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 ( ) and the symbolism of the ram's horn and the story of Abraham and Isaac.

Calendrical calculations:

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 :

Voyager Golden Record: Images and Greetings.

Many of the musical tracks from the Golden Record are here : . 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.

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