Tuesday 20 December 2022

schnappschรผsse vom krieg (10. 346)

Born this day in 1922 and still taking pictures, Michelantonio “Tony” Celestino Onofrio Vaccaro immigrated back to the US to avoid being conscripted in Italy and despite already having an impressive photographic portfolio just out of high school his first draft assignment as a photo-documentarian with the Army Signal Corps didn’t pan out and was instead assigned as a scout, fighting in Normandy, Luxembourg and Germany—though still affording opportunities to shoot images, evocative impressions of the front captured in 1944 and 1945. After being discharged, Vaccaro remained in Germany, contributing to the Army newspaper Stars & Stripes and recording life post-war in Frankfurt. Returning to America in the early 1950s, Vaccaro took assignments with Look, Life and Flair magazines as a society photographer, marrying a model for fashion house Marimekko, and after a decades’-long stint teaching at Cooper Union published a selection of his extensive wartime archive, under the imprint Entering Germany: Photographs 1944 – 1949. Click here for a gallery of Vaccaro’s diverse subjects.

Wednesday 7 December 2022

reichsbรผrger-razzia (10. 369)

Various media outlets (EN/DE) are reporting a nationwide raid—an anti-terrorism operation—of some one hundred and thirty properties across Germany carried out by thousands of police officers has netted twenty five individuals on charges of treason with as many more suspected of colluding to overthrow the government. Two ringleaders identified by prosecutors, in line with privacy rules as Heinrich XIII P R and Rรผdiger v P, are among the arrested and are known champions of the Reichsbรผrger, sovereign citizen movement, a loose coalition of groups that rejects the legitimacy of the Bundesrepublik on the basis of their argument that the constitution in place prior to World War II was never properly nullified and the Basic Law has no authority, now mixed with an unhealthy dose of QAnon ideology. Primarily a tax-avoidance scheme and attended with fantasies in line with those of the Cosplay Caliphate, the organised groups were armed and had a plan, with portfolio and cabinet positions already designated for key members and were apparently already in negotiations with Moscow to establish diplomatic relations.

Friday 18 November 2022

7x7 (10. 314)

umwelt: a short video to compliment Ed Yong’s exploration of animal cognition—previously 

what9whos: a proprietary geocode system based on the names of the actors who’ve portrayed the Doctor from Gallifrey 

lexical lists: the index, the listicle are the oldest forms of narrative  

commit to being extremely hardcore: the Twitter exodus continues  

speaker of the house: after two decades of party leadership in the lower chamber, Nancy Pelosi is stepping down 

chart-topper: a collector has amassed every single number one single in the UK—see previously  

mockingbird: you’ve likely been fooled by an avian friend––see also

Monday 14 November 2022

rock inky (10. 302)

Founded in March of the same year (first weekly pictured) and delightfully referred to as the titular class of publications, the circular, the New Musical Express (NME) first started its singles chart on this day’s edition in 1952, the first British newspaper to do so, following the model of the US magazine Billboard. Listing the top twelve, the first number one hit was Al Martino’s “Here in My Heart,” which held the top spot for nine consecutive weeks—a record not broken until Bryan Adam’s ballad for Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves in 1991. Associated with gonzo journalism particularly during the mid-1970s and its coverage of the rise of the punk genre, the label went on to report on film, television, gaming and pop culture before folding its print enterprise in 2018 and becoming an online magazine.

Tuesday 8 November 2022

7x7 (10. 284)

big bounce: some astrophysicists suspect that things were happening in the Cosmos prior to the Big Bang—via Damn Interesting’s Curated Links  

nogoodnik: Russia reactivates its bot and troll army to muddy the US mid-term elections  

fivethirtyeight: mapping out when individual voting jurisdictions announce results  

jazz harp: the musical stylings of Turiyasangitananda—a.k.a. Ms Alice Coltrane—via Messy Nessy Chic

false prophets: a denunciation of America’s Christian nationalism—via Miss Cellania  

battleground states: artists reflect on the consequential American election 

hero’s journey: avoiding the perils of the monomyth in storytelling

Thursday 20 October 2022

untenured (10. 241)

Holding office for a tumultuous forty-five days (the shortest of the United Kingdom’s sixty-eight) though spanning two monarchs and some cabinet reshuffling, Liz Truss resigned as prime minister after a week marked by market crashes, an exodus of deputies and general lack of confidence in her leadership abilities built momentum for a general election. This collapsed government that upheld the conservative, Tory party totems of Brexit and austerity speaks to the abject failure of such regressive, nihilist politics that are out-of-step and untethered from the electorate. The party will choose a new prime minister by 28 October but does not preclude a Labour government being established.

Tuesday 18 October 2022

il capo in pidei col suo bastone (10. 235)

Our thanks to TYWKIWDBI for directing our attention to this Farsi language version of Bella Ciao (see previously), the protest folk song that has become an anthem of freedom and resistance internationally, created to protest the oppressive, theocratic dictatorship of Iran as part of the Mahsa Amini rallies against the regime. The opening lyric—The dust of this wheat/is in the street—is in reference to the custom of growing sprouts of grain in the two week run up to the New Year (Nowruz, ู†ูˆุฑูˆุฒ) that falls on the Spring Equinox and symbolically casting them away to toss out old habits. O mamma mia o che tormento. Much more at the links above.

the beeb (10. 234)

Just over two years after the first live public broadcast, sponsored by the Daily Mail and hosted by Marconi’s Wireless Telegraph Company and featuring a performance by Australian soprano Dame Nellie Melba (of toast fame) captured the public imagination with the possibilities of this new technology—despite a distinct disdain for such frivolities and the potential to impede other more official or newsworthy communication on the part of the government, the General Post Office, the licensing authority, was overwhelmed with over a hundred requests to establish radio stations. Eager to not follow the same career into chaos as with the largely unregulated expansion of the radio network in the United States, officials proposed the issuance of a single license jointly owned by the leading wireless receiver manufacturers. The British Broadcasting Company Ltd was founded on this day in 1922, its centenary, by John Reith as its general manager, with the abiding directive to “inform, educate and entertain.” On New Year’s Eve 1926, the commercial enterprise was dissolved and reconstituted as the crown-chartered British Broadcasting Corporation.

Sunday 9 October 2022

7x7 (10. 206)

soundscape: calls for submissions for Wikipedia’s sonic logo  

parametric design: letting AI run wild to reimagine the future of architecture  

cactus buddy and friends: adult Happy Meals are causing chaos, workers beg customers to stop 

solidarity: Marge Simpson cutting her iconic hair graffitied on the Iranian Consulate in Milano  

shinkansen: a classic 99% Invisible explores how three very different bird species informed the bullet train’s redesign 

kill the wabbit: try to name these escapingly familiar works of classical music—see also  

obituaries: the swiftness of Wikipedia’s deaditors is astounding

Saturday 8 October 2022

the power generation (10. 204)

In the face of more energy austerity and with the prospects of a long, cold winter for many and the prospect of rolling blackouts, we were quite elated to be directed towards arguably one of the greatest cross-overs of all time, this circa 1990 advert where National Power and Powergen use a high production value Star Trek (a famously post-scarcity society) short to flog shares in symphony with the move to privatise the UK electricity market. More at Dirty Feed at the link above.

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.”