plep Archive

20th November
Treasures from the Ark: 1700 Years of Armenian Christian Art.
Introduction. 'Armenia is the Biblical home of Mount Ararat, where Noah's Ark finally came to rest after the Flood. In AD 301 the Armenians adopted Christianity as their official state religion, the first people to do so. This outstanding exhibition celebrates the 1700th anniversary of an event which is of great significance to all Christian nations, and a landmark in the world's cultural history. '

Paris at the Time of Philippe-Auguste. The wall and the city. Philippe-Auguste's reign was from 1180 to 1223. Images. (A large site containing many treasures).

Sparta Reconsidered. 'Ancient Sparta is known today (if at all) as the militaristic rival of "enlightened" Athens in Classical Greece. Images of harsh discipline, a merciless emphasis on courage and a society lacking art, literature and culture predominate in popular literature and non-specialist education.'
'In fact, Ancient Sparta was far more complex and multifaceted ... '

The First E-Mail Message.

looking.back. A calendar of computing history.
'This year, 1996, marks not only the 50th anniversary of the unveiling of the ENIAC at the University of Pennsylvania, but also the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the Subcommittee on Large-Scale Computing Devices of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers (AIEE). Five years later, the Institute of Radio Engineers (IRE) formed its Professional Group on Electronic Computers. The AIEE and the IRE merged in 1963 to become the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). The respective committee and group of the predecessor organizations combined to form what we now know as the IEEE Computer Society, which traces its roots--and thus its anniversary--to the formation of these organizations.'
'So, just as all of us individually celebrate the anniversaries of major events in our lives--birthdays, graduations, and so on--the Computer Society too celebrates one of its several anniversaries in 1996. As a small part of that celebration, Computer will publish a page each month entitled "looking.back," in which we recognize the significant events of computer history that occurred in that month and pay our respects to some computing pioneers, focusing especially on those who received the Computer Society Pioneer Award ... '

Blockmaking. 'Pulley blocks or 'blocks' in a ship's rigging may appear insignificant. However, the machinery invented to build them at Portsmouth dockyard played a major role in manufacturing history. In 1805, the same year that Nelson won his famous battle at Trafalgar on the HMS Victory, the first large suite of single-purpose machines was developed to create the pulleys needed for such ships. Among the many advantages to these machines was that they allowed production methods to become far less labour intensive, being carried out mainly by machine operators ... '

A Journey through Ethiopia.

Kabukipedia. Aspects of kabuki.

Dreams of Vietnam. Exhibit of Vietnamese texts from the 19th century or earlier; some images and interesting text.

The Institutes of Vishnu. Translated 1880.

Get the Picture. Seven photographers; Minneapolis Institute of Arts exhibit.
Berenice Abbott. "Suppose we took a thousand negatives and made a gigantic montage: a myriad-faceted picture containing the elegances, the squalor, the curiosities, the monuments, the sad faces, the triumphant faces, the power, the irony, the strength, the decay, the past, the present, the future of a city - that would be my favorite picture."

Wheels and Reels. London's transport on film. 'London's iconic bus, taxi, Underground and tram systems have all been used at some time to create atmosphere and mood in feature films. They provide an instantly recognizable backdrop that transports audiences to one of the world's most dynamic cities.'

The Corinium Project. Historic Cirencester (Gloucestershire).
Corinium Museum Collections. Romano-British, Anglo-Saxon, medieval and post-medieval; nice collection of objects.
Anglo-Saxon tweezers.

Kilmartin House Museum. Scottish archaeology. 'There are more than 350 ancient monuments within a six-mile radius of the village of Kilmartin, Argyll: 150 of them are prehistoric. This extraordinary concentration and diversity of monuments distinguishes the Kilmartin valley as an area of outstanding archaeological importance. Kilmartin House is a world-class centre for archaeology and landscape interpretation which combines a Museum of Ancient Culture and a unique and vibrant visitor centre including intense audio-visual experience "The Valley of Ghosts" ... '
Interactive map.

Amberley Working Museum. 'Amberley is a thirty-six acre open air museum set in the midst of the beautiful South Downs in West Sussex. It is next to Amberley railway station in the Arun River valley, not far from the historic town of Arundel. With its historic buildings, working exhibits and demonstrations the Museum aims to show how science, technology and industry have affected peoples' lives.'
'Amberley Museum was established in 1979 to preserve the rapidly disappearing industrial history of the south east. Since that time the museum has developed into a major education and research centre, as well as providing an interesting and educational day out.'

Lime Kilns in Sussex Gallery. Bignortail Wood, Tolmare Farm and Cocking.
Articles. 'A limekiln is an industrial structure of medieval date used for burning limestone, chalk, or in the case of Colchester, oyster shells to make quicklime and generally comprising a circular, square or rectangular pit, usually between 1 and 5m in diameter and up to 3m in depth, in which the lime was fired using timber, charcoal or coal as fuel ... '

The Masquerading Monarch. 'Biographies of King Charles II show a curious discrepancy. Popular books, plays and films overwhelmingly portray a man of extraordinary charm, wit, courtesy and affability, loyal to old friends, perceptive and intelligent, and marvellously cultured; the monarch who introduced the British to champagne and yachting. This picture is true. Academic historians, by contrast, almost all see Charles as a king of no vision and no fixed ideals, irresponsible, unbusinesslike and with a disastrous taste for taking risks, who turned his three nations into states riven by chronic instability and distrust. This is also an accurate assessment ... '

George IV: The Royal Joke? 'Never in modern times has a sovereign died so unlamented, nor has the person of the monarch retained so little respect after death, as King George IV in 1830. Robert Huish's venomous biography of 1830-1 declared of the late King that, 'with a personal income 'exceeding the national revenue of a third-rate power, there appeared to be no limit to his desires, nor any restraint to his profusion', and concluded that George IV contributed more 'to the demoralisation of society than any prince recorded in the pages of history' ... '

The 18th Century and the Kilt. 'What we think of as "the kilt" today was purportedly invented in 1725 by an Englishman. Thomas Rawlinson, owner of an iron works in Glengarie and Lochaber. This gentleman had a number of Highlanders in his employ and came to fancy the Highland way of dressing. However, the machinery and fires of the iron works posed a danger because of the Highlanders' voluminous plaids. Rawlinson abbreviated the belted plaid, cutting off all material above the waist and further tailoring that below. What resulted is the skirt-like garment we know as the kilt today ... '
Via the Evolution of the Kilt.

The Civil Rights Project.
About us. 'Forty years after the civil rights movement galvanized the nation, its great promise to end racial divisions is stalled on many fronts. Evidence of stark inequality abounds in virtually every economic and social sphere, and too many members of racial and ethnic minority groups live in a reality where opportunity remains color-coded. Unattended, this tragedy may well prove apocalyptic. Racial gaps in education, income and financial wealth have been widening for over a decade, notwithstanding the significant progress made during the 1970s and 1980s. Minorities generally die younger and receive poorer quality healthcare than whites. The vast majority of our prison population is made up of people of color, and minorities are dramatically over-represented at every stage of the criminal justice process. Schools are steadily resegregating, and suburbs face emerging patterns of racial and class segregation that threaten to recapitulate inner city ills ... '
Via wood s lot.

Rhetorica. 'The Rhetorica Network offers analysis and commentary about the rhetoric, propaganda, and spin of journalism and politics, including analysis of presidential speeches and election campaigns. This site features the Rhetorica: Press-Politics Journal web log, Presidential Campaign Rhetoric 2004, comprehensive news media links, a primer of critical techniques, and information for voters. The character of Rhetorica represents the purposes and canons of classical rhetoric. '

The Dad Chronicles.

Fast-flying black hole yields clues to supernova origin.

19th November
Zen and Photography.

Chan Visual Arts. Zen art.

Jose Luis Borges: The Garden of Forking Paths. 'Welcome to the Garden of Forking Paths, one of the most intriguing areas of the Libyrinth of Allexamina. Here you will find access to the garden planted by J.L. Borges, the Argentine writer, poet and philosopher. Although I tend the garden as well as I can, beware: among these sprawling labyrinths you will find illusions most seductive and truths most elusive. Let me show you around. '

Gabriel Garcia Marquez: Macondo. 'To read his work is to enter a world that is both enchanting in its beauty and haunting in its dreamy familiarity. The world of Gabo's fiction is a magical realm where the strange and exotic can suddenly become comfortably familiar, and the whole concept of an objective reality is put in question. Here, the borders between life and death swirl together in a gentle and mysterious twilight, and -- if we allow it to possess us -- love can strike flaming miracles from the ashes of our soul.'

Umberto Eco: Porta Ludovica. 'Umberto Eco is an Italian writer of fiction, essays, academic texts, and children's books, and certainly one of the finest authors of the twentieth century. A professor of semiotics at the University of Bologna, Eco's brilliant fiction is known for its playful use of language and symbols, its astonishing array of allusions and references, and clever use of puzzles and narrative inventions. His perceptive essays on modern culture are filled with a delightful sense of humor and irony, and his ideas on semiotics, interpretation, and aesthetics have established his reputation as one of academia's foremost thinkers. Porta Ludovica is a website dedicated to this marvelous writer, and has its focus primarily on his works of fiction, each one a crafted jewel of literary genius.'

Photo-Eye Gallery in Santa Fe: Represented Artists. 'Great Contemporary Photography from our photo-eye Gallery in Santa Fe, New Mexico Located in a Lovely House Adjacent to our World-Famous photo-eye Bookstore '

Twin Towers Portfolios. Photography.

The Japanese Silent Films Site.

Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival.
From the FAQ :- 'Yamagata City, in the prefecture of Yamagata, far from the hustle and bustle of the capital Tokyo was the first to hold an international documentary film festival in Asia. The inaugural YAMAGATA International Documentary Film Festival was held in October, 1989 as one of the events commemorating the centennial of Yamagata City. Held biennially, it has become a place for the filmmakers of the world to present both old and new works and to network together. The numbers of film entries and participants from Japan and abroad have increased with the running of each festival - and the opportunities to meet and interact at local venues at a range of enjoyable events is firmly established.'

The Traditional Religion of Vodun (Voodoo) in Haiti. A collection of articles.
Haiti's Voodoo faithful pray.
A dictionary of Voodoo terms.
Dialogue on Doc Reeser.

The Vodou Page. 'Greetings in the name of God/Goddess, the ancestors, and all the lwa! Welcome to the Vodou tradition. I am Mambo Racine Sans Bout, Mambo asogwe of the Vodou ... '

Kate's Library. From the about page :- 'Kate's Library is a display of cover art from a private collection of vintage paperback books. '

Naughty Novels. A fine gallery of pulp paperback covers.

Vinyl Lives! 'Where Every Listing Has A Picture, Every Customer Has A Shopping Cart, and Every Record Has A Hole In The Middle. '

Eros Archives. 'Welcome to Eros Archives. We are dealers in books focusing on erotica, fetish photography and artwork. We also maintain an extensive stock of vintage men's (girlie) and fetish and bondage magazines circa 1950's - 1980's.'

Boreal Sculpture Garden. 'The "Boreal Sculpture Garden" was founded by sculptor, Luben Boykov, and environmentalist, John Evans, in 1995. It is located on 6.5 acres of: pasture, forest, bog and ponds near St. John's, Newfoundland. Enclosed within the area of the Sculpture Garden is a lost wax, bronze casting foundry. Studio space, equipped for wood, stone and metal sculpting, is also part of this complex. The foundry and studio are unusual, in that they are designed to be environmentally friendly.'
'The decision to launch the "Boreal Sculpture Garden" project was motivated by the need to find suitable permanent display space for the work of Luben and visiting artists. Luben's large scale organic abstract sculpture is inspired by the northern boreal environment. We felt that the best place to show these works, from an aesthetic and practical point of view, was outdoors on the land itself ... '
Via Luben's Sculpture. 'Luben Boykov was born in Sofia, Bulgaria in 1960. In 1990 he, and his young family, came to Canada. He lives near St. John's, Newfoundland.'

Geert Maas Sculpture Gardens and Gallery in British Columbia.
Ancestry and Goddesses.

The Tavern Puzzle Collection. 'Tavern puzzles are reproductions of a type of puzzle traditionally forged by blacksmiths to amuse their friends at country taverns and inns. Keeping with tradition, a museum-trained blacksmith from Long Island has reproduced some of these antique designs as well as his own original designs. All the puzzles are handcrafted and individually assembled. Each puzzle is mechanical in nature; removal of the object piece does not rely on force or trickery. '

Magic Chain. 'This amusing toy will boggle anyone's mind. Everyone will see the ring falling from the top to the end of the chain, but all the rings are solidly connected. So how is it possible? Try to find out for yourself.'

Thomas Ball. Soccer ball shaped mechanical puzzles.

18th November
The Virtual Museum of Computing. 'This virtual museum includes an eclectic collection of World Wide Web (WWW) hyperlinks connected with the history of computing and on-line computer-based exhibits available both locally and around the world.'
'This museum opened on 1st June 1995. The museum receives about 200 visitors each day ... '

The Machine That Changed the World.

Charles Babbage 'Babbage was born in Walworth, Surrey, on 26 December 1791. He was one of four children born to the banker Benjamin Babbage and Elizabeth Teape ... Between 1813 and 1868, Babbage published six full length works and nearly ninety papers. Babbage's talents and interests were wide-ranging. He was a prolific inventor, a mathematician, scientist, politician, critic of the scientific establishment and political economist ... Babbage's reputation as a computer pioneer rests on his work on automatic calculating engines. His engines were of two kinds: Difference Engines and Analytical Engines. By previous standards these engines were monumental in conception, size and complexity ... '
The Difference Engine.

The Vasa Museum. 'How about a well preserved warship from 1628? '
The ship. 'In the early 17th century, Sweden was busy building an empire around the Baltic Sea in northern Europe. A strong navy was essential. During the 1620s Sweden was at war with Poland. In 1625 the Swedish king Gustavus Adolphus ordered new warships. Among them the Vasa. '
'The Vasa was built at the Stockholm shipyard by Henrik Hybertsson - an experienced Dutch shipbuilder. His experience was much needed as the Vasa was to be the mightiest warship in the world, armed with 64 guns on two gundecks.'
'In 1628 the ship was ready. Sunday August 10 was the day of the Vasa's maiden voyage. The beaches around Stockholm were filled with spectators, among them foreign diplomats. The maiden voyage was to be an act of propaganda for the ambitious Swedish king Gustavus Adolphus.'
'The Vasa set sail and fired a salute. But only after a few minutes of sailing the ship began to heel over ... '

1492: An Ongoing Voyage. '1492. Columbus. The date and the name provoke many questions related to the linking of very different parts of the world, the Western Hemisphere and the Mediterranean. What was life like in those areas before 1492? What spurred European expansion? How did European, African and American peoples react to each other? What were some of the immediate results of these contacts?'
'1492: An Ongoing Voyage addresses such questions by examining the rich mixture of societies coexisting in five areas of this hemisphere before European arrival. It then surveys the polyglot Mediterranean world at a dynamic turning point in its development.'
'The exhibition examines the first sustained contacts between American people and European explorers, conquerors and settlers from 1492 to 1600. During this period, in the wake of Columbus's voyages, Africans also arrived in the hemisphere, usually as slaves. All of these encounters, some brutal and traumatic, others more gradual, irreversibly changed the way in which peoples in the Americas led their lives ... '

The Yiddish Voice.

Images of Nagano.

Folk Tales from Kashmir.

Liaozhai Zhiyi. Eight stories. 'Pu Songling's tales of the Strange are in essence tales of boundaries between two worlds and what can happen there. The borderland between normal and strange, reality and illusion, dream and awakening, life and death, are herein charted, and the lands to either side found not to be distinct, but rather to bleed together at their edges. In one group of tales, a living man marries a long dead woman, now a ghost. In another, an elder fox-spirit declares war on a man who spurns the proposed marriage of himself with his fox daughter. Still other stories tell of journeys deep into Hell or ascention into Heaven. The line between man and beast is blurred, so that a man may become a tiger because of his predatory nature, while a tiger may become like a son to a wronged woman. In the world of Pu Songling, a prized rock or book or flower may come to a man in his dreams, may even become his lover ... '
Via Supernatural Literature in China.

Unified Vision: The Architecture and Design of the Prairie School. 'In the late 19th century, Louis Sullivan conceived the idea of an authentic American architecture suited to the needs of people living in the modern age.'
'Employing his principles of unified design, Sullivan's followers, including Frank Lloyd Wright, William Gray Purcell, and George Grant Elmslie, developed what is now known as the Prairie School.'
'Unified Vision explores these modern concepts through the exemplary Prairie School collection at The Minneapolis Institute of Arts.'

Larsen: A Living Archive. 'The archive of the Jack Lenor Larsen textile company reveals time and again that the driving force behind this influential company has always been the principal that art need not be separated into high (or fine) art and low art (or craft).'
'The Larsen Design Studio created modern, artistic fabrics for interior use, yet their innovations with handwovens, batiks and fabrics in scale with modern architecture have changed the industry ... '

The Foot in the Door 2000 Exhibition. 'Throughout the first three months of the year 2000, works by over 1700 visual artists were on view in The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, The Foot in the Door Show 2000. This extraordinary exhibition, presented by the Minnesota Artists Exhibition Program (MAEP), invited all Minnesota artists to participate in this exhibition at the museum provided they restricted their work to one cubic foot of gallery space.'

Animal Locomotion. Photography by Eadweard Muybridge, 'grandfather of the motion picture'.

Collage. 'An image database containing 20,000 works from the Guildhall Library and Guildhall Art Gallery London. '

National Museums & Galleries of Wales.
Museum of Welsh Life.

Jubilee Day. The Silver Jubilee in 1977. 'As I began to view the archive film for Jubilee Day, the Timewatch programme exploring how the nation celebrated the Silver Jubilee in 1977, I felt as if I was entering another world. The BBC coverage showed street parties, wheelbarrow races, egg-and-spoon races, fancy dress parades, floats - it all seemed more like a hundred years ago than a mere twenty-five. There was an ingenuousness about the festivities, an uncritical affection for the Royal Family and a strength of community, all of which have dissipated over the last quarter of a century ... '

King John. 'This is a story of failure - of how the last of the Angevin kings failed to hold onto his territory in western France, and almost lost the Kingdom of England. It is the tragedy of a flawed genius, crippled by his own inheritance. The popular image of John is of a classically bad king: a scheming, untrustworthy coward consumed by greed, whose rapaciousness drove his subjects to impose the Magna Carta. His acts of apparent cruelty are well documented. He hanged 28 hostages, sons of rebel Welsh chieftains in 1212 and starved to death William de Braose's wife and son in a royal prison ... '

The Reign of Richard II, 1377 to 1399.
The Peasants' Revolt.

The Miracles of Mary: A 17th-Century Ethiopian Manuscript.

God of the Month Club. Via Metafilter, courtesy of madamjujujive.

Leonid meteor storm forecast. Via Metafilter.

17th November
The Crumb Museum. The art of Robert Crumb.

Crumb Products. Products by Robert Crumb and other members of the Crumb family; site maintained by Jesse Crumb.
Family gallery.

A World Community of Old Trees. Tree gallery and tree museum.

The Ancient Trees of McNutt's Island.

Robert Hooke. 'Robert Hooke is one of the most neglected natural philosophers of all time. The inventor of, amongst other things, the iris diaphragm in cameras, the universal joint used in motor vehicles, the balance wheel in a watch, the originator of the word 'cell' in biology, he was Surveyor of the City of London after the Great Fire of 1666, architect, experimenter, worked in astronomy - yet is known mostly for Hooke's Law. He fell out with Newton, and certainly had a difficult temperament. He deserves more from History than he received in his lifetime.'

Ogura Hyakunin Isshu: 100 Poems by 100 Poets.
' Ogura Hyakunin Isshu, also called Hyakunin Isshu, is an anthology of 100 poems by 100 different poets. The poems are all "waka" (now called "tanka"). Waka are five-line poems of 31 syllables, arranged as 5, 7, 5, 7, 7. The waka represented in Hyakunin Isshu were court poetry, which almost exclusively used the waka format from the earliest days of Japanese poetry until the seventeen-syllable haiku came into prominence in the seventeenth century.'

Free the Drapchi 14. 'Fourteen nuns were imprisoned in Drapchi Prison, in Lhasa, Tibet. They were jailed for taking part in peaceful demonstrations in Tibet, between 1989 and 1992. All of the demonstrations were non-violent, involving less than half a dozen people and lasting less than five minutes. The have become known collectively as the Drapchi 14 ... '

The Seminole Tribe of Florida. History of culture; official site.
History of the Seminole Tribe.

The Good Spider.

Centro de documentación y archivo para la defensa de los derechos humanos. From the 'about' page :- 'The website of the archives of Paraguay's former Political Police, held in the Centro de documentación y archivo para la defensa de los derechos humanos (CdyA) at the High Court of Justice in Asunción, Paraguay, was developed by UNESCO's Information Society Division and launched on 25 July 2000 ... The website provides basic information on the collection of the Centre, which keeps documents of the Paraguayan Police during the Stroessner period (1954-1989). The Centre also holds documents related to the Operation Condor, a secret agreement on co-operation between the security forces of at least five Latin American military dictatorships.' (Website in Spanish).

The Bonsai Site.

Ako's East Coast Blues. 'Chikako "Ako" Atsuta's pieces talk about her life as a first generation Japanese woman living and working in Massachusetts. '

The National Archives of Ireland: The Great Famine.

The James Joyce Centre, in Dublin.

Work in Progress. A James Joyce website. 'Work in Progress, the original Joycean website, is a constellation of resources available to enthusiasts and scholars of the work of James Joyce. '

James Joyce: The Brazen Head. A very good Joyce site, est. 1995.
'Have a seat at the bar, and while I pour you a pint, let me explain the purpose of this site. At the Brazen Head, you will find a ball of electronic twine to aid you in your travels through the labyrinth of Dedalus. Here you will find information and resources on Joyce and his works, links to other Joyce sites across the Web, and miscellaneous Joycean tidbits. It is my intention to create a comfortable spot where long time enthusiasts of Joyce and those just beginning to read his work may visit and kick back to enjoy exploring the world of this delightfully mad Irishman.'

@ 149 St. 'New York City cyber bench.'
About. 'The @149st web site's primary objective is the preservation of the history of the art form developed on New York City's subways. It is a work-in-progress and the basis for a future book.'
'@149st derives its name from the last existing writer's bench during the New York City subway aerosol art movement. 149th Street Grand Concourse, a subway station in the Bronx located on the showcase 2 and 5 lines. A place where writers from all over the city came to meet, make plans, settle disputes and most of all bench ... '

Subway Outlaws.

Memorial Walls. 'Over the last decade in New York City, a new form of urban public art arose in response to countless tragic and untimely deaths. Young graffiti artists who perfected their skills spray-painting on subway cars began to accept commissions to create murals commemorating the lives of victims of violence. These colorful paintings now abound in grim neighborhoods where violent death has become a part of everyday life ... '


The Art of Love: Madame de Pompadour and the Wallace Collection.

Secret Santa.

SlugX. Environmentally friendly slug trap.

Myra Hindley dies.