The Nutlog

The Nutlog Archive

29th March
The Picture Stones of Gotland.
Traditional Chinese Paper Arts.
Via ikastikos.

Multilingual UK. 'Contrary to popular belief, the UK has always been multilingual. Gaelic, Irish and Welsh have been gradually displaced by English, itself the product of many different influences, but today are fighting back. These 'older mother tongues' have been joined by an astonishing variety of more recently arrived languages from all parts of the world ... '
From the British Council.

The Chinese Scholar's Garden. 'This garden is built entirely of traditional materials by skilled craftsman from the city of Suzhou. It is designed and built in the style of a Sushi Scholar's Garden and has been in the making since 1985. '

Jazz Age Chicago. 'One of the most remarkable developments in the city of Chicago during the early twentieth century was the growing diversity of its resident population. Between 1900 and 1930, thousands upon thousands of European immigrants, African-Americans, and rural Midwestern youths relocated to Chicago in search of steady work and broader social opportunities. Intrigued by their new urban surroundings, they embraced new forms of commercial culture that made social interaction in the multi-ethnic, multi-racial city easier and more enjoyable. Many of the city's department stores, movie theaters, and amusement parks proved successful by offering settings in which Chicagoans of all backgrounds could partake in city life as equals. By popularizing not just jazz music, but countless other amusements as well, Jazz Age Chicagoans laid the groundwork for the spread of mass culture across the nation during the twentieth century. This web site examines some of the ways by which this occurred.'

George Mackay Brown. Poet of Orkney. 'Orkney, where the poet and storyteller George Mackay Brown lived virtually all his life until his death in 1996, is closer to Oslo than it is to London. Its lore and its landscape can seem as strange to the metropolitan visitor as any place in Europe. From his haven in the port of Stromness, Mackay Brown celebrated the fertile beauty of Orkney's sea-girt islands for more than 40 years; and in his novels, stories, poems and plays, he used its legends and ballads, many of them derived from the Norse sagas, to express archetypal patterns of human experience. For him, Orkney became a microcosm of the wider world from which he deliberately retreated and, like the story-tellers who preceded him over the centuries, he distilled the essence of his people's past into timeless and meditative prose of extraordinary beauty. '

America's First Look into the Camera: Daguerrotype Portraits and Views, 1839-1862. A very large collection of daguerrotypes from the Library of Congress.

Marc Chagall - Selected Works.
Chagall timeline.

Japanese Phonecards. A gallery.
Some curiosities in Japanese phonecards.
The Moomin characters on Japanese phonecards.
Japanese phonecards collection.

The Rosa Luxemburg Internet Archive.
Includes a short bio of Luxemburg.
Another Luxemburg bio.
Rosa Luxemburg Institute - in German and English.
Photo portrait of Rosa Luxemburg.
Photo of Rosa Luxemburg's corpse. (Warning: very disturbing photo). 'This is the most horrifying image that I have ever seen. Quite honestly, it frightens me to look at this photograph. I have never before had such a strong visceral response to a photograph. Because this image has such a profound effect on me, I feel compelled to share it with others, to see how they respond to it. '

'Green' satellite calls home. 'Europe's flagship Earth-observation satellite has produced its first images of the planet. '

Images from Envisat. Images of West Africa (a huge phytoplankton patch in the Atlantic is visible) and the Antarctic Peninsula (the break-up of part of the Larsen Ice Shelf is visible). These are great pictures.
Envisat homepage.

Radio Caroline. The story of the UK's original offshore pirate radio station.

Lundy Island. 'Lundy lies off the coast of North Devon, where the Atlantic ocean meets the Bristol Channel with nothing between it and America, a granite outcrop, three and a half miles long and half a mile wide. In the hubbub of the modern world it is a place apart, peaceful and unspoilt.'

The Zen KnowledgeBase Research Project. Via GoodShit.

The Charrette Project. 'The Charrette project is a complex, scholarly, multi-media electronic archive containing a medieval manuscript tradition--that of Chrétien de Troyes's Le Chevalier de la Charrette (Lancelot, ca. 1180). It is developed and maintained by the Department of Romance Languages, Princeton University.'

Overnight to Many Cities. Photos of interesting places.
The photographs.

Virtual Brum. Photographs of Birmingham (England) and the Black Country, past and present. A very good site about the English West Midlands. The Tolkien's Birmingham section is especially good. How many people know he was a Brummie, eh?
Brummie and Black Country dialect, slang words and phrases.
(And a big 'Hi' to those visiting from the Birmingham City message board...)

Survivors International. Provides psychological and medical treatment to survivors of torture from around the world.

It's Good Friday which means that today was the day for the World Marbles Championship, which is held at the same pub in Tinsley Green, Sussex every year.
The Marble Museum's entry on Tinsley Green is worth a look. 'For hundreds of years marbles were played all over Sussex, and until the twentieth century these games were played among village folk for fun. When marbles were revived in the 1930's they were styled Championships, a name still used today. But we hope the fun atmosphere has now returned. This article is about some of the players and teams that added some of the fun to Tinsley Green and the championships.' Stories and pictures.
March Customs. The World Marbles Championship is mentioned about halfway down this interesting article, which also includes short pieces on hare pie scramble and bottle-kicking and the oranges and lemons service.
The World Marbles Championship is not to be confused with the World Marbles on Sand Championship which looks pretty cool too. Street games and nostalgia. US site. Features pieces on games such as stickball, skully and ace-king-queen; history, galleries etc. etc...
Play in Haiti.

Killing the Buddha - Unbearable Lightness. Review of the 'Tribute in Light' in NYC. Via

Dead Malls. Via Pop Culture Junk Mail.

Autodocumented Life. Via Boing Boing.

LEGO Builder. Via Coudal.

The London and Essex Ladybird Survey. - 'World's first motion-detected web cam inside a fridge!'

Looking into an Io Volcano.

World's oldest cat.

Spiral-horned ox?

US drought.

Rice genome will be on private website. 'The journal Science has announced that it will publish Syngenta's rice genome sequence work even though the Swiss pharmaceutical company will not be depositing the DNA sequence data in an international public database, such as GenBank. The data will instead be placed on Syngenta's web site and conditions of access will apply.'

Excavations in Eastern Europe reveal ancient human lifestyles.

' A diary scribbled on pages of a magazine by a crew member of Captain Scott's ill-fated 1912 expedition to the Antarctic sheds light on the explorer's final voyage. '
'The fragile notes, encrusted in penguin droppings, were discovered yards from Scott's hut, 90 years after his death. '
'It has been painstakingly restored by British student Kirsten Elliott using plastic protective sleeves in a lab in New Zealand. '

The Economist on the Falklands - 'A breezy, squid-filled paradise.' 'Twenty years after Britain and Argentina went to war over them, the Falklands are enjoying unprecedented prosperity.' It's a land of opportunity, and all thanks to squid.

RIP Billy Wilder.

Interesting interview with Romano Prodi, the president of the European Commission :-
On Britain joining the euro : ' "We cannot go on for years and years waiting for Godot," Prodi complains... ' "This is your problem. I'm happy if you join. Please do it. Or don't do it. It is up to you. We have an Italian expression which I cannot repeat. It covers the situation." '
'Will Europe categorically refuse to join a US war against Iraq? "I can't even answer the question, because we don't know the context. To say yes or no, you must at least know what you are doing and why." '

A Penny for your Thoughts.

Commuter Train.

28th March
Sarehole Mill. A small but interesting set of pages on the water mill which inspired Tolkien.
From Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery.

Cincinnati's Abandoned Subway. History, planning, photos.

Great Kanto Earthquake 1923. Photo gallery.
A short article on the Great Kanto Earthquake Memorial Museum.

French Revolutionary Pamphlets. Scanned images of rare documents.

Maitres de L'Encre - Masters of Ink. 'This exhibition is exclusively devoted to the ink paintings of three masters who have in common an acquired knowledge of Western culture. It is remarkable that while this experience enabled them to « exist » on the modern art scene it also never completely diverted them from the Chinese traditional medium.'

Bethnal Green Museum of Childhood. 'Welcome to the Museum of Childhood's website. Situated in the heart of London's East End, but only minutes from the West End, the Museum houses the UK's national collection of toys and games, children's costume, nursery furniture and baby equipment, all in an outstanding red-brick, grade II listed building.'

Peat Moors Centre, Glastonbury. Reconstructions of prehistoric structures.

Chagall Windows. 'The Synagogue of the Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical Center was dedicated on February 6th, 1962, as part of our Hospital's Golden Anniversary celebration. The floors and interior walls are made of Jerusalem Stone, and the Synagogue is illuminated by a hanging lantern and by sunlight which streams through the magnificent Chagall Windows. '
'Marc Chagall, who was present at the dedication, spoke of the joy he felt in bringing " modest gift to the Jewish people, who have always dreamt of biblical love, of friendship and peace among all people; to that people who lived here, thousands of years ago, among other Semitic people. '
'My hope is that I hereby extend my hand to seekers of culture, to poets and to artists among the neighboring people." '
Chagall Windows on Israeli telephone cards.

Wake Up. Mountains and Rivers Order of Zen temples.

Urban Landscape. Photo galleries of Chicago bridges.
From the Site of Big Shoulders. Chicago art, writing, photography. Lots of good stuff. Thanks, JP.
Three Poems.

Who Is That Man, Anyway? 'A photographic tour of the statues, monuments, and memorials of Washington DC.' Via Reenhead.

Soviet Literature Summarized - science fiction, spy and detective stories, children's literature, etc.
'Interplanetary Chess Congress'.

Afghan quake in pictures.
Quake relief effort.
Donate to Concern. (Donations in euros or sterling).

Before all constructs.

Neanderthals on Trial.

Dart Frog. Poison frogs.

Plan for Cornish Charlesville. 'The prince of Wales is backing the construction of a new retro village designed in the same traditional style as Poundbury, the recent settlement he conceived and developed on his own land in Dorset. '
'The new village, on the site of a former railway goods yard in the centre of St Austell in Cornwall, will mix housing, shops, businesses and public spaces - including a village green.'
This sort of thing has been going on for quite some time.
Related - Celebration, USA.
Via the Apothecary's Drawer Weblog.

I scored 30 on the 'Are you a hit-obsessed weblogger?' test.

American Crusade 2001+ Trading Cards. Via Follow Me Here.

RIP Dudley Moore.

Plantation in perspective. 'State officials on Tuesday completed the purchase of an old plantation home on 70 acres in Brazoria County that will be developed into the first Texas historical site addressing slavery. '

Church discovers rare paintings. 'Church officials are awaiting an expert report before deciding the next move in the preservation of early medieval wall paintings discovered in a village church.'

Huge head of Nefertari unearthed. 'A huge sculpture of a head that could be Queen Nefertari's was unearthed by a joint German-Egyptian team, Egypt's Culture Ministry announced Wednesday.'

The space elevator comes closer to reality. 'Make way for the ultimate high-rise project: the space elevator. Long viewed as science fiction "imagineering", researchers are gathering momentum in their pursuit to propel this uplifting concept into actuality. '
Yet another good idea originally thought up by Arthur C. Clarke.
Via Metafilter.

'Experts urge race against time to unearth last secrets of Herculaneum's lost library' in anticipation of Vesuvius erupting. Via New Breed Librarian.

Egg mystery cracked for Easter.
'Spin a hard-boiled egg on a table and, if you are lucky, the egg will rise to spin on the flatter end instead of on its side. '
'But do the same with a raw egg and it definitely will not. '
'This mystery and apparent contradiction of the laws of physics has been explained by a Cambridge mathematician and a Japanese physicist. '

Life's building blocks created in space simulator. 'The building blocks of proteins, amino acids, can be generated in the chilly conditions of interstellar space, suggesting the ingredients for life are universal. ' (New Scientist)
Same story with a slightly different twist from the BBC.

Hermit warming to the human touch. 'After a decade of isolation in the woods of western Bosnia, a hermit with only a bear and a pack of wolves for company seems to be warming to humankind again.'

World's wildlife shows effect of global warming.
'Global warming is already directly affecting the lives of animals and plants living in a variety of habitats across the world, according to one of the most detailed ecological studies of climate change.'
'An international team of scientists working across a range of disciplines has found that the relatively small increase of 0.6C in the global average temperature seen over the past 100 years has left a major imprint on wildlife.'

British Museum sold precious bronzes.
'Pressure on the British Museum to return disputed treasures in its collection grew last night after it admitted selling 30 pieces of Benin bronze in the 1950s and 1960s. '
'The museum insisted that its claim to inalienable ownership of the bronzes and other artefacts such as the Parthenon (Elgin) marbles was not affected. Until now its standard response to restitution demands and any other claims has been that it is forbidden to dispose of items. '

Cuckoo fan to put forward 561 clocks.

Afghan war is a lab for US innovation."

Cuba bans PC sales to public.
Fidel won't like this website.

Is Ireland sinking?
(25th March 2002) 'The coastlines of Northern Ireland and the Republic are vulnerable and poorly managed, a University of Ulster scientist warned today. '
'Speaking at the 7th International Coastal Symposium Dr Andrew Cooper, head of the UU's Coastal Research Group said Northern Ireland's current coastal protection plans fall far short of recent EU recommendations. '
'And, impending climate changes in the earth's atmosphere will mean that storms will be getting more frequent and powerful, the North Atlantic sea will be getting rougher and shorelines, especially on Ireland's north and west coast, could suffer increasing damage and destruction, if appropriate measures are not taken in the near future, Dr Cooper said.'

Old dogs taught humans new tricks.
'Research scientists at the Australian Museum believe it could have been that new tricks were taught to people by dogs more than 100,000 years ago, prompting humankind to take a leap in development leading to modern culture and society.'
'The team's principal research scientist, Paul Tacon, said: "We believe there were several forces that led to the development of anatomically and behaviourly modern humans, and that the close relationship between our human ancestors and wolves was one of the key factors." '

' What is thought to be the biggest octopus ever found has been caught in waters off New Zealand. '
'Marine biologist Dr Steve O'Shea estimates the specimen, which was damaged when fished up, would have measured four metres in length and weighed 75 kilograms. '

' Police in a north Shropshire market town are investigating claims that a lion-like creature has been prowling the streets.'
'An elderly woman heard scratching noises outside her bedroom window and discovered a paw print, consistent with that of a large wild cat.'

Humans dwelt in Ice Age Tibet.

World's largest crystals. Picture.

Paris thinkers seek ways for cosmic chats.

Japan seals tomb on mystery bones, suspected remnants of grisly war experiments.

Nigeria launches site to target e-mail scams.

' Researchers who have been studying a giant, mysterious area of "black water" in Florida Bay say it seems to be associated with a diatom, a type of algae. '

Quite a few of of the links above were nicked from the Fortean Times, which is very good today.

' Silvio Berlusconi already controls three of the four main private TV channels in Italy, but he is intent also on using patronage to dominate Rai, the public sector network. When the prime minister of a country and its most powerful media magnate are the same person, how healthy can its democracy be? ' (openDemocracy)
Via Tim Hardy.

In pictures: Robots wow Japanese. Gallery from Robodex 2002.

' Shaolin fighter monks hold a dress rehearsal of the martial-arts drama 'Shaolin -- Wheel of Life', in Hong Kong, March 28, 2002. The drama claims to be the world's only theatrical show to feature ordained Buddhist 'soldier monks' of the Shaolin temple, reputedly the birthplace of Chinese martial arts or 'kung fu'. ' Picture.

Pet ferrets to be banned in New Zealand to protect native wildlife.

' Despite an apparent opening up, there is growing evidence that Britain is becoming a less socially mobile society. So is equality an illusion?'

' A pharmaceutical company has discovered 70 million to 90 million long-forgotten doses of smallpox vaccine in its freezers, instantly increasing the known U.S. inventory of the vaccine six-fold and ensuring the nation an adequate supply in the event of a bioterrorist attack, according to government sources familiar with the find.'

Wordsworth fans get daffodil hotline.

27th March
Global Communities. Chicago's immigrants and refugees. 'Reflecting global trends, Chicago has seen a tremendous population shift since 1945. Historically a city largely populated by European and African Americans, Chicago attracted people from all over the globe after World War II, becoming one of the most ethnically, racially, and religiously diverse cities in the world by the 1980s. To capture this great shift in the city's demographics, the Department of Historical Documentation at the Chicago Historical Society is launching an extensive documentation project, titled Global Communities: Chicago's Immigrants and Refugees.'

The Easter Cycle. From Metaphysical Paintings by Julio Mateo: Abstract Art Galleries.
Julio Mateo: how meaning emerges in abstract art.

The Great Chicago Fire and the Web of Memory. How the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 has been remembered through documents, memoirs and folklore.

Japanese Garden - Portland, Oregon.
Sumi-e art by Katsumi Sugita.

The American Meteor Society. 'Welcome to the home of the American Meteor Society, Ltd., a non-profit scientific organization established to encourage and support the research activities of both amateur and professional astronomers who are interested in the fascinating field of Meteor Astronomy. Our affiliates observe, monitor, collect data on, study, and report on meteors, meteor showers, meteoric fireballs, and related meteoric phenomena. '

The Controversial Replica of Leonardo da Vinci's Adding Machine.

British Children's Fiction: 1890's - 1960's. 'Welcome to my site which mostly deals with pre 1960's British School Story authors. This site contains lists of books written by many school story authors, dj scans and any other details I can find out about the authors. This site also includes general British children's authors like Arthur Ransome, and also a section on Australian authors. '

Sumie Flower Book.

A small gallery of film posters by the Stenberg brothers. Early Soviet film posters.

Imran Khan - Grassroots Muslim Footballer. From Football Culture, a soccer culture site operated by the BBC and the British Council.
The Internet Football Ground Guide. Guides and photos for the soccer grounds of England and Wales.

Cadbury creme egg games. Via Snarkcake.

NixonFly. Obscure political cartoons.

A Guide to Metric Time. 'Metric Time (MT) is an attempt to create a decimalized time system for our modern base-10 using world. This is a neglected part of the Metric System (or SI) which has created a whole measuring system based on 10 for weight, distance, volume, etc., but no official decimalized time units for normal day-to-day use. Since any system for measuring time is arbitrary, we should be using one that is most practical for us. I think that system is Metric Time.'

Craig's resume.

Official: beer's good for the brain. Via Unknown News.

ZZ Top bassist marries. Nice picture. Via Booknotes.

' The release of massive clouds of methane from icy hydrates buried under shallow ocean floors is the leading suspect for the most devastating extinction in the fossil record, according to a new analysis.'

Arctic ice 'melting from below'.

' Europe's alternative to the US global positioning satellite system (GPS) was finally approved on Tuesday, when European Union transport ministers met in Brussels. '

26th March
Virtual Gallery of Origamic Architecture.
The Festival of Origami Architecture at the National Building Museum, Washington DC, Saturday March 30 2002. Looks pretty interesting.

The California Heritage Collection 'is an online archive of more than 30,000 images illustrating California's history and culture, from the collections of the Bancroft Library at the University of California, Berkeley. Selected from nearly two hundred individual collections, this unique resource uses the latest online archiving techniques to highlight the rich themes of California's history. The California Heritage Collection is part of the Online Archive of California, a compilation of finding aids, or guides, to archival collections at more than 30 institutions. '

Freedom Ship. 'Welcome to Freedom Ship ... a fascinating and unique place to live, vacation, run a business, retire, work, or visit. The ship will be home to a full spectrum residential, resort, and commercial community. The ship will continuously circle the Globe, covering most of the world's coastal regions every 2 years. '

' In 1938 the Spanish artist Joan Miró (1893-1983) created a landmark series of eight etchings in black and red. This Web site and the exhibition it accompanies celebrate The Museum of Modern Art's acquisition of an entire set of these etchings. '
Miro on Spain: Ogres and Visions Dance in Savage Webs of Tyranny. An interesting article on Miro's Spanish Civil War work.

A Viking excation on Westray, Orkney. 'This page contains general information about the archaeological investigations on Westray, Orkney, that are being undertaken by the University of York. '

CubeSolver. 'This robot solves the 3x3x3 Rubik's Cube.'

Finally made it to Tate Modern - it was well worth it; great displays in a great building. The Millennium Bridge is quite impressive too, with really clear views of St. Paul's Cathedral and the Thames.

More on ideas for 'favour banks', which I mentioned in a post a few days ago. Nick points me to AcornLETS - a UK online 'Local Exchange Trading System'. LETS sounds similar to the 'favour bank' idea. The website describes LETS thus - 'AcornLETS (Local Exchange Trading System) is a brilliant way to exchange goods and services. Using "Local Currency" (Acorns) saves cash and builds links in local communities.'
Teifi Taf LETS is a LETS system in west Wales with a pretty good website, and further explanation. There's even more at LETS Link UK.

The Woodland Trust's map of bluebell woods in the UK.

Paleomap Project. 'Select one of the times from the list on the left and travel through time and check out what the Earth looked liked in the far distant past or what it might look like far into the future. '
'At each stop there is more information about each geological time period.'
Via Lead to Gold.

' Ladybird is defending a book whose main character tells children burglary can be fun.'
'The Cat Burglar follows Bert, a thief who opens windows, gets inside buildings and pinches "all kinds of things." '
I seem to recall a simily controversy a few years back about Roald Dahl's classic Danny the Champion of the World.

Greeks were slaves to the beat. 'Maths shows that Greek poets had more rhythm than the Romans.'

Mystery of Bamiyan's third Buddha.

Ancient stilt city found in Italy.

US study says quake may have wiped out Harappa. Via Cowlix.

Geneticists protest at DNA of rice becoming a trade secret. 'Twenty leading geneticists are protesting against a deal that will allow a multinational company to control who has access to the complete DNA sequence of the rice genome - the most important food crop in the developing world.'
'The scientists, who include British Nobel laureates Sir Paul Nurse and Sir Aaron Klug, are up in arms against a plan to lock away the entire rice sequence on a company database rather than having it published in the open scientific literature.'
Via Wibbly Weblog.

' An ancient supercontinent, far older than anything proposed before, has been pieced together by an international team of geologists. '
'The giant landmass, which has been dubbed Columbia, would have spread across the face of the Earth more than one and a half billion years ago. '
(Must've taken them some time to piece together a supercontinent - what a find!)

Attack of the killer worms.

' Bolivian dancers have set a world record by doing Highland jigs 17,000 feet up a mountain.'

' The Arctic Winter Games may seem curious to outsiders but the contests derive from Inuit survival skills, writes Anne McIlroy.'
Arctic Winter Games official site.

Excavation reveals Bronze Age child's body. 'The body of a child dating back to the Bronze Age has been discovered at a burial site excavated at Oxford University science area. '
'Archeologists believe the youngster could have been a chieftain's son or a sacrifice, because it seems to have been placed in the centre of the ring-ditched site, known as a barrow. '

Battle to preserve ancient abbey. 'Historians have launched a scathing attack on development plans at one of Britain's most important ancient monuments.'
'Developers have drawn up proposals to transform Victorian barns built on the site of Halesowen Abbey into offices and homes.'
'But historians fear the building work will destroy precious ruins lying underneath the barns and could also jeopardise the site's future potential as a major tourist attraction.'
This short history of Halesowen includes a paragraph on the abbey.
Halesowen pubs.