Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Perry-Castaneda Library: Historical World Maps.

Quite a collection from around the world.

Family Portraits of All 56 Ethnic Groups in China.

'This is a “Family Portrait” of China’s 56 ethnic groups. Chen Haiwen, a photographer, recently lead a team of 14 photographers to create a book entitled, “Harmonious China: A Sketch of China’s 56 Ethnicities.” The team spent one year travelling all over China to complete the project. They ended up taking over 5.7 million photographs.'

Subway Architecture Worldwide.

'london’s underground became the first subway system in the world when it began operation in 1863.
since then, underground subways have been built in almost every major city of the world. from new york
and paris to hong kong and dubai, subways are an essential part of public transportation in cities.
within these systems, architecture plays a big role in defining the environment of the subway. here is
a collection of some of the most architecturally interesting subway stations. '

Iranians, You Are Not Alone!

'In reply to Iran’s cry for freedom, Italian Graphic Design Association (Aiap) gathered these posters overtime, and eventually, Social Design Zine, a daily blog published by Aiap, released them. Recently, the thumbnails of these posters have been widely distributed in Iran via mass email messages. The heartwarming gesture of empathy from the international community has been felt throughout Iran and continues to reverberate in-kind.'

The Oberammergau Passion Play.

'"Gripped by war, poverty and plague, the villagers of Oberammergau, in Bavaria, southern Germany vowed to put on a 'passion play' every ten years… That was back in 1633. They survived, and performed the first Oberammergau Passion Play in 1634. Ever since, their descendants have carried out that pledge. For the past four centuries the tradition has continued, every ten years. Only villagers have been allowed to take part.'

Berlin's East Side Gallery.

'The Berlin Wall at Muehlenstrasse was painted by about 100 artists from all over the world in the beginning of 1990.
The gallery has become famous as East Side Gallery and is the world's largest open air gallery.
The photographs were taken between 1990 and 2001. '

The Winter War.

Photos of the Finno-Soviet war of 1939-1940 (preceding the German invasion of the USSR and following the German and Soviet invasion of Poland).

How to Host Your Christmas Party, 1964.

'"From Refresh Your Table Manners", by Luella Cuming, 1964 Family Circle.'

Sawing Off of Manhattan Island.

'The sawing off of Manhattan Island is an old New York City story that is largely unverified. It describes a practical joke allegedly perpetuated in 1824 by a retired ship carpenter named Lozier. According to the story, in the 1820s a rumor began circulating among city merchants that southern Manhattan Island was sinking near the Battery due to the weight of the urban district. It was believed that by cutting the island, towing it out, rotating it 180 degrees, and putting it back in place that Manhattan would be stabilized, and that the thin part of the island could be condemned. Surprisingly the main concern was not the futility of the idea but of Long Island being in the way. '

Facing History: Drawings by Iranian Artist Saeed Siadat.

Lord Ganesh on a Wall Painting.

Red Rock Cinema, Reykjavik.

'While searching for some evening entertainment in Reykjavík I came across a list of times for The Volcano Show at Red Rock Cinema. I was intrigued but struggled to find any further details or reviews, eventually I found one description online - "a bit of an oddity that attracts geologists and curious tourists alike". That sold it for me.'

Astro Pics.

Himalayan Skyscape.

Ice Moon Tethys.

Butterfly Nebula.

Route 66.

'U.S. Highway 66 -- popularly known as Route 66 or the Mother Road -- holds a special place in American consciousness and evokes images of simpler times, mom and pop businesses, and the icons of a mobile nation on the road. This travel itinerary aids the public to visit the historic places that recall those images and experiences that are reminders of our past and evidence of the influence of the automobile. The Route 66 Discover Our Shared Heritage Travel Itinerary was produced by the National Park Service's Heritage Education Services and the National Park Service Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program, in partnership with the American Express and World Monuments Fund Sustainable Tourism Initiative and the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers.'

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

The Abysmal Calendar.

'theAbysmal Calendar has been developed as a replacement for the Gregorian calendar in its role as the global standard. It was developed anonymously from December 21st 2005 to December 20th 2007 in Vancouver Canada.
theAbysmal Calendar seeks to harmonise a number of different Calendars' features in order to provide the most eloquent means of translating dates between one Calendar system and another, and for communicating dates across the world's cultures...'

'... theAbysmal Calendar combines Calendar features from the Hebrew, the Hellenic, the Chinese, the Buddhist, the Mesoamericans and the Mesopotamian Calendars, which support its claim as a more globally relevant Calendar than the Gregorian. '

Alternative and proposed calendars: http://calendars.wikia.com/wiki/Alternative_and_Proposed_Calendars

The prospects for calendar reform: http://calendars.wikia.com/wiki/The_Prospects_for_Calendar_Reform

The implementation of the Abysmal Calendar : http://theabysmal.wordpress.com/theabysmal-calendar/

Demonstration of Mars in retrograde.

An interesting discussion.

'The Moral Dimensions of Ditching a Mortgage: University of Arizona law professor Brent T. White has written a provocative new paper (pdf) that urges homeowners with "underwater" mortgages" to walk away by strategically defaulting on their mortgage debts. '

Quote : 'In a society where you and your family are treated like expendable garbage by Wall Street, as a "business decision", why should only corporations be allowed to make "business decisions" that hurt you? Why shouldn't individuals be allowed to commit the same economic violence done to them on a regular basis? These are the questions people are now starting to ask.'

(Note - this is obviously a very US-centric discussion. I believe that the law in the UK, for example, is much more favourable to the consumer, so therefore this kind of discussion would be quite different on the other side of the Atlantic).

Fading Ad Campaign.

'Fading Ad Campaign is a photographic project documenting vintage mural ads on building brickfaces in New York City spanning nearly a century. It has become a metaphor for survival for me since, like myself, many of these ads have long outlived their expected life span. Although this project doesn't deal directly with , it is no accident I've chosen to document such a transitory and evanescent subject. Of the hundreds of ads I've photographed, many have already been covered up, vandalized, or destroyed. But still many silently cling to the walls of buildings, barely noticed by the rushing passersby.'

A Chinese Construction Worker's Notes.

'A young migrant worker updates a post of his raw, yet I found to be truthful and insightful notes while working at a construction site of soon to be multi-million luxury homes in Sanya, Hainan.'

Green Screams: Slogans on Walls in Iran.

'In the aftermath of the June uprising and the brutal ways in which peaceful protesters were beaten, murdered, imprisoned, raped, and tortured, Iranians have begun to define their own forms of civil disobedience from boycotting products advertised on state run IRIB, to nightly chanting Allah-o-Akbar on their rooftops, to turning off their electricity during state officials' TV appearances. One of the most effective methods of public disobedience for Iranians has become writing their thoughts on city walls. '

Moscow Postcards, 1890.

Moscow Postcards, 1927.

Moscow Postcards, 1967.

The Seven Liberal Arts.

'"The areas of secular education considered liberal have their foundation in classical antiquity and were codified in the medieval period into a distinct set of seven, with two subdivisions. The upper division, the quadrivium, consists of Geometry, Arithmetic, Astronomy, and Music; while the lower division, or trivium, is made up of Grammar, Logic (or Dialectic), and Rhetoric. [..]'

French Children's Books of the 1930s and 1940s.

The Eye of Argon.

'The Eye of Argon is a heroic fantasy novella that narrates the adventures of Grignr, a barbarian. It was written in 1970 by Jim Theis and circulated anonymously in science fiction fandom since then. It has been described as "one of the genre's most beloved pieces of appalling prose",[1] and has subsequently been used as part of a common science fiction convention party game.'

Dr. Bronner.

'He was born in Heilbronn, Germany, to the Heilbronner family of soap makers.[1] He emigrated to the United States in 1929, dropping "Heil" from his name. As his father was Jewish, he pleaded with his parents to emigrate with him for fear of the then-ascendant Nazis, but they refused. His last contact with his parents was in the form of a postcard saying, "You were right. —Your loving father."'

A Monkeyfilter post about him : http://monkeyfilter.com/link.php/432

Querying the Hive Mind.

'Inspired by this, does anyone know of other interesting locations that can be explored using Google Street View?'

'Creep me out! Lately I've been on an "unsettling stuff" kick -- I like feeling unsettled and I find it creatively inspiring -- but I'm running low on things to explore.'

Leon Czolgosz, assassin of William McKinley, the 25th President of the United States, was electrocuted for his crime on October 29, 1901, at Auburn Prison in Auburn, New York. Among the personal effects found in his cell was a U.S. quarter stamped with the date 2218. The face in profile on said quarter was not George Washington, but rather a face which has yet to be identified.

'What are some cool math and number facts that would blow the mind of a seven year old?'

Phi : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_ratio

'Seeking fire department incident response websites from anywhere in the world – updated on the fly (e.g. Toronto) or whenever they get the chance (Shropshire), it doesn't matter. Does your area's fire service do this?'

Old Penny Memories, Bridlington.

'Just off the sea front in Bridlington you can walk around the corner from the promenade and experience a different type of amusement arcade. Old Penny Memories allows you step back in time and play coin-operated arcade games from the heyday of British seaside entertainment.'

Roadside Art in Downstate Illinois.

'Downstate Illinois: You can't beat a region that boasts a House of Stuff!'

Drawings by Rembrandt and His Pupils.

Astro Pics.

Valles Marineris: The Grand Canyon of Mars.

Giant Cluster Bends, Breaks Images.

Filaments of the Veil Nebula.

Princeton University Historical Postcard Collection.

'The Historical Postcard Collection documents the buildings and environs of the Princeton University campus in the form of picture postcards. Featuring both monochrome and color postcards , the bulk of the collection ranges in date from 1900 through the 1960s. Both unmarked and canceled postcards exist in the collection, and several postcard makers are represented. '

Sword Hilt Designs.

'A set of plates by Antoine Jacquard representing designs in blackwork for sword handles, dagger hilts and pommels, decorated with abstracted foliage, grotesques, chimeric figures and drolleries. Produced between about 1610 and 1630.'

Sati and Shiva in Indian Art.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

'The reverse side also has a reverse side.'

Japanese Prints.

'SESSHU'S LONG SCROLL is the masterwork of the 15th-century artist whom Japan honors as her greatest. Famed not only as a painter but also as a Zen priest and a great traveler, Sesshu found inspiration for his wonderful landscapes both in China and Japan. This magnificent scroll, which pictures the procession of the seasons, is essentially religious painting with a strong atmosphere of Zen Buddhism. Nature, rather than man, is dominant, although the human touch is charmingly evident from time to time.'

'One can take this fascinating Zen landscape journey again and again, and always find new delights along the way.'

'Here Be Dragons'.

'Hadji Muhiddin Piri Ibn Hadji Mehmed, ( 1465–1554/5) was an Ottoman-Turkish Admiral, Privateer, Geographer and Cartographer more commonly known as Piri Reis. In 1521 he finished his Kitab-I Bahriye or Book of Navigation This is an exquisite C17th - C18th revised and expanded version.'

Margaret and Helen's Thanksgiving Letter to the Family.

'This year I am thankful to have you as my family rather than a normal American family. I say that because Sarah Palin is fond of talking about her family being a normal American family.'

Astro Pics.

Annapurna Star Trails.

Ancient Layered Hills on Mars.

Enceladus Venting.

Crescent Earth.

Milky Way Panorama.

Faith, Science, and the Flood.

'Faith and reason, usually jostling for primacy over one another, unite on this map to describe [t]he Earth-sphere after the Deluge in its broken state, shown with Mountains and valleys, great Sea-Bosom and Islands and Shallows of the same. The map was produced for Willem and Jan Goeree’s (1) immensely popular book Introductions to Biblical Knowledge (2), and apparently is based on a similar hemisphere map illustrating Thomas Burnet’s Sacred History of the World (3).'

Flowcharting 'The Lord of the Rings'.

'Equally delightful, if not as yet as iconic, is this flow chart of Lord of the Rings. It charts the itinerary of the story’s main characters, individually and in group, showing when they meet, separate and rejoin each other. The progression is from left to right, not only in tune with the traditional (Western) reading direction but also mirroring the trajectory in the story itself, which starts in the Shire on Middle-Earth’s western edge and leads to Mordor in the east.'

Light and Shadows of a Shattered City.

Kabul photo-essay.

The World Calendar.

'The World Calendar is a proposed reform of the Gregorian calendar created by Elisabeth Achelis of Brooklyn, New York in 1930.'

The Sugar House, El Paso, Texas.

'Started in 1973 by Rufino Loya, a retired Levi Strauss worker, it has been growing ever since. The inspiration for the house was a promise he made to his wife that he would make something beautiful for her. Drawing from memories of the churches he saw growing up in Mexico he created a magical corner of the world in El Paso - an oasis of beauty sitting incongruously beside Highway 54. It's a true labour of love...'

Victorian Toilets, Rothesay.

'The gentlemen’s toilets in Rothesay are a veritable palace of public convenience. Described by Lucinda Lambton, architectural historian and well known cludgie connoisseur as “jewels in the sanitarian’s crown”, they are one of the finest examples of late Victorian lavatories left in the UK.'

Variations of Green.

Tallulah Bankhead.

'My recently acquired copy of Tallulah Bankhead's autobiography (which looks as if it's still in print) turns out to be an ideal winter evening read. She describes her notoriously rackety life with total insouciance: "Let's face it, my dears, I have been tight as a tick! Fried as a mink! Stiff as a goat!" "I've rejoiced in considerable dalliance, and have no regrets... I found no surprises in the Kinsey Report." ...'

The Report from Iron Mountain.

'The Report From Iron Mountain is a book, published in 1967 (during the Johnson Administration) by Dial Press, that states that it is the report of a government panel. The book includes the claim that it was authored by a Special Study Group of fifteen men whose identities were to remain secret, and that it was not intended to be made public. The best selling book purportedly details the analyses and conclusions of a government panel that states that war, or a credible substitute for war, is necessary for governments to maintain power. Report from Iron Mountain was on the New York Times bestseller list and was translated into fifteen different languages. Controversy exists concerning whether the book is the result of a hoax authored by Leonard Lewin or the real result of a secret government panel.'

Drinking in Ancient Karnataka.

'Drinking was undertaken leisurely, with a method under pleasing surrounding and decorated pavilions. Goddess of wine (Madhudevate) was invoked and the Mother Earth was propitiated. Draughts of liquor were put on the head (as mark of respect). Then it was poured into artistically shaped bowls with bird heads and carved from mother pearls, beautiful shells etc. and offered to elders. Then it was turn of youngsters to help themselves. '

Food and drinks in medieval Karnataka: http://www.kamat.com/database/books/sociallife/food_drink.htm

Christmas in Buffalo, 1910.

Soviet Storefronts.

'In Soviet times there were no privately owned shops. All the outlets belonged to the state and were managed according the general trading rules from the Federal center. You could meet absolutely same design of two shops in two totally different cities. Storefronts were often also identical. Like these ones on those photos, back from the Soviet times: '

The Discordian Calendar.

'Yün Kiang, rambling to the east, having been borne along on a gentle breeze, suddenly encountered Hung Mung, who was rambling about, slapping his buttocks and hopping like a bird. Amazed at the sight, Yün Kiang stood reverentially, and said to the other, 'Venerable Sir, who are you? and why are you doing this ?' Hung Mung went on slapping his buttocks and hopping like a bird, but replied, 'I am enjoying myself.' Yün Kiang said, 'I wish to ask you a question.' Hung Mung lifted up his head, looked at the stranger, and said, 'Pooh!' Yün Kiang, however, continued, 'The breath of heaven is out of harmony; the breath of earth is bound up; the six elemental influences do not act in concord; the four seasons do not observe their proper times. Now I wish to blend together the essential qualities of those six influences in order to nourish all living things;-- how shall I go about it?' Hung Mung slapped his buttocks, hopped about, and shook his head, saying, 'I do not know; I do not know!' '

Alcatraz Is Not an Island.

From November 1969 to June 1971, Alcatraz Island was occupied by Native American activists.

Three Iranian Sopranos.

International Robot Exhibition 2009.

Which chess piece are you?

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

World Atlas of Panoramic Aerial Images.

'Exploring the world, one vista at a time...'

Photos of 19th Century Russia.

'Maksim Dmitriev was born in 1858 in Tambov province. At the age of 15 he became an apprentice of the famous photographer of that time - M.P. Nastiukov, where he obtained basic knowledge about the art of photography. He became famous at the beginning of the 90-s of the XIX century after representation of the exposition called “Bad harvest in Nizhny Novgorod region”, where he showed ruined villages and sick and starving peasants. With this exposition he became the founder of the photo report genre in Russia.'


Fiction in 2 dimensions. "How does gravity curve space? Well, imagine that the world is two dimensional, like a rubber sheet..."

The French Republican Calendar.

An attempt to decimalise time, amongst other things.

More at Preserving the French Republican Calendar : http://www.kokogiak.com/frc/

Street Art in Newtown, Sydney, New South Wales.

My old stomping ground.

S_P_A_M Haiku.

Going back some years.

There's even a section

On cannibalism.

The Great Moon Hoax.

' "The Great Moon Hoax" was a series of six articles that were published in the New York Sun beginning on August 25, 1835, about the supposed discovery of life and even civilization on the Moon. The discoveries were falsely attributed to Sir John Herschel, perhaps the best-known astronomer of his time.'


Autumn in the NY Times.

Green in 1953, Iranian Protests.

'Photo essay: Anti-establishment protests before 1953 coup'.

Cham Village and Yazd, Iran.

'Images of the village of Cham and Yazd in April 2009. Emphasis is on "Dakhmeh" or "towers of silence" which are no longer used and the surrounding landscape.'

Towers of silence ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tower_of_Silence ) - used by Zoroastrians for the exposure of the dead.

Vision On.

(UK) 'Readers of a certain age will remember the delight that was Vision On. Presented by avuncular art legend Tony Hart who died last year, it ran from 1964-1976 on the BBC and showcased art and animation from artists and kids alike. '

George Orwell on The Perfect Cup of Tea.

Museum of Firecracker Label Art.

'Thanks for checking out my site. I have over 400 labels available
for you to enjoy. Most are from my personal collection,
although some have been loaned to me so that I could share them.
Click on the links for the different classes to load the links to the individual labels. Have fun and hopefully some will bring back nice memories.'

The World Stone Skimming Championships, Scotland.

Japanese Toy Designs.

'By turns scary and intriguing (much like Japanese game shows and the garbled translations below) the selection of images above comes from the sixty albums in the Kyosen Guangucho section of the website.'

The Theatre of Cruelty.

(16th century illustrations of religious persecution in England). 'Verstegan's book attempted to record, in gruesome detail, the cruelty, torture and murder of Catholic martyrs in Europe - including English victims under the reigns of Mary I and Elizabeth I* - at the hands of Protestant heretics. Upon publication, the author was arrested and imprisoned for libel against the Crown and all books were confiscated and destroyed (a single page has been saved). Through the intervention of friends in the clerical hierarchy, Verstegan was able to secure his release and he fled the country, ultimately settling in Antwerp.'

Venezuela, 1905.

'Circa 1905. "Country store, Venezuela." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company.'

Candy Factory Kids, 1913.

'October 1913. Dallas, Texas. "A few of the young workers in Hughes Brothers Candy Factory, South Ervay Street. I counted five going and coming at night and at noon, that appeared to be from 12 to 15 years old. One girl told me that she is 13 years old, 'but we have to tell them we're 15. I run a chocolate machine.' "'

Vietnamese Contemporary Art.

'VietnamArtist.com is the combined, online gallery for three galleries in Saigon. '

Astro Pics.

Halloween's Moon.

M83's Centre.

Milky Way over the Badlands.

Querying the Hive Mind.

A very sweet thread.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Too Late for Flowers.

Short story from Liberia.

'Theresa was in her seventies, lean, gray-headed, with a wrinkled face and almost toothless mouth when I moved into her house as a tenant. She had suffered a stroke that left her right leg crippled and her left arm useless. Besides the meager rent Theresa received from me, she sold pepper and palm oil on a ramshackle table at Red Light market...'

Soviet Soldiers of WW2 in Colour.

'Such photos always fascinate me. I mean the color photos from the past, the older the better. These ones is no exception. We got used to see only black and white photos from the World War 2 - the color photography was very expensive at that times and actually was not widely implemented, and especially usually nobody took the expensive equipment to the battlefront. Still there are some color photos from the times where our grandfathers were young, like 70 years ago.'

British Dialects.

'"It is the business of educated people to speak so that no-one may be able to tell in what county their childhood was passed." Despite efforts by Victorians to eradicate them, dialects of English in Great Britain continue to vary greatly, much to the consternation of many traditionalists. But a recently acquired archive is giving new insight into old dialects--some of which no longer exist. Recorded in a WWI prisoner of war camp on shellac disks, the archive was part of an effort by German linguists to study regional variation in the English language. A report by PRI's The World includes a brief synopsis--and a powerful rendition of a beloved Scottish ballad by a homesick soldier. '

Japanese Postcards from the Year of the Monkey.

Marc's International Pringles Can Collection.

18th Century 'Hyakki Yako' Scroll.

'An 18th-century picture scroll featuring a procession of Japanese demons and monsters is for sale on eBay. This 11.25 meter (37 ft) long work depicts the Hyakki Yakō (lit. “Night Parade of One Hundred Demons”) — a deadly parade of demons and yōkai (traditional monsters) that, according to Japanese folklore, would often take place on summer nights. The Hyakki Yakō was a popular theme in Japanese visual art during the Edo period, and portrayals of these processions, while frightening, often incorporated a sense of humor.'


'In the culture of South Asia, a hijra, is usually considered a member of "the third gender" — neither man nor woman. Most are physically male or intersex, but some are physically female. Hijras usually refer to themselves linguistically as female, and usually dress as women.'

Laura Lean's Photos of South Kensington Tunnel.

'A project photographing the South Kensington tunnel that links the underground station with a number of museums. '

The Sphinx.

'Featured here are John Buckland Wright's illustrations for "Le Sphinx" by the Belgian Symbolist Iwan Gilkin. Richard Sica gives the back story to these rare illustrations from his collection: '

Rhythms of Modern Life: British Prints 1914-1939.

Interesting to compare this style with the style in 'The Sphinx' above.

God's Man.

Another set of prints worth comparing, from about the same time period...

Peaceful Conquerors: Jain Manuscript Paintings.

Looking In: Robert Frank's 'The Americans'.

Astro Pics.

Saturn after Equinox.

Art and Science in NGC 918.

Galaxy Merger from Hubble.

Stickney Crater.

Ring Nebula Deep Field.

Russia's Seven Wonders.

'There are seven wonders of the world, but most of them were already destroyed either by the hands of humans or by the cruel passing of time. And last year a group of some Russian TV-channels, newspapers and radio stations hold an official opinion poll and discovered what kinds of real wonders Russia has. Anyone could participate in the poll taking votes via internet or SMS services. So, the seven best-looking and really fascinating places were chosen. Here they are:'

The Soviet Calendar.

'The Soviet calendar added five- and six-day work weeks between 1929 and 1940 to the Gregorian calendar adopted by Russia in 1918. Although the traditional seven-day week was still recognized, a day of rest on Sunday was replaced by one day of rest sometime during each work week. Many sources erroneously state that the weeks were organized into 30-day months.'

Amorita, 1900.

Asbury Park, 1905.

'New Jersey circa 1905. "Boardwalk, Asbury Park." '

Dictionary of British Slang.

'A monster online dictionary of the rich colourful language we call slang... all from a British perspective, with new slang added every month. '

Russian Fairy Tales.

'These illustrations come from Russian Fairy Tales (Pantheon, 1945), translated by Norbert Guterman, with "folkloristic commentary" by Roman Jakobson (yes, that Roman Jakobson). Eudora Welty blurb: "These Russian tales are rambunctious, full-blooded and temperamental. They are tense with action, magical and human, and move in a kind of cyclone of speed. These tales are gorgeous."'

Shusei Nagaoka's Sci Fi Illustrations.

'In the 1970s and 1980s, the sci-fi art of Japanese illustrator Shusei Nagaoka graced numerous album covers and appeared in a variety of advertisements, magazines, and movie posters. Here is a small sample of his fantastic work.'

Basoli's Alphabet.

'n Bologna, in 1839, the decorative artist Antonio Basoli published his Alfabeto Pittorico, ossia raccolta di pensieri pittorici composti di oggetti comincianti dalle singole lettere alfabetiche (‘Pictorial Alphabet, or, a collection of pictorial thoughts composed of objects beginning with the individual letters of the alphabet’). This was an album of twenty-five elaborate lithographs, each one featuring an alphabetical character cast in some fantastic architectural form, in a setting contrived to illustrate any number of figures and objects for which there were Italian words beginning with that same letter.'

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Java Calendar Conversions.

'The applet on this page does conversions between various calendar formats. '

I find this sort of stuff fascinating - mathematically and culturally. I'm playing with scripts to do some of these. I never knew, for instance, the significance of Rosh Hashanah ( http://home.howstuffworks.com/holidays/rosh-hashanah.htm ) and the symbolism of the ram's horn and the story of Abraham and Isaac.

Calendrical calculations: http://emr.cs.uiuc.edu/home/reingold/calendar-book/index.shtml

Photo Essay: Iran and Iranians.

Handing It to War: Surviving Victims of the Iran-Iraq War.

China's Dark Satanic Mills.

'On Oct. 14th, Chinese photographer Lu Guang won this year's $30,000 W. Eugene Smith Grant in Humanistic Photography for his photos on China’s environment... It was the first time for a Chinese national to win this award and, what was more important, one of the first times that China’s perilous environmental situation was presented with such visual power.'

More : http://www.chinahush.com/2009/10/21/amazing-pictures-pollution-in-china/#

Voyager Golden Record: Images and Greetings.

Many of the musical tracks from the Golden Record are here : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qz126SNxAts&feature=related . Including Eastern and Western classical music, American popular music and ethnic music from Asia, Africa, South America and the Pacific.

BBC2 Test Card Music.

Animated Stereoviews of Old Japan.

'In the late 19th and early 20th century, enigmatic photographer T. Enami (1859-1929) captured a number of 3D stereoviews depicting life in Meiji-period Japan.'

Jacob Riis's New York.

'After more than a century, the oeuvre of the photographer and activist Jacob Riis remains indelible. Following are some of the images he captured in New York's unseen quarters.'

Dutch Covers: Picture Books from 1810 to 1850.

'There is both humour and moralism to be found in children’s books; they play with the relationship between reality and fantasy.'

Moscow in the 1960s: A Glance at the Soviet Lifestyle.

'This is our third post devoted to Marc Riboud, an out­stand­ing French pho­tog­ra­pher, who trav­eled exten­sively through­out the Soviet Union. His images cap­tured an array of every­day life episodes from the lives of the Soviet peo­ple.'

Recipes for Dreaming.

'Dreaming = free and fun. Done correctly, it can fill those apparently useless sleeping hours with adventure. For the benefit of mankind, we have tested the following notorious dream-causing foods, to see which has the most spectacular results:'

Goodbye, "Leih Hou Ma," Hello "Ni Hao Ma!".

'"Chinatown" communities across the United States (New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Boston, San Francisco) are undergoing a shift in linguistic identity, as recent immigrants are more likely to natively speak Mandarin (the official spoken language of China, Hong Kong and Taiwan,) instead of Cantonese...'
Interesting collection of links.

Artforms of Nature.

'The nineteen century German biologist Ernst Haeckel is famous for his fantastically illustrated book Artforms of Nature. The copyright for this book from 1904 has now expired and thanks to Wikimedia Commons it is available for everyone to appreciate.'

'Haekel's artistic interpretation of the biological forms he studied have a clarity of symmetry and detail that has been a source of inspiration for many artists and engineers over the years...'

As It Might Have Been: Hexagonal London.

'It takes aspiring London cabbies two to four years to acquire ‘The Knowledge’. Only if they know their way around the 25,000 streets in a 6-mile radius from Charing Cross (and along 320 main roads within Greater London) will they be licensed to drive one of London’s iconic black cabs. The London Taxicab Examination System is reputed to be the hardest of its kind in the world, and this speaks to the complexity of the British capital’s road grid.'

'That complexity, and the cabbies’ Knowledge, put passengers at the risk of being overcharged, the Victorians feared. Mid-19th century, even before the current Examination System was instituted (in 1865), a Mr John Leighton devised a system to prevent passengers from being taken for a proverbial as well as a literal ride. Leighton, a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, published a scheme to divide London in a number of hexagonals, specifically aimed at preventing overcharging by cab drivers...'

Enheduanna, the First Poet We Know by Name.

'Enheduanna was a priestess and poet in the city of Ur in the 23rd century BC and supposedly the daughter of Sargon the Great of Akkad. She is the first author known by name. Here are a number of her poems in English translation, The Exaltation of Inana, Inana and Ebih, A Hymn to Inana, The Temple Hymns and A Balbale to Nanna.'

Astro Pics.

Blue Sun Bristling.

The Average Colour of the Universe.
'Cosmic Latte'.

The Milky Way over Devils Tower.

A Little Zen.

'So the thing to do when working on a motorcycle, as in any other task, is to cultivate the peace of mind which does not separate one's self from one's surroundings. When that is done successfully, then everything else follows naturally. Peace of mind produces right values, right values produce right thoughts. Right thoughts produce right actions and right actions produce work which will be a material reflection for others to see of the serenity at the center of it all. '

Klingon Proverbs.

Vulcan Proverbs.

Zen Proverbs.

Soviet Proverbs.

Proverbs from the Game of Go.

The Bodhisattva Ideal.

'A group of people was once traveling through a desert, when it so happened that three of them strayed away and got lost. Tired and thirsty this trio wandered around the desert in the hope of finding some respite. Finally their quest came to an end when they discovered a high well. The first man rushed to it, looked over the wall and found it full of delicious ambrosial water. He immediately exclaimed in a gesture of frenzied euphoria and jumped into it never to come back. The second too did the same. The third man finally walked over quietly over to the well, peeped over its high wall and then turned around and went back, returning to the desert to search for his other fellow travelers, to help guide them to this paradise. '

Old Soviet Advertising Posters.

Querying the Hive Mind.

'Please help me understand what does "having a strong work ethic" mean? '

'HELP! I'm totally stuck outside because a skunk is holding me hostage, and it's cold.'

'What are some of your favorite novels under (or around) 150 pages?'

'Why are some clouds black while others are white?'

'How do I discover what day/night and seasonal cycles are like on a hypothetical unusual planet?'

10 Weird Romantic Destinations.

Sunday, 18 October 2009

The Van Gogh Letter Sketches.

'This magnificent new edition of the complete Van Gogh letters is a celebration not only of a great artist but of art itself. Through six large volumes of more than 900 letters, meticulously annotated and accompanied by a wealth of illustrations, we are allowed to follow the painter's progress through a long and at times painful apprenticeship to ultimate artistic triumph.'

A Vintage Christmas Carol.

' "The Works Progress Administration in Ohio presents the Federal Theatre for youth in 'A Christmas Carol.'" This poster for the Federal Theatre Project presentation of "A Christmas Carol" was created between 1936 and 1941.'

See America: 1939.

'From 1939 and Alexander Dux, a Works Progress Administration/Federal Art Project poster promoting tourism.'

Dorothy Parker: 1938.

'August 4, 1938. Washington, D.C. "Miss Dorothy Parker has been selected as Miss Washington and will compete for the title of Miss America at the Atlantic City beauty pageant to be held during Labor Day week. 18 Years old, she weighs 112 pounds and is 5 feet, 4 inches in height.'

Bathing Beauties: 1919.

'Washington, D.C., 1919. "Beauty contests at Tidal Basin." Two spectators check out the ladies. Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative.'

Traditional vs. Simplified Chinese Characters.

Very interesting.

Pro :- the simplified Chinese character set makes literacy much much more accessible (which was surely the intention with its proponents in the PRC committed to, in simple terms, breaking the tyranny of the mandarins who ran China for centuries).

Con :- it also cuts out a large part of China's literary heritage (which is really the flipside of 'pro' - unlike other societies, China was in large part traditionally run by scholars - not nobles, priests, or soldiers - and cutting off people from their heritage was a big part of the dark side of the legacy of the revolution).

Mainland China uses simplified characters, Taiwan uses traditional characters.

Interesting discussion :- http://www.metafilter.com/86278/

The 'No True Scotsman' Fallacy.

'Imagine Hamish McDonald, a Scotsman, sitting down with his Glasgow Morning Herald and seeing an article about how the "Brighton Sex Maniac Strikes Again." Hamish is shocked and declares that "No Scotsman would do such a thing." The next day he sits down to read his Glasgow Morning Herald again and this time finds an article about an Aberdeen man whose brutal actions make the Brighton sex maniac seem almost gentlemanly. This fact shows that Hamish was wrong in his opinion but is he going to admit this? Not likely. This time he says, "No true Scotsman would do such a thing." '

Anatomy of Japanese Folk Monsters.

'Yōkai Daizukai, an illustrated guide to yōkai authored by manga artist Shigeru Mizuki, features a collection of cutaway diagrams showing the anatomy of 85 traditional monsters from Japanese folklore (which also appear in Mizuki’s GeGeGe no Kitarō anime/manga). Here are a few illustrations from the book.'

The Accrington Pals.

'This site is dedicated to the memory of the 11th (Service) Battalion (Accrington) East Lancashire Regiment, better known as the Accrington Pals. '

During World War I, it was common for groups of British young men from the same village, factory or street to sign up to war together as a group of 'pals'. Thus, during the Battle of the Somme and other offensives, entire communities were disproportionately affected as 'Pals' Regiments' were devastated.

Another famous 'Pals' Regiment' was the Grimsby Chums ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grimsby_Chums ), which was practically wiped out.

More on Pals' Regiments: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pals_battalion

Martin Gardner, Mathemagician.

The Allied Merchant Navy.

'The 30,000 men of the British Merchant Navy (one-fifth of its pre-war strength) who fell victim to the U-boats between 1939 and 1945, the majority drowned or killed by exposure on the cruel North Atlantic sea*, were quite as certainly front-line warriors as the guardsmen and fighter pilots to whom they ferried the necessities of combat. Neither they nor their American, Dutch, Norwegian, or Greek fellow mariners wore uniform and few have any memorial. They stood nevertheless between the Wehrmacht and the domination of the world.'
- John Keegan.

The Sami.

'The BBC has captured footage of golden eagles hunting reindeer calves in northern Finland, confirming Sami reports. For more about the Sami, you can watch this series of videos, which cover a wide range of subjects, among them the language, arts and crafts, religion and music. And here is more about Sami reindeer folklore. '

Britain Punches Above Its Weight.

'This comes down to the UK's ludicrous self-esteem problem. They ran the world for 100+ years, lost their Empire, lost the sea to the US, and has had to cozy up to their hated European rivals as part of the EU. And yet, they still have a major economy, their standard of living is at or near an all-time high, and while they may be caught between being the 51st state and just another province of Brussels, they still hold sway on the world stage and will for decades to come... '

That's because poms like whingeing as much as seppos like boasting.

Lego Version of Kinkaku-ji (Japanese Temple).

Symphony of Science - 'We Are All Connected' (ft. Sagan, Feynman, deGrasse Tyson & Bill Nye).

Eleanor Powell: Dance me to the End of Love.

Stormy Weather.

Fred Astaire once called this performance "the greatest dance number ever filmed."

Colossal Sea Monster.

Roadside Art Online: Tiny Design.

'Sea Foods: In the universe of graphical matchbook covers, this represents one of the most primitive designs I've seen. Aside from the oddly proportion bather, the scroll behind her, the four dots along its bottom, and the barebones typography all combine to make this a masterpiece of a sort...'

The Tudor Pattern Book.

'The present work, Bodleian MS. Ashmole 1504 ('The Tudor Pattern Book'), is unique in the sense that it is part-bestiary, part-herbal and an important visual record of early cultivated plants. It was produced in East Anglia in about 1520 and its twin (known as the 'Helmingham Herbal and Bestiary' and perhaps a little older than the Ashmole variant) is now part of the Yale Center for British Art in Virginia.'

Kuan Yin, Compassionate Rebel.

Buddhist art.

BLICKFANG: The Eyecatching Covers of Weimar Berlin.

'I feature here twenty-five book covers and posters from the out-of-print book Blickfang: Bucheinbände und Schutzumschläge Berliner Verlage 1919 - 1933 (Holstein, 2005), ISBN 9783000147869.'

Dino Buzzati's 'Poem Strip'

'These incredible images come from Dino Buzzati's Poem Strip, just out from NYRB Classics (translated by Marina Harss, with lettering by Rich Tommaso). Daniel Handler provides an accurate description of the book in his blurb: "I think I stumbled upon this on late-night TV when I was a kid: Donovan, playing himself, wandering through a neo-Caligari lava-lamp world of writhing Barbara Steeles and Sophia Lorens in search of love and justice and groove. I'm happy to see it's on again."'

Alexeieff's 'Queen of Spades'.

Illustration. 'All images by Alexander Alexeieff for Pushkin's The Queen of Spades (London, Blackamore Press, 1923).'

Beach Buggy: 1905.

'The Jersey Shore circa 1905. "At Atlantic City." In the background: Clabby's baths on the boardwalk. Detroit Publishing Co. glass negative.'

Boat Club Rowers: 1919.

'September 20, 1919. "Potomac Boat Club eight." On the river at the old Aqueduct Bridge. National Photo Company Collection glass negative.'

Hendrick Motor Co.: 1928.

'Takoma Park, Maryland, circa 1928. "Hendrick Motor Co., Carroll Avenue." National Photo Company Collection glass negative.'

Astro Pics.

Pleiades and Stardust.

Herschel Views the Milky Way.

Galaxies in Pegasus.

Querying the Hive Mind.

'If you only had one year left before moving out of New York City, what would you make sure to see and do before leaving?'

Ah, how appropriate.

'What are different cultures' versions of comfort foods that are prepared for people who are sick and feeling under the weather?'

'By the beard of Zeus! I'm looking for fantastic exclamations!'

Crime and Punishment.

'Photos around the theme of Crime and Punishment in the first half of the 20th century.'

Flowering Plants by Anne Pratt.

'"The Flowering Plants, Grasses, Sedges, And Ferns Of Great Britain, And Their Allies The Club Mosses, Pepperworts And Horsetails" - By Anne Pratt (1806 - 1893). Volumes Two, Five & Six. First published in five volumes between 1855-1866. A sixth volume was added in 1873. This edition about 1870.'

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Letters of Note.

'I was ready to sink into the earth with shame' : http://www.lettersofnote.com/2009/10/i-was-ready-to-sink-into-earth-with.html - a Tang Dynasty official apologises for getting drunk and swearing.

'The things I saw beggar description' : http://www.lettersofnote.com/2009/10/things-i-saw-beggar-description.html - Eisenhower describes a German concentration camp at liberation.

'I miss my brother' : http://www.lettersofnote.com/2009/10/i-miss-my-brother.html - an English orphan working on an Australian farm in 1922.

'Okay, you lazy b1tch' : http://www.lettersofnote.com/2009/09/okay-you-lazy-bitch.html - Hunter S. Thompson is upset with a producer.

'The word God is the product of human weakness' : http://www.lettersofnote.com/2009/10/word-god-is-product-of-human-weakness.html - Einstein writes to a philosopher.

'From your Daddy and pal always' : http://www.lettersofnote.com/2009/09/from-your-daddy-and-pal-always.html - an Australian POW writes to his son.

'Most of you steal your software' : http://www.lettersofnote.com/2009/10/most-of-you-steal-your-software.html - Bill Gates is upset with pirates.

'My dear little one day old baby' : http://www.lettersofnote.com/2009/09/my-dear-little-one-day-old-baby.html - a mother writes.

A love letter in code : http://www.lettersofnote.com/2009/09/i-u.html

'You are a decoration, you little witch! : http://www.lettersofnote.com/2009/10/you-are-decoration-you-little-witch.html - Mark Twain writes to a 9-year-old fan.

A witty thankyou from Marilyn Monroe : http://www.lettersofnote.com/2009/09/my-best-marilyn-monroe.html

Patrick Stewart: the legacy of domestic violence.

'As a child, the actor regularly saw his father hit his mother. Here he describes how the horrors of his childhood remained with him in his adult life'.


'"Gargoyles (in the strict sense) are carvings on the outside of buildings designed to direct water from the roof away from the base of the walls... ...Some gargoyles are undecorated but many are zoomorphic or anthropomorphic - often very imaginative and/or grotesque. This has led to the term 'gargoyle' being applied more widely to any grotesque carving in medieval buildings." (from Bob Trubshaw, posting in BritArch archives, 23Feb1999)

Strange Visions of Kuniyoshi.

'From wikipedia: "Utagawa Kuniyoshi (Japanese: 歌川国芳) (1797-1861) was one of the last great masters of the Japanese ukiyo-e style of woodblock prints and painting and belonged to the Utagawa school."...'

Illustrator Josef Lada.

Czech painter and writer.

Radio Days, 1938.

'Washington, D.C., circa 1938. "Dancing class, WRC studio." Smile for the microphone, girls. '

Anarchist Art.

'Anarchism has long had an association with the arts, particularly in music and literature. It shares these traits with other political movements, such as socialism, communism, liberalism, libertarianism and even fascism...'

Marikamba Temple.

'The temple of goddess Marikamba in the town of Sirsi is a splendid example of syncretic evolution of tribal and so called brahminical customs and rituals, befitting Hindu ethos.'

Zinc, Arkansas, 1935.

' October 1935. "Among the few remaining inhabitants of Zinc, Arkansas, deserted mining town... Per Wikipedia, the place still exists. It is home to 76 people and a KKK headquarters."'

Les Fleurs Animees.

'The delightful caprice of JJ Grandville's imaginative - and posthumously published - series of flower illustrations ensured that 'Les Fleurs Animées' was popularly received in 1847 and reissued and translated many times.'

Pictures of Bacteria.

'This site features an extensive collection of photographs of Bacteria, Microbes, Biofilms, and Bacterial Colonies.'

The Mechanical Man of the Future (1928).

'On December 9, 1928 The Ogden Standard-Examiner (Ogden City, Utah), along with many other papers, ran a syndicated story about the mechanical man of the future. Much like the insistence that giant robots would soon fight our wars, this article clearly must be taken with a grain of salt.'

Querying the Hive Mind.

'How many calories are in the average human brain? As in, if you were to eat a brain zombie style, how many calories would that represent?'

'Why is it that I seem to instinctively prefer houses from the late-19th or early 20th century to post-war architecture?'

'When somebody is paying a bunch of craftsmen to build them a house they hope will be in their family for 100 years, things come out a bit differently than when they are paying Toll Brothers the lowest possible price for a house for them to live in till the GE Accelerated Executive Program causes them to move again in the next three years...'

An explanation of sign language syntax.

'Why do people hate math and science so much?'

Astro Pics.

Earth and Moon from Mars.

Orion Deep Field.

Storm Alley on Saturn.

Uncle Joss Ambler's Life in the Movies.

'My late uncle, Joss Ambler, was an actor in English movies and T.V. from 1937 to 1958. Sadly, he died in 1959 at the age of 60. This set is a tribute to his life and work. He usually played small character roles. I hope to display posters and memorabilia for the roughly 60 movies he had a part in. I hope to also find some photographs of him, but until I do, I will include photos of stars he worked with and screen shots from his movies. He was married to my Auntie Reenie. They lived in London.'

Traditional Japan.

Navratri Hindu Festival, Jersey City.

More : http://www.flickr.com/photos/dogseat/sets/72157594318103793/

Flickr's Diwali Pool.

Article about sacred-texts.com

' "Essentially, this is my gift to the world," he said. "I don't want it to go away if I die. People consider it a world treasure." ... '

Jim and Jack, 1943.

Forgotten NY: Wall Street and South Ferry.

'The Wall Street station's ceramic plaques depict the defensive wall set up by the Dutch in the approximate location of today's titular street to protect New Amsterdam, or New Netherland, against any Indian tribes or enemy British who may have wanted to invade. A Dutch house, typical with its stepped roof line, can be seen in the background, with trees resembling cedars on each side. Accompanying each plaque is a stylized letter W. The plaque was produced by Rookwood Pottery. The Cincinnati pottery, instituted by Maria Longworth Nichols in 1880, was the first female-owned manufacturing company in the USA and is still going strong today. '

Tokyo Architecture.

Black Hmong Life.

'Black Hmong People from Sapa. A mountainous Northern region of Vietnam. Photos taken 2005-2007.'


Unusual dolls. 'My little happy hujoo! named Mimz it just seemed to fit!'

Thursday, 8 October 2009

12 Essential Rules to Live More Like a Zen Monk.

Rule 1 - do one thing at a time.

Art for Housewives.

Everyday art for good.

Map of Australian Aboriginal Cultures and Languages.

The Aboriginal Memorial.

'The Aboriginal Memorial is an installation of 200 hollow log coffins from Central Arnhem Land. It commemorates all the indigenous people who, since 1788, have lost their lives defending their land. The artists who created this installation intended that it be located in a public place where it could be preserved for future generations. '

Kodo - Irodori.

Japanese Ghost Paintings.

'These scans come from the book Japanese Ghost Paintings: The Sanyutei Encho Collection at Zensho-an (Perikansha Publishing, 1995), ISBN: 4-48315-0887-X. (In Japanese, with some basic info and abstracts in English.)'

Indra's Ratha in Melakkadambur, a Chola Masterpiece.

A remarkable temple. 'It is one of the least known treasures of South Indian art. Hidden in the isolated village of Melakkadambur, the Amritagateshvara temple is unique for its sculpture, its architecture and its astronomical significance.'

Cathedral Architecture of Western Europe.

Lots of images. 'Many cathedrals are among the most renowned works of architecture on the planet. These include Notre Dame de Paris, Milan Cathedral, Cologne Cathedral, Salisbury Cathedral, Barcelona Cathedral and many more.'

Bell Labs in the 1960s.

'In the late '60's I worked for Bell Labs for a few years managing a data center and developing an ultra high speed information retrieval system. It was the days of beehive hair on the women and big mainframe computers. One day I took a camera to work and shot the pictures below. I had a great staff, mostly women except for the programmers who were all men. For some reason only one of them was around for the pictures that day. '

Japanese Town Logos.

'Japanese town logos — official symbols designed to communicate the identity of each municipality — come in a vast array of shapes and colors. Many of these municipal symbols incorporate typographical elements (particularly kanji, hiragana, katakana, and Roman letters) into their designs. In most cases, the stylized characters are straightforward and easy to spot (even if you don’t read Japanese), but sometimes you have to bend your eyes to see them.'

History of Hot Air Ballooning.

The Leonardo of Wermsdorg: Technical Illustrations by Karl Hans (Joachim) Janke.

'Have you heard of Janke before? No? Well then stop reading here and go and have a look through his portfolio of nearly 3,500 drawings/documents that Deutsche Fotothek uploaded in the last couple of months.'

Weird Islands.

'Mad Art Nouveau fantasy illustrations by the Belgian artist, Jean de Bosschère, from his 1921 book, 'Weird Islands', available from the Internet Archive in various formats. '

The Life of the Dead.

An illustrated poem.

'The Life of the Dead (1933) is a collaboration between American poet Laura Riding Jackson and British painter John Aldridge. It is a product of the intense period when Riding and her partner Robert Graves were at the centre of a small community of expatriates in Deyá, Mallorca, busily writing and running their own Seizin Press...'

Astro Pics.

Stars over Easter Island.

Double-Ringed Basin on Mercury.

Lagoon Nebula.

Red Moon Triple.

Querying the Hive Mind.

'What are your picks for melancholy, lonely, time-stopping and heartachingly beautiful songs?'

'What well-designed, yet inexpensive, possessions are you fond of?'

'What is the most important scientific question of our time?'

'Asking for a friend: What questions should he ask Richard Dawkins during a radio interview?'

'I like biographies of ordinary/non-famous people with interesting stories to tell, or stories from before they became notable. Can anyone recommend any?'

'I have absolutely no comprehension whatsoever of how fiber optic cables can transmit information -- phone calls, emails, whatever -- by using light. Seriously, this makes no sense. Please explain it to me as if I'm a fifth-grader who makes decent grades in science class.'

'Are we too old to trick or treat?'

Duluth, Minnesota, 1905.

Shiny Datsun, 1971.

Dead Confederate Soldier, 1865.

The Millennium Dome.

'Photographs taken around the Millennium Dome (now known as The O2), North Greenwich peninsula, London, 2000 - 2008 '

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Japanese Magic Lantern Slides.

'The University of Hawaii at Manoa hosts an online collection of about 1,500 magic lantern slides created in the 1930s and distributed around the world to educate people about Japan. Here are a few.'

Photos of the Abandoned Pilgrim State Asylum, NY.

Creepy and interesting.

A brief history : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pilgrim_Psychiatric_Center

The Abandoned Peoria State Asylum, Illinois.


'Crepypasta are short stories designed to unnerve, disturb, elicit a negative emotional response from, and scare the reader...' Many examples.

Sentenced Home.

Cambodians in America, and back in Cambodia again.

'After escaping the long war and the Khmer Rouge genocide, hundreds of Cambodian refugees reached safety in America, only to wind up, decades later, deported to a land many never even knew. Isolated and ill equipped to fit into society, they form a strange sub-culture in one of the world's poorest countries, turned into a human dumping ground in yet another shameful sidebar to America's relentless search for Homeland Security.'

Nightmares and sleep paralysis.

'Common images are bearded, goblin-like demons laughing or whispering sinister speech, a faceless girl (usually covering her face with hair, moving around in bed moaning and feeling my body), hands appearing from the wall and attempting to strangle me. A hung man talking in the corner of the room, and some of the most bizarre experiences may include up to a dozen 'critter' entities (think Gremlins movie) laughing and talking about me...'

Henry Fuseli's 'The Nightmare' : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Nightmare

Japanese Antique Bicycle Gallery.

The Stroud Pound.

A new currency in Stroud, Gloucestershire.

The Illustrated Story of Copyright.

'In this book, I trace the story of copyright from its adoption in this country over 210 years ago through the headline issues posed by the Internet and the digitizing of creative works. Using sidebars and photographs to illustrate the major turning points, I try to explain copyright straightforwardly enough so that teenagers can understand it, and in enough detail to help inform even those who are already familiar with the basics. '

Astro Pics.

Saturn at Equinox.

Carina Pillar and Jets.

To Fly Free in Space.

Oxford Circus X-Crossing.

Iran: Art in protest.

Anne Frank: The only existing film images.

'July 22 1941. The girl next door is getting married. Anne Frank is leaning out of the window of her house in Amsterdam to get a good look at the bride and groom. '

Nazi film found in English church.

'A film found in the storeroom of a church in rural Devon, made by Nazi officers showing them laughing and joking on a verandah, enjoying coffee and cake with female companions. '

David Attenborough: Life in the undergrowth.

'Sir David Attenborough introduces the amazing world of insects and all other small animals that shape our planet and colonise the world.'

Interview with a Buddhist priest.

Kodo drummers.

'Magic Flute' (Queen of the Night aria).

'Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, "The Magic Flute" - Royal Opera House production Diana Damrau as Queen of Night Dorothea Röschmann as Pamina conducted by Colin Davis '

Querying the Hive Mind.

'Help! My door knob is stuck and I'm trapped in my room!'

'What can some people do that other people can't do? What can some see that others can't?'

'Is there a way to tweak my personal psychology so that I perceive failure and rejection as neutral or even positive, rather than negative, events?'

Avatars of Vishnu.

Some really nice images.

A Short History of the Wheelbarrow.

Native American Sites in the City of Philadelphia.

Turkish Costumes.

'This 17th century album, simply entitled 'Turkish Costumes', is hosted by the Digital Library of Poland '

Book Covers from Poland.

Blinky Bill and Friends.

A cute koala in old Australian children's books.

'Dorothy Wall (1894-1942) completed some artistic training in her native New Zealand before emigrating to Australia in 1914 where she quickly obtained work as a commercial graphic artist. It is no little coincidence that another contemporary childrens book artist, the more famous May Gibbs, had also come to Australia at about the same time. Gibbs' work at least partly inspired Wall (and others) to move from the calendar, card and advertising industry into children's book illustration.'

Mexican Vintage Ads.

The Armageddon Flowchart.

Theatres on Postcards.

'CARTHALIA shows my collection of old and new postcards of exterior and interior views of theatres of all times worldwide. The web site does not yet feature the entire collection - "black" text in the menu on the left means that I have not yet scanned my postcard(s) of that theatre. However, you can already have a look at over 4300 images of over 1900 buildings in 100 countries. '

American Environmental Photographs 1891-1936.

Thursday, 24 September 2009

'The more I see of people, the better I like my dog.' -- Frederick the Great.

The Staffordshire Anglo-Saxon Hoard on Flickr.

An Anthropology of Happiness: The Sisterhood of Filipina Maids in Hong Kong.

'ONCE a week, on Sundays, Hong Kong becomes a different city. Thousands of Filipina women throng into the central business district, around Statue Square, to picnic, dance, sing, gossip and laugh. They snuggle in the shade under the HSBC building, a Hong Kong landmark, and spill out into the parks and streets. They hug. They chatter. They smile. Humanity could stage no greater display of happiness...'

'... “Nowadays, bayanihan really means togetherness,” says Mr de Leon, and “togetherness is happiness”. It might sound too obvious, almost banal, to point out—had not so many people across the world forgotten it.'

Vintage Lawnmower Cards.

'The lawn mowers advertised by the 20 trade cards shown below were manufactured by American companies, probably from 1880 to 1900. Most of these cards show the mower being pushed by a child or woman. This is typical of lawn mower trade cards, emphasizing how easily the mower can be operated.'

Designs by Bold: Broomsticks and Other Stories.

'These "designs by Bold" (as the illustrations are credited on the title page) can be found in Walter de la Mare's Broomsticks & Other Stories (Constable, 1925), a collection of supernatural stories for children.'

Cook's Voyage to the Pacific.

'The National Library of Australia have 87 engraving plates on display from Captain James Cook's Voyage to the Pacific Ocean of 1784. Multiple resolution and pan/zoom options. Cook was speared and stoned to death in the Sandwich Islands (Hawaii) in February 1779. '

Googie Central.

'Welcome to Googie Central, home to some of most space-age, "astro", bold, and yes, Googie architecture and sign in all the land. Back in the 50's and 60's, America was enthusiastically anticipating the future. Space travel was in and many wondered what it would be like to trade in their old automobile for a space ship, just like... The Jetsons.
Architects envisioned what "future world" was to look like and began designing buildings with huge "caddy-like" tail-fins, pronounced shapes, and boomerang angles, just to name a few. Not to mention some that just designed the building like a flying saucer.'

The Temple of the Tooth, Sri Lanka.

Houses a tooth relic of the Buddha.

a Buddhist Pilgrim's Guide to Sri Lanka : http://www.buddhanet.net/sacred-island/introduction.html

The Tree of Jesse.

In cathedrals' and churches' stained glass windows and medieval Christian art.
'Pictorial representations of the Jesse Tree show a symbolic tree or vine with spreading branches to represent the genealogy in accordance with Isaiah's prophecy. The 12th century monk Hervaeus expressed the medieval understanding of the image, based on the Vulgate text: "The patriarch Jesse belonged to the royal family, that is why the root of Jesse signifies the lineage of kings. As to the rod, it symbolises Mary as the flower symbolises Jesus Christ."'

The Persian Zodiac.

'These images come form an egyptian manuscript from the 14th/15th centuries. It reproduces a persian astrological treatise from ~9th century - 'Kitâb al-Mawalid' - by Abû Ma'shar, said to have been the most influential document in the development of western astrology. [I believe it is otherwise known as 'The Book of Nativities' or 'The Book of Revolution of the Birth Years'.]'

The only woman in the French Foreign Legion.

Kings (and Queens) Of Their Own Domains.

'Ursula Graham-Bower, an English archeology student who ventured to India in 1939 "to putter about with a few cameras and do a bit of medical work, maybe write a book" and ended up in the jungle on the Burmese border as "Queen of the Nagas", leading headhunting tribes against the advancing Japanese Army.'

20 Classic Beauties: 1950s-1980s.

Cosmos Remixed - Sagan and Hawking.

'A still more glorious dawn awaits
Not a sunrise, but a galaxy rise
A morning filled with 400 billion suns
The rising of the milky way '

Truck Farm, 1938.

"Farm woman beside her barn door. Tulare County, California. No more horseshoes!"

On the Road, 1938.

'June 1938. Outskirts of El Paso, Texas. '

C Girls, 1910.

'Washington, D.C., circa 1910. "Girls' basketball." The C might stand for Central High.'

Weegee's World: Life, Death and the Human Drama.

"He will take his camera and ride off in search of new evidence that his city, even in her most drunken and disorderly and pathetic moments, is beautiful."

Also known as Arthur (Usher) Fellig. Early 20th century NYC photojournalist, known as 'Weegee' from 'Ouija' - he had an uncanny ability to turn up at crime scenes.

Literary Map of San Francisco.

Querying the Hive Mind.

'Tell me some scary and/or mysterious things that are local to your area, but not necessarily well-known to the rest of the world.'

'What cultural or spiritual practice involves an alter or offering incorporating a dead chicken and money?'

'Looking to learn more about Haitian voodoo in America.'

'would you consider this a miracle? or what??'
'To make a long story short - my entire family (that's my mom, bro's and sis and spouses) were watching the Lakers play the Celtics on Xmas day. It's sort of been our tradition during the holidays. During the middle of the game, the telecast was interrupted with a picture of Jesus Christ! '

'I am thinking of making some quirky, amateur porn that straddles the borderline between porn and art....'

' What is a good comeback for an introvert, attending a social occasion, who gets told, for the umpteenth time, "Hey you're really quiet aren't you?" '

' "Well, bless your heart!" and "How nice for you!" are two of my favorite barely-veiled criticisms. Can you provide me with some more?'

'What are the canonical signs that someone doesn't know much about your field, or only picked up enough to make cocktail-party conversation? (categorized science and nature, but other disciplines welcome!)'

'What is the coolest and quirkiest event you've ever attended or heard of?'

'What are the world's most acclaimed short stories?'

'Please help me really grok chemistry.'

Found Fantastic Buddhist Quote, Looking For Its Origin - 'What is the origin of this quote - "We're as dead now as we'll ever be."? '

Clarence Larkin's (1850-1924) Biblical Wallcharts.

Pastor from Pennsylvania - classic wallcharts of Biblical timelines.

Rokuro Taniuchi.

'I discovered the incredible Japanese illustrator Rokuro Taniuchi (1921 - 1981) while searching for Tadanori Yokoo books. On the Amazon listing for this profusely-illustrated book -- Taniuchi Rokuro Gensouki (Shinshindo, 1981) -- Yokoo is listed as the editor. The book seems to have disappeared from the face of the earth, and I feel incredibly lucky to have found it...'

More : http://ajourneyroundmyskull.blogspot.com/search/label/rokuro

Crater Lake, Oregon.

Japanese Traditional Town.

Sichuan - Tibet - Yunnan.

Human India.

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Around the World in 1815.

'Louis Choris, a painter from the Ukraine, was 20 years old when he boarded the Kotzebue in 1815 for a 3 year world tour. He eventually published Voyage pittoresque autour du monde, avec des portraits de sauvages d'Amerique, d'Asie, d'Afrique, et des iles du Grand ocean; des paysages, des vues maritimes, et plusieurs objets d'histoire naturelle in 1822. The text, which makes up about half the nearly 300 pages was by Baron Cuvier and a couple of others.'

Dalit Saint Peddi.

'Urilinga Peddi (C-1150-1200) occupies a unique place in the Virashaiva mvement of India. He belonged to the low caste and was a robber. Once Peddi had gone to steal at the residence of Surayya, a rich man and devotee of Urilingadeva, a great Shaiva Saint. Peddi heard the exposition of scriptures and the way to pious life. Peddi was a changed person onwards and for twelve years he brought firewood to Urilingadeva's hermitage without being noticed.'

Forgotten Illustrator Jiri Trnka.

'Jiri Trnka (1912 - 1969) is well-known (relatively-speaking) for his brilliant animated puppet movies. He has even been dubbed the "Walt Disney of the East." Recently I discovered that this Czech artist also illustrated children's books throughout his career. Many of these books were published in English from the fifties to the seventies, though none are currently in print.'

Forgotten Illustrator Viera Gergel'ova.

'I can't find any information about her, but it appears she was working in Bratislava in the 60s and early 70s.'

Chinese Thumb Rings.

'It is not often that an implement of warfare evolves into an item of jewelry. But that is precisely what happened with Chinese archer’s rings. '

Roadside Characters.

'Remember the roadside characters that used to greet you as you whizzed by? How about the famous Doggie Diner? The Blue Whale off Route 66 in Catoosa? You can't forget Dinah as well as Kadie the Cow.'

'See them here in this index to these roadside characters by region.'

Neon Theatres of the Midwest.

Vintage Postcards of Route 66.

Astro Pics.

Ultraviolet Andromeda.

Moons and Jupiter.

Starburst Galaxy M94.

Querying the Hive Mind.

What are some movies with moral beauty?

'What is the probability of one or both events occurring.'

'Choose Your Own Adventure question.'

'Mefites, please show me the oddest blogs you have ever seen?'

' I need a story about a person who has an uninspiring job but does it in a way that makes a difference people's lives.'
(Ikiru, of course!)

'I have a strange question... Assuming that world sea-level rises by 1 metre over the next hundred years - Would it be possible to cordon off a section of land, somewhere in the centre of a continent, and flood it to create an artificial ocean, thus reducing the consequences of the sea rise?'

'Why can't I, and how can I, hear my dad's accent?'

'Does everyone categorise shades of colours in the same way? I'm interested in the way shades of colours are bundled together in different cultures/languages.'

'Please help me convince my 19 year old niece that she shouldn't drop out of her upcoming professional course to become a stripper. '

Why Is Colour?

Hindu Deities' Vehicles.

'Most Hindu Gods have their own vehicles that they use to go about their tasks and responsibilities. We bring you this fascinating exhibition of pictures from Indian mythologies. '

Biloxi, Mississippi Shrimps (1945).

Poetry for Primates.

'There's been increased interest lately in monkey languages after discoveries were made about how putty-nosed monkeys combine sounds to create a basic syntax:
* Hack-hack-hack-hack: "There's an eagle over there!"
* Pyow-hack-hack-pyow-pyow-pyow: "I've seen a leopard, let's move away!"
* Hack-hack-hack-pyow-hack-hack-hack-hack-hack "There's an eagle over
there, let's move away!" ... '

Nageshvara Nataraja.

'Nataraja is called “one of the most popular forms of the god Shiva” by the great scholar of South Indian art and architecture, Dr. Douglas Barrett [1]. Following his and other scholars’ work, many authors support the idea that the Dancing Shiva as Nataraja was a tenth century innovation by Chola artists and architects. A novelty possibly initiated or directed by the Chola queen Sembyan Mahadevi. It has also been suggested by some authors that this development was related to certain political objectives of the Chola dynasty, especially its imperial and expansive ambitions. '

Indian Cinema.

Vintage European Geishas.

Red Dust in Sydney.

'As I write this, there's an insane dust storm that's sweeping over Sydney. I found out about it by seeing a Twitter post from Dan Hill. I'm based in San Francisco but found it so extraordinary I decided to go and see if I could spot pictures coming in and make a little gallery out of them.'

Luna Park: http://www.flickr.com/photos/tomhide/3945957994/

Classic Coaches of Wombourne.

'Classic Coaches of Wombourne in Staffordshire ran an odd fleet of old buses and coaches. One of these oddities was EUG885D, an unusual centre-entrance AEC Reliance coach that had been new to the Wallace Arnold coach fleet in 1966. EUG885D is seen in Station Street, Walsall on a shuttle service between Walsall and Bescot. '

Milk Float.

'Saturday job by Lady Wulfrun.
Two young lads pose alongside an old 'Unigate' Morrison 'D1' electric milkfloat in Womboune, Staffordshire one Saturday morning in December 1986, They'd both been helping the local milkman on his rounds to earn a bit of extra pocket money, bless em. '

Sunny Staffordshire.

'Sunny Staffordshire by Lady Wulfrun.
With its windows open, and its passengers enjoying the resulting cool breeze, West Midlands Travel Fleetline 6447 (NOC 447R) roars along Plantation Lane in Himley, Staffordshire, bound for Wolverhampton on a warm and sunny afternoon in June 1989. '

Irish Comics Wiki.