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.'

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