biweekly links 2-7-2018

A Mexican dog in an early modern menagerie: I knew the Xoloitzcuintli (say that ten times real fast) were ancient but didn’t stop to think about when they found their way to the Old World. Despite this painting’s fuzzy provenance I find it entirely plausible that it’s a painting of one belonging to Rudolf II – he collected everything else, why not hairless dogs? Unfortunate factoid: more than a few sightings of the cryptozoological chupacabra are likely pitiably mangy xoloitzcuintli.

Mexican hairless dog looking straight at the camera. Has a sharp white and tan strip of fur down the center of its head
Not a chupacabra, but certainly badass with its little doggie mohawk. Courtesy Tumblr.

AI May Have Finally Decoded The Bizarre, Mysterious ‘Voynich Manuscript’: color me intrigued, though I’d be surprised if this was the first time someone threw modern tech at the problem (anyone, anyone, Bueller?). To my untutored mind it’s impressive that the AI’s algorithm gets known languages right 97% of the time until I remember that these are already known. The folks at CipherMysteries aren’t impressed and explain why in exhaustive detail far above my pay grade. Check out their latest Voynich round-up post if you want to go even further into the weeds.

Grieve The Capital: Derek Jarman’s Jubilee Turns 40: how sad is it that I’ve only ever seen fragments of this movie? Given that it has so many things I like (punk, Adam Ant, time travel, John Dee) and I find myself with free time perhaps the 40th anniversary is as good a reason as any to track down a copy.