Sunday 22 January 2023

410 u.s. 113 (10. 487)

On this day in 1973, overturning bans by individual state jurisdictions during the first three months of pregnancy on a woman’s right to reproductive autonomy, the US Supreme Court under the leadership of Warren Burger, in a seven to two vote, rendered its verdict on Roe v Wade, with the prevailing argument that such restrictions deprive women of liberties absent recourse to due process. For nearly a half century afterwards, there legal challenges and modifications that arose with the divide between anti-abortion and pro-choice factions until the court of Chief Justice John Roberts overruled settled law by hearing the case of Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organisation.

Saturday 21 January 2023

the sun is a mass of incandescent gas (10. 486)

Via Weird Universe, we are directed towards a collection of educational songs on the topic of astronomy performed by Dottie Evans and Tom Glazer and written by Hy Zaret (lyricist behind “Unchained Melody”, “The Partisan”) one LP in a series of six, “Singing Science,” meant to expose children to a variety of topics in the late 1950s through catchy little tunes. We especially liked “Constellation Jig” and “Planet Minuet.” Science fiction author Isaac Asimov praises these inspirational songs after his children received them as a gift and of course They Might Be Giants (previously) recorded a cover of the above “Why does the Sun Shine?"

i could be brown, i could be blue, i could be violet sky (10. 485)

The debut song of the Lebanese-British glam graphic designer rock artist born Michael Holbrook Penninman Jr rose to the top of the UK charts on this day in 2007—after an appearance on the talk show Later… with Jools Holland—and holding number one for five weeks would go on to become the third best-selling single for that year, bested by Amy Winehouse. From his autobiographical musical anthology, “Grace Kelly” references MIKA’s influences (“so I tried a little Freddie”) and is the opening track of his first studio album Life in Cartoon Motion and begins with a exchange of dialogue from the Princess of Monaco’s film The Country Girl. The melody is a reference to the aria “Largo al factotum” that Figaro performs in Rossini’s Barber of Seville.

7x7 (10. 484)

between two ferns: chats with “historical figures” have been regrettable—see previously

this concludes our broadcasting day: an alternate HBO signoff announcement (see previously) emerges  

nuscale for scale: US authorities approve design for the first generation of small, modular reactors  

all things bright and beautiful: a compelling argument to enjoy the All Creatures Great and Small reboot  

circular sun house: Frank Lloyd Wright’s final completed project (see also) on the edge of the Phoenix Mountains Nature Preserve goes on the market  

closed captioning: as a bilingual family, we always relied on subtitles and appreciated this primer on why we’re not alone  

content mill: CNET magazine suspends automated articles after an embarrassing disclosure

Friday 20 January 2023

can’t do hands (10. 483)

Via Web Curios, we are directed towards a rather nightmarish gallery of the myriad ways that early and contemporary, cutting-edge image generators alike make malformed human hands. It took me a long time to see this mural in Wiesbaden as the interlocking fingers for rebuilding but it did eventually register. There’s uncanny valley to describe the off-puttingness of a simulation that’s just too close to reality but there’s no agreed-upon term for its corollary. What would you call it? Such mangled hammer-toes only are relatable in a society in an era beyond such imitations and manual simulacra. How would you like to be vetted?

entente, dรฉtente (10. 482)

NATO leaders and affiliates met on the US Air Base in Ramstein with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy to discuss continued commitment to arming the beleaguered nation against Russian incursion and again press donor countries on the issue of the delivery of tanks and other heavy armaments. The US and Germany (newly minted Defence Minister Boris Pistorius on his second day on the job) unwilling to pledge either their Abrams tanks or their Leopard 2 Panzer (many European militaries are equipped with this German-made assault vehicle but cannot export them without German consent) and waiting for the other party to make the first move. This coyness is continued in the argument that stocks of the Soviet era weapons that Ukrainian forces are accustomed to are running low and that Western models are notoriously fussy, high maintenance and require specialised training to operate, but conceals the more salient factor of firing range that puts Russian territory within reach and could swiftly escalate the conflict already characterised as a proxy war between NATO and Russia on one side and dread hesitation on the other.

Thursday 19 January 2023

7x7 (10. 481)

distressed property: no interested buyers for North Hollywood Crypto House—via Miss Cellania  

rabbit on the moon: some communities following the luni-solar calendar readying for the Year of the Cat

cartoon dynamo: a century later, a 1923 editorial foreshadows automated art 

high stakes brinksmanship: the US Treasury turns to extraordinary measures to avoid default on debt repayments  

peer-reviewed: many scientists disapprove of ChatGPT cited as a contributing author on research papers  

unbuilt: rendered images of Frank Lloyd Wright’s unrealised architecture  

childhood lottery dream home achieved: a selection of properties on the market, courtesy of Zillow Gone Wild

living in love and faith (10. 480)

Concluding an extended period of consultation following the 2013 legal recognition of same-sex marriages in England and Wales, a council of Anglican bishops have announced their intent that the Church of England’s stance on sexuality should not be subject to change. The matter to be debated at a General Synod in February, the Church—which was established expressly to question authority on the sanctity of matrimony when the Pope refused to grant Henry XIII an annulment—is stopping short of performing itself gay marriages though significantly drops a 1991 rule that clergy members in same-sex relationships must remain celibate, issued a blanket apology for its behaviour towards the LGBTQ+ community and retains blessing for civil marriages of gay couples. Though not yet amenable to the ceremony, it does represent progress.