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. '