The Nutlog

The Nutlog Archive

20th January
The History of Tom Baker's Scarves.

Densa Quiz. This is quite funny.

Top 1% earn as much as the poorest 57%. 'The world's richest 50m people earn as much as the poorest 2.7bn and may soon be forced to live in heavily protected gated communities to escape the resentment of the billions living below the poverty line, a senior World Bank economist warns today. ' Via Booknotes.

Unesco's Afghan Cultural Heritage Crisis site includes a nice gallery of Greco-Buddhist art (with an image of one of the Bamiyan Buddhas).

A pictorial essay on South East Asian Buddha images. A good collection; many links.

The Camelot Project. 'The Camelot Project is designed to make available in electronic format a database of Arthurian texts, images, bibliographies, and basic information. '

The Talk.Origins Archive. ' is a Usenet newsgroup devoted to the discussion and debate of biological and physical origins. Most discussions in the newsgroup center on the creation/evolution controversy, but other topics of discussion include the origin of life, geology, biology, catastrophism, cosmology and theology. '
'This archive is a collection of articles and essays, most of which have appeared in at one time or another. The primary reason for this archive's existence is to provide mainstream scientific responses to the many frequently asked questions (FAQs) and frequently rebutted assertions that appear in '

Evolutionary/Geological Timeline.

Jazz Online.

Picklebird. An alternative art magazine with lots of good stuff.

Guardian special report : natural disasters. Volcanoes, earthquakes, flood, drought.

Week 3 of Planetarium.

19th January
Oppose the Federal Marriage Amendment Petition. Possibly of interest to American readers. There is a petition there against a Constitutional Amendment being proposed in the US Congress, which the petition's authors claim will ultimately ban homosexual marriages/civil unions and possibly domestic partner benefits in the future.

MailRail. 'Deep down beneath the choked streets of London is a railway which runs busily for nineteen hours a day. It carries no passengers and its trains have no drivers or guards. Yet this seemingly strange system is one of the most successful railways in the world.'
The Post Office underground railway is part of the London Underground, although it's hard to find a map which shows it. Fortunately, this site has maps, as well as photos.

Lost subways, forgotten railways and strange railways.

Underground Ghost Stations and Lines. Part of London's Railways.

24 Views of Mount Fuji. Nice collection of images of prints by Hokusai.

In pictures: Volcano wreaks havoc.
Terrestrial Volcanoes. Information and images.

Mr. Mind. Try to convince a computer program that you are human.
'Named for British mathematician, Alan Turing, The Turing Test is a milestone in the history of the relationship between humans and machines.'
'The Turing Test is about machine progress; the computer convinces a human judge that it is, or is indistinguishable from, a human. '
'Turning the Turing Test upside down, MRMIND challenges you to prove to him that you are human. Can you claim that your "human" attributes will forever be exclusively human?'
'The Blurring Test is about human progress: Someday it might be important to convince our computers (and each other) that we are human. '

A+ Country Reports. Via wood s lot.

18th January
Robotic dolls.

Two more huge rocks pass close to Earth.

'Dozens of people are feared dead after a river of molten rock poured from a volcano in the Democratic Republic of Congo. '
Mount Nyiragongo information page. Via Cowlix.

Images of Volcanoes.

Italian Renaissance Gardens.

GraffitiWriter. 'GraffitiWriter is a tele-operated field programable robot which employs a custom built array of spray cans to write linear text messages on the ground at a rate of 15 kilometers per hour. The printing process is similar to that of a dot matrix printer. GraffitiWriter can be deployed in any highly controlled space or public event from a remote location.'
From the Institute for Applied Autonomy.

The Elephant's Memory. An interactive visual language. 'The Elephant's Memory is a pictorial language consisting of more than a hundred and a fifty combinable graphic elements (pictograms and ideograms). It invites people from various cultural backgrounds to communicate and explore a new means of expression.' An encyclopedia of symbols and ideograms.

Ice 'thickens' in West Antarctica.

First lab-made spider silk.

'The 32 nations who govern the World Health Organization have voted to put off destroying the last official stocks of smallpox virus. '

Solid stops light. Via Objectionable Content.

17th January
The Woodblock Prints of Ando Hiroshige.

The largest non-round balloon structure in the world.

Churchmouse. British churches.

Interesting colour-based personality test. Via GoodShit.

Wallace and Gromit are back. Thanks, StarrySheepy.

16th January
Tamil Love Songs. Part of the excellent Humanistic Texts site.

World Haiku Wall. 'Join us in remembering those lost to terrorism. Send 1 to 3 haiku for The World Haiku Wall and tell us where you are from. '

Haikucachoo's Haiku Wall.

Luminarium. Medieval, Renaissance and 17th century English literature.

Legends. A site about Arthurian mythology.

The Forgotten Looney Tunes Character Gallery.

List of the Potentially Hazardous Asteroids.

Current Solar Images.

Chandra finds ghosts of eruption in galaxy cluster. Great picture.

'Marine scientists in India say an archaeological site off India's western coast may be up to 9,000 years old. '
'The revelation comes some 18 months after acoustic images from the sea-bed suggested the presence of built-up structures resembling the ancient Harappan civilisation which dates back around 4,000 years. '
Related :- The Ancient Indus Valley, Harappan Civilization.

Russia invented ambush by Chechens to hide friendly-fire massacre. Personally, I believe this news story should be given a bit more prominence.

'Hard-wired' grammar rules found for all languages, supporting Chomsky's theory of language. There are universal rules which apply to all human languages. A universal grammar implies a common, shared humanity. NYTimes site requires free registration.
Related :- Noam Chomsky and Universal Grammar : A Basic Introduction.
Also related :- The Noam Chomsky Archive.

The war surgeon. Interesting interview with a Red Cross surgeon who has worked in many of the world's troublespots.

War on terror 'is leading to civil rights abuses'.
'Governments may be using the war against terror in Afghanistan as an excuse to lower their own standards on civil liberties, Human Rights Watch said.'
'The group, which monitors human rights abuses around the world, issued the warning in its 2002 annual report.'

Thousands of Russian prisoners are still suffering in Gulag Archipelago.

Taliban had wrong impression. Artists tricked police to save work with banned images.

' Astronomers say they have discovered what may be the precursors of Earth-like planets forming at Earth-like distances and temperatures around a Sun-like star 430 light years away. '

Robotic dinosaurs.

An astronomer wants to measure the exact distance from Earth to Moon.

' A dozen new varieties of orchid, eight of them new species, have been discovered by British botanists working in Bhutan, in the remote Himalayas. '

Three bitterns have been spotted in central London. The bittern is one of Britain's rarest birds.

'Scientists in Texas have built a 'bicycle chain' so small the distance between the centre of each link is the width of a human hair.'

'University researchers claim almost a third of South Koreans are addicted to the internet.'

The Lord of the Rings is hobbit-forming!

White House: Pretzels 'not evil'.

Pondering the mysterious shark birth (where the mother has apparently been nowhere near any males) led me here :-
Salmon change sex.
Physiology of sex-change in reef fish.
' There are some unusual species of coral reef fish which can change their sex from female to male. For example, the bluehead wrasse, Thalassoma bifasciatium, lives in large groups ( schools) composed primarily of females and one to a few dominant males. If these males are removed, the largest female quickly changes sex and becomes a dominant male. This system insures that there are always both males and females in the schools; insuring mating. '

The Combinatorial Engine. Via Rebecca's Pocket.

Dictionary of All-Vowel Words. Via Yet Another Weblog.

Edward O. Wilson - 'The Bottleneck.'
'The relative indifference to the environment springs, I believe, from deep within human nature. The human brain evidently evolved to commit itself emotionally only to a small piece of geography, a limited band of kinsmen, and two or three generations into the future. To look neither far ahead nor far afield is elemental in a Darwinian sense. We are innately inclined to ignore any distant possibility not yet requiring examination...'
'The great dilemma of environmental reasoning stems from this conflict between short-term and long-term values. To select values for the near future of one's own tribe or country is relatively easy. To select values for the distant future of the whole planet also is relatively easy--in theory, at least. To combine the two visions to create a universal environmental ethic is, on the other hand, very difficult. But combine them we must, because a universal environmental ethic is the only guide by which humanity and the rest of life can be safely conducted through the bottleneck into which our species has foolishly blundered.'

15th January
Newgrange & Knowth Megalithic Passage Tombs. 'The Megalithic Passage Tombs of Newgrange, Knowth, Dowth, Fourknocks, Loughcrew and are located in the present day County of Meath on the east coast of Ireland. The Boyne Valley Cairns of Newgrange, Knowth and Dowth were built around 3200BC making them older than Stonehenge in England and the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt.' Lots of historical information.

Gav and Peloso's Interactive Story.

Photo Gallery : Asteroids.
Near-Earth Asteroid Tracking.

Historical Sumo Images.

StarrySheepy can now be found here.

Skeletons found in Italy may prove Dante wrong. 'Science may rewrite history if bones found under an Italian church prove to be those of ''Cannibal Count Ugolino,'' one of the darkest historical figures to make an appearance in Dante's ``Inferno.'' '
Via Honeyguide.

Dore's illustrations to the Divine Comedy - Inferno, Purgatory, Paradise. The Inferno page includes an image of the aforementioned Count Ugolino.

Turkmen desert yields mystery woman. 'Archaeologists in Turkmenistan say they have unearthed the first statue from the site of the ancient city of Margush, a centre of civilisation 4,000 years ago.'

Arctic sea floor gives up secrets. 'Scientists have released details of an expedition to one of the least explored regions of the Earth: a huge gash in the planet's crust that straddles the Arctic sea floor. '

' Britain has been officially declared free of foot-and-mouth almost 11 months after the first case of the disease was found...'

' Norwegian Finance Minister Per-Kristian Foss has married his homosexual partner in what gay rights activists hailed Tuesday as a breakthrough in the struggle for wider acceptance.'

Japan plans robot to hunt Afghan land mines.

'An Aberdeenshire woman claims she has been attacked by a big cat.'

Things you don't expect to see on the Tube at 7 in the morning #1 :- a drunk yelling obscenities at innocent bystanders whilst clutching a snake.

14th January
Dumbmonkey's other page. :)

Medieval Wall Painting in the English Parish Church. A directory of painted churches in England, with a great deal of historical information and many images. Includes a panoramic overview.

Zen Gardens. 'This web site is dedicated to the Japanese garden, and more specifically to the historic gardens of Kyoto and its environs. It is designed to provide the visitor with an opportunity to visit each garden, to move through or around it, to experience it through the medium of high-quality color images, and to learn something of its history.'

Museum of Unnatural Mystery.

Antarctic animals hit by cooler summers.

' Living bandages tailored to individuals could help cure the incurable. Early studies suggest the dressings, which are coated with the patient's own cells, can mend wounds that otherwise refuse to heal. '

'A giant squid has been netted off the UK coast for the first time in 15 years. '

' A NASA robot designed to melt its way through thousands of metres of ice to collect data and images from subsurface oceans has undergone its first successful test in the Arctic.'
'The robot - named Cryobot - could eventually be used to explore the polar ice caps of Mars and delve down beneath the icy crust of Jupiter's moon, Europa. In the shorter term, it could be sent on missions under unexplored expanses of ice on Earth.'

' The world of marine biology is scratching its collective head after a female shark gave birth to a pup even though it had apparently been nowhere near a male of the species. '

13th January
Some of The Classics. E-texts of the Iliad, the Odyssey and the Aeneid, plus some good links.

Hypothetical Planets. 'There have been a number of objects that were once thought to exist by astronomers, but which later 'vanished'. Here are their stories. '

Volcano Hazards.

Attack of the 50 foot demon. Balloon art - Japanese style. Searchable archive of online magazine articles. Via Follow Me Here.

Week 2 of Planetarium...

Left Hemisphere. Sceptic links.

11th January
Digital Dante. 'The ILTweb Digital Dante Project is a long-term effort of the Institute for Learning Technologies at Columbia University to prototype and develop an online, multimedia Dante-related academic resource combining traditional elements of scholarly research with new communication and presentation possibilities enabled by networked digital technology.'

Evolution of Alphabets. The history of the cuneiform, Phoenician, Greek, Arabic, Hebrew, Cyrillic and Latin alphabets. Animated GIFs.

Telegarden. 'This tele-robotic installation allows WWW users to view and interact with a remote garden filled with living plants. Members can plant, water, and monitor the progress of seedlings via the tender movements of an industrial robot arm. Internet behavior might be characterized as ``hunting and gathering''; our purpose is to consider the ``post-nomadic'' community, where survival favors those who work together. '

Telerobot. Haven't really had time to play with this but it looks like fun.

Official London underground maps 1908-1999.
Abandoned Tube Stations.

'Oldest' prehistoric art unearthed. 'The world's oldest example of abstract art, dating back more than 70,000 years, has been found in a cave in South Africa. '
Related :- Blombos Cave Project.

Extinction rate across the globe reaches historic proportions. 'Half of all living bird and mammal species will be gone within 200 or 300 years, according to a botany professor at The University of Texas at Austin. ' Source :- University of Texas, Austin.

Tolkien and Oxford Christianity. Religion, temptation and redemption in Tolkien's world.

One Ring to Rule Them All. A study of the history, symbolism and meaning of the One Ring.

A reflection on Tolkien's World - gender, race and interpreted political, economic, social and cultural allegories. 'To one that has read JRR Tolkien's "The Hobbit", "The Lord of the Rings", "The Silmarillion" and other affiliate works; the sheer introduction to the wondrous world of Middle Earth-its history and characters seem to suggest powerful allegorical overtones on such matters as the gender issue, race and religion. Despite Tolkien's written insistence in the forward to "The Lord of the Rings" of the contrary; Tokien's work is the product of a visionary who ultimately presents us an alternate world using factors of our own as perhaps a means of contextualizing his themes. '

'Italian experts believe it is impossible to restore the huge statues of Buddha destroyed by the Taliban in Afghanistan's Bamiyan province. '

'Resource wars' ignite around the world. 'A favourite prediction of environmentalism has bitten the dust - too many natural resources, rather than too few, are the cause of an increasing numbers of wars in the 21st century.'

'Astronomers have revealed the true colour of the Universe - it is somewhere between "pale turquoise and medium aquamarine".'

Planet found circling dying star.

'The attorney general of Texas has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review the overturned death penalty conviction of a man whose lawyer slept through his trial. ' Via Follow Me Here.

Gods, Goddesses and Myths. Camelot, amazons, Celtic myth, voodoo and the origins of days of the week. Via GoodShit.

Monkey Painting Round Up. Nice pictures. Via gmtPlus9.

Bodily functions exhibition in Singapore. 'The kids are very happy about the exhibition, when they come to see it. They can personally feel the pimples, warts on a very big piece of rubber skin, they get into the mazes of huge nostrils and climb there. That nose produces the puffing, it sneezes and even runs...'

'A castle in Mecca has been torn down to make way for a development by Osama bin Laden's family. '

' As strikes continue to dog the British Railway System the Prime Minister reluctantly admitted to the Commons today that the entire rail network had "descended into farce", and that commuters could expect their journeys to be further interrupted not just by delays, snow and breakdowns, but by scantily-clad French maids, stuttering Englishmen hiding stacks of pornography and a great deal of carefully timed door-slamming. '

The Official Ninja Webpage. Funny. Via Grouse.

Martha Nussbaum - Patriotism and Cosmopolitanism. 'Americans have frequently supported the principle of Bande Mataram, giving the fact of being American a special salience in moral and political deliberation, and pride in a specifically American identity and a specifically American citizenship a special power among the motivations to political action. I believe, with Tagore and his character Nikhil, that this emphasis on patriotic pride is both morally dangerous and, ultimately, subversive of some of the worthy goals patriotism sets out to serve -- for example, the goal of national unity in devotion to worthy moral ideals of justice and equality. These goals, I shall argue, would be better served by an ideal that is in any case more adequate to our situation in the contemporary world, namely the very old ideal of the cosmopolitan, the person whose primary allegiance is to the community of human beings in the entire world.'
Via wood s lot.
(I agree wholeheartedly, but why not extend the circle still further to all conscious beings?)

Fred sends me this handy guide to distinguishing between goodies and baddies in these times.

' A tip from a shepherd has led Afghan officials to what they claim is the scene of a 1999 Taliban massacre of 72 people falsely accused of fanning a short-lived revolt in western Afghanistan. '

Shakespeare on Afghanistan.

' For the first time, millions of bacterial spores have been purposely exposed to outer space, to see how they are affected by solar radiation. The results support the idea that life could have arrived on Earth in the form of bacteria carried from Mars on meteorites. '

' The climate phenomenon El Nino is likely to return this spring, say US climate scientists, but it is too early to predict its impact or how long it could last. '