Thursday, 29 January 2009

The New Road.

'Rob Amberg's photographs tell a story of change within a rural community. This exhibit and his forthcoming book provide an intimate, long-term look at the social, cultural, and environmental impact of the construction of an interstate highway through rural Madison County, North Carolina.'

Dogpatch USA.

An abandoned amusement park.

'While planning your trip to Arkansas you might have found the town of "Dogpatch" on your Rand McNally in between Harrison and Jasper on Highway 7. Local residents petitioned the post office and the name of the town was changed to "Marble Falls" in 1997, but Dogpatch still lingers on many maps. Dogpatch took its name from an amusement park that opened here in 1968. Over a thousand acres were originally set aside for development. By comparison, Disneyland was forty acres. The park was based on a popular comic strip called "Li'l Abner" which was set in the fictional town of Dogpatch, know in the strip as the most miserable place on earth. (Contrast that with Disney's advertising slogan.) '

1940s Gandhi, Hirohito, Stalin, Mussolini and Hitler Masks.

A Disney Rejection Letter from 1938.

What Goes Bump in the Japanese Night?

'Drawn from local tradition, the stories describe long-nosed mountain goblins called tengu, water imps that impregnate women, and mysterious men who inhabit the forests. Thinking of these while descending a path toward Nambu Shrine, I suddenly saw a shadowy form some ten yards away in the gloom. It was on all fours, bigger than a dog, smaller than a horse but it wouldn’t scare like a deer. It was definitely watching me, and not at all afraid - unlike me. I whipped out my camera before beating a hasty retreat. The only things visible in the photo are a few branches and a pair of glowing eyes. '

A Map of Hinduism's Holiest City.

'The temple-choked city of Varanasi (1) is the most sacred place in the world for hindus - comparable to what Jerusalem means for christians, or Mecca for muslims. It is located on the Ganges River in northern India, in the state of Uttar Pradesh. According to Mark Twain, Varanasi “is older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend, and looks twice as old as all of them put together.” '

Amnesty International's United Nations of War.

' ‘Everybody Is Against Everybody – Somebody Has To Be For Them’: the message behind this Amnesty International poster is ultimately a pessimistic one – war is so endemic to the human condition that we can’t hope to eradicate, only to alleviate it.'

'That rather hobbesian world view is underscored by this world map composed of soldiers, warriors and fighters of every colour, creed and continent, a veritable United Nations of War, all placed as geographically correct as possible: from loinclothed tribes armed with long sticks or bows and arrows make up much of South America, while the north of the continent is lined with belligerents in Pilgrim dress, Revolution-era garb, Civil War uniform and even the Ku-Klux Klan costume. And so on for each continent, mutatis mutandis.'

The World War That Never Happened: US Occupies USSR.

'On 27 October 1951, the US magazine Collier’s devoted an entire 130-page issue to the theme of “Russia’s Defeat and Occupation, 1952-1960; Preview of the War We Do Not Want.” The cover showed an American soldier in a helmet emblazoned with US and UN insignia, reading MP (Military Police) Occupation Forces...'

Maurice de Vlaminck's 'Landscape with Red Trees', 1906.

The Law of the Playground.

Wake Up Everybody! - Melvin and the Bluenotes, 1975.

Soviet WW2 Propaganda Films.

Tango Argentina.

Winter Song.

Doris Ulmann's Photographs of South Appalachia.

' "I am not interested exclusively in literary faces, because I have been more deeply moved by some of my mountaineers than by any literary person, distinguished as he may be. A face that has the marks of having lived intensely, that expresses some phase of life, some dominant quality or intellectual power, constitute for me an interesting face. For this reason, the face of an older person, perhaps not beautiful in the strictest sense, is usually more appealing than the face of a younger person who has scarely been touched by life." '

'This site provides access to 1800 of approximately 12,000 images from the Ulmann Photograph Collection. The images were scanned prior to the development of local standards and information provided about each image is incomplete and sometimes inaccurate. Staff from Special Collections and University Archives are in the process of reviewing the images and correcting information. In some cases, the images will be rescanned. As corrected information about the images becomes available, it will be added to a revised collection that will be linked from this one. Ultimately, this draft collection will be replaced in its entirety by the fully curated collection.'

Vanuatuan Gong.

'The towering slit gongs of northern Vanuatu are among the largest freestanding musical instruments on earth. Found primarily on Ambrym, Malakula, and neighboring islands, they are carved from the trunks of large breadfruit trees, hollowed out to create a resonating chamber with a narrow slitlike aperture. In each village, a number of gongs, comprising a sort of informal orchestra, stand on the village dancing ground. Gong orchestras are played at major social and religious events such as initiations, funerals, and dances. When playing, the musician stands in front of the gong and strikes the lip of the slit with a clublike wood beater. As the gong ensemble is played, rhythms of immense variety and complexity can be produced through the carefully coordinated actions of multiple drummers.'

Free Reading, Writing and 'Rithmetic Resources.

'EduChoices offers some good free stuff online: 25 Places to Read Free Books Online l 50 Online Writing Websites for New Writers l Ranking of 20 Universities that Offer Free Courses Online (with links to the free courses), as well as information about university courses etc. l Great Reference Sites Other Than Wikipedia l Free Linux Tutorials for Beginners l Useful Online Calculators For Almost Every Educational and Life Need. '


Social news site - another way of viewing the news online.

Vintage Baseball Photos.

Vintage Vespa Images.

'I gathered these to make an installation in my bathroom'.

Photo of Old Steam Locomotives in Chicago.

Astro Pics.

A Partial Eclipse over Manila Bay.

Thackeray's Globules.

Beneath the South Pole of Saturn.

Thursday, 22 January 2009

The Obakemono Project: A Gaijin's Guide to the Fantastic Folk Monsters of Japan.

'In English-speaking nations, Japan's popular culture has of late enjoyed immense popularity in the form of animation, comic books, and video games, and Godzilla and his fellow giant rubber-suit monsters have always had a cult following. But the kaijū's older cousins, the yōkai, remain largely a footnote and a curiosity in the West. Occasionally they sneak over in the form of a low-budget monster movie, or show up altered, toned-down, or romanticized into unrecognizability in an imported cartoon popular with teens. Yet much of the fertile, monstrous imagination contained in old Japanese folklore and art has never been collected, translated, and presented to the English-speaking world. '

Medieval Hebrew Manuscripts.

Collected by Jewish scholar and all-round genius David Kaufmann :

Easy Puzzle.

How can you give someone $63 using six bills, without using any one dollar bills? (Valid bills are $1, $2, $5,, $10, $20, $50).

The Fighting Filipinos.

WW2 poster. Interesting comments, too.

Chick Tracts.

'Chick tracts are short Evangelical-themed tracts created by American publisher Jack Chick. Chick tracts are styled as comics and are often controversial for their enthusiastic endorsement of fundamentalist Christianity and condemnation of other religions and other denominations, especially Catholicism.'

Train Graveyard in Bolivia.

'A weird place outside Uyuni in Bolivia, full of old, dead trains from the USA and UK, rusting away in the sun and the salty winds from nearby Salar de Uyuni.'

Black and Asian History in Canning Town, East London.

'This online resource charts the history of the black and Asian community in Canning Town, east London, in the 1920s and 1930s. It tells the story of the Coloured Men's Institute and its founder, Kamal Chunchie, a man who can rightly be called east London's first black and Asian community leader.'

Colour on the Thames (1935).

'This film is tricky to describe: is it a boat study, a film-poem, an experiment, a picture postcard? One thing is certain: it's a rare colour snapshot of the Thames and London in the 1930s...'

Indigenous National Festival, Brazil.

'A meeting to celebrate life, culture and traditions.'

Circus Poster, 1970.

'A poster advertising the Polish Circus in 1970. Circus was a state-funded art in Poland, and the graphic design it inspired was as varied and imaginative as the circus acts themselves. Hubert Hilscher's acrobatic and decorative lion is a creature that can be compared to the animals in his famous zoo posters - colourful, wild, aggressive and funny.'

Zora Neale Hurston, 1938.

Part of the African Americans set :

Mikhail Maiofis Illustrations.

'Mikhail Maiofis was born in St. Petersburg Russia and was an accomplished artist at a very young age. He is best known for his illustrations of children's books, most notably the famous Adventures of Baron Von Munchausen. His work is in both private and public collections throughout the world, and he is listed as one of the top 100 Russian artists of the century. '

Abandoned Russian Polar Lighthouses.

Astro Pics.

Alpine Conjunction.

Lenticular Cloud over New Zealand.

Suspension Bridge Solargraph.

Monday, 19 January 2009


A green-eyed woman from Rajasthan. 'These are all photos from the same woman with incredible green eyes. Please visit '

Mamtu, Papu's daughter:

'I know this little beauty since she was a baby. She has so many faces, she can be very angry or sad, or even arrogant (!) and has the most beautiful smile. She five years old.'

The Papu Project :

Cereal Commercials over the Decades.

Conjuring 17th Century Japan.

'One of the most important books that filled the vacuum of knowledge about Japan in the second half of the 17th century was an extensive volume by the Dutch vicar, missionary and church historian, Arnoldus Montanus...'

'... Obviously the first half of the images above - (orangutans!! Hindu Gods!) - suggest that the book was an altogether fanciful production, but that's only partly true. There are apparent oddities within the text as well, but on the whole, Montanus' work provided the most authentic accounts of Japanese culture available until the restrictions on foreigner travel were relaxed in the 1800s. '

The Ripley Scroll.

'The remarkable Ripley Scroll is, in simple terms, an alchemical manuscript that shows in pictorial cryptograms the production of the philosopher's stone (the elusive ingredient that produces incorruptible gold out of lesser metals; and/or the elixir of life).'

Growing Stocks of Unsold Cars around the World.

Photo gallery. 'Carmakers around the world are cutting production as inventories build up to unprecedented levels. Storage areas and docksides are now packed with vast expanses of unsold cars as demand slumps'.

Lino Block Prints of the Fifty United States and Their Mottos.

All put together in one map here:

An 11-Year-Old's Map of Jewish Emigration.

'In 1938, Germany was not a good place to be a Jew. While some German Jews might still have hoped the anti-semitism of the Nazi regime would somehow blow over, those who had the means to flee the country did so - if they found a place that would have them. The Freudenheims did, and managed to leave Berlin for Montevideo.'

'Their young son Fritz, 11 years old at the time, documented their traumatic odyssey in a map composed in bright colours, cheerfully entitled: Von der alten Heimat zu der neuen Heimat! (’From the old home to the new home!’) He documents the Freudenheim family’s locations as far back as 1925, before he was born himself. Africa, with only one port of call, is portrayed as relatively small, while South America is more defined (all countries are shown) but detached from North America. Of the European countries, Germany looms largest; the trains that take the Freudenheims on their travels inside the country would soon be used for more sinister transports.'

Top 100 Spiritually Significant Films.

'The Seventh Seal', 'Ikiru', 'It's a Wonderful Life', 'Wings of Desire', 'Breaking the Waves', the 'Three Colours' trilogy, 'Secrets and Lies' - as well as the little-known Japanese film 'After Life' ( ). All excellent films. Though I'm a little surprised that '2001: A Space Odyssey' ( ) and 'A Short Film about Killing' ( ) aren't on the list. 'Koyanisqaatsi' made the list but not 'Baraka' ( ).

Land of Lincoln.

'Photos from trips through and around Illinois.'

East Berlin, 1990.


Costumes Grotesques.

'There follows a selection of images from a series entitled Les Costumes Grotesques: Habits des métiers et professions… They were published in 1695 by one Nicolas de Larmessin, although I’m not exactly sure which Nicolas was responsible for them, as there seem to have been four generations of Nicolases in the de Larmessin family.'

Picturing Science: 700 Years of Scientific and Medical Illustration.

(Click on 'See all images' to browse).

'Hundreds of images from the thirteenth through the early twentieth century, in the fields of astronomy, chemistry, geology, mathematics, medicine, and physics, as represented by manuscript illuminations, engravings, lithographs, and photographs. '

Faces of Power and Piety: Medieval Portraiture.

'This exhibition explores portraits in illuminated manuscripts of the Middle Ages (about A.D. 500–1500). '

Astro Pics.

Saturn's Hyperion: A Moon with Odd Craters.

Largest Full Moon on 2009.

Unusual Light Pillars over Latvia.

Querying the Hive Mind.

'Is my husband trying to kill me?'

'What's your favorite two-person game?'

'Eating on $25 a week, suggestions?'

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Space Colony Art from the 1970s.

Vintage Board Games.

Catholic Children's Books from the 1950s.

Dust Storm in Australia.

The Ting Tings - 'We Walk'.


Vintage Sewing Patterns.

Fading Ads in Journal Square, Jersey City.

Yao Paintings from Vietnam.

Books at an Indian Street Market.

Edo Period Monster Paintings by Sawaki Suushi.

'In the sophisticated popular culture of the Edo period (1603-1868), much attention was devoted to Japan’s rich pantheon of traditional monsters and apparitions, known as yokai. Sometimes frightening, sometimes humorous, these compelling Japanese folk creatures were the subject of numerous artistic and literary works. One such work was Hyakkai Zukkan, a collection of picture scrolls completed in 1737 by Sawaki Suushi, a relatively unknown artist who studied under master painter Hanabusa Itcho (1702-1772). Hyakkai Zukkan’s colorful depictions of Japan’s most notorious creatures inspired (and were copied by) yokai artists for generations. Here is a peek inside. '

Monograph of Spiders.

'Carl Wilhelm Hahn (1786-1835) was a German zoologist and artist. Following a short stint in the armed services, Hahn completed a PhD and took the unusual step of setting himself up as 'freelance natural historian'...'

Elleore, A Kingdom 12 Minutes Ahead of Copenhagen.

'Out of a total of 443 Danish islands, only 76 are permanently inhabited. Elleore occupies a special place among them: unpeopled for most of the year, and not part of Denmark when it is – that is, if you’re partial to the semi-jocular sovereignty claims of micronations...'

All That Jazz.

'This set depicts vintage images of a variety of people in the jazz industry. '

Doo Wop Gold.

'Dedicated to various artists in the Doo Wop and early Rock n Roll era.'

20 Ways the World Could End.

Astro Pics.

Restored: First Image of the Earth from the Moon.

The First Rocket Launch from Cape Canaveral.

Beautiful Spiral NGC 7331.

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

'The Recently Deflowered Girl', by Edward Gorey.

Slugs mating on YouTube.

Both alien and moving.

Images from the Cassini Probe.

The Lure of the Open Road, 1944.

'In 1944, a dear friend, Doris Roy, and I undertook an adventurous journey that we dreamed of during countless hikes together over our college holidays. We had been Camp Fire Girls together, loving the out-of-doors, camping and hiking the open road. Our dreams finally developed into a plan to ride bicycles from our home in Buffalo, New York, to Cairo, Illinois, where the Ohio River met the Mississippi. We admired Mark Twain’s adventures, had read his Life on the Mississippi, and sought to follow his path to the Midwest. '

Images of Frozen Soap Bubbles.

Sweded Films.

Homebrew remakes of famous films, inspired by Be Kind Rewind :

The Internet Pinball Machine Database.

'The Internet Pinball Machine Database — also known as the IPD or IPDB — is a comprehensive, searchable listing of virtually every pinball machine ever commercially made. '

Japanese Custom Scooters.

'These photographs of Japanese custom scooters come from bike shop galleries, auction sites, and Flickr. '

Le Livre d'Heures d'Isabeau de Roubaix.

'In the late 1480s, Isabeau founded the Hospital of Saint Elizabeth for the Black Sisters of the Order of St Augustine (it was part-hospital, part-convent). The illuminated manuscript seen above (as well as at least one other decorated manuscript) was bequeathed to the Order when Isabeau died (sometime between 1494 and 1502).'

The Jewel Book.

'Puppies and members of the royal court look on as the serious Duchess Anna and Duke Albrecht V of Bavaria face each other across a chessboard. We can only speculate as to why such a modest scene was chosen as a prelude to an album recording, in stark contrast, the ostentatious display of wealth from their marriage and position in society.'

Chittagong, Bangladesh.

'Along the southeast coast of Bangladesh are the ship breaking installations, where immense ocean freighters and tankers are torn apart by hundreds of gritty, lean, strong, bronze-skinned, men--by manual labor...'

Lovely fighting Japanese girl and more and more.

Morris dancing.

Courtroom Sketches of the Black Panther Trial, 1970.

Old Photographs of Sydney Harbour.

Walking the Berkshires.

'"Sharp, quirky, and occasionally nettlesome", Walking the Berkshires is my personal blog, an eclectic weaving of human narrative, natural history, and conservation science with the Berkshire and Litchfield Hills as both its backdrop and point of departure. I am interested in how land and people, past and present manifest in the broader landscape and social fabric of our communities. The opinions I express here are mine alone. '

The Gwolphs of Saturn.

'This 1946 advertisement for Casco was illustrated by the Russian-born surrealist Boris Artzybasheff. I'm not completely sure what Casco was/is, but they promise "new and unusual contributions to better living", and they certainly knew how to commission an eye-catching advert. '

Early Maps on the Web.

Querying the Hive Mind.

'Can you recommend any good books on writing poetry?'

' "Mudita is a Buddhist (Pali and Sanskrit) word meaning rejoicing in others' joy." '
The opposite of 'schadenfreude', another excellent word.

'Women with hairy nipples: how do you deal? Men who've seen 'em: how did you feel?'

'What's the most unique feature you've ever seen in a bar or pub?'

'How do you eat healthy during the winter? '

'What sort of things do you do to make individual days worth remembering?'

'Large pores on my face are getting me down. '

'Help me identify progressive, funky towns and small cities in this Good Ol' U S of A.'

'What were the movies that made you go WOW?'

'What are some of the loudest, heaviest, most rocking and head-banging classical pieces out there?'