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.