the endless barrage of insults. More on Thomas Steeles’ book at It’s Nice That at the link above.


one year ago: The Bird Cage (1973) plus assorted links worth revisiting

two years ago: Bush meets Yeltsin (1992), more links to enjoy, Late Night with David Letterman (1982) plus a classic Neil Young album (1972)

three years ago: Kepler’s Cosmic Bowl, Anglicisms in Greek, Imbolc, more links, a historical sci-fi glossary plus a huge graphic design archive

four years ago: Trump on trial by a jury of his peers, the overcrowded mail-order mattress field, AI facial morphs plus an immersive art experience

five years ago: Iceland’s prime minister, disembodied intelligence, more mass-transit upholstery plus women’s suffrage in Switzerland

Friday 26 January 2024

12x12 (11. 294)

brownstone: Gotham Gothic rowhouses as playing cards  

wall of eyes: Radiohead spinoff artist Jonny Greenwood’s latest album 

scrabblegram: a form of constrained writing using all one hundred tiles of the game  

blackula: a look at the brave inversion of exploitation cinema  

research purposes: profiles in the pornographers of Wikimedia who image and caption—see also—human sexuality, via Web Curios  

parks & rec: a map of sites in the US funded by FDR’s New Deal programme—via Waxy 

best laptop 2024: readership, AI and the collapse of media outlets  

nullification: Texas governor, alleging the US federal government has failed to protect the country from an immigrant invasion, hints at secession  

the compaynys of beestys & fowlys: revisiting how animal groupings (see previously on the subject of venery) received such colourful names—via the morning news  

schluckbildchen: sixteenth century edible devotionals  

mixtape: Kim Gordon, formerly of Sonic Youth, raps her grocery list in new song Bye Bye 

ephemerama: a growing archive of modern illustrations from circa 1950 to 1975—via Things Magazine


one year ago: more trompe l’oeil paintings, assorted links to revisit plus pie-chart studies

two years ago: morphing logos plus more links to enjoy

three years ago: zorbing, the Council of Trent (1545), Australia Day, more links worth the revisit plus Tubman on the twenty

four years ago: modular, prefab kiosks plus the first television demonstration (1926)

five years ago: the longest government shutdown in US history, architect Sir John Soane plus all the world’s writing systems

Monday 22 January 2024

bildruta fรถr bildruta (11. 287)

We appreciated the introduction to the portfolio of Swedish artist Iris Wildros through these mediative, contemplative frame-by-frame looming animations, which provide just as much enhancement and focus for the creator as for the observer. Multidisciplinary, Wildros has a preferred medium to reflect on change and return over time, dissecting what’s otherwise overwhelming into a more manageable component that still hangs, appends itself to a system as a whole rather than an isolating Much more on Wildros’ works exploring nature and cycles in a gallery of GIFs at the links above.

Sunday 21 January 2024

8x8 (11. 285)

80s chillpill: a nostalgic, slow-dance playlist 

topdressing: an appreciation of the world’s “ugliest” utility airplane, the Airtruk, designed for crop-dusting in New Zealand—via Clive Thompson’s Linkfest  

future-proof: an advertising campaign from a pen company in the early 1960s strangely forecasts our technological present 

these children aren’t french—they’re american: a retrospective look at the BBC’s language learning mascot Muzzy 

night-climbers: John Bulmer’s photographs of a secretive group that scaled the campus of Cambridge under the cover of darkness—more here  

crochet coral: an evolving nature and craft hybrid project to memorialise and raise awareness about our disappearing reef—see previously—via Nag on the Lake’s Sunday Links 

money pit: a tour of the world’s abandoned airports  

doses & mimosas: a remix by Vintage Culture featuring Zerky

Friday 19 January 2024

kฤla (11. 280)

Via ibฤซdem, we enjoyed contemplating this display that shows the passage of different units of time side-by-side advancing relative to the observer. Named for the Jain concept of that which brings forth change (also meaning death), the second is the smallest practical measurement, made up of countless and indivisible samaya—like Planck time though the zeptosecond or one sextillionth of a second is the smallest fragment of time that can be reliably calibrated—and itself representing about forty-eight seconds and the kลŸaแน‡a about forty-eight minutes. Aside from the more familiar units and the Hindu-Sanskrit tradition of describing the cosmological cycle, from microseconds to trillions of years, there’s also the milliday, invented by the Swatch company as one-thousandth part of a day or a .beat, the lustrum to mark the five-year interval between Roman censuses, the indiction for the fifteen-year requirement for tax assessments in the Empire, a ghurry, the time it took a water-clock to empty, gauged to divide the day into sixty intervals or rather twenty-four minutes and the chelek (ื—ืœืง) one eighteenth of minute from the Babylonian for one degree of celestial rotation and a momentum, a medieval reckoning of the hours by the sun-dial, about forty moments for each twelve-hour solar day—as well as more informal but countable units.