Monday, 29 December 2008

The Tree of Life.

'Each page contains information about a particular group of organisms (e.g., echinoderms, tyrannosaurs, phlox flowers, cephalopods, club fungi, or the salamanderfish of Western Australia). ToL pages are linked one to another hierarchically, in the form of the evolutionary tree of life. Starting with the root of all Life on Earth and moving out along diverging branches to individual species, the structure of the ToL project thus illustrates the genetic connections between all living things. '

The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam.

'The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam is among the few masterpieces that has been translated into most languages, including English, French, German, Italian, Russian, Chinese, Hindi, Arabic, and Urdu.'

Abandoned London - Christmas Morning.

Medieval Manuscripts in the Dutch National Library.

Japanese Matchbox Labels.

The Bubble Blower Museum.

'Bubble blowers are among the oldest and most popular of children's toys. Even when families had no money for toys, they could find a wire to twist into a circle and some soap for blowing bubbles.'

Artists' Books Online.

Books which take the form of works of art and are both text and art.

Some good ones :

'How to Humiliate Your Peeping Tom' :

'Life in a Book' :

'Black Dog White Bark' :

The Metcalf Collection of Images of Stained Glass.

'With the advent of World War II, these fearless individuals traveled throughout Europe to photograph stained glass before it was either secured for safe keeping or else destroyed in the war. Kodak developed a special color slide film for them and they devised their own unique classification system to document these works. The glass in these images covers Austria, England, France, Germany, Switzerland. The coverage of these areas is not comprehensive. By far the largest area to be photographed was France and only one building for example was documented in Austria and indeed only one image as well. Within each building they photographed what was there often against tremendous odds with enemy forces arriving as they were still documenting. Every effort was made to satisfactorily cover all of the glass from the twelfth century to the twentieth century, but it is clear that there are omissions. The collection lay for many years in the Dayton Art Institute from where it was transferred to Princeton’s Index of Christian Art in 2004.'


'ZooBorns brings you the newest and cutest exotic animal babies from zoos and aquariums around the world.'

Baby aardvark :

Panda :

Otters :

Vintage Oceania.

Vintage Hawaiiana.

Lighthouses of the Great Lakes.

A virtual gazetteer.

What On Earth Are We Doing?

What on Earth are we doing?, D.H.Keen and G.E.Simmons, illustrated by Pat Oakley, Ladybird Books, Loughborough 1976.

Covered Bridges of Madison County, Iowa.

Astro Pics.


Jets on the Sun.

Galaxies in the River.

Friday, 26 December 2008

Easy Puzzle.

Alice, Michiko, and Chelsea went bird watching. Each of them saw one bird that none of the others did. Each pair saw one bird that the third did not. And one bird was seen by all three. Of the birds Alice saw, two were yellow. Of the birds Michiko saw, three were yellow. Of the birds Chelsea saw, four were yellow. How many yellow birds were seen in all?

Famous People and Their Cats.

Someone's Bicycle Commute in Pictures.

Academic Houseguest.

'In December, John Hawthorne, a philosopher from England, visited us in NYC for a little while...'

Mr. T and Nancy Reagan.

Vintage Corgi Toys/Dinky Toys.

'Welcome to the collection of old Corgi Toys and Dinky Toys catalogues. They are presented here for your enjoyment; please let me add, I do not deal with the toys themselves nor do I know anything about today's value of those beauties.'

Spidercamp: Stories.

She's a very good writer. Check out this ghost story :

Also makes nice handmade stuff you can buy :

Geisha with Photo Albums.

'Japanese Geisha Girls looking at various photograph albums, 1890 to 1915. From original photos in the Okinawa Soba Collection.'

Tango with Cows: Book Art of the Russian Avant-Garde 1910-1917.

Portraits of Artists.

'Stored alongside original letters, diaries, and sketchbooks in the Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art are thousands of photographs of artists and art world figures. This set includes nineteenth and early twentieth-century images that provide a glimpse into the private lives of the artists–their studios, their homes, their families. '

Josephine Baker Photoset.

The Inca (Quechua/Aymara) Flag.

The Flag of Equal Marriage.

'This is a protest flag for equal marriage rights in the United States. The flag only has two stars, for Connecticut and Massachusetts (the 5th and 6th states in the union), the only states with legalized same-sex marriage.'

Typos in the US Constitution.

nBot, a 2 Wheel Balancing Robot.

News in the 1910s.

'Welcome to the daily news scene from almost a hundred years ago, as photographed by the Bain News Service in about 1910-1912. We invite your tags and comments! Also, lots more identification information. (Most of these old photos came to the Library of Congress with very little description.'

'This selected set of 1,500+ photographs is from a large collection of almost 40,000 glass negatives. The entire collection spans 1900-1920 and richly documents sports events, theater, celebrities, crime, strikes, disasters, and political activities, with a special emphasis on life in New York City.'

Tucson Monsoon Lightning.

The Smoky God.

'This is another classic fictional hollow earth adventure. The narrator, Olaf Jansen, is a Norwegian who sails with his father deep into the northern ice. There they sail over the lip of the hollow earth, and into the inner world, lit by a dim central sun (the 'smoky god' of the title). The inhabitants are an advanced race of giants who have electricity, monorails, and extremely long lifespans. '

Astro Pics.

Mountain Top Meteors.

Smile in the Sky.

Happy Sky over Los Angeles.

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Letters to Obama from Navajo Children.

The Presidents.

Easy Puzzle.

In the southern hemisphere, if you drop a steel ball weighing ten grams from a height of 2 metres, will it fall more rapidly through water at 20 degrees Fahrenheit or water at 20 degrees Celsius? Or will it make no difference?

Chandra X-Ray Observatory Photos.

'The images Chandra makes are twenty-five times sharper than the best previous X-ray telescope. '

1930s-1940s in Colour.

'These vivid color photos from the Great Depression and World War II capture an era generally seen only in black-and-white. Photographers working for the United States Farm Security Administration (FSA) and later the Office of War Information (OWI) created the images between 1939 and 1944.'

Swimsuit Girls of Old Japan.

'A pretty girl in a bathing suit is something most people don't mind looking at. For those that like pictures of old Japan, but want a short break from looking at Geisha dressed in Kimono, these are for you ! '

Photos of Geisha and Maiko without Kimono.

British Seaside Novelties and Jokes.

West Virginia Hot Dog Map.

One Minute Languages.

'Welcome to One Minute Languages where you can learn the basics of a language in a matter of minutes. Perhaps you have friends who speak another language, or maybe you're going to be travelling to a country where the language is spoken. The most important thing to remember is that even a few phrases of a language can help you make friends and get much more out of your travel experience.'

19th Century Egyptian Lantern Slides.

'In 1849, the Philadelphia daguerreotypists William and Frederick Langenheim introduced the lantern slide: a transparent image on glass that could be projected, in magnified form, onto a surface using a "magic lantern," or sciopticon. This new technology expanded the uses of photography, allowing photographic images to be viewed by a large audience. With lantern slides, Museum curators and educators could illustrate their lectures, letting audience members see detailed studies of objects and sites from around the world. '

French Revolutionary Pamphlets.

The Illustrated Ages of the World.

'Francisco de Holanda (Hollanda) (1517-1585) was a painter, historian, architect and humanist philosopher from Portugal.'

'He apprenticed under his father as a manuscript miniaturist at the royal court in Lisbon and was sent to Rome by King João III in 1538. For the next nine years, Holanda studied among the notables of the Italian Renaissance, including Parmiagianino, Giambologna and, most significantly, Michelangelo.'

Dental History Collection.

'This is a collection of sets of images related to different aspects of dentistry and dental history.'

The World Carrot Museum.

Sheffield Flood, March 1864.

The 19th Century American Trade Card.

'Baker Library holds more than 8,000 trade cards representing the full range of products and businesses advertised through this medium from the 1870s through the 1890s. As one of the most popular forms of advertising in the nineteenth century, and an indicator of consumer habits, social values, and marketing techniques, trade cards are of interest to scholars across many disciplines, including business history, American studies, graphic design and printing history, and social and cultural history.'

Friday, 19 December 2008

Easy Puzzle.

What's the next number in the series?

2/3 7/12 1/2 5/12 1/3 1/4 1/6 ?

Dow 25,000!

Lest we forget, a warning from recent history against hubris.

Post Secret.

'PostSecret is an ongoing community art project where people
mail in their secrets anonymously on one side of a postcard.'

Pictures of Walls.

Walls with stuff written on them.

We Feel Fine.

'An exploration of human emotion, in six movements'.


'Dopplr lets you share your future travel plans privately with friends and colleagues. The service then highlights coincidence, for example, telling you that three people you know will be in Paris when you will be there too. '

Querying the Hive Mind.

'What are some good looking world coins, the size of a US Nickel or smaller? It's for my pants.'

'Please lend a hand in helping me find a gracious way to tell my family members that I am donating to the local foodbank in their names in lieu of physical gifts this year. This will be a written note enclosed in a card, and I just can't seem to find the right words.'

'How can a somewhat solitary guy meet a need for hugs and human contact? '

'My close friend is converting to Islam. Do you think he's doing the right thing?'

'BellyFilter: Trying to find the name of a photography exhibit that featured women's bellies.'

'What might |000> + |111> mean, on a garden gate?'

'Addressing a girl as 'fair'. Flirting or just a figure of speech?'

'Gift ideas for a Mexican beauty queen'.

English Buildings.

'In this blog I share my encounters with many of my favourite English buildings, including some that are little known and that get short shrift in the architectural history books. Look here for accounts of breweries, prefabs, power stations, corrugated-iron barns and the occasional parish church as I share my meetings with England's remarkable buildings... '

Human Expressions.

'This selection of photographs is drawn from the books Mecanisme de la Physionomie Humaine, Duchenne de la Boulogne, Paris 1862; and The Expression of Emotions in Man and Animals, Charles Darwin, London 1872 '.

Marvel Superheroes Card Game 1978.

'From the 1978 Marvel Superheroes Card Game, by Milton Bradley. '

Comic Japanese Prints of Raccoon Dogs.

'This series of comic prints alludes to the supposed ability of raccoon dogs to voluntarily enlarge their scrotums. It is listed as 209 in Kuniyoshi by Basil William Robinson (Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 1961). '

Sumo Wrestler Prints.

Black Africa in 3D.

'The old photos of Africa in this set have been sitting in a box for many years. There are actually MORE, but these were the most interesting to me. The last time I dug them out was in 1988 --- 20 years ago....for a roving 3-D Display of Old Africa held in Okinawa, Japan. It is estimated that over 10,000 Okinawan school kids saw these (and views of many other countries and continents) in large banks of "Roto Viewers" that allowed then to jump right into the photos in real 3-D. '

North American Indian Photography of Edward Curtis.

'Edward S. Curtis, a professional photographer in Seattle, devoted his life to documenting what he perceived to be a vanishing race. His monumental workThe North American Indian was published between 1907 and 1930 and contained over 2000 photogravures in its volumes and portfolios. It presented an extensive ethnographical study of numerous tribes, and the photographs of Curtis remain memorable icons of the American Indian. Although the Smithsonian Libraries owns a complete set of Curtis’ publication, only a small portion of the photogravures has been digitized.'

The Spirit Photographs of William Hope.

'These photographs of 'spirits' are taken from an album of photographs unearthed in a Lancashire second-hand and antiquarian bookshop by one of the Museum's curators. They were taken by a controversial medium called William Hope (1863-1933).'

Christmas in New South Wales.

'The photographic collections of the State Library of NSW contain many images of events, both joyful and solemn. Look back at Christmas in Australia in the first half of the twentieth century.'

Bondi Jitterbug.

Old photos of Bondi beach.

Syrian Lingerie.

'Just off the crowded central market in Old Damascus, a sales assistant called Mahmoud is giving me my first introduction into an unusual Syrian speciality - musical knickers. '

Art Deco California.

Old Photos of French Chateaux.

By Bicycle, France, 1895-1900.

Amsterdam Olympic Games, 1928.

Time Cube.

Thursday, 18 December 2008

LIFE Photo Archive.

'Search millions of photographs from the LIFE photo archive, stretching from the 1750s to today. Most were never published and are now available for the first time through the joint work of LIFE and Google.'

New species found using Google Earth.

Awesome Cassette Tapes from Africa.

The Ruins of Detroit Industry: Five Former Factories.

'With the President mulling the use of TARP funds to help Detroit automakers weather the Carpocalypse, we thought it appropriate to show you these five Detroit industrial relics that didn't quite make it.'

Portraits of Indian Royalty.

The Guqin.

'Pronounced "chin" ("stringed instrument") or "goo chin" ("old stringed instrument"), the qin / guqin throughout its long history has been the musical instrument most prized by China's literati. They categorized it as one of their "four arts", collected it as an art object, praised its beautiful music, and built around it a complex ideology (compare its image in popular culture). No other instrument was described and illustrated in such detail, so often depicted in paintings, or so regularly mentioned in poetry. And its tablature documents the world's oldest detailed written instrumental music tradition, allowing both historically informed performance (requiring silk strings) of the many early melodies, and practical exploration of the relationship between Chinese music theory and music practice. '

What Is a Spaniard?

On Christianity, Islam, and Judaism, and the history of forced conversions in Iberia.

"The conversions came at the end of one of the most successful Jewish periods in human history... Their success led them to call their land Sepharad, a name from the book of Obadiah that implied that Spanish Jews were the successors to the Jews of Israel. This world ended in 1391."

Day of the Dead - Papercuts.

"In Mexico, papel picado (perforated paper), refers to the traditional art of decorative cut paper banners. Papel picado are usually cut with sharp fierritos (small chisels) from as many as fifty layers of colored tissue paper at a time. Designs may incorporate lattice-work, images of human and animal figures, flowers, and lettering. Many papel picado are made especially for the Mexican festival of the Days of the Dead and include skeletal figures engaged in the everyday activities of the living."

An Imperial Palimpsest on Poland's Electoral Map.

'Mr Hecht did some overlay work, and came up with this remarkable fit: “The divide between the (more free-market) PO and the (more populist) PiS almost exactly follows the old border between Imperial Germany and Imperial Russia, as it ran through Poland! How about that for a long-lasting cultural heritage?!?” How about: amazing, bordering on the unbelievable?'

Forgotten Boston.

'... a compendium of the unusual, mundane, and ancient things usually overlooked as you walk the streets of Boston. '

Automatic Washing Machine Collections.

Modern American Poetry: The Great Depression.

'... For eight years dust blew on the southern plains. It came in a yellowish-brown haze from the South and in rolling walls of black from the North. The simplest acts of life — breathing, eating a meal, taking a walk — were no longer simple. Children wore dust masks to and from school, women hung wet sheets over windows in a futile attempt to stop the dirt, farmers watched helplessly as their crops blew away. '

Historical Footage of Tibetan Lamas Teaching Buddhism.

Western Silent Film Lobby Cards Collection.

'The Western Silent Films Lobby Cards Collection consists of 106 printed items used to promote silent and western films; most of the materials in the collection date between 1910 and 1930. These lobby cards and publicity fliers include both photographic and artistic renderings of scenes and characters from the films being publicized, and often prominently display the names of actors and film studios. Lobby cards were introduced in the 1910s to complement movie posters and were designed for display in the lobbies or foyers of movie theaters. These eponymous artifacts were intended to lure pedestrians into the theater by advertising dramatic, key scenes from the movie or highlighting popular actors. '

Poisonous and Hallucinogenic Mushrooms.

Astro Pics.

La Superba.

A True Image from False Kiva.

Moon Rays over Byurakan Observatory.

Friday, 12 December 2008

Let the Right One In.

'Based on the novel of the same name, which in turn borrows its title from a breezy (for him) Morrissey song, Let the Right One In manages to weave a classically formal coming of age story into the iciest, yet most heartfelt, vampire film in some time.'

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from Cora and Herbert Farrier.

Vintage Christmas.

Snow Crystals.

RIP Betty Page.

Necessary Angels.

'They are not doctors. They are not nurses. They are illiterate women from India's Untouchable castes. Yet as trained village health workers, they are delivering babies, curing disease, and saving lives—including their own.'

Snow in New Orleans.

Thursday, 11 December 2008

The Atlas of True Names.

The real place names of Britain. Hillfort (London), Bear Guard Home (Birmingham), Green Hollow (Glasgow), Blackpool (Dublin).

Sikkim and Sikkimese People.

More on the landlocked Indian state of Sikkim :

Found in Mom's Basement: Vintage Advertising.

Advertising from the 1960s and 1970s, and some old motel signs too.

Abandoned Long Island Rail Road Stations.

The Alleys of Canarsie.

'Canarsie, a neighborhood in southeast Brooklyn at the end of the BMT L line, for many decades of its history had been derided as a backwater, a place somehow left behind on the evolutionary scale that other New York City neighborhoods were measured by. Just take a look at how the neighborhood has been described in the WPA Guide to New York City, published in 1939...'

Japanese Science Fiction Landscapes.

'In the early 1970s, artist Kazuaki Saito’s fantastic alien landscape illustrations graced the covers of SF Magazine, Japan’s first successful and longest running science fiction periodical. '

The Legend of the Female Stranger.

'... All agreed, and each took the secret to the grave. To this day, we don’t know the identity of the man or the woman. The mystery is one of Alexandria’s most talked about, and the legend of the Female Stranger continues to this day.'

Comparative Breast Anatomy.

' 'On the Anatomy of the Breast' 1840, by Sir Astley Paston Cooper, is hosted by Jefferson Digital Commons from Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. The 2-volume book can be downloaded either as two large pdf files or each section/illustration plate can be downloaded separately. All the plates (extracted from the pdfs) - which includes a few more than those seen above - have been uploaded to this flickr set.'

Les Carnets de Benjamin Lemoine.

'Benjamin Lemoine has posted his seasonal sketchbooks since 2001 online. The interface is fine, it's easy just to flick through. I do like his eye, although there is a fair bit of dross between the islands of delight (for, anyway).'

Abandoned Mansion.

'The Redman-Hirahira House in Watsonville was built by local architect, William Weeks in 1897 for James Redman, a sugar-beets farmer. '

'In the 1930's, a Japanese-American family, the Hirahira's, bought the house and the farmland surrounding it. During WWII, the Hirahira family vacated the house and lands when they were forcibly re-located to Manzanar detention camp. '
'As many as 10 percent of the population of Watsonville were bused to various internement camps during WWII...'

Querying the Hive Mind.

'Share your clever ideas on how to make a stranger's day'.

'How do I eat out less frequently, when I'm already extremely pressed for time?'

'How do I become a good CEO?'

'What is the best dessert you have ever created? This applies to cakes, pies, cookies, et cetera.'

'When do you stop to help a homeless or disabled person on the street?'

Pearl Harbor in Retrospect - July 1948.


'This exhibition marks the centenary of the Special Theory of Relativity by inviting a number of well-known people in Britain today to chalk on blackboards the same size as Einstein’s. All these guest blackboards have been prepared in the early months of 2005. The result is an exhibition about science, art, celebrity and nostalgia. The blackboard is fast disappearing from meetings, classes and lectures: ‘bye-bye blackboard’. '

Random Numbers Using Atmospheric Noise.

Astro Pics.

Lunar Diamond.

NGC 253 Close Up.

The Pleiades Star Cluster.

Saturday, 6 December 2008

The Digital Snow Museum.

Ice: A Victorian Romance.

'In 1818, the British began an infatuation with the Arctic. It started innocently enough, with the Admiralty trying to find an outlet for naval officers and seamen who had been idled by the end of the Napoleonic wars...'

The Isle of Sodor, between England and the Isle of Man.

Decorated Trains in Japan.

'Of the countless trains running on Japan’s 20,000-kilometer (12,000-mile) rail network, a few are decorated with images of anime and manga characters, colorful ads, and designs by notable artists. Here is a small sample.'

The Real Horror is What Happens Inside.

Why Ninjas Would Beat Pirates.

The Alleys of Staten Island.

'It might be argued, mostly by people who've never been there, that Staten Island has mostly alleys and nothing else. In fact, most of Staten Island by now has been thoroughly suburbanized and landscaped, with regular, rigid street patterns imposed, especially in the southern sections of the island.'

Original 'Winnie the Pooh' Drawings.

How to Eat Stuff.

'How to eat spaghetti. Fufu. Pho. Injera. An artichoke. Chicken feet. A pomegranate. Indian food. Natto. If you're going to do it, do it right. '


Apartment Therapy's House Tours.

From the mission statement :

'A calm, healthy, beautiful home is a necessary foundation for happiness and success in the world.'

'Simplicity and luxury are not mutually exclusive.'

Stalin's Siberian Zion.

'Since the destruction of the Second Temple by the Romans in 70 AD and their subsequent banishment from Palestine, the Jews had been without a national home until the founding of Israel in 1948. Right? Wrong.'

'The Soviets beat the Zionists by a few decades, and organised a Jewish Autonomous Region, improbably located on the Russian-Chinese border beyond Mongolia. Even more improbably, that region’s ‘Jewish’ status has survived stalinism, wars, deprivation and the fall of communism. But few Jews still reside in what was once billed as a future judeo-socialist utopia. Birobidzhan’s history remains, as one of the more bizarre footnotes in the struggle for a Jewish homeland.'

Family Tree of Indo-European Languages.

Querying the Hive Mind.

'My dad died. He went to the other side for 11 minutes and then lingered in Hades' antechamber for three full days. Mark Roth, or a scientist like him, saved my father's life. '

'Can you suggest some replacements for standard, everyday household items that are far superior in terms of usefulness, luxuriousness and quality?'

'I know that we all die and that there’s absolutely no way around that. I know and accept that one day I will die as well, and I’m not afraid of dying, per se. What I am afraid of—terrified of really—is no longer existing, no longer being conscious of everything that’s happening in this great wide world, no longer being sentient, I guess. What can I do?'

'I'm having an "off day" for no particular reason. Feeling grouchy & peevish. This is dumb. Please help me fix it.'

'I need intelligent hiphop/rap with good beats. Any recommendations?'

'What are some good intellectual magazines?'

Sand Mandala Construction Gallery.

'The monks begin the Mandala sand painting with a ceremony of chants, music and mantra recitation for blessing the site to make it conducive for creating the mandala.'

Cool Robot for Polar Duty.

'Enter the Cool Robot. This big blue box is a solar-powered, self-propelled machine designed to act as observation posts on the polar landscape. '

Robert Shields, World's Longest Diary.

'For no less than four hours each day, Reverend Robert Shields of Dayton, Washington holes himself up in the small office off the back porch of his family's home, turns on his stereo, and types. He is surrounded by a half-dozen IBM Wheelwriters, in case one of them breaks down from over-use. '


Rainwater Harvesting in Quito.

'Of all the phenomenal spaces concocted by Paisajes Emergentes for their entry in the Parque del Lago ideas competition, our favorite one has to be the open-air theater that doubles as a rainwater storage tank.'

A Toxic Tour Through Maryland's Industial Poultry Landscape.

'Using a recent article in the New York Times on Maryland's poultry industry, an itinerary could be cobbled up together that might begin at a “farm with 150,000 chickens.” There, peripatetic toxic tourists will marvel and then scale “mountains of manure” before undertaking a typical British ramble through the drainage basin of the Chesapeake Bay, scoping the terrain for lesser contour lines, for swales, for ditches where rivulets and streams spiked with phosphorous and nitrogen might be flowing en route to the estuary and its oxygen-depleted algae gardens — reading the landscape with the hermeneutic attention of a Talmudic scholar, as it were.'

The Ypsilanti, Michigan Water Tower.

The world's most phallic building?

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Tom Scarlett's Travel Photos.


Oldest Ever LOLCat.

'This captioned cat picture postcard was found by Tracy Angulo in a Seattle antique store. Tracy tells us that the photograph is from 1905, which would make this officially the oldest cat picture with a caption, AKA lolcat, that we’ve seen.'

Sita Sings the Blues.

'Sita is a goddess separated from her beloved Lord and husband Rama. Nina is an animator whose husband moves to India, then dumps her by email. Three hilarious shadow puppets narrate both ancient tragedy and modern comedy in this beautifully animated interpretation of the Indian epic Ramayana. Set to the 1920's jazz vocals of Annette Hanshaw, Sita Sings the Blues earns its tagline as "The Greatest Break-Up Story Ever Told." '


Missing Identity.

'This website is trying to help more than 70 child survivors of Holocaust find information about their past. Please look at the photos and read the profiles of each child. Perhaps you have a missing piece of information for these child survivors. Perhaps you have a suggestion for additional research. Click on the pictures or names for the individual profile pages. '

Monday, 1 December 2008

The Search for Lena.

' "Over the years I would go into these engineering and research labs and see these images of this woman all over the place," Seideman recalls. "I would ask who she was and they would say, 'She's Lena.' And I would say, 'Who's Lena?' And they'd say, 'I don't know. Just Lena.'" '

' "Just Lena," Seideman soon found out, was Lena Sjööblom, Playboy's Miss November 1972. In the early Seventies, an unknown researcher at the University of Southern California working on compression technologies scanned in the image of Lena's centerfold. Since that time, images of the Playmate have been used as the industry standard for testing ways in which pictures can be manipulated and transmitted electronically. Over the past 25 years, no image has been more important in the history of imaging and electronic communications, and today the mysterious Lena is considered the First Lady of the Internet.'

Greenwood's Map of London 1827.

'If you need to know London better,
you may well find this fascinating.'

Macy's NYC Thanksgiving Parade Historical Photos.

Abandoned Mining Town in Japan.

'Situated a good 3 hour drive from western Tokyo, Saitama Prefecture’s Nitchitsu mining town housed around 3,000 people at its peak in 1965, but now, any life is long gone, and the mountain’s iron and zinc remains unmoved.'

Abandoned Church in South Carolina.

'Organized in 1868, two AME bishops have come from this congregation. Columbus White, an African-American contractor, built this Romanesque Revival church around 1910. The stain glass windows were imported.'

Abandoned Buildings in Toronto.

Abandoned Orphanage, Buffalo, NY.

Querying the Hive Mind.

'Objects keep disappearing in my apartment. Please help me figure out why, and what to do. '

'How do you know if you're doing the right thing?'

'What is the physical resource inside your brain that gets used up when you focus and concentrate for long hours? How do you beef up the ability to sustain concentrated thought, aside from diet/exercise/sleep?'

Yukio Mishima 1925-1970.

' "There's something very shabby about a noble grave... Political power and the power of wealth result in splendid graves. Really impressive graves, you know. Such creatures never had any imagination while they lived, and quite naturally their graves don't leave any room for imagination either. But noble people live only on the imaginations of themselves and others, and so they leave graves like this one which inevitably stir one's imagination. And this I find even more wretched. Such people, you see, are obliged even after they are dead to continue begging people to use their power of imagination." - Yukio Mishima via Kashiwagi in The Temple of the Golden Pavilion.'

Old Sydney Town.

Idyllic images of early 19th century Sydney, just as European settlement was beginning.

Chaffinch Map of Scotland.

'Chaffinch Map of Scotland is a poem written in 1965 by Edwin Morgan (b. 1920), Poet Laureate of Glasgow (1999) and (since 2004) Scottish National Poet (1). The work looks deceptively simple, while in fact it is a cleverly multilayered combination of poetry, cartography, ornithology, linguistics, and maybe just a hint of Scottish nationalism (2).'

The Early Years of Dungeons and Dragons.

Dust Jackets from European and American Books 1926-47.

Monday, 24 November 2008

Woodland Junior School's Online Advent Calendar.

Monkey versus Robot.

The struggle between ape and automaton.

More :

Porn for New Moms.

'This is a great gift for baby showers, a mother to be, or any new Mom. '

Elf and Dwarf and Girl.

YouTube fun.

Moon, Venus, Jupiter Together.

Japanese Death Poetry.

Poetry written by Zen monks and haiku masters, on the verge of death.

One evening Rene Descartes went to relax at a local tavern. The tender approached and said, "Ah, good evening Monsieur Descartes. Shall I serve you the usual drink?" Descartes replied, "I think not," and promptly vanished.

Reports that Iranian-Canadian blogger Hossein Derakhshan has been arrested and could face the death penalty.

'Where's Hoder? If the Iranian government has detained him, they should say so. If he is free, he should say so.'

More on Hoder.

Free Hoder Facebook group.

On the positive role blogging has played in Iran.

Melting Arctic ice cap could open new shipping lanes?

'Scientists are now revising earlier projections about the speed at which global warming will impact the arctic ice sheet. By 2013 it could very well disappear in the summer months, opening up new sea lanes for commerce and, potentially, "a quarter of the earths oil and natural gas resources". Several arctic countries are thinking ahead, while it appears others have been for quite some time. '

Towards a multipolar world?

'Among its predictions: the US will remain the most powerful country but will be less dominant; power will shift from West to East; the appeal of al-Qaeda will lessen; a multipolar world will emerge with China, India and others playing greater roles; an "arc of instability" will stretch round the world among countries with young populations.'
(Though if the Arctic ice sheet melts to open shipping lanes during summer per the links above, that potentially affects the strategic value of places like Singapore as well... Is Murmansk the new Singapore?? Let's see...).

Towards deflation?

'Tangible evidence of deflation? The prices of commodities, houses and a wide range of consumer goods have collapsed, with observers predicting continued declines. While many point back to The Great Depression as an example of damaging deflation, the recession of 1920-1921, a frequently overlooked period in economic history, is perhaps the best example we've got of a deflationary wave similar to what might now taking place. '

The Swiss are angry about subprime.

' ... "Here, just in case you go hungry, I've brought you something to eat," he continued. And reaching into his pocket he produced a string of traditional Swiss sausages and waved them under Mr Ospel's trembling nose...'

Cupcakes for Obama.
'Zilly Rosen of ZILLYCAKES in Buffalo, NY, builds a likeness of presidential candidate Barack Obama using 1240 cupcakes.'


Be a philanthropist.
'Kiva is the world's first person-to-person micro-lending website, empowering individuals to lend directly to unique entrepreneurs in the developing world. '

'The people you see on Kiva's site are real individuals in need of funding - not marketing material. When you browse entrepreneurs' profiles on the site, choose someone to lend to, and then make a loan, you are helping a real person make great strides towards economic independence and improve life for themselves, their family, and their community. Throughout the course of the loan (usually 6-12 months), you can receive email journal updates and track repayments. Then, when you get your loan money back, you can relend to someone else in need.'

Book suggestions for someone in prison?

Sunday, 23 November 2008

Philip Lieberman's Himalayan Photographs.

Insect Close-Ups.

The John Peel Wiki.

'John Robert Parker Ravenscroft, OBE (30 August, 1939 – 25 October 2004), known professionally as John Peel, was an English disc jockey, radio presenter and journalist. Known for his eclectic taste in music and his honest and warm broadcasting style, John Peel was a popular and respected DJ and broadcaster. He was one of the first to play reggae and punk on British radio.'

Gallery of Electronic Calculators.

'Here at Things to Look at, we've come across one of those great websites which is just the kind of information treasure trove that makes the web great: The vintage Calculator.'

Monkey, Ninja, Pirate, Robot: The Roleplaying Game. -

Possibly the greatest concept for a game in world history.

Some more :

And the quiz :

('You are a sneaky Ninja. We don't even know you're there... before it's too late!')

James Jowers: NYC Photographs from the 1960s.

'This set contains a selection of 50 images from Jowers’ work in New York City. James Jowers donated the photographs and copyright to George Eastman House in 2007.'

George P. Hall and Son: Manhattan Photographs.

'George P. Hall & Son was a commercial photography studio that operated out of Manhattan from 1886 through 1914. The studio produced views of New York City at the turn of the century. '

Even old New York was once New Amsterdam

Why they changed it I can't say

People just liked it better that way


'The photographs in the collection represent a time span from the 1890s until just before World War I, depicting social and political figures and events throughout Europe and the colonial empires in the Near East and the Far East. Featured subjects included activities of the leisure classes or "society," political unrest in Spain and England, and prewar buildup of European military forces.'

East and West.

'If you’re American, geographically inclined and a bit of a stickler, this cartographic incongruity is a bit of an annoyance. From the US, the shortest route to what’s conventionally called ‘the East’ is in fact via the west. Going in that direction, you’ll hit the ‘Far East’ before you’re in the ‘Middle East’. And Europe, or at least that part usually included in ‘the West’, lies due east. So East is west, and West is east, in blatant contradiction of what’s probably Rudyard Kipling’s most famous line of verse...'

The Biology of B-Movie Monsters.

Top 60 Popular Japanese Words / Phrases of 2008.

'19. “The Homeless Junior High School Student” (hōmuresu chūgakusei/kaisan): “The Homeless Junior High School Student” is a best-selling memoir by comedian Hiroshi Tamura, who became homeless as a 10-year-old after the death of his mother and the break-up of his family. Some of the hardships Tamura recounts include spending nights in public parks and eating cardboard and grass to survive. The book sold over 1 million copies within two months of its release, making it the fastest selling non-fiction book on record in Japan. '

Astro Pics.

A Supernova Ribbon from Hubble.

A Darkened Sky.

In the Vicinity of the Cone Nebula.

Querying the Hive Mind.

'I'm starting to have trouble with stress from being perennially "on call" in my IT position. I need some advice on how to deal with it.'

'How can I learn more about a murder that occurred in my house?'

The Temptations of St. Anthony.

'In the 15th and 16th-century depictions of the tale, ferocity and weirdness predominate, and these pictures could more accurately be described as illustrating the torments of the saint, focussing as they do on the physical pain and fear which the demons inflicted on him...'

Four Centuries of European Tapestries.

Vintage Rail Travel Photo Gallery.

Saturday, 15 November 2008

My Hood!

The Christopher Columbus Drive Mural, Jersey City.

Forgotten Hoboken.

‘Your webmaster knows full well he will be ridiculed, pilloried and threatened with everything from lawsuits to bodily harm for including Hoboken on a Forgotten NY site. To quote George W, bring it on. New Jersey, the Sixth Borough, has a large and mostly unspoken Forgotten history…’

The Jersey City Powerhouse.

‘...but a reminder of the early days of railroading across the Hudson still stands in Jersey City, at 1st and Warren Streets: the Hudson and Manhattan Railroad Powerhouse. Designed by architect John Oakman and completed in 1908 the massive (200,000 square ft.) structure's brick walls are 28 inches thick and its 1300-sq. ft. windows are the largest on the East Coast. ‘

More Jersey City Photos.

In particular, the memorial to Polish victims of Stalin’s persecutions, the Loew’s theater in Journal Square, the Big Bird and Oscar 'canstrucions', the Jackie Robinson statue.

Abandoned Buildings in Greenville Yard, Jersey City, 1989.

(The Greenville section clearly has maritime connections, with streets named Ocean Avenue and Neptune Avenue).

Obama Victory Cartoon.

One Night Only, Dorla and Kevin's Wedding, the Loew's Theater, Jersey City...

... opened 1929 ...

Friday, 14 November 2008

Walking through New Cross.

'Things to do in Deptford when you're not dead, plus New Cross, Brockley, Old Kent Road and other beauty spots. EMAIL US: Transpontine: 'on the other (i.e. the south) side of the bridges over the Thames; pertaining to or like the lurid melodrama played in theatres there in the 19th century'.'

Outsider Artist Martin Ramirez.

'A Mexican man who spent nearly half of his life in American mental hospitals is now being hailed as one of the giants of 20th century art.'

'Martin Ramirez, who was diagnosed as a catatonic schizophrenic after he immigrated to the United States in 1925, produced more than 300 mesmerizing drawings during his time in hospital wards.'

Medieval Novgorod through the Eyes of a Child.

'One of the most fascinating archeological finds in Russia has been the discovery of hundreds of "birchbark documents" (messages written on the bark of birch trees with a sharp stylus) that were created from the 11th to the 15th century. '

'The birchbark documents of Novgorod are a major source for information about life in Medieval Novgorod because they are not the writings of church theologians or political leaders, but rather, personal messages, IOUs, love letters, shopping lists, and so on. One of the most fascinating items, in my mind, is a collection of children's drawings that have been unearthed. '

Secret of a Perfect Yorkshire Pudding.

'Scientists say that the recipe for the perfect Yorkshire pudding lies in its size. '

British Railways Publicity.

'This website is being created as part of the Southern Railway publicity website to document the publicity material of British Railways, mainly Southern Region but now including general material. '

Magic Lantern Slides from Japan.

Tylor's Bewitched Onion.

'Among the curious treasures of the Pitt Rivers museum in Oxford is this preserved onion, supposedly used for sympathetic magic - which is not as kindly as it sounds. Anthropologist Edward Burnett Tylor produced it as evidence of wizardry done by the landlord of the Barley Mow pub in Rockwell Green, Somerset, in 1891.'

Japanese Internet Cafe Refugees.

'A growing number of Japanese workers can no longer afford homes of their own. But you won't find them sleeping on the streets, says Justin McCurry. For many of them, 24-hour internet cafes have become a refuge'.

An Unlikely Friendship.

'Claiborne Paul Ellis, union organiser, born January 8 1927; died November 3 2005. He was Studs Terkel's favorite interviewee, and a former Exalted Grand Cyclops of the KKK. In 1971, he co-chaired a 10-day discussion group on school desegregation with Ann Atwater, a local civil rights activist who had once tried to stab him with a pocket knife during a city council meeting. Over the course of those ten days, the two former antagonists formed an unlikely bond. Their friendship became the subject of a prize-winning book, and a subsequent documentary film. '

A House Built on Hope.

'In 1972, Herman Wallace and Albert Woodfox were convicted of murdering a prison guard in Louisiana's notorious maximum-security prison, Angola. The warden sentenced them to solitary confinement, where they remained for the next 36 years. Until March 2008, the men had spent at least 23 hours per day in cells that measured only 6 x 9 feet. Woodfox's conviction was recently overturned, evidently through a federal habeus proceeding, and he is awaiting a new trial. NPR did an outstanding job of tracking down people involved and telling a riveting story: Part I, Part II, Part III. No doubt that much of the attention brought to the case is due to the efforts of Jackie Sumell and her Herman's House project...'

The Bathroom Graffiti Project.

'Archiving the World's Bathroom Graffiti'.

Old English Poetry.

Modern American Poetry: Sylvia Plath.

Astro Pics.

Haumea of the Outer Solar System.

Cassini Passes Through Ice Plumes of Enceladus.

Milky Way Road Trip.

Querying the Hive Mind.

'What are your favorite anecdotes?'

'I spent some pleasant time this past weekend planting a windowsill herb garden. What are some other similarly self-contained projects I can do in a day or two this winter?'

'Is this viral? I got a strange book unexpectedly in the mail.'

'What are some examples of "family jargon"?'

'Whose writing would I benefit most from reading if I'm a non-buddhist who sees some value in buddhist teachings?'

'... But by the time I rounded the corner my father was already in middle of landing dozens of punches to the coke machine...'

Friday, 7 November 2008

Roadside Pictures.

Retro B Movie Posters.

Attack of the Crab Monsters, and much more good stuff.

Hobo Markings.

'Beginning in the 1880's up until World War Two, hoboes placed markings on fences, posts, sidewalks, buildings, trestles, bridge abutments, and railroad line side equipment to aid them and others of their kind in finding help or steering them clear of trouble. Usually, these signs would be written in chalk or coal letting others know what they could expect in the area of the symbol. The classic American hobo of the late 19th and early 20th centuries communicated through a basic system of markings, a code though which they gave information and warnings to their fellow Knights of the Road. Today hoboes communicate with cellular phones, and e-mail. '

Philip Lieberman's Himalayan Photographs.

Black and white photographs of Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan, and India.

Marc Chagall and the Bible.

'One of the most beloved artists of the twentieth century, Chagall attempted to reshape the way we see and are seen. From his earliest paintings, depicting the ghettoized Russian Jews in their small villages not as prisoners but as free to explore the unknown world of their fantastic visions, to his last works, which meditate on the mysteries of love, artistic creation, and the joys of life, Chagall demonstrates the triumph of the imagination and celebrates its ability to free us from the constraints of daily life. '

Brooklyn Graffiti.

Vintage Avantgarde Manga by Maki Sasaki.

'“A Dream To Have In Heaven” (Tengoku De Miru Yume) by Maki Sasaki is a surreal non-narrative one-shot manga published in the November 1967 issue of the now-defunct Garo, an alternative manga monthly magazine that peaked in the late 1960s and early 1970s. '

The Paris Exposition of 1900.

'In 1900, Goodyear traveled to the Paris Exposition with photographer Joseph Hawkes. They brought back numerous images from the exposition including street life, vistas, pavilions, statues, and other structures and decorative details.'

Soviet Propaganda Posters.

'Lenin created the first truly modern propaganda machine, and its most colorful, dramatic and original form was the poster.'

Dialogue Among Giants: Carleton Watkins and the Rise of Photography in California.

' In 1850, at the age of 20, Carleton Watkins is believed to have arrived in California from New York via South America. He embarked on a life in photography that began auspiciously during the gold rush (which started in 1849) and ended abruptly with the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire that destroyed his negatives. In between those historic moments, Watkins witnessed an era in which a recurring theme was the enormity of all things in the West. He photographed the expansive western landscape with its miles of coastline, vast natural resources, colossal trees, and the monoliths of the Yosemite Valley using an oversize mammoth-plate camera.'

Some Serpentine Specimens.

'Albertus Seba (1665-1736) was a Dutch apothecary and collector, who, in the 1730s began a project to publish a fully-illustrated catalogue of his renowned collection of naturalia. Seba oversaw the production of the first two volumes of this opus, Locupletissimi Rerum Naturalium Thesauri Accurata Descriptio…, issued in 1734 and 1735. Two further volumes were issued posthumously, in 1758 and 1765.'


Astro Pics.

A Sharper View of a Hazy Giant.

1700 Kilometres above Enceladus.

The Double Ring Galaxies of Arp 147 from Hubble.

The Nenets of Siberia.

'BBC News website reader Ed Vallance spent a week travelling with a group of Nenets, reindeer herders in the Siberian arctic.'

Querying the Hive Mind.

'What are the best liquors for the money?'

'How can I learn to love my looks?'

'Who has interesting ideas about how to live, travel, dress, and eat frugally during a recession?'

Princeton Patagonian Expedition 1896-99.

'Published reports of the Princeton University expeditions to Patagonia. There were three expeditions which took place between 1896 and 1899 to make observations and collections of the geology and palaeontology of the area. Professor William B. Scott, the head of Princeton University's Dept. of Geology and Palaeontology led the expeditions. '

Traditions and Hearthside Stories of West Cornwall.

'In the 19th century William Bottrell compiled three volumes of Cornish folklore, legends and historical tales. This is the first book in that series. Bottrell tells stories of giants, mermaids, and a gallery of Cornish fairies including the spriggan, bucca, and the knackers, the earth elementals who live in the tin-mines. He also describes Cornish folk magic, and folklore about witches. The style is idiomatic, and the episodic stories are told with touches of dialect and localized in specific places in Cornwall. '


'According to Barack Obama, “there are no blue states, no red states, only the United States of America”. That is the rhetoric one should expect from a president-elect, intent on overcoming the inevitable polarisation of an election campaign. Given the oppositional nature of politics in a democracy, however, it seems likely that a divide between Obamaland and McCain Country will continue to exist. But where exactly are these two political entities?'

Related : Maps of the 2008 US presidential election results - By state, by county, maps enlarging or shrinking states and counties according to their populations/electoral votes, etc.
Related : The satirical Jesusland map - created after the 2004 election.

The Obama Family Election Night Photos.

Post-Election Reconciliation Messages.

Monday, 3 November 2008

Red States vs Blue States: Who's Your 'Team'?

Colour theory and the US election.

Exploring the Hoosac Tunnel.

'The Hoosac Tunnel, a railroad tunnel beneath the Berkshire Mountains in Western Massachusetts, is said to be one of the most haunted places in New England. It was an engineering marvel of its age, completed in 1875, and nearly five miles in length. Yet, it would cost 195 lives in various fires, explosions, and tunnel collapses, hence earning its name among the crew at the "Bloody Pit." It has been the scene ever since of hauntings . . . and even murder.'

Saturday, 1 November 2008

Did you hear about the fellow whose whole left side was cut off? He's all right now.

Moscow Metro Stations.

Great photos.

Faberge Eggs.

'Imperial Eggs are those Eggs presented by Tsar Alexander III and Tsar Nicholas II to the Tsarina's Alexandra Fyodorovna and Maria Fyodorovna. Click here to see the categories explaned.'

Ghosts, Apparitions, Angels, Spiritual Visitations and Views of the Future.

Early spirit photography.
'The relationship between photography and the spirit world of ghosts, apparitions and angels during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century was a blending of popular belief and scientific fraud. The lack of sophistication in the public in an age of deeply held religious values and the generally accepted belief that the camera recorded truth allowed the unscrupulous to exploit the situation for financial gain. '

Real Photo Postcards: African Americans.

'No other photographic format illustrates America during the period between 1905 and 1925, better than the photo postcard. The multitude of subjects found in any other photographic format can also be found on a photo postcard, with the photo postcard selected as the format of choice of many small town professional photographers and amateurs. Whether illustrating state fairs, store openings, railroads coming to town, sporting events, or just portraits of ordinary people, the postcard photographer was there to take the picture. '

Contemporary Greek Photography: Nocturne.

Barnaby Hall: The Art of the Book Cover.

Jack the Ripper and the East End.

Old photos of the East End c. 1900.

50 Stunning Asian Movie Posters.

My Favourite Letters.

'Format: "the letter [your favourite letter] from [name of typeface]."
(symbols and punctuation OK too). Even a short on-theme video is OK.'

The Electronic Museum of Mail Art.

I.e. art that uses the postal system as a medium, with arted up stamps, envelopes, etc.

"America's National Game:" The Albert G. Spalding Collection of Early Baseball Photographs.

'Over 500 photographs, prints, drawings, caricatures, and printed illustrations from the personal collection of materials related to baseball and other sports gathered by the early baseball player and sporting-goods tycoon A. G. Spalding. This collection includes 19th-century studio portraits of players and teams of the day, rare images, photographs, and original drawings. '

Philadelphia Craigslist Haiku.

Querying the Hive Mind.

'Help me re-develop personal discipline without tearing myself to pieces.'

'What are the best documentaries you've seen that left you much more informed about basic history and human knowledge?'

'Can you suggest some dark, foreboding, scary classical music? '

'I'd like to watch some more anime that isn't about people who are awesome at fighting fighting other people who are awesome at fighting and is generally suspenseful and tightly serialized.'

Modern American Poetry: Anne Sexton.

Dying Speeches and Bloody Murders: Crime Broadsides.

'Just as programs are sold at sporting events today, broadsides -- styled at the time as "Last Dying Speeches" or "Bloody Murders" -- were sold to the audiences that gathered to witness public executions in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Britain. These ephemeral publications were intended for the middle or lower classes, and most sold for a penny or less. Published in British towns and cities by printers who specialized in this type of street literature, a typical example features an illustration (usually of the criminal, the crime scene, or the execution); an account of the crime and (sometimes) the trial; and the purported confession of the criminal, often cautioning the reader in doggerel verse to avoid the fate awaiting the perpetrator. '

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Halloween in the Time of Cholera.

Old Halloween photographs.

Querying the Hive Mind.

Tale of an American who sought asylum in Canada.

'When the US declared war on Iraq, I found the climate intolerable in the US. So having already spent time in Mexico, I went to Canada. As my dad's parents are from Newfoundland, and growing up in the early-70s all I heard about was conscientious people escaping "the draft " [sic] by fleeing to Canada, and growing up insulated by Canadians here in Florida, I genuinely felt it was my real homeland...'

Saturday, 25 October 2008

Birmingham, Alabama Roadside Art.

'U.S. 11 as it runs between Birmingham and Bessemer, Alabama, is an outdoor vernacular art gallery that gives even my beloved Western Avenue in Chicago a run for its money. This page merely samples the great handmade typography on the stretch I traversed, while showing the best of the graphical images there.'

Manhole-Infested Tokyo Back Street.

'Poor planning? Engineering gone wrong? Unconventional street decor? Whatever the explanation, this quiet residential street in Tokyo’s Setagaya ward boasts perhaps the highest manhole density in town, with 85 of them scattered along a 200-meter stretch of pavement. Fans of the curious street call it “Manhole Ginza." '

The Women of ENIAC.

'It's hardly the case today (unless you live in Iran), but once upon a time, all computer programmers were female. While the (male) engineers who built ENIAC, the world's first modern computer, became famous and lauded, the six women who actually programmed ENIAC have been largely overlooked.'

Polish Posters.

Film, opera, theatre and exhibition posters. Some of the posters for Western films dating from the Cold War period are very interesting.

Star Wars :

British Columbia Medical Museum Collection.

Old and historic medical instruments.

Images of Florida's Black History.

Former slave Charity Stewart, born 1844 :

Chinese-Australian Historical Photos.


'Kinshasa, DR Congo, March 2008'.

Sculpted Beastlies.

Plaid Stallions: Rambling and Reflections on 70s Pop Culture.

Imagining Christ.

'This exhibition features images of Christ in illuminated manuscripts of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. '

Powers of Persuasion: American Poster Art from WW2.

Nice collection of propaganda posters. 'In these posters, pictures of fists, muscles, tools, and artillery convey American strength. Patriotic colors of red, white, and blue predominate as national symbols and heroes appeal to patriotism. '

A Telling of Wonders: Teratology in Western Medicine through 1800.

Teratology = the study of monsters and other abnormalities of nature. I guess the modern term would be 'cryptozoology'.

'The term “monster”, which is derived from the Latin verb “monstrare” meaning “to show”, was used to describe a visually unusual creature from the 1st century B.C. onward. Greek and Roman authors had already developed scientific, ethnographic, and cosmographic interpretations of “the monstrous”. These classical interpretations were to remain influential until the end of the 17th century.'

Canadian Tartans.

Querying the Hive Mind.

A queue-jumping tale.

How to find decent pet food.

'I can't make myself do anything. I've never been able to. I want to accomplish so much, I have goals, but for some reason, I just can't make myself do all the things I know I'm capable of. How can I turn this around?'

'What are your favorite unconventional novels and short stories?'

'Help me find my next favorite graphic novel.'

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Bottlecap Art from Guatemala.

Art from the Tsunami (India).

'We were fortunate to come across these extraordinary artworks in the summer of 2005. Created in a workshop of patua, travelling scroll-painters in West Bengal, India, they graphically depict the terrible events of the tsunami of December 26, 2004. Organized by the Asian Heritage Foundation in India, the scrolls were produced and marketed as a means of raising funds for tsunami relief.'

The Forgotten Kingdom of Araucania-Patagonia.

'Almost a century and a half after Orélie-Antoine de Tounens assumed the title of King of Araucania-Patagonia, his descendants still lay claim to the throne of that putative monarchy at the southern tip of South America...'

More on the story of the 19th century South American kingdom founded by a French adventurer :

Toothpasteworld Toothpaste Museum.

'Dr. Val Kolpakov is a practicing dentist in Saginaw, Michigan. He started this toothpaste collection in March 2002.'

Caroline Durieux.

Great prints by this 20th century New Orleans artist.

'Well, those certainly offer endless possibilities for comment. Escape! Radioactive ink! Unbecoming eyeglasses! (I anticipate that many of today's styles will also rapidly become subjects of satire...) Fragmented clowns! Well, I've got to say that Durieux's generation of printmakers was pretty amazing but I hadn't run into many examples like these.'

History of Posters.

'Art is man's creation, yet words and pictures are also the form of his language. If art is not primarily communication but creation, then posters, with their prescribed function of advertising and propaganda, would seem to be only a secondary art form. Yet posters, in the first hundred years of their existence, have also had a curious relationship with painting. Besides translating the visual art movements of the twentieth century into consumer media, the nature and limitations of advertising have sometimes influenced the form and direction of painting. The first occasion when the poster had such an effect was at its coming of age in 1870...'

Ecology of Absence.

'A chronicle of the built environment of St. Louis and the greater midwest.'

Abandoned buildings and the like.

Portrait of Black Chicago.

'From June through October 1973 and briefly during the spring of 1974, John H. White, a 28-year-old photographer with the Chicago Daily News, worked for the federal government photographing Chicago, especially the city`s African American community. White took his photographs for the Environmental Protection Agency`s (EPA) DOCUMERICA project. As White reflected recently, he saw his assignment as "an opportunity to capture a slice of life, to capture history." His photographs portray the difficult circumstances faced by many of Chicago`s African American residents in the early 1970s, but they also catch the "spirit, love, zeal, pride, and hopes of the community." '

Obama Rally.

Kaiju Anatomical Drawings.

'Flickr user modern_fred’s Japanese movie monster scan collection includes a few vintage illustrations detailing the innards of Godzilla and other famous kaiju. '

Note : kaiju = giant monsters from Japanese movies, e.g. Godzilla, Mothra.

More Japanese monsters :

Passport Book from Expo '86.

'When I was twelve, my whole family -- plus my uncle's family -- drove up to Vancouver, B.C. for a few days to attend Expo 86, the World Exposition on Transportation and Communication. It is the only World's Fair I have attended in my life, but I have such fond memories, mostly thanks to this wonderful passport book. I remember my brother and I hitting the stamp spots at every pavilion we could find...'

Morghen and the Moon.

'At some time between 1764 and 1772, the printmaker Filippo Morghen (ca. 1730-1808), a Florentine based in Naples, issued a curious set of ten etchings under the title Raccolta delle cose più notabili veduta dal cavaliere Wilde Scull, e dal sigr: de la Hire nel lor famoso viaggio dalla terra alla Luna, ‘A Collection of the most notable things seen by Sir Wilde Scull, and by M. de la Hire, in their famous voyage from the Earth to the Moon.’ Details from six of these prints follow below.'

Palmer's Sketchbook of 1824.

'Note, that when you go to Dulwich it is not enough on coming home to make recollections in which shall be united the scattered parts about those sweet fields into a sentimental Dulwich looking whole No But considering Dulwich as the gate into the world of vision one must try behind the hills to bring up a mystic glimmer like that which lights our dreams. And those same hills, (hard task) should give us promise that the country behind them is Paradise.'

'English painter Samuel Palmer (1805-1881) was nineteen years old when he filled the pages of this sketchbook. These drawings belong to what is generally regarded as the most important period in Palmer’s career; a time that is marked by a revolt against the modern world and the art it produced.'

The Burglar Alarms of Dublin's Doors.

Neddeth's Bed.

'Ned's Bed is fictional blog, told from the point of view of a young girl who has dreams about looking down at another person's hands. The hands type what she tells them. This is her story.'

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Monsters in Mid-1870s Japanese News Prints.

'For a brief period in the mid-1870s, artistic woodblock prints known as "newspaper nishiki-e" were a popular form of mass entertainment in Japan. These colorful prints fed the public's enormous appetite for sensationalism by retelling shocking stories culled from the major newspapers of the day. The Meiji government swiftly cracked down on the publishers of these "unofficial" sources of information, causing them to disappear as quickly as they had appeared, but not before hundreds of issues had been published and circulated around Japan. While newspaper nishiki-e most often retold stories of scandalous or heinous crimes, they occasionally presented accounts of monsters, ghosts and mysterious happenings, such as the ones included here. '

Vintage California Sardine Can Labels.

50 Beautiful Movie Posters.

Wooden Wall-E Sculpture.

Poetry for Primates.

'... But research at the Great Ape Trust using the sign language Yerkish reveals the primates are capable of far more linguistic sophistication. Primate Poetics sets out a manifesto to enrich this new language, starting, ambitiously, with a translation of the epic Gilgamesh...'

Grace Chang.

'In the 1960s and 1970s Hong Kong had a thriving film industry, dominated by studios such as Cathay Studios. One of Cathay's most fabulous stars was Grace Chang (Ge Lan), referred to by some as the Marlene Dietrich of Hong Kong Chinese cinema. Her greatest hit was The Wild Wild Rose (Ye mei gui zhi lian), based on Bizet's Carmen. The showstopper is her version of Habanera (YT). '

Tourists as Subjects.

'When traveling, do you wait for fellow tourists to get out of the way before taking a picture? Why? If you're trying to communicate the experience of being in a place, aren't those mobs of tourists part of the experience? The more despoiled by tourism a place has become, the more important it is to capture a big tour group clogging a passageway. '

First Day of School.


'Welcome to Newarkology, a page dedicated to the exploration of New Jersey's greatest city. From Woodside to Weequahic and from Ivy Hill to the Ironbound, come see what a fascinating place Newark is. Click on sections of the map below to be taken on a tour of any city ward you want.'

American Civil War Trading Cards.

Amy Stein Photography | Domesticated.

Humans and animals juxtaposed.

'My photographs serve as modern dioramas of our new natural history. Within these scenes I explore our paradoxical relationship with the "wild" and how our conflicting impulses continue to evolve and alter the behavior of both humans and animals. We at once seek connection with the mystery and freedom of the natural world, yet we continually strive to tame the wild around us and compulsively control the wild within our own nature.'

Small Gallery of Francis Bacon's Paintings.

Astro Pics.

Moons, Rings, and Unexpected Colors on Saturn.

The Crown of the Sun.

M110: Satellite of the Andromeda Galaxy.

Querying the Hive Mind.

'What are a few significant things you wish you did when you were younger that you believe would have helped better preserve your mental and physical health? What are a few significant things you did do in the past that you now see paying dividends?'

'What are the most memorable, awesome or useful handmade gifts you've received or given? I'm in search of some inspiration, as well as cautionary tales.'

'I've had this unbearable pastoral fantasy for a few years now where all I want to do all day is make pretty things in the comfort of my own home, at my own pace, and have plenty of time and natural space to roam around in rather than work. How do I deal with this? '

'Recommend me some great examples of magical realism, please! Books, movies, whatever.'

'Can you name some modern instrumental bands/albums that are interesting, lively, and unpretentious with a bit of a dark edge?'

'How do you learn to choose others when you've always let others choose you?'

'I hate to cook. What are some delicious recipes you like that are simple to make, easily made in bulk and still taste good left over?'

'What do I need to know before buying a white dress shirt? '