Sunday 9 June 2024

stack overflow (11. 616)

Courtesy of Waxy, we are directed to the flashy showroom of Terminal Text Effects, a collection of customisable coding scripts to apply to one’s website to create looping pages to assemble, decrypt and crumble content. There are quite a few to choose from and can be configured to match one’s themes and schemes. We especially liked the Burn, Black Hole and Rain routines and will one day learn how incorporate such pre-installs ourself although right now a bit too intermediate for us.

Friday 24 May 2024

internal audit (11. 580)

Our trusty AI wrangler, Janelle Shane (previously) vents her frustration over a shared lament that many artists, marketers and prompters—to the point where close enough is good enough—are experiencing with generated images. Often times tantalised with results that are preternaturally approaching the desired outcome, asking for an edit with a minor detail results, yields instead a completely different picture, ruining the assignment over a small and clearly articulated revision. I suppose AI doesn’t have object permanence despite the fact it clearly remembers, and this limitation is a strong argument for engaging a human artist who can understand one’s notes. More at the links above.

airfoil (11. 579)

Via Super Punch, we get this chance to revisit renowned industrial and commercial designer Lutz “Luigi” Colani with his Polymorph Space Shuttle concept model showcased at the 1984 Expo held in Otaru, Hokkaido (awarded with top honours however during the show for his designs for Canon cameras, including the prototype for the T90). The aerodynamic proposal failed to take off at the time but is perennially revisited by companies in the orbital freight business and included a new stylised logo for the US Space Agency.

Thursday 16 May 2024

scope of practise (11. 563)

Via Kottke, we that the inaugural World Umarlling Championship has been announced and is taking submissions, giving us a chance to revisit the gentle stereotype, classically a male pensioner who pauses to observe and inspect construction works in progress. Self-appointed foremen, the interest that umari take in infrastructure and built-environments is a model that we could all take a lesson from in terms of civic engagement without being a busybody or a backseat driver, especially under the terms of the competition. Learn ore at the links above.

Thursday 9 May 2024

the (other) line (11. 548)

As much as the projected NEOM (previously) professed to be a technological utopia with minimal—or negating impact—on the environment, promises which are looking less and less deliverable, this AI-generated cityscape extending out in all directions but centred on a main traffic artery isn’t quite so much antithetical (at least behind the veneer) as regressive and a reminder that the technocrati over-promise and cannot offer a real escape from the crowded, dirty, decaying and hierarchical framework of capitalism that created and enabled them. The oasis in the desert is a mirage. More from AI-DA at the link above.


one year ago: a political cartoon attributed to Benjamin Franklin plus assorted links worth revisiting

two years ago: Dianetics Day, all the .horse websites plus the musical origins of the seven-day week

three years ago: another MST3K classic, parahawking, Europe Week, television and the public interest, recycled sets, the skyscrapers of NYC, more text-based computer games plus early generative artwork

four years ago: a Roman festival to appease the restive dead, BBC backdrops, a planned alternative UN headquarters plus the Treaty of Winsor (1373)

five years ago: form+zweck, a US plan to bomb the Moon (1958), Watergate hearings commence (1974) plus a fire-chasing beetle

Wednesday 1 May 2024

7x7 (11. 527)

the function of colour: more scans from a beautiful 1930 volume on design in schools and workshops

sporulate: scientist create a plastic first strengthened then digested by bacteria  

wck: resuming their mission of feeding people in Palestine, Josรฉ Andrรฉs’ cookbook is nominated for a prestigious gastronomical award  

aim high in creation: a survey of North Korea’s popular culture  

barnard 33: JWST captures a sharp image of the iconic Horsehead Nebula of Orion  

dead reckoning: the history of the Etak Navigator and other cartographical innovations  

architectural renderings: the Art Deco illustrations of Charles Perry Weimer—via Messy Nessy Chic

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

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