Wednesday 27 March 2024

i want to run, i want to hide (11. 454)

Shot atop a liquor store in downtown Los Angeles in reference to the Beatles’ final concert on this day in 1987, eventually attracting crowd control although police interference was somewhat exaggerated with safety protocols built in and not exactly impromptu and filming extensions granted, U2’s opening track on The Joshua Tree album, released later in August, was composed in response to the suggestion it was possible to assign demographics to an individual based on their address, particularly for residents of Belfast. Producer Brian Eno reconsidered his initial decision to erase the recordings due to difficulties in studio and the song went on to critical and commercial acclaim. The theatrical sign for The Million Dollar Hotel, a film conceived by Bono around the same time about transients in the city with widely differing backgrounds and circumstances, though not released until 2000, was rebuilt to attract attention ahead of the performance in case no one showed.

9x9 (11. 453)

 you are old, father william, the young man said: Better Living Through Beowulf has been applying Lewis Carroll characters to the trials and tribulations of Biden and Trump  

gรผneลŸ enerjili santrali: power plant in Turkeyi’s Konya region is straight out of science fiction  

rotoscopio: artist Antoni Sendra celebrates his daring daughter’s favourite things with more than two thousand hand painted frames of animation ahead of her sixth birthday 

toto, i don’t think we’re in kansas anymore: the Ruby Slippers theft saga continues 

read/write drive: Infinite Macs and making computing history accessible, including an emulation of the original World Wide Web browser—via Waxy  

licensed broker: the rise and fall of the professional appellation electragist  

fleischer studios: the history and evolution of animation from the phenakistiscope to Pixar  

low-vacuum pipeline magnetic levitation technology: a hyperloop test track in the Netherlands 

come to jesus moment: Trump attempts to capitalise on Biden’s split with Israeli leadership

the usual suspects (11. 452)

After years of obscuring police line-ups in creative and comical (to some) fashions, one department will comply with a request from a toy company to respectfully stop using its image to hide the faces of potential law-breakers in its social media posts. Certain authorities had been in the habit of protecting the identity of suspects for non-violent crimes in case they were exonerated and not to expose them to public shaming—the stocks—but all began to comply once legislation was passed to protect the identities of all until proven guilty. We’re not sure why such a blotter needed to be circulated in the first place, unless looking for more witnesses or issuing an all points bulletin. Mugshots are also removed after a fortnight. In any case, no more minifigs.


one year ago: The Leopard (1963) plus Everything is a Remix

two years ago: Starlight Express plus Let America Be America Again

three years ago: a cargo freighter blocks the Suez Canal, Moby Dick by Matt Kish, statehood for Washington, DC plus the Tenerife Airport Disaster (1977)

four years ago: the etymology of a snack cracker, Typhoid Mary, vintage bathrooms, an Oscar boycott (1973) plus job losses soar due to the pandemic

five years ago: Japan becomes less vegetarian (1872), driving home through the Rhรถn plus The Disorder of Things

Tuesday 26 March 2024

i’m feeling lucky (11. 451)

A couplet of essays illustrate the insatiable drive for the tech industry to foist AI enhancements to a suite of baseline products (an inuring narrative that we’ve encountered before from guilds to shingles, to telephone directories, to 800 numbers, to websites, to encryption, to block-chain) with a trial of ‘search generative experience’ by default, making chatbot recommendations scraped from the web rather than (ir)relevant links. An experiment for now, it is indicative of the direction behemoths would take user queries—even at the risk of not just being seen as promoting content that no one is looking for but also as the creator of said bad results, redefining what a search-engine does with a curatorial capacity. The counterpoint is somewhat of an apology for the trajectory of seemingly better performance, promising utility, with the wholesale intrusion, offering that AI does not comprehend what “to google” is and cannot differentiate between requests for research and requests for navigation, unwilling to accept a point of departure and what’s easy to know but increasingly harder find. Although championing what is juried by humans (both noting how it is informed our non-synthetic archives), neither developmental observation bodes well for curiosity.


one year ago: assorted links to revisit, the Book of Mormon (1820) plus the musical stylings of Takeshi Terauchi

two years ago: more links to enjoy plus some local street art

three years ago: Balance (1989), the Fiat factory test track plus the Hapsburgs attempt to retake the throne (1921)

four years ago: the GOP Death Cult, fomites plus the Schengen Area (1995)

five years ago: more shadowology, The Handmaid’s Tale as a graphic novel, the Frauenhofer Institute (1949), a FOIA primer plus property development naming reforms

Monday 25 March 2024

dionysian incarnation of the word (11. 450)

First reckoned by Scythian monk Dionysius Exiguus (the Humble) in 525 but his Computus for determining the date of Easter not widely adopted until the ninth century, his convention of Anno Domini was conceived as way to number regnal years breaking with the old system of Roman eras that continued the memory of rulers who often subjected Christians to persecution and repression. Reaching back five centuries, cross-referencing traditional dating systems, Olympiad years, biblical accounts and the reign of consulships, prone to inaccuracies and some confusion and fraught with the Roman idea that great figures would live out lives only in whole years, his calculations were confounded and not synchronised with any extant calendar, the logic behind the ultimate decisions made obscure by design, possibly wanting to tamp down on the influence of certain branches of the faith who believed that the end of the world was imminent and the resurrection of the dead would come five hundred years after the birth (conception, incarnation, nativity) of Jesus, the common era beginning with year one on this day five hundred twenty-four years prior, by demonstrating that it had already passed.


one year ago: a Trump rally in Texas

two years ago: Lady Day plus Ring of Fire (1963)

three years ago: your daily demon: Aguarรจs, a huge NFT portfolio, St Dismas, Like a Prayer (1989) plus assorted links to revisit

four years ago: more links to enjoy

five years ago: elegant, animated GIFs to teach maths, COBRA started as a pyramid-scheme, an unusual time-piece for Lent in Austria plus more links worth revisiting

Sunday 24 March 2024

rush week (11. 449)

We thoroughly enjoyed this detailed review of the 1978 ABC made-for-television movie The Initiation of Sarah by Robert Day and starring Kay Lenz, a retreating wallflower (see also) over shadowed by her popular sister (Morgan Brittany) who discovers her latent paranormal powers after being admitted to the sonority on campus with less prestige, ฮฆฮ•ฮ”—referred to by the members of ฮ‘ฮฮฃ (Alpha-Nus) as “pigs, elephants and dogs”—with the encouragement of house matron, Shelly Winters. Discovering that the hazing ceremony will involve a human sacrifice, Lenz uses her telekinetic abilities to disrupt the initiations for the rival sonority as well as her own. Much more from Poseidon’s Underworld at the link up top.

11x11 (11. 448)

inauspicious beginnings: a rift opens up in a group of official astrologers employed by the Sri Lankan government to pick ideal dates for new years rituals  

disco arabesquo: record label Habibi Funk aims to introduce Middle Eastern vintage music to wider audiences 

typecraft: a transformative font foundry in India 

the allegory of the cave: on the twenty-fifth anniversary of the film’s premiere, we may be still trapped in the Matrix 

banjaxed and bockety: two curious Irish terms 

der buch der hasengeschichten: Tom Seidmann-Freud’s 1924 collection of hare fables 

working for tips: bizarrely robot baristas will accept gratuities, in a service sector landscape already fraught with insecurity and precarity—via tmn  

the juice is on the loose: a sequel thirty-six years in the making, reuniting the original cast—via Miss Cellania  

international system of typographic picture education: an archive of the pictograms of Gerd Arntz—see previously  

pocket full of kryptonite: the preponderance of alternative rock songs about Superman in the 1990s, 2000s 

prosopometamorphopsia: a new study on generalised social anxiety disorder tries to see from the perspective of those with a rare condition that causes faces to appear distorted, demonic—via the New Shelton wet/dry

a brain, a beauty, a jock, a rebel and a recluse (11. 447)

Taking place according to the teen coming-of-age movie on this day, a Saturday, in 1984, The Breakfast Club by John Hughes, featuring the acting talents of Anthony Michael Hall, Ally Sheedy, Molly Ringwald, Paul Gleason, Emilio Estevez and Judd Nelson. Relating the encounters of five individuals from different high school social cliques being punished with a weekend detention overseen by an authoritarian vice-principal with the assignment to write a thousand word essay on who they think they are as punishment, with instructions not to talk or interact with their fellow classmates, all strangers to one another from different social groups. Hiding from their minder, they break the rules and pass the time gradually opening up and sharing their circumstances with one another. Considered the quintessential 1980s movie (in general release about a year after the events in the movie timeline occurred) and with a stellar soundtrack, film poster, a “family shot” ensemble of the cast was photographed by Annie Leibovitz.


one year ago: the Lassie finale (1973) plus an ominous sign in the heavens (1345)

two years ago: Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1952)

three years ago: the Potato Decree (1756), Donkeyskin, Moscow on the Hudson plus an alternative keyboard format

four years ago: International Tuberculosis Day plus a long fight ahead

five years ago: Meshes of the Afternoon plus marijuana etiquette