Sunday 7 April 2024

neocities (11. 473)

Via the Verge, we are directed toward a fine little interior decorating pastime for iPads in the form of Rooms—inviting players to cultivate and share their cozy cubbyholes—in the tradition of the old school web and good old fashioned building-blocks or paper-dolls putting together a pixellated diorama put together with modular elements voxel by voxel—see previously. It’s like dressing up and perfecting one’s avatar within predefined but expansive parameters and features a social aspect to meet one’s virtual neighbours and follow their home improvements.

Wednesday 27 March 2024

the usual suspects (11. 452)

After years of obscuring police line-ups in creative and comical (to some) fashions, one department will comply with a request from a toy company to respectfully stop using its image to hide the faces of potential law-breakers in its social media posts. Certain authorities had been in the habit of protecting the identity of suspects for non-violent crimes in case they were exonerated and not to expose them to public shaming—the stocks—but all began to comply once legislation was passed to protect the identities of all until proven guilty. We’re not sure why such a blotter needed to be circulated in the first place, unless looking for more witnesses or issuing an all points bulletin. Mugshots are also removed after a fortnight. In any case, no more minifigs.

synchronoptica

one year ago: The Leopard (1963) plus Everything is a Remix

two years ago: Starlight Express plus Let America Be America Again

three years ago: a cargo freighter blocks the Suez Canal, Moby Dick by Matt Kish, statehood for Washington, DC plus the Tenerife Airport Disaster (1977)

four years ago: the etymology of a snack cracker, Typhoid Mary, vintage bathrooms, an Oscar boycott (1973) plus job losses soar due to the pandemic

five years ago: Japan becomes less vegetarian (1872), driving home through the Rhรถn plus The Disorder of Things

Saturday 16 December 2023

8x8 (11. 190)

a portrait of justice: the iconography of Ruth Bader-Ginsburg’s judicial collars—see previously 

kreuz am bichl: a uniquely divided church in Carinthia  

oh little town of bethlehem: this year’s creche and other required reading—see more

location scouting: historical movies and filming sites mapped  

modern day umarell: Defector contributor unravels a construction mystery with the help amateur experts—see previously  

18¢ piece: making change, the Greedy Algorithm and the Shallit system of optimal coins  

penguin drama: two aquaria in Japan meticulously update a flow chart to document the changing relationships of their residents  

free mickeys: Disney’s flagship character (see previously) to enter the public domain following a US Supreme court ruling that copyrights cannot be extended with trademarks

 synchronoptica

one year ago: Kurt Cobain’s Unplugged session (1993), assorted links to revisit plus OpenAI authors Hallmark holiday specials

two years ago: a triple album from George Harrison plus the mental acumen of rarefied genius

three years ago: awards recognising the best of Quarantine Culture, the great apes, St Adelaide plus a classic spy story from John le Carrรฉ

four years ago: the seasonal designs of Jen Nollaig

five years ago: redundant acronym syndrome, Queen Medb plus the Moon on flags (and flags on the Moon)

Tuesday 21 November 2023

7x7 (11. 129)

last mile-problem: 2003 ad from a defunct automotive line lampooning the absurdity of cars—especially redesigning cities around them 

broken record: the cover of the UN’s Environmental Programme Emissions Gap Report  

whistle-blower: ufologist who testified before the US Congress urges declassification of documents on alien technology for America to get ahead of the coming, catastrophic leak  

whole heap of zing: new studies may have found the culprit in the phenomenon of the red wine headache  

oculi mundi: a gorgeous and interactive collection of antique and ancient depictions of the world to peruse—via Maps Mania  

keith number: seemingly recreational, rare and hard to find repetitive Fiboncci-like digits whose sum are a whole of its parts 

the marshmallow test: famous experiments in psychology recreated in LEGO

synchronoptica

one year ago: an early exercise craze

two years ago: assorted links worth revisiting

three years ago: the Nurnberg Trials (1945), more links to enjoy, artist Magritte plus cardboard cat shrines

four years ago: more Words of the Year, a Trump appointee turns, Martha Gellhorn plus reforming Ukrainian exonyms

five years ago: the Mayflower Compact, more links to enjoy, a ram registry plus the backstory of an IKEA poster

Tuesday 14 November 2023

9x9 (11. 120)

temporal excursions: advice for the modern time-travellers thinking about visiting medieval Europe  

once and future: ex-PM David Cameron returns as Sunak’s foreign minister after a cabinet shake-up following the Home Secretary’s incendiary remarks  

ototw: there are over six-thousand ‘on top of the world’ mountains—a peak so high no others in the range can be seen from its summit—we’ve only been to Brocken, I think out of them all  

an aaron spelling production: an appreciation of Arthur Hailey’s Hotel (1983 - 1988) and its parade of guest stars  

the house of tomorrow: Tex Avery’s vision of the smart home seems more user-friendly  

return-to-office: automatic responses from those on a hybrid work-schedule  

carbon-casting: a LEGO-like approach to CO₂ offset and removal at target costs  

brideshead revisited: a new film on the eccentricities of the landed gentry—via Messy Nessy Chic

florantine codex: a sixteenth century ethnography on Mesoamerica and the Aztec culture has been digitalised and made accessible to the public

 synchronoptica

one year ago: The New Musical Express (1952), more Scopitone fun, more on English adjectival order plus assorted links to enjoy

two years ago: the Oort cloud, the Landshut Wedding (1475), more McMansion Hell plus a tale of guided chess

three years ago: the centenary of the BBC, the 2008 G20, paleomixology plus another MST3K classic

four years ago: assorted links to revisit

five years ago: Yale admits women (1968), Nellie Bly’s trip around the world, more on land-use plus social media platforms reimagined on outdated technology

Friday 13 October 2023

9x9 (11. 055)

the witch of positano: a portrait of Bohemian original Vali Myers who inspired Tennessee Williams and danced for Donovan’s signature song, charging one Nubian goat for her performance  

hotel california: legacy luxury in Kabul now jointly run by the Taliban and their quiet dissenters—via Web Curios  

the mysterious land of the grimaults: another look at The Saga of the Viking Women and their Voyage to the Waters of the Great Sea Serpent  

the rest vs the west: proven tech ventures that rival occidental offerings 

my coffee with niles: a meta episode of Frasier remade in the style of one hundred thirty animators and filmmakers  

watermeal: world’s smallest flowering plant could play an outsized role in interplanetary exploration  

don’t crash the pips: the Canadian Broadcasting Company discontinues the long dash time signal—see also  

unauthorised build: this “illegal” LEGO construction bends conventions  

nightclub school: The New Romantics and 80s youth subculture  

synchronoptica

one year ago: another MST3K classic,  the world’s first personal data protection law plus assorted links to revisit

two years ago: your daily demon: Focalor, The Style Council plus a psychedelic design collective

three years ago: a fashion show with puppets plus Witchtok community doing the Lord’s Work

four years ago: the introduction of the Ampelmรคnnchen (1961), more links to revisit plus more mushroom finds

five years ago: democracy by lottery, vintage Sainsbury’s packaging plus a music video from Bob Sinclar

Sunday 8 October 2023

play well (11. 046)

After growing quite well acquainted with the non-traditional medium whilst playing (as building co-facilitator) the iconic toy with her toddler, Vancouver-based artist Katherine Duclos began producing pieces of fine, gallery-worthy art with LEGO herself, with her young son now as a very helpful and accomplished emmanuence and block organiser. See more of Duclos’ meticulous studies and multidisciplinary compositions in an interview with Print Magazine at the link above and her personal website here.

Tuesday 5 September 2023

9x9 (10. 984)

built on sand: UN monitoring reveals the alarming scale of marine dredging 

but the meteor men beg to differ, judging by the hole in the satellite picture: revisiting a cringey faux academic essay on “All Star” to realise that Steve Harwell (RIP) had more to tell us  

j-mouse: a procession of dead-end peripherals—I would get the PC in an ottoman 

⡆⠄: LEGO’s braille bricks offered free-of-charge to parents and educators now available to the general public 

the secret-sharer: a confessional box from Simone Giertz (previously) where one’s messages are only present for a few seconds before self-destructing  

phil a. o’fish: a short-lived McDonaldland mascot and early beef alternatives—via Weird Universe  

mixed media: experiential scale-models of Tracey Snelling inspired by the architecture of Berlin—including the Mรคusebunker 

premeditatio malorum: fifty short rules for better living from the Stoics  

thermohaline circulation: scientist support using the oceans’ inclination for equilibrium to pull in excess atmospheric carbon-dioxide—see previously

 synchronoptica

one year agoTainted Love (1981) plus assorted links to revisit

two years ago: a film from D W Griffith, armorial bearings plus the debut of the Muppet Show (1976)

three years ago: the opening of the Gotthard Tunnel (1980)

four years ago: the greenwashing of the recycling movement plus a legendary kingdom in Bretagne

five years ago: a Freddie Mercury birthday bash, a Queen arrangement in brass, outsider artist James Henry Pullen plus reconciling with the end of coal through art

Thursday 29 December 2022

7x7 (10. 368)

press pool: NPR station photographers swap memorable images from 2022    

opus cรฆmenticium: make concrete the Roman way—see also    

pre-bunking: intelligence agencies should engage in more public outreach to fight disinformation    

mallory gallery: top exhibitions of the year    

golden eye: reindeer retinas change colours with the seasons—via Nag on the Lake   

fido: dogs with human names—via Waxy     

mmxxii: year in review—news and journalists

Sunday 13 November 2022

9x9 (10. 299)

enแธซeduana: the fourth incarnation of the four-thousand year old Mesopotamian priestess who is the world’s first named author 

rip: founding member of the Clash and Public Image Ltd Keith Levene passes away, aged 65—via Nag on the Lake  

this is jim rockford. at the tone, leave your name and message. i’ll get back to you. [beep]: the mid-1970s detective drama intro faithfully recreated in LEGO  

spitalfields life: Peta Bridle illustrates her tour of London with her daughter 

tic-toc—let’s talk: Watch Dog and a nightmare clown teach children to read an analogue clock  

hush city: interactive mapping applications to chart out one’s urban soundscape and mark out those quiet spots  

51/49: Democrats retain control of the US Senate with a win in Nevada and the run-off election in Georgia ahead  

hawkwind: space music pioneer Nik Turner has died, aged 82  

the civilisation of llhuros: an artist exhibited, convincingly, a mock Iron Age culture with fantasy folkways and artefacts—via the New Shelton Wet / Dry

Friday 7 October 2022

7x7 (10. 203)

silphium: an ancient superfood of the Mediterranean world thought extinct possibly rediscovered in Turkey—via Strange Company 

unsung heroes: a LEGO diorama depicts a crew keeping the sewers unblocked—with more links to fatbergs  

mlle musidora: reviving a forgotten icon of the Belle ร‰poque—see also  

centaur chess: machines can handily beat grand masters but a computer-human team is unstoppable  

the legend of sleepy hallow: the wild ride behind the Headless Horseman

pendant lighting: Ambience Studio upcycles LEGO bricks into a colourful lamp  

pommes bleu: the annual optical spectacle that the intersection of the sun and these stained glass windows of the chapel of Rennes le Chรขteau draws pilgrims

Friday 16 September 2022

7x7 (10. 139)

daisy-chain: Wikipedia Speedruns—connect two topics (see also) across the fewest links—via Waxy

blast-oven: a proposed giant brick toaster could harness excess heat from industry and redistribute it as electricity

checkmate: investigating the cheating scandal vexing the chess world—via Digg  

the queen’s speech: at look at how accents change as we age and how Elizabeth II’s manner of talking reflected broader changes in society  

royal peculiar: reflections and impressions on visiting Westminster Abbey when the statuary far outnumber the tourists 

ubiquity: an invisible coating transforms windows and any glass surfaces into solar panels  

outrun: Google Maps Driver Simulation mode and more cartographical arcade games

Sunday 21 August 2022

8x8 (10. 075)

west eigg: via property scout Messy Nessy Chic, this lighthouse and keeper’s quarters on Pladda island in the Firth of Clyde  

oled: a clever tinkerer makes dynamic LEGO computer consoles—see previously  

calling card: the true story of football pioneer, journalist, stock-broker and mermaid-hunter Arthur Pember—via Strange Company’s Weekend Link Dump  

cinetimes: a free film and documentary aggregator with a familiar streaming-service interface—via Nag on the Lake’s Sunday Links  

sad beige werner herzog: a master of the bleak-harvest aesthetic  

รงiftetelli: more on “Misirlou”—see previously 

the dolmen of guadalperal: drought in Europe reveals the “Spanish Stonehenge”—a circle of one megaliths almost always submerged 

 fresnel lens: a LEGO ideas kit allows one to create one’s own well-appointed beacon

Tuesday 28 June 2022

8x8

cutting-corners: skimpflation and other consumer caveats   

section 30 order: Holyrood to hold second independence referendum in October  

edutainment: a new volume on poet Emily Dickinson concludes with a Math Blaster style game from LitHub  

wade in u.s.a.: protest is the court of last resort  

white rabbits: an unsung group of women sculptors employed during the World’s Columbian Exposition in 1893—via Messy Nessy Chic  

adobe flash: watch a time-lapse of a luxury villa with pool built out of mud and bamboo via Everlasting Blรถrt  

allons-y alonzo: assonances, alliterations and vowel harmonisation in French and other languages

coffee siren: the origins of the ubiquitous cafรฉ mascot (see also here and here)

Wednesday 8 June 2022

7x7

tidal power: Japan trials subsea turbines as a stable source of limitless green energy  

rethink the week: Stephen Fry and a host of animators believe that the time has come for a four-day work week—previously  

bosco verticale: Milan’s forested apartment block recreated in LEGO  

young macgyver: an unaired pilot spin-off of the original—remember when it was a huge reveal to disclose our hero’s first name?  

baad mambia: voicing AI output from Janelle Shane (previously) of Strong Bad from the flash animated series Homestar Runner—via Waxy  

mapped sonification: mouse around noisy cities and imagine how things will be different when our built environment isn’t designed to accommodate the internal combustion engine  

blue planet: World Oceans Day 2022 focuses on revitalisation—previously

Friday 6 May 2022

7x7

⚠️: a pictogramatical survey of caution wet floor signs—via Pasa Bon!  

load-bearing bifurcation: engineers incorporate sturdy, often-discarded tree forks in construction  

thameside tv: clips from London’s first pirate station—see also  

no tofu: the Noto typeface (previously) a suite of emoji  

unit patch: the more inscrutable badges of the US Space Force—see previously  

pocket mac: the process of designing a fake vintage product 

: Unicode Consortium’s growing list of astronomical glyphs, magical charms

Tuesday 15 February 2022

6x6

taxon: vintage animal family cards  

property values: Trump family accounting firm drops them as a client, disavows the validity of a decade’s worth of business assessments  

able baker: a collection of US museum ships—via Things Magazine  

daily constitutional: map out one’s lunch-hour ambulations 

wobo: Heineken breweries in the early 1960s produced brick-like bottles that could double as construction material, via Messy Nessy Chic  

metamates: Facebook staff receive a new official monicker aligned with corporate branding

Friday 7 January 2022

7x7

sick sad world: our crypto-bro, cyberpunk dystopia  

brik: aesthetic LEGO typography  

just keep swimming: mobile aquaria allow fish to drive—via the morning news  

molten path: an ancient—though not inaccessible—airburst over the Atacama shed shards of glass across Chile—see also   

thinking of you, i mean me: a Barbara Kruger (previously) retrospective in Chicago on capitalism and its critique

queued-up: Instagram versus reality

a listicle in eight parts: Cory Doctorow expounds on the scam of fintech—via the New Shelton wet/dry

Saturday 18 December 2021

legenda sanctorum

Born a prince into a sainted and royal family, issue of Richard the Saxon and Wunna of Wessex, Winibald (Winebald, Wunebald) is fรชted on this day on the occasion of his passing in 761 (*702), who along with his siblings Willibald and Walpurga were persuaded to first undertake a pilgrimage and commit to a course of study in Rome (his brother settling down from his travels and became a monk at Monte Cassino) then all to go on a mission to Germany by their uncle Boniface. Abbot at his home double-monastery in Heidenheim in Middle Franconia, Winibald is considered the patron of construction workers and established a network of cloisters across the region and is generally depicted with the iconography of a brick trowel and carrying a miniature church.

Saturday 4 December 2021

townscaper

Via Web Curios, we had a lot of full building our own thassolocracy in the lagoon cell-by-cell with this aesthetically intriguing and genuinely calming diversion with animated, embellished utopia-builder, replete with architectural conventions to discover, for instance a tower composed of alternating red and white blocks will turn into a lighthouse. Copying the link and pasting it later will let you continue your civil engineering work in progress. Give it a try and share your creations with us.