plep Archive

20th May
Rare beetle returns to British countryside - More moons for Jupiter - Bishop to sell mansion, give proceeds to the poor - China sets date for the Moon - Laws of physics not immutable - New species of bald parrot discovered - Impact led to dino rule - China plans record-breaking reforestation - East Timor celebrates independence - picture gallery - Flooding of Soviet uranium mines threatens millions - Unique Bronze Age archer unearthed

Immigrant Voices. 'The 10-part series Immigrant Voices, produced by the Nebraska Public Radio Network (NPRN) and funded by the Nebraska Humanities Council, features the personal stories of Nebraskans who immigrated from Chile, Cuba, Germany, Iraq, Lithuania, Mexico, Nigeria, Sudan and Vietnam. '
The New Americans. 'Attached are the collected stories of immigrant experiences from my students, who are attending an advanced English as a Second Language (ESL) class at Monrovia Community Adult School in Monrovia, California. We hope you enjoy them as much as my class enjoyed writing them and sharing them with each other. '

The Cabinet of Curiosities. 'This Cabinet holds many treasures. Two hundred years of Australian science are arrayed for exploration and reflection. The curiosities contained are those of Australia's men and women of science, and your own.'
Albertus Seba's Cabinet of Natural Curiosities. One of the most prized books of all time; yours for a mere US$ 150/GBP 100/EUR 150/JPY 20,000.

Wasabi Brothers, home of Kazuko's Gallery (fab!) and humorous haiku computer error messages.
Tokyopop. Japanese pop culture.

The Medmenham Monks, a.k.a. the Hell-Fire Club. 'The Hell-Fire Club was sort of a cross between the Dead Poets Society and a risque Playboy club. John Montagu (Lord Sandwich) was a principal, and apparently Lady Mary Wortley Montagu attended. Although Benjamin Franklin (Agent for a number of American colonies) was a member (although there is no written proof), I have no idea if Edward Montague (the Virginia Agent and a colleague of Franklin's) was involved... '
The origins of the English and Irish Hellfire Clubs.
Map of the West Wycombe caves.

Autobiography of a Yogi.

Outside the station, late last night. In a sleeping bag, sitting up. She was distressed, but wasn't bothering anyone. She said that she had an eye infection. Her accent was eastern European.
I did what I could to help. I will try to find out if I can do more.
Other than that, Sunday wasn't too bad.
Women asylum seekers in Britain.

19th May
Complete list of song titles written by McKinley Morganfield (Muddy Waters). Via the Official Muddy Waters Website.
Mudcat Muddy Waters. Bio. From the Mudcat Cafe, a magazine dedicated to blues and folk music.

St. Bride's church, Fleet Street, London. The inspiration for the wedding cake; the Pilgrim Fathers, Johnson, Pepys and Hogarth had connections here.
St. Andrew by the Wardrobe.
More churches.
Via Hidden London.

The Roman mosaic at Southwark Cathedral.
The Roman mosaic of Vichten, Luxembourg.
'This year, the title of "European City of Culture" went to Luxembourg, which celebrates the festival by numerous cultural events and exhibitions. But nobody could foresee that -- so to speak in honor of the occasion -- a spectacular archaeological discovery would be made ... '
Roman mosaic. 'Hidden away in the corner of a Yorkshire field, this mosaic was worth the detour. '

Here comes Sputnik! Fun personal commentary (not all of the links at the bottom work).
Sputnik: The Shock of the Century. Includes the introductory chapter and a photo gallery.
Soviet documents on Sputnik.

The ant farm projects of Yukinori Yanagi. Yanagi makes replicas of the flags of various nations using coloured sand; places the flags in interconnected cubes; and introduces an ant farm into the system to see how the flags change.
World Flag Ant Farm.
Asia Pacific Ant Farm.
Union Jack Ant Farm.

Shyama Kali-Mandi. 'At the top of Mandi town there is a temple of Shyama Kali deity, which is another manifestation of the consort of Lord Siva. It. is said that the divine s use once started dancing and in her joy she lost herself and went on with a fierce dance putting the three worlds in danger. Siva, her husband, was approached to do something and Siva quietly laid himself on her route of dance ... '
Kali temple of Dakshineswar.
' This is one of the most furious manifestations of the formidable goddess Kali; in turn a form of Shiva's consort Mahadevi. '

The Ant Farm. A personal website about ants.

Tales by Japanese Soldiers. Spotted this yesterday; it's an interesting read.

17th May
JCM Artistamp Gallery. Art stamps from 1900 to the present day. "Great art must be licked!" - Jas W Felter.
Pax. 'Michael V. Hitrovo created many artistamps for his fantasy Kingdom of Mikia which was originally located on the family estates near Kiev, Russia in 1917. Mikia was historically placed in the future and many of the stamps commemorated imaginary events in the early to mid 1930's. All the original stamps were lost during World War I. After relocating in the U.S.A., Hitrovo begain creating his Mikia stamps again in 1937, making approximately 800 different ones. This body of work is now in a private collection. JCM has obtained reproduction rights to part of the collection. '

The White Horse pub, Parson's Green, London.
History of the White Horse.
London landscape guide. 'This is a guide to sites of landscape design interest in London. They were selected as places which would be of interest to landscape designers visiting London and to students studying on the Landscape Architecture and Garden Design courses at the University of Greenwich ( Both historic and modern sites are included, with a bias towards modern sites ... '

Romance to Reality. Unrealised Moon and Mars mission plans. 'Romance to Reality contains more than 300 detailed annotations (that is, summaries and descriptions) of classic, seminal, and illustrative moon and Mars exploration and settlement studies dating from 1950 to present. I continually add to this site because I want to. '
Britain in Space.

Stone inhabitants of Prague. 'Prague is inhabited with many statues who make up a group of their own. Some of them are known people from the past, real or mythical. Others are anonymous and adorn buildings or feature in silent places. '
Extraordinary houses.
Via the Praha experience.

Sangaku, or Japanese temple geometry. 'During the Edo period (1603-1867) Japan was cut off from the western world. But learned poeple of all classes ,from farmers to samurai, produced theorems in Euclidean geometry. These theorems appeared as beautifully colored drawings on wooden tablets which were hung under one of the roof in the precincts of a shrine or temple.'
'The tablet was called a SANGAKU which means a mathematics tablet in Japanese. Many skilled geometers dedicated a SANGAKU in order to thank the god for the discovery of a theorem. The proof of the proposed theorem was rarely given. This was interpreted as a challenge to other geometers, "See if you can prove this." '
'In two hundred years, some shrines and temples have been abandoned or destroyed, and the SANGAKU they had no longer exist. But about 820 SANGAKUs have survived , and some of them can be seen in the HOME PAGE. '
Scientific American article on Japanese temple geometry.
Japanese temple geometry problems.

Leven village, Yorkshire.

American slave narratives. 'From 1936 to 1938, over 2,300 former slaves from across the American South were interviewed by writers and journalists under the aegis of the Works Progress Administration. These former slaves, most born in the last years of the slave regime or during the Civil War, provided first-hand accounts of their experiences on plantations, in cities, and on small farms. Their narratives remain a peerless resource for understanding the lives of America's four million slaves ... '
More slave narratives.
The Valley of the Shadow: Living the Civil War in Pennsylvania and Virginia. Two communities in the American Civil War. 'This project interweaves the histories of two communities on either side of the Mason-Dixon line during the era of the American Civil War. It also combines a narrative and an electronic archive of the sources on which the narrative is based ... '
A walking tour of the Valley of the Shadow Project.
Without Sanctuary: Lynching photography in America.

Countries of the Mind. 'Countries of the Mind is about my own imaginary worlds, and a few of the things which inform the way those worlds take shape. It's about the country of Gekko on the planet of Lapise, about creating faux postage stamps, and about the charm of old postcards. It's also a little bit about my little people, my dolls and toys who often take on a life of their own. There are so many possible aspects to creating imaginary worlds it would take a lifetime to cover them all ... '

Theodore Roosevelt's letters to his children.
'I am now on what I believe will be my last trip of any consequence while I am President. Until I got to Keokuk, Iowa, it was about like any other trip, but it is now pleasant going down the Mississippi, though I admit that I would rather be at home. We are on a funny, stern-wheel steamer. Mr. John McIlhenny is with me, and Capt. Seth Bullock among others. We have seen wild geese and ducks and cormorants on the river, and the people everywhere come out in boats and throng or cluster on the banks to greet us ... '

Chinese robot toys.

Ella Fitzgerald.

War on Terror world map. Via Virulent Memes.

The road less travelled. A weblog run on curiosity.

Building a lifesize Millennium Falcon. Via Girlhacker.

16th May
Pub and inn signs. Photos and history.
Shepherd Neame, founded 1698, Britain's oldest brewer.
Lost pubs of Sheffield.

World War 1 letters. 'The following letters are from Lloyd Maywood Staley (my grandfather) to his sweetheart Mary Beatrice Gray.'
Much, much more on this family's fascinating history here.
A Day on the Farm. 'This article is being written to have a record of what a typical day on a western farm was like in the early 1900's. It might possibly be of interest to some of my descendants.'
No School.
(In related news, the last known Gallipoli veteran has passed away).

Greak Kanto Earthquake 1923. '75 years ago, on 1 September 1923, one of the worst earthquakes in world history hit the Kanto plain and destroyed Tokyo, Yokohama and the surroundings. About 140,000 people fell victim to this earthquake and the fires caused by it. '
'The photographs presented in this special online exhibition were taken by August Kengelbacher. They are a courtesy of Peter Kengelbacher. '

'... The personality of Shostakovich proved a powerful moral influence on his contemporaries. During the hard and cruel era of Stalinism, he had the courage to express in his music the misery of his people by means of an extraordinary dramatic feeling, and to denounce the hidden forces which were then eliminating millions of human lives. His music became a moral support for all who were persecuted. Belief in the final victory of justice, instilled through his works, transformed his music into a powerful stimulus to the spirit of resistance and freedom ... '
Music under Soviet rule: Shostakovichiana.

History of the World Cup. (Via the World Cup Archive). A nice page, with an example of a poster from each tournament. The Spain 1982 poster was created by Joan Miro, and the Mexico 1986 poster was created by Annie Leibowitz - this is mentioned on FIFA's page).
World Cup mascots. 'Here are all the mascots in World Cup history. It was invented to the 1966 tournament in England. And from then on, each World Cup has had one (or two as in 1974). They have been popular symbols, and millions of people have bought copies of them. '
World Cup trophies.
The 1998 World Cup parade was dominated by four friendly giant robots, representing the peoples of the world. 'Four jolly giants -- an African, American Indian, an Asian and a European -- strode through Paris like good-guy Godzillas on Tuesday, symbolizing the spirit of a World Cup that France hopes will loom large in history ... ' More on the parade here and there's a (small) picture of them here.
The BBC's World Cup 2002 guide is pretty good
Japan Today's guide is good too.

Cuban car art on the move. Don't miss this!!! 'A group of artists have taken to the road in Cuba with their work painted on their cars. Prominent artist Eduardo Esposito told BBC World Service's Arts In Action programme that he and other artists were fed up with the fact that most art-work is now sold to tourists in Havana [...] "It will be the longest gallery you have ever seen covering 300 kilometres. On the way back we will stop at as many towns as possible." '
Art Car Museum.
' is the window for insight into Cubans and their unique culture. '

The Cherokee Trail of Tears 1838-1839. A large site about the forced march of the Cherokees from Georgia.
Cherokee removal forts.
'Princess Otahki'.
'The Trail of Tears is a tragic tale of force winning over decency and power winning over justice. While the focus today remains on the route traveled and the journey itself, for eight years prior to the event Cherokee were confronted with their future on a daily basis. Illegal stockades were built on Cherokee land, intended to house Cherokee people long before their forced journey on "The Trail of Tears." ... ' A selection of Mahayana art by Brian Barry. Great art (mostly for temples), and great stories too.

A love of monsters: gargoyles and architectural details in NYC. 'They crouch in the corners and lurk under windows. They curl around drainpipes and blend into doorways. They're so clever at hiding most folks won't see them at all.'
'But I know where the monsters live. I see them all the time. If your heart is understanding and your eyes remember wonder, then take a quiet stroll with me and see what you can find.'

Sacred texts - Australia. Books written in the late 19th and early 20th century.
'Finding texts about Australian Aboriginal religion in the public domain was extremely difficult. There is a landslide of 19th and early 20th Century books and articles about American and African indigenous traditions, many treating the subject with sensitivity and great depth. Only a few Australian works from this period are available, and most of them are pretty vague on the details. Some of this can be attributed to the traditional tribal secrecy, which is maintained even to this day ... '

Folk art in the city.
Chicago's anonymous lakeshore gallery. Carvings from Foster Avenue Beach.
Howard Finster's paradise garden.
Via Interesting Ideas, a page of outsider art, roadside art and related subjects.

Japanese love poems. Short, nice collection.
Study guide for classic Chinese and Japanese love poetry.

Cornell University Poisonous Plants Informational Database. Highly useful. Don't eat any of these.

Eclipses. Everything you need to know.

Polar bear tracker.

Staggeringly diverse coral reef.

It's Science Year ( Flash / text-only). Via gorjuss.

EveryForest. A weblog about trees.

I missed Europe Day on 9th May, but hope it was good.

Chilling Effects Clearinghouse: Linking. Useful for bloggers. Via the Chilling Effects Clearinghouse.

The 100 greatest books? Here's the list. Pleased to see Gilgamesh making it. Via Rebecca's Pocket.

Dark Passage expeditions. 'A dangerous and entirely unscientific application of archaeological principles to inspect evidence of previous human habitations and demises, preferably involving an amateurish and histrionic analysis of human relics, case and site assessments based on childrens diagrams of parlor games, and palindromic investigations of imaginary crime scenes. Equipped with expert witnessing skills and third-grade chemistry sets, we are always ready to take the stand.'
Via consumptive.

Marvin's Marvellous Mechanical Museum. Via consumptive.

Empty Bottle.

BBW figurines.