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 : http://www.polishposter.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=4078&Category_Code=USA

British Columbia Medical Museum Collection.

Old and historic medical instruments.

Images of Florida's Black History.

Former slave Charity Stewart, born 1844 : http://www.floridamemory.com/PhotographicCollection/displayphoto.cfm?IMGURL=http://fpc.dos.state.fl.us/reference/rc02016.jpg

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 : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kingdom_of_Araucania_and_Patagonia

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 : http://www.flickr.com/photos/modern_fred/sets/72157603409508667/

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? '

Sunday, 19 October 2008

Obama Action Figure.

Yes We Carve: The Obama Pumpkin Light.

Design for Obama Downloadable Posters.

Mom’s Diner (Psychedelic).

Mom’s Diner (Mundane).

Two views of the same NJ diner.

Equine Influenza Devastates America.

The equine flu of 1872, which 'rippled all of America, halted the government in Washington DC, stopped the ships in New York, burned Boston to the ground and forced the cavalry to fight the Apaches on foot. '

Kingsway Tunnels.

'A series of tunnels that run underneath central London and were used for communications during the Cold War have gone on sale for an estimated £5m.'

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

150 Best Online Flash Games.

'It was a long and exhausting task: playing hundreds of online games for hours in a row, day after day. It was hard, but someone had to do it.'

Pyestock Turbine Facility.

Closed research facility in Hampshire.

'For over fifty years, Pyestock was host to the development and testing of gas turbine engines. From the 1950s through to the 1970s, it was the largest facility of its type in Europe (if not the world), and the design, experimentation and testing at Pyestock helped to usher in the jet age...'

'... at it waits its fate, Pyestock has become an unofficial museum. The entrance fee is a combination of dexterity, intelligence and courage. Those able pay are constantly amazed and inspired by what they find; and are saddened that one of the most important research sites in the world is to be swept away and forgotten. '

Madhubani Painting.

'Hindu women who live in villages near the market town of Madhubani in northern India maintain old traditions and teach them to their daughters. Painting is one of the traditional skills that is passed down from generation to generation in the families of some of the women. They paint figures from nature and myth on household and village walls to mark the seasonal festivals of the religious year, for special events of the life-cycle, and when marriages are being arranged they prepare intricately designed wedding proposals...'

Broken Koans.

What is the sound of two hands clapping?

Junk Drawers.

Kitchen Drawers.

Inside Your Drawers.

William Claxton: Photographic Memory.

Photographer William Claxton, who passed away recently.

'... Less well known is the fact that throughout his career Claxton has just as assiduously photographed people from all walks of life, both the famous - writers, actors, directors, composers, artists, and fashion designers - and the family and friends to whom he has been closest. Often there has been little distinction between the two. In a sense, he has always been a kind of neighborhood photographer, though later his neighborhood became the world. Many of the photographs shown in the gathering of pictures featured here - whether shot in a recording studio, on a Hollywood sound stage, or in the living rooms of his subjects - were taken within a few miles of Claxton's home at the top of Benedict Canyon above Beverly Hills. '

The Burial of Mickey Mouse.

Nonfiction autobiography of Paris-born, London-based (by way of Paraguay) artist Natalie d'Arbeloff. She's had an interesting life.

Also : Blaugustine - http://www.nataliedarbeloff.com/blaugustine.html

Also : the God Interviews - http://www.nataliedarbeloff.com/interviewgod.html

Drawing Babar.

'A dignified elephant, dressed in a green suit and wearing a yellow crown, walks upright across the page. This image—both absurd and endearing—has become instantly recognizable to several generations of readers throughout the world. The exhibition Drawing Babar returns visitors to the two essential moments of Babar's creation: when Jean de Brunhoff and, years later, his son Laurent, set down their initial thoughts on paper. Their earliest drafts, shown in juxtaposition with their finished watercolors, allow viewers to track the changes, both subtle and substantive, that both men made as they refined their work, bringing together word and image with elegance and exuberance. '

History of African Art.

'The representation of motherhood in plastic art is a familiar subject in the majority of African cultures. It celebrates the fertility of women and revives beliefs in the mythical mother who gave life to humankind - a crucial element within society in that it ensures the continuity of the species. The composition of figures generally consists of a seated or kneeling female with a baby at her breast or on her back. The representation of maternity by most African peoples is characterized by idealism rather than realism. The mother figure usually has an expressive face that conveys a sense of tranquil dignity- but seldom shows obvious emotion...'

Querying the Hive Mind.

'Besides MetaFilter, whats the must read of the day? '

'I'm looking to update my birthday wishlist and need some specific inspiration from a broad spectrum of people-types.'

Jack Common: Selected Articles.

'A selection of articles by the undeservably obscure Jack Common, a Geordie who wrote both novels and essays on various aspects of culture and class relations. His friend George Orwell had written of Common: "he is of proletarian origin, and much more than most writers of this kind he preserves his proletarian viewpoint".'

'A fascinating writer, his analysis of the emerging mass consumerism of the 1930s & 40s seems to closely anticipate the concept of the 'society of the spectacle' later developed by the situationists.'

Monday, 6 October 2008

Streets Named after Martin Luther King.

'Streets named after Martin Luther King, Jr. can be found in many cities of the United States and in nearly every major metropolis in America. The number of streets named after King is growing every year...'

MLK Blvd.

Photographs from streets named after Martin Luther King.

The Colours of the Moon.

Colourful Luna.

Pre-1960 America in Color.

Japanese Matchbox Labels.

Photographs of Moscow Zoo, 1920.

Stylish Aprons.

For some reason it took me several years to figure out the importance of aprons in domestic life. Now I have a couple on hand at all times; here are some stylish possibilities...'

Overlooked New York.

'Overlooked New York is a collection of portraits and interviews with ardent New Yorkers about their joyous obsessions.'

'It all started with the Puerto Rico Schwinn Club. I've seen them all my life, but I never knew why these old guys would be tricking out their bicycles with flags and horns and fox tails and mirrors. So I tracked them down and painted their portraits and interviewed them. That began my mission to discover the seemingly endless variety of enthusiasms pursued by New Yorkers, whether they were carried from immigrants' cultures from overseas or indigenous to the city landscape.'

'These are real New Yorkers who have found fascinating ways to unleash their joy on the roofs and rivers and parks and streets of New York.'

L.A. by Day by Night.

By the lowbrow artist Josh Agle, better known as SHAG.

Rene Maltete Humour Photography.

The Morel Mushroom Hunting Club.

Great photos of mushrooms... and mushroom hunters.

Querying the Hive Mind.

What to expect out of a short spell in jail?

What to expect if you run for office?

'I enjoy literature with a dystopian and/or post-apocalyptic bent to it. I want more. Recommendations? '

Big Issue Japan: Saving the Homeless.

Jose Guadalupe Posada - Calavera Revolucionaria or Revolutionary Skeleton.

'Note: Calavera Revolucionaria ('Revolutionary Skeleton') was originally published as a broadside around 1910. It depicts a 'soldadera', that is a female soldier or camp follower who travelled with the revolutionary armies of Madero, Huerta, Zapata and others. A quartet of delightfully happy revolutionaries adorn the background.'

Aboriginal Rock Engravings around Sydney.

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

The Subprime Mortgage Primer.

Top Ten Financial Crises and Their Lessons.

Black Swans.

'I can see Russia from my house! ... ' The New Yorker on Sarah Palin.

The Sisyphus String.

Suppose we start with any natural number, regarded as a string, such as 8,798,524.
Count the number of number of even digits, the number of odd digits, and the total number of digits.
These are 4 (four evens), 3 (three odds), 7 (total number of digits).
Use these digits to form the next string or number, 437.
Now repeat with 427, counting evens, odds, total, to get 123.
If we repeat with 123, we get 123 again.
All natural numbers are drawn to 123 by this process, never to escape.

Sisyphus :- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sisyphus

The Walrus and the Carpenter.

Could have been written about The Present Situation.

The Real Great Depression.

Not 1929, but 1873.

BBC nuclear bomb script released.