Sunday 24 March 2024

11x11 (11. 448)

inauspicious beginnings: a rift opens up in a group of official astrologers employed by the Sri Lankan government to pick ideal dates for new years rituals  

disco arabesquo: record label Habibi Funk aims to introduce Middle Eastern vintage music to wider audiences 

typecraft: a transformative font foundry in India 

the allegory of the cave: on the twenty-fifth anniversary of the film’s premiere, we may be still trapped in the Matrix 

banjaxed and bockety: two curious Irish terms 

der buch der hasengeschichten: Tom Seidmann-Freud’s 1924 collection of hare fables 

working for tips: bizarrely robot baristas will accept gratuities, in a service sector landscape already fraught with insecurity and precarity—via tmn  

the juice is on the loose: a sequel thirty-six years in the making, reuniting the original cast—via Miss Cellania  

international system of typographic picture education: an archive of the pictograms of Gerd Arntz—see previously  

pocket full of kryptonite: the preponderance of alternative rock songs about Superman in the 1990s, 2000s 

prosopometamorphopsia: a new study on generalised social anxiety disorder tries to see from the perspective of those with a rare condition that causes faces to appear distorted, demonic—via the New Shelton wet/dry

Thursday 7 March 2024

dies solis (11. 407)

Though not the first sabbath observed as a day of rest, reflection and worship, on this day in 321 CE, Constantine the Great ordained that the Sun’s Day, styling himself as Sol Invictus, the Unconquered Sun, as the non-work day for urbanites of the Empire, with workshops closed and magistrates taking this venerable day off—though allowances were made for those in the agricultural sector, whose harvest and husbandry usually couldn’t stand on ceremony. Having declared tolerance for Christians a decade earlier with the Edict of Milan and later convoking the Council of Nicaea, Christianity adopted this Roman week-structure.

Monday 26 February 2024

7x7 (11. 383)

bacile calmette-guรฉrin: a century-old variolation against bovine tuberculosis technique might present a treatment route for dementia  

endangered language alliance: a survey of the rare forms of communication in communities in New York City  

marketable skill: Nvidia executive says kids shouldn’t learn to code 

icc: renewed calls to make ecocide the fifth international crime and within the scope of the UN’s court—via tmn  

kรผrschรกk’s tile: a visual proof a complex geometric tessellation  

project ceti: how, powered by AI, a first contact could play out between humans and whales—see previously, see also 

goldplate: research suggest that a treatment with nanoparticles of the element might be a cure for neurodegenerative diseases

Wednesday 31 January 2024

8x8 (11. 309)

that spells primbci: Neuralink begins trials on human volunteers—see previously  

infinite craft: drag and drop fundamental elements to make new materials, from Neal Agarwal—previously  

gboard caps: search engine Japan team designs a hat (ๅธฝใƒใƒผใ‚ธใƒงใƒณ) that types  

double feature: more command-line movies from ASCII Theatre—see previously  

once you pop, you can’t stop: the weird and secretive world of crisp flavours—via Present/&/Correct  

vier-tage woche: German companies experimenting with a four-day workweek to ameliorate labour shortages  

zetetic astronomy: a mid-nineteenth century experiment that spanned the Flat Earth movement  

beta-testing: a few well-reasoned counterpoints for the mechanical Turk hucksters and AI-evangelists

Tuesday 9 January 2024

10x10 (11. 254)

job security: the US only created seven-hundred new IT positions last year—compared to two-hundred seventy thousand in 2022—via the New Shelton wet/dry  

tidy mouse: an industrious rodent sorts out a human’s workspace 

a theft from those who hunger: Dwight Eisenhower’s Chance for Peace Speech of 1953   

seo: how Google’s search algorithm has shaped the web  

past is precedent: Austin Kleon shares one-hundred things that made his year—a very good list 

the big mac index: the rising costs of fast food and its political implications 

high school high: graphic designer Veronica Kraus curates gems from old yearbooks—see also—via Messy Nessy Chic  

armed conflict survey: mapping wars around the world  

double fantasy: celebrated photographer Kishin Shinoyama, who captured the intimate moments of John Lennon and Yoko Ono for their album art (see below) passes away, aged 83 

 year-on-year: the word from Davos forecasts anaemic economic growth

synchronoptica

one year ago: Nobody Told Me plus canal workers’ jargon

two years ago: Mambo Italiano, RMS Queen Elizabeth plus the premier of the iPhone (2007)

three years ago: classic rebrands, assorted links to revisit, a snowy day, more on Cats plus a diet inducing doorway

four years ago: attempts for a peaceful resolution to the Iraq War (1991), the yacht whisperer plus plans for a Woven City

five years ago: the diplomatic status of the EU downgraded, more Hampsterdance, repairing the Azure Window plus more links to enjoy

Friday 5 January 2024

nominative determinism (11. 245)

In 1985, author John Train compiled a list of remarkable human names, some favourites being (and wondering how such monickers influenced their lives) being the pirate of Falmouth Arystotle Tottle, Betty Burp and Membrane Pickle of the Bureau of Vital Statistics of Florida and Cranberry Turkey Breckenridge, Jr and Mausoleum Jackson of the Division of Vital Records of Virginia, Edward Pine-Coffin of the Poor Relief Commission of Dublin, Fauntleroy Schnauz of the Educational Testing Service of Princeton, New Jersey, Iccolo Miccolo who played the piccolo for the San Francisco Symphony, Quo Vadis Harris of the New England Journal of Medicine or Tetley Ironside Tetley Jone, tea heir. Find your match at the link up top.

Saturday 30 December 2023

mmxxiii (11. 224)

As this calendar draws to a close and we look forward to 2024, we again take time to reflect on a selection of some of the things and events that took place during the past year. Thanks as always for visiting. We’ve made it through another wild year together.

january: Hundred of thousands pay their respects, attend funeral of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, presided over by his predecessor in Vatican City. Supporters of defeated president Jair Bolsanaro stormed the capitol in Brasilia.  Caches of official records and classified files have been discovered mishandled and stored in offices used by Joe Biden after his vice-presidency. Yardbirds guitarist Jeff Beck passes away, aged 78.  Lisa Marie Presley, artist and singer, has died, aged 54.  Wracked with successive and endemic problems, Haiti descends into anarchy after the last of its elected officials depart the country.  Singer David Crosby has passed away, aged 81.  Jacinda Arden steps down as Prime Minister of New Zealand.  US and Germany agree to send tanks to Ukraine.  A group of five police officers in Memphis, Tennessee brutally murder Tyre Nichols with no justifiable provocation. After speaking out against the criminalisation of same-sex partnerships and denial of basic civil rights, the Pope will journey to South Sudan, joined by the Archbishop of Canterbury and the head of the Church of Scotland for a dialogue with local church leaders preaching a gospel of intolerance.  Lisa Loring, the original Wednesday Addams, passes away, aged 64.

february: After announcing that conflict with China was on the near horizon, the US acquires additional bases in the Philippines to encircle its rival and potential adversary.  Just days ahead of US Secretary of State’s visit to Beijing, NORAD announces the detection of a Chinese spy balloon over western America, prompting Blinkin to cancel his trip. Fashion designer and perfumier Paco Rabane passes away, aged 88.  The EU holds a summit in Kyiv on Ukraine’s bid for membership.  Former Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf passes away, aged 77, after contending with a long illness.  A powerful earthquake on the border of Syria and Tรผrkiye claims over five thousand lives, the death toll soon quadrupling.  Songwriter Burt Bacharach passes away, aged 94.  Facing a series of crises and increasing pressure from the war in neighbouring Ukraine, the government of Moldova is dissolved.  Top-tier Czech footballer Jakub Jankto comes out as homosexual, the first professional player to do so.  Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon surprises her party by announcing her departure with no clear successor.  Actor Raquel Welch passes away, aged 82.  North Korea resumes missile tests in the Pacific and the US warns that China may attempt to arm Russia and delegates at the Munich Security Conference urge immediate fortification of Ukraine in order to prevent imminent defeat.  Stand-up comedian and tv detective Richard Belzer dies, aged 78.  Humanitarian and former US president Jimmy Carter enters hospice care.  Just ahead of the one year anniversary of the start of the invasion, Joe Biden makes a surprise visit to Kyiv.  Tech companies and media outlets continue tranche after tranche of staff layoffs.  US House Speaker gives previously unreleased trove of January Sixth insurrection footage to conservative pundit Tucker Carlson.  The Russian invasion of Ukraine marks its one year anniversary.

march: Evidence emerges that Ukrainian saboteurs were responsible for the underwater explosions that ruptured the NordStream I pipeline though questions remain.  In the second largest bank collapse in the history of the US and the first of its kind since the 2008 crash, the Silicone Valley Bank servicing tech-sector start-up has become insolvent and went into government receivership.  Thousands of civil servants in France go on strike in protest of legislation to raise retirement age.  After Manhattan district attorney investigation into Trump directing hush-money to Stormy Daniels, US presidential candidate announces that he expects to be arrested and calls for protests.  Mounting evidence seems to vilify suggestions that COVID originated from a lab leak in Wuhan.  Despite attempts to contain the contagion, the fall out from the crisis with California fintech institutions cause havoc with banking stocks worldwide.  UBS absorbs a beleaguered Credit Suisse.  Xi and Putin enter an apparent entente against American influence.   UN warns that time has run out on combating runaway climate change.  Deadly, hour-long tornado strikes ravage rural Mississippi and Alabama.  Intel Corp founder and thinker behind the eponymous law about the exponential improvement of technology Alan Moore passes away, aged 94.

april: Trump arraigned in the Manhattan district court over falsifying business records pursuant to hush-money payments to Stormy Daniels.  A US federal judge in Texas suspends the 2000 approval by the country’s food and drug regulatory body on the safety of an abortion pill, restricting its use.  Demanding stricter gun-laws in the wake of another school and church mass-shooting, the Tennessee state legislator expel two Black lawmakers for their stance.  Preoccupied with filibusters over trans-rights, the Nebraska state senate fails to pass a single law in this year’s legislative session.  Tory ministers begin to walk-back plans for a full-scale repeal of EU regulations following an inter-party revolt against the post-Brexit arrangement.  Phasing out of nuclear energy entirely, Germany closes its final remaining reactors.  Revival military leaders have brought Sudan to the brink of civil war as factions of the regular army face the paramilitary rapid response force in Khartoum.  More media organizations fold as ad revenue dries up and newsrooms turn to AI to generate copy, like BuzzFeed and Vice being the two latest to declare bankruptcy and curtail operations.  Comedian and creator of Dame Edna Barry Humphries has passed away, aged 89.  Civil rights activist and entertainer Harry Belafonte dies, aged 96.  Joe Biden declares his party’s candidacy for a second term for president of the United States.

may: Gordon Lightfoot, folk legend, dies, aged 84.  The WHO declares the global COVID-19 health emergency over.  Charles III and Camilla are enthroned during a lavish ceremony in London.  A jury finds Donald Trump guilty on the charge of sexual abuse and battery, labelling him a predator and pest.  Elon Musk appoints a former television advertising executive as head of Twitter as he announces plans to transform the ailing social network into a multi-purpose app similar to China’s WeChat.  Harry and Meghan are recklessly pursued by paparazzi in New York—with strong echoes of the death of his mum’s fatal encounter.  China begins to call in loans to some of the world’s most impoverished countries after making them dependent on cheap credit.  Tina Turner passed away peacefully, aged 83, in her home outside of Zurich—Simply the Best.  Florida governor Ron DeSantis announces his presidential candidacy on Twitter.

june: The death toll of a catastrophic train crash in India approaches three hundred with countless more injured.  After months of drama and tension, the US raises its debt ceiling to avoid default.  A dam breach, blamed on Russia, causes massive flooding along the Dnipro river and forces tens of thousands to
evacuate.  Astrud Gilberto, the Queen of Bossa Nova, and original singer of the infinitely covered ‘Girl from Ipanema,’ has passed away, aged 83.  Wildfires rage in Canada, smoke enveloping the Eastern Seaboard.  The awaited Ukraine counteroffensive begins.  Four children who survived an airplane crash in the jungles are Columbia are found alive having survived the forty day ordeal.  Donald Trump is indicted on federal charges for retention of classified documents imperilling US national security. Boris Johnson quits Parliament ahead of an official rebuke from the House of Commons over Partygate. Ted Kaczynski, the Unabomber and CIA UK Ultra test subject, is dead, aged 81.  Media tycoon and former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi passes away, aged 86.  NATO holds large scale military exercises in Germany.  The whistleblower and leaker behind the Pentagon Papers, Daniel Ellsberg, passes away, aged 92.  A submersible taking a compliment of five tourist to the wreck of the Titanic is lost.  Mercenary Wagner Group turns critical of the invasion of Ukraine and stages a mutiny after announced take-over by the Russian defence ministry, occupying Rostov-on-Don and proposing a march on Moscow, reaching half-way to the capital before a truce is negotiated by the Belarusian president.  France riots over the death of a teenager after being shot by a police officer.  US Supreme Court overturns affirmative action in college admissions, student loan forgiveness and LGBTQI+ anti-discrimination laws, though at least on the last case, it looks as if evidence was fabricated.  

july: Joseph Pedott, marketing virtuoso, passed away, aged 91.  Israel conducts a major military raid into a Palestinian refugee camp in Jenin.  Despite warnings from humanitarians and a ban in place for their use by over a hundred countries, the US is sending surplus cluster-bombs from the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts to Ukraine.  Catastrophic flooding devastates Vermont and other parts of New England.  Hollywood’s Screen Actors Guild joins the writers’ strike.  Jane Birkin, singer, activist and French icon, dies aged 76.  Crooner Tony Bennett passes away, aged 96.  After months of media hype and anticipation, the Barbieheimer phenomenon comes to cinemas.  Singer Sinรฉad O’Connor has died, aged 56—nothing compares 2 u.  Hunter Biden appears before court on charges of tax evasion and illegal gun-ownership, days after boudoir photos of him enter the congressional record, possibly in violation of laws against revenge porn. The Nigeria government falls to a military coup d’etat with the president taken into custody.  Paul Reubens, the actor who portrayed Pee-Wee Herman, passed away aged 70, after a private bout with cancer.  Voyager 2 after two weeks of radio silence has re-established contact with Earth.

august: Donald Trump is indicted for his role in fanning the flames that culminated in the January Sixth raid on the Capitol and attempts to over turn the 2020 election.  Wildfires devastate the Hawaiian island of Maui and the town of Yellowknife is evacuated as forests are engulfed in Canada.  A rare hurricane, the first in eighty years, passes over Baja California, causing flooding and heavy rains, a year’s worth in a single day.  Ex-Wagner chief and senior leadership perish in an airplane crash.  Indian lands a probe at the lunar south pole.  Trump is arrested, booked and released on bail after in Fulton County Georgia.  Long-time US game show host Bob Barker dies, aged 99 (playing by Price-is-Right rules until the end).  An unprecedented hurricane strikes Florida’s Big Bend region between the panhandle and peninsula.  “Margaritaville” singer Jimmy Buffett passes away, aged 76.

september: Drought and wildfires are followed by flooding in Greece. An earthquake strikes the High Atlas Mountains in Morocco, killing hundreds and destroying parts of Marrakesh.  Rupert Murdoch steps down from News Corp.  Fighting erupts in Nagorno-Karabakh, the breakaway region of Azerbaijan. After more than five months, the Hollywood Writers’ Guild reaches a deal with the studio and ends its strike.  In solidarity with striking autoworkers, US president Joe Biden joins the picket line, the first for a sitting holder of the high office.  As counter-programming to the second Republican debate, Trump also makes an appearance with union workers.

october: Hamas and other terror groups launch a surprise attack on Israel, causing Tel Aviv to declare war against Gaza with thousands killed on both sides.  Earthquakes in Afghanistan leaves over a thousand dead.  An eastern Pacific tropical cyclone devastates Acapulco with hundreds killed and many more displaced. 

november: Three-hundred thousand marched for peace in Palestine through London during Armistice Day celebrations after earlier rallies drawing in huge numbers to urge Israel enact a humanitarian cease-fire in Gaza.  Pope Francis dismisses an ultra conservative bishop in Texas who criticised the pontiff's more progressive stance on non-gender-conforming members of the Church. OpenAI’s board of directors have ousted founder and CEO Sam Altman, the chief representative of the chatbot revolution and proponent for regulatory framework, for his lack of candour and transparency.  Microsoft immediately hired Altman and fellow defectors.  Humanitarian and former US First Lady Rosalynn Carter passes away.  Rightwing populist Geert Wilders wins a controlling share of the Netherlands’ parliament. A temporary cease-fire is called in Gaza to allow the release of hostages and more humanitarian aid to enter the beleaguered city.  Henry Kissinger dead at one-hundred.

december: Fabulist and fraudster George Santos expelled from the US congress.  Israel renews attacks on Palestine after a temporary truce. Legendary television producer Norman Lear passes away at 101. Israeli forces extend attacks in southern Gaza, where many fled to avoid the violence.  Ousted US Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy tenders his retirement from Congress, leaving the Republicans a controlling majority of only two seats.  The EU enacts the world’s first comprehensive AI regulatory framework.  A volcanic eruption occurs on the Icelandic Reykjanes peninsula with Sundhnรบkagรญgar dumping lava and prompting evacuations.  Trump confidant and former New York City mayor Rudi Guliani declares bankrupcy after being ordered to pay nearly one hundred-fifty million dollars in restitution for libelling Georgia election workers.  Houthi pirates attacking cargo ships in the Red Sea cause transportation to round the Cape of Good Hope.  A mass shooting in Prague leaves fifteen individuals dead.  Missing Russian opposition figure Alexei Nalvalny emerges, detained in a penal colony above the Arctic Circle.  A heavy barrage of missiles hit Kyiv as US financial and materiel backing driess up.Veteran German parliamentarian Wolfgang Schรคuble passes away, aged 81.  Jacques Delors, statesman who helped shaped the European Union dead at 98.  Entertainer Tommy Smothers dies at 86.  Israeli bombardment of Gaza continues, with the death toll of civilians surpassing twenty-thousand.

Friday 8 December 2023

krisenmodus (11. 172)

Echoing last year’s selection from Collins Dictionary of permacrisis, the Gesellschaft fรผr deutsche Sprache (previously) has chosen crisis-mode for the Worte des Jahres for 2023 as a reflection of the ongoing exceptional states of emergency that polarise a seemingly powerless, frightened and overwhelmed public between the extremes of apathy and alarmism. Runners’ up included Lesefรคhigkeit (reading comprehension) due to a sharp fall in functional literacy perceived to have been made worse by school closures during COVID, KI Boom (Kรผnstlichen Intelligenz, AI), a term for infighting among the ruling government coalition and Teilzeitgesellschaft—part-time society for more of a work-life balance.

Monday 4 September 2023

hot labor summer (10. 983)

Amid ongoing strike actions by the Hollywood Writers’ Guild and pushes to unionise workers for increased leverage in bargaining with big manufacturers and retailers and the growing precarity of news outlets, this round-up and review on the US observance of Labor Day (see previously here and here) presents both hopeful and fraught factors for the movement’s reception and success. While a strong jobs market and with historically low unemployment has advantaged many workers in many industries and has momentum, changing paradigms, which companies can cite with varying levels of credulity, like generative content, cloning (the last time actors in 1960 joined the writers, a six-week stoppage awarded creators residuals from re-runs and syndication) as well as shifting to less labour-intensive manufacturing techniques—electric vehicles take few machinists to build and maintain, signalling major changes in productivity and the makeup of the workforce. While many in the US give vocal support to the ideal of unions, only ten percent of workers belong to one and the US Supreme Court has issued recent decisions that erode the right of workers to strike when negotiations, stalled and forced into a stalemate by business executives sold on technological utopias that have failed in many cases to materialise. The empires of off-license lodgings, gastronomy and taxi cabs haven’t translated to savings for consumers and are either petty kingdoms or indentured servitude for providers and streaming is just as expensive, exclusive, walled-off as cable or the studio-system. This changing posture of course has global implications and could further undermine workers’ rights.

Friday 21 July 2023

7x7 (10. 897)

equity: UK’s actors’ union in solidarity with American counterparts in protest

spatula city—where your thirteenth spatula is free: the Weird Al Yankovic (previously) tribute to public-access television premiered this day in 1989—via our faithful chronicler 

litli-hrรบtur: Icelandic volcano watch  

magical mystery tour: revisiting the ‘lost’ Ashram of the Beatles in the Himalayan foothills

american songbook: Tony Bennett, crooner, Nazi hunter, civil rights champion, RIP—via Super Punch

barbie once commanded the stage with the rockers—now, the last thing she wanted to do was talk: channelling Ernest Hemingway on his birthday to narrate modern happenings  

watership down: disturbing film adaptation given a PG rating after forty-five years of indelible nightmares

  synchronoptica 

one year ago: a concert to commemorate the Fall of the Berlin Wall plus more adventures in Scotland

two years ago: the experimental nuclear cruise ship NS Savanna, the Scopes Monkey Trial plus Sweden’s Bohus Fortress

three years ago: more on The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World plus some scream therapy in Iceland

four years ago: Japan’s broadcast daily constitutional

Wednesday 19 July 2023

walkflatter, wheel glutter, whim driver (10. 894)

Far removed from butcher, baker, candlestick-maker and seeming like a list that could have generated by an AI, we enjoyed perusing this register of job titles declared in the Census of 1881, the a snapshot of every household in the United Kingdom on the night of Sunday, 3 April of that year, the fifth decennial but the first to include details (mostly without context) on members of homes, compiled a few years later in The Companion to the Almanac; or Year-Book of General Information for 1885, sub-chapter The Occupations of the English People. Some of the more unusual professional entries are Sad-iron maker, Butt Woman, Peas Maker, Off-Beater, Dirt Refiner, Blabber and All-Rounder. Respondents of note include Karl Marx, Charles Darwin, Winston Churchill and one William Neal without portfolio as he was considered “too idle.”

Sunday 16 July 2023

esprit d’corps (10. 887)

While problematically exclusively white and male with militaristic overtones, we enjoyed looking through this workwear catalogue in a classic instalment of the Daily Heller from the George Master Garment Corporation dated 1951—reflective of the post-war ideal of reintegrating soldiers into the civilian workforce. Whilst perhaps not as finely tailored and mass-produced, many trades in Germany still keep to a professional uniform (not to say it hasn’t become more relaxed and informal here too) provided by the company or guild, especially for manufacturing and construction, usually in the form of a monogrammed jumpsuit.  More from Print magazine at the link above.

synchronoptica

one year ago: the flag of Estonia plus assorted links worth revisiting

two years ago: Askersund, Sweden and adventures in Vรคrmland

three years ago: Disney’s pandemic reopening plus more links to revisit 

four years ago: a celebration of usual holidays, the Space Race was meant to be a call for international cooperation plus farewell to an iconic sign

five years agoBreakthrough Starshot, Trump and Putin meet plus the TV advertisements of David Lynch

Saturday 15 July 2023

6x6 (10. 884)

purl 2.0: performative social media is symptomatic of influencer culture and won’t get better until we do  

flag of convenience: the secret language of ships  

extended character set: contenders for inclusion on the new Emoji list include a Phoenix and a broken chain 

new normal: a third of the US under a dangerous heatwave  

sag-aftra: members of the Hollywood actors’ guild join the writers’ strike—see previously, see more 

eternal september: the Threads bandwagon, matriculation is “a contradictory mixture of earnest online community building and craven creator-brained growth hacking”

synchronoptica

 one year ago: “Hanoi Jane” (1972) plus Gangam Style (2012)

two years ago: the elder Fuรพark and the runestone of Rรถk plus the Stone Ship of Nรคssja

three years ago: a variant line-rider animation with a synchronised roller coaster, Pollux and Castor plus more official American state junk

four years ago: Trump attacks the Squad, honouring Alan Turing plus finding Bob Ross’ lost landscapes

five years ago: assorted links to revisit, Trump’s Scottish golf course, Nintendo made a sewing machine game plus more Brexit fun—aren’t we having fun yet

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.

Friday 19 May 2023

a city of badgers (10. 753)

Having previously looked at the subject of medieval collective nouns and their origins, legacy in the hierarchy and protocols of the hunt, we quite enjoyed this omnibus posting accounting for the creative jargon as primarily a class identifier—arbitrary etiquette like not wearing white after Labor Day—this specialist language perhaps not the most rigorous of gauges of social standing but selective and enforceable ones as one tool, rule to maintain class structure, all encompassing to reckon not only groups of quarry (see also) but also professions and rank. A Promise of Bartenders (A Promeลฟลฟe of Tapลฟters), a Tabernacle of Bakers, an Unbrewing of Carvers, a Malapertness of Peddlers and a Disworship of Fools are especially good. Learn more and tag yourself at the links above.

Monday 15 May 2023

rerum novarum (10. 743)

Rejecting both socialism and unchecked capitalism, with support for private property as well upholding labour rights and the formation of unions, Pope Leo XIII (advocate for workers as well as a flask-carrying aficionado and spokesman for Vin Mariani) this day in 1891 issued the above encyclical—from its incipit (On Revolutionary Change in the World) with the subtitle Rights and Duties of Capital and Labour—which is considered a foundation text of Catholic social teaching and the movement for workers’ justice. Seeing socialist regimes as an encroachment on the church’s role of imparting morality, rather than an ideological system administered by the the state, Leo warned that the seizure of individual possessions and transferring ownership to the community failed to redress the plight of the working-classes and moreover mandating a contract between employees and employers, honest work for honest pay and a dignified livelihood that contributes to class harmony as well as enshrining that jobs be free from unsafe and immoral tasks endangering body soul, privileging the poor over those enjoying a large bounty of temporal blessings.

Saturday 13 May 2023

8x8 (10. 737)

what is a strikebreaker: past gameshow champion Ken Jennings to host Jeopardy! during its final episodes for the season, crossing the picket line during the Writers’ Guild protest  

captain’s table: a tour of the Hamburg-America Line’s SS Prinzessin Vitoria Luise—the world’s first purpose built cruise ship, launched in 1900 

the big four: the dominant professional services networks providing auditing and assurance advise clients on how to cheat their way through compliance inspection 

bull-boards: more on the Osborne brandy mascot that’s become an icon of Spain 

get your kicks on route 66: ahead of its centenary, the historic American highway gets a much needed refurbishment—via Miss Cellania 

c’est le dernier qui a parlรฉ qui a raison: ahead of tonight grand prix in Liverpool, a look back on the geopolitics of Eurovision—see also, see previously 

lucky duck gets private equitied: the latest cartoon fro, Ruben Bolling—see previously, see also 

home port: despite the ban, cruise ships are still docking in Venice  

scabs: Starbucks announced closure of three franchises in Ithaca, New York has nothing to do with the workers’ decision to unionise

Tuesday 2 May 2023

9x9 (10. 713)

spokescandies: put together just ahead of the writers’ strike, Stephen Colbert afforded Tucker Carlson the chance to bid his audience farewell  

redundancy: IBM puts a pause on hiring to on-board an AI back-office workforce  

oops all linkdump: veteran blogger Cory Doctorow returns to his roots in a special jubilee edition  

€49 ticket: Germany launches its more fiscally-secure successor to the €9 monthly fare 

pitch decks and powerpoints: slide presentations from the largest corporate frauds and failures—via tmn  

chevron v national resources defense council: the US Supreme Court to re-litigate a 1984 precedent that defers judgement to the competent federal agencies, like the Food and Drug Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency 

cherry ice cream smile—i suppose it’s very nice: revisiting the art and influence of Patrick Nagel—see previously  

workforce implications: a company runs an empirical test, replacing its human staff with AI 

hal gurney’s network time fillers: reactions to past strikes by the Writers’ Guide

Monday 24 April 2023

9x9 (10. 696)

precariat: the antithesis of job security—via Miss Cellania 

le jeu de monde: a seventeenth century geography-themed board game 

sell ∀ ∃ as ∃ ∀ scam: AI “prompt engineering” distilled—via the new shelton wet/dry  

ad infintum: a survey of the websites that ChatGPT and other large language models glean from to appear smartly confident 

fox and friends: rightwing ideologue Tucker Carlson abruptly announces he is leaving the network  

reductio ad hilterium: fake diaries to go on public display after forty years since their spurious authorship  

mister hepster: Cab Calloway’s jazz lexicon  

tea and sympathy: the Teasmade museum—via Messy Nessy Chic  

permission slip: inside the wave of American legislation looking to overturn laws restricting child labour

Friday 21 April 2023

ubi et orbi (10. 688)

Mirroring efforts of the United States to disassociate Labor Day celebrations with socialism, on this day in 1923, fascist dictator Benito Mussolini directed the celebration of the founding of Rome, not observed since the times of the Empire, on the traditional anniversary of the city’s establishment in 753 BC—possibly in parallel attempts to suppress a far older fasti that also fell on this day, the Palilia dedicated to the cleansing of sheep and shepherds, to distance its newly attained cosmopolitan character from these rural and pastoral roots. With a military parade of fifty-thousand Black Shirts through the streets on a a route from the Forum to the Baths of Caracalla under the Triumphal Arch of Titus, Mussolini decreed that this holiday would replace International Workers’ Day.