Netsuke: Fantasy and Reality in Japanese Miniature Sculpture. 'A netsuke is an intricately and beautifully carved miniature sculpture drilled with connecting holes so that it can be threaded on a cord and serve as a toggle. Netsuke were probably first used starting in the seventeenth century, when fashionable men began suspending everyday necessities such as medicine containers, tobacco pouches, and pipe cases by silk cords from the sashes of their kimonos. '
The Netsuke Store.
Bob Sacha | Under New York. 'Looking beneath a city street is like peeking under your skin: the terrain upon which your well-being depends is so close, yet so full of secrets. Under New York City there are more than 32 million miles of utility lines, 22 tunnels in all and 443 miles of subway tracks. The gas mains and steam pipes would reach across the United States and back three times. Maps of this underworld are so tangled with diagrams of cables and tunnels and pipes and mains - there are 750,000 manholes alone - that they look as if someone spilled bottles of colored inks on a sheet of paper. A fair number of people still choose to live underground, and once a year a whole herd of elephants pass through. It's another world, one that's frightening and fascinating at the same time.'
Great British Piers. 'The fundamental aim of the Great British Piers web site is to generate, and promote, a greater interest in the many and varied seaside piers situated around the beautiful coastline of the British Isles, by collating into one place, anything, and everything, pier related. However, you will notice that a number of non pier related sections have recently been added. The reason behind this situation is as follows. I eventually intend to incorporate the Great British Piers website into a far superior nostalgia related website. The new website shall be known as Yesterday's Britain, for which the domain name ( yesterdaysbritain.co.uk ) has already been purchased. The website will contain many sections including Steam Trains, Trams, World War I, World War II, Vintage Ocean Liners, Vintage Aircraft, Vintage British Cinemas and Films and - of course - British Seaside Piers.'
Gabriela Mistral. A short biography, poems and Nobel speech.
Gabriela Mistral and Pablo Neruda.
' "I Do Solemnly Swear . . .": Presidential Inaugurations is a collection of approximately 400 items or 2,000 digital files from each of the 54 inaugurations from George Washington's in 1789 to George W. Bush's inauguration of 2001. This presentation includes diaries and letters of presidents and of those who witnessed inaugurations, handwritten drafts of inaugural addresses, broadsides, inaugural tickets and programs, prints, photographs, and sheet music. The selections are drawn from the Presidential Papers in the Manuscript Division and from the collections of the Prints and Photographs Division, Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Music Division, and the General Collections of the Library of Congress. Additional material has been included from the photography collections of the Architect of the Capitol, the White House, and the United States Senate Office of the Sergeant at Arms.'
Beck Isle Museum. 200 years of rural Yorkshire life.
Stein's Virtual Insectary. 'Welcome to The Virtual Insectary! Just like insect zoos and butterfly gardens, you've found a unique place to study and observe a few insects. The Virtual Insectary not only provides images of some common insects, but includes information on the foods which they eat as well as the habitats where they can be found. As you visit The Virtual Insectary, take time to follow the links and learn how insects are part of this "much bigger picture".'
BookCrossing. Thanks to Laura, the Null Device and Eclectica.
Ascii art plans for transporters, thermonuclear devices and plastic bottle rockets. Via Grouse.
Plan could "throw 20 million off land" in India. 'Farmers from one of India's poorest states charged the UK government on Monday with helping fund a development scheme that will throw 20 million people off their land.'
Satellite images of Antarctic ice shelf collapse from the University of Colorado's National Snow and Ice Data Center.
Lots of rollercoaster links from Lukelog's archives!
Targeted Serendipity. An interesting article about weblogs - via Rebecca's Pocket and Follow Me Here.
' Two months ago the world could boast just 62 kakapos, the world's rarest parrots. '
'Today that number has risen by a third, to 84 birds, thanks to a bumper brood of chicks. '
Such cute things, they are.
' Japan's Sony Corporation has unveiled a prototype robot that can sing and dance. ' Pictures!
'A £500m revamp of Britain's ageing canal network has been unveiled. '
Brazilian to sail 14,000 miles in boat made from plastic bottles.
Couple finally marry after 62-year engagement.
Driving tutor wins car by living among rubbish for 23 days.
' A new insect species that looks like a cross between a locust and a cricket was discovered in the southern African country of Namibia, a team of scientists said.'
' A previously unknown Inca settlement has been discovered on a remote and rugged Andean peak, a find that could shed new light on the origin and demise of the last great Indian empire in the Americas. ' This news article includes a map!
' The Baghdad press announced on Wednesday that two new novels, which Iraqi writers believe to be written by President Saddam Hussein , will be issued soon. '
A funny article about Iceland's Phallological Museum.
New domain - www.plep.org. The old URL will continue to work, though. Any problems, let me know. Thanks are due to Brendan for his helpful advice.
Am now contributing to UK Environment - take a look sometime.
Defunct Amusement Parks.
Japanese Vending Machines. From Japan Gizmos Wonderland.
Pin-up Girls of America. Via the Presurfer.
Love or Indigestion. 'A gastronomic poem of romantic dimensions.' From Glasswings.
' Disappointed Londoners who missed Art-Tube 01 now have another chance to catch it here at London's Transport Museum. Art-Tube 01 ran for one month on a Piccadilly line tube train 1.11.01 - 1.12.01. 120 advertising spaces were filled with specially commissioned panels by forty-two leading contemporary artists.'
Two Margaret Ropes - Stained Glass Artists of the Arts & Crafts Movement.
'This site is dedicated to the stained glass work of two women called Margaret Rope.'
'They were cousins, born within 9 years of each other at the end of the nineteenth century and active from the second to the eighth decades of the twentieth. To tell them apart, I have taken the liberty of calling them by their nicknames: the elder, Margaret Agnes, was "Marga" and the younger, Margaret Edith, was "Tor".'
'They were among the score or so women stained glass artists of the Arts and Crafts Movement and produced work that can be seen in many churches and other buildings in England, Scotland and Wales as well as in Australia, Canada, Italy, South Africa, Sri Lanka and Trinidad. '
Castle Fine Arts. 'We Specialize in fine 18th, 19th, & 20th Century Japanese woodblock prints, including Ukiyo-e, Shin Hanga, Sosaku Hanga, prints & graphics, and works by Pacific Asian painters and China Trade artists.'
Cuban Poster Art. 'Cuba has a long tradition of producing unique and powerful posters. Ater the revolution in 1959, posters took on a vital social role in promoting the wide range of issues facing a small country struggling for self-determination and identity. '
Antbase 'is now providing, for the first time, access to all the ant species of the world, one of the ecologically most important groups of animals worldwide. '
' After four years of cooperation and tenacity worthy of their quarry, ant experts have completed Antbase, a centralized, online information resource cataloguing all 11,000 known species of ant.'
Picture gallery: Giotto's fresco reborn.
' A team of explorers has discovered an ancient Inca settlement in the south-eastern mountains of Peru that may hold an unparalleled record of the Indian civilisation from beginning to end. '
Save Machu Picchu.
' Objects across the world have fallen prey to the "roaming gnome" prank, and their owners have the snapshots to prove it.' Cheers, JP.
' People who think of themselves as being intuitive make worse lie detectors than those who do not trust in a "gut instinct", according to new research. '
Four and five-leaf clovers start growing in woman's garden.
Helicopter wasp man plans ground assault.
' Sony has created a human-shaped robot which disco-dances, sings and remembers people's faces.'
Midnight in the garden of England. 'Andy Beckett is fascinated by the exiles and eccentrics of the Kentish coast in All the Devils Are Here by David Seabrook.'
' A vast ice shelf in Antarctica has collapsed and is now floating freely in the Amundsen Sea south of the Pacific Ocean, scientists say. '
' Arundhati Roy's decision to pay a fine in order to leave a New Delhi jail is drawing criticism from some, but the award-winning novelist and outspoken activist says that remaining behind bars would have accomplished nothing. '
27/30 in 15 minutes (but I have to say, I'm sceptical about the entire concept).
' Honduran scientists have discovered architectural alignments and observation points for viewing the sun during equinoxes, solstices and zeniths in the main plaza of the Mayan ruins at Copan, confirmed by measurements from that ancient civilization's calendar. '
Ancient stones found in El Salvador.
Argentina crisis prompting 'themed protests'.
' A Hungarian shoemaker who is bitter about the decline of his trade has completed what he claims is the world's biggest shoe.' Picture!
Mirrors may make flamingos frisky. 'A zoo is hoping mirrors will put its flamingos in the mood for love.'
'Experts believe the birds will be fooled into thinking they are in a flock of thousands like those in the wild.'
Buddha's 'finger' beckons Taiwan crowds.
The Paris Commune Archive.
Gardens of Suzhou.
Tango in Buenos Aires.
Zen Paintings. Paintings by Japanese monks from the 17th century to the present.
' This gallery showcases some of the many images that have been sent to AIGA to commemorate the 9/11 disaster. To view more images, share your thoughts, or submit your work please go to AIGA Design Forum. '
In the Sticks 'is a publishing house, which specialises in properties of all types for sale in rural areas and villages throughout the British Isles.' Good for dropping out of the rat race.
Twin Oaks Community. 'Twin Oaks is an intentional community of around 85 adults and 15 children living on 465 acres of farm and forest land in rural Virginia, USA. Since the community's beginning in 1967, our way of life has reflected our values of cooperation, sharing, nonviolence, equality, and ecology. We welcome you to schedule a visit. '
Darwin Country. The natural and human history of the English West Midlands.
Tangology. A tango glossary. From Libertango.
Coney Island History Site. 'This interactive educational site covers the history of Coney Island in Brooklyn, New York. It features timelines, historic articles and photographs, interactive maps that when clicked on show historic views, and lists of movies filmed on Coney Island's streets, beaches and amusement parks. Coney Island was considered the world's largest and premier amusement area during the first half of the 20th Century. It was a beach resort that provided carefree entertainment and thrilling amusement park rides to the millions of residents that lived in New York City. It featured three huge amusement parks; Luna Park, Steeplechase and Dreamland, and countless other attractions along the Bowery, Surf Avenue and its numerous side streets. '
Tokyo Progressive. 'Linking progressives east and west since 1997'.
The UK Canal System. 'The UK is riddled with canals and navigable rivers like the blue veins in a piece of cheese. These date mostly from the 18th Century, but some are as old as Roman times (Fossdyke, for example). The canals grew from the need for a cheap means of bulk transport but their commercial use was eventually supplanted by the railways, with which they could not complete. Most of these canals are interlinked into a vast water network and that is the key to their latter day success as a leisure facility. You can board a narrowboat in London's docklands and head off to Bristol, Birmingham, Sheffield, Leeds, Manchester or Liverpool. They are also linked in with most of the navigable rivers, such as the Thames, Severn, Upper Avon, Trent and Ouse, and provide a vast leisure resource for both local communities and boat-owners alike. '
Moscow Life. '...Here I only share with you events and small pleasures of the life of a Muscovite, the random details that make our life worth living. '
'I am also trying to do my best in showing you how beautiful, in its own way, Moscow - and Russia - is. And how sometimes strange by your standards. And how fast it changes. Ten million people live in Moscow, and their apartments, habits, jokes may look and sound strange to you. Or not - let us check? ...'
Japan Print Gallery. 'The Japan Print Gallery was established in Notting Hill Gate, London in 1976. We specialise exclusively in fine Japanese Woodblock Prints (Ukiyo-e) from the 18th to 20th century. '
Ghost Towns of Arizona. An interactive map linking to short articles on each of the towns.
When cosmic winds collide.
London School of Striptease.
Adventure Games Live. 'Many veteran gamers will recall the hours spent solving text adventure games with a certain fondness, and many purists still play them today. Adventure Games Live is a suite of new adventure games that you can play on the web, free of charge. The engine that runs the games provides a menu-driven interface, supports graphics, and does not require Java.'
Trench Art. Symbols and memories of the Great War and beyond.
War letters. American soldiers' letters home, from many conflicts.
British trench warfare 1917-18. 'This page is a small reprint from the British reference manual on Trench Warfare, British Trench Warfare 1917-1918. The manual was originally prepared by the General Staff at the British War Office. It offers a tutorial in state-of-the-art trench construction. This book was recently reprinted by London's Imperial War Museum and the Battery Press and it is with thanks to both of them that we can view it today. The chapter reproduced here represents only a small section of the manual. The book is 200 pages with almost half of that being diagrams. '
World War I posters.
The letters of Francis James Mack, an ANZAC soldier on the Western Front.
World War I German soldiers' postcards home.
Jack London on the Great War.
The 'Bushmen', or Gana and Gwi peoples of Botswana, and the problems they face.
Text-based Pong. Via Coudal and Jilly.
Mental Bonds. 'A closer look at the once intractable nature of slavery in Gabon in West Africa provides a case study for the global phenomenon of human bondage.'
The Social Psychology of Modern Slavery.
Free the Slaves.
Dear Mary... Your etiquette problems solved!! This week's edition includes useful advice about ill-mannered chickens.
' Bird-like predatory dinosaurs up to 16ft long once roamed the Isle of Wight, according to a new analysis of a fossil held in the Natural History Museum for more than a century. '
' An archaeologist claims to have found the palace from which Helen of Troy was abducted at the dawn of European history, triggering the Trojan War. '
New record for Universe's most distant object.
'The Subaru Telescope on Hawaii has produced a stunning image of Uranus. ' Via Reenhead.
Uranus photo gallery.
' An experimental brain implant the size of an M&M has allowed a monkey to control a computer cursor by thought alone, Brown University researchers announced Wednesday. ' Via dumbmonkey.
' A Harvard University archaeologist's quest for shade from the searing Guatemalan sun has led to one of the most significant finds in the past 20 years involving the ancient civilization of the Maya. '
' Saudi Arabia's religious police stopped schoolgirls from leaving a blazing building because they were not wearing correct Islamic dress, according to Saudi newspapers. '
' Serbia and Montenegro have signed an accord which will consign the name Yugoslavia to history and shelve any immediate plans for Montenegrin independence. '
'Under the deal, the two remaining partners in the Yugoslav Federation will become two semi-independent states, running their own economies, currencies and customs systems. '
George Galloway believes 'revolution is in the air' in the UK Labour Party.
Male fertility fears over pollution in water supply. 'Oestrogen in rivers makes fish change sex and poses potential risk to humans.'
' A Newsnight investigation raised the possibility that there was a secret CIA project to investigate methods of sending anthrax through the mail which went madly out of control. '
Bloodsucking flies may have begun HIV epidemic.
Asteroid buzzes Earth from "blind spot". 'One of the largest asteroids known to have approached the Earth zipped past about 450,000 kilometres away on March 8 - but nobody recorded it until four days later.'
' Rejection can dramatically reduce a person's IQ and their ability to reason analytically, while increasing their aggression, according to new research.'
Happy St. Patrick's Day! (Somewhat belated).
Still busy. Was going to wait till Monday to update, but I wanted to post these links about the Zimbabwean election (in particular, an Amnesty International article which includes fax and email contacts for President Mugabe). Normal service will be resumed on Monday!
Guardian weblog special: Zimbabwe. 'Robert Mugabe has been declared winner of Zimbabwe's presidential election - but opposition MDC supporters have complained of widespread harassment and vote-rigging, leading to the disenfranchisement of millions. We pick the best journalism from Zimbabwe and the rest of the continent.'
Fear and loathing in Harare.
' Amnesty International is gravely concerned about the high risk of violence in the aftermath of the elections held on 9, 10 and 11 March 2002, especially in light of the departure of many international election observers. On the basis of previous experience in Zimbabwe the organisation is concerned that there is a risk of attacks on perceived supporters of the opposition and of violence around any protests about the election results. Amnesty International is calling for the police to abide by international human rights standards when fulfilling their duties. '
(The Amnesty page includes an email address for contacting President Mugabe to express concern).