Wednesday 29 May 2024

9x9 (11. 590)

priority seating: an account jammed packed with patterns for mass-transit upholstery—see previously—via Kottke 

ux: in the age of AI, perhaps it’s time to retire the term “user” 

voter turn-out: historically high temperatures in parts of India may skew election results 

๐Ÿ™‚‍↔️: this year’s bracket for most misinterpreted emoji  

described herein as a beverage carrying assembly: a patent for a beer puppet for festivals and sporting events  

the second soul: a thoroughgoing essay by Anton Howes on the history of salt—via Clive Thompson’s Linkfest  

instructions to the jury: closing arguments in the Trump trial and deliberation begins  

wasteful by design: digital technology and internet habits are becoming major contributors to the climate catastrophe 

transakcja: an endearing animation on courtship rituals in 1950s rural Poland

yokushitsu kansouki (11. 589)

Via the New Shelton wet/dry, we are are treating to some laundry lessons from Japan (see also) and a potential third way to cross the chasm on either side of the Atlantic when it comes to drying clothes. When have a nice rack in the backyard and try to line dry as much as possible but still have a heavy-duty tumble dryer that we have to resort to quite often, especially when the weather isn’t cooperating—and so were intrigued by the installation known as the “bathroom dryer” (ๆตดๅฎคไนพ็‡ฅๆฉŸ, ใ‚ˆใใ—ใคใ‹ใ‚“ใใ†ใ) that blurs the lines between interior design and appliance that blows warm, dry air onto the hanging clothes. Efficient and effective as the outdoors, no ironing needed and kinder to fabrics, more on laundry technology and culture from Bloomberg at the link above.


one year ago: a classic Tina Turner album (1984) plus hype cycles

two years ago: A Raisin in the Sun plus a visit to the Black Moor

three years ago: anatomical astrology, Noรซl Coward rap artist, St Bona plus the invention of the trampoline

four years ago: legislation per tweet, astronomer Maria Cunitz plus an AI parliament

five years ago: peak oil, air gaps, a concept car, modern still lifes plus the Mueller investigation

Tuesday 28 May 2024

who wears the pants in this family? (11. 588)

On this day in 1923, the US Attorney General Harry M Daugherty nullified the ordinance that made it illegal for women to wear trousers in public—which like suffrage and many other incremental advancements towards equality had been propelled by a societal relenting caused by women in the workforce and politics, out of necessity during the Great War and to organisations such as the Victorian contrarian Rational Dress Society who advocated for disburdening and freedom of movement in tandem with the Lady Cyclist Association, the bicycle of course granting a measure of universal independence never before enjoyed. Ironically, the anniversary of the announcement, not a legal remedy despite the fact that many restrictions remained on the books decades afterwards, falls on the same day in 1431 when Joan of Arc was accused of a relapse of her heretical ways as evidenced by her wearing of male clothing and ultimately justifying her execution.

Monday 27 May 2024

9x9 (11. 585)

super easy, barely an inconvenience: if cats had podcasts  

minor arcana: a metaphysically intelligent™️ tarot reading—via Web Curios  

fleeting moments: a concept camera that only delivers ephemeral poetry based on the subject in the view-finder—via Clive Thompson’s Linkfest  

the ghana must go: as ubiquitous as the IKEA bag but more practical, this tartan sack from Japan by way of Hong Kong contains multitudes  

god’s influencer: following a second miracle attributed to his intercession, the first Millennial saint is canonised  

atlas shrugged: AI-apocalypse Jennifer Lopez vehicle from James Cameron garners negative reviews but we found it enjoyable—going in blindly and wondering if it wasn’t part of the Duneiverse and setting up the Butlerian Jihad 

long averages: advances in the understanding of probability fuelling casino gambling—via Damn Interesting  

planchettes and re-enchantment: LLMs are haunted things toc-cat-a in b-major: Noam Oxman personalised musical pet portraits—via Waxy


one year ago:  a portrait of a dog, Berlin’s Mouse Bunker, a study of incomplete cubes plus men and women duelling in the Middle Ages

two years ago: a pact between NATO and Russia (1997), a dragon in Essex plus assorted links worth revisiting

three years ago: mojibake, font sizes, the Golden Gate Bridge (1937), relocating geese plus Dune manga

four years ago: more links to enjoy, a rock-climbing inspection, weasel iconography plus Trump 2.0 would be far more fraught

five years ago: getting around in Swiss Saxony

Thursday 18 April 2024

10x10 (11. 496)

the cloud under the seas: the fleet of secret submarine cable repair ships 

sarbox: US Supreme Court appears skeptical about charging January Sixth rioters with obstruction of justice as defined by a law made in the aftermath of the Enron accounting scandal  

mix-and-match orthography: how Japanese writers navigate a choice between four writing systems (see also)—via Cardhouse  

walled gardens have deep roots: the imperative of rewilding (previously) the internet lest the duopolies take over—via Waxy 

bongo bash: Wild Stereo Drums (1961)  

embroidered surveillance: cross-stitch works of closed-circuit security camera footage  

the questor tapes: a 1974 television sci-fi drama about an android with incomplete programming by Star Trek alumni Gene L Coon, D C Fontana and Gene Roddenberry—via r/Obscure Media  

tegelwippen: Dutch towns compete to remove garden paving and embrace weeds—via Miss Cellania  

voir dire: jury selection continues for the criminal trial of Donald J Trump—with some potential jurors being unintentionally doxed by the media 

 atlas 2.0: Boston Dynamics’ new humanoid robot


one year ago: Atelier Elvira, an unwoke chatbot plus assorted links worth revisiting

two years ago: more gachapons plus an introduction to risography

three years ago: the launch of the Disney Channel (1983), an experimental light house plus Wham in China (1985)

four years ago: more links to enjoy, the International Amateur Radio Union plus The Spirits Book (1897)

five years ago: concrete monoliths moved by hand plus Mueller Report redactions

Sunday 24 March 2024

11x11 (11. 448)

inauspicious beginnings: a rift opens up in a group of official astrologers employed by the Sri Lankan government to pick ideal dates for new years rituals  

disco arabesquo: record label Habibi Funk aims to introduce Middle Eastern vintage music to wider audiences 

typecraft: a transformative font foundry in India 

the allegory of the cave: on the twenty-fifth anniversary of the film’s premiere, we may be still trapped in the Matrix 

banjaxed and bockety: two curious Irish terms 

der buch der hasengeschichten: Tom Seidmann-Freud’s 1924 collection of hare fables 

working for tips: bizarrely robot baristas will accept gratuities, in a service sector landscape already fraught with insecurity and precarity—via tmn  

the juice is on the loose: a sequel thirty-six years in the making, reuniting the original cast—via Miss Cellania  

international system of typographic picture education: an archive of the pictograms of Gerd Arntz—see previously  

pocket full of kryptonite: the preponderance of alternative rock songs about Superman in the 1990s, 2000s 

prosopometamorphopsia: a new study on generalised social anxiety disorder tries to see from the perspective of those with a rare condition that causes faces to appear distorted, demonic—via the New Shelton wet/dry

Monday 18 March 2024

7x7 (11. 435)

deadwooding: Banksy acknowledges authorship of a new mural bringing back some greenery to an aggressive prune tree in Finsbury Park  

subspace: an ultra high-definition video of a cat chasing a laser-pointer was beamed over thirty million kilometres to improve future video calls to the Moon and Mars 

running-stitch: beautiful embroidered portraits from Karola Pezarro  

deadspin: more on the internet’s undead, reanimated by private equity and name recognition—see previously, see more  

bunga bunga: Italy’s Foreign Press Association to move into former home of Silvio Berlusconi, who famously disparaged reporters as Communists  

honeytrap: Aphra Behn’s intersecting careers as a professional writer and spy  

sequoiadendron giganteum: imported by the Victorians as status symbols, Giant Redwoods (see also) are thriving in the UK at more than half-a-million and growing

Saturday 9 March 2024

8x8 (11. 411)

๐Ÿšซ: the origins of the circle-and-slash prohibition symbol, its adoption as an ISO standard coinciding with 1984’s Ghost Busters  

return to sender: as part of the Prize Papers Project, a pristine Faroese hand-knitted sweater was discovered in an impounded parcel from 1807 

electronic labyrinth: the 1967 student film from George Lucas that would be later reworked into the feature  

snowdrops: Robert Marsham’s Indications of Spring (1789)  

clairaudient: more on Rosemary Brown with other classical compositions from beyond the grave  

if it doesn’t exist on the internet, it doesn’t exist: as of the beginning of the year, the venerable repository, the Ubuweb whose founder Kenneth Goldsmith is famous for the axiom, of the avant-garde has gone into archive-mode—via Web Curios 

sella rotalis: Paul de Livron crafts beautiful wooden wheelchairs, including one for the Pope

belinda new: exploring the typography of Oscar nominated films

Sunday 21 January 2024

8x8 (11. 285)

80s chillpill: a nostalgic, slow-dance playlist 

topdressing: an appreciation of the world’s “ugliest” utility airplane, the Airtruk, designed for crop-dusting in New Zealand—via Clive Thompson’s Linkfest  

future-proof: an advertising campaign from a pen company in the early 1960s strangely forecasts our technological present 

these children aren’t french—they’re american: a retrospective look at the BBC’s language learning mascot Muzzy 

night-climbers: John Bulmer’s photographs of a secretive group that scaled the campus of Cambridge under the cover of darkness—more here  

crochet coral: an evolving nature and craft hybrid project to memorialise and raise awareness about our disappearing reef—see previously—via Nag on the Lake’s Sunday Links 

money pit: a tour of the world’s abandoned airports  

doses & mimosas: a remix by Vintage Culture featuring Zerky

Sunday 31 December 2023

9x9 (11. 230)

unwound: a cartoon that speaks to the time-dilation of the Winterval—and the year in general 

politics or otherwise: year’s end Can’t Let Goes from NPR’s podcast contributors 

fast-forward: a century of New Year’s men’s party fashions

aitana lopez: the virtual, machine-generated influencers stealing jobs from humans  

cap d’agde: the restoration of the Art Nouveau Chateau Laurens—a palace also known for its connections with Catharism  

like a fridge in reverse: a visualisation of the science of heat-pumps—via Nag on the Lake’s Sunday Links

fondue chinoise: a variation on the Swiss holiday tradition inspired by the Asian hot pot 

favourite global tech stories from publications not named rest of the world: like Bloomberg’s Jealousy List, staff compiles articles they wish they’d written—via Waxy  

cartoon cryptozoology: explore a chaotic archive of the earliest animations

Sunday 10 December 2023

13-1023 tcx (11. 176)

As a counterweight to the aesthetic of maximalism embodied by the popularity of Millennial Pink, Pantone announces Peach Fuzz for the Colour of 2024, with their global team of trend-watchers and chromatists reflecting back on the past quarter of a century of the nomination process, beginning with Cerulean Blue to welcome the dawn of the new millennium and finding a nostalgic nexus for their choice, which represents a calm, tactile and nostalgic hue in the pink and orange combination in very stressful and unstable times.


one year ago: assorted links to revisit 

two years ago: the Nobel Banquet, a duet from McCartney and Jackson, 1984 from Julia’s perspective, more Chinese fuzzwords of the year plus the Pantone Colour for the coming year

three years ago: more on the Year in Search, Ubu Roi plus a 2020 recap

four years ago: Alphabets Heaven, the Apostrophe Protection Society, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), Latin scripts for Cyrillic languages, RIP Marie Fredriksson plus Cincinnati’s music underground

five years ago: more links to explore, more piรฑata creations from Roberto Benevidez plus a collection of Industry Musicals

Friday 8 December 2023

7x7 (11. 170)

recueil de la diversitรฉ des habits: a 1562 volume of national dress from around the world—including the costumes of mermonks 

psychedelic cryptography: a contest to make hidden messages that only can be deciphered in a state of altered consciousness—Waxy  

schallloch: the acoustic development of violin f-holes

thus the unfacts, did we possess them, are too imprecisely few to warrant our certitude: a dedicated, careful reading of James Joyce’s Finnegan’s Wake 

hiveopolis: a project to create hybrid, smart bee colonies with robots tasked to defend the queen  

fluid dynamics: winner of the American Physical Society’s visualising science goes to the process of making marbled paper—see previously  

smock-frock: the hidden history of the outer garment traditionally worn by shepherds and waggoners


one year ago: Hotel California (1976) plus assorted links to revisit

two years ago: the depths of Wikipedia plus a hackers’ collective

three years ago: your daily demon: Alloces, Mobil Armoured Strike Kommand, more links to revisit, the death of John Lennon (1980) plus the third emblem of the Red Cross

four years ago: more links worth visiting

Tuesday 28 November 2023

the battle of versailles (11. 145)

Similar to the surprise coup of this other culture rafinรฉe, high stakes challenge from earlier in the same year, the historic fashion show held on this day in 1973 at the famous venue in order to raise funds for its restoration. Organised by the museum and government forum’s curator, the event pitted French designers, Yves Saint Laurent, Pierre Carin, Marc Bolen and others against Americans Bill Blass, Anne Klein, Halston and Oscar de la Renta before an invited audience that consisted of artists and celebrities like Andy Warhol, Princess Grace, Marie-Hรฉlรจne de Rothschild, Jane Birkin, Liza Minnelli and Josรฉphine Baker (the last two performing for their respective sides). The show was legendary (more here) and the mostly French spectators were stunned with the American designs and models, a new benchmark set for representation with eleven Black women on the catwalk and shifting the industry in a way that brought respect and legitimacy for the US contribution and the palace which had seen better days was rebuilt.


one year ago: Christopher Isherwood’s I am a Camera plus Word of the Year: Gaslight

two years ago: the duet from Dirty DancingAdvent season plus some COVID comic-relief

three years ago: your daily demon: Furcas, Trump at the kiddie-table, assorted links to revisit plus the Great Bed of Ware

four years ago: a visit to a local museum plus a Thanksgiving pageant

five years ago: barely maps plus a proposed change to the UN Security Council

Monday 13 November 2023

folly cove collective (11. 119)

Under the tutelage of Virginia Lee Burton Demetrios, the all-women’s group in a Massachusetts community from the 1940s to the late 1960s cultivated the art of block-printed fabric patterns informed by their personal experiences and narratives (see also—too bad there was nothing truly subversive like a housewife’s vengeance represented but maybe there were subtle acts of rebellion in themselves), from home economics, local, vernacular architecture and family outings. Click through the link above for more on this community of printmakers.

Friday 27 October 2023

the black gold tapestry (11. 079)

Via the always excellent Web Curios, we are directed to the outstanding hand embroidered sixty-seven metre (two hundred-twenty foot) chronology—in the style of the Bayeux Tapestry (see previously)—from artist Sandra Sawatzy that documents the saga of the discovery of petroleum products, all edged with dinosaurs, and its attendant societal and environmental change through the millennia to the present. Be sure to visit Sawatzy’s accompanying blog on their creative process, main characters in these global shifts and exhibitions.

Monday 16 October 2023

electric boots, a mohair suit (11. 061)

Vis-a-vis this expo coverage from Adobe that included this animated, chameleon dress called Project Primrose as well as a host of other prototype features previewed from the sandbox like a translator that automatically dubs and lip-syncs one’s speech in other languages and posable figures for generative tableaux, we quite enjoyed this look back to the mid-1960s at the dynamic fabrics of engineer, fashion model, wardrobe artist for Joan Baez, and e-textile pioneer Diana Dew. Her miniaturised power source was eventually acquired by the US military for further research applications. Much more from Weird Universe including an appraisal of one of Dew’s dressess on Antiques Roadshow at the links above.


one year ago: assorted links to revisit plus the revival of Brigadoon

two years ago: St Gall, distilling writing down to its punctuation,  a mushroom atlas plus more links to enjoy

three years ago: Valerie and Her Week of Wonders (1970) plus more studies of the human face and emotional expression

four years ago: consequential pieces of code

five years ago: airfields from aboverestoring Nightwatch, John Paul II chosen as pope (1978) plus recruiting for jobs in the Iraqi government

Sunday 17 September 2023

7x7 (11. 007)

spiral town: AI artistry with geometric patterned medieval villages captivate the internet—via Waxy 

the fabric of civilisation: the fascinating history of sericulture—see previously here and here  

๐Ÿซ : an informal survey reveals men think about Ancient Rome daily, sometimes to the surprise of their partners 

magic screen: a look at the creative crew behind Pee-wee’s Playhouse 

lennon 2499: hunting down the artist’s famous wristwatch—via Nag on the Lake’s Sunday Links (lots more to check out there)  

hal mooney and his orchestra: ballet standards as lounge music  

everyday yลkai: AI generated Japanese folklore figures hiding in plain sight—see previously

Saturday 9 September 2023

tirazain (10. 992)

Via Clive Thompson’s Linkfest (happily back after a short hiatus), we learn about the traditional form embroidery practiced in Palestine and the efforts to preserve, promote and catalogue the neglected and endangered craftwork used to decorate dress, curtains and bedding. Called tatreez (ุชุทุฑูŠุฒ), with instructions included on how to create these cross-stitch designs, the formerly unstudied occupation is no recognised as more than a pastime but a form of biography (see also) for those marginalised and had no other medium for expressing and transmitting their ambitions and skills. Much more at the links above.

Sunday 16 July 2023

esprit d’corps (10. 887)

While problematically exclusively white and male with militaristic overtones, we enjoyed looking through this workwear catalogue in a classic instalment of the Daily Heller from the George Master Garment Corporation dated 1951—reflective of the post-war ideal of reintegrating soldiers into the civilian workforce. Whilst perhaps not as finely tailored and mass-produced, many trades in Germany still keep to a professional uniform (not to say it hasn’t become more relaxed and informal here too) provided by the company or guild, especially for manufacturing and construction, usually in the form of a monogrammed jumpsuit.  More from Print magazine at the link above.


one year ago: the flag of Estonia plus assorted links worth revisiting

two years ago: Askersund, Sweden and adventures in Vรคrmland

three years ago: Disney’s pandemic reopening plus more links to revisit 

four years ago: a celebration of usual holidays, the Space Race was meant to be a call for international cooperation plus farewell to an iconic sign

five years agoBreakthrough Starshot, Trump and Putin meet plus the TV advertisements of David Lynch

Friday 23 June 2023

8x8 (10. 828)

never change: a gallery of US high school annuals from the 70s and 80s—via Web Curios 

oceangate: executive piloting the submersible tourist vessel on its fateful descent has a familial connect to those who went down with the Titanic—more here  

mechanical turk: many of the human tasked to train AI are recursively outsourcing their work to AIs—see more, see also

reform club: the advent and eventual demise of Bellamy’s Refreshment Rooms that catered to Parliament’s schedule—see also—via Strange Company  

rocket lab: a visit to Norton Space Props, a junkyard full of salvage and surplus items from the Space Race 

scene together: the 70s craze of his and hers matching fashions—via Damn Interesting’s Curated Links  

atoms for peace: a tour of the nuclear-powered cruise ship, the NS Savanna—see previously  

katakana: the vintage signage of shops and restaurants in Japan captured as digital fonts—also via Web Curios


one year ago: My Sharona (1979), Logan’s Run (1976) plus the Sterling Area (1931)

two years ago: sustenance from CO2 plus St John’s Eve

three years ago: assorted links to revisit, satisdiction plus another most favoured word, acnestis