Saturday, 16 September 2023

webring (11. 003)

Via the always worthwhile Web Curios weekly roundup, we are directed toward this curation of the Small Web in this directory-assistance project from search-engine Kagi that brings back the serendipity of twenty years ago of advancing to the next blog post—see previously here and here. One could really spend hours of exploration here.  Open-source (so one can replicate the feed and make one’s own) and taking nominations, it’s a better way to get back to the roots of the larger project of the internet and getting to know one’s neighbours.


one year ago: the Mexican War of Independence, The Hounds of Love (1985) plus assorted links to revisit 

two years ago: the founding of Harvard, a wild orchid plus a Wikipedia digest

three years ago: narrative yoga not just for kids, a comparison of sci-fi worms plus the beginnings of Big Data

four years ago: fleeing East Germany by balloon (1979),  the Montreal Convention to eliminate CFCs (1987), RIP Ric Osasek plus more Brexit omnishambles

five years ago: culling social studies curriculum, the untrodden path plus repurposing an Italian protest anthem

Tuesday, 29 August 2023

7x7 (10. 970)

pagerank: Google has lost the quarter-century battle over overindexing versus useful search results—via Waxy  

1 346 000/km²: a tour of what was once the most densely populated area in the world, a largely ungoverned Chinese exclave within the territory of Hong Kong—see previously here and here  

corner suite: a visit to a unique corporate headquarters in Czechia with an office in an elevator—see previously 

lunar codex: an archive and time capsule of human creativity launched to the Moon—see also  

motor overflow: sticking out our tongues during complicated manual tasks reveal truths about our brains’ connections—via Damn Interesting  

gone to pasture: an abandoned luxury development in China overtaken by farmers and livestock—via Messy Nessy Chic

cryogenics: Wordpress offers to archive one’s digital estate for a century


one year ago: another MST3K classic plus assorted links to revisit

two years ago: the chemical element meitnerium, the founding of Greenland, white-winged doves and saguaro cactuses plus introducing Nirvana (1991) 

three years ago: mystic Manly Palmer Hall, Wuppertal’s Schwebebahn, inventor Otis Frank Boykin, liturgical cheese plus Netflix (1997)

five years ago: Trump lashes out against perceived social media bias against him plus Keith Houston on the history of emoji

Tuesday, 22 August 2023

8x8 (10. 957)

☃️: brr (previously) on electricity and power generation at the South Pole 

blogoversary: Miss Cellania reflects on eighteen years of blogging  

©️: judge rules that generative art is not subject to copyright protections 

ascertainment bias: people who submit to genetic testing and studies are predisposed for it—via Kottke  

pulmonic egressive sounds: an individual who can talk backwards—via the new shelton wet/dry 

lending-library: appealing an injunction, the Internet Archive removes commercially available titles from its public database—via Waxy 

it’s-a me: the voice of Mario, Charles Martinet, retiring after a quarter of a century 

ษ™สŠ: lignuists observe the birth of a new accent forming among Antarctic communities


one year ago: the State of Idaho, assorted links to revisit plus the plague of overtourism

two years ago: Petra rediscovered (1812), the moon Iapetus, more links to enjoy plus My Little Occult Book Club

three years ago: a canine saintAI poetry plus happy birthday Ray Bradbury

four years ago: returning to the Bretange

five years ago: dualling Trump trial coverage, a Romano-Gaul called Ultragoth plus gravity wells and potential energy

Tuesday, 15 August 2023

happy blogoversary to us—we are fifteen (10. 943)

As PfRC turns fifteen we wanted to once again extend our thanks and gratitude to our readership and to the members of the wider blogosphere (listed under our Smรธgรฅsblog) for their sustainment and inspiration that keeps the internet curious, entertaining, engrossing and engaging.  

Since hitting our last milestone, here’s a roundup of some of our most popular posts with a few honourable mentions:

10. A post on the New York premier of Stravinsky’s Firebird with Marie Tallchief  

9. A growing collection of bad book covers

8. The oldest formal data protection law from the State of Hessen, promulgated in 1970

7. a city map generator with a nice aesthetic

6. the graphic design of Joe and Elinor Selame

5. Street photographer Harold Feinstein

 4. The tyranny of time

3. an AI presents the most popular Halloween candy for each US state

2. an unusual beach house in Baja California

1. The celebration of the Discovery of the True Cross

Honourable mentions go to a claymation short expressing evolving human conscious, a scopitone classic and pie charts to dissect our anxieties

Wishing you all the best for the balance of the year and don’t be a stranger!


one year ago: our blogging birthday, another Roman holiday, assorted links to revisit plus private equity

two years ago: our thirteenth blogoversary, Nixon takes the US off of the gold standard (1971), the Eternal Word Television Network (1980) plus a modern Euclidean proof

three years ago: high-brow toilet humour,  PfRC turns twelve, more gachapon machines plus a new logo for the beleaguered US postal service

four years ago: Woodstock (1969), a US seafood franchise, our blogging birthday, more on what3words, Japan surrenders (1945) plus the Kรถlner Dom

five years ago: we turn ten, composer Lalo Schifrin, an architect experiments with public versus private space, plocka uppa plus imagining written English were spoken phonetically


Wednesday, 2 August 2023

hat-tip or honour among thieves (10. 922)

Veteran blogger Ernie Smith brings us back to a time a decade ago when individually curated websites were the acknowledged primary sources for leads and a mainstay for uncovering interesting things. As these finds were propagated, attribution and due credit increasingly were elided over for the sake of virality, damaging the revenue and reputation of the original posters. A curators’ code was proposed in attempts to raise the standard of citation to academic and journalistic levels with an ↬ as a back link and a second แ”ฅ that’s a direct link to the source. The markup language didn’t quite catch on but hopefully the intent and the collegial spirit remains even as the old, weird web is cannibalised.

Monday, 24 July 2023

bye-bye blue bird (10. 903)

Rebranded as X, Elon Musk who owns the transformed social media platform which he plans to ultimately recreate as an everything-app akin to China’s WeChat, presumably replacing the bird logo across all devices once updates are pushed through, announced that tweets will henceforth be stylised hash marks as well, though the roll-out seems a bit uneven. Calling for submissions, Musk promised he would make the change immediate with a good enough monogram was proposed, and the ๐• selected seems to be a decorative insignia from the Monotype foundry’s Special Alphabets 4 font. The choice may prove provisional, however. The original was co-founded by Musk—later rebranded as Paypal after Mush was unceremoniously ousted as CEO.  Though we’d given up on the site some time ago, we’ll still miss our little friend.


one year ago: the fall of Stirling Castle (1304) plus the sea cave of Smoo

two years ago: assorted links to revisit,  highbrow smut, a party in a box plus a student animation project that previsions CGI

three years ago: Congresswomen Bela Abzug, St Christina the Astonishing plus El Topo (1970)

four years ago: artefacts and equipment that travelled to the Moon,  the United States v Nixon (1974) plus re-tweet remorse

five years ago: the thagomizer, mapping the brain of a fruit fly plus the god of satire

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”


 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

Friday, 14 July 2023

doxbin (10. 882)

Via ibฤซdem (plus a lot more worth pursuing), this sort of profile, social summary that analyses one’s tweets and online affiliations generated by GPT might have been more fun and interesting back before the social media platform’s exodus and imminent implosion—and apologies for not being rid of these sharing buttons, it’s some fossilised code that I can’t seem to extract from my Frankenstein of a website without breaking something—but its nonetheless humourous and probably has pretty accurately sized me up and is a nice snapshot of one’s past presence and gift registry. 


Wednesday, 5 July 2023

let’s get tiny (10. 861)

Via Kottke, we learn about the Tiny Awards, chaired among others by Andy Baio of Waxy, that seeks to recognise the best old school sites that “embodies the idea of a small, playful and heartfelt web” with distinction and an honorarium. Candidates include the Ohh! directory, a blogging aggregator, and Brr, a journal about being stationed in Antarctica, all of which we can highly recommend. Check out the other contenders, rewild your browsing and register your endorsement at the link up top.  Rotating sandwiches!

7x7 (10. 859)

armada model zero: prototype flying, electric car cleared for takeoff 

๊ตญ๋ณด: ancient Corinthian helmet found in Olympia and awarded as a trophy in 1936 among South Korea’s National Treasures  

el niรฑo southern oscillation: combination of global warming and cyclical weather patterns have yielded the hottest day since record-keeping began  

๐Ÿงต: Meta to launch Twitter alternative in twenty-four hours  

cop27: UK to walk-back its climate pledge 

luteciam parisiorum: a virtual tour of Roman Paris  

astral projection: the brain’s precuneus seems to be responsible for grounding and for the sensation of out-of-body experiences

Sunday, 25 June 2023

c-18 (10. 833)

Via friend of the blog par excellence, Nag on the Lake, we learn that in order to protect beleaguered journalistic outlets—many of whom have been forced to shutter or severely curtail reporting—and local coverage (plus perhaps with the added bonus of slowly the spread of fake news), which Facebook’s and Instagram’s parent company is decrying as an unnecessary link tax (previously), the legislator of Canada has passed the Online News Act, prompting Meta to selectively, incrementally block access to such content on social media rather than entertain compensating small reporting operations for their work. Potentially impacting all headline aggregators, it remains to be seen what percentage of Facebook’s audience would be willing to leave the walled-garden for reputable sources, rather than what’s propagated or suggested to them, ahead of the law coming in to force, Facebook, leaving unchanged its services for Canada otherwise, will run trials cutting journalistic content for an experimental slice of five percent of its users and study the outcome—a rather disturbing and non-informed news blackout given the social media giant’s history of being sandbox unburdened by ethical parameters. Steeled against the pressure campaigns of the internet giants, other jurisdictions are expected to follow Canada’s example.

Sunday, 18 June 2023

fortune cookie (10. 818)

Originally launched under the title “Content Targeted Advertising” a few months earlier with the name AdSense used by competing service Applied Semantics, Google’s acquisition rolled out its programme to within network website publishers and content creators on this day in 2003, eventually replacing GoogleAds and DoubleClick. It is the company’s biggest revenue generator and serves advertisements on over thirty-eight million websites in addition to its own search engine.

8x8 (10, 816)

picassa: Google is sunsetting Album Archive—which could possibly affect Blogger blogs—but no one seems to know for sure—see more  

eames institute of infinite curiosity: exhibit honours design duo’s (previously) relationship with Saul Steinberg  

select the photos of clouds that would make me stand out on the lawn and watch for storms—and we definitely need a good storm soon: reCAPTCHAs as written by your father

cronuts: a protest poster with some cannibalistic syncretism and linguistic confusion  

boo berry: a look at the history of America monster breakfast cereals—see previously

eesti nukud: a 1982 stop-motion animation about a baker and a chimneysweep switching roles—with some banging flute rock  

maximalism: a tour of Barbie’s Dream Home—more on the aesthetic here  

bad karma: Reddit communities going dark in protest and forced to reopen—in the funniest possible ways

Sunday, 4 June 2023

9x9 (10. 786)

folkocracy: the latest from Rufus Wainwright  

old hollywood: one property management company dedicated to preserving Los Angeles’ vintage homes and apartments 

ladies’ ordinaries: a look at how gender got on the menu—see also 

cultivating a creative community: Tina Roth Eisenberg on “How I Built This”  

ologies: a comprehensive chart of the medical disciplines and how they fit together—also a good podcast  

purchasing power parity: mapping the cheapest Big Macs  

morbid passion for one of the opposite sex: the recent invention of heterosexuality  

controspazio: a photographic tribute to the recently departed post-modernist architect Paolo Portoghesi  

what a wicked thing to do—to let me dream of you: Tenacious D kicks off their next tour with a cover of the 1989 Chris Isaak hit

uncropped (10. 785)

Expanding on a previous post using AI to unframe and extend the backgrounds of iconic works of art and other bounded creations, the same suite of tools has been applied to internet memes to image what’s going on just outside of the picture, like for Side-Eye Chloe or Wandering-Eye Boyfriend

 What do you think? While it does strike one as impressive and plausible, distortion aside, we wonder how far removed these abilities are from zealous automated enhancement and “upsampling” features that play into our biases. More at the links above.

Tuesday, 23 May 2023

6x6 (10. 762)

nightingale-olympic: the time capsule that is Bangkok’s first specialty retail establishment—via Messy Nessy Chic 

splinternet: legal jurisdictions—for reasons real, specious and facetious dividing the internet

recruitment bonus: Florida governor is offering cash incentives to bring violent police officers to departments across the state—more here  

loveboat insanity: Poseidon’s Underworld reviews their lodestar film and more shared movie DNA  

puriteens: prudishness is taking over some parts of the internet   

bhs downtown: a Vermont high school hosted in an abandoned department store

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

Sunday, 30 April 2023

ใ‚ฌใ‚ทใƒฃใƒใƒณ (10. 710)

As part of an ongoing curious curation of the Japanese vending machine capsule toy collectibles, Card House presents another series of gachapon, which includes a set of miniature circuit-breakers, foothold traps, regional sirens, and novel laundering instruction washing tags as well as this sequence of posable versions of the famously armless Venus de Milo. The onomatopoeic word—echoing the cranking sound of the machine and the clunk of the item falling in the collection tray—is a proprietary eponym, a genericised trademark, like kleenex, googling, xeroxing or band-aid, copyrighted by Bandai but used by imitators and competitors as well.

Tuesday, 25 April 2023

subgenre (10. 697)

With the admonition “You better not be acting like you’re in a Wes Anderson movie when I get there,” videographer Ava Williams delivers and propagates an idea that’s infinitely relatable, the momentary feeling, like deja vu, that one has been launched into the signature aesthetic of the filmmaker. These deadpan takes on the meme, as curated by Hyperallergic makes me stop and take note of those transporting instances that we all experience. Check out the TikToks at the link above and get inspired to make your own.

Tuesday, 18 April 2023

7x7 (10. 682)

born to die: on the common fate of beloved social media platforms—they are heart-breakers

the past is a foreign country: they do things differently there: historian Paul Veyne shows that past is not necessarily precedent 

la fรฉe bruin: a tour of nineteenth century opium dens 

bbc100: John Hoare celebrates the broadcasting corporation’s centenary  

joan does dynasty: a stand-up therapist inserts herself into a soap-opera 

athena: Microsoft introduces an AI chip to step ahead of the field in machine-learning  

sixty-nine percent: CBC called by Twitter as government-funded and embraces the label—see previously