Tuesday, 8 June 2021


scream real loud: The 1954 “Pinky Lee Show” that prefigures in a way Pee-Wee’s Playhouse 

7/10: promoting health for the high seas on World Oceans Day—previously  

avian aftershave: crows treat themselves to ant baths  

squirrels under the hood: an AI researchers illustrates how algorithms are dangerously regressive reflections of the worst of us (previously) and are far from artificial or intelligent  

###: a short from Optical Arts repeats a range of actions with different objects in the key of A  

that’s my name—don’t wear it out: do yourself a favour and check out the blog of Pee-Wee Herman

procol harum

Reaching number one on the UK charts on this day in 1967 a little under a month after its release, this achievement of A Whiter Shade of Pale, remaining at the top for weeks, is considered the beginning of the Summer of Love in Britain, the Chaucerian prosody and Baroque accompaniment (Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Air on the G string”) speaking to an up-and-coming but disaffected generation. Subsequently this anthem has become the single most publicly played song in UK history with the single featured in the soundtracks The Big Chill, Breaking the Waves and Ken Burns and Lynn Novick’s documentary The Vietnam War. Over nine hundred cover versions have been performed by other artists over the years.  Though according to one anecdote the band is called after the rather sophisticatedly-named Burmese cat named Procul Harun—Arabic for warrior lion, there is no authoritative source and other suggesting it being bad Latin for “beyond these things,” whereas properly it would be procul hฤซs.

american venus

Here pictured in 1915 with Buzzer the Cat, born this day in 1891 (†1996, aged 104), Audrey Marie Munson was considered to be the USA’s first super model, inspiring sculptural works and engravings across the country whose likeness graces many public institutions and endowments.
Discovered whilst window shopping on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan by hobby photographer Felix Benedict Herzog who invited Munson to his studio and introduced her to artist friends, she was immortalised in statuary in courthouse, museums and libraries in New York and was even the model for a commission of Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands for an armed Venus de Milo.  Modelling led to four starring roles in silent movies, one appearance was fully nude. 
Lecherously, the landlord of the boarding house where Munson lived with her mother was madly in love with her and murdered his wife so they could be together. Requited or otherwise, this episode compelled Munson to quit her career in 1922 and having attempted suicide herself (the landlord hanged himself in prison awaiting his execution), Munson’s mother had her committed to an insane asylum in upstate New York where she remained for the next six and a half decades, forgotten and with no visitors until a distant relative found her in 1984.

cantiones profanรฆ cantoribus et choris cantandรฆ comitantibus instrumentis atque imaginibus magicis

With the above full Latin title, the cantata Carmina Burana (Songs of Beuren—a Benedictine abbey near Bad Tรถlz) of twelfth century meditative texts and poems orchestrally arranged by Carl Orff (81895 - †1982) had its premier performance on this day in 1937 at the Oper Frankfurt. The opening and closing movements are named “Fortuna Impertrix Mundi” and contain the famous and stirring O Fortuna.

Monday, 7 June 2021


Referred to as “big ear” in Portuguese, Design Boom celebrates fifty years of the iconic egg-shaped public telephone hoods that were configured for privacy, discretion and to parabolically focus sound by architect Chu Ming Silveira (*1941 – †1997). Though now the installations are mostly ornamental—though also subject to repurposing, just like the red telephone booths of London, are an essential part of the streetscapes of Rio de Janeiro, Sรฃo Paulo and dozens of other metropolitan areas in in Central and South America, Africa and China. The open shells were created in response to complaints of compromised reception with traditional call-boxes that took up too much real estate on the sidewalks and were prone to vandalism and expensive to replace, whereas the acrylic hoods were compact and low-cost.


glass menagerie: a Murano bestiary on display in Venice  

glow up: beauty tips from Ancient Roman—via Strange Company’s Weekend Link Dump  

coconuรŸritter: a short about Foley artists and creating soundscapes  

happy little clouds: explore a relaxing gallery of Bob Ross paintings (previously), via Nag on the Lake’s Sunday Links   

culaccino: a database of words that do not readily translate succinctly, like this Italian term from the mark left on a table by a cold glass—via Swiss Miss 

electrobat vi: antique electric forerunners side-by-side with modern EVs  

the perils of everybody: a ‘mistake waltz’ that illustrates the pratfalls all ballet recitals are prone to  

where the buffalo roam: restoring the ecosystem of the North American Great Plains by reintroducing charismatic megafauna  

kitchenette: re-examining Liza Lou’s beaded exhibits

Sunday, 6 June 2021

we here at weyland-yutani corporation would like to wish a happy pride month to all of our lgbtq+ colonists on lv-426

Via JWZ and ourselves just seeing the Y in the corporate logo for the first time, we are rather enjoying this show of corporate solidarity from villainous, fictitious companies including Umbrella Corporation, Tyrell and Cyberdyne Systems, makers of Skynet.  No official statements yet from their real world counterparts regarding Pride Month and often fleeting and hollow-ringing shows of support irrespective of however a person might identify themselves or whatever association is foisted on them.  

overnighter: frรคnkische weinorte

H and I took a drive in familiar territory through the vineyards of Franconia in the Main River valley between Kitzigen and Schweinfurt, taking a couple of ferries that crossed the winding Main as it coursed through the hills and came to the storied vineyard there where we had previously been treated to a wine-tasting tour, after a visit of the town of Volkach with an ensemble of medieval buildings in its walked centre. 

Next we marvelled at the Mainschleife—a closed bend technically but a way to describe a river form with sinuous curves, otherwise a Mรคander, Meander, from the vantage point of the Vogelsberg, a small retreat and gastronomy at the top of a promontory. 



Fording the river with another ferry, we stopped next in the village of Escherndorf—another spot full of character and vintners plus a wedding chapel with a grotto on a hill overlooking the settlement below dedicated to Our Lady of Lourdes, built after a Franciscan nun from Volkach made a pilgrimage there and returned with a keepsake, with the support of the original community on the Franco-Spanish border in the Pyrenees. Instead of the usual Stations of the Cross, the path up to the chapel was lined with decorated wine barrels and there was a giant cast that could be loaned out as a tiny party room, complete with coolers for the wine. 

Next we left for our last stop on the Weininseln, the Wine Islands with the village Sommerach, not only known for the viticulture and area monopoly for the Cloister Schwarzach (previously, which we didn’t visit this time around due to a dramatic shift in the weather) but also for the unique character of the estuaries and their protected status as nature reserves. 

Staying at a pitch just outside of one of the more famous wine-producers, regionally known for its Silvaner, I needed to self-administer my first COVID Schnelltests, letting it rest on the floorboard until we were sure it was negative—something unexpected but that I was happy to do to keep us all happy campers. We explored Sommerach some more, which was in the process of reopening itself and everyone was wonderfully day-drunk—last time we visited, it was ill-timed in the middle of their wine fest, a very serious and well-attended undertaking. 

The central part of the Old Town, flanked with cafes and wine-sellers was the church of Saint Eucharius and the monumental fountain featuring the archangel Michael—not Saint George—slaying a dragon. Returning to the campgrounds, we explored the shoreline and encountered a gaggle of strange ducks.
While I had noticed the odd tall—or long duck before, seeing them act as a group, not waddling but marching double-quick time headlong, H and I were amused and a little confused—learning later that this particular breed of mostly flightless, mostly quackless ducks are called Laufente, Indian Runner Ducks (possibly from Jakarta—see also—but no one really knows their origin, bred to be walked to market), which while prolific egg-layers don’t possess the instinct to nest or rear their young and so have to be watched over by their caretakers.