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

Saturday 17 February 2024

selenology (11. 356)

From the Amusing Planet’s archives, we are directed towards the 1874 work of engineer and hobbyist astronomer and photographer James Nasmyth of Edinburgh through his speculate volume on lunar geology called The Moon: Considered as a Planet, a World, and a Satellite, a compendium of research and observations, supplemented by a number of highly detailed photographic plates produced during a time when it was not technically possible to take such striking images directly through a telescope. Instead, Nasmyth improvised by making sketches from what he could see through his self-made observatory and transforming them into plaster relief scale models and photographing those under electric illumination to highlight the shadows and contours of his topographic globes. This work carried out after retirement from heavy industry, having invented the hydraulic press and the steam hammer and other machine tools, an impact crater (he had incorrectly theorised volcanic origins, though later research confirms lava flows) on the Moon is named in honour of Nasmyth himself, just to the west of the pictured Wargentin, for his lifetime of accomplishments.

Wednesday 24 January 2024

refractive index (11. 291)

Opening on this day in 1955 in New York City’s Museum of Modern Art, sparking many revivals and alternative exhibitions, the curation of some five hundred images from all over the world was the culmination of the the career of Edward Steichen, director of the MoMA’s department of photography—having earlier played a significant role in legitimising the medium as a recognised art form—drawing record-setting number of visitors. The ambitious project’s title was taken from the stanza of the Carl Sandburg poem, written as a prologue for the show: 

There is only one man in the world and his name is All Men.
There is only one woman in the world and her name is All Women.
There is only one child in the world and the child's name is All Children.

People! flung wide and far, born into toil, struggle, blood and dreams, among lovers, eaters, drinkers, workers, loafers, fighters, players, gamblers. Here are ironworkers, bridge men, musicians, sandhogs, miners, builders of huts and skyscrapers, jungle hunters, landlords, and the landless, the loved and the unloved, the lonely and abandoned, the brutal and the compassionate—one big family hugging close to the ball of Earth for its life and being. Everywhere is love and love-making, weddings and babies from generation to generation keeping the Family of Man alive and continuing.  

If the human face is “the masterpiece of God” it is here then in a thousand fateful registrations. Often the faces speak that words can never say. Some tell of eternity and others only the latest tattings.  Child faces of blossom smiles or mouths of hunger are followed by homely faces of majesty carved and worn by love, prayer and hope, along with others light and carefree as thistledown in a late summer wing.  Faces have land and sea on them, faces honest as the morning sun flooding a clean kitchen with light, faces crooked and lost and wondering where to go this afternoon or tomorrow morning. Faces in crowds, laughing and windblown leaf faces, profiles in an instant of agony, mouths in a dumbshow mockery lacking speech, faces of music in gay song or a twist of pain, a hate ready to kill, or calm and ready-for-death faces. Some of them are worth a long look now and deep contemplation later.

Embarking later on a global, goodwill tour partly under the auspices of the United States Information Agency (see also), a manifesto of peace during times of turmoil and division, the images were selected to communicate a story and the gallery of faces engendered mutual recognition and seemed to look back at the audience, inspiring tributes, sequels and re-examinations, beginning with West Germany’s 1965 Weltausstellung der Fotografie and some critical revisions, re-appraisals to shift perspective and build inclusivity and exposure on the intent. Ultimately inscribed to the UNESCO Memory of the World Register, the physical catalogue of prints is displayed (according to the original set-up) and archived at Clervaux Castle of curator Steichen’s native Luxembourg.

 synchronoptica

one year ago: drawing lessons from an ukiyo-e master, the US army leaves the Rheinland (1923) plus assorted links to revisit

two years ago: more on Saturn’s moons, a WWII holdout (1972) plus the Young Poland art movement

three years ago: geneticist Beatrice Mintz

four years ago: negative harmonies, City Roads, more synthetic humans, a belle รฉpoque residence plus French territories in Jerusalem

five years ago: the micronation of Sealand, a 1960 documentary on the Cosmos plus an impressive cultural centre in Tฤซanjฤซn

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

Saturday 20 January 2024

koala country: infrared (11. 281)

Guiding us through the territory of Victoria, a place known for its colossal things and oversized monuments like this Big Watermelon in Wantirna or Giant Koala of Dadswell Bridge, photographer Sean Paris presents us with a unique perspective through a spectrum of usually invisible colours, ranging from vivid and supersaturated to washed out of these sculptural landmarks, historic buildings and vintage accommodations and recreational centres of the state. Veering into the domain of thermal imaging with his special lens filters and kit (as cameras are attuned to visible light and not longer wavelengths), these images in warm pinks and blues affords us an idea of how an insect might see the world. More from Designboom at the link above.

synchronoptica

one year ago: Ukraine appeals to NATO partners plus AI has not yet mastered human hands

two years ago: the correspondence of Lincoln and Marx, peering into the spaces within musical instruments plus a wetland walkway

three years ago: your daily demon: Zagan, assorted links worth revisiting plus US presidential inaugurations

four years ago: more from artist Cold War Steve

five years ago: the mnemonic devices of Robert Fludd plus a trip to Cloister Kreuzberg

Wednesday 17 January 2024

10x10 (11. 276)

durianrider and banana girl: a personal account of joining a fringe diet community and subsequent de-programming  

curricula: an archive of Japanese school books from 1898 

i’m feeling lucky: a mostly facetious collection of laws about discourse from Osmo Antero Wiio that posits that communication usually fail except by accident 

it’s not your imagination: research shows that Google search, overrun by competition for rankings, has gotten worse—along with other indexing engines  

flickr commons: sixteen stories for the image platform’s sixteenth birthday—via Waxy  

pps: Chuck Wendig warns against using AI to enhance one’s creative outlets

chevron v natural defence council: US Supreme Court posed to overturn a forty-year precedence on regulators and agency enforcement—more here   

rewatch: Netflix is airing a bevy of classic films, celebrating their milestone anniversaries 

reference desk: as part of an “inappropriate content review,” a US school district is banning dictionaries and encyclopaedias 

the ouroboros of the passive-income scam: an escape from a get rich quick cult

Saturday 13 January 2024

7x7 (11. 263)

photographie de rue: the images of Eugรจne Atget capture scenes of Paris unchanged since the turn of the last century  

ma che sera: more musical stylings from Raffaella Carrร  with this 1974 TV appearance 

ray fay: the mostly-unreleased 1976 comedic spoof Queen Kong with traditional gender roles reversed  

from-to: reputational-based urban maps that can help you find the analogue East Village of London and other neighbourhoods in different cities 

tv mirror: leafing through the February 1977 includes an interview with Henry Winkler and more on the Dino De Laurentiis remake that condemned the above treatment of the colossus to obscurity 

isdn: a look at the once future-proof telecommunication standard quickly vanishing 

oppidum du mont beauvray: the successive rediscoveries of the ancient capital of the Gallic Aedui tribe, Bibracte

synchronoptica

one year ago: St Mungo plus assorted links to revisit

two years ago: snow-plough names plus a very special episode of Bewitched

three years ago: more on sea-shanties, the art of Roger Brown plus COVID ex-votos

four years ago: Knut’s Day plus outcry over plant-based labels

five years ago: criticism over NordStream2interpretive GIFs plus more links to enjoy

Tuesday 9 January 2024

10x10 (11. 254)

job security: the US only created seven-hundred new IT positions last year—compared to two-hundred seventy thousand in 2022—via the New Shelton wet/dry  

tidy mouse: an industrious rodent sorts out a human’s workspace 

a theft from those who hunger: Dwight Eisenhower’s Chance for Peace Speech of 1953   

seo: how Google’s search algorithm has shaped the web  

past is precedent: Austin Kleon shares one-hundred things that made his year—a very good list 

the big mac index: the rising costs of fast food and its political implications 

high school high: graphic designer Veronica Kraus curates gems from old yearbooks—see also—via Messy Nessy Chic  

armed conflict survey: mapping wars around the world  

double fantasy: celebrated photographer Kishin Shinoyama, who captured the intimate moments of John Lennon and Yoko Ono for their album art (see below) passes away, aged 83 

 year-on-year: the word from Davos forecasts anaemic economic growth

synchronoptica

one year ago: Nobody Told Me plus canal workers’ jargon

two years ago: Mambo Italiano, RMS Queen Elizabeth plus the premier of the iPhone (2007)

three years ago: classic rebrands, assorted links to revisit, a snowy day, more on Cats plus a diet inducing doorway

four years ago: attempts for a peaceful resolution to the Iraq War (1991), the yacht whisperer plus plans for a Woven City

five years ago: the diplomatic status of the EU downgraded, more Hampsterdance, repairing the Azure Window plus more links to enjoy

Monday 18 December 2023

high hand (11. 194)

Courtesy of Spoon & Tamago, we are introduced to the portfolio of artist Yuni Yoshida, whose compositions tend to avoid digital manipulation and enhancement and rely instead on poses, forced perspective and meticulous arrangements, through this recent exhibition reimagining the iconography of playing cards, the entire deck—all thirteen ranks of four suits, with engaging and creative still-life photographs of everyday objects ranging from food, to flower petals to hair curlers. Much more at the links above.

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

Sunday 5 November 2023

9x9 (11. 097)

falling for fall: an epic attempt to capture the Christian Girl Autumn aesthetic—via the morning news  

paradox: NASA climate group issues a bleak warning on climate change—controversially suggesting that a reduction in aerosol pollution will accelerate warming 

the hunting of the earl of rone: one individual’s quest to catalogue the folkways and traditions of the United Kingdom  

they’re all good dogs: the winners of the annual world canine photography award presented—plus a bonus vocabulary term for one who is favourably disposed to dogs—via Nag on the Lake  

ja-da, ja-da, ja-da, jing jing jing: a soothing 1918 jazz standard covered for decades after  

mechanical turk: exposing autonomous cars’ vast human support network to maintain an illusion of safety, reliability 

roll on: a clever phonophore logo for a transport and logistics company in Hong Kong 

cape canaveral: a 3D animated billboard recounts the chronology of the Kennedy Space Centre 

momiji tunnel: a stunning section of the Eizan railway showcases the turning foliage—via the ever excellent Nag on the Lake’s Sunday Links

 synchronoptica

one year ago: the Gun Powder Plot, a Commodore accordion, more McMansion Hell plus a Wikipedia list of common fallacies

two years ago: the Saint Felix Flood (1530) 

three years ago: a tri-lingual dictionary (1499), a flashpoint labour strike (1916), a sรฉance on a wet afternoon plus the Rebel Rabbit GIF

four years ago: more on Guy Fawkes, Voyager 2 leaves the Solar System, ghoulish guacamole plus Facebook’s shift to the right

five years ago: representative Shirley Chisholm, an ancient boardgame, photographer Denise Scott Brown, words for the Winter Blues plus mapping the US mid-terms

Thursday 2 November 2023

tintype (11. 090)

Via Waxy, we are directed to a trove of some four thousand glass plate negatives salvaged from the trash back in 2019 and developed by documentary photographer and preservationist Terri Cappucci based in western Massachusetts. The collection, destined to be thrown away, captures local history and provides a snap-shot of New England spanning from the 1860s to the 1930s. A lot of the portraiture includes exquisite and sharp details on styles and fashions from over the decades and illustrate changes in living and the land. The state university in Amherst has acquired the archive and is in the process of curation. 

synchronoptica

one year ago: the Morris Worm (1988), Simpsons Albums plus in praise of phrase books

two years ago: a treasury of neologisms,  US president Warren G Harding plus an art storage facility opens its doors to the public

three years ago: your daily demon: Vine, a board game about the US electoral college, the first BBC high-definition television broadcast (1936) plus Hartfield’s Landing revisited

four years ago: Party Like It’s 1999, a historic bar in Singapore plus more shadow puppets

five years ago: artist Piet Mondrian, assorted links to revisit plus more on the first residents of the International Space Station

Thursday 12 October 2023

mixed nuts (11. 053)

Via Colossal, we are directed to the latest ambition of Uli Westphal (previously) his current series photographic taxonomy of all the world’s edible seeds—so far collecting and shooting with the portrait studio treatment around four hundred of the estimated three-thousand cultivated and wild botanical parts ranked highly palatable. Much more at the links above.  

synchronoptica

one year ago: the lingua cosma of SETI, assorted links to revisit plus building the fake, composite bridges shown on euro bill

two years ago: typographical ornament, a plan for Italy to be annexed by the US plus Jesus Christ Superstar

three years ago: an AI makes memes, Free-Thought Day and other celebrations, a Khrushchev colouring book plus foliage studies

four years ago: ร‰tienne de Silhouette,  the founding of Iran plus social media’s sins of omission 

five years ago: more links to enjoy, mapping returns on solar panels plus the miniature world Tatsuya Takana

Wednesday 11 October 2023

9x9 (11. 052)

bennu: scientist reveal recovered sample of primordial dust from an asteroid (see previously) may help us better understand the formation of the Solar System 

mansions, pensions: revisiting the dwellings of Leonora Carrington (previously) and how they informed her art  

upscale: Adobe to introduce an AI-powered extension to improve the quality, loopiness of legacy, low-resolution GIFs 

pimeyes: the reverse image search technology that can retrace one’s digital detritus  

decide which elvis is king: the consequential public debate over a commemorative US postage stamp  

the golden horseshoe: UK’s Natural History Museum unveils the winners of Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition—via Nag on the Lake 

beasts: Nigel Kneale’s 1976 horror anthology has a book companion to the series  

tower to cockpit: listen live to airport radio transmissions around the world—via the new shelton wet/dry  

panspermia: a thought-provoking conjecture about alien life emerging with the Big Bang

Tuesday 3 October 2023

6x6 (11. 036)

eggs: another classic animated short from John and Faith Hubley 

patrimoine mondial: UNESCO inscribes forty-two new sites on its World Heritage list—via Kottke 

dog brain: a classic Nicktoon from the early 1990s

the madame b album: the artistry of the Victorian photocollage  

it’s a perfectly cromulent word: Merriam-Webster adds six hundred fifty new definitions to the dictionary  

schattenspiel: the German singer and director Lotte Reiniger who pioneered spot-motion animation

synchronoptica

one year ago: assorted links to revisit, Tree Talk plus Star Wars Cantina music as inspiration 

two years ago: your daily demon: Malphas plus der Tag der Deutsche Einheit

three years ago: a logical second plus a bit of seasonal decoration

four years ago: East Germans flee to Czechoslovakia (1989),  Germany’s four corners, Trump in Europe, Banksy’s shop, Inland Printer plus East Berlin’s TV Tower

five years ago: the 2008 financial crisis, reminders of a divided Germany, Plastic Love plus Trump-inspired cocktails

 

Thursday 28 September 2023

sycamore gap (11. 029)

Made famous internationally by a cameo appearance in 1991’s Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves but a regional landmark for generations, the picturesque lone tree (see previously) growing in a dramatic dip in the Northumbrian landscape near Hadrian’s Wall was chopped down by a vandal for a chance to achieve some dread and senseless Herostratic fame (more here).  The community near the craggy terrain are of course very saddened to loose a natural monument in this fashion, especially when so much more is threatened with accelerated climate change, and there are already plans in place to coax it into regrowing but it won’t have the same character.

 synchronoptica

one year ago: assorted links to revisit plus St Leoba

two years ago:  your daily demon: Halphas plus more links to enjoy

three years ago: Pope John Paul I plus Trump’s taxes

four years ago: hitchhiking returns to Brussels 

five years ago: William the Conqueror crosses the Channel (1066) plus the #MeToo movement

Saturday 23 September 2023

life finds a way (11. 017)

Runner-up in the category of Urban Wildlife in the annual competition sponsored by Nature TTL, we were especially taken with this surreal image of a spider by Simone Baumeister captured from a pedestrian bridge’s railing that passes over the main intersection of Ibbenbรผren in the Mรผnsterland region using an analogue lens to diffuse the traffic lights and passing cars at night and produce a bokeh effect. Much more superlative photography at the links above.

Wednesday 20 September 2023

9x9 (11. 010)

: play around for a moment with the Water web toy—via Miss Cellania and the Everlasting Blรถrt  

green new deal: modelled on FDR’s Civilian Conservation Corps, US president Biden creates a federal jobs training and climate protection force  

won’t someone think of the children: UK passes Online Safety bill—see previously  

piramida: architectural photographer Danica O Kus documents the newly-repurposed monument in the Albanian capital of Tirana

nine-man morris: archeologists discover a board game carved in the ruins of an ancient Polish castle  

qed: a tiny Irish child has a brilliant solution to the trolley problem—see previously  

the mascot of ascot: the magnificent millinery modelled by Gertrude Shilling—via Messy Nessy Chic

once i played a tanpura: electronic music from India from the early 1970s—via Things Magazine  

written on water: physicists using an ionic pen and Brownian motion can draw lines and letters in liquid

 

synchronoptica

one year ago: assorted links to revisit 

two years ago: the Global War on Terrorism declared (2001), photographer Charles Cylde Ebbets plus more links to enjoy

three years ago: St Eustace plus running out of hurricane names

four years ago: an AI names mushrooms,  exploring a local wayside chapel, more links plus Randy Rainbow for the Emmy

five years ago: retro web bumpers, a then-and-now of New Zealand’s government, modern-day occupations plus the board game Careers

Monday 11 September 2023

glistening green (10. 996)

This photograph by Nicolas Reusens perfectly frames a male emerald tanager (the informal name above for the Chlorochrysa phoenicotis) won gold in the portrait category for the Bird Photograph of the Year (B-PoTY, previously) taken in its native habitat in a nature reserve in the tropical jungles of Ecuador. Selected from over twenty-thousand submissions, the overall winner among all the superlatives went to Jack Zhi for a dramatic act shot captured in southern California of a peregrine falcon defending her nest from a brown pelican. More at the links above including the annual contest’s conservation initiative.

Saturday 9 September 2023

7x7 (10. 991)

trochilinae: a look at the evolution of evolution of hummingbirds—see previously  

uranometria: a comparative study of constellations across cultures—via Web Curios  

portfolio: photographer James Mollison documents children’s rooms, collectors and their collections around the world plus other projects—via Things Magazine  

lightning 4-2: a record-setting speedrun of Super Mario Bros  

zero width non-joiner: let AI generate a custom emoji—note the cursed thumbs up/down icons—via Waxy

extended-stay: Plato’s Cave (previously) will be raising its rent—via JWZ  

halcyon days: a slow-motion look at the kingfisher’s dive 

synchronoptica

one year ago: Stone Temple Pilots plus the proclamation of King Charles III

two years ago: more on DC statehood, the Battle of Teutoberg Forest (9 AD), rewilding begins at home plus assorted links to revisit

three years ago: the establishment of Washington, DC (1791), the disputed Hans Island, a lighthouse transformed plus AI supervillains

four years ago: more on the moons of Jupiter 

five years ago: Trump threatens to remove US troops from Germany plus an expansive pattern library