plep Archive

15th May
Harrison County Slave Cemetery Preservation Society. 'The Desha Slave Cemetery is situated atop a hill and can be seen at a distance from U. S. 62 about two miles Northeast of Cynthiana. There interred are more than twenty-five slaves who were owned by the Desha family from 1827 until the end of the Civil War. This cemetery has fallen into disrepair. For many years the slaves' graves were clearly visible. The Duffy sisters were the last direct descendents of the Desha family to live their lives on the farm. They inherited the farm from their mother and father the former of which was Lucius Desha's daughter. Lucius was the owner of most if not all of the slaves that are buried in the cemetery ... '

The legend of White Snake. 'This is a love story about a man and a white snake. The first short tale was found during the Tang Dynasty (618 AD). Thats a cautionary, vigilant and tragic story of a man in love with a lady in white. The scenes of West Lake and Thunder Pagoda were added and the central theme was established during the Song Dynasty (960 AD). The entire story was completed during the Ming Dynasty (1368 AD). It was rewritten to beautify characters in some episodes in Ching Dynasty (1644 AD)... '
Synopsis of the Chinese opera 'Legend of the White Snake'.

Thai wats. Lovely pictures, and links to the wats' sites.
Photographs of Thai wats.

St. John the Divine Cathedral, New York. A really impressive building - the site includes a wonderful virtual tour.
Photos of St. Peter's Basilica, Rome.

An Aussie in London. Interesting and funny insights.

Coaching inns. Prints of historic pubs.
Cries of London. 'Below are a series of thumbnails of the twelve pictures on this site. They were all published between 1792 and 1796 and depict different street sellers in London at the time. They were painted by F. Wheatly and engraved by Vendramini. Each picture has a short explanation with it.'
Via the Regency Collection.

Letters to Santa Project. 'Welcome to the Letters to Santa Project! This project has been a Global Schoolhouse annual favorite for fifteen years... in fact, it was the first project ever conducted on our pioneering FrEdMail Network in 1984.'

Interesting collection of political documents - an Iraqi opposition view at the end of the Gulf War; a Japanese writer on the burakumin; and a satire on the slave trade flyposted in Edinburgh in 1792.

Private Eye - the Diana issues.

Godless Morality. I'm reading this book now.

Choose Climate. Via Bifurcated Rivets.

Mything Links.

Via Bifurcated Rivets.

Cosmic Log. MSNBC science online column/blog.

Opec chief warned Chavez about coup.

How cats manipulate humans. Via the null device.

14th May
Deepcold. Secrets of the Cold War in space 1959-1969 - full of 3d models. Fascinating stuff. 'For most of the second half of the 20th century, a cold war raged between the world's two superpowers. While battles were never fought on either country's land, plans were made to take the war into the high frontier of outer space ... '

The postage stamps of Donald Evans. (Scroll down a little to see the images). The philatelic collection for an invented world.
'When Donald Evans (born Morristown, New Jersey USA in 1945) was a boy, he drifted from his hobby of collecting postage stamps to creating his own postage stamps of countries he made up in his imagination. He kept doing this for the rest of his life. He left behind an astonishing planet seen through its nations' postage stamps, thousands of them, all drawn to postage-stamp size, with all the familiar periphery of postage stamps hand-done ... the perforations, old envelopes, postmarks, addresses ... '

The Black Horse pub, Findon, West Sussex. Old photos. 'I have discovered that the original Black Horse Inn lay at the southern end of Findon High Street and was described as a "bough house". I understand that this was a private house that was allowed to open its doors on special occasions. These were such as the Great Findon Sheep Fair, for the sale of drink. It is reputed that the sum of ten shillings per night was paid for this privilege. I believe that some of the ancient cottages at the top end of Nepcote, now demolished, were also bough houses.'
Village life in Findon. Antiquities of rural life.

Stories and fables of the Yeti. Via the Legend of the Yeti.

History of the New York Times crossword.
Real New York Times crosswords.

' Oft I must strive with wind and wave, Battle them both when under the sea
I feel out the bottom, a foreign land. In lying still I am strong in the strife;
If I fail in that they are stronger than I, And wrenching me loose, soon put me to rout.
They wish to capture what I must keep. I can master them both if my grip holds out,
If the rocks bring succor and lend support, Strength in the struggle. Ask me my name!'
A page of medieval riddles.

International Shinto Foundation.
' The following is a modern retelling of the creation story from the Kojiki, Japan's oldest chronicle, compiled in 712 CE by O No Yasumaro. This version is easier for the modern reader to understand than the original, but its essential features are preserved. The quest for Izanami in the underworld is reminiscent of the Greek demigod Orpheus' quest in Hades for his wife, Euridice, and even more of the Sumerian myth of the descent of Innana to the underworld.'

Space Gypsies. 'The Rom frequently appear in literature as emblems of the exotic, of otherness. In science fiction, the Rom's mysterious origins, their association with a nomadic existence, and their folklore all present a rich source for metaphor - without the Rom necessarily becoming sinister 'aliens'. '
Saintes-Maries de la Mer. 'The Gypsy pilgrimage begins May 24-26 every year in the southern French town of Saintes-Maries de la Mer to celebrate Saint Sara's annual return to the shores of the Mediterranean. Among Rroma, she is known as "Sarah-la-Kali," or Sarah the Black. Roma from all over the world gather here to view the reliquary of Saint Sara's remains as it is carried in a procession into the waters of the sea, and perhaps to touch the reliquary which is imbued with miraculous healing powers. '

African-American pamphlets. 'The Daniel A. P. Murray Pamphlet Collection presents a panoramic and eclectic review of African-American history and culture, spanning almost one hundred years from the early nineteenth through the early twentieth centuries, with the bulk of the material published between 1875 and 1900. Among the authors represented are Frederick Douglass, Booker T. Washington, Ida B. Wells-Barnett, Benjamin W. Arnett, Alexander Crummel, and Emanuel Love. '
Progress of a People.

Real Change. Online homelessness newspaper from Seattle.

Bug Eyed Monster. Science fiction toys. 'This service, operated by the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria through the Nigeria High Commission in the United Kingdom, is dedicated to the tracking of advanced fee fraud perpetrated by Nigerian organised crime syndicates. ' Useful.
Telling time without a clock: Scandinavian daymarks. Useful!
Via this archive page from Mike's Weblog (a new find for me).

13th May
MorfaBlog, the world's first Welsh-language weblog, is at a new address.

Canadian Letters and Images Project. Many World War One and World War Two letters; an excellent resource. Via wood s lot.

In a Dark Time: Learn your place and do good things (Friday).

In the news :-
Green warfare to be waged on invasive fish - Earth an 'active participant' in space weather - Matriarchy in Indonesia - Anthrax attack bug 'identical' to army strain - Plastic bag or public menace?? (related - Great moments in plastic bag history) - Fungus catches radioactive fallout

Barrie's Virtual Museum of Clocks. 'Antique, vintage & modern clocks, each with a picture and description. Wall, cuckoo, mantel, grandfather also known as tallcase or longcase, table, shelf, bracket, carriage, marble, ships, desk, and novelty clocks. Pictures of time recorders, a pigeon clock, master clocks, electric clocks and oddments of horological interest.'

The Elliott Avedon Museum and Archive of Games is a fun place.
Classic American games, 1822-1992.
Inuit (Eskimo) games.
Street games of boys in Brooklyn, NY. By Stewart Culin American Journal of Folklore 4, 1891, Pages 221-237. 'The games of which I shall give an account are all boys' games or games in which both boys and girls participate, and were all described to me by a lad of ten years, residing in the city of Brooklyn, N. Y., as games in which he himself had taken part. They are all games played in the streets, and some of them may be recognized as having been modified to suit the circumstances of city life, where paved streets and iron lampposts and telegraph poles take the place of the village common, fringed with forest trees, and Nature, trampled on and suppressed, most vividly reasserts herself in the shouts of the children whose games I shall attempt to describe ... '

Tour of Tokyo bathhouses.
Electric Samurai. Lots here. Cobweb Castle is a page about the cult of the samurai; Cyber Shrine includes images of shrines, and a 'consult the oracle' feature.
Via Electric Geisha.

Aboriginal Trail. 'This article is based on the guide leaflet for the Aboriginal Trail at the Australian National Botanic Gardens. The trail is an interpretive walk (see map) focussing on plants used by the Australian Aboriginals.' Nice line drawings.

Historic pubs of Liverpool.
At the Flicks. Historical tour of cinemas in Wolverhampton, in the West Midlands.

Classic arcade game locations. Mostly USA. 'Welcome to the largest collection of places that still have classic video arcade games to play. If you walk into arcades today only to walk back out because they do not have any of the old games you loved, then perhaps you can find a better place here. '

The Rama IX Art Museum Foundation. A website for modern art from Thailand.

Che Guevara's letter to his children.

The University of Michigan Detroit Observatory virtual museum.

Golden Threads. The Chinese in regional New South Wales, 1850-1950.

Journal of a writing man.
Blog of a writing man.
Enigmatic Mermaid.

Royal descents of famous people. Everybody in the world is related to each other. Via Metafilter.

American culture? Much of it is imported, according to this article. Although baseball and jazz, for example, are glaring exceptions. My opinion - everywhere imports from everywhere else (Bollywood is a case in point), and cultures are fluid, subjective things rather than discrete entities anyway. Western culture is hard to define and far less dominant than people in the West generally believe. Via Miguel, posting on Metafilter.

Humane Borders. (Tucson, Arizona). 'Humane Borders is a collaborative effort among local faith communities to provide humanitarian aid to migrants, and to work for changes in INS policies to the benefit of undocumented immigrants. It has undertaken a year-round commitment to establish and maintain desert watering stations at a number of location west and south west of Tucson ... '
BorderLinks. Hmm, this looks interesting... Via this Metafilter thread
Guardian Unlimited has done one of its excellent special reports on the subject of refugees.
Refugees - who, where and why. Unfortunately, many of the links on this page have expired, but it's still an interesting overview.

American Life Histories. 'These life histories were written by the staff of the Folklore Project of the Federal Writers' Project for the U.S. Works Progress (later Work Projects) Administration (WPA) from 1936-1940. The Library of Congress collection includes 2,900 documents representing the work of over 300 writers from 24 states. Typically 2,000-15,000 words in length, the documents consist of drafts and revisions, varying in form from narrative to dialogue to report to case history. The histories describe the informant's family education, income, occupation, political views, religion and mores, medical needs, diet and miscellaneous observations. Pseudonyms are often substituted for individuals and places named in the narrative texts. '
Via Reenhead.

' Western governments are drastically underestimating how long their citizens are likely to live, an oversight which threatens to put strains on the health, welfare and pensions systems of the developed world far more serious than previously envisaged, scientists warn today ... '
'By comparing differences in life expectancy between the world's wealthier countries, they conclude that as early as 2070, female life expectancy in the US could be as high as 101 years. The official US forecast for 2070 is only 83.9 years.'
'One of the scientists, James Vaupel of the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research in Rostock, believes that a typical female baby born this year in France or Japan - the two countries with the greatest life expectancy - already has a 50/50 chance of living to be 100 ... '
Via Reenhead.

11th May
The Romany Inn, Bampton, Oxfordshire. Guide to traditional and historic London pubs.
The ale trail.

Bush tucker. Things to eat if you're lost in the Australian bush.
Bush tucker recipes.
Men of the Trees, Western Australia. 'The International Society for the Planting and Protection of Trees Non-Profit - Voluntary - Founded 1922.'

Voices for Kosovo.
Diocletian's Palace. (Croatia). 'At the end of the third century AD, the Roman Emperor Diocletian built his palace on the bay of Aspalathos. Here, after abdicating on the first of May in A.D. 305, he spent the last years of his life. The bay is located on the south side of a short peninsula running out from the Dalmatian coast into the Adriatic, four miles from the site of Salona, the capital of the Roman province of Dalmatia. The terrain on which the palace was built slopes gently seaward. It is typical karst terrain, consisting of low limestone ridges running east to west with marl in the clefts between them. '
A photographic tour of the Elefiti Islands and Dubrovnik. Lovely.

Los Angeles public art. 'Los Angeles is a modern city with a large and diverse ethnic population. This site documents public art works, sculptural works, mosaics, and murals, in the downtown area, the University of Southern California, and other places in the city. This resource is dedicated to the memory of the late Dr. Dennis Thomison, USC Libraries. The Public Art in Los Angeles web site is part of a larger project of the University of Southern California libraries to document Los Angeles, its past, present, and future. '
Los Angeles murals.
A Community of Angels sculptural project. 'This is a Los Angeles project to decorate and paint 400 angel sculptures. The sculptures are installed in various public spaces throughout the city. In May they have been auctioned off to benefit Volunteers of America and Catholic Big Brothers. The project is a joint venture of two charities, the Los Angeles Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the mayor's Volunteer Bureau. It mimics a public art installation of cows done in Zurich, Switzerland, in 1998, which was followed by the popular "Cows on Parade" in Chicago.'

Rural architecture of China. (Click on province names on the left to navigate). '... China's folk architectural forms, even as they portray common elements, clearly reveal the broad range of solutions that humans are capable of in providing basic shelter and creating homes for their families. The soaring silhouette of a Hakka fortress, the subdued grandeur of a Huizhou merchant's manse, the graceful "swallow's tail" ridgeline of a Taiwan farmer's house, the compact and utilitarian shape of a Mongol yurt, and the stark functionality of an underground dwelling in the loessial uplands are but a few of the notable examples of China's vernacular architecture that can still be seen today. Each emerged out of specific environmental and social conditions characteristic of China at different times in the past and in the different regions of the country's vast space.'
Chinese pop posters. (Use back + forth buttons to navigate). 'The images you are about to see were collected over a three year period while working in China on a book project on traditional rural Chinese architecture. Between 1989 and 1992, I traveled to China to document the extraordinary beauty and refinement of Chinese vernacular architecture. If you were to go to any Chinese city and look for these posters (some are stamps) you most likely would not be fruitful in your search. To find such works of art you must travel to small towns and villages where they are still sold, even though this is becoming the exception, not the rule. These posters are used to decorate the walls of schools, private homes and government institutions. They are produced by the central government in Beijing and reflect the many political changes of the past 47 years of communist rule. They are in many ways a very good historical record of the economic, political and social turmoils China has undergone since 1949. They also are tools of the central government's propaganda machine. While some are quite ludic others reflect darker and more painful periods in China's history. '
Guangzhou's horse racing track.

Sheep brain dissection: the anatomy of memory. How memory works, from a physiological point of view.

History of the Guardian newspaper.

Cryptology puzzles. The Beale and Voynich ciphers are especially interesting.

'Paper Wasp'. Poem.

Moon photo gallery. From NASA.
' Welcome to MOON-"Light", an interactive Atlas of the Moon entirely produced from images grabbed with an inexpensive web-cam, the grayscale QuickCam (from Connectix/Logitech), using two Schmidt-Cassegrain telescopes (4" and 10"). It is still an on-going project, but already has more than 700 lunar formations mapped.'

Poignant memories. 'Relocation to internment camp was a nightmare for Japanese-American couple.'

' The Faux Orwell Contest is a literary competition that challenges the entrants to create a parody of the fiction, essays or commentary of George Orwell. The winner will be the writer that "Orwells" the best, highlighting the distinctive aspects of Orwell's style and exploiting the wide range of Orwellian subjects. ' Good links!

' A "bowlingual" kit is displayed at the Tokyo Toy Show Thursday. The gadget is said to be able to identify six of a dog's feelings through the animal's barking.'

50 best ways to go down to the woods in Britain. Something to do now spring has sprung.

The great big stinky flower at Kew Gardens. It reminds me of a triffid, for some reason. Image archive.

Famous name changes. The real names of famous folk; Sophia Loren -> Sofia Scicolone, Elton John -> Reginald Dwight, the Dalai Lama -> Llama Thondup, Leon Trotsky -> Lev Davidovich Bronshtein, Iggy Pop -> James Newell Osterburg, Gerald Ford -> Leslie Lynch King Jr, Nelson Mandela -> Rolihlahla Mandela, David Ben-Gurion -> David Green etc etc.

Clean Surface. Fab page of 'subvertising'. Via riley dog.

' PapaInk, the International Children's Art Archive, is dedicated to collecting and preserving children's art and reinjecting children's creative spirit into human discourse. Explore our organizational and special collections. Become an iCurator or upload your own art. Art=Life! ' Via gmtPlus9.

Geographical directory of world paper money. Via Fresh Signals. San Francisco urban tales. Thanks, jp.