Friday, 30 September 2022

accession treaties (10. 182)

In a wide-ranging address that included the annexation of the regions of Kherson, Zaporizhzhia, Donestsk and Luhansk (newly-appointed governors pictured) in addition to Crimea as well as the concession that his partial mobilisation was an unpopular imposition for many, Vladimir Putin delivered one of his most combative speeches yet, threatening to use all forces at his disposal to ensure the protection of his ill-begotten new territory. In response, the West, which Putin characterises as ‘satanic’ and determined to undermine Russia with Kleinstaaterei, responded with condemnation and more targeted sanctions and Zelenskiy announced his formal application for NATO membership.

Wednesday, 28 September 2022

7x7 (10. 176)

moonage daydream: an interview with Brett Morgen on the subject of his latest documentary—see previously 

rupture: Nordstream pipelines have sprung a leak, sabotage suspected 

afforestation: a volcanic eruption is helping to rewild island  

eyewall: Hurricane Ian’s path of destruction as it reaches Florida 

omnishambles: the budget plan of PM Truss and Chancellor Kwarteng garners rebuke from Germany, the US and the IMF as the Pound Sterling approaches parity with the dollar  

mahsa: the death of a young woman in the custody of Iran’s morality police has touched off protests against the government  

let all the children boogie: an Australian museum brought the original hand-written draft of David Bowie’s Starman at auction

Monday, 26 September 2022

didymos and dimorphos (10. 170)

Via Slashdot, we transported to yet another existential—though potentially avoidable—threat in the demonstration project DART (Double Asteroid Redirection Test), a probe that will collide with the smaller (often referred to as Didymoon) of the binary pair in hopes of then ricocheting off the larger—ฮ”ฮฏฮผฮฟฯฯ†ฮฟฯ‚, having two forms in reference to the target of this experiment and the only celestial body in cosmic history having been significantly altered by human intervention. Though this billiard ball scenario seems less than ideally risk-free—posing no threat to Earth if left be, plans are in place to monitor the changes and adjust trajectory if deemed necessary and deflect an approaching apocalypse like that that befell the dinosaurs.

Saturday, 24 September 2022

8x8 (10. 162)

herbst: vintage Eastern Bloc matchboxes welcoming Fall  

ฮฑฯฮฝฮฌฮบฮน: comedian Shari Lewis delivers One Minute Mythologies—via r/Obscure Media  

wie ist dein name, mann: adapting Hamilton in German for the Hamburg stage—possibly a bit rough for those who committed the original lyrics to heart but Lin-Manuel Miranda is deeply involved 

tl;dr: an AI powered tool that provides a summary of long videos—via Web Curios  

wolf hall: RIP historical fiction author Hilary Mantel  

not in my backyard: good luck getting anything built in Sim Nimby (see also)—again from Web Curios

voting integrity: Russian soldiers in occupied regions of Ukraine undertake door-to-door balloting in the referenda to ensure citizens choose wisely  

kirie: celebrating the onset of autumn with more of the Japanese art of leave carving

Friday, 23 September 2022

ticker and crawl (10. 161)

 Via Web Curios, we are directed to a rather dangerous aggregator and infinitely scrolling, constantly updating feed of the internet—at least a portion thereof, in real time. Aesthetic (as the input allows) and intuitive, it displays three shifting columns, one each devoted to images, missives and statistics and draws from a range of sources including Wikipedia edits, police dossiers, the socials, trending topics and searches and the news. Here are a couple of screen-grabs—we wonder if their might not be a way to make this a plug-in that one can customise and add to one’s website. 


 

tortious acts (10. 160)

Whilst not the competent authority for an arraignment, the office of the New York attorney general has announced that the Trump family syndicate, at the conclusion of the a three-year investigation, are facing a civil lawsuit over rank fraud by grossly exaggerating the worth of their assets and property over at least the past decade in order to get preferential treatment from banks and take on more loans in order to lessen their tax liabilities. Among over two hundred cited examples of this inflation to increase the net-worth of their portfolio through alleged misleading of accountants, underwriters and insurers the case includes the Trump’s valuation of $740, 000, 000 for his estate and resort Mar-a-Lago whereas it has been appraised (generously) at less than a tenth of that amount and more than trebling the square-footage of his Manhattan penthouse, and the most expensive in the borough. Among other things, the suit seeks to prohibit the family from conducting business activities within the court’s jurisdiction. This legal development comes as a higher court vacates the earlier ruling and allows investigative proceedings to continue using the classified material discovered in Trump’s Florida residence. Regarding this new development and violation of the Presidential Records Act, Trump maintains that he had the prerogative to mentally declassify documents.

Thursday, 22 September 2022

partial-mobilisation (10. 158)

In a wide-ranging first address to the public since the announcement of the invasion of Ukraine on 24 February, a desperate and defeated Vladimir Putin declared his intention on Wednesday night to initiate a limited conscription of three-hundred thousand males with military experience (all males from seventeen to twenty-three have a term of compulsory service) to bolster a costly war whose impact on the broader public the Kremlin strove to minimize. Militants in the People’s Republics of Luhansk and Donetsk will be considered as official soldiers of the Russian Federation. Putin additionally repeated his threats to use Russia’s nuclear armaments arsenal against the West—emphasising that it was no bluff. In response to this significant escalation and potential imposition, hundreds of protest rallies broke out in cities across the country, with more than twelve hundred detained. All flights out Russia—to the limited places that have not restricted air-traffic—have been sold out, with the last planes to Istanbul priced at eleven-thousand dollars per seat. Further Putin elaborated on the scheduled referenda for the regions under tenuous Russian-control, the two listed above plus Kherson and Zaporizhzhia to take place this weekend. As happened with Crimea back in 2014, there is expected to be a sham vote in favour of annexation, thus carving out more Ukrainian territory that Russia will try to claim its right to defend as its own. In parallel, a prisoner-exchange was brokered by Tayyip ErdoฤŸan, which saw the release of some two hundred fighters defending the Azovstal steelworks in Mariupol on the condition that they remain in Turkey until the conclusion of the war, with other foreign mercenaries aiding Ukraine set free as well.

Monday, 19 September 2022

last post

Whereas the B♭ version might be more familiar, the E♭ variation is employed by the State Trumpeters of the Household Cavalry and the particular flourish was acquired by British troops garrisoned in the Netherlands (see also), drawing on an older Dutch custom called taptoe—root of a military tattoo or send-off and the North American version of “taps”—signalling the end of the duty day, the solemnity of the taptoe itself adopted as an extension of last call, Doe den tap toe—a reminder to make sure that the beer spigots were closed before shutting down for the evening. More coverage of the historic state funeral, including this ceremony, from the BBC and the Guardian

Saturday, 10 September 2022

c iii r (10. 120)

 

Already monarch at the moment of his successor’s passing (the Demise of the Crown being the legal term) as relayed in that coda that can seem crass and contradictory, “The Queen is dead, long live the King,” Charles III (cipher above) is formally proclaimed king during an ancient ceremony steeped in tradition (televised for the first time) in St James’ Palace. The Accession Council (consisting of chosen members of the privy council) who delivers the public proclamation, also delivered by appointed criers in the Royal Exchange, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. In addition to delivering a personal declaration about Elizabeth II and supporting a grieving world and pledging to for continuance of government and makes an oath to preserve the Church of Scotland due to the division of powers of church and state for that nation.

Thursday, 8 September 2022

rip your majesty

From a brief statement from Buckingham Palace: “The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon. The King and the Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow.”

Tuesday, 6 September 2022

7x7 (10. 112)

all the news that’s fit to print: a curated collection of kiosks from around the world from Trevor Traynor—via Present /&/ Correct  

tomato cain: an anthology of the short fiction of Nigel Kneale—perhaps better known for his screenplays, like The Stone Tape Theory  

national defensive design strategy revisited: another look at the style book (see also) of the US government  

finding out that you accidentally wrote five pages in cursive: our AI wrangler Janelle Shane (previously) charges a neural network to explain human behaviour quirks  

flareup: a 1969 Raquel Welch vehicle  

wild palms: a 1993 cyberpunk soap opera that aired on US network television  

movable-type: the Ruckwanderer innovation and how the Chinese incorporated the keyboard—see previously

reemployed annuitant (10. 111)

In a swaggering farewell speech—as his successor Ms Truss was directed by Her Majesty in Balmoral presumably in much the same way one asks a telemarketer to call back in five minutes (credit to columnist Marina Hyde)—Boris Johnson cemented his legacy, starting out with a tinge of bitterness over Brexit shambles, incurred in part due to his own proroguing of Parliament, and compared himself—not for the first time mind you, having recycled this line from when he left the office of the mayor of London to pursue a career as an MP and apparently cursory familiarity (see also) with the Roman statesman—to Cincinnatus, retiring to his “plough—and I will be offering this government nothing but the most fervent support.” While on the surface, it may suggest that Johnson would take his place on the backbenches—George Washington also evoked the figure of Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus when he thought more than two-terms as US president unseemly, disbanded the revolutionary army and announced he was going back to his plantation—and the leader did in fact go back his farm, but to extend this analogy, Cincinnatus was recalled to suppress a rebellion and created dictator and given a small armed contingent. Handily accomplishing this feat, Cincinnatus is upheld as a paragon of virtue not for his statecraft so much but because he resigned and re-retired immediately afterwards and did not try to hold his power. We wonder if Johnson fancies he’ll be similarly deputised.

Friday, 2 September 2022

unquote (10. 104)

Though not wholly spurious, the attribution does seem a bit suspect—verging on the never said ever, but in a rebuttal given on this day in 1858 during the series of Lincoln-Douglas debates hosted in Clinton, Illinois, the statesman sort of said, maybe “You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time.” There is a distinct lack of reliable contemporaneous notes but if Abraham Lincoln said it at all, he said something more to the effect: “Judge Douglas cannot fool the people: you may fool people for a time; you can fool a part of the the people all the time; but you cannot fool all the people all the time.”

Wednesday, 31 August 2022

gorbymania (10. 101)

We’ve been familiar with Mikhail Gorbachev’s extended second career after the imminent statesman withdrew from political life—at least in an official capacity—and recall the Pizza Hut advertisement from years ago. This selection of international cameos, however, included one role—that of brand ambassador for a luxury goods maker, expertly photographed by Anne Leibovitz. Gorbachev is seated in the rear of a sedan, driving parallel to the remnants of the Berlin Wall that he helped to dismantle (the campaign reflective of one of his more quotable sayings) and pictured with the classic brown bag—which we weren’t familiar with. Though beautifully framed, the 2007 ad seems rather innocuous until upon close inspection, on top of the bag is a magazine with the headline: Litvineko’s Murder—They Wanted to Surrender Suspect for $7000. Alexander Litvineko was the former KGB spy and defector who was poisoned by polonium and died the year before, publicly accusing Vladimir Putin as the responsible party. Now with Gorbachev’s passing, questions linger whether or not he himself was privy to this subversive subtext.

gefahren warten nur auf jene, die nicht auf das leben reagieren (10. 099)

Hailed as a visionary abroad but with a bit more complicated legacy domestically, the former Soviet leader whose political quiver included perestroika and glasnost has passed away, aged 91 after a protracted bout of sickness, effectively ending the Cold War by trying to salvage what was beyond saving. His decisions not to use force to hold power or prevent the toppling of the Berlin Wall or against waves of declarations of independence ushered in a peaceful revolution, though Gorbachev survived long enough to see those reforms undermined and undone by the invasion of Ukraine and attempts to reestablish Russia’s former sphere of influence. Thank you Mister Gorbachev–we hope your outlook for the world ultimately holds and we regain our senses.

Monday, 15 August 2022

6x6 (10. 063)

lawrence livermore labs: scientist achieve ignition, a long-standing and elusive goal for fusion research (see previously)

kiwa tyleri: the Guardian continues its profiles of denizens of the deep with the hirsute ‘Hoff crab’ who thrive at hydrothermal vents on the bottom of the ocean by picking sulfur-fixing microbes off their chests  

one year on: a photographic essay on Afghanistan one the anniversary of the fall of the flight of Aschraf Ghani and the takeover by the Taliban  

obligate predators: German town releases house cat from a special lockdown but questions linger on protecting nature from our feline friends  

rivers run dry: the climate emergency propelling the drought is making the Rhein and Danube unnavigable

o-positive: researchers discover a method for changing blood types (see also) of donated organs—increasing potential for compatibility for beneficiaries

Friday, 12 August 2022

7x7 (10. 055)

zone improvement plan: the Swinging Six ensemble sing the praises of the ZIP code (1967)—see also  

unsealed warrant: FBI recovered multiple boxes of top secret and classified documents from the Trump residence during Monday’s search  

coo-coo for cookie crisp: recreating vintage breakfast cereal with machine learning—see previously  

mulder & scully: full script of an unmade episode of the X-Files—via Super Punch  

that old black magic that you weave so well: Clavis Inferni (The Key of Hell), an illustrated spell book from 1775 

retrofit: more on the noir aesthetic (more here and here) of vintage automobiles converted in electric vehicles 

 like & subscribe: the long and short history of the newsletter—both print and digital

Monday, 8 August 2022

we now return to regular programming (10. 045)

Interrupting regularly scheduled, prime-time programming on this day in 1974—ironically as he regularly attacked the medium as an instrument of liberal bias and never stopped blaming TV for wrecking his first US presidential bid against JFK having not fared well on screen during televised debates—to address the nation and announce his imminent resignation in the face of the so called “smoking gun” recording that revealed what the president knew about the botched burglary in the Democratic National Committee headquarters and told he would face certain impeachment— Richard M Nixon offered, “I have concluded that because of the Watergate matter I might not have the support of the Congress that I would consider necessary to back the very difficult decisions and carry out the duties of this office in the way the interests of the nation would require.” Adding that he was contrite errors in judgment, Nixon failed to mention, however, any talk of congress leveling articles of impeachment against him. Tendering his resignation the following day, Nixon submitted a letter to Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and left office, effective noon 9 August.

Sunday, 31 July 2022

8x8 (10. 027)

รฒgรณgรณrรณ: decolonising a West African palm sap spirit that unfairly unearned the reputation of a cheap gin substitute  

new delay for dover-calais tunnel likely: fleshing out the NYT headlines Stanley Kubrick had mocked up for 2001—via Waxy  

smaller footprint: updates on NEOM—the planned vertical skyscaper of Saudi Arabia  

hysterical urbanism: a counterpoint to the above—with several historical antecedents  

brominated vegetable oil: EU and Japan bans Mountain Dew and Fresca for ingredients that contribute to memory loss  

we intend to cause havoc: Andrew McGranahan’s psychedelic posters for Paul McCartney’s 2022 gigs and tours  

odonymy: an ongoing project revealing the origin of street names in Los Angeles—via Web Curios

mensascran: comparative studies of university and business cafeterias and canteens around the world—see also—via ibฤซdem

Sunday, 17 July 2022

hwv 348, 349, 350 (10. 000)

Premiering on this day in 1717 with great fanfare and accompanying the royal retinue of George I on a barge down the Thames from Whitehall to Chelsea, Georg Friedrich Hรคndel conducted a separate orchestral raft of about fifty musicians and their instruments to play the Water Music, three suites prefaced by an overture in the French style. Crowds lined the banks to join in and the event was reported by the Courant, London’s first daily, and the king was so pleased with performance, he requested no fewer than two encores during the four hour tour. One surmises that such quasi-public fรชtes were to help the aging king retain his relevance in relation to the charasmatic heir, George II.