Monday, 31 March 2008

Amazing Old Album Covers.

'A few years ago, I ran across a handful of them in an antique store. They were all from around 1949 or so and contained 45 r.p.m. discs. A lot of the records were missing, but I had to buy them because they had the most amazing cover designs. I wonder who designed them?'

Finnish National Gallery: Art Collections.

33,000 artworks by more than 6,000 artists, grouped by themes (such as 'religion and magic', or 'nature'), or 'routes' (such as animals in art, or art inspired by forests).

Papua New Guinea Photoset.

'PNG...the Mount Hagen festival is an event to see once in a lifetime...Thousands of tribesmen coming from all over the country, dancing, singing,pride of themselves, and they can be!.... '

Strange Maps.

Germany Surrounded by Switzerland.

The Surrealist Map of the World.

A Map of Temperance.

Unnamed Methane Sea on Titan.

Megaliths of the World.

Stone circles, standing stones etc. - a global survey.

Kawanabe Kyosai - Children's Games.

Eccentric Japanese artist. 'Most of the images in the Manga draw upon Japanese mythology and folklore. Others seem to represent the pastimes and foibles of villagers and peasants. Sometimes all these elements are combined. In total, the Manga contained fifty prints, all emphasizing strange, sinister or humorous aspects of life. Viewing these truly remarkable works, one can't help but compare Kyosai to another great master of the print, Francisco Goya. From different times and different cultures, both these geniuses had the distinct ability to present to us the great procession of life.'

Ontario Rural Ruins.

'Derelict, abandoned, ruined buildings, places or things in rural Ontario. Old farm houses, abandoned commercial buildings, ghost signs, old signposts, whatever you stumble upon as you travel around Ontario. '

State Fair.

Photographs. "It was that oddly American juxtaposition of the heartfelt and the huckstering, the totally weird and the comfortably familiar, the love of country and the love of self, the individualism and the mass marketing that made the extravaganza of the state fair compelling to me."


'Windows are the eyes of a house. And the entrance shows the soul of the owner.'

Images of a Journey: India in Diaspora.

Vive La Difference: The English and French Stereotype in Satirical Prints, 1720-1815.

'The prints say a lot about the preconceptions and humour of the audience for whom they were intended. The persistence of 'types' in both countries indicates their popularity, and this ongoing popularity no doubt perpetuated the element of ignorance. Even if the audience knew a stereotype was exaggerated, they wanted to be entertained, and the act of making the foreigner ridiculous was clearly a popular source of amusement. The subject matter was also well-liked by print-publishers because it had broad appeal and it did not quickly date, unlike the topical political prints. It was a subject that could be depended upon to draw crowds by playwrights and caricaturists alike. '

Laos Photoset.

Querying the Hive Mind.

'What is your favourite blog?'

'What fascinatingly cool mathematical topics do you wish you knew about in high school?'

'How much am I missing out on by not having much of a social life?'

'What's the most economical way to make your house/apartment smell good?'

'What little things do great friends do that sets them apart from others? '

'How to speak with someone who stutters'.

'I spent most of January and half of February at the South Pole working on the SPT camera...'

Monday, 24 March 2008

St. Louis City Hospital: A History.

'Think of this website as a very small part of the possible ways to document the graceful buildings of the City Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri. Everything here is just a selection -- literally, because I have so many items that cannot be adequately displayed online -- of some things one might find useful in considering the lives and deaths of the buildings. '

The History of Rotherham's Hospitals.

Rotherham, South Yorkshire.

Rome Reborn: The Vatican Library and Renaissance Culture.

The Vatican Museum's manuscripts.

Byzantine Medieval Hypertexts.

'Yes, the idea of hypertexts from the Middle Ages sounds absurd. We think of the Middle Ages as a time of rampant illiteracy and premature death. We remember stories of monks meticulously scribing away in Latin to preserve the heritage of Western civilization against the onslaught of the barbarian hoards, but we tend to forget that the Renaissance was conceived and transmitted to the West through Byzantine monks meticulously scribing away in Greek and Slavic scripts under far greater pressure from the Eastern invasion...'

Shattered 9/12/2001.

'a remarkable collection of photographs by award-winning photojournalist James Nachtwey' - photographs of the WTC attack aftermath.

University of Wisconsin-Madison: William J. Meuer Photoart Collection.

'The William J. Meuer Photoart Collection is an outstanding visual history of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and its surrounding community. The collection was compiled by renowned local photographer William J. Meuer who with his brother, Roman, opened the Meuer Photoart House on State Street in 1916. Dating from 1888 to 1935, 25 large bound albums contain nearly 27,000 individual prints...'

Vending Machines of Japan.

Guide to Japanese Temples.

Terra: Brazil's Landless Movement.

"I came to Brazil to photograph a story about the peasants fighting not to come to the cities, because this for me is one of the last resistance movements in the world."
- SebastiĆ£o Salgado.

The Buzz about Bhutan.

'Long hidden at the very rooftop of the world, the tiny Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan banked both upon its remote location and a policy of isolation to protect its culture. But now, for better or worse, Bhutan is opening up and welcoming the world.'

Mexican Masks.

Dance masks from Mexico and Guatemala.

Astro Pics.

Saturn and Titan.

Cat's Eye Hubble Remix.

Sunset: Planet Earth.

Science Fiction Book Covers.

A 1000 Day World Trip.


Worthington Memory.

Online scrapbook of Worthington, Ohio.

Querying the Hive Mind.

'What books have transported you to another place, and occupied your thoughts for days whilst you read them? '

'What exact characteristic(s) make someone appear polished and sophisticated?'

'How do you say "Damn kids, get off my lawn!" in Latin?'

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Jet Set Ruins.

Photos of aircraft scrapyards.

Modern Military Ruins of San Francisco.

Diseases of the Mind: Highlights of American Psychiatry through 1900.

Early attempts at understanding insanity from a scientific perspective.

The Bedouin Tribes of Petra.

'When Vivian Ronay first visited Petra in 1986 as a tourist, the city was deserted. She saw it almost as it must have looked to Swiss explorer J.L. Burckhardt, who rediscovered it for the Western world in 1812: an empty, ancient city cut into the high desert cliffs of southern Jordan. She has been returning to Petra for almost 20 years to continue the documentation of Bedouin life as they transition from their pastoral pre-market economy to their modern life in the government-subsidized village of Umm Sayhun, with electricity and indoor plumbing...'

British Museum: The Americas.

Online tours of objects from the Americas in the British Museum - annuraaq (or anoraks), kayak clothing from Greenland, objects from the Amazon, and more.

The 'House in the Clouds', Suffolk.

'walking towards the ‘house in the clouds’ in suffolk for the first time can be a confusing experience if you approach from the right angle as the otherwise normal-looking home appears to either float above the trees or perch on a non-existent hill behind the surrounding greenery...
what you’re actually looking at is the top of an old 30'000 gallon water tower, brilliantly designed 85 years ago by architects who were asked to disguise what would have been an ugly 70ft high blot on the landscape of thorpeness - the village who benefited from its water storage capabilities until 1977.'

Spalding Base Ball Guides 1889-1939.

'Spalding’s Official Base Ball Guide was perhaps the premier publication of its day for the game of baseball. It featured editorials from baseball writers on the state of the game, statistics, photographs, and analysis of the previous season for all the Major League teams and for many of the so-called minor leagues across the nation. The 15 Spalding’s Official Base Ball Guides included in this online collection were published between 1889 and 1939. '

The Online Burma Library.

'The Online Burma Library is dedicated to the people of Burma, who have been the last to know what has been written about their country.'

Eastern European Poster Art.

Women of India.

Arts & Crafts Movement: 1880-1920 in Europe and America.

Design for the Modern World: “A group of reformers,
passionately committed to correcting the ills they saw in an increasingly
industrial and urban society, chose the arts as their medium... ”

A Rabbi's Impression of the Oberammergau Passion Play (1901).

'Four centuries ago a village high in the Bavarian Alps, Oberammergau, promised that, if God interceded against the bubonic plague, they would stage a Passion play every ten years. A Passion play is a medieval dramatic form which depicts the life and (principally) death of Jesus. All of the actors are residents, and the entire community participates in one way or another. The pageant continues in the 21st century. '

'This book is an American Reform Rabbi's encounter with this quaint, and at the time insidiously anti-Semitic, production. He vividly describes his own feelings at each stage of the play. Krauskopf uses the 1900 Oberammergau Passion as a springboard to examine a whole set of issues which will make both Jews and Christians uncomfortable, but which need looking at, even today. He is a virtual attorney-for-the-defense, working every angle to clear the reputation of the Jews...'

Querying the Hive Mind.

'Why are the many Indo-European languages considered to have a common ancestor, whereas Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese and other gramatically and lexically similar languages are grouped into separate language families? How did so many different language families arise in the Americas and Australia given that they were populated by the same groups of people?'

'What are retorts for some common sayings? For example, when people say: "The early bird gets the worm", you could retort "The second mouse gets the cheese". Which other ones are out there?'

'Women loners, recluses, survivalists, they lived alone and liked it that way. Which books details their lives?'

'I want to be able to do the splits. Please tell me if this is realistic, and if so, the best way to go about doing it.'

'How can I better understand social cues? '

Thursday, 13 March 2008

Fazal Sheikh: Ladli.

Ladli means 'beloved daughter'. - 'The stories told here will come as a shock to many: the abortion of thousands of healthy fetuses every year because of their gender, the murder at birth of baby girls, the abduction and rape of adolescents forced into prostitution, the exploitation of child labor, the physical abuse of domestic workers and, worst of all, the murder of young women whose dowries, or performance as wives, does not match their husbands’, or their husbands’ families’, expectations. Through a network of street-level activists, Sheikh builds up a picture of India that undermines its new role as a modern democracy. '

Wednesday, 12 March 2008

The CURTA Calculator.

A calculator from Germany, 1948.

United States 1970-1975.

'In the early 1970s, when Jacob Holdt first arrived in the US with 40 dollars in his pocket, he planned to travel quickly across the country to South America. But, totally shocked and fascinated by what he discovered, he ended up staying five years. His family could scarcely believe the letters he sent them detailing the poverty he saw, so his father sent him a cheap amateur camera in order that Holdt could send home proof of his claims. '

Monkey King.

Comic version.

' "Monkey King",or known to the Chinese as "Journey to West",written by Wu Ch'eng-en(1500?-1582),a scholar-official, is one of the renowned classical Chinese novels about an allegorical rendition of the journey, mingled with Chinese fables, fairy tables, legends,superstitions, popuar beliefs, monster stories as well as whatever the author could find in the Taoist and Buddhist religions...'

Future Buildings in Dubai.

Industrial Ruins in Romania.

Brick City.

Photographs of St. Louis, Missouri.

Photographs of the Pamir Mountain District, Tajikistan.

Music for the Masses.

'Books containing music for Christian church ceremonies are among the largest and most beautiful manuscripts that have survived from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. This exhibition explores the splendid decoration of these manuscripts and the significance of music in medieval religious life.'

Chambers's Book of Days.

'A Miscellany of Popular Antiquities in connection with the Calendar
an electronic reprint of the original:
Chambers's Book of Days. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott & Co., 1879.'

Tibetan Geomancy Texts.

1895 US Atlas.

Solar Biology (1887).

A very strange astrology book with a great title.

Querying the Hive Mind.

'No Limit Honeymoon. My new wife and I would like to go on a 2 - 2 1/2 week honeymoon. We will go anywhere in the world and want somewhere outside of the States or Europe...'

'What instrument should I learn?'

'Why aren't turtles dinosaurs?'

'What are your favorite things to put on pasta (besides tomato sauce)?'

'I've been living on my own for about five years now, but I still cannot for the life of me understand grocery shopping.'
Do Some Good:
Chinese Red Cross Disaster Appeal.
The aftermath of the 2008 Chinese winter storms is still causing a humanitarian crisis in China, especially in the south.
Donations can also be made online from US and Canadian bank accounts via the Canadian Red Cross :-
The International Committee of the Red Cross allows you to donate online 'where help is most needed' :-
(A friend of mine has been involved directly in relief efforts and they still appreciate donations).
Do Some Good:
Nicky Skye.
Someone who could do with some help. (A friend of mine).

Wednesday, 5 March 2008

Stuff Your Doodles.

Your doodles, stuffed.

American Geographic Society Photo Archive.

'The AGSL Digital Photo Archive presents over 2,500 images from the holdings of the American Geographical Society (AGS) Library. The current selection focuses on the countries of Asia and the Middle East. The images come from the collections acquired over many decades by the AGS Library including an extensive photographic print collection.'

Siberia Diary.

'The Post's Robert G. Kaiser and Lucian Perkins spent the month of August 2001 on a 3,700 mile journey across Siberia, reporting almost daily on the people, culture and natural resources of Russia's most abundant region'.

Solemates: The 20th Century in Shoes.

Suharto: A Declassified Documentary Obit.

'As Indonesia buries the ex-dictator Suharto, who died Sunday at the age of 86, the National Security Archive today posted a selection of declassified U.S. documents detailing his record of repression and corruption, and the long-standing U.S. support for his regime.'

American Patriotic Melodies.

'Patriotic Melodies tells the stories behind many of the songs that have now become part of the American national heritage. A combination of hymns, national songs, music of the theater, radio and television, military themes, and poetry, all of this music demonstrates that while over history many things have changed, this expression of pride and hope remain a constant part of the American experience.'

The Calvin Shedd Papers.

'The Archives and Special Collections Department at the University of Miami Library houses a series of remarkable letters written by Calvin Shedd, a carpenter from New Hampshire, who enlisted in the Seventh Regiment, New Hampshire Volunteers and served the Union Army during the Civil War from 1862 - 1863. In these letters to his wife and three young daughters, Shedd recorded the debilitating physical hardships, the incredible tedium and the ever-present dangers of military life in Key West, Fort Jefferson and St. Augustine, Florida. Shedd wrote these fifty-three letters with great love, painstaking attention to detail, and a calm, reassuring hand. '

The Shaker Historic Trail.

'Originating in the religious ferment of Manchester, England, in the mid-18th century, the "Shaking Quakers" reached fruition after settlement in America in 1774. "Mother" Ann Lee, the English-born leader of the Shakers, began her public ministry in America in 1780. By 1784 she had died, but her charismatic preaching had sparked a revolutionary new movement that had enduring impact on American religion and culture. The Shakers were ardent believers in the millennialist principle of establishing "heaven on earth" through the practice of communitarian social organizations, pacifism, celibacy, gender equality and the confession of sin. The Shakers offered an intriguing alternative to mainstream culture in post-Revolutionary War America.'

Volcano of Delight: Historic Sheet Music 1800-1922.

'Notable in this collection are early pieces by Irving Berlin and Jerome Kern, as well as music by other popular composers such as Victor Herbert, Jean Schwartz, Paul Dresser, Ernest R. Ball, Gussie L. Davis, Charles K. Harris, and George M. Cohan. Numerous arrangements of classical tunes by Bach, Beethoven, Schubert and other famous classical composers are also well-represented.'

Graveyard of the Pacific: The Shipwrecks of Vancouver Island.

Milwaukee Repertory Theater Photographic History.

The Book of Tea by Kakuzo Okakura.

Astro Pics.

Sand Dunes Thawing on Mars.

Mauna Kea Shadow Play.

Twelve Lunar Eclipses.

German Decorative Bookbindings.

Querying the Hive Mind.

'Unlike most other places I've been in the world, people didn't beg for money. They begged for bread. They begged for clothes. Old t-shirts back in your hotel room. Your hat. Your shoes...' On poverty in Zimbabwe.

Some more information on microcredit lending.

RIP Gary Gygax.