Friday, 8 September 2023

tos, tas (10. 990)

Four years after the original series was cancelled and on the anniversary of its 1966 debut, Star Trek (previously) returned with animated continuing voyages, voiced by most of the principal cast, airing as a Saturday morning cartoon on this day in 1973. Despite winning an Emmy, the revival was cancelled after two seasons although it helped sustain interest in the franchise and provided impetus to reunite the characters again for a feature film by 1979.  Referred to as the “Rec Room” and only appearing in one episode but considered canonical, the animated series introduced the concept of the holodeck. 

one year ago: Perry Rhodan, assorted links to revisit plus the death of Queen Elizabeth II
two years ago: the debut of Star Trek (1966), Ford pardons Nixon (1974), Just So Stories and printing conventions, a teaser for the upcoming Matrix sequel plus more on the evolution of language
three years ago: Hopi kachina, a Maltese rebellion (1775), a six-wheeled sedan, more links to enjoy plus photographer Manfred Thierry Mugler
four years ago: a very venerable blog, a member of the US armed services comes out (1975) plus the Day of Open Monuments
five years ago: the South East Asia Treaty Organisation (1954-1977) plus outsider artist Howard Finster

Sunday, 3 September 2023

diskลพokej (10. 980)

Courtesy of Fancy Notions, we are directed to Czecho-slovakian animator Jiล™รญ Barta’s 1981 short Disc Jockey, that documents the day in the life of a DJ with a day-job in a world dominated by circles (as opposed to rectangles) where their beats evoke the mechanisms of the gears of the daily grind—as consolation in kind for music fests missed due to the climate catastrophe. Specialising in stop-motion techniques, Barta created an adaptation of the Pied Piper fable whilst working in the studio of Jiล™รญ Trnka and later became a member of the teaching faculty at the University of West Bohemia in Pilsen in addition to continuing to produce projects in film and theatre.


one year ago: a visit to the Saalfeld Fairy Grottos

two years ago: Gumbasia (1955), The Quadripartite Agreement renewed over a divided Berlin (1971), attempts to discredit the Pentagon Papers leak, more mushroom mania plus Ukraine at Thirty

three years ago: pioneering journalist Marguerite Higgins Hall,  a peaceful transition of power in question in the US plus assorted links to revisit

four years ago: a diplomatic gaffe in Iceland, la Maison du Gouffre plus the founding of San Marino

five years ago: right wing activity in Germany plus more links to check out

Saturday, 2 September 2023

team badger (10. 979)

Launched on this day in 2003 on and looping indefinitely ever since, the flash animation meme by Jonti Picking (also known as Mr Weebl) was a benchmark of the on-line cognoscenti before virality could be otherwise gauged and consists of badgers performing calisthenics (with a snake and a mushroom) to a beat inspired by Whigfield’s Saturday Night with the placeholder lyrics making the final cut. Several different versions were produced over the years, including a zombie and an Advent special—as well as a tenth anniversary appeal to stop badger culling referencing Flash Gordon with the help of Brian May and Brian Blessed and a twentieth anniversary retrospective. More to explore from Miss Cellania at the link above.

let’s call the whole thing off (10. 978)

With possibly the winningest URL of all time, Waxy directs our attention to a collaborative contribution project that has been running for seventeen plus years which has somehow missed our notice until now—vis a vis another recent post.
Artist and enterprise originator Clara Bahlsen solicits for anthropomorphised images of mascots, food eager to be cannibalised or collaborate it the act and other offerings collected and indexed in a huge searchable images that can be sorted by category and kind. Browse (the cursor is a potato) though and share the oddities that you find or add your own.


one year ago: more spurious quotations,  Madonna’s Music (2000) plus assorted links to revisit

two years ago: your daily demon: Gaap plus the Second Triumvirate forms (31 BC)

three years ago: more links to enjoy, the global race for a vaccine, the Stuttgarter Metro Map plus Wikipedia as an agent of cultural vandalism

four years ago: improvised campers,  a visit to the Cap d’Erquy, a new presentation of Euclid’s Elements, the abbey of Beauport plus the stop-motion short Matrioska

five years ago: a ban on pesticides that harm pollinators, the fight to save coral reefs, some special weeds plus an AI tries to name shopping malls

Wednesday, 23 August 2023

teraflop (10. 958)

Via Kottke, we are directed to a rather engrossing exercise by writer Nikita Diakur (winner of the Deutsche Kurzfilmpreis last year) where by trial and error an AI avatar in a virtual environment learns about physics and human anatomy in order to perform a backflip in emulation of vloggers practising the stunt. Some of the contortions look really tortured and there’s an element of body horror to see it glitch and fail but its really fascinating to watch and unpack the process. Acknowledging that as an animator, the artist is in total control of the environment, the simulation afforded a way out of their domain and it is interesting how the computer needs twelve-thousand repetitions, like the human capacity to develop and hone a reflex, to master a move.


one year ago: the Elvis 1968 Come-Back Special plus the European Day of Remembrance of Victims of Nazism and Stalinism

two years ago: your daily demon: Furcas, Vulcanalia, Ashes to Ashes (1980) plus the it of it’s raining, it’s sunny

three years ago: assorted links to revisit, the cult of conspiracy theorists, the beach photography of Harry Gruyaert, Stockholm Syndrome (1973) plus a short by Saul Bass on the nature of creativity

four years ago: another funeral service for a glacier, a classic music mashup plus a refuge for pollinators amid expansive fields

five years ago: NYC’s Trinity Church, customary units plus more links to enjoy

Saturday, 19 August 2023

flying flo and tumbling tim (10. 952)

Though not the first Saturday Morning programming block aimed at child audience, the broadcaster ABC notably added two shows, more like matinรฉes airing starting at 11:00 on this day in 1950. Acrobat Ranch and Animal Clinic, both produced live out of Chicago and thus no preserved recordings, marked the network’s first foray into the day-time TV field, with the former being a variety show with circus acts and stunts that the studio audience could participate in a Western setting and the latter hosted by a veterinarian who explained animal ailments and treatments with some comic-relief. Broadcasters began commissioning cartoons by the early 1960s—whereas before the weekend was relegated to re-runs of prime-time shows, using the technique of limited animation which reuses cells and frames to save of labour-intensive drawing (unlike the cinematic shorts that were bumpers for the main feature) and relied more on voice-acting and character development than dynamic scenes, realising that they could fill a five-hour segment of the programming day inexpensively and attract advertisers, particularly toy-makers and breakfast cereal producers.

Monday, 14 August 2023

balum balum (10. 942)

Via Fancy Notions, we enjoyed this short of the La Linea (previously) created by cartoonist Osvaldo Cavadoli accompanied by the background tune composed by Franco Godi. Because the characters of this interstitial talk in grammelot (see above), responsive gibberish used to convey teasing and frustration, it’s hard to say if rabbits habitually mock humans that they encounter but the exchange brings to mind the murderous bunnies of medieval manuscript marginalia.


one year ago: Some Enchanted Wavelength (1978), assorted links to revisit plus Tears for Fears with the brass section

two years ago: the historical Macbeth, kaleidoscopic mandalas plus “I Got You, Babe” (1965)

three years ago: assorted links worth revisiting, Saint Arnold, the second major book printed in the West plus a bookshelf that can be transformed into a casket

four years ago: TopPop

five years ago: the Blackout of 1968, The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975), more links to check out plus the history of the Turner Broadcasting System

Friday, 4 August 2023

10x10 (10. 924)

manufactured crises: distractions and moral panics fabricated by the US GOP and associates  

sachal jazz: Pakistani musicians perform a rendition of David Brubeck’s “Take Five” on tabla and sitar with orchestral accompaniment 

illuminated text: an unfinished medieval manuscript reveals a step-by-step manual for its making  

finishing the hat: Stephen Sondheim’s (previously) Turtle Bay townhouse is on the market 

smiley head: custom screws requiring a special driver—via Pasa Bon!  

f-91w: fully-function ring watches from Casio  

blogoversary: JWZ turns twenty-five 

the partridge family 2200 a.d.: a round up of animated spin-offs  

super fun pak: the novelty cards of Pee-wee’s Playhouse  

now you’re cooking with gas: the culture wars come to the stove 


one year ago: the invention of champagne (1693), the Zone of Galactic Obscuration plus assorted links to revisit

two years ago: an infamous bugging device discovered (1945), the Lady of Elx, pipe architecture, working against one’s own self-interest plus assorted links worth revisiting

three years ago: more miniatures from Tatsuya Tanaka, St Sithney, the patron saint of dogs plus the birthday of Helen Thomas, Barack Obama

four years ago: sounds lost to lossy compression plus bouba or kiki

five years ago: interviews with author Philip K Dick

Sunday, 30 July 2023

9x9 (10. 915)

polly pocket: following the success of Barbie, all the Mattel branded toys promised their own feature films 

freshmen fifteen: a nifty conversion tool in the style of Neal.Fun—via Pasa Bon! 

ugly american: the dark side of trends in tourism—via Nag on the Lake’s Sunday Links (lots more to check out here) 

a sunday in the park with georges: the pointillist work by Seurat recreated in Wisconsin—see previously

eimreiรฐin: what became of trains in Iceland 

you gotta pay your dues if you wanna sing the blues: we appreciated this reminiscence about the Ringo Starr tune  

meteorological optical phenomenon: more on the Sun’s green flash as it disappears from the horizon  

seybold seminars: the outsized influence of desktop publishing conferences—see also 

return to tender: another exquisite John and Faith Hubley short courtsey of Fancy Notions

Friday, 21 July 2023

7x7 (10. 897)

equity: UK’s actors’ union in solidarity with American counterparts in protest

spatula city—where your thirteenth spatula is free: the Weird Al Yankovic (previously) tribute to public-access television premiered this day in 1989—via our faithful chronicler 

litli-hrรบtur: Icelandic volcano watch  

magical mystery tour: revisiting the ‘lost’ Ashram of the Beatles in the Himalayan foothills

american songbook: Tony Bennett, crooner, Nazi hunter, civil rights champion, RIP—via Super Punch

barbie once commanded the stage with the rockers—now, the last thing she wanted to do was talk: channelling Ernest Hemingway on his birthday to narrate modern happenings  

watership down: disturbing film adaptation given a PG rating after forty-five years of indelible nightmares


one year ago: a concert to commemorate the Fall of the Berlin Wall plus more adventures in Scotland

two years ago: the experimental nuclear cruise ship NS Savanna, the Scopes Monkey Trial plus Sweden’s Bohus Fortress

three years ago: more on The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World plus some scream therapy in Iceland

four years ago: Japan’s broadcast daily constitutional

Wednesday, 12 July 2023

crowd pirated (10. 876)

Via Waxy, we are directed towards the latest project from the MSCHF collective in The FREE Movie, an invitation to create a frame-by-frame, non-infringing (possibly) recreation of Pixar’s 2007 The Bee Movie—as good a candidate as any I suppose and memetic like Shrek—for reasons it’s been posted in full serially online before bringing taken down due to copyright issues and inspired a video (with many variants) the entire bee movie but every time they say bee it gets faster. Check out their manifesto and contribute an animation cell yourself.

Thursday, 6 July 2023

when in the country (10. 863)

We quite enjoyed this 1963 animated British public information short advising urban visitors on how to deport themselves whilst visiting more rural environments. All of these lessons still apply and day-trippers would still do well to follow the country code and be more mindful of the impact of one’s traipsing about.


one year ago: a 1979 East German rock opera plus a missive beamed to the stars (2003)

two years ago:  more on artist Sophie Taeuber Arp, David Bowie on Top of the Pops (1979), a visit to Mellrichstadt, more woodland flowers plus assorted links to revisit

three years ago: “time immemorial” refers to a specific era plus touring the Mosel valley

four years ago: torch lilies, more on communication in the plant world plus more on Soviet bootleg records

six years ago: the intrusive r, reported plunder at the Museum of the Bible plus a trip to St Goar on his Feast Day


Sunday, 2 July 2023

8x8 (10. 849)

: JWST captures outstanding images of the ringed planet, completing a family portrait of the gas giants  

dining al fresco: excavations in Pompeii uncover a a still life featuring a proto-pizza—see also  

ษš: rare phonemes and how to pronounce them  

gas, food, lodging: one hundred twenty pump filling station, the world’s largest, opens in Tennessee as a tourist attraction—via Marginal Revolution 

ripples in a pond: astrophysicists detect new class of gravitational waves rolling through the Cosmos

abacusynth: a unique electronic musical instrument from Elias Jarzobek 

liquid television: MTV’s first animated series, Stevie and Zoya—see previously  

euclid and roman: a joint NASA, ESA mission to survey the skies for signs of dark matter and dark energy


one year ago: assorted links to revisit

two years ago: your daily demon: Morax, the influence of 70s Japanese soft rock on Nintendo music, mid-point of the year, Tracy Chapman’s Fast Car, a trip to Oberwaldbehrungen plus the punishments of Pompeii

three years ago: assorted links to revisit, Airplane (1980) plus the Civil Rights Act (1964)

four years ago: disruptive cake icing to evade IP infringement plus the time that Pepsi (sort of) had the second largest naval fleet in the world

five years ago: holidaying on Lake Garda

six years ago: playable Wikipedia,  a preview of the G20 in Hamburg plus words only said once

Sunday, 18 June 2023

8x8 (10, 816)

picassa: Google is sunsetting Album Archive—which could possibly affect Blogger blogs—but no one seems to know for sure—see more  

eames institute of infinite curiosity: exhibit honours design duo’s (previously) relationship with Saul Steinberg  

select the photos of clouds that would make me stand out on the lawn and watch for storms—and we definitely need a good storm soon: reCAPTCHAs as written by your father

cronuts: a protest poster with some cannibalistic syncretism and linguistic confusion  

boo berry: a look at the history of America monster breakfast cereals—see previously

eesti nukud: a 1982 stop-motion animation about a baker and a chimneysweep switching roles—with some banging flute rock  

maximalism: a tour of Barbie’s Dream Home—more on the aesthetic here  

bad karma: Reddit communities going dark in protest and forced to reopen—in the funniest possible ways

Sunday, 28 May 2023

moonbird (10. 773)

Our gratitude to Fancy Notions for the re-introduction to the life and portfolio of animator John Hubley (with credit to his contributing creative partners and family members), who left Disney after Fantasia and the 1941 Animators’ Strike, dissatisfied with the direction the company was going, joined up with UPA, was investigated by the House Un-American Activities Committee and essentially blacklisted before starting an independent studio, Storyboard, through his Academy Awarding winning cartoon from 1959, that illustrated a secretly recorded discussion between his two sons (his wife Faith taping the imaginary adventure shared by Mark and Hampy). More to discover at the link above.

Tuesday, 11 April 2023

9x9 (10. 667)

pass****123: a visualisation of pilfered passwords aggregated from various leaks and breaches

event horizon: a streak of young stars may be the wake of a supermassive black hole ejected from its host galaxy  

pop: speeding locomotives in an animated short by Yoji Kuri—see previously  

you sank my battleship: leaked NATO plans for bolstering Ukraine’s military were first circulating on a Minecraft gaming forum—more here  

what, me worry: a celebration of the long life and career of cartoonist Al Jaffee 

bierpulver: the Neuzeller Klosterbrรคu, known for other innovative libations, introduces a dehydrated beer that one needs only add water to   

example handshake: a look at the squelch of the dial-up modem  

trapezoidal flux deviation: an alternative proposal for the non-existence of exoplanets—via the New Shelton wet/dry  

a generator and a discriminator: AI can crack most users’ passwords in under two minutes—via Dam Interresting’s Curated Links

Sunday, 2 April 2023

7x7 (10. 651)

spyvibe radio: The Man Called Flintstone and other cartoon-espionage crossovers  

hosanna, hin-nam: Palm Sunday from the donkey’s perspective—see previously  

made to order: a huge font specimen of a wide range of borders—see previously 

a1: a centenary of road numbering for the Ministry of Transportation 

rather fetching: canine portraits at London’s Wallace Collection  

sparkie williams: a very talkative budgie and other loquacious birds  

rabbit hole: new Kiefer Sutherland secret agent film channels vintage intelligence dramas

Sunday, 5 March 2023

the jaywalker (10. 591)

Milton Muffet, a confessed poor pedestrian—is addicted to the “most awful, habit-forming vice” that man fall prey to: jaywalking, in this 1956 UPA instructional short by Robert Cannon, Edwin P Hicks and story adaptation by T Hee. The Oscar-winning animated subject portrays Mr Muffet’s behaviour as becoming manic, verging towards obsessive and a personal challenge but these regulations which privilege motor vehicle traffic above pedestrian has limited jurisdiction and was just recently decriminalised in California though remaining an infraction most other places in America.

Saturday, 25 February 2023

gumby dharma (10. 573)

The always excellent Fancy Notions directs our attention to a 1977 psychedelic stop-motion short from Art Clokey (previously) meant as a visual metaphor for “evolving human consciousness.” Produced over the course of three years, it was a family collaboration, the sequences shot in their basement in Topanga, California. Tragically Clokey’s daughter took her own life aged 19 after witnessing a friend killed by a lighting strike and Mandala is informed by and dedicated to Ann’s memory.

Saturday, 14 January 2023

this is fine (10. 416)

Via Waxy, we are directed to portfolio of webcomic author and cartoonist KC Green and their reflections on a decade since the “On Fire” featuring the dog (Question Hound he’s called) panel first appeared—originally in a series called Gunshow—and how when something becomes a meme, an idea that usually does not age well (anniversaries are bad for the internet, like cheugy was for a class of aesthetic) unlike other aspects of culture that become more refined with time, and as pervasive as this image and its statement, it’s become something for history and not a single byline any longer. Though at times harrying and overshadowing, Green is still able make a living doing what they prefer. This is fine.