Sunday, 28 June 2009

Carl Sagan on YouTube.

Includes episodes from the classic series 'Cosmos'.

Pale Blue Dot :

Casimir Zagourski: Photographer of the Congo.

'Casimir Zagourski (Kazimierz Zagorski) was born the 9th of August 1883 in Zytomiez (Zytomierz) Poland (Ukraine). His father was a Polish nobleman. As a young man, he took up a military career in the Czarist Air Force (Russia). He left military service as Lieutenant Colonel Zagourski. Circa 1924 found him struggling to make a living. He set sail for LĂ©opoldville - Belgium Congo, as an amateur photographer...'

Maps, Mapas, Cartes.

‘The following are a few maps of interest to us in the study of Magical Realism. In fact, these might be simply referred to as, indeed, "maps of interest." They are drawn from particular perspectives. The ways in which we consider visual truth when thinking about optical illusions might similarly be applied to ideas of geographic truth.’

Upside-down world map:

A swell map of Manhattan:

Dante’s Hell:

Iran in 1959.

‘I don't know whether I have stumbled upon something completely worthless or a treasure chest! Look at these. They are newly released stock footage of Iran from 1959. There is no audio, but the images and colors are crisp and the subjects are fascinating.’

Astro Pics.

Tiger Stripes on Saturn’s Enceladus.

Saturn: Moons in Transit.

Saharan Starry Night.


Photos of Deserted Icelandic Farms.

The Fascinating Axolotl.

Summertime Santa: 1956.

Balzac’s Paris: A Guided Tour.

‘A promenade through the monumental heart of Paris in the time of Balzac, as described through some of his works, and as documented in maps and engravings of
The Vernon Duke Collection
Special Collections Department
University of California Library ‘

Jataka Tales.

‘This is a retelling of stories from the Jataka, the treasury of tales of Buddha's previous animal reincarnations. Babbitt wrote this with young adults and children in mind, but the simple language and sprightly black and white illustrations add appeal for readers of all ages, Buddhist or not.’

Perfume for Time Travellers.

‘It's very difficult to find the perfect perfume: for some reason nearly all modern scents smell of custard. Fed by Birds readers are discerning: they want perfume to transport them somewhere stranger than the inside of a cake shop. Luckily we are here to suggest more exciting olfactory experiences.’

Comics: Jean-Claude Forest.

‘In 1962 George Gallet, editor of France's most popular line of science fiction paperbacks, Le Rayon Fantastique, asked the imprint's leading cover artist Jean-Claude Forest to create a new, "no holds barred", strip for the 'adult' V-magazine which Gallet also edited.’

‘The result was Barbarella (her likeness modeled on Brigitte Bardot), France's first female comic strip character since WW2 and the country's first space hero.’

Comics: Mod Love 1967.

‘She's the Hippest Girl in the World" from 'Mod Love', Written by Michael Lutin, artist unknown. Published by Western Publishing Company, inc. 1967.’

‘I was first made aware of this wonderful comic via Paul Gravett's amazing book 'The Leather Nun: And Other Incredibly Strange Comics' (UK title) aka 'Holy Sh*t!: The World's Weirdest Comic Books' (US title).’

Communist Posters of Nepal.

‘Maoist propaganda posters from around the Country of Nepal. The communist party posters have a distinctive visual style that shouts out their message of solidarity and revolution. It's almost like a brand identity.’

London Tube Photo Sets.

How to Hug a Tree.

Sunsets, Water, Sky, and Clouds.

Monday, 22 June 2009

BFI Films - - has some great vintage videos of British and Indian subcontinental life. Some of my favourites :

Kiddies and Rabbits (1901) :

Santa Claus (1898) :

Panorama of Calcutta (1899) :

A Day in the Hayfields (1904) :

Old London Street Scenes (1903) :

Springtime in an English Village (1944) :

Tea Making Tips (1941) :

Colour on the Thames (1935) :

Snow (1963) :

Scenes in Tibet (1940s) :

A Punjab Village (1925) :

World's First 1/2 Wave Powered Jacob's Ladder.

The modern day equivalent of Merlin did this.


‘Robert Crumb was born in Philadelphia in 1943. As a kid, he started drawing homemade comic books, together with his brother Charles, for the amusement of himself and his family. One of the characters he invented back then was Fred the Cat, named after the family's pet. Eventually, Fred became Fritz the Cat, one of Crumb's best-known characters…’

More Crumb:

Third Gender.

‘The terms third gender and third sex describe individuals who are considered to be neither women nor men, as well as the social category present in those societies who recognize three or more genders.’

Tart Cards.

‘Tart cards [NOT SAFE FOR WORK] are the means by which many London prostitutes advertise their services. Step into almost any central London phone box and you can contemplate up to 80 cards inviting you to be tied, teased, spanked or massaged.... [Wallpaper Magazine] asked designers – from students to superstars – to find the tart hiding in every typeface and create their own graphic numbers.... all 450 cards can be viewed here. [NOT SAFE FOR WORK]’

Querying the Hive Mind.

'What is the strangest, yet most delicious, cookie recipe you know?'

'How did you overcome a lifetime of chronic lateness? '

'I'm 25 and starting to cook - What? Where do I get it? Why?'

'Please help me find legal (in the US), mild, safe and non-addictive, yet exotic recreational drugs.'

'Do you know any good left wing propoganda for toddlers?'

'Dating on a budget. What are your fabulous, creative & romantic ideas for a 30-something couple to do that cost little or nothing?'

'What quotations / sayings have you found to be helpful to you in getting through daily life?'

'Help me make iced green tea that tastes like the stuff at Starbucks.'

Antipodean Fantasy.

'Australia's physical isolation and relative young age as a nation, as well as its modest population size has always engendered a certain lack of confidence in our competing - one way or another - in the wider world. It's strange to even think about it, let alone admit it in public, but it's absolutely true. We feel slightly intimidated, a little unsure of where we fit in and desirous of being told we are ok. Don't get me wrong, this national inferiority complex¶ has a lot of benefits too, particularly in the way our arts industry has evolved; it has inspired an amazingly unique film industry for one and possibly accounts for our industrial-strength obsession with sport. There are sociological Honors projects buried in that there image, I'm sure. Or maybe *I* am seeing too much.'

A Grotesque Alphabet.

'This late 16th century suite of ornamental letters by Giacomo Paolini is known as 'Grotesque Alphabet in Mythological Landscapes'. The only thing I discovered about Paolini is that he was an Italian artist.'

A Cabinet of Natural Curiosities.

'The images above come from Volume One of 'Locupletissimi Rerum Naturalium Thesauri' by Albertus Seba, 1734, newly available from the Missouri Botanical Garden's Botanicus website.'

Photos of Abandoned Railway Stations.

Best of Craigslist: Magic wand to solve life's problems.

The Forgotten Immortals of Times Square.

'Long before the building at 46th & 7th Ave was a TGI Friday’s, it was owned by Israel Miller, a Polish immigrant who came to the US in 1892 and became famous making shoes for theatrical productions. As his shoes grew in popularity, he soon found himself making shoes for Broadway stars to use in their personal lives. This building was once his showroom.'

The Philip K. Dick Book Cover Gallery.

Science fiction art.

The Thunder Bird: Tootooch Legends.

'This is a transcription of a pamphlet which was originally sold to the tourist trade in British Columbia. It describes a vocabulary of symbols which are incorporated into totem poles, including a representative myth for each animal. While not an academic work, it still makes interesting reading, particularly in historical context, and the illustrations are charming. '

Temptation and Salvation: The Psalms of King David.

Illuminated manuscripts.

'The Psalms and their illustrations played a central role in medieval Christianity. Originally composed in Hebrew and incorporated into both the Hebrew and Christian Bibles, the 150 "songs of praise" include laments as well as prayers of thanks and exaltation.'

Photographing the Muslim Ladies of Kurva.

'It is no easy task to photograph traditional Muslim women, many of whom can appear in front of other men only in a veil. I knew of a Muslim farmer who took care our ancestral fields (the land reform act of 1955 in India transferred all the fields to the farmers) to whom I expressed my desire to photograph Muslim women in their habitat. He agreed and took me to his home on an island in the Sharavati river (February 22, 1986) on his hand powered boat...'

Old Konkani Poems.

'This rare Konkani lithograph manuscript, dated 1904 was printed in Mangalore. It contains devotional songs in Konkani in the glory of popular Hindu deities. Many compositions of Purandaradasa are translated into Konkani. '

Astro Pics.

Sunrise over the Parthenon.

Stars Young and Old.

Crescent Moon and Venus.

'The Garden of Earthly Delights'.

By Hieronymus Bosch.

Daibutsu at Kamakura, Japan.

Photos of Old Korea.

Someone's Photos of Serbia.

Photos of Almshouses.