Sunday, 31 August 2008

History of Robots in the Victorian Era.

'Read illustrated accounts of the world's first robot, the Steam Man, created in 1865! Subsequent automatons such as the Electric Man and the Automatic Man are also profiled. The most comprehensive section, with more than 20 pages, concerns the mechanical man known as Boilerplate--described as "deliciously detailed" by The New York Times, "charming" by U.S. News and World Report and declared "cool" by NASA!'

Photo Tampering through History.

'Photography lost its innocence many years ago. In as early as the 1860s, photographs were already being manipulated, only a few decades after Niepce created the first photograph in 1814. With the advent of high-resolution digital cameras, powerful personal computers and sophisticated photo-editing software, the manipulation of digital images is becoming more common. Here, I have collected some examples of tampering throughout history. '

Also - this doctored 'Evening Standard' photo - . 'On 9 April 2003, the front page of the London Evening Standard (circulation: 400,000) contained a blurry image supposedly showing a throng of Iraqis in Baghdad celebrating the toppling of Saddam Hussein. What we are really looking at is an incredibly ham-fisted attempt at photo manipulation. '

The Plastic Bottle Lamp.

'Plastic drink bottles are usually treated as waste. But designer can change them into good decorations. The central part of the lamp is a sphere whose surface is full of holes and you can screw plastic bottles into the center sphere threaded holes to make a gorgeous lamp. Turn on the light! It’s beautiful.'

The Last Nomads: Photographs from Inner Mongolia.

The Things We Forget to Remember: The Bengal Famine of 1943.

'The Partition of India was the last act of the British Raj. It led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands: but it was not the worst disaster to hit India in the 1940s. That was the Bengal Famine of 1942-4, which left around a million dead: it was a famine that happened on Britain’s watch, and gave the lie to the claim by the British that their rule had eliminated famine from India...'

(A few years before, several million people died in the Ukrainian famine - - of 1932-33. The Ukrainian famine is rightly held up as an example of the consequences of the evils of the Soviet system, but the Bengal famine is largely forgotten. To condemn but not the other seems to smack of a double standard.)

Medieval Manuscripts at the Syracuse University Library.

'The Special Collections Department of the Syracuse University Library is fortunate to hold a small but significant collection of Latin medieval manuscripts on parchment of Spanish, English, Italian, French, Flemish, and German/Austrian origin which range in date from the thirteenth through the sixteenth centuries. The collection includes an apocalyptic text by Telesphorus; glossed decretals of popes Innocent IV and Gregory IX; a Dominican gradual of saints; a part of the Old Testament which consists of a fragment of the Books of Tobit and Esther, and a complete Book of Judith; and six Books of Hours. '

Persons and Street Life.

'Various shots with people in them, mainly taken in Nepal and Ethiopia'.

Little Shiva's Queen Zine.

'The Queen Zine, or QZ for short, was founded as a creative nexus by publisher and editrix Little Shiva in the summer of 2000, and ended on June 2nd, 2006 with issue 122. From issues 1 through 100 it came out every first and third Friday on the streets of Charlotte, NC. Issues 101 through 122 came out on first Fridays. It was also mailed out internationally.'

Hedgehog in a Teacup.

Banksy in New Orleans.

Commemorates Hurricane Katrina.

Father Cats.

'Jacob Cats (1577-1660) was a Dutch jurist, diplomat and poet. He was a prolific versifier, whose didactic yet homely works won him much respect and popularity (he became known, among his countrymen, as ’Father Cats’), but whose stolid humourlessness meanwhile attracted some ridicule. Cats was inspired by the international popularity of Andrea Alciati’s Emblematum Liber to produce an emblem-book of his own, but one in the vernacular, such that his less well-educated countrymen could still profit from the moral insights that emblems could encapsulate...'

7 Reasons the 21st Century Is Making You Miserable.

'#1. We don't have enough annoying strangers in our lives. #2. We don't have enough annoying friends, either.'

Querying the Hive Mind.

Personal perspective on Bosnia and Karadzic.
'My family and I were starved and cut off from electricity, gas, water, phone service and even things like wood with which we could have kept somewhat warm...'

How contraceptive pills work.

Astro Pics.

Eclipse over the Great Wall.

The View from Everest.

Northern Cygnus.

Brooklyn Signs.

Monday, 25 August 2008

Frans Masereel's 'The City'.

A 'novel without words'. 'Die Stadt is a remarkable sequence of images which, collectively, tell the story of a day in the life of a 1920s metropolis. They variously illustrate moments of love and hate, birth and death, toil and revelry, bustle and quiet, luxury and squalor, day and night.'

The Correct Way to Punch a Football.

'Sergeant Ernest Brough shows students the correct way to punch a football at Drouin State School, Victoria [picture] [ca. 1944]'

Lost Chicagoland.

'Businesses that have moved or closed, buildings that have been burned and/or demolished. Some of the closed businesses (like Carson Pirie Scott on State) are in buildings that have NOT been demolished.'

Photos of the Vacant Uptown Theater, Philadelphia.

The Hanford Site.

'The Hanford Site is a decommissioned nuclear production complex on the Columbia River in south-central Washington operated by the United States government. The site has been known by many names, including Hanford Works, Hanford Engineer Works, Hanford Nuclear Reservation, and the Hanford Project. Established in 1943 as part of the Manhattan Project, it was home to the B-Reactor, the first full-scale plutonium production reactor in the world...'

Wholesome Family Gospel Groups.

'Wholesome' retro record covers. 'Some homegrown Gospel Madness for you all! '

De Bry's Alphabets.

'Among the few dozen books I was recently reunited with after having left them in storage when I left the UK in ’00 was one entitled The Alphabetic Labyrinth: The Letters in History and Imagination. As a history, it is only intermittently interesting, but its many illustrations are often beautiful and fascinating. It was in this book that I first learned of Johann Theodor de Bry’s 1595 Neiw Kunstliches Alphabet...'

The Empire of Vegetables.

'I am very grateful to Mr. Rusher for sending me a delightful book: Romeo Salta’s Le Delizie della mia Cucina. Salta arrived in New York an illegal immigrant in 1929, thereafter working his way up to become a chef, and, in time, a renowned restauranteur. He died in 1998, aged 93. Le Delizie… is the Italian version of a recipe book he originally published in English as The Pleasures of Italian Cooking...'

Blue Plaques of Famous People and Landmarks in London.

(Just type nothing into the 'search' box to get the full listing).

Querying the Hive Mind.

'Obvious or creative--shameless or shady, even!--ways to cut costs and live cheap?'

'I want to know how you get things done. I'm not looking for a self-help book; I want to know what you do, on a daily basis, to get things accomplished. Anything goes. '

'What Is YOUR Best Photography Tip, Secret, Trick, Lesson, Technique, or Hack?'

'How do you get away without going away?'
(The park, the museum, friends, and books).

'This one is for the extroverts. As someone who has struggled with social anxiety/shyness to varying degrees my entire life, I'm very curious to know what your inner dialogue is like?'

Astro Pics.

Stars and Mars.

Logarithmic Spirals.

Two-Armed Spiral Milky Way Galaxy.

Power and Glory: Court Arts of China's Ming Dynasty.

Amitabha: A Story of Buddhist Theology (1906).

'This is a short story set in the first century CE during the height of Buddhism in India. Carus uses the story as a frame to discuss Buddhist concepts of God, non-violence and religous tolerance.'

Sheet Music Collection at Mississippi State Libraries.

'The sheet music collection of almost 22,000 pieces includes popular tunes dating as far back as 1865. Highlights include a rare copy of Scott Joplin’s “Cascades” bearing his photograph, rare first editions of W.C. Handy’s “Memphis Blues” and “St. Louis Blues,” and scarce Confederate imprints from the Civil War. Special collections are devoted to ragtime, blues, movie tunes, foxtrots, popular music, show tunes, Irving Berlin, war songs and specialty. '

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Other Simulated Worlds.

Historic photos from the American Natural History Museum.

Tibet in the American Geographic Society Library.

'The digital collection presents historical maps and images of Tibet from the holdings of the American Geographical Society (AGS) Library. The collection includes a set of early photographs of central Tibet and Lhasa as well as images from Harrison Forman's expeditions to northern Tibet between 1932 and 1937. '

19th Century Fairground Art.

'The Théâtre Mécanique Morieux arrived for the first time in Gent round 1810. This mechanical Theatre (Theatrum Mundi) was founded by engineer Morieux, based in Paris, and became also successful on Belgian Fairgrounds, exploited by painter Léon van De Voorde round 1888. Their mechanical Fairground show became famous for it's moveable mechanical marionettes made in painted iron, the main characters of the show...'

The Stuckenberg Map Collection.

Old maps. 'Dr. Stuckenberg had a life long interest in maps, and while living in Germany purchased the majority of his collection, which consists of three 17th century atlases and over 500 map sheets from the 16th through the 19th century. '

Found in My Grandfather's Garage.

'Upon my grandfathers passing, my family went through quite a bit of stuff he had hung on to over the years. This is a small sampling.'

Grow Your Own Treehouse.

'There are houses built in trees and then there are treehouses. Last year, we had one of
our first encounters with a home literally made from trees, using the art of weaving
(and sometimes grafting) trees together to form structures — a practice ecological
designer, Richard Reames, called “Arcorsculpture.” '

Leave Us ALONE! Space Invaders in Paris.

Crows Around Rogers Avenue Metro Station, Baltimore.

'The crows roost nightly in the area around the Rogers Avenue Metro Station in Baltimore... The sidewalks under the trees look like Jackson Pollack masterpieces, and the sound is incredible. '

Relics of East Germany.

'Relicts from times of cold war and relicts from the DDR / GDR'.

London Transport History Photo Gallery.

Victorian Illustrators.

'There were two great periods of illustration in the Victorian period: in the 1860s following the inspired drawings by the Pre-Raphaelites, and in the 1890s, including the private press movement and Arts and Crafts work by William Morris and like-minded people...'

Beijing 2008 Olympics Opening Ceremony Photos.

Astro Pics.

Io's Surface: Under Construction.

The International Space Station Transits the Sun.

The Great Rift on Saturn's Tethys.

Where Is Bob? Tales of An Absentee Manager.

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

LSD Blotter Art.

'The creation of blotter has become an underground art form leading to an array of creative and stunning designs. It is likely that a few of the blotter designs shown have never been dipped and were created purely as art.'

19th Century Japanese Ghost Scrolls.


Coober Pedy, the Underground Town.

Outback miners live in caves. No planning permission required.

Follow the Sun: Australian Travel Posters 1930s-1950s.

Power and Taboo: Sacred Objects from the Pacific.

'This tour contains a selection of objects from the British Museum's unparalleled collection of art and artefacts from the eastern Pacific. Most of them were collected between 1760 and 1860 by the earliest European missionaries and explorers and therefore come from a time before the influence of European settlers had been exerted upon the islands.'

Louis L. McAllister's Photographs of Omaha, Nebraska.

Old photos. 'The L.L. McAllister Collection includes portraits, construction projects, buildings, businesses and events in the Burlington area covering the period ca. 1920-1960.'

Plate Books from the Russian Empire, Early Soviet Russia, and Eastern Europe, 1730-1935.

'Thousands of images, reproducing, often in their entirety, important illustrated books published in Russia and adjacent areas. Most notably, includes the several series issued by 19th-century collector and scholar, Dimitrii Aleksandrovich Rovinskii.'

Indonesian Dance and Related Arts.

'Thousands of photographs of Indonesian costumes, theatrical performances, and dance movements taken by scholar Claire Holt and others, collected by her in travels through the region in the 1930s and later. '

Street Art (Graffiti) in Athens.

The Georgian Alphabet.

Is quite unique.

500 Years of Italian Dance.

'500 Years of Italian Dance: Treasures from the Cia Fornaroli Collection pays tribute both to the rich history of Italian dance and to the remarkable Cia Fornaroli Collection, a jewel of the Library's Jerome Robbins Dance Division. Assembled by Walter Toscanini, son of the famed Italian conductor, and his wife the La Scala ballerina Cia Fornaroli, the collection documents the full sweep of Italian dance history from the Renaissance to the early twentieth century. '

Querying the Hive Mind.

'I want to quit the corporate world, grow a head full of dreadlocks, make a living selling handmade beads, and just kind of...hang out, y'know? How do I do that?'

'Has anyone got any good vegetarian recipes for winter?'

'Help me find beautiful posters with science, math or music as the subject.'

'Why do we recycle paper?'

'What are some innovations that come across as obvious solutions for problems? '

Astro Pics.

A Persistent Electrical Storm on Saturn.

A Total Solar Eclipse Over China.

Arp 272.

Hieronymus Bosch.

'Hieronymus Bosch, Early Netherlandish painter, many of his works depict sin and human moral failings, half-human animals and machines to evoke fear and confusion to portray the evil of man (1450 – 1516) '.

Wednesday, 6 August 2008

Faces I Never Forget:
Portraits from People in Asia, Africa and Latin America.

The Wordless Graphic Novels of Lynd Ward.

'Lynd Ward, the master wood engraver, produced a remarkable body of work. From 1929 to 1937 he produced six novels in wood engravings. No words detracted from his strong images. All plot and characters sprang from the curl of a wood shaving pulled away from the endgrain of a wood block. Even today, Ward's sense of humanity cuts as sharply as his graver's tool. The images are sensuous. The stark black and white lines are pure ink and paper, you feel that nothing is hidden. '

Dharavi, Mumbai.

' is a multimedia wiki website designed to gather information, images, and ideas on Dharavi in Mumbai. Dharavi is one of the largest informal settlement in the world.'

All Things Japan.

Artists' Responses to AIDS.

East African Photographs 1860-1920.

'Assembled by the British collector Humphrey Winterton over about 30 years, the collection depicts the breadth of African experience, documents African life, European life in Africa in all its manifestations and the African landscape, in particular as it changed over time. Included are photographs showing the building of East Africa’s railways, the growth of its urban centers and the development of European colonial administration. The photographs extensively document rural life as well as the travels and work of European colonial officials and private businessmen. '

Art of the Poster 1880-1918.

'This collection of over one hundred and sixty digital images of historic posters from this period was originally compiled to support the teaching of Design History and Graphic Design courses at the Minneapolis College of Art & Design. Many of the artists who designed posters during this period were already well known in other media, such as painting and architecture. Their creative success helped to bridge the gap between “high art” and popular visual culture, and to introduce even those who never visited museums or galleries to examples of innovative design. Today, these striking posters are highly regarded as being among the most distinctive examples of fin-de-siecle styles such as Art Nouveau and the Vienna Secession. '

Portraits of American Civil War Veterans.

'About 1915, Stevens Post members put together an album of photographic portraits collected from members over the previous 25 years or so. It was a large leather-bound book providing four portraits per page, but only the first 29 pages have pictures on them. 10 of the portraits were unidentified* and others only partially. At this point some portrait frames have a name attached, but the picture is missing. The 106 portraits remaining form a remarkable resource for Seattle history.'


Old and abandoned buildings.

Querying the Hive Mind.

'What are the best cupcakes you've ever ever had? How can I make them?'

'How do I kill the perfectionism, the precious and fearful impulses, and the self-doubt that keeps me from completing my creative writing projects.'

'What item do you use all the time and wonder how you ever lived with without it?'

'What can I buy on the internet for a dollar?'

'Looking for an engaging, well-written book that explains scientific thinking'

'Can I learn to be less forgetful and scatterbrained?'

'I've been feeling slow lately. How can I sharpen my mental powers?'

35 Beautiful Music Album Covers.

'Hamlet' as Facebook Status Updates.

Astro Pics.

Spiral Galaxies in Collision.

M104 Hubble Remix.

M86 in the Virgo Cluster.

Book of the Century: Buckminster Fuller's Tetrascroll.