Thursday 14 September 2023

storm daniel (11. 000)

First affecting Greece and Turkey with massive floods before reorganising itself as a low front over the Mediterranean and overwhelming dams and causing a catastrophic breach in the Lebanese port city of Derna, the cyclone forming in the Ionian sea has proved the deadliest and most expensive event of the year, only just now dissipating with tens of thousands of casualties and exponentially more displaced. A quarter of the the ancient city was washed away with entire neighbourhoods unaccounted for, seeming carried to the sea. The unconscionable scale of the disaster is attributed in part of years of neglected infrastructure maintenance under the regime of of Muammar Gaddafi followed by civil war but the extreme weather is also on account of the effects of runaway climate change.

synchronoptica

one year ago: The Waltons (1972), spreading seeds plus an AI illustrated Bible

two years ago: assorted links to revisit plus rice harvest art

three years ago: one of the first laws enshrining freedom of the press (1770), explaining the year 2020 to someone from the past plus music to move by

four years ago: seeing the tarnish of the golden era plus RIP Eddie Money

five years ago: Trump downplays deaths in Hurricane Maria, a new Russian cathedral, Jimmy Carter Says Yes, more on calendar reforms plus Trump’s campaign manager in court

Wednesday 13 September 2023

sacred stuggle (10. 999)

Arriving his private armoured train over the sliver of a shared border between Russian and North Korea, Kim Jong Un (whom rarely leaves the country) with Vladimir Putin at the Vostochy cosmodrome to tour the facilities and discuss a weapons deal, occasioned by Russia running a deficit on munition shells due to the protracted invasion of Ukraine and turning to the heavily stockpiled peninsula dating from the Cold War, reportedly offering in exchange to the isolated and destitute nation food aid and expertise in developing reconnaissance satellites in furtherance of the developing atomic weapons programme. Though once opposed to allowing unstable neighbours going nuclear and participating in sanctions against North Korea for its pursuit, Russia now seems willing—as with its cache of drones from Iran, to take these risks including the possibility of selling on technologies to arms-dealers even less allied and a bipolar geopolitical landscape with the West on one side and Russia’s sphere of tenuous influence. Kim reaffirmed his support for “to defend its state sovereignty and protect its security” echoing rhetoric used to justify invading Ukraine and Putin graciously accepted his counterpart’s invitation for a state visit.

 synchronoptica

one year ago: the Poet Laureate’s tribute to the Queen, the Beatles’ Apple Electronics venture plus assorted links to revisit

two years ago: your daily demon: Marchosias, more links to enjoy, the first teenage all music and dance show plus the release of Super Mario Brothers (1985)

three years ago: dissecting the original COVID hotspot, more on radio alphabets, The Stand, the stately manor that inspired Wuthering Heights plus St Venerius

four years ago: more links to enjoy

five years ago: willpower and endurance, more on the monomyth plus an ad-filled rocking chair

Tuesday 12 September 2023

it creeps and leaps, and glides and slides across the floor (10. 998)

Released in US theatres on this day in 1958 and billed as a double feature with the less memorable I Married a Monster from Outer Space, the science fiction horror film introducing Steve McQueen in his first leading role is premised on an amoeba like alien that arrives in a small Pennsylvania community via meteorite, growing larger as it incorporates living matter. Unable to kill the creature, they discover that chill paralyses it and rendering locomotion with pseudopodia impossible and the frozen Blob is airlifted to the North Pole—with the ominous pronouncement that they can stop the terror but not kill it, “as long as the Arctic stays cold.”

synchronoptica

one year ago: the Chaos Computer Club (1981), medieval dog names plus the beach photos of Philip Barlow

two years ago: the Battle of Marathon, a sudden revelation plus more nearby abandoned places

three years ago: doom loops, traffic planning and civil engineering, Lascaux Cave rediscovered, flights to nowhere plus the invention of the written word

four years ago: Bonanza (1959) plus the Treaty on the Final Settlement with Respect to Germany (1990)

Monday 11 September 2023

galvanic response (10. 997)

Via the New Shelton wet/dry, we learn that from 1950 to 1973 the Canadian civil service, to include the Mounties and the armed forces, amid the general moral panic applied to different lifestyles and the notion (reenforced by social pressures to hide one’s identity) that gay men were susceptible to honey-pot operations and recruitment by Marxist espionage utilised a device called the “fruit machine”—a pejorative yet re-appropriated term—to screen out homosexual candidates and eliminate government workers (see also). Test subjects were sat in a dentist’s chair and made to view a series of pictures, ostensibly to rate stressors, but from the pedestrian to the pornographic gauged pupillary (eye dilation) to other involuntary responses as a proxy for erotic thoughts with a deeply flawed set of assumptions that potentially (funding was withdrawn in the late 1960s but the technique was still employed) cost up to nine-thousand individuals their careers.

glistening green (10. 996)

This photograph by Nicolas Reusens perfectly frames a male emerald tanager (the informal name above for the Chlorochrysa phoenicotis) won gold in the portrait category for the Bird Photograph of the Year (B-PoTY, previously) taken in its native habitat in a nature reserve in the tropical jungles of Ecuador. Selected from over twenty-thousand submissions, the overall winner among all the superlatives went to Jack Zhi for a dramatic act shot captured in southern California of a peregrine falcon defending her nest from a brown pelican. More at the links above including the annual contest’s conservation initiative.

ฮถ ursae majoris (10. 995)

Still awaiting flying cars (aka roadable aircraft) we were promised, the first pair of fatalities occurred on this day in 1973, when co-founders of AVE (Advanced Vehicle Engineers) Henry Smolinski and Harold Blake were test-piloting a Mizar prototype (named after the lodestar in the Big Dipper) in Oxnard, California. Mating a Cessna airframe to a Ford Pinto, an earlier test-flight had revealed stress of the struts and the deadly crash succumbed to the same design flaw, setting the field back significantly, though one-off developments continue. 

synchronoptica 

one year ago: an important battle in the Scottish War of Independence (1297)

two years ago: 80s automotive dashboards, avian photograph of the year, the Dead Internet conspiracy theory plus Midcentury Modern home-entertainment consoles

three years ago: a memorable, perfectly timed photograph, Disintegration Loops, fiery skies plus assorted links to revisit

four years ago: US pulls funding for the UN migration agency, more on the art and writing of William Blake plus imagining what’s beyond the frame

five years ago: a web-cam aimed at the North Tower,  an international trombone festival, corporate sponsored space exploration plus the US attacks the International Criminal Court

theta wave (10. 994)

Coincidentally on the anniversary of the mega-structure’s inauguration on this day in 1936 when Franklin D Roosevelt pressed a button in Washington, DC to start the first hydroelectric generator for a test-run on the Nevada-Arizona border (the dedication ceremony came at the month’s end), Weird Universe reports on the therapeutic potential of the acoustics properties of Hoover Dam. Whilst the soothing effects maybe somewhat exaggerated and over-simplified, binaural beat (as they are contemporaneously and unfortunately we could not find an audio sample either), the resolution of the auditory illusion that takes place in the brain when one hears two slightly different tones in stereo (as from an echo) is the frequency-follow response. Indulging and synchronising this discrepancy can in some instances induce a mental state of relaxation though a fair number of listeners report a short-lived burst of anxiety and anger and generally finding the experience unproductive.

Sunday 10 September 2023

6x6 (10. 993)

wordwhile: whilst Damn Interesting takes a short sabbatical to recoup and regroup, try their fun word game  

home-ec: kakeibo (ๅฎถ่จˆ็ฐฟ) the century-old method of household budgeting devised by Motoko Hani, Japan’s first woman journalist  

germinating hope: seed art with a message at the Minnesota state fair  

bullet points: an encomium for the co-creator of PowerPoint Dennis Austin (RIP)  

vim and vigour: more on the nineteenth century cocaine-fortified wine—see previously 

 ☕️๐Ÿซ: more on universal words, Betteridge’s and Cunningham’s law—browse through the comments

 synchronoptica

one year ago: Hey Jude (1968), links to enjoy, more telling the bees plus more assorted links to revisit

two years ago: St Aubert, the ecological importance of oyster-beds, comparable to coral reefs plus even more links worth revisiting

three years ago: the largest basilica in the world, artist Marianne von Werefkin, a devastating earthquake in Constantinople (1509), the original and the reprised Fresh Prince, burning skies plus Hongkonger neologisms

four years ago: the dissolution of the Austrian Empire (1919), Boris Johnson suspends Parliament, Sharpiegate plus more assorted links

five years ago: Denver airport plays up conspiracy theories,  towing an iceberg to the desert, an innovative wind-turbine plus the premiere of X-Files (1993)