Saturday 23 March 2024

the noodle bar scene (11. 445)

The always excellent Language Hat brings up the topic of the auxiliary, cosmopolitan argot, Cityspeak, used in at the beginning of the film (and peppered throughout) in the exchange between Decker (Harrison Ford), the snack counter’s proprietor (Bob Okazaki) and later the undercover arresting officer Gaff (Edward James Olmos, credited with its invention to a large extent). The Blade Runner pretends not to understand this polyglot creole of German, Korean, Spanish, Japanese, Hungarian, Chinese and French but of course knows exactly what the dialogue is about. Monsieur, azonnal kรถvessen engem bitte! Whilst this 1982 vision of our contemporary present has not exactly come to pass linguistically, it is an interesting study in diglossia and language as a cultural indicator rather than purely, functionally communicative and what else the movie and novel got right about the future.

Thursday 14 March 2024

7x7 (11. 421)

triple word score: the undisputed champion of competitive Scrabble  

boyard cigarettes: unused geisha footage for an Offworld advertising campaign

statutory interpretation: a forthcoming book on the ideology of originalism and its malleability 

the apprehension engine: custom suspenseful sounds for horror movie incidental music—via Things Magazine  

penmanship: the resurgence of cursive—see previously  

raktajino: a supercut of Klingon coffee in Star Trek: DS-9  

game theory: selfishness and enlightened self-interest through the lens of novelist and philosopher Iris Murdoch

Monday 26 June 2023

8x8 (10. 836)

vers une architecture: architects on the centenary of Le Corbusier  

mall city: the 1983 NYU ethnograph of the culture—via Open Culture 

bladerunner 1929: with the help of AI, a trailer of the film in the style of Frtiz Lang’s Metropolis 

single fare zone: riotous 1960s Milwaukee metro passes 

for all intensive purposes: more eggcorns (previously) in English speech—featuring the linguist who coined the term 

push any key to begin: a brief history of splash screens and boot-up messages  

misinformation ouroboros: AI is ravaging the guardians of the Old Web and hindering innovation  

wonderful, wonderful copenhagen: the Danish city doubles as the seat of the UNESCO World Capital of Architecture 



one year ago: the Soviet calendar plus merfolk cosplay

two years ago: a twisting tower in Arles plus historic over the counter heroine as an alternative to opium (1896)

three years ago: assorted links to revisit, the first UPC barcode (1974) plus a rallying song from The Chicks

four years ago: Obergefell v Hodges (2015), assorted links to revisit,  a history of the mouse cursor, the Prosecco Hills content for UNESCO recognition, American military to return to Iceland plus the archaeology of Woodstock

five years ago: Kennedy visits Berlin (1963),  an ominous warning about artificial intelligence, assorted links to revisit plus the cathedral of Peter and Paul of Bristol

Saturday 31 December 2022

implants—those aren’t your memories, they’re someone else’s—they’re tyrell’s niece’s (10. 377)

Courtesy of Super Punch, we learn that the publisher of the 1985 video game for Commodore 64 and ZX Spectrum home computing systems loosely based on the 1982 film was unable to obtain a tie-in licensing deal and so declared that it was inspired by the Vangelis soundtrack instead—obliging players to listen to an unskippable opening sequence of two minutes of tinny, MIDI music. Gaming reviews were mostly unfavourable, calling it derivative of the hit adaption of Ghostbusters! from the year before.

Wednesday 9 February 2022


desert fox: play-through for a complex, WWII-themed board game, The Campaign for North Africa, that requires over fifteen hundred hours to complete  

hill house: a giant drying-box that preserves an Art Deco marvel by Charles Rennie Mackintosh—via Things Magazine 

the greatest thing since sliced bread: a satisfying video showing the steps in production in an industrial bakery in South Korea  

lightsaber flavour: alternative designations from young people that far surpass their proper names—via Miss Cellania’s Links 

rip: a celebration of the life and vision of Douglas Trumbull, special effects artist behind Silent Running, Close Encounters, 2001 and many others

multiple arcade machine emulator: after a quarter of a century, the MAME project is still releasing monthly new additions for home play—via Waxy  

ltee: the E. coli long-term evolution experiment has been running since 1988 and monitoring the mutations in twelve original strains over tens of thousands of generations

Saturday 9 October 2021


the boy on the bike: a trip down Golden Hill in Shaftesbury, Dorset with a beloved bread advert directed by Ridley Scott with music by Dvoล™รกk  

dedication—devotion, turning all the night time into the day: more on the hypothesis (see previously) that the Dire Straits song can improve any movie ending 

the hauntening: various AIs try their hand at spookifying, exorcising Victorian mansions—previously

outbreak: a timelapse of COVID-19 cases in the United States over the past eighteen months 

just the punctation: what text without words reveals to authors about their style—via Waxy  

abecedarium: a 1968 Alphabet (previously) of the Dada movement hosted by Hans Richter (caution, some rapid, flashing images) 

raลกรญnovo embankment: revitalised Prague riverfront features vaulted arches for cafes and gallery spaces

Sunday 6 June 2021

we here at weyland-yutani corporation would like to wish a happy pride month to all of our lgbtq+ colonists on lv-426

Via JWZ and ourselves just seeing the Y in the corporate logo for the first time, we are rather enjoying this show of corporate solidarity from villainous, fictitious companies including Umbrella Corporation, Tyrell and Cyberdyne Systems, makers of Skynet.  No official statements yet from their real world counterparts regarding Pride Month and often fleeting and hollow-ringing shows of support irrespective of however a person might identify themselves or whatever association is foisted on them.  

Friday 20 November 2020


vangelis: with ambient sounds and moments of dialogue interspersed, the soundtrack from Blade Runner is extended into a feature-length soundscape  

metaphorical portraits: deep and heartfelt images of table-scraps and toss-aways 

sessile by nature: a nice crafted series of time-lapse movies illustrate how houseplants move throughout the day—via Things Magzine  

adobe add-on: after the announcement that support for Flash Player will be discontinued, crippling huge swaths of the early web, the Internet Archive comes to the rescue again with a forever home to hundreds of files  

upton sinclair was an optimist: chicken processing plant executives place wagers on how many workers would get sick with COVID-19  

waiting in the wings: clear and present implications of delaying the trans—Dcccf Rex zzz. @#z@smaan anaNN—see also  

you deserve a break today: a detailed look at a bespoke Nintendo DS game created as a training tool for a fast food franchise—see also  

patch cord productions: the musical stylings of Moog maestro Mort Garson

Friday 11 September 2020

september 2020

Via Laughing Squid, here is more drone footage of the fiery orange skies—which many automated lenses and filters try to correct for to the frustration of those trying to urgently document and communicate the apocalypse—over San Francsico in a short clip set to the musical accompaniment of Hans Zimmer’s soundscape of Blade Runner: 2049. I wonder for how many more iterations that that dystopian sequel will be advanced—2099… Many more frightening images at the link up top, juxtaposed with this Los Angeles montage from earlier this summer.

Thursday 25 June 2020

commerce is our goal here at tyrrel—more human than human is our motto

On this day, as our faithful chronicler reports, among many other events of great pith and moment, and sharing the box office with John Carpenter’s remake of The Thing, Ridley Scott’s film opened in 1982.
Starring Sean Young, Edward James Olmos, Harrison Ford and Rutger Hauer with music by Vangelis, the initially polarising and underperforming film defined the genre of neo-noir and is loosely based on the Philip K. Dick novel, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?—the name for the bounty-hunters coming from a William S. Burrough’s story about a dystopian future (set in 2009) reliant on an underground network of healthcare.

Friday 24 January 2020

meet the neons

Samsung’s STAR Labs have created virtual beings, imbued with artificial and adversarial intelligence that behave convincingly like human beings and are poised to get even better once escaping the laboratory and confines of a consumer electronics exposition.
What do you think? An extension of the electronic personal assistant, a spokesperson (which may be a neon himself and does not realise it) explained that bots are being developed for a future wherein “humans are human and machines more humane” with the new companion especially suited for roles as bank tellers, news anchors, health care providers, financial consultants and lawyers.

Friday 1 November 2019

the future is now

Thursday 25 July 2019

tears in the rain

Veteran Dutch actor Rutger Hauer passed away at the age of seventy-five. Among numerous credits to his name over a career that spanned decades, his portrayal of rogue Replicant Roy Batty in 1982’s Blade Runner is probably his most iconic and memorable—especially so for the self-scripted soliloquy his character, cornered, delivered from a wet rooftop before powering down, the android (see also) aware of his imminent mortality built into his programming: “I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I’ve watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhรคuser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time like tears in the rain. Time... to die.” Batty expires (the film itself set in the year 2019) having just rescued the Special Agent Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) from a fall, hunting Batty down so he can “retire” him.

Saturday 13 April 2019

voight-kampff test

Sort of in the same way utopia signifies no place, the concept of empathy—derived from the Ancient Greek for compassion via the German term Einfühlung (feeling into) and now in modern Greek ฮตฮผฯ€ฮฌฮธฮตฮนฮฑ indicates malice, there are appreciable facets and nuances to the capacity to put oneself in another’s shoes.
Failure to understand how what’s become in the course of a generation an article of faith is a new way of framing our beliefs and values is susceptible to misuse, obfuscation and delusion—especially considering the received-narrative and our obligation as social beings—can quickly turn the better parts of empathy to tribalism, much like child-rearing admits the imbalance of helicopter parenting, Tiger Moms or neglect, and leave individuals more entrenched and dedicated to right the wrongs visited on those like them.  Without the need to repair or restore to short-hand or signalling, engage in a profound exploration of the topic below.

Monday 5 March 2018

your prize—a nubian goat

As a reminder to engage with story-telling more often—especially in its unmediated venues and within the limits the author limned for his voice—we really enjoyed this romp, via Coudal Partners, through the paperback canon of Philip K Dick with thirty-three picks of bizarre covers from domestic and international markets.
This curated selection represents only a small portion of his forty-four novels and scores of other pieces of essay and short-fiction and one has to wonder about what tales and commentary yet remain undiscovered because it won’t translate well to other narrative formats, with a handful (this or that and the other)—having undergone major rewrites and leaving much out—emerging on the other side. Sheep and goats were not considered a booby-prize either since after the nuclear apocalypse when the book is set that has destroyed most of life on earth, empathy towards and caring for animals was seen as a mark of the highest esteem and humanity.  Though knowing the story, I thought the title referred to something aspirational but rather to a Replicant’s need to count (electric) sheep to fall asleep.  Perchance to dream.  Do you have a favourite, perhaps of another author or franchise-universe, in this genre? Maybe these wild paperback illustrations mark the closest sometimes the unfilmable, impossible to produce adaptations get to a poster in the coming attractions section.

Friday 16 June 2017

social studies

Thanks to TYWKIWDBI for educating us in the cognitive bias described formally in 1999 known as the Dunning-Kruger effect (not to be confused with the Voight-Kampff test—she doesn’t even realise she’s a replicant) pertaining to incompetent persons suffering from delusions of grandeur.
Due to their aversion or inability for metacognition (thinking about thinking or simply self awareness), they self-assess as surpassingly qualified, despite lacking critical skill-sets. Secure and unaware, the most pervasive manifestation are those who over-estimate their driving abilities, raging that fellow motorists have no right to share the road or as laughably doltish criminals, which are fairly harmless. Hubris, however, can be a very dangerous thing, especially when the over-zealous and over-confident are aggrandised.

Wednesday 19 April 2017

directors’ cut or good morning pyongyang

Via Gizmodo, we discover that in the North Korean capital, there is a daily morning broadcast on loudspeakers of a Theremin-sounding leitmotif that resounds throughout the city.
Although reporting appears rather dodgy and some handlers of visitors to the Hermit Kingdom disavow the existence of the routine—the implication being that they are so brain-washed that it no longer registers, this instrumental tune is a little reminiscent of the Blade Runner (Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?) soundscape composed by Vangelis and is possibly called “Ten Million Human Bombs for Kim Il Sung” but no one knows for sure. It seems eerie and oppressive at first blush but I wonder what message that North Korea intended to send.

Monday 22 March 2010


The UK Independent has a swank article on the revitalization of the graphic arts--that film posters do not have to tow a specific, formulaic line and can be creative and evocative without cramming in the static contents of the beta version of the trailers or credits over some windswept plain or cast cameo.  The article also points to this brillant artist who has meshed 80's movies with pulp fiction style book jackets, which I have blogged about several times before.  Advertisements and concert posters were quite creative little bundles and there's no call for marketing to be boring or painfully cogent and transparent.