Sunday, 18 September 2022

san giuseppe da copertino (10. 145)

Patron of the town in Apulia and we suppose by extension, Apple headquarters in California, as well aviators and astronauts, Joseph of Cupertino, fรชted on this day on the occasion of his death in 1663 (*1603), was considered to be rather a dullard but was given to bouts of ecstatic visions and levitation. After years working as a stableboy at a Franciscan friary in his hometown and demonstrating his devotion and work ethic, the brothers who had previously rejected Joseph due to his lack of education admitted him into the Order. After taking his vows, Joseph’s visions increased significantly to the point where his floating (which may have been a demonstration of gymnastic skills rather or ergot-poisoning actual levitation) about during Mass became quite disruptive and lest his miraculous powers be taken for witchcraft, Joseph was confined to a small cell and ordered to avoid the public. Joseph lived a life of quiet aestheticism after briefly being quite a showman and a draw for the next thirty-five years before being readmitted back in as a part of worship services shortly before expiring.

Friday, 12 August 2022

7x7 (10. 055)

zone improvement plan: the Swinging Six ensemble sing the praises of the ZIP code (1967)—see also  

unsealed warrant: FBI recovered multiple boxes of top secret and classified documents from the Trump residence during Monday’s search  

coo-coo for cookie crisp: recreating vintage breakfast cereal with machine learning—see previously  

mulder & scully: full script of an unmade episode of the X-Files—via Super Punch  

that old black magic that you weave so well: Clavis Inferni (The Key of Hell), an illustrated spell book from 1775 

retrofit: more on the noir aesthetic (more here and here) of vintage automobiles converted in electric vehicles 

 like & subscribe: the long and short history of the newsletter—both print and digital

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

Saturday, 9 April 2022

saponification

Accomplished French chemist and professional skeptic whose research and work had a immense influence in several disciplines of science, mathematics and the arts as well as helping to establish the field of gerontology with himself a subject of study, Michel Eugรจne Chevreul (*1786) passed away on this day in 1889 in Paris, aged 102. Revolutionary work with vegetable oils and animal fats fundamentally changed the manufacture and availability of soap and candles—incidentally leading to an understanding of the pathology and treatment of diabetes. Having first honed his acumen as chemist in a dye and pigment manufacturing plant, Chevreul expounded several volumes regarding the theory of colours and their compliments which particularly informed Impressionist and Pointillist styles, after his career with oleic experimentation, he set his focus on disenchanting, disabusing the public of popular charlatanism and mysticism and raging against seances and table-turning, giving one of the first explanations of the ideomotor effect for mediums and dowsers. Having lived through the French Revolution, Chevreul was one of the seventy-two scientists and engineers commemorated on the first balcony of the Eiffel Tower and was only one of two honorees alive to see the Tricolour raised at the top of the structure.

Friday, 4 March 2022

pontypridd

Born this day in 1800 in Caerphilly, courtesy of Weird Universe, we learn about the singular figure of William Price (†1893), physician, Druid priest, vegetarian, marriage and organised religion contrarian and champagne enthusiast—would that we could stop with those epithets and skip nationalist and anti-vaxxer. Often seen donning an elaborate headdress of fox pelts, long hair and beard and emerald green onesie with incantations—or alternately stalk naked on his daily constitutional through the countryside, Price’s legacy includes the legalisation of cremation in Great Britain, previously against custom, when sadly his infant son, Iesu Grist—Welsh for Jesus Christ Price, died suddenly and Price burned his body on a pyre in accordance with Druidic traditions. Arrested for the unlawful disposal of a corpse, Price was however able to successfully plead his defence in court, leading to the passage of UK Cremation Act of 1902 and the establishment of crematoria throughout the country. Aged eighty-two, Price fathered a second son—also named Jesus (plus a daughter two years later called Penelopen) at which time he made detailed arrangements for the disposition of his estate and death, a funeral pyre a decade later attended by twenty-thousand mourners.

Friday, 11 February 2022

summa theologica

Via the weekly anthology of Web Curios, we get this nice appreciation and reminder that the resources underpinning the Internet are not self-sustaining artefacts but require care and maintenance—even if only for academic pursuits and no aspirations for virality or attempt to monetise or capitalise on the scholarship of its subject matter as the Non-Fungible Testament—in revisiting the venerable repository the Internet Sacred Text Archive, which for twenty-three years has weathered all sort of trends and beaten back the spectre of the Digital Dark Ages to curate and present foundational texts in comparative religious and folklore traditions.

Saturday, 5 February 2022

8x8

eye-in-the-sky: a collection of superlative drone photography 

gravitational lensing: tentatively, astronomers find evidence of the first rogue, marauding black hole over a backdrop of nebular clouds 

wheel of fortune: Wordle but with common quotations and idioms—via Memo of the Air

para||el: a short film about divergent realities by Mรฉnilmonde  

building & loan: more on the economics of gift-cards—see also  

staying toasty: bread hats and loafers, see also  

three little words: what3words (see previously) solves some problems for vehicle guidance and navigation, causes others—via Duck Soup  

to open every kind of lock: burglars’ spells and incantations 

scotus: a former law clerk writes the Wikipedia articles on Biden’s prospective nominees to the US Supreme Court in order to insert doubt and skepticism, via Super Punch  

bird’s eye view: a parrot in New Zealand pilfers a family’s Go-Pro and films some nice scenery

Friday, 4 February 2022

traho fatis

The Latin motto—drawn by fate—echoes through this intriguing Renaissance tarot deck called Sola Busca, limned with an anachronistic marshalling of ancient heroes, medieval bestiaries and then contemporary weapons and armour. Housed presently in a museum in Milan and the earliest known deck to illustrate the complete suites of the major and minor arcana—probably engraved in Ferrara in 1491 and later hand-coloured in Venice—the allegory of iconography informs later iterations, including the familiar Smith-Waite design.  Nebuchadnezzar II, Gaius Marius, the uncle of Julius Caesar and several members of the Greek and Roman panthea.  Peruse the entire deck and learn more about the provenance at Public Domain Review at the link above.

Wednesday, 26 January 2022

7x7

reset: audiences of a hugely popular show in China about a video game programmer stuck in a time loop are upset about its positive ending  

orszรกgos kรฉktรบra: Hungary’s national long distance walking route (see also) from Irottkล‘ to the Austrian border 

the book of fate: an 1822 edition that appealed to contemporary British preoccupation with Ancient Egypt and Napoleon  

we only remember ‘long polio’: contemplating the lingering, debilitating effect of severe cases  

boharat cairo: a foundry explores the possibilities of Arabic script expression 

 encanto: we need to talk about Bruno  

where is my mind: an edit of problematic fav Fight Club available for streaming in China follows some different rules

Thursday, 13 January 2022

and then there were three

Courtesy of our faithful chronicler, we are reminded that not only on an episode first broadcast on this day in 1966, did Samantha give birth to baby Tabitha, it was the first appearance of the erstwhile foil though sympathetic to her relative’s mixed-marriage, cousin Serena. That same fifth season was when Darrin was replaced without explanation. Based on Elizibeth Montgomery’s own cousin “Panda,” the character was credited as “Pandora Spocks” (as in the baby doctor) in the show’s outro sequence.

Saturday, 4 December 2021

week-by-week

In what’s become an annual treat, Tom Whitwell again shares fifty-two items he has gleaned from the past year. In the compilation, drawn from experiencing editing projects for Fluxx / Medium, Whitwell’s shared new facts learned include that daily over a million images of coffee grinds are uploaded to a fortune reading app (the process of divination called tasseomancy), advice on how to solicit better answers, the MSG hoax, the truth behind the mystery seeds from China hysteria, and a few we’ve previously covered like how cowpox vaccine was transported around the world, traditional Japanese microseasons, how film was formulated to privilege lighter complexions, and how the threshhold effect applies even to a doorway on screen. Many more astonishing correlations at the links above—do let us know your favourites.

Sunday, 31 October 2021

7x7: happy halloween edition

robert the doll: Key West’s most cursed object—see also—via Nag on the Lake’s Sunday Links (lots more to see here)  

zombie jamboree: Harry Belafonte’s actual ghoulish calypso number—notwithstanding the associations with the Banana Boat Song 

la calavera catrina: a sugar skull puppet presents a primer on Dรญa de los Muertos  

westsonality: enjoy Paul Lynde’s 1976 Halloween Special with a cavalcade of guest stars  

respect the sabbath: periodic movements in the US to hold no Halloween on Sundays  

main title theme: the score for John Carpenter’s classic horror film Halloween 

lovecraft country: welcome to my metaverse—see previously

Friday, 29 October 2021

season of the witch

Coincidentally on this day in 1390 the first tribunal within the jurisdiction of the court of Paris was held also saw across the centuries and continents the dissolution of the Court of Oyer and Terminer in 1692—a standing commission (charged to “hear and determine”) with a judge of assize first convened in May of the same year to adjudicate cases in the Salem Witch Trials in colonial Massachusetts, authorities displeased with their conduct and proceedings. During that later five month period, two hundred were accused and nineteen condemned to capital punishment, hanged by the neck until dead. The former, after fourteen months of deliberation and sentencing led to the execution of soothsayer Jeanne de Brigue, whom was allegedly able to summon the demon Haussibut and with his aid find lost objects and catch thieves—which sounds like more of a public service than a crime.

Thursday, 28 October 2021

your daily demon: shax

Our forty-fourth spirit governing from today through the first of November is a grand marquis ruling over thirty legion of mounted subordinates and presents as a stork or stock dove. A notorious liar, unless compelled by his summoner with the sign of his sigil to be called to the floor within a magic triangle, Shax’ powers including depriving the senses and understanding of any person upon the request of the exorcist as well as liberating loot not under the charm of another evil spirit. An avowed horse thief as well, Shax is countered by the guardian angel called Yelahiah.

Friday, 15 October 2021

8x8

day-walker: monster lore invented by Hollywood—via Miss Cellania’s links 

tastes like pencil-shavings and heartbreak: niche Chicago liquor Jeppson’s Malรถrt  

vermithrax pejorative: dress up as Galen (Peter McNicol) from Dragonslayer plus other obscure, vintage costumes—via Super Punch  

modelleisenbahn: real-time model railroading with Hamburg’s transit system—via Maps Mania 

hedge rider: an etymological celebration of wizards, witches, warlocks and more 

๐Ÿ•‰: chanting, harmonised breathing and parasyphonic sounds  

mundane outfits: revisiting a tradition of dressing as highly specific yet relatable, everyday, social faux pas—an unfancy dress ball held in Japan and Taiwan 

the calls are coming from inside the building: a lampoon of the haunted house film trope

Wednesday, 13 October 2021

your daily demon: focalor

Our forty-first spirit, governing from today through 17 October is an infernal grand duke presenting as a human with griffon wings. Though consenting and docile under the command of a skilled exorcist and can be bid to do no harm, Focalor has violent tendencies and will overturn ships at sea and drown those aboard. The demon commanding three legion has influence over the wind and waves and is countered by the guardian angel Hahael. His name an anagram of the Lucifuge Rofocale suggests an intellectual affinity with the archdemon, and is among those holding to the deluded belief that they will retake the kingdom of Heaven after a thousand years’ exile.

Friday, 8 October 2021

your daily demon: raum

Governing from today through 12 October, this fortieth spirit and infernal earl presents at first as another familiar with corvid-like characteristics. True to the German sense of his name, rรคumen—to empty, evacuate—he pilfers the houses of the rich and powerful with prejudice for dignities as well as engendering love and reconciliation. Others trace his origins to the identification with the Egyptian deity Khnum, the ram-headed god who crafts the bodies of people out of Nile clay before they’re born. Also known as Raim or Raym, he controls thirty legion and is opposed by the guardian angel Yaytzael.

Thursday, 23 September 2021

your daily demon: phenex

Our thirty-seventh spirit who governs the first degrees of the House of Libra, from today through 27 September, presents just as the mythological raptor that symbolises the cycle of rebirth and renewal but is deluded in the belief as shared by a few of his compatriots that they will be restored to the throne of Heaven in twelve-hundred years.
Obedient to the exorcist who bears his sigil, this grand marquis will faithfully dispense knowledge relating to the sciences and excels at poetry. Controlling twenty legions, Phexen is opposed by the guardian angel Aniel, one of the seventy-two corresponding supernatural beings encrypted in the Sigillum Dei, a sixteenth century magical diagram by occultist and advisor to Queen Elizabeth I John Dee that gave the initiated and enlightened influence of divine creatures—at least the godly kind that is.

Wednesday, 22 September 2021

7x7

ppe: an enigmatic update to COVID guidelines 

i don’t want to live on this planet anymore: a supercut of Futurama gags that have endured  

norm macdonald has a show: an appreciation of the comedian’s (†) early standup  

ernie and the emperors: a Giant Crab discography (1969) 

grandmaster: the mental and physical tolls of chess  

appareil: gorgeous French brick patterns from a 1878 catalogue 

 tireless research: Ruben Bolling showcases great scientists of the twenty-first century

Thursday, 2 September 2021

your daily demon: gaap

Our thirty-third spirit is an infernal prince who governs from today through 7 September and controls sixty-six legions. Gaap’s office is to teach philosophy and the liberal arts, can engender romance, transport people around the world on his back, steal away familiars from competing exorcists and impart knowledge regarding medical care. Formerly of the angelic order post postestates, Potentates, Gaap is the cardinal spirit of the south and opposed by the ShemHamphorash guardian angel Ieuiah.