plep Archive

25th July
Asteroid and Comet Impact Hazards. (NASA)
'A small NEA called 2002 NT7 currently under observation has a remote possibility of hitting the Earth in 2019. The possibility will most likely be resolved within the next few days as new observations come in. It is reported here as an example of the sort of detective work associated with some of the newly discovered NEAs. (Assuming that you see nothing more posted here, you can assume that subsequent observations showed this object not to be a problem). '

Early Vegas. An attractive, illustrated history of early casinos in Las Vegas.

P22 Mail Art. A mail art correspondence.
'Between 1990 and 1996, over 200 pieces were sent to/from P22. From altered junk mail to minimally criptic addressing, Each piece has some purpose to both test the post office and also keep an artistic discourse going between its collaborators. The postal service almost always came through. Recently, because of the desire to completely automate, even the slightest variations from standard Postal Rules gets the peice either returned or lost forever. This page is a testament to the golden age of P22 postal art. Mail Art has no commercial value. To our knowledge, none of our mail art has ever sold. '

Journey to Other Worlds. Siberian collections from the Russian Museum of Ethnography - reindeer hunters, shamans, objects etc. Very beautiful.

Romance of the Three Kingdoms. The Chinese classic retold as a comic strip.
'The Romance of Three Kingdoms tells us a history of the late Han dynasty.After the Huang Jin uprising, there were many warlords.Through decades of chaos there were three countries--Wei Shu and Wu kingdom.Soon Si Ma family got the power of Wei Kingdom and found Jin dynasty.Finally Jin unified the country.'
'We present you an interesting part of the novel with beautiful Chinese paintings.'

The Human Brain: Dissections of the Real Brain. A virtual tour of the human brain.
Via the Virtual Hospital.

Sunspots and the Solar Cycle. Daily Sun pictures, sunspot news, sunspots in history, aurora images, space weather.

Museum of Fred.
An online museum of folk art, collected from thrift stores.
'The paintings represented here were not created by well-known blue-chip artists. They were created by ordinary people. For unknown reasons they were donated to thrift stores where I purchased them. The previous owners felt they were not worth keeping. History typically ignores what happens in the average household. This is unfortunate because this is where our values are best represented. Our true values are reflected in what we buy how we spend our time and what we choose to create. As you can see from my collection there is a lot of art being created that never gets to be shown in public. The goal of this museum is to increase the boundaries of the art world because making art is too important to be left only to art professionals. '

London's Mediaeval Parish Churches. A guide in several parts, with some illustrations.
'The Mediaeval London skyline was dominated by church spires. There were 126 parish churches crammed into the "Square Mile" in the 12th century. By the 14th century the number had been reduced to 110. This major series of articles will describe the histories of the MediŠval parish churches whose names are known to us ... '
Toilets in London.
Historical anecdotes.
Via, a great source of serious and silly articles about odd aspects of London's life.

A Photo Stroll in Hiroshima Prefecture.

Dictionary of Imaginary Places. 'The Dictionary of Imaginary Places was originally published in 1980, with substantial updates in 1987 and 2000. There are over 1200 entries in the book, ranging from Middle-Earth to Narnia, Oz to Earthsea, Hogwarts to Neverwhere. Despite the wondrous variety available, I was disappointed to see so many locales left out, so much uncharted territory. So I have taken it upon myself to fill in the gaps, and invite you to do the same. '
Entries. Descriptions of some imaginary places.
Mappa Mundi Magazine - 'Imaginary Places'. 'Good writing, as many a literature professor has observed, conveys a strong sense of place. While characters and their actions may drive the plot, the action works better if everything happens in a recognizable, or at least easily imaginable, landscape. This landscape may be a real one, or the writer may just make it up ... '

Thinking about UK Environment.
UK Environment weblog.

The Airship Association. Via UK Environment.

I'm now a guest blogger on Morfablog, the world's only Welsh language weblog. Cor!

No Apologies for Existing.

How to preserve digital art. (Wired)

The problem with profiling, from a scientific viewpoint. Via Wrongwaygoback.

Online log of an epileptic seizure. Via Interconnected.

24th July
Odds and ends - watching Big Brother for a living (via LMG) - record for visiting Tube stations in fastest time broken - interview with Nicholas van Hoogstraten, 2000

Visible Human Project. (National Library of Medicine) 'The Visible Human Project is an outgrowth of the NLM's 1986 Long-Range Plan. It is the creation of complete, anatomically detailed, three- dimensional representations of the normal male and female human bodies. Acquisition of transverse CT, MR and cryosection images of representative male and female cadavers has been completed. The male was sectioned at one millimeter intervals, the female at one-third of a millimeter intervals. '
'The long-term goal of the Visible Human Project is to produce a system of knowledge structures that will transparently link visual knowledge forms to symbolic knowledge formats such as the names of body parts.'

Letters from London. 'In 1991, I joined 20 other students on a month-long intensive study of theater in London, England. I was 21 years old and recently engaged to be married. One week into the trip, the United States declared war on Iraq, starting the highly publicized and wildly popular gulf war. As a young American in a foreign country, I was offered a unique perspective on what was to become a media spectacle back home. I spent that month with a video camera, wandering around the city, going to theatrical productions every night, and talking to anyone I could. These are my letters home to my future wife, Leslie. '
This is really worth reading the whole way through. Highly recommended.

The Chiiori Project. Preserving thatch roof houses in Japan. 'Deep in the mountains of Tokushima Prefecture, the breathtaking Iya Valley is renowned as one of Japan's three 'hidden regions'. In the early 1970's, American writer and art collector Alex Kerr stumbled upon an uninhabited 'kayabuki-yane' thatched-roof farm house in the remote East Iya hamlet of Tsurui, which he would later name 'Chiiori', and set about restoring.'

Apollo-Soyuz Test Project. (NASA) 'Apollo-Soyuz was the first international manned spaceflight. It was designed to test the compatibility of rendezvous and docking systems for American and Soviet spacecraft, to open the way for international space rescue as well as future joint manned flights.'
Press release images.
View of Los Angeles.
Sunglint in southwestern Pacific.

Historic Rugby, Tennessee. A 19th century utopian community.
'Time stands still at Rugby, Tennessee - the restored Victorian village founded in 1880 by British author and social reformer, Thomas Hughes. It was to be a cooperative, class-free, agricultural community for younger sons of English gentry and others wishing to start life anew in America. At its peak, some 350 people lived in the colony. More than 70 buildings of Victorian design graced the East Tennessee townscape.'
'This would-be Utopia survives today as both a living community and a fascinating historic site, unspoiled by modern development. Twenty original buildings still stand at the southern edge of the Big South Fork National Park, surrounded by rugged river gorges.'

The Cottingley Fairies. ' In July 1917, 16-year-old Elsie Wright and her 10-year-old cousin Frances Griffiths were tired of being chided by Elsie's father over their claims of seeing fairies... so they took a photograph of some to prove their existence. '
Photographing fairies. 'Geoffrey Crawley tells his personal story of the century's longest- running photography hoax carried out by two Yorkshire schoolgirls.' (British Journal of Photography)

Tasmanian Aboriginal Historical Services. 'We are an independent Tasmanian Aboriginal Organisation within the Lia Pootah Community. '
Our ancestors. Photographs. 'Very few people outside of Tasmania have any real idea what our Ancestors looked like, or even know very little about them and their culture. There are a few well known paintings, several of which have been reprinted constantly, implying that there are few surviving pictorial representations of our Ancestors. This is misleading. There are literally hundreds of sketches, drawings, paintings and etchings of the Ancestors which survive. '
Museum returns sacred samples. (Guardian, May 31 2002) 'She was the tragic sole survivor of the "Black War", the last full- blooded Aborigine in Tasmania after British settlers systematically rounded up the island's indigenous population. When she died, to the despair of her mixed race relatives, Truganini's body was exhumed and plundered by scientists and souvenir hunters. '
'Now pieces of Truganini's hair and skin can be returned to Australia for a ceremonial burial after the Royal College of Surgeons of England handed Aboriginal remains to a delegation from Tasmania. '
Truganini. (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

The Legacy of Chinggis Khan. Arts of Mongolia. From the introduction :-
'In the West, Mongolia evokes the name of Chinggis Khan (also known by the Persianized spelling of his name, Genghis Khan) and his thirteenth century conquest of the most of the known world. His empire extended from the Mediterranean Sea to the Pacific Ocean, and the reputation of Chinggis' ruthless hordes of soldiers has endured until today. This exhibition presents a different picture of Mongolia. A nomadic people who have for centuries managed to survive in an unforgiving environment, the Mongols are also followers of Tibetan Buddhism who were first converted in the late thirteenth century. In this exhibition, little- known secular and religious works of art from Mongolia's museums will be seen in America for the first time, an event made possible by Mongolia's recent emergence Soviet control in 1990. '

The Evolution Evidence Page. 'This site contains a series of articles written by myself or linked from other sites that are designed to demonstrate the evidence for evolution and common ancestry of all life on earth. '
Scopes Trial 75th anniversary. (July 21, 2000) 'Seventy-five years ago this week, two of the country's most acclaimed orators faced off in a courtroom in Dayton, Tennessee. The case's unofficial name: the 'monkey trial.' The lead players: Clarence Darrow and William Jennings Bryan. The issue: the teaching of evolution and creation in the classroom -- an issue still under debate today. On trial were the actions of Tennessee high school football coach and teacher John Scopes, who had agreed to deliberately run afoul of a state law forbidding teaching "any theory that denies the story of divine creation of man as taught in the Bible." '
Polls of US public about evolution. (
Songbird shows how evolution works. (BBC, 18th Jan, 2001). 'Scientists may be witnessing one of the fundamental forces of evolution: the divergence of one species into two. '

The Ghosts of Ohio. (Flash, probably best viewed on a fast connection)

101 Ways to Reduce Your Waste. From Wealden District Council, East Sussex. Useful! Via UK Environment.

UK Habitats 'is an exciting website which will allow you to discover and explore the wonderful world of natural habitats. A habitat is the place occupied by a whole community of plants and animals - it is where they live.'
'This website will provide a wide range of information with an emphasis on British habitats, particularly those in East Devon.'
An interesting site about ecology and conservation, with some nice pictures.

Britain's most notorious landlord jailed - more... He was once described as an 'emissary of Beelzebub'.

The new Archbishop of Canterbury is a hairy leftie.

23rd July
Katsura Rikyu. (Gardens, Kyoto) 'The beauty of Katsura Rikyu (Imperial Villa), which has been existing for 350 years in Kyoto, lies in the perfect synthesis achieved through the weaving together of garden and architecture. The buildings such as the Shoin and tea-houses, and the elements of the garden - pond, wash-basins and stepping stones - each possesses incomparable beauty with a refined "individuality." Nevertheless, the composition of Katsura Rikyu's garden beauty is no more than one factor possessing an inherent function.'

Plymouth's World War II Underground Air Raid Shelters. 'This is very much a pictorial site. All the images on hyperlinks (unless otherwise stated) are less than 70k gifs.for speed and ease of downloading,and there is no repetition of any image anywhere on this site-they`re all different. Most will improve if downloaded and worked on in a graphics/photo programme. Please feel free to download and use as many as you need..they are on the Web. to be used but it would be nice to give me as the source.'
Mussolini graffiti.

Taoism and the Arts of China. 'The exhibition Taoism and the Arts of China is on view at The Art Institute of Chicago from November 4, 2000, to January 7, 2001, and at the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco from February 21 to May 13, 2001. This is the first major exhibition of Taoist art in the United States, showcasing 151 works of art illustrating many facets of the Taoist religion. The exhibition includes paintings, calligraphy, sculpture, porcelain, lacquer, and ritual robes and implements from museums and private collections in the United States, Europe, Japan, China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. These items date from the Warring States period to the Qing dynasty and demonstrate the development of Taoism and Taoist art from its earliest precedents to its "renaissance" in the late imperial age.'

Native Languages of the Americas. 'Welcome to Native Languages of the Americas. This site is not beautiful. Probably, it never will be. Neither of us is a web designer. [ ... ] But this site has inner beauty, for it is, or will be, a compendium of the native languages and peoples of the Western Hemisphere.'

University of Virginia Gardens. Designed by Jefferson.
'Virginia has a rich garden history. Gardening was a necessary activity providing food for the family and pleasurable settings for study and relaxation. While the smaller gardens of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries did not survive, the James River Plantations, Williamsburg, Mount Vernon, and Monticello provide a wealth of information on gardening in the eighteenth century. The Garden Club of Virginia has sponsored the restoration of many of Virginia's historic gardens.'
'Early gardens were generally formally laid out. Vegetable, herb, and flower gardens were often merged and gardeners took great pride in the utilitarian and aesthetic qualities of their gardens. Wide grass walks symmetrically divided the gardens with identical beds flanking the edges. The borders were often graced with a large variety of flowers, as noted by one early observer, including "pinks and a thousand other flowers, the remaining part planted with beans, peas, cabbage, and many other articles." Fruit trees grew along the border of the garden and ornamental shrubs graced one end.'

Pictures of the Beautiful World. Photo travelogue, Africa and Asia.

Abandoned Missile Base VR Tour. 'This presentation will take you on a full tour of a decommissioned, abandoned underground missile complex. The site was opened many years ago by explorers and vandals, and in fact the technology therein was nearly obsolete by the time the bases were completed in 1963, so there's little "secret" about it beyond the location of these sites, which we will not reveal here.'

The Poor People's Guide to More Than Just Survival. 'Resources for poor people and information about poverty.'

Virtual House. (WWF) 'This virtual house is a lot like any other residence you'll find--from Alaska to Ohio to Florida. And inside are all kinds of things we use in our everyday lives. So take a look around and see what you can learn about how the way we live can affect our planet's biodiversity ... '

The Museum of Human Disease. 'The Donald Wilhelm Museum of Human Disease is located on the fifth floor of the Wallace Wurth School of Medicine. It was established by Professor Donald Wilhelm, the Foundation Professor of Pathology at this university. Thanks to his foresight, and to the tireless efforts of Dr S.G. Higgins (the Museum Curator of longstanding), the Museum has been meticulously maintained and updated over the years to reflect the changing patterns of disease in our society. The Museum contains over 2,700 specimens (or "pots"), which display diseased human tissue at the macroscopic level, preserved in formalin. Specimens are obtained both from organs removed surgically and from tissue obtained at autopsy, where the natural history of disease is in full view. Please take note that some specimens of diseases which have become rare, e.g. diphtheria, are over 60 years old, and are irreplaceable ... '
'Big pox, smallpox and no pox' exhibition launched.

Zen Hospice Project.

Did Robert Johnson sell his soul at the crossroads? 'One of the questions which is always on our minds here at the Mudcat is: Is it possible to sell one's soul to the devil? Shawn{one of the people who works with the Mudcat} traveled to the crossroads with his guitar at midnight. He played his entire repertoire twice, but to no avail. No devil, no big black man, just the same tuning which he began the night. Though, he did try this in the North, and since we are optimists, and maintain hope that maybe one needs to be at a southern crossroads ... '

The Elkus Indian Papers. 'The California Academy of Sciences houses a collection of over 3,300 documents related to Indian affairs over the period 1922-1963. These papers came from the estate of Charles de Young Elkus, a San Francisco attorney whose sense of fairness manifested itself in his opinions and in the positive influence he exerted through his interest in the struggles of Native Americans of the Southwest. This interest spanned a wide range, from politics to social problems to art. '

Nada Farm Museum of Archetypes. (California)

Museum of Evolution. 'The Museum of Evolution was established by the Institute of Paleobiology and is now operated jointly with the Museum and Institute of Zoology of the Polish Academy of Sciences. The educational program of The Museum covers various aspects of the natural world: the Earth and the Universe, planetary dynamics and its influence upon the global ecosystem, history of life, global biogeochemical cycles and the biosphere, biodiversity - ancient and modern, vertebrate paleontology, some aspects of zoogeography, information on Polish paleontological sites. ' (Warning - music).

The Urbana Atlas of Pathology. 'The images are taken mainly from images collected by Professor Donald R. Thursh, deceased. Dr. Thursh collected these images during the 70's while he was Professor Pathology at New York Medical College, Valhalla, New York ... '

Cheap tourist thrills. How to have fun on almost nothing. My own humble suggestion :- the Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford, a fine collection of hard-to-categorise, eclectic Stuff.

22nd July
Salem Witch Trials. Documentary archive and transciption project. A very large, important resource, which includes maps, documents, biographical details and so forth.

Stained Glass Photography. Lovely. 'My name is Neil Ralley and this is my humble attempt to give people greater access to some extraordinary examples of this fine art-form. My photographic studies of stained glass have included examples on both sides of the Atlantic. Here you will find work by leading artists and glassmakers including William Morris, Louis Comfort Tiffany and the Tiffany Studios, John La Farge, Henry Holiday, Edward Burne-Jones, Ford Madox Brown, Charles Kempe, Evie Hone, Charles J. Connick, Helen Maitland Armstrong and others. '

Complete History of the Canadian Metis culture. (1500-1899) Huge!

Evolution Happens. 'This Website is an attempt to counter antievolutionism, by helping to educate people about the overwhelming evidence that evolution is an inherent and universal characteristic of life.' There's also a gallery, and some interesting essays, such as this one on the evolutionary origins of adolescent male recklessness.
Faith & Reason Ministries. 'Reconciling Christianity with accepted science'.

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Moon. 'A guide to telescopic observations of the moon. by Akkana Peck, with help from many contributors.' A detailed lunar observation project.

The Robert Johnson Notebooks. 'On November23, 1936, Robert Johnson recorded his songs for the first time in San Antonio,Texas. This first of two sessions was unceremoniously squeezed betweenW. Lee O'Daniel & His Hillbilly Boys the day before, and Hermanas Barazacon guitarras the day after. Yet out of this modest recording session, after which Robert Johnson collected his money and disappeared again into the Mississippi Delta, came a powerful and unique sound which forever changed music in America. '

The World's Largest Catsup Bottle. 'The World's Largest Catsup Bottle stands proudly next to Route 159, just south of downtown Collinsville, Illinois. This unique 170 ft. tall water tower was built in 1949 by the W.E. Caldwell Company for the G.S. Suppiger catsup bottling plant - bottlers of Brooks old original rich & tangy catsup. '
'In 1995, due to the efforts of the Catsup Bottle Preservation Group, this landmark roadside attraction was saved from demolition and beautifully restored to its original appearance. '

Israeli-Palestinian Bereaved Families for Peace.

ZoneTour. Database of urban exploration. 'Technical galleries, attics, construction places, roofs, all those "No Entry" places form a sort of parallel deserted town... or nearly deserted, because the design this silent world can attract many kind of inhabitant of the "other town" (the one where people live, work and consume) and swing them over to the backside of the setting.'

Dot16. A very small website.

Japan. A travelogue by Evelyn C. Leeper. Worth a read.

Chinese Holocaust Memorial. A survivor recounts the events of the Cultural Revolution.

Bergonia. A detailed description of an imaginary utopia, and an attempt at describing how a society with libertarian and egalitarian values might work.

21st July
Birds in a Cheshire Garden. An appreciation of a small English garden and 112 species of bird. (Not updated since 2001 - but plenty to browse).

Faxian Fa-Hsien: A Record of the Buddhistic Kingdoms (394-414 CE). 'A Record of Buddhistic Kingdoms (394-414CE) is an account of the journey Fa-hsien and his companions, mostly in India. They visited as many of the Buddhist sacred shrines as they could, especially those associated with the presence of the Buddha. The selections presented here show the reasons for the estblishment of these shrines, the legends that surrounded them, and the ways in which they were maintained.'

Grandma Prisbrey's Bottle Village. 'You have arrived at the home page for Grandma Prisbrey's Bottle Village. This folk art environment is the single handed work of self taught senior citizen Tressa "Grandma " Prisbrey.'
'Located in Simi Valley California, Bottle Village is lauded by art scholars, The State of California, The National Register of Historic Places and in exhibitions, as a major artistic achievement ... '

Roadside Peek. Roadside Americana.
'Roadside Peek will take you on a roadside journey in time. As you travel, visit old motels, bowling alleys, drive-in theatres, neon signs, petrol pumps, googie sites, tiki villages, and much more.'
Vegas eateries.
Neon ten pin alleys in southern California.

Beauty around Japan by Emiko Okayasu. 'This site contains a collection of photos with essays for all of you who are drawn to Japan with its many faces ... ' Temples and shrines.
Matsushima and Oshu-Hiraizumi. 'Matsushima literally means an island of pine trees and it indeed consists of more than 200 small green islands covered with that trees. I know that it is, since long time, said to be one of the tree beautiful sceneries in Japan, and that was enough for me to keep away from this place for a long time. Because I can easily imagine that there would be a mass amount of people there. '
'And I was right about it, but this time, since it was on my way to Mostuji-temple, I got a good reason to drop by, for visiting several places besides just seeing pine tree islands.'

The Village Commune, vol. 1, 1881. A utopian village.
'SANTA ROSALIA in Selva is a village anywhere you will betwixt the Adrian and the Tyrrhene seas, betwixt the Dolomites and the Abruzzi. It is not necessary to indicate its geographical position more clearly; it is sufficient to say that it is a little Italian borgo, like many another, lying under the sweet blue skies of this beloved and lovely land that has been mother to Theocritus and Tasso. A village white as a seashore stone; lying along a river green as the Adige; with low mountains in sight across a green table-land of vine and chestnut, olive and corn; with some tall poplars by the water, and a church with a red brick bell-tower, and the bell swinging behind its wooden cage. Across the fields and along the side of the hills are scores of other villages; narrow roads run between them all in a network hidden under vine leaves; and some hundreds of house-roofs make up together what is called the Commune of Vezzaja and Ghiralda. Of this commune the chief place, because the largest village, is Santa Rosalia. '

Red Colony. 'The future of Mars today.' Discussion of colonising Mars.

Papers of Edward Koiki Mabo (1936-1992). (National Library of Australia) Includes images.
'Edward Koiki Mabo was born in 1936 on the island of Mer, one of the Murray Islands, which are located at the eastern extremity of Torres Strait. In June 1992, six months after his death, Mabo achieved national prominence as the successful principal plaintiff in the landmark High Court ruling on native land title. The High Court ruling, for the first time, gave legal recognition to the fact that indigenous land ownership existed in Australia before European settlement and that, in some cases, this land tenure was not subsequently extinguished by the Crown. '
'Before the land rights case, which lasted over ten years, Mabo had accumulated over 20 years of experience as an indigenous community leader and human rights activist. Throughout this period, he and his wife, Bonita, reared nine children while often experiencing lengthy periods of unemployment. The Mabo Papers document many of his activities, including his involvement in a number of family-based business and employment-creation ventures; his establishment of the Black Community School in Townsville, the first institution of its kind in Australia; his interest and involvement in indigenous arts; his involvement in a number of indigenous health, housing and education related boards, associations and committees; and his support for Torres Strait Islander independence and self-determination. The Papers include material on the land claim case, a number of personal documents, job applications, and some song lyrics. In the later years of his life, Mabo kept diaries; some of these (1976, 1985-92) are preserved in the Mabo Papers. '