plep Archive

30th May
An English country garden. 'Welcome to my English country garden pages. '
'Here you'll find a regular update on what's happening in the garden and my gardening tasks notes for each month of the year, with separate notes on pruning and on the vegetable garden, with an archive of monthly updates ... '
A descriptive tour of Mandy Alford's garden in Dorset. There's also a page on Netherbury, the village where she lives :- 'There are no shops but we do have a pub, The Hare & Hounds, and a church - the Parish Church of St Mary the Virgin. '

Secrets of Great Wishford, Wiltshire.

Japanese temple geometry problems using SketchPad.

The World Wall. 'World Wall is a collective series of seven portable murals by Judith F. Baca, and seven international panels, each measuring ten feet by thirty feet. Conceived and painted under the direction of nationally recognized Chicana muralist, Judith Francesca Baca, World Wall has its roots deep in the Mexican mural tradition. Each panel uses striking imagery to address a basic concern of the global community ... '

The Star Inn, Bath. A pub of historical importance with a rare, unspoiled interior.
Virtual pub crawl in Spon End, Coventry. Includes a section on lost pubs.

Mathematics Museum (Japan).
Seventeen kinds of wallpaper patterns. 'We find such repeated patterns on wallpaper everywhere in our daily life. Have you considered how many kinds of repetitions there are for patterns on a plane? Do you think there are five or six kinds? No, there are seventeen! We can show this using the mathematics of group theory. The following tables show examples in traditional Japanese patterns ... '

Madubhani painting, 'an on-line exhibit of folk paintings by women artists who live in the Madhubani district of northern India.'
Rama hunts the golden deer.
Krishna and the milkmaids.
Kali standing on Shiva.

The workhouse, Southwell, Nottinghamshire. ' "From a building that nobody wanted to enter, we want to create a heritage facility that anyone would want to visit and where everyone is welcome." ' 'The often overlooked lives of the poor and destitute in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries is explored at The Workhouse, Southwell in Nottinghamshire ... '
More on the history of workhouses at

Existing railroad stations in New York State. Interactive map of known stations.

Letters of a Victorian lady, Ada E Leslie, 1883 to 1894. 'Prussian (German), British and Greek Royal Palaces and travel in Royal Yachts occupy this Victorian lady's life after an eventful visit to India from England as a children's governess with a final move to Burma as the wife of a District Police Commander.'
'Described as an epic traveller for those days she goes to India to work for an English Army Colonel - and almost immediately travels back to England via a small war in Egypt. Subsequently she goes to Potsdam, Marmor, Windsor, Osbourne, Homberg and Berlin working for the future Kaiser Wilhelm II ("Kaiser Bill" to the British soldier in World War I). Then she becomes a Lady-in-Waiting to Wilhelm's sister, Sophie (also a grandchild of Queen Victoria and the future Queen of Greece) travels to Greece then Berlin and back, Copenhagen, Russia, Weisbaden and back before resigning to marry and go to Prome in Burma.'

The Fredrick Douglass papers. 'The Frederick Douglass Papers at the Library of Congress presents the papers of the nineteenth-century African-American abolitionist who escaped from slavery and then risked his own freedom by becoming an outspoken antislavery lecturer, writer, and publisher. The first release of the Douglass Papers, from the Library of Congress's Manuscript Division, contains approximately 2,000 items (16,000 images) relating to Douglass's life as an escaped slave, abolitionist, editor, orator, and public servant. The papers span the years 1841 to 1964, with the bulk of the material from 1862 to 1895. The printed Speech, Article, and Book Series contains the writings of Douglass and such contemporaries in the abolitionist and early women's rights movements as Henry Ward Beecher, Ida B. Wells, Gerrit Smith, Horace Greeley, and others. The Subject File Series reveals Douglass's interest in diverse subjects such as politics, emancipation, racial prejudice, women's suffrage, and prison reform. Scrapbooks document Douglass's role as minister to Haiti and the controversy surrounding his interracial second marriage ... '

NYC bloggers.


The Edwardian Country House has finished its run; two of the cast have web presences :-
Rob Daly, second footman.
Kenny Skelton, hallboy. (via Plasticbag).
Of related interest :-
Opium use in 19th century England - Development of the British working class - Forgotten women - Edwardian servants - Bastardy and baby farming in Victorian England - Confessions of a young lady laudanum-drinker - Christmas in Victorian England

Medieval New York.

29th May
Dialog Now. Open forum on India-Pakistan relations.

Alberta's special places and the species that inhabit them. 'The girl in the photo is enjoying a special place, a Grasslands vista in Southern Alberta. It is but one of the six diverse landscapes that make Alberta, our homeplace, so special. '
'In this website, Alberta artists, photographers, and writers present you with information about and images of Alberta's diverse and beautiful landscapes ... '

' The Apollo Lunar Surface Journal is a record of the lunar surface operations conducted by the six pairs of astronauts who landed on the Moon from 1969 through 1972. The Journal is intended as a resource for anyone wanting to know what happened during the missions and why. It includes a corrected transcript of all recorded conversations between the lunar surface crews and Houston. The Journal also contains extensive, interwoven commentary by the Editor and by ten of the twelve moonwalking astronauts. '

Museum of Garden History, London. An interesting place. The site includes a virtual tour.
The site also includes a page on the Tradescants, 'gardeners to royalty, collectors of curiosities, travellers and importers of exotic plants', who are buried at the site of the Museum of Garden History. John Tradescant the Younger introduced the tulip and the yucca. 'Tradescant willed that the collection was to go to his widow on his death but Elias Ashmole obtained the collection by deed of gift and established the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford with the collection.'
The Ashmolean Museum, Oxford - Britain's oldest public museum.

Zen eccentrics. 'Soga Shohaku, whose work initially resembled Muromachi-period (1336-1573) ink painting, ultimately devised wild, almost surreal depictions of ghosts, demons, and bizarre Zen-like images ... '
Works from the Eccentric School.

Ellis Island. 'Welcome to the Ellis Island Immigration Museum Website. Ellis Island was the gateway through which more than 12 million immigrants passed between 1892 and 1954 in their search for freedom of speech and religion, and for economic opportunity in the United States. Because of its unique historical importance, it was declared part of the Statue of Liberty National Monument in 1965. After a six-year, $162 million renovation, it reopened to the public as a museum in 1990.'

Elmina Castle, a slave fortress in Ghana. 'Built in 1482 by Portuguese traders, Elmina Castle was the first European slave-trading post in all of sub-saharan Africa. Located on the western coast of present-day Ghana, it was originally built to protect the gold trade but following its capture by the Dutch in 1637, it came to serve the Dutch slave trade with Brazil and the Caribbean. The castle came under British ownership in the 1800s.'
The Slave Route: an intercultural dialogue.

The Mao Sale at Sotheby's. 'When Chairman Mao Zedong unleashed the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution on the Chinese people in 1965, he plunged the nation into one of the most tumultuous periods in its history. Mao and the Red Guard dominated virtually every aspect of the cultural, intellectual, industrial, social, and domestic life of the nation. The chairman's absolutism resulted in the production of some of the most potent and fascinating propaganda art of the 20th century; much of it emblazoned with Mao's likeness ... ' A truly terrifying collection.

Ghost village of the plain. 'T S Crawford, avid explorer of local history, describes a village that died almost sixty years ago. ' More on Imber, the village in Wiltshire that was evacuated by the army in 1943.

World Cup :-
' In 1990, when Costa Rica last qualified for the World Cup, Gilberto Martinez Vidal was on the streets trying to earn a crust by scavenging and selling whatever he could find. '
'Twelve years later, he is on his way to Japan and South Korea as one of Costa Rica's most highly-rated stars ... '
Costa Rica is going to be one of the teams I'm going to be cheering on, along with the host countries (host countries always deserve to do well); the African countries (because it'd be nice to see an African country do really well); and my home country.
I don't normally follow football, but I do like the World Cup.
BBC Online's World Cup team pages.

University of Ulster statisticians on who will win the World Cup. Depending on the method, they predict Argentina or Brazil to beat Italy in the final. (My best guess is Argentina).

Ghosts on the London Underground. A chronicle of hauntings.

Skool stories for gurls.
Skool stories for yobs. Back in the jug agane.
Nigel Molesworth, skoolboy philossofer.
Nigel Molesworth, the role-playing game. A.k.a. 'the Skool Rools' a.k.a. 'Klassrooms and matrons'.

Pre-Raphaelite art at Manchester City Art Gallery. Possibly suggestive, but never vulgar.
Swinburne's medievalism: a study in Victorian love poetry.

Game of Life. 'The Game of Life is not your typical computer game. It is a 'cellular automaton', and was invented by Cambridge mathematician John Conway.' 'This game became widely known when it was mentioned in an article published by Scientific American in 1970. It consists of a collection of cells which, based on a few mathematical rules, can live, die or multiply. Depending on the initial conditions, the cells form various patterns throughout the course of the game.'

Lego mosaics and sculptures.

' The first and middle part of this century saw the planning and building of some of the most interesting structures in the world. Most of these were in New York City. Here are some of the best of the era. Click on each building to visit. '

Scamp - the genealogy of a gypsy family.
The gypsy vardo.

Money origami.

New York underground. National Geographic's tour.

The Evolution personal robot.

Hyperlinks as a form of self-expression? Via consumptive.

Faces from the Ice Age.

Nasa says Mars assault is on.

Trams set for London comeback.

28th May
Alex's paper airplanes at 'How to make the best paper airplanes for free. Simple designs, fun to make, LEARN TO FLY... '
The Paperang. The world's best paper aeroplane?

Imber, a ghost village in Wiltshire, 'was requisitioned by the War Office a week before Christmas 1943. Villagers were told at the beginning of November that they had to pack up and leave. In just over a month the area was evacuated and the village literally vanished off the map.' A strange and tragic story. This page (from BBC Online) focuses on the plight of the village's 700-year-old church.

Dear Home: letters from World War 1. Letters from American servicemen, History Channel site.

' Eiheiji ,the "temple of eterneal peace," is one the Soto Zen's two head temples. It is located deep in the mountains near the rugged west coast of Japan, not far from Fukui City.'
'Dogen Zenji, the founder of Eiheiji, was born in 1200 A.D. When he was 24, he when to China and devoted himself to true Zen practice under the strict guidance of Nyojo zenji at Mt. Tendo. After having "dropped off both body and mind," realizing the way of the Buddha, he returned home in 1228. He lived at Kenninji temple for 3 years, then founded his first temple, Kosho-Horinji, in Uji, Kyoto. '

Christ Church gallery, Oxford. 'Christ Church is unique among the Oxford or Cambridge colleges in possessing an important collection of Old Master paintings and drawings - some 300 paintings and almost 2000 drawings in all.'
Christ Church Cathedral. 'This twelfth century church is amongst the oldest buildings in Oxford, and one of the smallest Anglican cathedrals in England. It is also the only church in the world to be both a cathedral and a college chapel. '

The Diego Rivera Mural Project. Preserving and restoring the City College of San Francisco's Rivera mural, originally commissioned for the 1940 World's Fair.

The Creative Commons.

I'm going to see the Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) tomorrow night!

A good site about synesthaesia. Via Quiddity.

World's largest petrified wood park. Via gmtPlus9.

The art of the illustrated letter. Via Reenhead.

Hiroshige woodcuts. Via Liberal Arts Mafia.

Government of East Timor. Also via Liberal Arts Mafia.

Twelve moons on Douze Lunes.

You are probably descended from Nefertiti and Confucius.

' Three new sets of underwater hot springs have been discovered along a little known part of the Pacific "Ring of Fire". '

The Universe is a strange place.

All blobs lead to Rome.

Weaving a global, native web.

London on a chip.

Slugs are fab.

Cuneiform on the web.

World's smallest book on display.

Sex-mad ghost in Zanzibar. (Old but good).

For sale: house with ghost. (Old but good).

27th May
BBC In Depth: Kashmir flashpoint. Lots of information and links to more Kashmir stories from here.
India/Pakistan timeline.

Bank suspends new 5 pound notes. 'The Bank of England has suspended distribution of the new £5 note, less than a week after its launch, amid complaints that serial numbers can be rubbed off. '

Happy birthday to Craig.

Some photography links :-
Scott Mutter: a more perfect world. 'For thirty years, Scott Mutter has employed classic photomontage techniques to create a world of his own -- a more perfect world. The hallmark of Mutter's remarkable imagery is the distinct sense that the elements of each picture belong together, even though the combination may violate the laws of physics. These photographs, which Scott calls "Surrational Images," have a poetic quality that invites highly personal interpretations.They are provocative as well as evocative.'
The face of slavery & other African-American photographs.
Do you believe? A ghostly gallery. Spirit photography 1868-1935.
All via the American Museum of Photography.

Kyoto photo gallery. Interesting places, accessible via an interactive map.
Kozanji Temple. An interesting place.
More Kyoto sites.

The Goring Folly, Sussex. 'So it seems modern day follies are thin on the ground, but not in Goring-by-Sea in West Sussex. Timothy Blewitt a retired art teacher constructed his own folly in his rear garden. Not a 150 foot tall tower, but a cross between a gazebo, mini tower and grotto ... '

Aleksandr Rodchenko. MoMA exhibition, 1998. 'The Museum of Modern Art, New York presents the first U.S. retrospective of the work of Aleksandr Rodchenko (1891-1956), one of the leading Russian artists in the period following the Revolution of October 1917. On view from June 25 through October 6, 1998, the exhibition is comprised of more than 300 works in a wide range of mediums and includes an approximate reconstruction of the Workers' Club that Rodchenko designed for the Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes ... '
Workers' Club, 1925.

Inside the Animal Mind. What is intelligence? What is consciousness?

London-Dublin peace walk 1996. 'Boy on bicycle in Wales: "What are you doing?" A walker: "Walking for peace." Boy, considers that, then responds: "Peace is good." '
August journal.
Final ceremonies.

' The cairn beside the lake in the grounds of the high school in Lake St recalls the first Australian cricket team to tour England in 1868. This remarkable all-Aboriginal team trained on the shores of Lake Wallace before departing for England ... When they returned to Australia they simply went back to the lives they had previously led. '

A history of the Nagasaki Foreign Settlement. Via gmtPlus9 and Portage.

Book Aid International. 'Book Aid International works in partnership with organisations in developing countries to support local initiatives in literacy, education, training and publishing. '
'We provide relevant books and information to those in greatest need — to enable people to realise their potential and contribute to the development of their communities.'

Windmill World. Industrial archaeology and preservation - mostly UK.

The Political Graveyard. A site which tells where dead American politicians are buried.
Politicians born in slavery.

The Bisbee, Arizona deportation of 1917 'was an event specific to Arizona that influenced the labor movement throughout the United States. What started as a labor dispute between copper mining companies and their workers turned into vigilante action against the allegedly nefarious activities of the Industrial Workers of the World (I.W.W.). This site is a research-based collection of primary and secondary sources for the study of the deportation of over 1,000 striking miners from Bisbee on 12 July, 1917.'

Feeding the Pigeons. Via the Best Philippine Short Stories, an e-zine of writing from the Philippines.

NY Times front page Oct. 5, 1957. Sputnik!

Stone cottage near Devizes.
Sculpture tour of Central Park, NYC.
Thanks to Synergy.

Three million would die in 'limited' nuclear war over Kashmir.

Ice reservoirs found on Mars.

Fighting to live as the towers died. ( requires free registration and login).

Albino shark.

Hungry and merciless, Devon's killer dormice decimate rare bird colony.

26th May
The Essex Mountain Sanatorium. The secrets of a closed sanatorium in New Jersey.

The Sewergator Sanctuary. The folklore of subterranean alligators.

Legends of Shepton Mallet, Somerset. 'The Witch of Ham Woods was carried off to Hell one stormy night - and the marks of the Devil's fiery chariot are still there to this day!' From Shepton Mallet's website.

The Tree Inn, Stratton, Cornwall. A pub of note.

Phillis Wheatley, poet.
A brief biography. 'Phillis Wheatley was an internationally known American poet of the late 18th century. She was born in West Africa circa 1753, and thus she was only a few years younger than James Madison. Of course, her life was very different. She was kidnapped and enslaved at age seven. Too young to be sold in the West Indies or the southern colonies, she was purchased by John Wheatley, a prominent Boston tailor, in 1761. She was spared the worst of slavery, but the harsh New England climate (harsher then than now) would take its toll ... '

Mr. Dancing Cupboard's Tea Encyclopedia - a fine collection of interviews with Japanese artists, over tea. Interview with Ryoji Otsuka, creator of amazing Noh masks. Also check out this gallery of Ryoji Otsuka's masks, from
' She sometimes places a magnifying glass at her exhibitions, as she wants visitors to see her careful stitching and the expressions of the dolls. You will find yourself healed by the dolls, as well as perhaps breaking into a smile at her sense of playfulness. ' Interview with Terumi Otaka, doll artist.

Archimedes. 'This site is a collection of Archimedean miscellanea under continual development with the following contents . . . '
Archimedes' Claw.
The Cattle Problem.

The strangest town in Alaska 'chronicles the events that shaped Whittier and Portage Valley, and looks ahead toward new events that hold great promise, including a unique road system that has only now opened the doors to Whittier.'
What would a billion pennies look like?
Some remarkable prehistoric animals.
The Earth from 300 miles up.
Luciferous Logolepsy, a collection of obscure words.
All via

2001 Odyssey Themis. Mapping Mars.
Latest images. One a day; some of these are stunning.

Stop the Presses: Behind the Brass Door. The New York Times' printing history; produced to mark the closure of the Times Square presses.

China's ancient papermaking tradition preserved. 'About 1,800 years ago, during the Eastern Han Dynasty(25-220), Cai Lun improved China's papermaking technique using bark and hemp. This then became one of the four great ancient inventions of China. Today, ancient papermaking has been replaced by modern means of production, but in some places in southwestern China's Guizhou Province, where many people of ethnic-minority groups live, this ancient technique is still practiced ... '

The Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library at the University of Georgia 'maintains a collection of more than 800 historic maps spanning nearly 500 years, from the sixteenth century through the early twentieth century. ' Mostly from the American state of Georgia or surrounding parts of the US.

World Homeless Union.
The Cambridge Two campaign.
The Association of Poor People in Nagai Park, Osaka.
54 Ways You Can Help The Homeless.