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...'

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