plep Archive

10th July
The Molecular Expressions Photo Gallery. Photography through the microscope.
'Welcome to the Molecular Expressions Photo Gallery. Our gallerys contain thousands of full color photomicrographs (photographs taken through a microscope) and digital images selected from our many collections.'
Virtual microscopy.

Soviet War Photography. Images of the Second World War and its aftermath. 'Seldom exhibited and rarely seen in the West, war photographs by Soviet photojournalists of the Second World War are at last making their way to museums and private collections. These master photographers captured on photographic film both the destruction and death in the motherland after the Nazi invasion of 1941, as well as the triumph and glory of the Red Army's march to Berlin culminating in victory in May of 1945 ... '
Via Howard Schickler Fine Art.

The History of New York City's Chinatown, by Sarah Waxman. 'New York City's Chinatown, the largest Chinatown in the United States- and the site of the largest concentration of Chinese in the western hemisphere-is located on the lower east side of Manhattan. Its two square miles are loosely bounded by Kenmore and Delancey streets on the north, East and Worth streets on the south, Allen street on the east, and Broadway on the west. With a population estimated between 70,000 and 150,000, Chinatown is the favored destination point for Chinese immigrants, though in recent years the neighborhood has also become home to Dominicans, Puerto Ricans, Burmese, Vietnamese, and Filipinos among others. '
Brief history of London's Chinatown.
Chinese-American family portrait.

A tribute to my grandfather, Enoch Tanner Wickham, a great folk artist (1883-1970). Outsider art statues in Tennessee.
'My grandfather preferred to be called Tanner or E. T. All of us grandchildren called him grandpa. I learned a great deal from him-- he taught me how to make statues, tend a garden, hunt, and survey land. '
'I present this page to the public so people can see how his statues looked when they were in mint condition. His statues still stand, but after 30 years of neglect most are now in poor condition.'
'When my grandfather retired from farming he was in his seventies, he had raised 9 children and tons of tobacco. He and his wife, Annie, left the Wickham home place in a sleepy hollow near Palmyra, Tennessee and moved into a small cabin which my grandfather built himself on Buck Smith road in the early 1950's. I believe he moved to this site because it was closer to a "main" road where he could better display his statues to the public. He was poor in income but rich in ideas and land (he owned hundreds of acres). He led a simple life in the fresh air of the country far from the noises and stresses of city life.'
More recent images of the statues.

'JSC amateur radio enthusiasts and the wives of shuttle astronauts Gordon Fullerton and Anthony England look at monitors showing the faces of the astronauts' wives which were transmitted from earth to space. ' (NASA)
Larger image.

'There is no truer image of the span and sequence of New York history than this image of the New Netherland Museum's reproduction of Henry Hudson's ship Half Moon at the Battery in front of the now vanished towers of the World Trade Center. ' (New York History Net)

Light verse inspired by unsolicited email. By Kevin Guilfoile, in the Morning News.

Digitally manipulated apples.

The Wise Men of Gotham. Interesting article about a cycle of folk tales about feign madness, associated with the village of Gotham in Nottinghamshire.
The Tam Lin Pages. From the introduction :- 'Tam Lin is an old Scottish ballad about a young man who is the captive of the faeries, and the young woman who rescues him. The main character, depending on your viewpoint, is either the young woman, who becomes pregnant by her enchanted lover and must rescue him before the faeries can sacrifice him, or the young man who had been living with the faeries and wishes to escape to live with his human love. The story deals with transformations, courage, and the relationship between the faeries and the mortals.'
'Tam Lin is also probably one of the best known "unknown" fairy tales. While it has been recorded many times, is well known in celtic music circles and many stories based upon it have appeared in print, the story is still unknown to the general public. Some people know it from folk music circles, or from popular science fiction stories, but it is still below the radar of popular culture. This website isn't quite aimed at changing that, since it is perhaps this aspect of the story that encourages people to take to the story in a personal way. '

The blurred racial lines of famous families. (PBS)
Particularly interesting, to me, is this piece on the African heritage of Queen Charlotte, George III's consort. There are also pages on the Russian nobility and some American families.
June Cross's interracial family tree.
Biracial portraits.

'How Time Travel Will Work'.

The Erotic Art of Ancient Rome. Virtual gallery. Interesting. (Click on the floor to move through the gallery).

In the news :-
RIP Rod Steiger.
Hedgehogs get 'stay of execution'.
Ancient rock points to life's origin.

9th July
Jimma Banana Art. 'Jimma Banana Art (JBA) is a project that was started in April, 2000 with the hope of helping a group of young Ethiopian women earn money to support their families. The project involves making greeting cards and several other products from the various parts of banana plants.'
'JBA is located in Jimma, Ethiopia -- a city of 130,000 residents in the southwest of the country, about 335 kilometers (200 miles) from the capital city of Addis Ababa. Ethiopia and in particular, Jimma has a very young population (more than half are younger than 20 years old) and a very high unemployment rate. This combination makes it very difficult for young people to find work ... '

Taken on the Road - American Mile Markers. (Kodak) A photographer travelled from New York to San Francisco, taking one photograph for every mile of the journey.

The British Sundial Society.
Dials of distinction. Virtual photographic tour of historic and notable British sundials. This modern dial is interesting; the Millennium Dome is in the background.
Mass dials, medieval church sundials, are interesting. 'Mass dials (scratch dials) are medieval (1100 - 1600) dials found on the south walls of churches. They were usually near the main door or the priest door at about four to five feet above the ground. Due to rebuilding, mass dials can end up almost anywhere on a church, even the north wall. They are frequently found inside a later added porch over the south door.' Images.

The Civil War Photography Centre. 'The Center for Civil War Photography and its web page are devoted to the history and presentation of original Civil War photography and committed to the understanding of the technical methods, cameras and techniques used by Civil War photographers in their studios and on the battlefields.'
Exhibition hall.

Transforming Masks / Masks of the Himalayas. Images, illustrations and an interesting story.

Uriel in China. 'Below are letters from Uriel Wittenberg relating experiences and observations while teaching in China from September, 2000 to January, 2001.'

'New York', by Theodore Roosevelt, 1906. 'A Sketch of the City's Social, Political, and Commercial Progress from the First Dutch Settlement to Recent Times.'

Mysterious Britain. British folklore and forteana.
Major mysterious sites. The most fortean places in Britain?
Lake monsters. 'Apart from the famous Loch Ness Monster, there are many more reports of mysterious creatures within the lakes and lochs of Britain, dating as far back as recorded history, and probably further. '
The Devil's Footprints. 'The mysterious footprints, which appeared overnight in heavy snowfall in Southern Devon in 1855, have never been adequately explained. '

8th July
Through the Microscope: an Internet Gallery of Health Science Images. Viruses, bacteria, fungi and protozoa.
Moon rocks through the microscope.

Linus Pauling and the Peace Movement. (Institute of International Studies, UC Berkeley) (Jan. 18, 1983) 'This interview is part of the Institute's "Conversations with History" series, and uses Internet technology to share with the public Berkeley's distinction as a global forum for ideas. Dr. Linus Pauling received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1954 and the Nobel Peace Prize in 1963.'

Margaret's Grocery. 'This folk art environment in Vicksburg, MS, is known as Margaret's Grocery and Market. It was built by Reverend H. D. Dennis (born in 1916 in Rolling Fork, Mississippi); he told us that "my mother died at birth she was in the house for six days the smell would have killed a mule." His wife, Margaret Rogers Dennis, originally had a small food store on the site -- is no longer open for retail business, but visitors are usually welcomed inside to see the folk art decorations. The Rev. does accept donations of objects, tools, or cash. He also has been known to give objects that he has created to some visitors. His mailing address is Rev. Dennis, Route 4, Box 219, Vicksburg, Mississippi. Concrete cinder blocks, large sheets of heavy metal, and found objects are used to create this art environment. When we visited Rev. Dennis, on July 6, 2001, the most commonly used colors on the exterior of this folk art environment were red, white, and pink.'

Ling Lung Women's Magazine, Shanghai, 1931-1937. From the intro :- 'Ling Lung Womens Magazine was published in the 1930s in Shanghai, China at a time when womens role in society, at least in that sophisticated and foreign-influenced metropolis, was in rapid transition. No longer shuttered within the patriarchal prisons of traditional upper class family compounds, or left to toil in rural villages, women were beginning to become educated in missionary or foreign-inspired institutions, or to work in urban enterprises which allowed them a great deal more independence and social contact. They were hungry for gossip about the glamorous movie stars they saw in the cinema, and eager for advice about social situations which their mothers could not have dreamt of.'
'Ling Lung, a pocket-sized, slender, and inexpensive weekly, boldly ventured to meet these new needs by encouraging women to advance toward the good life through socially high-minded entertainment. It was filled with articles on fashion, interior decoration, pop psychology, and new careers; and also advice columns on love, sex, and marriage, as well as lavish illustrations of local and Hollywood celebrities. The wide array of advertisements for womens products are often just as revealing of life and aspirations as the words of the text. In short, the magazine is a gold mine for students of twentieth-century Chinese social history, and a balance to much of the prevailing literature which tends to emphasize only the political interests of the youth of that generation.'

Friends of Friendless Churches. Preserving British churches.
'The Friends was set up in 1957 by a proud Welshman called Ivor Bulmer-Thomas to save disused but beautiful old places of worship, of architectural and historic interest, from destruction and demolition. '
'We have already saved some one hundred historic churches, and have accepted direct responsibility for twenty-eight which would otherwise have been demolished, including ten in Wales. '
The site includes pages on many of the churches adopted by the Friends.

Ghost in the Machine has a new URL -

Etsuko's Photo Gallery. 'Welcome. This page contains a collections of photographs I've taken on my few trips abroad ("abroad" being a relative term, of course).' Antarctica, the US southwest, Beijing and Okinawa. Poignant, almost eerie. I really like these photos.

The Rebel Dalai Lama. 'Extraordinary as a lover of wine and women, melodious as a singer of love songs and above all, tragic as a national hero of the status of a Dalai Lama, reduced to become a heroic pawn at the hands of the Qosot Lhazang Khan, the Sixth Dalai Lama became a legend within his short lifetime. Worshipped and loved by Tibetan people with stainless faith, Tsangyang Gyatsos songs became famous in every corner of Tibet receiving once again the fascination of simple folk poetry ... '

The Bird & Baby. 'The Bird & Baby is David Lenander's ( personal page in support of The Mythopoeic Society and The Rivendell Group. It's named after the pub where the Inklings often gathered, back in the '30s and '40s, to laugh and argue and (of course) drink beer. The above graphic is from a photograph by Ruth Berman of the sign outside the Eagle and Child in the recent past, and used by her permission. Presumably, there was some similar sign when the Inklings gathered in good fellowship some decades ago. Speaking of the pub, here's description of the actual Eagle & Child pub, from people who've visited Oxford ... '
Who is Tom Bombadil? 'Within the Tolkien household Tom Bombadil was originally a Dutch doll belonging to one of Tolkien's children (Carpenter, Tolkien, p. 162; Grotta-Rurska, Tolkien, p. 101). Tolkien later wrote a poem about him called "The Adventures of Tom Bombadil," published in Oxford Magazine in 1934, long before the writing of the Lord of the Rings began. When Tolkien decided to introduce Tom into the trilogy, little needed to be changed about him or his poem except for the feather in his hat - changed from peacock to swan-wing, since peacocks do not live in Middle-earth (Tolkien, Letters, pp. 318-19). '

The New Americans. (PBS) America's immigration history. 'The immigrant in the United States is a story as old as the country itself, woven into the very mythic fabric of how this nation has defined itself since the landing of the first pilgrims. In recent years, millions of legal and illegal immigrants have arrived in the United States, representing the largest, most diverse influx in history. Ethnic minorities now make up one-fourth of the U.S. population, and by the year 2010, it will rise to one-third.'
An overseas student's guide prepared by the University of Wales, Lampeter.

Nuba Survival. 'Nuba Survival's primary objective is to focus on the predicament of the Nuba people of Sudan. This involves supporting the activities of local humanitarian agencies in the Nuba Mountains and educating the international media about Nuba cultural heritage. '
Nuba languages and history.
Nuba wrestlers.

Five Views. (California Dept. of Parks and Recreation) An ethnic history of California; the stories of Native, African, Mexican, Chinese and Japanese Americans; notable places associated with each group (for example, Alcatraz). A huge, and interesting site.

The Solar System in Pictures.

A Desperate Time. Poem.
A Cup of E.T. Sci-fi humour poem.

Letter to Slugger O'Toole. A weblog about Northern Ireland politics and culture.

7th July
Luke's farewell party was memorable and enjoyable. Have a safe trip home.
Some British weblogs to enjoy :- Hydragenic, Minor 9th, Sashinka.

The Millennium Adventure. A three year, six continent travelogue.
'We did it! We made it! We arrived back in New York, our home, on 5 January 2002, just 1101 days since we departed on our round-the-world, Guinness World Record journey. Passing through 116 countries, we covered more than 245,000 kilometers during our travels, which began in Iceland way back on 1-1-1999. Our non-stop, self-contained, three-year trip in a one-of-a-kind Mercedes-Benz took us to six continents, where our goal was to explore as much of the world as possible at the turn of the millennium, to learn what people and countries were doing and to see how well they were doing it ... '

Civil War letters of the Christie family. 'In 1861, two brothers, having just purchased a farm in Southern Minnesota, enlisted in the First Minnesota Battery of Light Artillery. Although neither expected a long tour of duty, William and Thomas Christie served in the First Minnesota Battery through June 1865. Their younger brother, Alexander, enlisted in an infantry regiment in fall 1864. '
'All three brothers were excellent writers, and each wrote extensively while in the Army. Their letters, full of revealing observations on war, society, and contemporary politics, are contained within the James C. Christie and family papers at the Minnesota Historical Society. '

Love in the arts. The ancient and modern history and geography of love.

Mark, Paul and Ed's Succinct Guide to Thirty Pubs in and around Oxford.
Clickable map of Oxford city centre, showing the pubs.

The Very Small Garden Railway. 'This is the history of a large scale railway in a very small garden - less than 200 square feet to be precise. Your comments on these pages are welcomed, bearing in mind that, like the railway, they are always under development.'
The Historical Model Railway Society. 'Here it is - the definitive information source on Britain's long and varied railway history, from the very beginning to the present day ... '

Escape from Tibet/The Karmapa in exile. ' "As long as there is no freedom . . . there can be no real peace . . ." Even as the Dalai Lama spoke those words, the Karmapa and his small party of supporters, including two attendant monks, had already broken free of all restraint by their Chinese overseers. Following the same route taken earlier by the Dalai Lama and his band of protectors, they were heading for the high Himalayan hills in an escape from occupied Tibet to freedom in exile.'
Aspiration for Tibet.
Little Tibet/ Tibetan exiles in New York.

A visit to Kaifeng, China, with interesting commentary on city's Jewish history. ' ... Archeological evidence points to Jews in China as early as the 8th century. Many travelers, including Marco Polo in the 13th century, wrote of meeting Jews. In fact, during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), a Ming emperor conferred seven surnames upon the Jews, by which they are identifiable today: Ai, Lao, Jin, Li, Shi, Zhang and Zhao. Interestingly, two of these Shi and Jin are the equivalent of common Jewish names in the west: Stone and Gold ... '
'Minyan in Kaifeng': What is a Jew? 'It was mid-December 1997 when 15 travelers from the Chinese northern capital of Beijing spent a sleepless night journeying by train to the ancient eastern capital of Kaifeng. The pilgrims arrived Friday morning, and began immediately scouring the city, searching for vestiges of an almost forgotten past. Their pains were soon rewarded when they found what they had come looking for - descendants of an 800-year-old Jewish community still residing in Kaifeng. The Zhang family invited the group into their home for Shabbat service and dinner, celebrating with candles, wine, challah, and a proper Chinese feast - kosher, of course ... '

For the price of a missile. 'One of the more tawdry episodes in British colonial history was unveiled in the British High Court recently when some former inhabitants of the Indian Ocean island of Diego Garcia and two nearby islands took legal action against the British government fo r evicting them from their homes more than 30 years ago. The Chagos islands, of which Diego Garcia is the largest island, is one of Britain's last remaining overseas colonies, but its inhabitants were unceremoniously told to leave in the late 1960s and e arly 1970s so that a United States military base could be built on Diego Garcia. Since then they have been trying to return home. '
CIA World Factbook: British Indian Ocean Territory. Showing the location of Diego Garcia.
'Britain Illegally Expelled Chagos Islanders for U.S. Base, Court Rules.' (LA Times via Common Dreams, 4th Nov. 2000).
'Let's discover the Chagossians', a website devoted to the indigenous, pre-military base inhabitants of Diego Garcia.

Haile Sellassie vs. Mussolini. 'King of Kings. In 1935 there was just one man who rose out of murky obscurity and carried his country with him up & up into brilliant focus before a pop-eyed world. But for the hidden astuteness of this man, there would not now be the possibility of another world war arising out of idealism generated around the League of Nations in behalf of Ethiopia. But for His Majesty Haile Selassie, the year 1935 would have been a distinctly different year ... ' - January 6, 1936, Time Magazine Man Of The Year.
The House of Sellassie. The last emperor of Ethiopia, and one of the world's oldest royal houses. 'The House of Sellassie represents the legacy of Haile Sellassie, his goals and tasks. History is a process, which never ends. Now it our time to continue it. '
Haile Sellassie Cyber University.

Caffeine 'repels slugs'.

Hubble picks over star's demise. 'A new Hubble Space Telescope image of the wreckage from a stellar explosion shows how violence and beauty go together during a star's life and death. ' (BBC)

First humans 'small brained'.