Wednesday 29 May 2024

9x9 (11. 590)

priority seating: an account jammed packed with patterns for mass-transit upholstery—see previously—via Kottke 

ux: in the age of AI, perhaps it’s time to retire the term “user” 

voter turn-out: historically high temperatures in parts of India may skew election results 

๐Ÿ™‚‍↔️: this year’s bracket for most misinterpreted emoji  

described herein as a beverage carrying assembly: a patent for a beer puppet for festivals and sporting events  

the second soul: a thoroughgoing essay by Anton Howes on the history of salt—via Clive Thompson’s Linkfest  

instructions to the jury: closing arguments in the Trump trial and deliberation begins  

wasteful by design: digital technology and internet habits are becoming major contributors to the climate catastrophe 

transakcja: an endearing animation on courtship rituals in 1950s rural Poland

Thursday 23 May 2024

saltando (11. 575)

Via Waxy, we are given a chance to revisit the godfather of anime, Osamu Tezuka (ๆ‰‹ๅกš ๆฒป่™ซ, see previously) in his 1984 award-winning short Jumping (ใ‚ธใƒฃใƒณใƒ”ใƒณใ‚ฐ). Shot in one continuous cut over four thousand cells—more on the making of the work with whole storyboard mapped out—and animated from the perspective of a small child skipping down a suburban street, jumps become progressively higher, striding across the city and higher and higher, eventually gaining a view on all of humanity, bounding through jungles and a battlefield and harrowing Hell, before bouncing back to the quiet lane where the adventure started. As with Tezuka’s other works, there is a strong and earnest anti-war sentiment grounded by privileged but everyday magic.

* * * * *

synchronoptica

one year ago: assorted links worth revisiting

two years ago: Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984)

three years ago: a close encounter, toponymy of the British Isles plus John Steinbeck’s werewolf novel

four years ago: The Shining (1980), an anti-compliation of short clips, watermelon snow, the French language assigns a gender to the virus, the etymology of epidemics plus more typographical samplers

five years ago: more links to enjoy, gardening and medical intervention, EU hoodies plus a scandal in the Austrian government

Saturday 11 May 2024

11x11 (11. 552)

syntax error: AI co-pilots are changing the way coders operate 

baby lasagne: a preview of Eurovision acts to watch for—see also here and here  

spaghettification: a NASA simulation shows what it’s like to be sucked into a Black Hole  

high-fidelity photogrammerty: how Google’s enhanced Street View with 3-D panoramas could again change the world of navigation and virtual exploration—see also 

breakfast of champions: the drawings and doodles of Kurt Vonnegut, Jr—see previously 

not a shared universe: a meta study on the perceived beliefs of fictional characters regarding other fictional characters  

early machinations: development notes on xkcd’s collaborative Rube Goldberg machine, an annual tradition—via Waxy 

my colours are blush and bashful, mama: Poseidon’s Underworld rewatches the 1989 star-studded Steel Magnolias  

coronal mass ejection: strongest solar storm in two decades lights up the night sky in Europe  

hind’s hall: the refreshing and unexpected entrรฉe of Macklemore’s protest rap—see more  

syntax error: English being proposed as the new top-level coding language with the ability to articulate one’s wishes (as with a jerk genie) is of utmost importance

 synchronoptica

one year ago: Sweden passes world first personal data protection law (1973), those omnipresent cafe celebrity murals, a Trump townhall plus Nixon tries to strengthen the powers of the executive branch (1973)

two years ago: assorted links to revisit plus M (1931)

three years ago: more links to enjoy, Cats (1981), more on the Ice Saints plus the revival of night trains

four years ago: St Gangolf plus more links worth the revisit

five years ago: a sleep-over cinema plus a classic from Ottawan (1979)

Sunday 5 May 2024

8x8 (11.542)

komoot: one testimonial for the international route-finding applicant to which we can personally endorse for its hiking trails recommendation and active community of contributors 

zillow gone wild: absurdist real estate listings go mainstream

dodecahedron: more on the mysterious Roman artefact puzzling archaeologists—see previously  

eidophone: a Welsh singer in 1885, wanting to give flower, fern and tree a voice, pioneered the discipline of cymatics 

democracy dies in darkness: amid faltering peace-talk, Israel shutters al Jazeera bureau in Israel  

live people ignore the strange and unusual. i myself am strange and unusual: a trove of behind the scenes stills from the 1988 production of Beetlejuicesee previously 

finsta: photo-dumps circa 2006 are the new chaotic and authentic social media trend—via tmn  

trudge: an arduous animated journey of many flights by Stephan Schabenbeck through the lens of taking relatable longer than expected excursions

Saturday 4 May 2024

8x8 (11. 539)

an elegant weapon for a more civilised age: the physics and power demands of a lightsaber  

defective fleet of fly sky-wreckage: nothing good has the acronym MRSA (Material Review Segregation Area) 

chic boutique: Messy Nessy to open a brick-and-mortar clubhouse and shop in Paris  

wopr: US urges China and Russia to pledge that AI will never have command and control of nuclear weapons  

poultice: an orangutan observed self-medicating a wound in the wild with a paste made of plants with healing properties 

serenity amid disaster: a short animation from Amanda Forbis and Wendy Tilby, “The Flying Sailor,” examines the wonder and fragility of existence  

peak wtf: gun-mounted flashlights popular with American police officers 

oh, the asthma guy: a conversion with that one friend who’s never seen Star Wars

Sunday 21 April 2024

cartoon all-stars to the rescue (11. 506)

Airing the Saturday following the observance of 420 during the height of America’s War on Drugs and not too many years removed from Nancy Reagan’s “Just Say No” campaign and other relentless public service announcements—via learn via our faithful chronicler—that the McDonald’s charity arm financed the production of a crossover simulcast featuring the Muppet Babies, Alf, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the Looney Tunes and DuckTales, the Smurfs, Garfield, Alvin and the Chipmunks and others was broadcast on this day in 1990—probably giving rise to Who Framed Roger Rabbit? and Space Jam, despite unpopular reception. In the style of A Christmas Carol (this sort of nostalgia is a toxic impulse and this is what it gives you) the popular cartoon characters stage an intervention for an adolescent marijuana-user to forewarn him of the consequences of his actions if he does not amend his wayward ways (compare to this 1974 rather psychedelic remediation targeted to an earlier generation that grew up with a lot of this content and franchises). The special was also screened in Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Brazil.

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

Saturday 23 March 2024

8x8 (11. 444)

going in style: fantastic custom sarcophagi from Ghanaian coffin-maker Paa Joe  

tiamat: the misremembered series finale of the Dungeons & Dragons Saturday morning cartoon—see previously  

spoofing: FlightRadar maps GPS jamming—see also

cincyflags: neighbourhood banners for all of Cincinnati’s fifty-two communities—via Pasa Bon! 

mergers and acquisitions: Trump expected to see a windfall from the sale of social media network 

coal holes: cast iron plate covers for the chutes of London—see also  

infantile amnesia: early childhood memories may not be lost and yield insights to brain development—via the New Shelton wet/dry 

regeneration: a look at the jurisdiction practising human composting

synchronoptica

one year ago: sampler silhouettes, punctuation in headlines plus scrimshaw from oceanic plastic trash

two years ago: assorted links worth revisiting

three years ago: AI-generated pick-up lines, a variation of the Medusa myth, the controlled-deorbit of the Mir (2001), lockdown on year on, vintage GIF buttons, pole tossing plus REM’s Out of Time (1991)

four years ago: dissolution of the African Economic Union (1985)

five years ago: the musical stylings of Carsie Blanton, a town’s strong connection to the number eleven, Nick of Time (1989), the tarot of Pamela Colman Smith, Robert Mueller concludes his investigation plus the UK votes

Tuesday 12 March 2024

8x8 (11. 416)

studio nue: the meticulous and immersive sci-fi illustrations of Naoyuki Kato  

landsat lens: virtual rewinding maps created with historic satellite imagery

drawing for nothing: a growing e-book of storyboards and character studies from unfinished, shelved animation projects—via Waxy 

hag horror: Poseidon’s Underworld explores the genre with 1971’s Blood and Lace 

แน—s (t → ♾️) = 0: researchers find algorithms that only quantum computers can solve—via Damn Interesting—see previously  

all these worlds are yours, except europa: NASA reveals the plaque its probe will carry to Jupiter’s icy moon later this year  

rednaxela: unusual toponyms, including the named terrace in Hong Kong believed to be Alexander transcribed right-to-left, as was the practise in the past  

fantomah: outsider comic book artist Fletcher Hanks

synchronoptica

one year ago: assorted links to revisit, domino theory (1947) plus more words with no English equivalent

two years ago: more links to enjoy,  World Day Against Cyber Censorship plus Mamma Mia (1975)

three years ago: the cosmography of William Fairfield Warren (1915), artist Caterina van Hemessen, St Maximilian of Tebessa, occultist Austin Osman Spare, listening to maps, more isogloss maps plus a celebration of veteran memes

four years ago: St Serafina plus COVID travel bans take effect

five years ago: resurrection plants

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 18 February 2024

saut de chat (11. 360)

Via Fancy Notions, we are introduced to the career and filmography of pioneering Soviet Armenia animator Lev Atamanov (ิผีฅึ‚ีธีถ ิฑีฟีกีดีกีถีตีกีถ) and director through his 1969 collaboration with composer Alfred Schnittke, Ballerina on the Boat, with choreography help by members of the Bolshoi. Teaching the sailors to be more graceful, the passenger saves the ship during a storm with her moves.  After founding studios in Yerevan, Atamanov later joined Soyuzmultfilm, adapting many classic fairy tales and creating narratives of subtle satire with gentle humour and positive characters.

Saturday 17 February 2024

♐︎ (11. 357)

Via Boing Boing, we are directed towards a project by Matt Webb that resulted in this handy app that always points to the galactic centre of the Milky Way, the rotational point coincident with the supermassive black hole Sagittarius A* surrounded by about ten million older red giant stars in close proximity. When I got my first model of iPhone, I got made fun of for first playing with the compass before anything else, and I’m not ashamed to say, especially for someone with a poor sense of direction, I still find it engaging even with no particular place to go. With little avowed programming skills and no experience in making apps, the details of realising this undertaking in collaboration with AI are really interesting and illustrative of the cooperative effort—it’s not just summoned into existence but was enabled and was a great leveller, but even more internet was the preamble about Webb cultivating a superpower to orientate himself to intuitively know where this dense, far away region was an imagine the waltz of the cosmos relative to this pivot-point and relative to himself—reminiscent of some insular and aboriginal languages using geographical features, landmarks or cardinal directions rather than the egocentric right and left. Webb’s navigational instinct has since sadly waned but can be supplemented by this little creation, grounding  to know even when it’s below one’s feet.

Friday 9 February 2024

argumentum ad baculum (11. 337)

Via ibฤซdem, we appreciated these logic lessons (an educational project going for a decade now) that presents concepts of dialogue, rhetoric and debate as well as biases and fallacies, like the below Ad Hominem attack between Lieutenants Sulu Arex Na Eth, with Mister Spock moderating for the rest of the cast of Star Trek: The Animated Series as interlocutors (redubbed—see above—and using footage from the cartoons). The dozens of episodes include short tutorials on petitio principii (circular reasoning), the Straw Man Fallacy, Confirmation Bias and the Sunk Cost Fallacy, the Halo Effect and the benefit of hindsight, various appeals, Tu Quoque (whataboutism) and many more. See how Vulcan logic can put more in your philosophical quiver against sophistry and misinformation.

Saturday 3 February 2024

transcendental aesthetic (11. 318)

A direct ancestor of the Laserium light show (collaborating with Henry Jacobs for his display at the Morrison Planetarium), we quite enjoyed this short 1961 abstract, experimental animation on 16mm film from Jordan Belson, a prolific artist, often with a nonobjective (his career was kicked off by a sustaining grant from the Museum of Non-Objective Painting, which later became known as the Guggenheim) but spiritual bent, who created an extensive portfolio of works over the course of six decades. Evoking a mediative, introspective experience like many of his works, in 2011, the US Library of Congress inscribed “Allures” in the National Film Registry.

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.

Friday 19 January 2024

soyuzmultfilm (11. 279)

Though hesitant and selective about linking to anything on the site formerly known as Twitter—it’s lamentable that such a mainstay has that many still depend on and there’s precious little alternative has eroded so much—this recommendation from Web Curios that exclusively shares short clips of Eastern European vintage animation from the 60s through the 80s (see also) is a delightful and serendipitous exception. Most cartoons include information about the director, animator and studio and the ones from Zagreb Films are certainly worth following up for more.

synchronoptica

one year ago: the Anglican Church on same-sex marriage plus assorted links to revisit

two years ago: put these Wikipedia entries in chronological order plus more links to enjoy

three years ago: a contentious logo, a TikTok sensation invited to the US presidential inauguration, the internet was a mistake, Brass in Pocket (1980) plus the Clinton Inauguration (1993)

four years ago: artist Sophie Taeuber Arp, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, the Three Stooges take on Nazi Germany plus more on the US Space Force

five years ago: a creative outlet comes to SoHo, women’s suffrage in Germany and Austria plus a giga-pixel picture

Friday 5 January 2024

book revue (11. 244)

As our faithful chronicler informs, on this day in 1946, the Looney Tunes short directed by Bob Clampett was released in theatres as a preview reel before the main feature on this day in 1946. Set in a book store where the characters come to life after midnight, it features a zoot-suited Daffy Duck (voiced of course by Mel Blanc) in one of his zaniest performances.

Sunday 31 December 2023

9x9 (11. 230)

unwound: a cartoon that speaks to the time-dilation of the Winterval—and the year in general 

politics or otherwise: year’s end Can’t Let Goes from NPR’s podcast contributors 

fast-forward: a century of New Year’s men’s party fashions

aitana lopez: the virtual, machine-generated influencers stealing jobs from humans  

cap d’agde: the restoration of the Art Nouveau Chateau Laurens—a palace also known for its connections with Catharism  

like a fridge in reverse: a visualisation of the science of heat-pumps—via Nag on the Lake’s Sunday Links

fondue chinoise: a variation on the Swiss holiday tradition inspired by the Asian hot pot 

favourite global tech stories from publications not named rest of the world: like Bloomberg’s Jealousy List, staff compiles articles they wish they’d written—via Waxy  

cartoon cryptozoology: explore a chaotic archive of the earliest animations

Tuesday 19 December 2023

9x9 (11. 196)

mister jingeling: a dozen, beloved department store Christmas characters—see also—via Miss Cellania

bubblenomics: pondering the consequences of when AI goes the way of crypto and NFTs 

indefinite causal order: quantum batteries are powered by paradox—via Damn Interesting  

a winter’s tale: selected readings of Christmas ghost stories—via Things Magazine  

the waitresses: the cynical anti-holiday hit Christmas Wrapping that became a festive classic 

infinite jukebox: a clever AI application that extends songs forever  

high ground: study of the competition for space dominance between the US and China suggests America occupy Lagrange points to counter malign ambitions  

52 snippets: facts gleaned from economics and finance from the past twelve months 

snoopy come home: Gen Z rediscovers and identifies with the Peanuts’ character