Tuesday, 21 June 2022


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

Thursday, 2 June 2022


phillumeny: venerable Japanese matchbox manufacturer shuttering after almost a century 

fpoty: Pink Lady’s finalist gallery of superlative food photographs in its annual competition—via Everlasting Blรถrt  

posidonia australis: researchers determine that a giant patch of ribbon weed in Shark Bay Australia a

singular, ancient and expansive plant 

shadow gradient: expanding hole optical illusion is a touch trypophobic—via Boing Boing  

metamorphosis: late fifteenth century ecologist and artist Maria Sibylla Merian who was among the first naturalist to closely observe insects and understand their life cycles 

 casein chipping: more on cheese heists and ways to stop them 

 philately: a travelogue of postage stamps of imaginary places—see also

Wednesday, 1 June 2022

the stresa convention

Hosted in the above Italian city on the shores of Lago di Maggiore on this day 1951, the International Treaty on the Use of Appellations of Origin and Denomination of Cheeses (see also) was adopted by the members of the European Community (EC) and went into force two years later—providing a framework for protection of goods manufactured and matured in regions by dent of local, loyal and uninterrupted traditions—plus relief from imitators. The first annex lists Gorgonzola, Parmigiana Romano, Pecorino and Roquefort. The second annex includes Asiago, Camembert, Cambozola, Danablu, Edam, Emmental, Esrom, Gouda, Gruyรฉre and Samsรถe.

Saturday, 9 April 2022


r/place: Josh Wardle’s (previously) first viral success with this collaborative subreddit  

modern screen: an annotated read along of a February 1961 celebrity magazine  

hey hey, rise up: Pink Floyd reunites to support Ukraine  

see you later, percolator: a gallery of vintage, commercial coffee makers  

spotifictional: a streaming back-catalogue of bands from television and the movies 

cheese heist: dairy crime-rings around the world—see also  

scratchcard lanyard: a song from Dry Cleaning 

explordle: guess the global cities as webcam images flit by—via Web Curios

Saturday, 13 November 2021


uap: an interview with former US DoD head of the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Programme says that “Tic-Tac” craft have been observed by the navy for decades  

dutch angle: dramatic tilt in cinematography  

comrade kiev: an exquisitely curated collection of posters from Soviet times  

p68/dulcimer: a prototype of the iPod—which celebrated its twentieth birthday last month—via Twisted Sifter  

subjective distance: more on the ordering of adjectives and the unwritten rules of language—see previously 

quesos y besos: a soft goat cheese from Spain beat out many contenders to be awarded the top prize for the annual World Cheese Awards  

shoulder-surfing: a patent to discourage lookie-loos with a screen blur for those without the proper headgear and glasses—via Slashdot 

discopter: Alexander Weygers patented the design for the first UFO flying vehicle decades before the craze in sightings and visitations

Wednesday, 8 September 2021

๐Ÿง€ + ๐Ÿš + ✝️ + ๐Ÿฉฒ + ๐Ÿ‘“ = ๐Ÿ“š

The always engaging Languagehat refers us to a discussion thread that traces the propagation of language and literature through historical shifts that shape the way we communicate and interpret the legacy of the incidents and accidents of publishing and publicising for Europe. While there is an element of the Just So Stories of Rudyard Kipling (How the Leopard Got its Spots, and likely as potentially problematic), the narrative does not purport to be academically strenous and presents only theories and strings matters together nicely. Our trajectory to book format begins with cheese and dairy as an imperishable caloric store to help early humans survive cold, harsh winters with female sheep and cows more valuable than their male counterparts, whom would be slaughtered young so they wouldn’t need to be fed during the season of scarcity. This yielded a surfeit of vellum that could be used for writing material, necessarily bound as a hardback as the medium tended buckle if not kept flat.

Wednesday, 25 August 2021


Via fellow internet caretaker and turophile, Nag on the Lake, we are directed towards this thorough, wholesome and circumspect guide of how to serve and store almost any sort of cheese from an expert cheesemonger.  The pictured painting is called Still Life with Cheeses, Almonds and Pretzels (Stilleven met kazen, amandelen en krakelingen), created by Dutch artist Clara Peeters circa 1615.

Friday, 7 May 2021

and now for a word from our sponsors

Promoting MacLaren’s Imperial Cheese which was advertised nowhere else in US markets, the Kraft Television Theatre had its premiere on NBC stations on this day in 1947, broadcast live weekly from Studio 8-H at 30 Rockefeller Plaza—currently hosting Saturday Night Live, the drama anthology series ran for over a decade and offered hour-long stage plays, both adaptations and unique pieces. Confusingly, ABC launched its own Kraft Television Theatre in October 1953 to promote the new product Cheez Whiz which sponsors later dropped and consolidated under the original time and channel slot. Considered prestige television, it launched the careers of writers and actors including Jack Lemmon, Paul Newman, Leslie Nielsen, Joanne Woodward, Grace Kelly, Cloris Leachman and George C. Scott. The debut episode was Double Door from a play by Elizabeth McFadden about a protective sister entombing another woman in the family crypt to prevent her from marrying her brother. Because of the live nature of the show, very few performances were preserved but here is a short clip from June of 1947.

Saturday, 20 March 2021

spaghetti images

As Kottke reports, determination and engineering designed to optimise the surface area for sauce saturation has paid off with the debut of a speciality, niche past shape called the cascatelli—Italian for little waterfalls, a success for Mission: Impastable. There is so far no indication whether or not this creation will be soon joining the ranks of other speciality, utilitarian and decorative shapes (see previously here, here and here) but we can nonetheless appreciate the intention and would be eager to try a forkful alla puttanesca with parmigiana reggiano.

Monday, 22 February 2021

like chalk and cheese

Though attested since the late fourteenth century and surely encountered in every day speech, we were unaware of this delightful idiom, said of things that are superficially alike but very different in substance, like a crumbly, unaged cheese that’s never mistaken as flaking chalk (though some attribute the etymology to an unscrupulous cheesemonger that tried to pass off adulterated product). The Turkish equivalent DaฤŸlar kadar farklฤฑ, “As different as the mountains” conveys the same sense. Its extended meaning covers things that don’t pair well.  Learn more at Nag on the Lake at the link up top.

Saturday, 30 January 2021


Though dismissed as among the most unreliable means of divination and fortune-telling, the association between cheese and magic, cheese-making and cosmology recognised by such luminaries as Artemidorus Daldianus, a second century medium that wrote the authoritative volume on dream interpretation, the Oneirokrtikon, and Hildegard von Bingen struck us as quite intriguing—via Strange Company—and tempting further investigation. There’s a litany of curses and benedictions to be found at the link to the source above, most of which are fantastically straightforward and to the point, like the featured and instigating incantation “you may fascinate a woman by giving her a piece of cheese,” since the charms of cheese require little in the way of explanation.

Friday, 29 January 2021

digital demesne

Reminiscent of the extant but sadly now unsupported personal website of Lily Tomlin with seemingly unending links to thoroughly lose oneself in, we quite enjoyed interloping a bit in the vast domain of Arkm’s World, both infinite manor house and grounds—courtesy of Marijn’s Link Roll (previously)—of paths and parlours to haunt and endless shoreline and suites to explore (caution—some flashing lights and video-autoplay), including pages and pages of referrals to kindred NeoCity projects. Which door would you choose?

Tuesday, 5 January 2021

patent medicine

Prolific inventor and obvious turophile, lumberjack Stuart M. Stebbings (previously) of Wisconsin prototyped and registered a cheese-based filter for cigarettes in 1966. Trials showed that a blend of grated hard cheese with charcoal performed best, removing up to ninety percent of tar from smoke, reportedly outdoing anything else on the market. There is no evidence this proposal got off the drawing board. Much more from Weird Universe at the links above.

Thursday, 1 October 2020


cheese tetrahedrons and synergetic stew: a celebrity cookbook presented to author and futurist Buckminster Fuller (previously) reissued for the one hundred twenty-fifth anniversary of his birth  

lรผften: tried and true ventilation and fresh air may be the most effective way to stave off more infections  

heart of sharkness: winning images and honourable mentions from a drone photography contest  

fรถrรคldrapenning: a South Korean man living in Sweden documents his daily routine 

adobe flash: an appreciation of the platform that shaped the internet and the implications of suspending support for the multimedia plug-in and player—via Kottke  

disaster constitutionalism: EU taking the UK to court, despite only breaking international law in a “specific and limited way”  

can our government be competent: celebrating Jimmy Carter’s ninety-sixth birthday (previously) in campaign buttons

eat fresh: with tax implications for the franchise, Irish high court rules that one fast food chain’s bread cannot be called bread or a dietary staple due to its high sugar content—via Boing Boing

Saturday, 29 August 2020

blessed are the cheese-makers

Having previously used the term turophile (see also here, here and here) to describe our devoted fans, we were delighted for another encounter with the root word in an albeit different though possibly less fringe context and community with artotyrite (แผ€ฯฯ„ฯŒฯ„ฯ…ฯฮฟฯ‚, from the Greek for bread and cheese)—used to name the members of a second century Galatian gnostic Christian sect who celebrated the eucharist with this additional ingredient.
Considered heretical also for allowing women to perform baptisms and hold religious office and for preferring to observe Easter according to the Hebrew calendar in mid-Nisan regardless of the day of the week and hence their other epithet Quatrodeciman—the Fourteeners—but mostly for the cheese, these outcasts who based their practise on the idea of offering first fruits not only of the field but also their flocks to the Divine, presumably also included wine in the sacrament of communion.

Thursday, 4 June 2020

l’appellation d'origine protรฉgรฉe

Known to his subjects both as the Beloved (le Bien-Aimรฉ) and the Mad (le Fou), on this day in 1411 (see previously) sage Charles VI of the Valois dynasty, in the midst of civil war and trying to win over allies, granted to the town of Roquefort-sur-Soulzon the monopoly to sell cheeses with the designation of “Roquefort”—to include the caves wherein the cheese is ripened (affinage). This exclusive right, still upheld today, is one of the earliest and love-lived instances of legal protected and enforceable designation of origin.

Monday, 25 May 2020

✨#12 – boycotting cheese✨

A family acquaintance has been confined to a hotel and Saudi Arabia, one twitter personality reports, and shares this image of a menu card that strikes me as delightfully pure—first insofar as they would go to such lengths to accommodate Western guests, including at a time like this—during the pandemic, whom was stranded and staying for longer than expected plus through the month of Ramadan.
I also like the level of trust vested in a translating algorithm—since absent anything to check it against, why would one have reason to doubt? Also, interestingly, punctuation seems as important as letters, which seems right in hindsight for someone unfamiliar with the script but had not occurred to me before. That said, tag yourself. Foul, fool, full is probably fลซl mudammas—stewed, seasoned fava beans—which is very delicious. We had a hard time choosing between Chicken Dump Truck, A Regular Erika or She is Suspicious of Cheese—and wonder what the story is behind dishes such as Friday, Tuna is a Problem and Worried. Beans, gentlemen.

Thursday, 27 February 2020


barras de mono: vintage playgrounds of Mรฉxico

๐Ÿ˜ท: Centres for Disease Control’s facial hair grooming recommendations for mask compatibility—see previously

open access: the Smithsonian Institution releases millions of images and model instructions into the public domain—via Kottke

mad props: a behind-the-scenes look at the exquisite visual artefacts Annie Atkins creates for cinematic productions—via Nag on the Lake

jodhpurs: these weirdly delightful inflating trousers on the catwalk

minitel: more on the ascent and decline of France’s early internet—see previously

cheesweet: an unlikely Swiss cheese candy that got a mention in a John Steinbeck anthology

Monday, 11 November 2019


This day is held in celebration of the funeral of Martin of Tours, recreating the procession originally held in 397 AD. The holiday coinciding with the end of harvest time, the festival celebrates the life of a former Roman centurion stationed in Gaul who converted to Christianity and was reluctantly ordained bishop after encountering a freezing beggar during a blizzard at the gates of Amiens (Samarobriva—bridge of the Somme) clad in rags only and charitably—without hesitation, rent his cloak in two and shared it with him.
That evening Martin had a vision that the beggar revealed Himself to be Jesus Christ and on awaking found his cloak miraculously made whole. The word chapel (Kapelle) and derived terms like chaplain come from the short cape (capella) that Martin had draped over his shoulder after the bit of tailoring. Like other celebrations that occur during winter’s bleak months (see also here and here), there’s an element of an abiding glimmer of light in the darkness to give the motivation to go on. A time of slaughter and feasting—it being untenable to feed some livestock and keep them through to spring—geese, the same that gave away Martin’s whereabouts to the conclave that nominated him for bishop, were killed at this time and like with Thanksgiving, it became traditional fare for this day. The timing of the holiday moreover saw a syncretism with Martin inheriting the attributes and patronage formerly held by the minor deity Aristaeus—son of Cyrene and Apollo, credited with discovering and then sharing some of the useful and agrarian arts like beekeeping, viniculture, shearing, cheesemaking, pickling, curing and herding. All of these professions fall under the guardianship of Martin—with a few more thrown in for good measure, like reformed alcoholics. Though today Saint Martin’s Day marks the beginning of the Karneval season in Germany, it was formerly one last feast before a fasting that was to be observed through the Feast of the Epiphany, like the fast of Lent. In some places, the parade and singing takes place a day early to also mark the birthday of reformer and namesake Martin Luther (*1483 — †1546).  Over time this period was shortened and rebranded as Advent.

Friday, 6 September 2019


cheese whey wine: this proposal does not exact merit the enthusiasm of either turophiles nor ล“nologists

nessie: DNA evidence suggest that the monster of Loch Ness might be a colony of giant eels

mensch-maschine: watch limber, articulate but abstract robots mimic human motion

an englishman in new york: a biographical look at the life and times of Quentin Crisp (previously)

cloverleaf: a gallery of freeway interchanges (previously), via Present /&/ Correct

formaggio ubriaco: bringing it full circle, this delicacy from Treviso sounds more palatable