Sunday 11 February 2024

sarah t—portrait of a teenage alcoholic (11. 341)

Also featuring the acting talents of Dallas’ Larry Hagman and Star Wars’ Mark Hamill, the made for television movie starring Linda Blair of The Exorcist (previously) in the title role was first aired on the NBC network on this day in 1975. Dealing with isolation and loneliness, a fifteen-year-old takes after her estranged father, drinking to cope with feelings of inadequacy and begins to surreptitiously raid her mother’s liquor cabinet, having associated inebriation with greater social stability. Having passed out whilst babysitting and numerous interventions, Sarah can’t admit she has a problem until a near-fatal horse-riding accident (mortally wounding the horse, who is euthanised) and joins Alcoholics Anonymous. 

synchronoptica

one year ago: assorted links to revisit plus Planet Money Valentines

two years ago: an AI reimagines sci-fi comics panels, the Internet Sacred Text Archive plus more links to enjoy

three years ago: more links worth the revisit, bar sounds plus a unique file naming convention

four years ago: political engagement, Merkel’s would be successor steps down, gravity wells plus European emergency numbers

five years ago: the American Petrol-State, anosmia, medals for the Tokyo games to be made out of recovered specie from electronic waste plus the art of Andy Dixon

Friday 17 November 2023

8x8 (11. 123)

aล‚k’idฤ…́ฤ…́’ yรกdahodiiz’ฤ…́ฤ…́dฤ…́ฤ…́’ yรก’รกhonรญkรกรกndi: an update on Stars Wars dubbed in to the Dinรฉ bizaad language of the Navajo people—see previously 

hallucinate: the new meaning of the psychological verb picked for Cambridge dictionaries’ Word of the Year 

chipophone: Vivaldi performed on Commodore instruments—see previously 

wikiwho: guess the person from their Wikipedia biography—via Web Curios  

prisencolinensinainciusol: revisiting the Italo Pop song with nonsense lyrics that was meant to sound like English singing—see previously 

veistospuutarha: the sculpture garden of of Veijo Rรถnkkรถnen  

here we observe the sophisticated homo sapiens: an unauthorised David Attenborough voice-clone to narrate one’s daily activities—see also  

life day: a fresh look on the Star Wars Holiday Special on its forty-fifth anniversary 

synchronoptica

one year ago: the Hand of Irulegi plus a Soviet moonwalker (1970)

two years ago: another MST3K classic plus assorted links to revisit

three years ago: more links to enjoy, a rebuttal from Nixon (1973) plus St Hugh of Lincoln

four years ago: the Velvet Revolution plus world flags reimagined in the style of Kazakhstan’s 

five years ago: a Japanese view on American history, the mind of a scammer, more links to enjoy plus the Star Wars Holiday Special

Friday 19 May 2023

oh my, my—this here anakin guy, maybe vader some day later but now he’s just a small fry (10. 751)

For this anniversary of the general release of Episode I: The Phantom Menace on this day in the United States in 1999, we feature this synopsis of events regarding the beginning of the saga as performed by Weird Al Yankovic to the underlying tune and structure of “The Day the Music Died.”

And the Jedi I admire most
Met up with Darth Maul and now he’s toast
Well, I’m still here—and he’s a ghost
I guess I’ll train this boy.

Saturday 6 May 2023

home box office (10. 723)

Via Kottke, we are directed to a collegial tradition that began in 1977 when Star Wars overtook Jaws and Steven Spielberg penned an illustrated congratulatory letter to George Lucas when the former director’s blockbuster overtook the latter’s and published it in the trade paper Variety. The exchange—some gaps—to this day when records are broken for best opening weekend, overall ticket sales and rentals, like this 1998 homage to James Cameron’s Titanic surpassing the franchise. Much more epistolary discoveries above from Letters of Note.

Thursday 4 May 2023

7x7 (10. 718)

eyecandy: a collection of dynamic, animated type—via Pasa Bon!  

grand promenade: a survey of old New York’s rooftop theatres  

expo 67: impressions of the central exhibition of Canada’s centennial celebrations—see previously  

may the fourth be with you: a retro, fan-made Star Wars film festival—see more under the tagged posts  

not lovin’ it: McDonald’s franchises in the United States fined for violations of child labour laws—see also 

playfair: data presentations by the eighteenth century creator of the the line, bar and pie charts 

fontself: the midpoint of the annual Thirty Six Days of Type celebration

Sunday 30 April 2023

the galactic menagerie (10. 707)

Referencing a trend we recently reported, via Boing Boing, we were rather taken by this fantasy trailer from a collective called Curious Refuge, imagining what the saga of Star Wars (see previously) might look like if filtered through the twee and quirky aesthetic of Wes Anderson. It’s not just the particular colour palette and blocking—the TIE fighters and droids are particularly lovely.

Friday 28 April 2023

8x8 (10. 703)

iter vestrum: a journey to the ends of the Roman Empire with contemporary routing guides—see previously 

the bartender’s travelling book: the secret history of the drinks recipe anthology that has crossed the globe 

eigengrau: a colour palette of what people report to see with their eyes closed—see previously—via Web Curios 

chirper: a social media network only for AI—via ibฤซdem  

casas del turuรฑuelo: first figural representations of the Bronze Age Tartessian culture found, an Iberian people spuriously linked to the myth of Atlantissee also 

aurabesh: a very thorough Star Wars inspired typeface—see also—via Kottke 

toby mug: an assortment of East End brewery labels  

bradshaw’s guide: a travelogue of modern Europe with a Victorian era itinerar—check out Messy Nessy’s new look

Wednesday 29 March 2023

the first transport is away—repeat—the first transport is away (10. 644)

Via Boing Boing, in an admittedly a small but welcome, uplifting and surreal condolence, Jedi knight and accomplished voice actor Mark Hamill is issuing incoming warnings for the beleaguered and embattled people of Ukraine, announcing on an app connected to the ministry of defence, “Attention—air raid alert. Proceed to the nearest shelter,” accompanying the barrage of sirens preceding a missile attack from Russia. With the further advisement of, “Don’t be careless—your overconfidence is your weakness,” once the danger passes and the air alert is over, Hamill leaves attendants with “May the Force be with you.”

Friday 10 February 2023

6x6 (10. 538)

bardolatry: Google stock sheds a hundred billion dollars after its premier AI search engine makes a factual error  

order 66: the Jedi Academy will no longer include the massacre of padawans by Anakin Skywalker in its history lessons  

manga [1977]: an animated short by Yลji Kuri 

kamishibai: literary a “paper play,” Spoon & Tamago presents this unique Japanese form of story board 

i know i’ve made some very poor decisions recently, but i can give you my complete assurance that my work will be back to normal: Star Wars in the directorial style of Stanley Kubrick and 2001 by George Lucas  

pass notes: Noam Chomsky on outsourcing academics with Chat CPT

Friday 9 December 2022

fantasy films (10. 375)

Via Web Curios, we are directed to curated selection of more AI film stills—projects where cinema buffs working with Midjourney and Stable Diffusion labs ask their collaborators to especially conjure up The Little Mermaid but directed by Michael Mann. This montage takes us behind the scenes as well as imagining Star Wars, the Star Killer Dynasty through the filters of Fritz Lang and Stanley Kubrick. Much more, including the expanded concept treatments, at the links above.

Monday 5 December 2022

i am altering the deal—pray i don’t alter it any further (10. 361)

The November 1977 edition of Vogue featured an eight page spread of super models Jerry Hall, former partner of both Mick Jagger and Rupert Murdoch, and Maria Hanson posing in ridiculously cruel, outmoded and expensive furs with a cast of characters from Star Wars, including storm troopers, jawas and Snagglepus. This crossover cultural artefact shows just how pervasive the franchise’s influence and reception was back then.

Tuesday 22 November 2022

7x7 (10. 325)

99.9% of people will never get to experience what you will: NASA's social media guidelines for astronauts—via tmn  

cosmic christmas: an animated short from the studio of Nelvana, contracted to do interstitials for The Star Wars Holiday Special

the kiss: the first filmed act of intimacy by pioneer Eadweard Muybridge—see previously  

all systems go: Orion orbiter begins its loop around the Moon  

photobomb: finalists from the seventh annual Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards––previously—via the Everlasting Blรถrt  

before there was hope in the galaxy, there was andor: Rogue One prequel presented as a mid-70s television series—spoiler alerts—see previously 

edge of space: a maritime cosmodrome with a carbon neutral balloon for rides into the stratosphere—via tmn

Monday 3 October 2022

the modal nodes (10. 193)

Joining musicians whose signature sound spans from Cold Play to the Animal collective, Bjรถrk—promoting her new album, Fossora, also cites Figrin D’an and band as inspiration—an ongoing celebration of the Cantina Band that had its start with a disco remix. An unfortunately named interpretation of Dixieland, the number likely is the connection that many have with that particular genre of jazz.

7x7 (10. 191)

stanford torus: maybe if we solve Earth, we can have a little space donut as a treat—see previously

matriculation: Merriam-Webster’s Word Induction Ceremony for a class of 369 neologisms

industrial light and magic: a coming-of-age film set during the summer of Star Wars released after being shelved for twenty years—because of the prequels—via Miss Cellania  

elections matter: revisiting The Survey Graphic, February 1939 edition  

toyko build: exquisite scale models of structures and architectural elements from around the metropolis

gesprรคch einer hausschnecke mit sich selbst: a snail’s monologue in verse  

feline dynamics: the US Air Force tossed cats in zero-gravity to study its effects on human physiology—see also—via Everlasting Blรถrt

Saturday 1 October 2022

other galactic funk (10. 186)

On this day in 1977, Domenico Monardo—known professionally as Meco (see previously)—saw his the lead single from his album of space disco that included elements of the soundtrack arranged as instrumental dance music raise to the top of the US billboard charts and hold the number one place for a fortnight, the record and the single “Star Wars Theme / Cantina Band” both certified as platinum. John Williams’ originally version was in the top ten at the same concurrently but was never as popular as Meco’s—the two artist crossing again a few months later with Close Encounters of the Third Kind, with the former coming out on top.

Tuesday 27 September 2022

8x8 (10. 174)

on pointe: an Australian ballet company recites an alphabet of foot poses  

detour: experts urge adding a Venus-flyby to first crewed mission to Mars  

suaviter in modo, fortiter in re: the Royal Mail’s Investigative Branch is the oldest recognized crime fighting organisation in the world—via Messy Nessy Chic  

puffling: with blรกsa Icelanders help to reset sea bird chicks internal compass  

bisexual lighting: the story of a strange picture and other Wikipedia articles in need of an illustration—via Super Punch  

only you could be so bold: whilst Putin invades Ukraine, a studio in Kyiv is creating the voice of Darth Vader

asteroid! coming in from the void: ripped from the headlines 

tiptoe: performer dazzles with their bottle-walking routine

Saturday 24 September 2022

7x7 (10. 164)

trench run: we are not skilled enough to try this with our X-Wing drone  

semester abroad: tips for affecting an RP accent, as one does  

an army marches on its stomach: a trove of 1970s field rations—see previously—via Present /&/ Correct

algar do carvรฃo: a guide to the incredible Azores—see also  

blowhole: sea platform harnesses wave energy by using it to pressurise air and powering a turbine—outperforming expectations  

mappa mundi: an annotated, interactive fifteenth century world atlas—see also  

5 bby: Star Wars fans invented their own calendar (see previously) over a quarter of a century ago and the latest series finally makes it canon

Thursday 28 July 2022

eilean donan (10. 022)

In search of coffee and a light lunch and more intent to explore more of the northwest Highlands’ natural beauty, we happened on the small tidal island at the confluence of three sea lochs named for Irish missionary Donnรกn of Eigg—a saint martyred when trying to convert the Picts—with a very spectacular and picturesque castle that was once the stronghold of Clan Mackenzie, demolished for their involvement in the Jacobite rebellion, garrisoning a contingent of Spanish mercenaries and a magazine of gunpowder, prompting the English government to send in three heavily armed frigates to quell the uprising, in the early seventeen hundreds but restored over two decades in the early twentieth century according to its original thirteenth century design. 

Once the focus of clan feuds, the castle and its destruction—and subsequent rebuilding—is seen as a symbol of resistance and loyalty to the House of Stuart. The striking building has had several cameos in film and television, including The Highlander franchise, Braveheart and the 1999 Bond movie The World is Not Enough, as well as the short, once thought lost film Black Angel that features the castle and island prominently and was exclusively screened as a double-feature with The Empire Strikes Back in UK cinemas in 1980.

Wednesday 25 May 2022

episode vi

Released in cinemas in the US on this day in 1983, the date coinciding with the 1977 premiere of the original Star Wars, the epic space opera, which was thought to be the conclusion of the franchise, the saga continues a year after the abduction of Han Solo at the conclusion of The Empire Strikes Back and the Rebel Alliance discover that the Emperor has ordered the construction of a new Death Star, intend on finally exterminating any nonaligned elements. Thirteen days before it was screened in theatres, the novelisation by James Kahn was published—I’m sure with a lot of spoilers. I remember not being very good about keeping the plot twists to myself at the time. Watching the reactions (see also) of first time viewers to revelations about the Skywalker family from the previous instalment is pretty delightful. “So what I told you was true—from a certain point of view.”

Friday 20 May 2022

6x6

from juno to jupiter: famed composer who championed the synthesizer Vangelis passed away, aged 79  

of angel and puppet: an exploration of innocence through the finger puppets of Paul Klee—see previously

the pรบca of ennistymon: a sculpture of a mythological chimera almost gets cancelled  

fern gully: spelunkers in China discover a massive ancient forest in a sinkhole  

capable of completing the kessel run in less than twelve parsecs: the Millennium Falcon was the last ship build at the Royal Pembroke Dockyard  

v’ger: Voyager 1 beaming back usual telemetry to mission control—via Boing Boing