plep Archive

20th June
Tottington. A lost village of Norfolk, England. 'In 1942 at the height of the 2nd World War, the British Army took over a number of Villages within the Wayland hundred of Norfolk. Today this area forms the largest 'live' ammunition training area in the UK.'
'This web site is dedicated to the villagers of Tottington, who were given just seven days to leave their homes, and businesses, many of which had been in the same family for generations. A promise was made that they could return to the village after the war - A BROKEN PROMISE. This is their story.'

Garden follies and illusions.
Brief history of the Folly Tower, Pontypool. Probably built during the 18th century; demolished in 1940 'because its presence was believed to be a useful landmark to enemy aeroplanes seeking to raid the nearby Royal Ordnance Factory at Glascoed'; and the story of its re-construction.
The Folly Tower - Pontypool. An online painting demonstration.

The surgery of ancient Rome. Annotated gallery of surgical instruments. 'The original instruments were excavated from the House of the Surgeon at Pompeii, so named because of the materials that were recovered there. In 1947, reproductions of these instruments were presented to the Claude Moore Health Sciences Library by the 8th Evacuation Medical Unit from the University of Virginia after its service in Italy during World War II. The collection is one of the best surviving examples of the tools at a surgeon's disposal in the first century BCE ... '

Zen and photography.
Photos from a Zen artistic perspective.
Zen art as practice. An essay.
How to create a Zen rock garden.

Feminae Romanae: The Women of Ancient Rome. 'In all of Roman literature surviving the fall of its Empire, only six short poems from a woman named Sulpicia have come down to us that speak in a woman's authentic voice. Yet more has been learned of Roman women in the past thirty years than in centuries before. From the Empress to her freedwoman, the good wife to the prostitute, the midwife to the scholar, this site presents an introduction to the history of the women of ancient Rome.'

Cassini imaging diary: Jupiter.

Gray's 'Anatomy', 1918. 'The edition of Gray's Anatomy of the Human Body features 1,247 vibrant engravings—many in color—from the classic 1918 publication, as well as a subject index with 13,000 entries ranging from the Antrum of Highmore to the Zonule of Zinn.'

Amaterasu: Out of the Cave and Into the Light. 'Some people say they were brother and sister, Susano-O and Amaterasu. Other people say they were meant to be husband and wife. One thing, however, was clear. They rarely agreed on even the smallest thing, and so could never tolerate the presence of the other for very long.'
'And yet, despite their many differences, there was a very close bond between them, which brought them together again and again. Here is the story of one such meeting.'

Quiet American. 'The world makes its own music, but we rarely listen with naive ears. Quiet American is the manipulation of sounds I hear and record. '

Electronic Library of the Bath House. 'The Electronic Library is an unprecedented repository of original source material pertaining to the Emperor Elagabalus. We hope that readers will be inclined to form their own judgments as to the relative merit and veracity of these works. This is not a propaganda project -- rather, it is something like a Best Western* brunch buffet. '

The history of the real Uncle Tom's Cabin. 'Born in Maryland, Josiah Henson worked as a slave for forty-one years. In 1830, he and his family escaped to Upper Canada (Ontario) via the Underground Railroad. Initially, the Henson family settled near Fort Erie, Ontario, where Josiah gained employment through a local farmer. The family then moved to Colchester, in Essex County, where they settled on previously cleared lots. After a period of seven years, Josiah Henson aspired to obtain his own land ... '
Thanks to David of Portage for the pointer.

Oldest intact sarcophagus found in Egypt.
Quantum teleportation technique improved.
Cambridge fenlands to be recreated.
Help solve London's great sparrow mystery.

19th June
Map of trade routes and great empires, first century AD. Nothing new about globalisation.

The Virtual Body Copyright HCA 2002. Virtual tour of the human brain, skeleton, heart and digestive tract. Good stuff - narrated neurons, build a skeleton ...

Sadako and the thousand paper cranes. The Sadako peace crane project.
' Sadako Sasaki, a young Japanese girl, on the threshold of adolescence, developed leukemia in 1955, from the effects of radiation caused by the bombing of Hiroshima. While hospitalized, her closest friend reminded her of the Japanese legend that if she folded a thousand paper cranes, the gods might grant her wish to be well again. With hope and determination, Sadako began folding.'

Third Generation. Family photographs from Nazi Germany; the grandparents of three artists.

The Underground Railroad (National Geographic).

The Underground Railroad in Rochester, NY.
' The Underground Railroad was neither "underground" nor a "railroad," but was a loose network of aid and assistance to fugitives from bondage. Perhaps as many as one hundred thousand enslaved persons may have escaped in the years between the american Revolution and the Civil War. '
'In 1990, Congress authorized the National Park Service to conduct a study of the Underground Railroad, its routes and operations in order to preserve and interpret this aspect of United States history. This study includes a general overview of the Underground Railroad, with a brief discussion of slavery and abolitionism, escape routes used by slaves, and alternatives for commemoration and interpretation of the significance of the phenomenon. '

Confucius Publishing. Translations of works by Confucius in many languages.
Picture archive.
What Confucius thought. (Great collection of links at the bottom of the page, not at all connected with Confucianism!)

The Dictionary of Sensibility. 'This hypertext offers a new approach towards understanding the language of eighteenth-century sensibility. It provides an atmospheric view of the multiple connotations of the terms of that language. Rather than attempting strict definitions, this project offers a tool for recognizing the multivalence of such words as "virtue," "enthusiasm," and "community." Our hypertext collects excerpts from primary texts of sensibility and scatters them among twenty four key terms. We imagine the sensible reader exploring these passages to understand the different vocabularies of the period. '

Bawnboy Workhouse, Co. Cavan, Ireland. 'Built in 1852 Bawnboy Workhouse remains almost intact, with many original fixtures and fittings still in place. It is a big rambling complex of buildings covering several acres. Workhouses were built by the Poor Law Unions, committees of mainly local grandees and clergy and paid for by local; taxation. Although Bawnboy was built just after the famine, it is typical of the workhouses of the period. It stands on a hill overlooking the main Ballyconnell road just as it enters the village. '

A tribute to black superheroes. 'The idea for profiling some of comics' most interesting black characters came about when Slush Publisher Brian Jacks attended a Black History Month lecture by an African-American two-star Marine general at the Army's JAG School. The general brought up some very notable points about culture and famous blacks throughout history, in this case all American. But there exists another corner of the universe where another group of blacks is carving out their names in our mind...the universe of comic-dom ... '

International Groovy Day is coming...

1908 Siberia explosion. Reconstructing an asteroid impact from eyewitness accounts. 'At 7:17 AM on the morning of June 30, 1908, a mysterious explosion occurred in the skies over Siberia. It was caused by the impact and breakup of a large meteorite, at an altitude roughly six kilometers in the atmosphere. Realistic pictures of the event are unavailable. However, Russian scientists collected eyewitness accounts of the event. I believe that we now know enough about large impacts to "decode" the subjective descriptions of the witnesses and create realistic views of this historic asteroid impact as seen from different distances. '

Journal of Lore and Levity.

The Smallest Sound. Funny web comics.

Historic Route 40, the United States' oldest transcontinental highway, running from Atlantic City, New Jersey to San Francisco.
Lost highway's driving force.
Via Spinning Jennie.

Blunkett shelves access to data plans. 'Ministers were yesterday forced into a humiliating climbdown over plans to hand a host of public bodies the right to demand access to the communications records of telephone and internet users. '
'Bowing to intense public and political pressure, David Blunkett, the home secretary, admitted that the government had "blundered" into the issue as he announced that the proposals had been shelved to allow more consultation.'
'The move stunned opposition politicians and civil liberties groups, who had been expecting ministers to unveil tighter safeguards yesterday in response to the wave of resistance that had been growing since the Guardian revealed details of the proposals last week ... ' (Guardian)

Web gives a voice to Iranian women. 'The web is providing a way for women in Iran to talk freely about taboo subjects such as sex and boyfriends. '
'Over the past few months there has been a big jump in the number of Persian weblogs which are providing an insight into a closed society. '
'Weblogs, or blogs, are online journals where cyber-diarists let the world in on the latest twists and turns of their love, work and internal lives. '
' "I could talk very freely and very frankly about things I could never talk about in any other place, about subjects that are banned" said one of the first women to start a blog in Iran ... ' (BBC)
Via Reenhead.

Finder's guide to Deep Throat. 'Investigative Reporting class spends three years attempting to identify Post's Watergate source.' Via Subterranean Homepage News.

'Blogging as art' vs. 'blogging as reportage'? Interesting article and interesting discussion down below.
Amusing take on same subject, lest one should take it all a bit too seriously.

Loren (in his Monday June 17th entry) writes on blogging :- 'The real question is how we can build on this "friendship" to build a better place for all of us. One thing it could do is add perspective to the news, particularly since bloggers seem to come from many different parts of the world and from different professions. I often discuss news events with friends, and our discussions, whether we agree or not, help me to refine my own thoughts and define my own position. Blogging should simply be an extension of this kind of "friendly" discussion. When it's an extended discussion by friends we trust from many places and from many different perspectives, this should be a powerful new way of dealing with events in our world. '
'The real potential of blogging, though, is to go beyond mere journalism. Blogging, as form of journaling, can help us to see our world directly through the eyes of another person. We can see the world through the eyes of an Arkansas writing teacher, a single mother and artist raising two daughters, an emergency nurse, an English poet, a retired librarian, an active one, too, and all those great people I link to from all over the world. What a magical view of a diverse world perceived from a thousand different viewpoints.'
(And he's right, too).

18th June
Back in the UK! Read all about the trip here!

A partial eclipse over the Golden Gate Bridge. Thankyou, Gordon Coale, for the pointer to this evocative image.

Kevin Guilfoile's latest column in the Morning News is all about steroid use and Broadway shows.

Stories with good science. Science fiction that's plausible. 'This is a selective list of some science-related stories that use more or less accurate science and can be used for teaching or reinforcing astronomy or physics concepts. The headings of the sections refer to chapters in Voyages Through the Universe. I include both traditional "science-fiction" and (occasionally) more serious fiction that derives meaning or plot from astronomy or physics ideas ... '
The Moon in science fiction. 'Mankind's dreams of space exploration focused first on our closest celestial neighbor, the Moon. Jules Verne and H.G. Wells both wrote classic stories on such travels. The following is a bibliography of science fiction (and some fantasy) novels and short stories in which Earth's satellite has a major or at least significant role. Some of the citations are incomplete, but this will be remedied as time permits. '

The Spirit of Hiroshima.
A child's experience: my experience of the atomic bomb. 'The Radiation Effects Research Foundation (RERF) and RERF Labor Union decided to distribute my note about my A-bomb experience, which I wrote almost 30 years ago, on the occasion of the '94 A-bomb anniversary. I feel a little uneasy, but I was glad to be able to cooperate. The evacuated elementary school students including myself have reached the age of 60 and many of us have grandchildren now. I have served at the RERF for almost 34 years. The 6 months I spent in Tsutsuga Village in the northern part of Hiroshima Prefecture still remains, vividly in my memory even after so many years ... '
Children of Hiroshima.
Kan'non-in Temple. 'Founded on July 10th, 1601, Kan'non-Machi, Hiroshima, Japan.'

Evolution of jazz timeline. 'Including first cousin - The Blues'.
Via A Passion 4 Jazz! 'Jazz - an American art form, an international phenomenon! Jazz is not the result of choosing a tune, but an ideal that is created first in the mind, inspired by ones passion and willed next in playing music. Jazz music is not found in websites or books or even written down in sheet music; it is in the act of creating the form itself that we truly find Jazz music...'

The Fantastic in Victorian fairy tale illustrations.
Victorian fairy paintings. 'According to art historians, The Golden Age of Fairy Painting occurred in 19th-century England during the reign of Queen Victoria, casting its spell of enchantment on artists right up to the present day. During that time, fairy pictures by eminent painters were hung in respectable galleries, viewed by the kind of large audiences that now flock to blockbuster films ... '

Don't miss Spitting Image.

Two years to save the world. 'People will be five times as rich in a hundred years' time. And if we are willing to postpone that prosperity by just two years, we could fix global warming into the bargain. That's the startling conclusion of leading US climate scientist Stephen Schneider and Swedish energy economist Christian Azar, who are about to publish a bruising assault on the Bush administration's claims that international plans to curb climate change would cripple the US and world economies.'
' "The wild rhetoric about enslaving the poor and bankrupting the economy to do climate policy is fallacious, even if one accepts the conventional economic models," Schneider told New Scientist. He says the economic arguments need to be put in context, and called on climate scientists to take a tougher stand against the doom-mongers who say action would be too costly ... ' (New Scientist)

Lots of Robots!!! Fun page.

Field of Reeds. 'This story is based around the invention of an electronic method of measuring the human soul. Not everybody thinks this is a wonderful idea - some religious nutcases even want to kill the inventor. Our hero, Spencer, is detoxified and sent out by the world's biggest software company (not Microsoft!) to track down the inventor before the bad guys do. Many of the things that happen to him mirror the judgement scenes of the world's major religions, with the finale based on the Egyptian Book of the Dead ... '

A Little Page on the Internationale. 'I like this song for its inspiration. The lyrics aren't perfect but the situations and scenarios under which it is frequently sung get the point across. It's too bad that nowadays the song is commonly associated with repressive governments that may have been borne in hope for the underclass but were eventually perverted away from that purpose. Its universal appeal is manifested by its translation into many languages. '

May Day on the web.

A guide to Kamakura. 'The ancient capital of Japan replete with old temples and shrines accessible in one hour by train from Tokyo Station.'

Journal of Mundane Behaviour. Highly useful and recommended.

The Hopi creation myth.

Self-annihilating sentences. Cheers to the marquis.

Peace stickers. Thanks to the marquis.

Aardcards are great! Many, many thanks to Meike.

The world of badgers on the web. Via UK Environment.

Mick Jagger on being knighted. Well, one wishes!

Traditional Acoma pottery. 'My friend, Rose Chino Garcia, passed away on November 10, 2000, at the age of 72. Her daughter, Tena Garcia, is carrying on the tradition of this magnificent pottery, which she learned from her mother and grandmother, Marie Z. Chino.' link

1st June
Well, I'm heading off to New York in a few days, for a couple of days, before moving on to San Francisco. I'll be returning to the UK on 18th June (and will start posting again around then).
In the meantime, I'll try to update Plep's US Trip once every few days until I get back. I've put up a few links of things that either interest me or that I'm planning to see in the meantime. Or check out the sites on my left-hand column.

The site of the Martian Invasion. 'Located just off a lonely country road, a few miles from Princeton University, in West Windsor Township, New Jersey, a solitary marker on a field of dreams commemorates the first landing site of the Martian Invasion. What Martian Invasion? you might ask. Most people forget that Martian war machines did, in fact, invade our living rooms on October 30th, 1938, through the popular medium of radio, and a young Orson Welles and his Mercury Theatre players were responsible. Welles and playwright Howard Koch wanted the beachhead for their fictional invasion to be a real place in the United States. And Setting a pencil point down on a New Jersey map with his eyes closed, Koch chose Grover's Mill. "I liked the sound," he later recalled. "It had an authentic ring." ... '
From Sci-Fi Road Trips.

Kuri's panorama page. 'I like to walk in town taking pictures on holidays, that is one of my interests. Especially I like to shoot panoramas of green and water in Tokyo. The geometrical skyline of high-rise buildings and the scenery of sunset in the city, too. '
'This website features panoramic pictures of Tokyo Cityscapes. You can see a lot of my panoramas with essays on Panorama TOKYO pages. '
Kanji of the seasons.
Japanese Manhole Art Museum. 'In Japan, we see variety of beautifully designed manhole here and there. Usually, the design is diffrent from city to city. It may be impossible to show you all the designs all over Japan, but still I will try to find as many designed manholes as I can and take a picture of them to show it on this website.' Via Little Things from Japan.
Glass Rabbit.

Space Age City. 'What is Googie Architecture? Imagine if the Jetsons built a coffee shop in Disney's Tomorrowland, circa 1957. Think cantilevers, "swiss-cheese" girders and boomerangs. These commercial buildings are "exaggerated Modern" architecture tailored to the car culture.'
Also a section on Ray Bradbury.

Bacchus mosaic. 'This is the central roundel from a large geometric mosaic floor found in Leadenhall Street in London. It depicts Bacchus, the Roman God of Wine, reclining on a tiger in his traditional pose. For obvious reasons, this subject matter was very popular in Roman dining rooms.'
Cybele's testicular clamp.
The Thetford, Water Newton and Mildenhall treasures.
Christian wall paintings. Via Roman Britain at the British Museum.
The Romans at Woodchester. An interesting Roman villa and the Orpheus Pavement.
Roman Caistor, Norfolk.

Symmetry and tessellations. Investigating patterns; a fun site.

' Web de Anza provides students and scholars with primary source documents and multimedia resources covering Juan Bautista de Anza's two overland expeditions from the Sonoran desert to northern California, leading to the colonization of San Francisco in 1776. ' 'New pictures, maps, documents and supplementary resources have been added to expand the richness of your inquiry into this important period in American history. Currently, eight diaries and one letter are available to read in both English and Spanish. (See the Archives.) Four regions of the expedition trail can now be viewed interactively on our new shaded relief maps found in the Atlas. '

Sierra Leone's election, May 2002. Photo-essay from on the election in this troubled country.

Burmese Buddhist Temple, Singapore.

Kashmir rivals on brink of war. This is terrifying - one estimate reckons three million could die in a nuclear war; another estimate reckons twelve million. (There are some interesting discussions on Dialog Now).
Special report: Kashmir.
Kashmir crisis guide.
American Samizdat.

Adam Pearl. 'The Pearl family is proud to announce the arrival of Adam D. Pearl, son of Daniel and Mariane Pearl. For us, Adam's birth rekindles the joy, love, and humanity that Danny radiated wherever he went. The name Adam symbolizes the birth of humankind and the connectedness of civilizations. '

Merchants of Green Coffee. Coffee with a conscience!

World Cup blog.

The World Birthday Web is back! (And Tuesday is my thirtieth birthday).

A teacher from this school is attempting a solo, non-stop, sponsored reading of all 10,564 lines of Milton's 'Paradise Lost' today. This is taking place at Holy Trinity Church, Guildford, Surrey. (I witnessed the first hour or so of this. Pretty impressive).
Dore's illustations to 'Paradise Lost'.

' Koko has a sign language vocabulary of over 1000 words, which she uses in complex statements and questions. Most of these signs are standard American Sign Language (ASL), but some are either invented or slightly modified by Koko to form what we call Gorilla Sign Langue (GSL), or "Gorilla Speak." This section will help you become familiar with GSL, and thus to learn to communicate both with Koko and those who know ASL ... '
Koko is a gorilla. Via nonharmful.

' This is Ai who has been learning linguistic skills since 1978 at the Primate Research Institute, Kyoto University.'
'I shall now introduce you to the study of chimpanzee intelligence and to the chimps' everyday life.' (She has a son, too).
Related BBC story.