Sunday, 29 January 2023

zero my hero (10. 507)

Turning fifty this month with its debut as a series with Multiplication Rock with songs written and performed by Bob Dorough going through the tables—see also—the interstitial animated educational shorts Schoolhouse Rock! was a staple of American Saturday morning cartoon programming, originally running through 1984. The original concept was suggested by an advertising executive of the influential firm McCaffrey and McCall’s that his young son was—despite being able to memorise the lyrics of Rolling Stones songs—struggling to rote lessons, resulting in the pre-canon “Three is a Magic Number” in 1971 before pursuing the project further. One of three between programming segments along with Time for Timer (“A Hankering for a Hunk of Cheese”) and the Bod Squad (“The Munchies,” “Don’t Drown Your Food”) and was followed by a second series, Grammar Rock, and for the US bicentennial in 1976, America Rock, culminating in the final run of Scooter Computer and Mister Chips.

Friday, 27 January 2023

and the girl in the corner is everyone’s mourner—she could kill you with a wink of the eye (10. 502)

Inspired by a unruly audience driving the band off the stage on this day in 1973 whilst performing in Kilmarnoc at the Grand Hall of the Palace Theatre—the booing and bottling ensuing perhaps the British glam rock group didn’t fit in with the rest of the line up—The Sweet would go on to release in September one of their biggest hits narrating the tense moments before their exuent. The Ballroom Blitz has been covered numerous times and featured in the soundtrack of several films including Wayne’s World.

paris peace accords (10. 500)

Negotiations finalised between Lรช ฤแปฉc Thแป and Henry Kissinger on 24 January and nearly derailed the day before by the Battle of Cแปญa Viแป‡t, the treaty officially known as the Agreement of Ending the War and Restoring Peace in Viet Nam (Hiแป‡p ฤ‘แป‹nh vแป chแบฅm dแปฉt chiแบฟn tranh, lแบญp lแบกi hรฒa bรฌnh แปŸ Viแป‡t Nam) was signed on this day in 1973 at the Hรดtel Majestic on Avenue Klรฉber in the XVIe arrondissement by representatives of the governments of the United States, the Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam), the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam) and the Republic of South Vietnam (the Provisional Revolutionary Government, representing South Vietnamese communists). All US and allied forces agreed to complete withdrawal in exchange for the release of prisoners-of-war, with all parties acceding to an immediate cease-fire, the establishment of council of national reconciliation, a peaceful reunification free of foreign interference, withdrawal of foreign troops from Cambodia and Laos and financial aid from the US for war-ravaged Indochina. Despite also securing a commitment from America to replace materiel and armaments on a one-by-one basis, congressional support for further appropriations evaporated and lapsing during the Watergate scandal, North Vietnam made their final offensive operations in April of 1975, precipitating the fall of Saigon and the capitulation of the Republic of Vietnam.

Sunday, 22 January 2023

410 u.s. 113 (10. 487)

On this day in 1973, overturning bans by individual state jurisdictions during the first three months of pregnancy on a woman’s right to reproductive autonomy, the US Supreme Court under the leadership of Warren Burger, in a seven to two vote, rendered its verdict on Roe v Wade, with the prevailing argument that such restrictions deprive women of liberties absent recourse to due process. For nearly a half century afterwards, there legal challenges and modifications that arose with the divide between anti-abortion and pro-choice factions until the court of Chief Justice John Roberts overruled settled law by hearing the case of Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organisation.

Wednesday, 18 January 2023

dglflf (10. 478)

A unit of the Ministry of Culture and Communications and successor to the “High Committee of the French Language” which was established on this day in 1973 by the government of Charles de Gaulle to find authentically French substitutes for some three hundred and fifty creeping Anglicisms, la Dรฉlรฉgation gรฉnรฉrale ร  la langue franรงaise et aux langues de France, essential is a continuation of that original mission and charge, though now importantly acknowledging a plurality of languages of the country—see also here and here. Five decades ago, changes included dropping flashback for retrospectif, palmarรจs for charts or hit parade and navire citene for tanker.

Thursday, 10 November 2022

silent movies, talking pictures (10. 289)

With the above working-title released just over a month earlier, Elton John’s seventh studio album on this day in 1973 climbed to the top of US record charts, holding the number one spot for eight weeks. Widely considered to be the artist’s magnum opus, the seventeen tracks include the eponymous tune (below) as well as “Candle in the Wind,” “Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting,” and “Benny and the Jets” and was recorded at the studios of Chรขteau d’Hรฉrouville, the setting inspiring the band to add more songs and to release the work as a double album (LP).

Sunday, 10 April 2022

7x7

improper fraction arena: Via friend of the blog Nag on the Lake’s superb Sunday Links and the depths of Wikipedia comes a list of articles submitted and ultimately rejected by dint of insanity  

possible to express in words: a useful term with a surprisingly sparse corpora 

reprise: another look at Davie Bowie’s 1973 The 1980 Floor Show through some raw footage—see previously 

a moveable feast: a look at the mode, median and mean dates for Easter and the method of computus  

a kitty bobo show: Kevin Kaliher’s pilot that went ungreen-lit in favour of Kids Next Door  

micromachines: researchers developing tiny molecular motors that could be deployed en masse to suck carbon from the air, supplement our own organs—via Slashdot  

did you know: from the depths to the Main Page

Monday, 7 March 2022

c/1973 e1

Sighted on this day in 1973 by namesake astronomer Luboลก Kohoutek the approaching comet was hailed by the media as the “Comet of the Century,” and rather unfairly when the Kuiper-belt object that only visits every seventy-five thousand years failed to live up to the hype and expectations became a metonym for a colossal let-down—a sort of Al Capone’s vault for the decade though the discoverer made may other contributions to astronomy in the form of minor planets and nebulae, and even rejected by a doomsday cult when it appeared as barely visible in the night sky. In rapt anticipation and in response to the subsequent underwhelming estimation the comet was the subject of several musicians and artists including a story arc in Peanuts, an R.E.M. ballad, a Burl Ives’ number, a Sun Ra concert and the below Kraftwerk song, Kometenmelodie:

Thursday, 17 February 2022

chess ‘72

Via Weird Universe we are treated to this over-the-top piece of presidential memorabilia touted as the invitation to invest in America history through art in this rather ghoulish game board commemorating the year in politics with Republicans versus Democrats and portraying personages (by internationally famous sculptor Alexander Silveri for the low price of $32.45) such as Richard Nixon, Spiro Agnew, Henry Kissinger (as Queen) pitted against Hubert Humphrey, George McGovern, Edward Kennedy and Sam Yorty. There was a second version released the following year dedicated to the Watergate scandal. More at the link up top.

Saturday, 12 February 2022

bib

Founded on this day in 1973 under the executive agencies of the West German Federal Ministry of the Interior (with this boss door which we can all appreciate) in Wiesbaden, the Institute for Population Research (Bundesinstitut fรผr Bevรถlkerrungsforschung) was originally charged with investigating perceived declining fertility rates in the country but has since taken on more enlightened and enlightening studies, working closely with Destatis (see previously here and here), in demographics including longevity, migration and economic mobility.

Thursday, 6 January 2022

soylent green is people!

With the environment ravaged by dead oceans, pollution, poverty and scarcity, the 1973 film with Charlton Heston, Joseph Cotten based on Make Room! Make Room! the science-fiction novel on resource-hoarding and over-population by Harry Harrison is set in the milieu of 2022. The titular foodstuff is reportedly harvested from plankton and in short-supply due to popularity. During investigations, however, it is determined that the seas are no longer viable and the protein is sourced to human remains gathered during protests by “scoops” and state-sanctioned euthanasia.

Sunday, 2 January 2022

7x7

2020—too…: the moment it hits you 

the colours of motion: spectral analysis of contemporary film classics  

the timekeepers of eternity: a printed, pagination interpretation of Steven King’s novella The Langoliers  

forefather time: on the trial of the masqueraded, marauding Jukace that herald the New Year for one Polish city  

visual vernacular: Jayme Odgers—one of the montage artists behind California’s New Wave aesthetic, creates a legacy repository of his works 

ham and banana hollandaise: a cursed collection of dishes from McCall’s Great American Recipe Card Collection 

those we’ve lost: a more comprehensive compilation of celebrity obituaries from the past year from Bob Canada’s Blogworld

Saturday, 1 January 2022

space music

Begun a decade earlier as a three-hour-long radio programme featuring contemplative, ambient music with a selection of classical, Celtic, electronic and experimental genres airing late nights in the Berkley-area hosted by “Timotheo” (Stephen Hill) and “Annamystic” (Anna Turner), Hearts of Space entered syndication of National Public Radio on this day in 1983 and is still going strong, with over thirteen hundred transmissions (episodes) in their archives. The longest-running show of its type, each instalment signs-off with “Safe journeys, space fans—wherever you are.”

Sunday, 21 November 2021

8x8

turnspit: eccentric, utilitarian canine breeds that have passed out of fashion but could be revived—via Nag on the Lake’s Sunday Links (lots more to see there) 

ball-and-chain: this leashless ankle weight system to control one’s toddler will only make baby invincible—via Super Punch  

miss spirit world 1960: a pageant sourced in spectral photography of the departed  

something—that if true, you couldn’t handle it: a close reading of the recently indicted QANon Shaman’s manifesto  

on รฉcrit aussi ielle: the authoritative French language Petit Robert adds a third, gender-neutral personal pronoun—a concatenation of the masculine and feminine forms (see also)  

the midnight special: eight hours of footage from David Bowie’s television programme the “The 1980 Floor Show,” an episode guest-curated by the artist  

hocus-pocus: the hidden overhauls happening the faรงades of Russian construction sites (see also)  

yes, this is dog: a video phone that allows apartment-bound dogs to call their humans

Wednesday, 20 October 2021

bennelong point

Occupying the titular headland, known as Tubowgule by the indigenous Gadigal people, the Sydney Opera House on the harbor, originally designed by Jรธrn Utzon, and considered one of the more distinguishing structures and venues of the past century, had its official grand opening on this day in 1973. Under construction since 1959, the formal ceremony was conducted by Queen Elizabeth II before a large crowd with the inaugural orchestral performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Ode to Joy. Of note, the first actual musical number took place in 1960 when baritone Paul Robeson regaled the construction crew from the stage during their lunch break with one of his signature tunes, “Old Man River.”

Monday, 4 October 2021

the final programme

Adapted from the eponymous Michael Moorcock novel and premiering in UK cinemas on this day in 1973, the Robert Fuest sci-fi, action production (thanks to the introduction from The Flop House), the plot centring around the quest for post-humanism beings—perfect and self-propagating—is a post-modern Prometheus story that shares a lot of energy and aesthetics with the roughly contemporary Abominable Doctor Phibes. Bent on carrying out the taboo and contro-versial plan of a recently deceased mad scientist and bring human kind into a new age and out of an existence condemned to near post-apocalyptic wasteland, Miss Brunner—a sado-masochistic techno-magician—instigates the epiphanical sequence, causing her to merge with the protagonist, a suave playboy physicist and son of the man scientist called Jerry Cornelius and dispatching with the henchman named Dmitri who had helped bring their plot to fruition—briefly manifesting as some sort of messianic figure to herald a new age before devolving into a caveman (see also). The creature, as it escapes the secret lair, observes that it is indeed “a very tasty world.”

Wednesday, 15 September 2021

yesteryear

First broadcast on this day in 1973 in most markets as Season 1, Episode 2 of Star Trek: The Animated Series—with the exception being Los Angles where George Takei was running for public office and this programme which did not feature his voice-acting was substituted so as not to run afoul of equal-air-time clauses—this classic was authored by D. C. Fontana and for its elegant handling of fractured time-lines is considered among the best episodes of the series. Captain Kirk and First Officer Spock return to the Enterprise after conducting a series of time travel excursions with only to find that they have somehow altered the past where Spock never joins the crew and must repair the time-line.

Wednesday, 18 August 2021

little twelvetoes

Having considered myself pretty familiar with the entire Schoolhouse Rock! catalogue (see previously here and here) and enjoying them as a kid, I was taken aback to be introduced to this segment that not only teaches one the twelves multiplication table but also about the duodecimal system and other bases—plus acceptance of actual polydactyly. Including My Hero, Zero and Three is a Magic Number, Bob Dorough performed and produced a dozen (the number one not given an episode) maths shorts during the course of 1973.

Friday, 11 June 2021

6x6

lp: an over-sized mural of well-used record sleeves adorns a corner of a Reno brewery


it’s impolite to point
: helpfully finding one’s cursor with an array of candid photos—via Things Magazine

kokedama: an installation of a floating forest (ๆ นๆด—ใ„, root wash—no pot) by Nomad Studio 

zeckenalarm: Ze Frank (previously) delivers true facts on the dangerous little tick 

the amusement park: a long-lost 1973 public service announcement from Dawn of the Dead creator George Romero about the nightmare of ageing in America  

bierdeckel: various graphic designers create coasters capturing historic moments from the UEFA European Football Championship

Wednesday, 19 May 2021

so mama don’t take my kodachrome away

Eventually making it to the number two place on the US charts but not ranked in the UK as the BBC refused airplay for the trademarked name, the lead single, released on this day in 1973, from his third studio album There Goes Rhymin’ Simon, the song was originally to be called “Goin’ Home” and was critically praised for its upbeat and cheery (exaggerated, over-saturated colours akin to filters and face-tuning) anti-social lyrics.