Sunday, 6 June 2021

centaurea nervosa

Though no peonies or poppies (though our late-bloomers might be inspired by these) in the garden just yet, we’ve got quite a nice spread of these thistle-like plants that sprout at the edge of the deck in late spring. Called less charitably knapweed, Flockenblumen or bluets are commonly known as centaury in deference to the centaur Chiron who taught medicinal use of plants to human though Achilles, Aeneas, Asclepius and other Greek heroes. Ranging widely in colour from yellow to purple, the ornamental plant native to the Alps is the source of the colour cornflower blue and is useful alongside agricultural crops as a more appetising food source for insects. The bumblebees and other pollinators absolutely adore them and we are pretty partial to them as well. 


your daily demon: zepar

Ruling from today through 10 June, this sixteenth spirit is an infernal grand duke with sway over twenty-six legion of subordinates, Zepar presents as a soldier in a red uniform. His office is to engender romance between individuals but can also frustrate with infertility and impotance. Zepar is opposed by the corresponding Shem HaMephorash angel Hakamiah, under the leadership of archangel Jophiel, non-canonical though this “spy-of-God” is said to be the one that cast out Adam and Eve and guards Paradise.

Saturday, 5 June 2021

funky elbows

We really had fun reading this long, informative and enthusiastic article from the Gannet wire service about how success on the dancefloor is not about learning steps or certain moves but about attitude and the way one carries oneself with a series of ten choreographed motions and gestures including the shoulder twist and shoulder sniff and the dolphin roll. This is empowering advice and we appreciated the viewing recommendation from the Charlie Brown Players’ School of Dance as well. More disco lessons from Weird Universe at the link above.


Via Web Curios (a lot more to see here), we are presented with this sophisticated name generator, which draws from a randomised list of English place-names—suburban area, villages, hamlets (see previously)—to suggest an ideal company name for one’s venture or concern. Barcheston Moneystone, LLP. Play with the toggle buttons and let us know the name of your next partnership.

vitae bonifatius

Feted on this day on the occasion of his martyrdom (*675) on this day in 754 near Dokkum in Friesland, Boniface, from the Devon village of Crediton, was a leading figure of the Anglo-Saxon mission to the Frankish Empire and whose influence, reforms and alliances-including the union of the papacy with the Carolingian dynasty and the successor transnational organisations, like the Holy and Roman Empire of the Germans and the EU, and is celebrated as a missionary and uniter and peace-maker, the Apostle to the Germans acclaimed almost immediately after his death as patron of the country and Fulda, his major shrine. The basilica minor is not far away from the modern day town of Fritzlar where Boniface reportedly, dramatically chopped down the Donar Oak (considered sacred to Jupiter through interpretatio romana) to illustrate that no punishment would be meted out for this perceived desecration and went on to build a chapel dedicated to Saint Peter from the lumber. Winning converts, Boniface encouraged widespread destruction of pagan sites, especially sacred groves. Though probably only an inventive story, the saint is sometimes credited with the invention of the Christmas tree as a way to coopt and supplant native customs. Boniface and his retinue were killed by highway robbers en route to Frisia, hoping to find more followers in the north, their attackers sorely disappointed to find only books and manuscripts instead of treasure.

the morbidity and mortality weekly report

In a bulletin published on this day in 1981 by the US health authority, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, five individuals in Los Angeles are reported to be suffering from a rare form of opportunistic pneumonia that only occurs in people with a compromised immune system. Though first appearing in an article in the homosexual publication the New York Native a couple of weeks prior describing the other comorbidity of Kaposi's sarcoma with warnings directed towards the CDC of a “gay cancer” the five were considered to be the first clinically diagnosed with what became known as AIDS, acquired immunodeficiency syndrome caused by the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). Before settling on the above, accepted naming-convention, the disease was usually referred to its associated pathologies or by the acronym GRID—gay-related immune deficiency, or the even worse “4-H disease” with affected communities seemingly confined to heroin-users, homosexuals, haemophiliacs and Haitians—both dropped once it was shown that the disease was not isolated to any one group, though the stigma and discrimination endures. Approaching forty million live with AIDS and at least thirty-five million have died from it since the discovery.

Friday, 4 June 2021

high fidelity

Via the always serendipitous Present /&/ Correct, we found ourselves quite taken with these extensive archives of vintage catalogues of Japanese gadgets and accessories—Walkmans (which were manufactured up to 2010, with over two-hundred million cassette-playing units produced, ubiquitous and causing a minor safety furore with some municipalities banning them over distracted, inattentive pedestrians—the eponymous effect sometimes interpreted as isolating, early models had a “hotline” switch to facilitate conversation without removing headphones but was not well received but allowed individuals to define their surrounds through their personal soundscape and is applied to successor technologies), boom-boxes and other portable media players—see also. Much more to explore at the links above.

Thursday, 3 June 2021


Whilst I’ve been the recipient of my share of military unit coins with varying levels of swagger, ridiculousness and bombast, outside of the prematurely issued commemorative one issued for Trump’s summit with North Korea, I was unaware of the minting of “victory coins” by US government agencies and so was intrigued by this artefact from the CIA (via Super Punch) for memorialising the over-throw of the regime of Fidel Castro in April of 1961 through the arming of exiles and dissidents. The abject failure of the Bay of Pigs invasion raised tensions significantly between the USA and the USSR and led to the Cuba Missile Crisis and inchoate nuclear war.