Thursday, 18 December 2008

LIFE Photo Archive.

'Search millions of photographs from the LIFE photo archive, stretching from the 1750s to today. Most were never published and are now available for the first time through the joint work of LIFE and Google.'

New species found using Google Earth.

Awesome Cassette Tapes from Africa.

The Ruins of Detroit Industry: Five Former Factories.

'With the President mulling the use of TARP funds to help Detroit automakers weather the Carpocalypse, we thought it appropriate to show you these five Detroit industrial relics that didn't quite make it.'

Portraits of Indian Royalty.

The Guqin.

'Pronounced "chin" ("stringed instrument") or "goo chin" ("old stringed instrument"), the qin / guqin throughout its long history has been the musical instrument most prized by China's literati. They categorized it as one of their "four arts", collected it as an art object, praised its beautiful music, and built around it a complex ideology (compare its image in popular culture). No other instrument was described and illustrated in such detail, so often depicted in paintings, or so regularly mentioned in poetry. And its tablature documents the world's oldest detailed written instrumental music tradition, allowing both historically informed performance (requiring silk strings) of the many early melodies, and practical exploration of the relationship between Chinese music theory and music practice. '

What Is a Spaniard?

On Christianity, Islam, and Judaism, and the history of forced conversions in Iberia.

"The conversions came at the end of one of the most successful Jewish periods in human history... Their success led them to call their land Sepharad, a name from the book of Obadiah that implied that Spanish Jews were the successors to the Jews of Israel. This world ended in 1391."

Day of the Dead - Papercuts.

"In Mexico, papel picado (perforated paper), refers to the traditional art of decorative cut paper banners. Papel picado are usually cut with sharp fierritos (small chisels) from as many as fifty layers of colored tissue paper at a time. Designs may incorporate lattice-work, images of human and animal figures, flowers, and lettering. Many papel picado are made especially for the Mexican festival of the Days of the Dead and include skeletal figures engaged in the everyday activities of the living."

An Imperial Palimpsest on Poland's Electoral Map.

'Mr Hecht did some overlay work, and came up with this remarkable fit: “The divide between the (more free-market) PO and the (more populist) PiS almost exactly follows the old border between Imperial Germany and Imperial Russia, as it ran through Poland! How about that for a long-lasting cultural heritage?!?” How about: amazing, bordering on the unbelievable?'

Forgotten Boston.

'... a compendium of the unusual, mundane, and ancient things usually overlooked as you walk the streets of Boston. '

Automatic Washing Machine Collections.

Modern American Poetry: The Great Depression.

'... For eight years dust blew on the southern plains. It came in a yellowish-brown haze from the South and in rolling walls of black from the North. The simplest acts of life — breathing, eating a meal, taking a walk — were no longer simple. Children wore dust masks to and from school, women hung wet sheets over windows in a futile attempt to stop the dirt, farmers watched helplessly as their crops blew away. '

Historical Footage of Tibetan Lamas Teaching Buddhism.

Western Silent Film Lobby Cards Collection.

'The Western Silent Films Lobby Cards Collection consists of 106 printed items used to promote silent and western films; most of the materials in the collection date between 1910 and 1930. These lobby cards and publicity fliers include both photographic and artistic renderings of scenes and characters from the films being publicized, and often prominently display the names of actors and film studios. Lobby cards were introduced in the 1910s to complement movie posters and were designed for display in the lobbies or foyers of movie theaters. These eponymous artifacts were intended to lure pedestrians into the theater by advertising dramatic, key scenes from the movie or highlighting popular actors. '

Poisonous and Hallucinogenic Mushrooms.

Astro Pics.

La Superba.

A True Image from False Kiva.

Moon Rays over Byurakan Observatory.

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