Sunday, 2 May 2021


why are you still here: our houses get sick of us never leaving too—via Nag on the Lake’s Sunday Links (lots more to see here)  

fake id: the unfortunately inevitable rise of counterfeit vaccination credentials  

disaster girl: meme as NFT (previously) nets a half-million dollars at auction 

comically overwrought: an oral history of the Crying Dawson gif  

resident evil village: games company produced a musical, gory puppet show to promote its latest instalment  

sunshine state: Florida will make it illegal for social media to deplatform politicians, with a especial carve-out for Disney—via Slashdot  

euphonium: found poetry in the history of acoustic waves  

web curios: Waxy lets us know that the fine and well-connected newsletter returns after a sabbatical of nine months with the folding of Imperia   

windows on the world: artwork by Liam Cobb that fills one with Wanderlust—via the morning news

ะฟะต́ั‚ั ะธ ะฒะพะปะบ

The symphonic fairy tale by Sergei Prokofiev that introduces young people to the instrumental sections of the orchestra while extolling the virtues of Soviet bravery and boldness and daring to question the dictums of the past generation (embodied in the scolding character of Grandfather) had it premier on this day at the Moscow Philharmonic in 1936. Later in the month, a much better attended performance took place at the Pioneers’ Palace, Peter being a member of this youth scouting organisation. Peter protects his animal friends (except for the duck—that is) as well as tames a fierce wolf with their help and working as a team. A 2003 recording with narration from Mikhail Gorbachev, Bill Clinton and Sophia Loren won a Grammy for best spoken-word album.

the kick inside

On this day in 1978, Kate Bush’s titular debut studio album (released in February) featuring the hit song Wuthering Heights first entered the UK charts to spend a total of an astounding seventy weeks and peaking with a high of number three. The album also features the song Them Heavy People about being a theological acolyte and the teachings of Jesus and the Russian mystic Gurdjieff, proponent of awakening one’s consciousness fully and following the “Fourth Way.”

franking privilege

Via the always engaging Present /&/ Correct (check out their sundries and notions), we learn that the postal authority in the Kingdom of Bhutan in 1973 issued commemorative stamps that were tiny vinyl records that could be played on a full-sized turn-table with a stylus, most featuring traditional folk music and acoustic samples of the country. More at the links above including a rendition of the Bhutanese national anthem replayed from phonographic postage.

Saturday, 1 May 2021


Whilst in the age of digital media, a geographical, orientating relic of print newspapers may not be an important marker for a readership increasing removed from the news page and pagination, it was nonetheless more than a little jarring to read that the New York Times is retiring its Op-Ed section, five decades on it originally referred to the page opposite the editorials, in favour editorial pieces supplemented with guest essays. Learn more about this decision and indulge in some truly outstanding vintage, newsprint layouts at the links above.


Spurred on by the success and controversy of the “War of the Worlds” radio broadcast from two years prior, Mercury studios and RKO Radio Pictures granted screen-writer—collaborating with Herman J. Mankiewic, producer, director—an unusual degree of autonomy and creative-control for his first feature, with Orson Welles’ (see previously here, here and here) influential and critically acclaimed drama Citizen Kane premiered on this day in 1941 at the Palace Theatre on Broadway. Cinematography, light and flashback heavily informed the genre Film Noir, as well as the biographical structure and pace of the film appearing again and again as storytelling and filmmaking models with echoes of the meta-medium of the press as a Faustian character, an untameable and compelling force of nature established going forward.

moraines and drumlins

Via Maps Mania, we are confronted with the profound and consequential loss of the world’s glacial cover visualised with an animated comparison of ninety of the planet’s largest and best surveyed moving, dense bodies of ice (see previously) on the march and on the retreat. Scientists project that the rate of melting will double by the next decade and will contribute some twenty percent to sea-level rise rather than being the natural water towers and frozen reservoirs that they were meant to be.

smoking dogs

Admittedly we were unaware of this motif and the religious iconography behind it and were rather blind to the profusion of details of sedate hounds in the corners and margins of high Renaissance to the early modern period of Spanish colonial paintings portrayed apparently as fetching a fat joint. Thanks to Strange Company’s Weekend Link Dump for educating and disabusing us of this trope which rather references the hagiographical tradition built up around Saint Dominic and the Dominican Order. The eleventh century Juana de Aza (Blessed Jane or Joan of Aza), it is related in some of the earliest accounts, was near to term in her pregnancy and dreamt, prophetically that a dog carrying a lit torch (not a marijuana cigarette unfortunately) leapt from her womb to set the world aflame. A monk of the Abbey Santo Domingo de Silos called Dominic interpreted this dream for Jane, who decided to give her son that name. Establishing his first brotherhood of six followers in a donated house in the city of Toulouse, Dominic adapted his organisation to urban living and the promoting the education and pastoral care of people where they live rather than being cloistered communities apart. I don’t think I cannot in the future be tempted to look for pyromaniacal dogs in future artworks on this subject.