'What is important is seldom urgent and what is urgent is seldom important.' - Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Kalmykia, Europe's Only Buddhist State.
European Cinema Postcards.
'These are all scans of vintage postcards of the European cinema between 1895 and 1970. '
Old 45s - Vinyl Covers.
Small Town, USA.
'I just love shooting the "mom & pop" businesses that can be found within the quaint little towns that are sometimes only a few miles beyond (and sometimes within) the larger cities. With this gallery, I hope to present the slower pace and laid-back feeling of "Small Town, USA". '
Cane Hill Asylum, London.
'In the years since its closure it has acquired the reputation of being the ultimate abandoned asylum, the supreme embodiment of dereliction and decay. This is due mainly to the amount of equipment still on site - the extraordinary wealth of mementoes and personal information that still litter the corridors and wards – but also owes much to the asylum’s uniquely fearsome exterior. Viewed from the surrounding path, it feels more like a prison than a hospital (…..a towering monument to Victorian bleakness and austerity…)'
Kings Park Psychiatric Center, NY.
Another abandoned asylum, with a collection of interesting links at the bottom.
Japanese Air Raid Posters.
'In 1938, the Japanese Red Cross worked with government authorities to create a series of posters to teach the public about the new Anti-Aircraft Defense Law, which was enacted in seeming anticipation of air strikes following the outbreak of the Japan-China War (1937-1945). '
Medieval Medical Illustrations.
Ko Un's Life Story.
Ex-Buddhist monk, political prisoner and poet.
He has a website : http://www.koun.co.kr/
Signs of Africa.
'Moses Rubn Omilia's photo of an Arsenal football supporter's home in Uganda is the first in a series of pictures taken of different signs in Africa and sent in by BBC News website readers.'
'Conflict and the humanitarian crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo have left 5.4m people dead since 1998, according to a major mortality survey by the International Rescue Committee.'
The Gallery of Confusable Flags.
'This is a gallery of pairs (or larger groupings) of flags that exhibit such similarity in design that they can be difficult to distinguish. They are organized by the number of main colors (disregarding, for example, colors in emblems) in the simplest design of the group.'
Lena Corwin's Wedding Photos.
The Welsh Hat.
The Right to Quiet Society.
'Calling noise a nuisance is like calling smog an inconvenience. Noise must be considered a hazard to the health of people everywhere.'
Quiet travel : http://quiet.org/travel.htm
Outdoor Love Map.
A worldwide guide to making love in the outdoors, obviously.
Querying the Hive Mind.
'Please recommend me some recent films.'
'Life-altering experiences. Can you point to a single experience in your life, as a child, which you can define as having contributed to the person you are today?'
'What can I forage (for)?'
'What is it like to dream?'
'The 'w' in 'Keswick' is silent. So is the 'w' in 'Southwark'. And the 'h' in 'Pakenham'. Is there a name for this and is there a rule to apply it?'
'Stand-alone fantasy book recommendations?'
'How can I get my husband to shower more than twice a month?'
'What should I know before and after I shave my head?'
An advert for Belgian public transport.
Carnivorous Plants vs. Herbivorous Insects.
'French painter, one of the greatest of the Postimpressionists, whose works and ideas were influential in the aesthetic development of many 20th-century artists and art movements, especially Cubism.'
'Rousseau, Henri, known as Le Douanier Rousseau (1844-1910). French painter, the most celebrated of naïve artists. '
Wednesday, 18 February 2009
'The Recently Deflowered Girl' by Edward Gorey.
What Facebook Is For.
Pre-Inflationary German Currency.
'My wife's family lived in Germany unitil 1936, when they were lucky enough to leave. My wife's grandfather collected thousands of bills produced by the different towns and companies to make front to deflation first and inflation later and provide certain stability to workers and residents.
Each town hired artists and craftsmen to design this money, which reflects the aesthetic and concerns of the time and place. '
Pulp Paperback Covers.
Cockpits from US Military Aircraft.
Rubens: The Complete Works.
He liked big ... and I do not lie.
Festivals in Kyoto.
Dada Love Poem.
Virginia Emigrants to Liberia.
'Between 1820 and 1865 more than 3700 African Americans from Virginia emigrated to Liberia. Some went eagerly, others left reluctantly in exchange for their freedom. In 1847, they helped establish the first African republic. Their stories illustrate meanings of race, citizenship, and nationhood in the early American republic that still resonate today.'
New Jersey Historical Maps.
The Erie Railroad Glass Plate Negative Collection.
'The Erie Railroad Company glass plate negatives are arranged by Erie subsidiary railroads in the states of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. Mainline scenes come from all of the preceding states, as well as from Indiana and Illinois. The image content of the glass plates varies, including individual stations, mile posts, lengths of track, new track construction, and social organizations (such as the East Buffalo Car Shop Basketball Team and shop bands). While, to date, the station images have attracted the most researcher interest, the images also provide a valuable source of information for documenting the early 20th century landscape, product advertising, railroad construction, and on-and-off-the-job Erie Railroad Company employee activities.'
Century 21 Exposition.
This drawing shows a preliminary design of an observation tower and restaurant for the 1962 Seattle World's Fair Exhibition. Set on the only section of the fair grounds that was not owned by the city, the site did not have the height restrictions of other exhibits/pavillions at the fair. The lot, 37-by-37 m, was purchased by private investors for $75,000 and is still privately owned. Although there is much contention surrounding who came up with the final design of the Space Needle, John Graham is widely acknowledged as its architect."
Castes of South India.
'This illustrated manuscript made in southern India in 1837 consists of 72 full-color hand-painted images of men and women of the various castes and religious and ethnic groups found in Madura, India at that time. Each drawing was made on mica, a transparent, flaky mineral which splits into thin, transparent sheets. As indicated on the presentation page, the album was compiled by the Indian writing master at an English school established by American missionaries in Madura, and given to the Reverend William Twining.'
An online journal in which the author climbs a tree every day.
Querying the Hive Mind.
'I want to improve my house cleaning skills... improve my speed, efficiency, thoroughness, etc. And use the best cleaning products for the task.'
'How do I motivate myself to do honest hard work at my job after a lifetime of cutting corners and slacking off?'
'I'd like to read some good books, preferably autobiographical, about managing a household in hard times.'
The Euro Invasion of France 2002.
'The euro has homogenised a variety of coinage that was as colourful as it was impractical. Euro notes are identical throughout the entire eurozone. The coins still carry a national imprint (2) on one side, though: member states of the European monetary system are allowed to apply national logos and symbols on the coins minted in (or for) their own country; the amounts of these nationally minted coins are obviously weighted: France will produce more French coins than Belgium produces Belgian ones, and Luxembourgish euro coins will be rarer still.'
19th Century Sea Bathing Cartoon.
Wednesday, 11 February 2009
The NY Public Library's Vintage Valentine Collection.
Vintage Valentine's Day Cards on Flickr.
Underground places in the UK - subways, Tube stations, air raid shelters, radar stations etc.
Photo Essay: Khomeini and the Iranian Revolution.
'I have a 30-year-old book of photographs of the revolution by a photographer named Hatami. I thought it would be interesting to reproduce them for the 30th anniversary of the revolution. I paid my nephew Nico $20 to scan the entire book :o) The photos that have a black line in the middle are the ones that were spread on two pages. '
Captured Emotions: Baroque Painting in Bologina 1575-1725.
'This exhibition tells the extraordinary story of a small group of artists who changed the course of art history. In the decades after the deaths of the great Renaissance masters, such as Raphael and Michelangelo, the art of painting was thought to have gone into steep decline. But then, in the late 16th century, the Carracci family of painters from Bologna burst onto the scene with tremendous energy and vitality, raising art to new heights. '
Vintage Mexican Advertisements.
The Village Atlas.
19th century maps of places in London, the West Midlands and other urban centres in the UK.
'This period saw much of England’s countryside alter beyond recognition; although London and the great new industrial towns of the Midlands and the North had begun their inexorable expansion in the latter decades of the eighteenth century and the opening ones of the nineteenth, it was during the sixty-four year reign of Queen Victoria that they saw their most spectacular period of growth. As a result, it is today almost impossible to visualise the villages, hamlets and green fields which existed, scarcely out of of living memory, where the concrete, brick and glass of modern conurbations rise today. '
The Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike.
'The Abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike is the common name of a 13 mile (21 km) stretch of the Pennsylvania Turnpike that was bypassed in 1968 when a modern stretch opened to ease traffic congestion. The reasoning behind the bypass was to reduce traffic congestion at the tunnels. In this case, the Sideling Hill Tunnel and Rays Hill Tunnel were bypassed, as was one of the Turnpike's travel plazas. The bypass is located just east of the heavily congested Breezewood interchange at what is now exit 161.'
The Voyage of Charles Darwin.
'This old series of BBC film depicts the life of Charles Darwin in the 1800s. Check out for more upcoming episodes! '
The Hypothetical Planet Vulcan.
A planet that was hypothesised to exist between the Sun and Mercury, based on a perceived anomaly in Mercury's orbit. It was believed that the 'wobble' could be explained by the gravitational pull of an undiscovered planet (the planet Neptune had previously been hypothesised for the same reason). In fact, the 'wobble' was no such thing - light was bent by the gravitational pull of the Sun which introduced a perception error - but this wasn't understood until Einstein's theory of general relativity explained how rays of light could be 'bent' by gravity.
Pictures of Buses in Las Vegas.
The Population of China's Provinces Compared.
'Here, for easy reference, is a list in descending order of magnitude of those Chinese territories (their population in brackets) followed by the foreign country they compare to.'
'1. Guangdong (113 million) Germany plus Uganda (3)
Henan (99 million) Mexico
Shandong (92 million) Philippines
Sichuan (87 million) Vietnam
Jiangsu (75 million) Egypt
Hebei (68 million) Iran
Hunan (67 million) France
Anhui (65 million) Thailand
Hubei (60 million) U.K. ... '
Winter in New York.
Nice artwork about Japanese festivals.
'[The albums depict] the annual festivals and customs of Kyoto at the beginning of the Showa2 period. These paintings are accompanied by explanatory texts written by the folklorist and Kyoto scholar Ema Tsutomu.'
The World Trade Center.
Ireland through a Pinhole Camera.
Florida Broadsides 1800-2000.
'Broadsides are traditionally considered to be large, one-sided printed posters used for public communication. These were usually posted in prominent public spaces such as churches, street corners, and town halls. '
'Typical examples of broadsides include campaign posters, playbills, public notices, announcements, petitions, proclamations, and advertisements. But paper-bound communications were not limited to broadsides, and included pamphlets, cards, tickets, blank forms, flyers, reprinted newspaper articles, and political cartoons. '
'Ruxandra Guidi reports from Peru on one effort to help quake survivors in Peru relieve their stress through laughter. A team from the group Doctors without Borders has been working in Peru since an earthquake hit parts of the county two months ago. The team includes clowns who put on shows for residents of quake-affected villages.'
'Mikhail Zlatkovsky has been lampooning Russian leaders since the days of perestroika. But he has discovered that satire permitted by Gorbachev and Yeltsin is dangerous under Putin'.
Berlin Wall Graffiti.
'A mile-long stretch was left as a memorial and decorated with murals commemorating the fall of communism. Now that section is in disrepair and there's a debate in Germany over what to do about it.'
My Father's Handwritten Instructions.
'Yesterday, my father died. When my brother and sisters and I pulled his pre-need folder this morning, we found (among the elaborate plans he'd laid out for us) these handwritten notes for how his services were to be conducted. He wrote these over 18 years ago. '
Querying the Hive Mind.
'What are small ways you use to make a mundane life more bearable?'
'After years of drifting along as a "spiritual but not religious" believer I am beginning to come to terms with the fact that I'm not actually a believer at all. I am an atheist with a lingering but unwanted desire to believe and it is making me miserable. Can you help me move past this? '
'Some people have this mysterious ability to be - disarming. Please explain this skill and help me learn it!'
'Recommend non-fiction books about animals -- books that will blow my mind.'
'How does your creativity work?'
'How do you organize yourselves using online tools? '
'What is your best technique for calming down quickly?'
The World of Dante.
'The World of Dante is a multi-media research tool intended to facilitate the study of the Divine Comedy through a wide range of offerings. These include an encoded Italian text which allows for structured searches and analyses, an English translation, interactive maps, diagrams, music, a database, timeline and gallery of illustrations. Many of these features allow users to engage the poem dynamically through the integrated components of this site. '
Thursday, 5 February 2009
The Museum of Found Photographs.
'Photographs that you either found or purchased at thrift stores, auctions, or flea markets. Please join if you are a collector of historical or vintage photographs. Let's create an archive of amazing photographs from the past.'
Black and White Photographs of America in the 1940s.
'In the small mountain town of Heber Springs, the Arkansas artist known as Disfarmer captured the lives and emotions of the people of rural America between 1939-1945. Critics have hailed Disfarmer's remarkable black and white portraits as "a work of artistic genius" and "a classical episode in the history of American photography."'
St. Andrews University Photographic Archive.
A nice collection of early photographs, and photographs of Scotland.
'This website offers you access to the amazing wealth of photography held within the Special Collections Department of the University of St Andrews Library. Here you will find masterpieces of very early photography from one of the world’s outstanding collections, as well as thousands of images taken by masters of the art, both professional and amateur, over the last century and a half.'
Photos of Leningrad under Siege Superimposed on the Presentday City.
'Painted mud-flaps of rickshaws & cycle carts in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India.'
Howard Finster: Man of Visions.
'In 1976, Howard Finster was sixty years of age and had lived a full, hard, life. He had worked as a plumber, a grocer, a carpenter, a bicycle repairman, and as a traveling preacher in Georgia and Alabama. He had no inkling of his impending calling to create art, so late in his life. As he was repairing an old bicycle one day, touching up some of its scratches by applying small amount of white tractor paint here and there there with his finger, he had a vision. '
Cocktails of the Hedgerow.
How to make vodka and nettle cordial etc.
'Times are hard - these days, if you want luxury you'll have to forage for it. Fed by Birds is here to help, so we bring you cocktail recipes derived from the land. Let Ray Mears drink sap; we expect something a little more exciting from the wilderness. '
The Global Peace Index.
'The Global Peace Index (GPI) is an attempt to measure the relative position of nations’ and regions’ peacefulness. It is maintained by the Institute for Economics and Peace and developed in consultation with an international panel of peace experts from peace institutes and think tanks, together with the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Sydney, Australia with data analysed by the Economist Intelligence Unit.'
With an interesting map.
The Flying Mystics of Tibetan Buddhism.
'The historical anecdotes in Tibetan literature and oral tradition that speak of mystics with powers of levitation and flight find their way into Tibetan art. The North American viewing public would be enthralled with the theme, both as an exhibition and as a reader.'
Red Hmong Women, Vietnam.
Caravaggio's 'Rest during the Flight into Egypt'.
'The “Rest during the Flight into Egypt” is one of the masterpieces of the young Caravaggio. The composition is divided by the figure of the angel seen from behind, intent on playing the violin, a rather innovative iconographic element, which has only the odd precedent in Italian figurative tradition...'
The Book of Eclipses.
16th century illustrations of eclipses.
Grand Alphabet Amusant.
''Grand Alphabet Amusant' by E Morel, ~1890; extracted from a pdf hosted among the ancient childrens literature at the Braunschweig Digital Library (the complete book has been posted above. There is next to no information about the illustrator online).'
Look at This Cat!
'I made Look At This Cat because I figured there are a lot of cats out there that people should look at.'
Sheets from a Teenage Sketchpad, 1976.
The Milky Way Over Mauna Kea.
Annular Eclipse: The Ring of Fire.
Labtayt Sulci on Saturn's Enceladus.