Saturday 10 February 2024

7x7 (11. 338)

caught between the moon and new york city: taking a harrowing subway ride in 1981  

homing: Nikola Tesla’s love for pigeons and telepathy—via Strange Company 

 : more on the interrobang—see previously  

stringe-watching: the opposite of binging a series to indulge in the experience  

hash mark: the works of artist Ding Yi coinage: TikTok has seen an (irritating) explosion in linguistic novelties to promote niche microtrends—via Miss Cellania  

in the aeroplane over the seas: Neutral Milk Hotel covers for the album’s anniversary 

castro street: Bruce Baillie films Riverside, California in 1966

synchronoptica 

one year ago: assorted links to revisit, Tapestry (1971) plus a pioneering hypertext novel

two years ago: the Dread Pirate Roberts plus a geographical challenge

three years ago: the Simpsons’ intro, the feast of St Scholastica, vernacular ceramics, no fly free zones plus profiting from conspiracy

four years ago: more Orange Menace

five years ago: more links to enjoy

Friday 26 January 2024

12x12 (11. 294)

brownstone: Gotham Gothic rowhouses as playing cards  

wall of eyes: Radiohead spinoff artist Jonny Greenwood’s latest album 

scrabblegram: a form of constrained writing using all one hundred tiles of the game  

blackula: a look at the brave inversion of exploitation cinema  

research purposes: profiles in the pornographers of Wikimedia who image and caption—see also—human sexuality, via Web Curios  

parks & rec: a map of sites in the US funded by FDR’s New Deal programme—via Waxy 

best laptop 2024: readership, AI and the collapse of media outlets  

nullification: Texas governor, alleging the US federal government has failed to protect the country from an immigrant invasion, hints at secession  

the compaynys of beestys & fowlys: revisiting how animal groupings (see previously on the subject of venery) received such colourful names—via the morning news  

schluckbildchen: sixteenth century edible devotionals  

mixtape: Kim Gordon, formerly of Sonic Youth, raps her grocery list in new song Bye Bye 

ephemerama: a growing archive of modern illustrations from circa 1950 to 1975—via Things Magazine

synchronoptica

one year ago: more trompe l’oeil paintings, assorted links to revisit plus pie-chart studies

two years ago: morphing logos plus more links to enjoy

three years ago: zorbing, the Council of Trent (1545), Australia Day, more links worth the revisit plus Tubman on the twenty

four years ago: modular, prefab kiosks plus the first television demonstration (1926)

five years ago: the longest government shutdown in US history, architect Sir John Soane plus all the world’s writing systems

Sunday 21 January 2024

stochastic parrot (11. 284)

Despite having encountered and cited the extremely apt coinage several times in various contexts beforehand, we realised that we never knew the term’s etymology—the leading part’s anyways—as coming from the Ancient Greek for something determined at random or derived from guesswork (ฯƒฯ„ฯŒฯ‡ฮฟฯ‚—also a pillar to prop up a fishing net to mend it) from the office of the stokhastes attempting to predict an outcome by divination, later coming to mean a probabilistic conjecture or augury by allocation. Though a good word of caution against mimicry and anthropomorphising, it does perhaps underestimate the faculties and experience of our feathered friends. More from Language Log at the link above.

Monday 11 September 2023

glistening green (10. 996)

This photograph by Nicolas Reusens perfectly frames a male emerald tanager (the informal name above for the Chlorochrysa phoenicotis) won gold in the portrait category for the Bird Photograph of the Year (B-PoTY, previously) taken in its native habitat in a nature reserve in the tropical jungles of Ecuador. Selected from over twenty-thousand submissions, the overall winner among all the superlatives went to Jack Zhi for a dramatic act shot captured in southern California of a peregrine falcon defending her nest from a brown pelican. More at the links above including the annual contest’s conservation initiative.

Saturday 9 September 2023

7x7 (10. 991)

trochilinae: a look at the evolution of evolution of hummingbirds—see previously  

uranometria: a comparative study of constellations across cultures—via Web Curios  

portfolio: photographer James Mollison documents children’s rooms, collectors and their collections around the world plus other projects—via Things Magazine  

lightning 4-2: a record-setting speedrun of Super Mario Bros  

zero width non-joiner: let AI generate a custom emoji—note the cursed thumbs up/down icons—via Waxy

extended-stay: Plato’s Cave (previously) will be raising its rent—via JWZ  

halcyon days: a slow-motion look at the kingfisher’s dive 

synchronoptica

one year ago: Stone Temple Pilots plus the proclamation of King Charles III

two years ago: more on DC statehood, the Battle of Teutoberg Forest (9 AD), rewilding begins at home plus assorted links to revisit

three years ago: the establishment of Washington, DC (1791), the disputed Hans Island, a lighthouse transformed plus AI supervillains

four years ago: more on the moons of Jupiter 

five years ago: Trump threatens to remove US troops from Germany plus an expansive pattern library

 

Tuesday 11 July 2023

7x7 (10. 874)

fit for a king: a selection of ersatz castles for sale in the US 

caliology: corvids using anti-bird spikes for nesting material
100ยบ in the shade
: mapping tree shadows 

free agent: labour force of the outsourced talk about the effects of the AI revolution—via Waxy  

ravensbourne: finding the lost rivers of London—see previously  

involuntary memory: the aetiology of earworms 

cheese royal: Burger King in Thailand introduces a menu item composed of twenty slices of American cheese

Friday 16 June 2023

free-range (10. 811)

Via the always excellent Web Curios, we are referred to a genuinely clever idea, too bad it only ships from Australia, in basically an open frame hamster ball for fowl friends in this product called the Chicken Orb as we’ve been thinking about maybe adding one or more to the family—and we can’t really fence in the entire backyard and there are foxes on the prowl (but no dingos), though couldn’t say whether this would also afford protection.  The dog seems rather tame with the ducks and geese in the pond and could foresee this sort of enclosure working on at least that level too.  What do you think?  Should we give it a try?


Wednesday 7 June 2023

6x6 (10. 792)

extremadura: BBC Reel has more on the disappearance of the Tartessos civilisation—freighted with myth and legend—at the edge of the known world

uspto: strengthening the case for junk patents could severely stifle innovation in America—see also—via the new shelton wet/dry  

crowbox: an experimental platform for the autonomous education of corvids—see previously 

l’agence tous risques: the title them for the A-Team on French television had jaunty little lyrics—see also—via Super Punch 

know before you go: the Human Rights Campaign joining others in declaring a state of emergency and issuing travel warnings for LGBTQ+ people in the US  

pogostemon cablin: ancient vial of Roman perfume identified as patchouli oil

Sunday 28 May 2023

moonbird (10. 773)

Our gratitude to Fancy Notions for the re-introduction to the life and portfolio of animator John Hubley (with credit to his contributing creative partners and family members), who left Disney after Fantasia and the 1941 Animators’ Strike, dissatisfied with the direction the company was going, joined up with UPA, was investigated by the House Un-American Activities Committee and essentially blacklisted before starting an independent studio, Storyboard, through his Academy Awarding winning cartoon from 1959, that illustrated a secretly recorded discussion between his two sons (his wife Faith taping the imaginary adventure shared by Mark and Hampy). More to discover at the link above.

Saturday 8 April 2023

the egg war of the farallon islands (10. 660)

Regaling us with the strange tales of real and artificial scarcity and runaway inflation for the city of San Francisco flush with money owing to the Gold Rush (see previously) which seems like an apt allegory for modern San Francisco with the boom and bust of the native tech sector and the real estate market, Lit Hub contributor Lizzy Stark—via Strange Company—surveys the shortage of women and perishables through the price of eggs in California territory, the untenable fickleness of domesticated hens and turning to a seabird sanctuary for scavenging that dedicimated the local wild populations of auks, gulls and of pinnipeds from a rocky, treacherous outcropping in the bay. The cost of a dozen eggs in American markets today exacerbated by the tumultuous economy has nothing from back during the frontier days.

Sunday 2 April 2023

7x7 (10. 651)

spyvibe radio: The Man Called Flintstone and other cartoon-espionage crossovers  

hosanna, hin-nam: Palm Sunday from the donkey’s perspective—see previously  

made to order: a huge font specimen of a wide range of borders—see previously 

a1: a centenary of road numbering for the Ministry of Transportation 

rather fetching: canine portraits at London’s Wallace Collection  

sparkie williams: a very talkative budgie and other loquacious birds  

rabbit hole: new Kiefer Sutherland secret agent film channels vintage intelligence dramas

Wednesday 14 December 2022

6x6 (10. 384)

strife wins out: ๆˆฆ (ikusa, tatakau meaning war) is voted kanji of 2022—previously, see also—via Language Log  

dunston checks in: Poseidon’s Underworld reviews the 1996 comedic film starring Jason Alexander, Paul Reubens, Rupert Everett and Faye Dunaway  

hearth and home: more animated Yule Log loops—see previously—via Waxy 

twitterpated: a survey of possible dinosaur vocalisations  

mission highlights: arresting imagery from Artemis I—see also 

diwhy and regretsy: a collection of jargon and slang terms from the crafting community

Monday 5 December 2022

8x8 (10. 362)

under attended: when only two individuals show up to a new author’s reading, much of the establishment commiserates and share words of encouragement—via Super Punch 


giving face
: Poseidon’s Underworld takes a moment to reflect after a month’s sabbatical  

postcards of dead birds: more on strange Victorian Christmas greetings—see previous here and here  

monochrome: an AI tool to colourise black-and-white images—see previously 

government attic: Things Magazine reminds of us this great aggregator of FOIA logs—see previously 

the christmassy chord: a deconstruction of iconic holiday standards 

the tartarian empire: an introduction to a bizarre architectural conspiracy theory—via ibฤซdem  

rsvp: journalist was one of six attendees who showed up for an expensive Metaverse party hosted by the European Union

Tuesday 29 November 2022

up, up to the sky (10. 345)

Sharing the anniversary with many other sundry events of pith and circumstance, our faithful chronicler reports that on this day in 1975, the single from Silver Convention hit number one on on the Billboard Hot 100, holding the spot for three weeks before being unseated by CW McCall’s Convoy. Despite the paucity of lyrics (six words, which is an accomplishment in itself) owing to the fact that the German disco group didn’t speak so much English, it’s acknowledged to be the first avian themed song to reach the top of the charts, only followed by Prince’s When Dove Cry in 1984.

Friday 28 October 2022

ฮฌฯ€ฯ„ฮตฯฮฑ (10. 253)

On the south shore looking back over Souda Bay, there is an ancient settlement that enjoyed strategic importance from Minoan through Hellenistic times and to the modern day given the nearby Greek and NATO military bases, called Aptera—without feathers—owing to the legend that Hera, Queen of the Gods, convinced the Muses and the Sirens to a song contest, with the former sister-act handily beating the latter, the Sirens being so upset by losing that they rent their feathers a wings, dusting the ฮ›ฮตฯ…ฮบฮฌ ฮŒฯฮท (White Mountains) with them and plunged into the sea.

The archaeological remains of site mostly date to the Roman occupation and include a cistern and baths and an impressive amphitheater. Visiting on Oxi Day (ฮ•ฯ€ฮญฯ„ฮตฮนฮฟฯ‚ ฯ„ฮฟฯ… ฮŒฯ‡ฮน, the Anniversary of the ‘No’)—marking the date that Greece refused the ultimatum issued by Benito Mussolini and resistance to fascism during World War II, entry was free as well as the bit of history and the more contemporary couching. On same high plateau of Paliokastri, there was also the Kule (Castle) of Subashi with a view of the Ottoman Izzedin Fortress below.
In the area we also toured the monastery of St George (ฮœฮฟฮฝฮฑฯƒฯ„ฮฎฯฮน ฮ†ฮณฮนฮฟฯ‚ ฮ“ฮตฯŽฯฮณฮนฮฟฯ‚) outside of ฮ’ฮฌฮผฮฟฯ…ฯ‚ (Vamos) with tranquil small church and old olive presses that highlight pre-industrial extraction with millstones and frails, the round bags used for squeezing the pulp.
We got to sample some of their bread and olives afterwards.

Sunday 16 October 2022

7x7 (10. 229)

symphony of the birds: CBS Radio director Jim Fassett’s 1960 experimental arrangement  

home row: Google Japan develops a long, horizontal keyboard for messy desks—reminded us of the iPhone Taller that doubles a guitar  

benevolent dictator: a profile of President Kevin Baugh and his micronation of Molossia—via the New Shelton wet/dry  

kunstradfahren: a graceful bicycle ballet by a skilled practitioner of this 130 year old sport  

barcalounger: ten homes whose decor is tied together with classic Eames chairs—see previously

unreliable narrator: microbrews and hipster beer names  

peer-reviewed: birdsong helps alleviate human anxiety and paranoia

Saturday 10 September 2022

8x8 (10. 124)

the girl from ipanema: the Yahoo! GeoCities (previously) Midi project has gathered a collection of over one-hundred and fifty thousand chiptunes, via Web Curios  

summer island: a graphic horror novella that’s a collaboration between a story authored by a human and illustrations courtesy a machine 

bill-of-sale: receipts and letterhead of the Old East End  

null island: the imaginary location at the intersection of the Equator and Prime Meridian (see previously) that exists by necessity  

premium vector: a selection of 90s cursor effects (trails, rainbows) that can be incorporated into one’s website—via ibฤซdem  

trichromacy: fascinating etymologies of words for colours—via Damn Interesting’s Curated Links  

b-poty: avian photography of the year  

pattern recognition: more on mondegreens and misheard lyrics

Saturday 16 July 2022

7x7 (9. 999)

featherbase: a consortium of ornithologists join their collections and make them freely accessible on-line—via Web Curios 

cut-up technique: Artbreeder (previously) creates collages with your help—via Waxy 

harry and the hitman: Oklahoma man pleads self-defence, claiming potential assailant had summoned a Bigfoot to kill him  

deep scatter library: stellar cartography mapping a billion stars in the Milky Way  

culmen > columna > compagna colonnella > coronnel > colonel: explore etymologies with this interactive tool from the creators of Interlinear Books and Language Hat  

unsleeved: an exhibit on the art of the record cover and designer Alex Steinweiss 

trainspotting: an obsessive database of European rolling stock—also via Web Curios

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

Saturday 25 June 2022

8x8

morning chorus: a suspended hotel suite in Sรกpmi cladded with three-hundred fifty birdhouses 

meanwhile margaret atwood says hold my beer: teach and student, Aldous Huxley and George Orwell, spar over which dystopian vision is more plausible  

don’t say g*y: Disney introduces its first openly closeted cast of characters  

makeup and monobrow: a quick survey of the female eyebrow in art 

border and backsplash: the mosaic tile museum of Gifu—over ten-thousands exemplars, many rescued from buildings slated for demolition 

i had hoped that god would work one of his signature miracles and spare me from is also signature “horrible pain in childbirth” curse: the Virgin Mary reclaims her nativity narrative  

stonk-and-go: the US Securities and Exchange Commission weighs sweeping change to curtail meme-driven trades  

a doghouse for eddie: charmingly, Frank Lloyd Wright (previously) builds a home for a canine and his human companion