Wednesday 17 April 2024

metaphysics of quality (11. 495)

Finally published after receiving one hundred twenty-one letters of rejection for the manscript, the fictionalised autobiography of author and philosopher Robert M Pirsig recounts the seventeen day cross-continent odyssey with his his son as a vehicle to reconcile and reconnect with his past self, driven insane by speculation on the nature of the Good and subjected to electro-convulsive therapy which irretrievably changed his personality. Pilgrims who trace his journey from Montana to California can pay homage to the motorcycle subject to repair, newly acquired by and on display at the Smithsonian. Along the way, the unnamed narrator encounters a foil in a friend who chose not to learn how to care for his expensive bike, hoping for the best but relying on professional mechanics when things do go wrong, and in contrast is able to trouble-shoot his ride, a comparative jalopy—framing the trip with many dense and introspective discussions on knowledge, belief and value—and argues persuasively that one can accept, embrace the dichotomy of the rational and romantic (like Nietzche’s Apollonian/Dionysian division) to avoid falling into gumption traps, the motivation that drains enthusiasm, reinforcing reluctance to change and adjudge situations as they come with less pragmatism. The discursive diary of ideas was for a generation a way to bookend the counterculture movement and temper some of the exuberance and idealism, like the schism in the narrator’s own mind, and function and flourish in a world beset with rules, norms and progress. Pirsig offers the disclaimer that, despite the title, his work should “in no way be associated with that great body of factual information relating to orthodox Zen Buddhist practise. It’s not very factual on motorcycles either.”

synchronoptica

one year ago: Bavaria wants to bring its nuclear power plants back online

two years ago: more on interstellar interlopers, Dolly Parton wardrobed like Easter eggs plus assorted links worth revisiting

three years ago: more links to enjoy, Zalgo text plus a UFO sighting in Aurora, Texas (1897)

four years ago: more links worth revisiting, an observation confirming the Two Body Problem, some sporting music plus the invention of hiking as a pastime

five years ago: even more links to enjoy plus the World Chess Association logo

Wednesday 10 April 2024

is this the leto boy i worked for? (11. 481)

Though advertised as a clip-show of highlights from the past hundred minisodes, an unexpected, rather absurd visitor, America’s newscaster emeritus, Dune-loving Tom Brokaw, steals the spotlight of the Flop House to pitch his musical version of the Frank Herbert epic—incorporating elements of Fiddler on the Roof—far superior to the HP Lovecraft Historical Society’s 1979 and 2001 revival parody A Shoggoth on the Roof by He Who (for legal reasons) Must Not Be Named, like the above lyric from the lament of mentat Thufir Hawat for his protรฉgรฉ Paul Atreides. In the tradition of the best musical homages from The Simpsons, there are some really clever numbers explored to a lesser or greater extant on the expense of the exasperation of the co-hosts. As the sequel premieres, Brokaw also teases a part two with the template of Sweeney Todd. We also very much enjoyed the leitmotif from A Baliset Player on the Sietch of the Bene Gesserit Gaius Helen Mohiam with the lines “How can I hope to make you understand don’t you move your right hand. Keep it that small box or I will land on your neck with my gom jabbar,” inspired by “Far from the Home I Love.” Listen and subscribe at the link above. Yubby dibby dibby dibby dibby dune. 

 synchronoptica

one year ago: 12 Angry Men (1957) 

two years ago: the first 3D studio release (1953), assorted links to revisit plus random ID cards

three years ago: the Thelema Book of Law, the Statue of Anne (1710) plus a glossary of television terms

four years ago: German and Finnish COVID-19 terminology, a memorial service for the Notre Dame fire, William of Ockham plus more links to enjoy

five years ago: vintage volvelles, a reversal on dollar coins, the Moka Pot reissued, shopping per horoscope, imaging a black hole plus punitive tariffs on the EU

Friday 5 April 2024

people don’t get better, they just get smarter—when you get smarter you don’t stop pulling the wings off flies, you just think of better reasons for doing it (11. 469)

First published by on this day in 1974 by Double Day, and adapted into a film just two years later—with three cinematic versions and a musical to follow, the debut horror novel by high school teacher and

aspiring author, Stephen King, a moderate commercial success on first printing but became a best-seller upon release as a paperback by Signet Press and establishing not only King’s credentials as a writer but also the appetite for the genre. Set five years in the future in the New England village of Chamberlain, Maine, a sixteen-year old Carietta “Carrie” White is ridiculed by other girls in high school, the the oppressively religious home-life that’s left her sheltered, naive and guilt-ridden, constant bullying and humiliation eventually causing her to unleash her nascent telekinetic powers to destroy the school and the town. Dealing with universal themes of ostracism, vengeance and disaffirmation—society makes monsters and refuses to address their monstrous aspects, instead of the story ending with the federal government declaring a state of emergency for the devastated township and Congress launching the White Commission to study paranormal abilities, King’s original conclusion confirmed the religious mother’s suspicion of demonic possession, growing horns and continuing her destructive rampage—but was convinced to leave the nature of Carrie’s powers more of a mystery. 

 synchronoptica

one year ago: assorted links to revisit

two years ago: removing an obstacle to maritime navigation (1958) plus the bridgehead at Mainz

three years ago: more links to enjoy plus First Contact

four years ago: Easter Island, snaking walls, public health turns political plus Fox’ Sunday Night Line-Up

five years ago: more links worth revisiting plus metaphysical tools


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

synchronoptica

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

Wednesday 27 March 2024

9x9 (11. 453)

 you are old, father william, the young man said: Better Living Through Beowulf has been applying Lewis Carroll characters to the trials and tribulations of Biden and Trump  

gรผneลŸ enerjili santrali: power plant in Turkeyi’s Konya region is straight out of science fiction  

rotoscopio: artist Antoni Sendra celebrates his daring daughter’s favourite things with more than two thousand hand painted frames of animation ahead of her sixth birthday 

toto, i don’t think we’re in kansas anymore: the Ruby Slippers theft saga continues 

read/write drive: Infinite Macs and making computing history accessible, including an emulation of the original World Wide Web browser—via Waxy  

licensed broker: the rise and fall of the professional appellation electragist  

fleischer studios: the history and evolution of animation from the phenakistiscope to Pixar  

low-vacuum pipeline magnetic levitation technology: a hyperloop test track in the Netherlands 

come to jesus moment: Trump attempts to capitalise on Biden’s split with Israeli leadership

Sunday 24 March 2024

11x11 (11. 448)

inauspicious beginnings: a rift opens up in a group of official astrologers employed by the Sri Lankan government to pick ideal dates for new years rituals  

disco arabesquo: record label Habibi Funk aims to introduce Middle Eastern vintage music to wider audiences 

typecraft: a transformative font foundry in India 

the allegory of the cave: on the twenty-fifth anniversary of the film’s premiere, we may be still trapped in the Matrix 

banjaxed and bockety: two curious Irish terms 

der buch der hasengeschichten: Tom Seidmann-Freud’s 1924 collection of hare fables 

working for tips: bizarrely robot baristas will accept gratuities, in a service sector landscape already fraught with insecurity and precarity—via tmn  

the juice is on the loose: a sequel thirty-six years in the making, reuniting the original cast—via Miss Cellania  

international system of typographic picture education: an archive of the pictograms of Gerd Arntz—see previously  

pocket full of kryptonite: the preponderance of alternative rock songs about Superman in the 1990s, 2000s 

prosopometamorphopsia: a new study on generalised social anxiety disorder tries to see from the perspective of those with a rare condition that causes faces to appear distorted, demonic—via the New Shelton wet/dry

Monday 18 March 2024

7x7 (11. 435)

deadwooding: Banksy acknowledges authorship of a new mural bringing back some greenery to an aggressive prune tree in Finsbury Park  

subspace: an ultra high-definition video of a cat chasing a laser-pointer was beamed over thirty million kilometres to improve future video calls to the Moon and Mars 

running-stitch: beautiful embroidered portraits from Karola Pezarro  

deadspin: more on the internet’s undead, reanimated by private equity and name recognition—see previously, see more  

bunga bunga: Italy’s Foreign Press Association to move into former home of Silvio Berlusconi, who famously disparaged reporters as Communists  

honeytrap: Aphra Behn’s intersecting careers as a professional writer and spy  

sequoiadendron giganteum: imported by the Victorians as status symbols, Giant Redwoods (see also) are thriving in the UK at more than half-a-million and growing

Thursday 7 March 2024

9x9 (11. 406)

harmonisation: Albanian government using AI to try to speed accession to European Union by rewriting local legislation to fit the block’s regulatory framework—via Marginal Revolution  

the once and future sex: enduring medieval views on female anatomy 

gรฉodรฉsie: more on the Paris Meridian and how Greenwich ultimately won out 

walk without rhythm and you won’t attract the worm: Christopher Walken, portraying Padishah Emperor Shaddam Corrino IV, unaware of his epic choreography in “Weapon of Choice” references Dune  

mcmxxiv: a curation of photos from Alan Taylor—via Kottke  

here there be tygers: animated adaptations of Ray Bradbury’s science fiction by Sergei Bondarchuk  

the world is a cat—i can’t unsee that now: a geopolitical map drawing challenge  

the school of venus; or the ladies delight: self-pleasure in the seventh century  

circling the wagons: Sweden accedes to NATO as its thirty-second member state after a wait of two years—while holdout Hungary visits Trump

Sunday 3 March 2024

8x8 (11. 396)

a bridge too far: German authorities pledge investigation into embarrassing leak of confidential military talks about Ukrainian aid  

heteronyms: the Portuguese writer Fernando Pessoa with seventy pen-names  

solar symbology: a survey of the various cartographic representations of North America’s upcoming total eclipse  

phrixus and helle: newly excavated fresco in Pompeii retells the myth of the Golden Fleece  

re:design: Jason Kottke unveils his new website with fresh 2024 energy—maybe we could all use a face-lift  

replevin: Trump fraudulently overvalued his Scottish golf course and resort by £200 000 000—see previously 

club remix: annual competition that invites doctoral candidates to dance their dissertation 

airdrop: US begins aid delivery to a beleaguered Gazan population on the verge of famine

 synchronoptica

one year ago: TIME magazine (1923) plus assorted links to revisit

two years ago: more links to enjoy plus the largest capacity cargo plane

three years ago: more links worth the revisit, an artist’s message to get vaccinated plus Rocket Man (1972)

four years ago: the French version of the Dallas theme, Super Tuesday, Nigerian contributions to English plus more on the Human Interference Task Force

five years ago: graphic designer Alvin Lustig, Apollo IX (1969), an example of Celtic Revival architecture, McLaren’s Imperial Cheddar Club Cheese plus artist Pokey LaFarge

Friday 1 March 2024

8x8 (11. 392)

unauthorised avatar: Ukrainian individual discovers her likeness from her self-help videos have been cloned to sell Russian goods, friendship with China  

criterion collection: a curated series of great moments from the film company’s archive of Closet Picks  

il galateo, overo de’ costumi: the age of impoliteness—an influential sixteenth century Venetian treatise of delicacy and manners  

the weeknd stroke psa: a song parody about signs and symptoms of a cerebrovascular incident  

@smalin: graphic artist Stephen Manlinowski creates beautifully animated classical and jazz score—via Web Curios 

the hero’s journey: “the chosen one,” coming of age narratives of Dune, Star Wars, Harry Potter are mostly about adolescent boys coming to grips with their sexuality—via tmn  

dark currents: a 1992 public access occult soap opera from Marrawamkeag, Maine inspired by Dark Shadows, Twin Peaks  

thimblerig: internet retailer’s financial shell game and predatory pricing enabled it to create an untenable monopoly not thought sustainable

Tuesday 27 February 2024

infinite improbability drive (11.386)

Via Kottke, we are directed to an interesting observation, theory by Lisa Riemers (an example of l'esprit de l’escalier—a stair-step realisation, the perfect reply that came too late—shared after a podcast recording) that technology has graduated beyond Star Trek-inspired hardware with tricorders, comms-badges, tablet computers—though we are still lacking the transporters, replicators, warp-travel and post-scarcity society—and is entering the Douglas Adams’ phase, when absurd tech calls for correspondingly absurd inventions. The super computer Deep Thought, in The Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy, which devised the Ultimate Answer, forty-two, but made no sense as the Ultimate Question was outside the scope of its programming, Electric Monks that did the believing for you to alleviate some of the tedium of it, the exceeding wealthy building custom planets, depressed robots and lab rats (hyper-intelligences in disguise) subjected to experimentation conducting research on the scientists all seem to have their corollaries in chatbot and AI trials, virtual boyfriends, unhinged and hallucinating large language models, rogue driverless cars and luxury doomsday bunkers. Maybe we have attained the Babel Fish / Universal Translator, however, but the verdict is still out. More at the links above.

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

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.

lipogram (11. 366)

Being a fan of constrained writing (previously), a storytelling technique that imposes a specific pattern, meter, rhyme, or bound by a rule that outlaws a certain letter, we quite appreciated being directed towards the book that developed out of a COVID-times project called Ebb by Grant Maierhofer to produce a novel without using the first letter of the alphabet. From a passage about the author’s inspiration—e’s been done already:

Limiting yourself is oddly opening. Limiting your view of things, like stopping yourself from doing something, brings this sense of bliss when you do some close thing to this. This feeling like you’re freed up from thinking one style. This feeling like you’re freed up from being bogged down in your every moment mind. The mind of every moment is too open to every flitting possibility. The mind with one limit put on it knows where it might like to go. To run even. This mind brings out something new in you. Like Wittgenstein’s brother. The composer. The piece written for just one of his sets of fingers. The possibility there. Tehching Hsieh’s work, opening himself to the possibilities in limiting himself for long stretches. The possibility opening up from this kind of thing. I only wish to tell someone to consider it. The possibility even in just considering it. This might be enough. Cut yourself off from something. Limit yourself. See the things which creep out from the sides of the thing you’ve skipped. You’ve stopped yourself from something, now something else opens up there. This is incredible. Simply incredible. The most wonderful thing which could’ve occurred.

One hardly notices the letter’s absence and catch myself juggling with a similar awareness and avoidance in choice of words. Tehching “Sam” Hseih is a retired Taiwanese performance best known for durational works and feats of stamina and endurance and deferment, exploring time and struggle—solitude and commitment, for example not leaving a cell for a year with no human interaction or not stepping inside for another. Much more at the links above.

synchronoptica

one year ago: the Communist Manifesto (1848) plus a landmark US Supreme Court ruling

two years ago: the foresight of the US founders plus Nixon in China

three years ago: another Roman holiday, life-sized scale models plus an iceberg simulator

four years ago: bridging continents, assorted links to revisit plus AI antibiotics

five years ago: a bacterial battery plus mergers and acquisitions

Saturday 17 February 2024

8x8 (11. 358)

compound interest: Trump’s accumulated lawsuits amount to over half a billion dollars  

vivi o preferibilmente morti: Poseidon’s Underworld reviews a 1969 Spaghetti Western  

epistolary doll: Kafka, a little girl and her beloved, lost toy—via the New Shelton wet/dry 

the wonderful night of hercules brown: a 1968 short film guiding a young boy through his dreams with the help of muppets and puppets 

millions of cats: Wanda Hazel Gรกg’s 1928 children’s book—the oldest American title still in print  

leaning toward more grasshopper, less ant: raising children on the eve of the AI revolution—via tmn  

hero’s journey: a video poking fun at the tropes and archetypes of found in every epic quest—see previously  

never surrender high-tops: Trump launches gold trainers line, goes public with his social network in order to earn cash to pay for his legal judgments—see previously

Wednesday 14 February 2024

9x9 (11. 351)

planisphere: explore the fifteenth century Mappa Mundi—made by a Venetian cartographer and monk map who never left the lagoon  

high rollers: the character and history of burlesque shows  

robots.txt: a tiny text file that has been the underpinnings of the internet is unravelling due to AI 

a load-bearing day: the confluence of several celebrations, including Ash Wednesday (be furiousing rather than fasting), Valentine’s and the Luni-Solar New Year  

my unfortunate incarceration: the abundant prison-tech alliance is a brutal harbinger of what’s to come

bulletisation: the functional literacy crisis in reading comprehension—via the morning news 

service sector: some large companies requiring AI-informed personality tests for vacancy applicants  

disco vicar: some Anglican churches and cathedrals opening for parties  

news deserts: explore local journalism and those newsrooms hanging on—via Maps Mania

Tuesday 13 February 2024

9x9 (11.348)

unwanted legacy: Russia puts Estonian prime minister on wanted list for dismantling monuments to Soviet soldiers 

banned book rainbow: LeVar Burton hosts a very special episode on books banned by adults who don’t want kids to learn, grow or change—via Kottke  

clothesline, skyline: a look at Shanghai’s ubiquitous outdoors drying racks  

blinkerwall: ten-thousand year old megastructure in the Baltic could be Europe’s oldest  

everynoise: layoffs and downsizing at Spotify spell the end of the serendipitous musical encyclopaedia—see previously  

essentially cenobitical: one year in the life of a part time hermit—via the new Shelton wet/dry 

running amoc: the trajectory of the climate catastrophe blows past a calamitous tipping-point  

clearing the docket: upcoming inflection points in the criminal cases against Trump  

portal kombat: French authorities uncover a vast Russian disinformation network designed to overwhelm fact checkers

Monday 29 January 2024

castaways (11. 303)

First airing on this day in 1942 on the BBC Forces station, conceived and originally hosted by presenter Roy Plomley (until his death in 1985) and still broadcast on a weekly basis—making it the longest running radio programme after the Grand Ole Opry which began in 1925—Desert Island Discs invites celebrities, politicians, scientists, journalists, authors and artists as guests to choose eight audio (originally gramophone) recordings, a book (castaways are automatically given a volume of the Complete Works of William Shakespeare and the Bible or other appropriate theological or philosophical text) and a single luxury item that they would wish to have should they find themselves marooned, talking about their lives, careers and reasons for the titles selected. Over the course of three thousand episodes, guests have included Eartha Kitt, Bing Crosby, David Attenborough, Dave Bruebeck, Alfred Hitchcock, Liberace, Alec Guinness, Julie Andrews, Sophie Tucker, Cilla Black, Marlene Dietrich, Harold Pinter, Anthony Burgess, Magnus Pyke, Lauren Bacall, Elia Kazan, Burl Ives (who selected the I Ching), Norman Mailer, Bob Geldof, Stephen Hawking, Brian Blessed, Stephen Sondheim, Stephen Fry, Debbie Harry and Zadie Smith. Over the decades, the most requested piece of music has been “Ode to Joy,” the last movement from Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. Conceived with the sounds of crashing waves and the cries of seabirds as the introduction and conclusion, producers however insisted on “By the Sleepy Lagoon,” an instrumental by Eric Coates, composer of light music—see also.

synchronoptica

one year ago: School House Rock! at 50, Dr Strangelove plus assorted links to revisit

two years ago: more banned books, a Mozart opera, Axis of Evil, an AI creates bespoke colours plus more conspiratorial thinking

three years ago: an opera by Peter Josef von Lindpainter, more links to enjoy plus a digital demesne

four years ago: Mantra Rock Dance (1967), the Rubik’s Cube (1980) plus the Space Cat gets a monument

five years ago: the event that inspired Boomtown Rats, an excellent Rube Goldberg machineSleeping Beauty (1959), a Trump attorney’s political thriller plus artist Javier Riera

Thursday 25 January 2024

anapodoton (11. 293)

From the Greek แผ€ฮฝฮฑฮฝฯ„ฮฑฯ€ฯŒฮดฮฟฯ„ฮฟฯ‚ for “I give back,” the ellipsis refers to a rhetorical device by which the gist of a saying is supported by its subordinate clause without mentioning it, like if the mountain won’t come to the prophet, when in Rome, a bird in the hand, if the shoe fits or when the cat’s away. As with the spoonerism I heard once and since incorporated “paying Peter to rob Paul,” I thought the former idiom (fabricated by Francis Bacon) was “Let the mountain come to Mohammed”—an anacoluthon, a disruptive thought expressed in reported speech by my favoured em-dash to mark the divergence—and is entirely missing the intention and making a postproverbial or preverb. The study of such maxims and their variants, dating back to Aristotle’s collections, is called paremiology, classing them into the categories of comparison, interrogation, their above misuse and metaphorical or allusory.

11x11 (11. 292)

liar’s dividend: digital propaganda and implausible deniability—via the New Shelton wet/dry 

working cows dairy: a collection of superlative cheeses—via Kottke 

the blazing world: a 1666 novel considered the first world of science fiction by a woman author 

everglades jetport: uncovering the ruins of a failed supersonic runway floundering in the in the Florida wetlands—see previously  

the furby panic: US National Security Agency compelled to release a trove of documents outlining their ban of the toy as a potential instrument of espionage—via Waxy  

press-gang: while most news outlets block AI crawlers used to scrape training data, right-wing media welcomes them—see previously 

mac@40: a website showing every model of the Apple computer as it enters its fifth decade  

winter in aizu: a woodblock series from Sosaku Hanga artist Kiyoshi Saito 

you are both so much more than kenough: Hillary Clinton weighs in the Oscar nominations for Barbie—via Super Punch  

time in a bottle: one bar’s water-clock has drained—though we’d not be adverse to a Harvey Wallbanger  

white stork: the Ukraine war-sandbox and the rise of the AI-Military Complex—see previously

synchronoptica

one year ago: data-scrapping and copyright

two years ago: MediaWiki Day, more custom cars, Roman milestones plus an inexplicable fast food mascot

three years ago: your daily demon: Valac, assorted links to revisit plus the Torlonia Marbles

four years ago: vintage virtual dressing rooms, happy birthday Volodymyr Zelenskyy, more on the US Space Force plus Mendelssohn’s Wedding March

five year ago:  photojournalist Jessie Tarbox Beals, a Droste homage, more links to enjoy, a Trump associate arrested plus cardinal notions