Friday, 3 February 2023

6x6 (10. 519)

good boy: a thirty year old dog in Portugal beats a century-old record for oldest in the world  

bb-8: a small security robot that rolls about the premises  

eternity’s pillar: late night variety show produced by Turiyasan-gitananda—see previously  

studio fong leng: a look at the Dutch fashion designer who dressed Kate Bush and socialite Mathilde Willink  

can’t do hands: an atrocious sign language guide imaged by an AI—see previously  

catgpt: a feline version of the scarily smart chat bot—via Waxy

Tuesday, 24 January 2023

8x8 (10. 495)

super 8: Kodak background orchestral ensemble for home movies (1961) would make a good soundtrack for any clip  

memory hole: unearthing—with surprising difficulty—an iconic, defining moment of 90s US political pop culture  

the fourth plinth: what becomes of statuary exhibited temporarily in Trafalgar Square—via Things Magazine  

whw: an interview with the ousted Kunsthalle collective who wanted to showcase all sides of Vienna  

poissons de diverses couleurs et figures extraordinaires: exquisite disco fish (1719)  

geyser relays: a rather pie-in-the-sky proposal for irrigation using a series of water canons  

parade route: revisiting the would-be arrival and presentation of Ganda the Rhinoceros  

sympawny № 4: a short arrangement to pay tribute to a beloved cat

Tuesday, 13 December 2022

9x9 (10. 381)

deep field: JWST scans the skies  

mar1d: in-game action as our protagonist would experience the Mushroom Kingdom—like Flatland—via Kottke  

ny๐ŸŒณ: the City’s popular tree map updated to include a hundred thousand park residents—via Map Room  

even a cat can look at the queen: an exhibition of fine feline art 

tumbleword: a daily challenge from Jer Thorp—via Waxy  

math and the mechanics: the surprising origin story of the Cura Calculator 

cervoise: brewer informed by ancient herbal and unhopped beer predecessor  

world in motion: New Order’s 1990 World Cup anthem—via Digg  

splash down: Artemis’ Orion capsule (previously) returns after a perfectly executed trial run

Tuesday, 29 November 2022

quantum superimposition (10. 343)

Devised by Erwin Schrรถdinger with interlocutor Albert Einstein as a thought experiment and refined and published on this day in 1935 in the monthly journal Naturwissenschaften (The Science of Nature), a hypothetical feline is suspended between life and death—both simultaneously—its fate linked to a random and subatomic change that may or may not happen. Motivated to point out the counterintuitive and paradoxical nature of the prevailing theory, called the Copenhagen Interpretation that holds that a quantum system (an atom or a photon that can act both like a particle or like a wave) remains in a state of being added together until it interacts with or is observed by the external world. Although intended as a rebuke of the current understanding of quantum mechanics, others have extended this idea of alive-dead cat as a manifestation of the effects of vanishingly small changes on a macroscopic Cosmos and construe from it the Many-Worlds (alternate realities) interpretation application of the branch of physics. It is a matter of fundamental debate whether measurement or observation causes such a juncture to collapse into one state or another or both continue to exist but are decoherent from each other, splitting into separate universes. A “cat state” has been produced in the laboratory for short periods on collections of electrons and ions as well as in quantum computing.

Friday, 28 October 2022

unblogged crete (10. 254)

A few bits of miscellaneous reflections on traveling in Crete that didn’t quite fit elsewhere: Like the German practise of erecting crosses at the roadside to memorialise a tragic death in an auto accident, in Greece, they use these miniature concrete churches, often with a small shrine inside to those lost and are mass-produced.

There are cats everywhere that belong to no one and will congregate around one at a restaurant, and generally have very good table manners and will not beg or harass but will sit quietly and mildly look at you.
Far more intense and immersive than a cat cafe, only once when we were the sole guests at a criminally under-partonized establishment did they bother us, until an older woman riding a motorbike arrived and with distinct Ernest Hemingway Martha Gellhorn energy produced a bag of cat food and proceeded to portion it out on the railing and announcing that she wanted to eat in peace and requested the waiter bring her “fish and white wine.”
There is also seemingly a preponderance of distressed and half-finished property developments, single-family homes ready for a second storey but with stairwells to nowhere, skeletal foundations, uncompleted resorts and obviously orphaned restaurants. Such commercial ruins make a strange landscape.

Friday, 21 October 2022

meow-mix (10. 244)

Friend of the blog Nag on the Lake treats us to a unique operatic interlude in “Duetto buffo di due gatti”—that is, a comic duet for two cats, which consists of miau sung in two parts with piano. Often performed as a concert encore, some credit Gioachino Rossini, who composed The Barber of Seville and dozens of other operas, but authorship is uncertain. More at the link above.

Saturday, 15 October 2022

catoweny (10. 225)

There’s a phenomenon circulating around the internet reliant on statistical white-noise to amplify small differences in order to proclaim one search term, soft drink, fast food franchise the most popular in each American state, which while it has negligible ethnographic value we were delighted how our AI wrangler Janelle Shane (previously) had harnessed this exploit to hilarious and often opaque effect in this unlocked omnibus bonus post (consider subscribing and becoming a patron of AI Weirdness for more quality content) of the most popular candy, state-by-state, as conjured up by Dall·E2, unbagged and certified safe for Trick-or-Treaters. Sometimes reality seems to seep in, as with Burt Mint (like Burt’s Bees products) for Maine but most (and there are too many to choose from) are inscrutable and flexibly legible, like the pictured top treat in Michigan. Share your favourite with us.

Monday, 3 October 2022

7x7 (10. 191)

stanford torus: maybe if we solve Earth, we can have a little space donut as a treat—see previously

matriculation: Merriam-Webster’s Word Induction Ceremony for a class of 369 neologisms

industrial light and magic: a coming-of-age film set during the summer of Star Wars released after being shelved for twenty years—because of the prequels—via Miss Cellania  

elections matter: revisiting The Survey Graphic, February 1939 edition  

toyko build: exquisite scale models of structures and architectural elements from around the metropolis

gesprรคch einer hausschnecke mit sich selbst: a snail’s monologue in verse  

feline dynamics: the US Air Force tossed cats in zero-gravity to study its effects on human physiology—see also—via Everlasting Blรถrt

Monday, 19 September 2022

subgenre (10. 149)

Via two of my favourite internet caretakers, Everlasting Blรถrt and Fancy Notions, we are introduced to a very niche and delightful trope in still life paintings: cats stealing food. All the posts in this thread are terrific but we were especially impressed by this work by Dutch Baroque artist Abraham Hendriksz van Beijeren (previously), a virtuoso of the category of pronkstillevens—that sumptuous portrayals of luxury goods, particularly of fish—for the cat’s obvious and feline lack of remorse. See a whole gallery at the link above.

Wednesday, 24 August 2022

7x7 (10.082)

the traffic cone preservation society: a venerable and conserved web artefact—see also—via Weird Universe  

red light, green light: authorities in China are not changing traffic-control scheme despite rumours to the contrary 

harmonices mundi: listening to Johannes Kepler’s music of the spheres—see previously  

wagahai wa neku de aru: selected sayings about cats and dogs in Japan  

45°, 90°, 180°: after more than half a century, Michael Heizer’s lost desert city is complete  

perfect impasto: ongoing research into Rembrandt’s Night Watch—see previously  

happy belated blogoversary: Miss Cellania turns twenty-two

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

Sunday, 10 July 2022

8x8

can i pet your dog: a short-lived 1971 talk show, The Pet Set, hosted by Betty White  

particle zoo 2.0: revved up Large Hadron Collider discovers three new exotic quark-pairings—via the New Shelton wet/dry  

plastic mero: artwork installed on a beach in Funchal crafted on salvaged ocean waste speaks to the plight of the Atlantic goliath grouper and fellow fish 

onomatopoeia: a collection of nonsense words invented by bird-watchers to convey calls and songs 

gol gumbaz: a resplendent seventeenth century mausoleum in Bijapur is called the Taj Mahal of Southern India  

denton, denton you’ve got no pretension: a photoessay of the Texas city in the 1970s  

gravitational waltz: tracing the orbits of stars near super-massive black hole Sgr A* (previously)  

golden girls 3033: BoJack Horseman director Mike Hollingsworth creates an animated pilot using splices of original dialogue

Tuesday, 21 June 2022

6x6

zhaocai: office cats in China face redundancy with startups closing 

utterly buttery: an etymological lesson and childhood memory on oleomargarine  

frisson: a group of neuroscientists compile an extensive playlist of chill-inducing musical tracks  

blood sugar sex magik: chants delivered by Aleister Crowley (previously) preserved on a wax cylinder 

umwelten: a new volume by Ed Yong explores the “self-centred world” (another Rรผckwanderer) of human and non-human animals  

barn cats: felines at work at a creamery in Maine

Friday, 17 June 2022

7x7

accepting payment in magic beans: professional scammer who bilked people and companies out of hundreds of thousands by posing as a German heiress turning to NFTs  

closed captioned: indexing video subtitles by any phrase of one’s choosing—via Waxy—perfect for creating a supercut  

great choice: award-winning short comedy-horror by Robin Comisar, via Super Punch  

the brautigan library: a repository of unwanted, unpublished manuscripts 

not reading the room: consumption and consumerism overshadow commemoration  

cat righting reflex: ร‰tienne-Jules Marey’s 1894 short is the first motion picture to feature a feline, demonstrating how it lands on its feet—see also 

web3 saint laurent: digital cosmetics for one’s avatars and more metaversal makeup from Web Curios

Tuesday, 31 May 2022

6x6

not to put words in your mouth: Google’s collaborative incubator discreetly withdraws from deepfake research—via Slashdot  

mermay: a month-long (didn’t get the memo but for next year) sketching challenge to draw merfolk with daily prompts    

bubasteion: necropolis sacred to Ancient Egyptian feline goddess yielded a trove of two-hundred and fifty perfectly preserved sarcophagi  

now listen to my heart—it says ukrainia: the Scorpions update their lyrics to Winds of Change to stop romancising Russia 

joueur-animateur en direct: French ministry of culture reforms guidelines on gaming jargon to combat anglicisation—see previously  

monk tone scale: Google adopts a better classification system for skin pigment to combat baked-in biases (see previously) for its algorithms and artificial intelligence

Sunday, 13 March 2022

6x6

choose your own adventure: the character-driven photography of Grzegorz Kurzejamski invites the viewer to create a narrative for them  

warp and werf: the Scottish Register of Tartans welcomes a new Ukrainian pattern  

(oh what a night): reaching number one on American charts on this day in 1976, the Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons hit was originally called “Fifth December 1933” and about the end of Prohibition 

cat naps: Hosei University researches what humans can glean from feline sleep patterns  

toad town: an exhaustive collection of level maps from many video game franchises—via Things Magazine  

photovoltaics: the photographic portfolio of Catherine Canac-Marquis

Saturday, 12 March 2022

7x7

w / n / p / a/: the beauty and brutality of the natural world—via Web Curios   

fly around: a happy tune from Bill Wurtz—via Waxy 

skramm-ellegepladser: what Scandi culture can teach the world about fun and playfulness 

 theatrum orbis terrarum: the first modern world atlas, created and published in Antwerp in 1571 by Abraham Ortelius 

llรชn gwerin: illustrated Welsh cats from 1910  

grand tour: visit the great cities of Europe all within the confines of Ohio—see also  

best in show: a selection of the superlative entries for the 2022 Sony World Photography Awards—some are quite accidentally like a Renaissance painting

Tuesday, 22 February 2022

i like crunchy, i like meaty, tender centres satisfy completely

Observed on this day in Japan (8 August in Canada and the UK and 1 March in Russia) due to the date’s resemblance to the feline vocalisation nyan, nyan, nyan, National Cat Day is celebrated to raise public awareness for the welfare of cats and promote cat adoption, and kept since 1978, traditions include posting pictures of cats with their humans and restaurants serving cat-themed cuisine.

Sunday, 6 February 2022

9x9

platinum geezer: our London correspondent reflects on the Queen’s jubilee by the numbers  

snow-drifting: artist Alexander Deineka’s celebration of winter sports in the USSR  

nunsexmonkrock: Nina Hagen’s (previously) legendary masterpiece extolled as it deserves  

definitely did not used to be a pizza hut: an investigation into the camouflage (see previously) of franchise blight—via the morning news  

biblioclasm: more books, press outlets, educators under fire as potentially subversive, challenging  

king of the mountain: fours goats play on a sheet metal shelter  

celebrity-ntf complex: the race is on to find the remaining marks and rubes before the bottom falls out

cockney cats: vintage feline photos collected by Spitalfields Life  

hrm: Pietro Annigoni’s 1969 portrait of the Queen

Friday, 31 December 2021

the electrical life of louis wain

Our gratitude to Strange Company for the introduction (well, the association of the artist to his delightful deranged felines rather) in Louis William Wain (*1860 - †1939), whose extensive body of works (one for every topic practically) are well and loving curated in the public domain and is the subject of a recent biopic, portrayed by Benedict Cumberbatch. Wain’s first publish sketch in 1886, “A Kittens’ Christmas Party” in the Illustrated London News struck the right notes and proved very popular—along with other anthropomorphic portrayals—in Victorian England and became a quite prolific artist over the next three decades and was a champion of various animal charities and human societies, including one called the Governing Council of Our Dumb Friends League—as they couldn’t speak for themselves. Though the diagnosis remains disputed, the onset of Wain’s apparent schizophrenia which saw him confined to an asylum for the remainder of his life may have been triggered by toxoplasmosis, a parasitical disease that cats can pass to their humans. Some professionals claim to be able to track Wain’s deteriorating mental state through the succession of his paintings (see also here, here and here) though that assertion and its citation in popular psychology remains controversial.  The cat model that inspired his art throughout was called Peter and originally was the pet of his wife who encouraged Wain to get his drawings in print.