plep Archive

10th October
Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts. Really well worth visiting.

The History of a House in Hilltop Road, East Oxford. 'The history of this house centred round the family, the parents and their interests, the children, celebratory meals, creative activities and student lodgers. '
'The emphasis is on drawings, diagrams, paintings and photographs.'
10 minute Flash movie. Wonderful stuff.

Alcane. Postcards of East Oxford.
'I've been around Oxford for 11 years working as a community arts worker, initally at Bloomin Arts and more recently self employed as a photographer, graphic designer, community education tutor and part time dj. '
'Before that I lived and worked in London and California again mostly on community arts projects. '
'Brought out the series of Oxford postcards (photograffitti) in 1998 which were a great success in terms of recognition and sales. Moving into digital photography and film animation. '
Via Project Oxford East Mapping.

The Murthly Hours. 'The Murthly Hours is one of Scotland's great medieval treasures. Written and illuminated in Paris in the 1280s, it also contains full-page miniatures by English artists of the same period, and was one of the most richly decorated manuscripts in medieval Scotland. Medieval additions include probably the second oldest example of Gaelic written in Scotland. '

National Library of Wales Map Collection.
Cambriae Typus, the earliest printed map of Wales (1573).
Aberystwyth Bay.

National Library of Wales Photograph Collection. 'Since its foundation in 1907 the National Library of Wales has collected photographs, concentrating on pictures that document people and places in Wales or Welsh life in general. The collection now numbers about 750,000 images dating from the earliest days of photography to the present. It is the largest and richest collection of photographs of Welsh interest in existence and represents the foundation of a Welsh National Photographic Archive. '
Haymaking, Aberdaron.

Cow Parade. 'Capturing the hearts and imaginations of millions worldwide, CowParade travels to exciting new cities around the globe. '

The Feather Trade and the American Conservation Movement. 'America in the 19th century seemed a land of limitless natural resources. Writers, artists, hunters, collectors and the new middle class enthusiastically celebrated and exploited the wonders of the natural world in their work, homes and dress. But this fascination for nature and a thriving market for its products caused sharp declines in the numbers of many species.'
'Despite regulations to control hunting, few regulations were effective and widespread enough to halt the slaughter of some animals. Angered by the cruelty inflicted on birds for fashion, a few compassionate and determined individuals stepped forward in the 1890s to found the first Audubon and conservation societies.'
Feather hats.

Darling, You Send Me. Smithsonian Valentines.

The History of Public Pensions. (Canadian Museum of Civilization)
'Most Canadians in 1867 did not "retire". Canada was then a largely pre-industrial, agricultural society. Most people lived and worked on farms well into their old age. When they were physically unable to work, they were supported by their families on the farm.'
'Those without family support had few options. Many turned to local charities or public "poor relief" for help. However, these forms of assistance were often difficult to obtain. For example, unless they had a medical certificate excusing them from work, recipients of public assistance could be required to saw cordwood or break rock as a condition for receiving help. Even then, many poor seniors had to beg for additional help because the assistance they received was so minimal.'
'By the early 20th century, industrialization greatly changed the Canadian way of life. Across Canada, the migration of people from rural communities to cities and towns had a huge impact on the lives of older people. Farm life and the family support system were dissolved, and many elderly poor lived the rest of their lives in poorhouses ... '

The Education of Children in New France. 'Education of the average child was a fairly neglected field in France, at least until the beginning of the seventeenth century. Faced with the dazzling rise of the Protestants who printed, translated and distributed the Bible teaching people their letters so that everyone could read and comprehend the Bible in their own tongue the Catholic Church realized that they had to act quickly. At the same time, it became clear that the Churchs pastors, charged with instructing the faithful in religious matters, had major gaps in their own education as well. This vast enterprise of religious reconquest, also known as the Counter-Reformation or Catholic Reformation, first entailed taking the clergy in hand, followed by the creation of free public schools: the infant schools where all children would learn their catechism ... '

An online, illustrated book.
Sixty Centuries of Copper.
'The story of copper and its principal alloys, bronze and brass, is virtually a chronicle of human endeavor since man emerged from the Stone Age. The ubiquity of the copper metals and their contribution to every civilization since Sumeria and Pre-Dynastic Egypt gives them a unique position in the history of technology. '
'This book replaces a publication first issued by the Copper Development Association in 1934. Like the original work, Copper Through the Ages, the present volume is intended for the reader who is interested in the general history of copper mining, the development of metal-working processes and the uses of copper through the past six thousand years. The scope of the subject is so enormous that some sections have been covered only briefly, but it is felt that the book will be a useful introductory guide to students of history, particularly since the teaching of history has been broadened to embrace the origins of applied science. It should also help metallurgists, architects, industrial designers, engineers and other technologists to appreciate the part played by the copper metals in the past and recognize their potential contribution to future advances in civilization. The book traces the links between man's early uses of copper and the applications of today, and thereby outlines a continuous record of satisfactory service in which new uses for copper have been found in practically every century. '

NASA Origins Program. Where do we come from? Are we alone?

ANC 90th Anniversary 1912-2002.

The Art and Nature of Fresco, by Sister Lucia Wiley, who you can see at work on her crucifix fresco. 'I believe fresco is the most universal, simplest, the most direct, the most natural expression of the artist. Yet of all forms of painting, it demands the most of the artist. It calls from the painter the fullest giving of herself. It draws on every inch of her physical and mental and spiritual being, as she contemplates the same idea, the same motif, day after day, month after month, and then creates the fresco out of every ounce of herself. In addition to this, throughout the day the capacity of the plaster to assimilate color varies-it is a living changing thing. The painter must be sensitive to this constantly changing appetite and feed it accordingly. In my own studio practice, I like to call this ability-or gift-the "mothering principle." Painting a fresco uses this gift like no other artistic process. '

Visit to the Sistine Chapel. Virtual tour.

Arms into Art. An exhibition of art from Mozambique.

The Colosseum. 'The Colosseum is now 1922 years old, and from its first appearance in Rome it has been used in many different ways, according to the beliefs and necessities of men: it started as the greatest amphitheatre of the antiquity, an architectural and engineering wonder, a standing proof of both the grandeur and the cruelty of the Roman world, then it was abandoned, and later it became a fortress for the medieval clans of the city; it has been a source of building materials, a picturesque scenery for painters, a place of Christian worship, and now is a challenge for the archaeologists and a scenario for events and plays, some even older than the amphitheatre. This site wants to be a tribute to the majesty of the most visited monument in Italy and a guide to the visitor, giving historical and practical information on the different aspects of the symbol of Rome. Ah, the usual disclaimer: those of you who know about the Roman amphitheatre are therefore kindly requested to do no more than smile at my efforts on these pages, and write me to correct it if you feel so inclined; those of you who come to the subject for the first time should certainly not take my opinions for gospel. Use the menu on top and remember that there are "hidden" pages that you can only open from the text ...'

Sumo Latest. Roundup.

Images of Hiroshima. As it is today.

Trance-Dancers of the Goddess Durga. 'A few miles south of Kathmandu, on a promontory of lush rice fields looking over the Bagmati River, lies the village of Harasiddhi, named after a Goddess of the same name. The inhabitants rarely venture beyond the village. White-robed priests pace the narrow cobblestone paths, women draw water from dark wells, and shy children peer at the rare visitors from behind carved wooden window panels depicting mythical creatures. In short, everything in this village gives the impression that it has been left behind by time. At the center of the village is a four-story pagoda temple housing the Goddess Harasiddhi. '
'Ancient Nepali chronicles agree that "no dramatic performance equals that of the Harasiddhi priests." The manifestations of the Mother Goddess and her retinue of deities possess the dancers, intoxicated on sacrificial blood and alcohol. A hypnotic musical score, punctuated by symbolic gestures accompanies the spectacle whose secret meanings remain closed to the non-initiate. '


Finally got away for a night so the week off wasn't a total loss!

The Surveillance Camera Players. They act out in front of CCTV cameras.
Surveillance camera walking tours in New York, England and elsewhere.
Camera locations in NYC.
History of surveillance cameras in England.
A counter-suveillance report from Singapore.

9th October
Fakes and Forgeries: Four Letters "by" Lord Byron. 'How does an expert in literary manuscripts tell if a document is a fake or a forgery? Christopher Fletcher, curator of modern literary manuscripts at The British Library, discusses this question by looking at four letters purporting to be from the poet Lord Byron. Only one of the quartet is genuine. '

The Newton Project. From the introduction :- 'Isaac Newton (1642-1727) is universally acknowledged as one of the two or three most influential scientists in history. In his Principia Mathematica of 1687 he announced three laws of motion and the concepts of mass, force and Universal Gravitation. In his Opticks of 1704 he showed that white light was heterogeneously composed of more basic, primary rays, each with its own specific colour and index of refraction. Apart from these achievements in physics, Newtons mathematical prowess was extraordinary, and with Gottfried Leibniz he was one of the two independent inventors of the calculus. '
'Although these achievements are fundamental to modern mathematics and physics, it is less well known that Newton himself placed great value on his private researches into theology and alchemy. Interest in the wealth of surviving manuscript material in these areas has increased dramatically in recent years, and in 1998 it was decided to make these extraordinary texts (and those papers relevant to his time as Warden and then Master of the Mint) available to a broad readership. To that end, the Newton Project was formed in order to create both electronic and printed editions of Newtons theological, alchemical and administrative writings.'
Alchemical manuscripts.

Newton and the Moon. 'This page offers historical material relating to theories of the Moon's motion, especially those of Newton and those surrounding him. '

Elegance, Virtue and Ceremony: Buddhist Paintings of the Heian and Kamakura Periods. 'The Heian and Kamakura Periods were a golden age in the history of Japanese art, especially in the field of Buddhist painting. This "Age of the Court," was not only a time in which the Japanese style became established, but it was also one of deep interconnections between aesthetics and religious faith. '
'The generous contributions of the aristocracy to the fine arts led to the production of an abundance of elegant masterpieces. '
'This Special Exhibition features some of the finest works of Buddhist art from this age, with special attention paid to the interelationships between art and Buddhist rituals and ceremonies.'

Rennyo and Hongan-ji: History and Fine Arts. 'This Special Exhibition commemorates the 500th anniversary of the death of the priest Rennyo (1415 - 1497), known as the revivalist of Jodo Shin-shu Buddhism.'

Pre-1870 American Surgical Instruments & Amputation Sets.

The Wuffings. 'Welcome to Dr Sam Newton's Wuffings' Website, which aims to provide a focus for the study of the Wuffing Kingdom of East Anglia in particular and for Anglo-Saxon England in general.'
Who was who.
Sutton Hoo: burial ground of the Wuffings. 'These pages are intended as a focus for those interested in the royal burial mounds of Sutton Hoo in south-east Suffolk. It is widely believed and it seems most likely (no serious argument has ever been mounted to cast any doubt on the view) that this was the main burial-place of the Wuffings from the late sixth to the early seventh centuries.'
Where the Wuffings walked. With map.

Kings and Queens of the United Kingdom. The official version of royal history (from
Kings and Queens of Scotland.
Kings and Queens of England.

Fireside Chats of Franklin D. Roosevelt. An online collection. 'The Fireside Chats were contributed by the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library, located in Hyde Park, New York.'

Drive-in Museum. 'The Drive-in Museum is a growing collection of online exhibits that celebrate the history, heyday, and current state of the drive-in movie theater. '
Drive-in Boneyard.

New Orleans Worst Film Festival.

Images Under the Stars: A Tribute to Kansas Drive-In Theatres Past and Present, a.k.a. the Kansas Drive-in Theatre Project.

A Graphic Portrait of the Fifties in America. "A Retro Graphic Production" 'Old time candy at it's best!'
'Many old time candies are still made & you can find them here!! Classic candies of years gone by.'

Scrapbook of the Revolution. Images of the Cultural Revolution.
About the project. 'I purchased two photo albums from a man at the Gui Shi flea market in Beijing. The albums contain the images you see here. '

Pablo Picasso: Le Site Officiel. A very large site which includes a biography, genealogy, exhibitions, etc.

Picasso: The Early Years, 1892-1906. 'The most celebrated artist of the twentieth century, Pablo Picasso was a prodigy whose virtuosity, imagination, and expressive power were evident long before he reached the age of twenty. '
'This exhibition examines the first decade and a half of Picasso's extraordinary career.'

Picasso for the Man in the Street.

The Men's Room. 'Vintage Smut, Song and Sinema.'
The lore of the paperback lesbian.

Peacecry. 'This is a cry for peace.'

Clear Any Clogged Drain.

The Appalachian Trail Home Page. 'The Appalachian Trail is a continuous marked footpath that goes from Katahdin in Maine to Springer Mountain in Georgia, a distance of about 2160 miles. Many trace the origins of the Trail to a 1921 article by Benton MacKaye entitled An Appalachian Trail: A Project in Regional Planning ... '

Voices from the Conflict.
' Mohammed Hassan Bakri is an Israeli Arab living in the village of al-Jani in the Galilee in Israel. He has been a doctor for 27 years. In 1982, Dr Bakri treated injured Jewish Israelis in Kiriyat Shmona near the Lebanese border. They were hit during guerrilla attacks with Katyusha rockets. But as the current intifada has worn on, he has spent more and more time working with Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. '
' Gila Svirsky, an Israeli peace campaigner for more than 15 years, lives in Jerusalem. She is a founding member of the Coalition of Women for a Just Peace, a grouping of eight Israeli and Palestinian women's peace organisations. '
' Yonatan Yagodovsky is the Jerusalem manager of Magen David Adom - the Israeli equivalent of the Red Cross or Red Crescent. He is 43 years old, married and a father of three children. He has been involved in Magen David Adom since the age of 16. '
' Mahmoud Shahin is a 36-year-old Palestinian who lives in Irtas, a village just outside the West Bank city of Bethlehem. He is married and the father of a baby boy. In peaceful times, Mahmoud commutes from home to East Jerusalem to his job as a head waiter in a hotel. '
' Yehuda Aslan is a 43-year-old father of three. He and his brother own and manage a café and restaurant in West Jerusalem. His businesses would normally be full of all kinds of young Israelis and Israeli Arabs. But in the current climate of fear of suicide bombers, customers are fewer and fewer and it is a struggle to keep cafes and restaurants going. '
' Ron is a 26-year-old law and business student living in Herzelia, just north of Tel Aviv. He was serving as a reservist officer on guard duty near Jerusalem when Israel launched its Operation Defensive Wall on 29 March 2002. He was with the first units to go into the Jenin refugee camp. '

8th October
Anthem for Doomed Youth. Twelve soldier poets of the First World War.

The Holocaust Exhibition. 'Four years in the making, the Imperial War Museum's Holocaust Exhibition uses historical material to tell the story of the Nazis' persecution of the Jews and other groups before and during the Second World War. '
'The 1200 square metre historical display covers two floors and brings to this country for the first time rare and important objects, some of them from former concentration and extermination camp museums in Germany, Poland and the Ukraine.'

The Sheela Na Gig Project. (Linked a while back but it's well worth another look). 'Sheela Na Gig's are quasi-erotic stone carvings of a female figure ,usually found on Norman churches. They consist of an old woman squatting and pulling apart her vulva a fairly strange thing to find on a church I think you'll agree when you consider the puritanical attitudes of many Christians. The carvings are very old and often do not seem to be part of the church but have been taken from a previous older building (see the weathering on the Church Stretton Sheela as compared to the surrounding masonry). This may have a connection with fact that many churches are built on previous pagan sites (for instance Kilpeck) and may have been incorporated into the building from an earlier church. Many of the carvings are badly weathered and it is difficult to determine features. This would also seem to indicate an older origin than the host church.'

Maitreya Project. Project to erect a 500 foot statue of the Maitreya (future) Buddha in India.
Relic tour.

Number Patterns: Fun with Curves & Topology. Good maths.

Planetary Robotics Laboratory. 'JPLs Planetary Robotics Lab (PRL), under the direction of Dr. Paul S. Schenker, has designed and fielded a series of rover prototypes for planetary surface exploration during the past eight years. These include the Lightweight Survivable Rover (LSR), the Sample Return Rover (SRR), the Field Integrated Design and Operations (FIDO) rover, and the Legged Excursion Mechanical Utility Robot (LEMUR).Currently, the FIDO rover directly supports the NASA/JPL Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Project that will launch 2 rovers to Mars in the summer of 2003.'

Fuel Cell Today. Extensive fuel cell technology portal.

Favourite Getaways in Rural Japan. A free e-book.
'A detailed guide to rural Japanese travel getaways, with comprehensive facts on using Japanese inns, transportation, and baths, plus insights on Japanese culture, customs, and religion. '

Midnight Eye. A very, very good site about Japanese cinema.

Zen Guide. What is Zen?

The Mirrar. An Aboriginal people of the Australia's Top End. 'In 1977 the Aboriginal opposition to the Ranger Uranium proposal was overridden with the words "their opposition shall not be allowed to prevail". Our people were told that the rest of Australia wanted uranium mining within Kakadu National Park. Two decades later and the voices of the Mirrar are again drowned by corporate and government ineptitude and marginalising processes. We welcome your help to spread this story before it becomes history. '

Northern Land Council. 'The Northern Land Council was established in 1973 to represent traditional Aboriginal landowners and Aboriginal people in the Top End of the Northern Territory of Australia. '
'About 28,000 Aboriginal people live in the Northern Land Council's area. '
'The most important responsibilities of the Northern Land Council are to consult with, advise, assist and act for traditional landowners and other Aboriginal people about all actions affecting land they own or have an interest in. This includes proposals for activities on the land and legislation affecting the land and their land rights. '

Lesbian Pulp Fiction Collection. Cover illustrations.

Origins of American Animation. 'The development of early American animation is represented by this collection of 21 animated films and 2 fragments, which spans the years 1900 to 1921. The films include clay, puppet, and cut-out animation, as well as pen drawings. They point to a connection between newspaper comic strips and early animated films, as represented by Keeping Up With the Joneses, Krazy Kat, and The Katzenjammer Kids. As well as showing the development of animation, these films also reveal the social attitudes of early twentieth-century America. '

Society for Commercial Archaeology. Roadside americana. 'Established in 1977, the SCA is the oldest national organization devoted to the buildings, artifacts, structures, signs, and symbols of the 20th-century commercial landscape.'
Texas roadside gallery.

Stuck on Stuckey's. 'I am a confirmed Stuckologist. When I travel the highways of this great country of ours, I plan the routes that have at least one Stuckey's at which to stop. At first, I rejected the new "Stuckey's Express" stores as not worthy successors to the traditional outlets, with their classic roadside roofline, complete with (remember this?) the sillouette of a horse drawn carriage with the words "PECAN SHOPPE" beckoning you off of the asphalt snake to spend a few dollars on roadside art. But I have come to realize that like other companies, Stuckey's has to change with the times in order to remain viable. '
Roadside 'art'.
Slide show 2002.

Lost Indiana. 'Indiana is a vibrant state, with much to offer the visitor or resident, and a bright future in the new century. But as time marches forward, echoes of the past are still spread across the landscape.'
'Indianas history has always been closely linked to agriculture - a tradition that continues today. However, at one time Indiana was the center of population for the United States - and great industrial institutions grew up from the farmland. First dirt, then gravel, then mighty paved highways crossed the map. The state was a hub for many railroads, and grand stations and exclusive resorts were built along the tracks.'
'As these industrial giants waned in the global economy, sleepy state highways were passed by great interstates, the railroads faded, and we are left with the discarded shells of what Indiana is no longer.'
'These pages chronicle my continuing desire to snapshot these markers of our history before they fade forever into dust. '

Indiana Historic Architecture. 'The Indiana Historic Architecture Home Page spotlights historic architecture and neighborhoods throughout all of Indiana. Here you will find an extensive photo gallery--over 100 photos--of historic architecture, with more being added all the time.'
Abandoned structures of Gary, Indiana.

Indiana Nike Missile Sites. 'The Nike program was ended by the military in 1974 and forever by the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty, but the history lives on at crumbling (or converted) sites testifying to a time when the US prepared for imminent attack from Soviet aircraft. Nike anti-aircraft missiles were stationed in rings around major metropolitan and industrial centers across the nation ready to fire upon enemy planes using conventional and nuclear warheads.'

Hammond, Indiana. A city with an interesting history.
Postwar photo journal.

UCM Museum, Louisiana. An eccentric roadside museum.
'North of New Orleans, minutes from Interstate 12, in the historic town of Abita Springs this roadside attraction features a vintage service station, a 90yr old Louisiana Creole cottage, an exhibition hall of memorabilia, and the much photographed House of Shards. '
'You'll see incredible handmade animated scenes of Southern life by Louisiana inventor/artist, John Preble. With the help of over 50,000 found and recycled objects, Preble created his own fantastic worlds: there's a Mardi Gras parade, a New Orleans jazz funeral, a rhythm and blues dance hall, a haunted Southern plantation, and much more! '
Aliens trashed our Airstream travel trailer.
Wacky postcards.

Classic Cafes. 'Often dismissed as 'greasy spoons', classic cafes are actually little gems of British vernacular high street design. Here we celebrate the best ones with over 100 vintage formica caffs and associated enclaves, reviewed, revealed and reappraised. A lo-fi fast track insight into the backwaters of Britannia Moribundia.'

Ace Cafe London. Famous North London bikers' cafe. Commonplace. 'These images evolved from that first picture. During my sabbatical leave in 1994, I drove from Eastern Pennsylvania to Minneapolis and back, stopping in small towns and poking around in empty clubs, funeral homes, any kind of public space and making photographs, the one final subject of which is interiors used for some public or common purpose. The images describe the time between events. At the content level the pictures are sociological studies of culture and class as evidenced in artifact. Looking at them reminds me of peeking into the medicine chest while using an acquaintance's bathroom.'

Snapcity. Polaroids of NYC and San Francisco.
Past photos of the week.

7th October
Well, my plan of heading off for a couple of days has gone bang - a blocked drain needs attention and I need to be here. Anyway, here are a couple of links I'd been saving up (quite a few filched from Metafilter, it has to be said) :-

Hello World! - 'We THINK we are a bunch of COOL persians spread all over the world. We THINK the rest of the world has got a lot to learn about our culture, viewpoints and ideas. '
'And we THINK we are brave enough to speak out for ourselves...oh yeah...we THINK a lot, don't we? '
A revolution crumbles. Blogging in Iran.
Editor: Myself. Hossein Derakhshan's English language weblog - always a good read.

University of St Andrews Debating Society. Bear with it until you get to the bottom... there's a rather amusing twist in the tail. (Thanks Joan!).

Daily wisdom at Cloud 9.

Palin's Travels. Michael Palin's travel website - great. Via wood s lot.

Geisha Asobi. Very good blog.

Masturbate for Peace. Don't miss the links page ...

Google Watch. Critical look at the search engine.

Relics and Reliquaries. Lots of images. 'Christian belief in the power of relics, the physical remains of a holy site or holy person, or objects with which they had contact, is as old as the faith itself and developed alongside it. Relics were more than mementos. The New Testament refers to the healing power of objects that were touched by Christ or his apostles. The body of the saint provided a spiritual link between life and death, between man and God: "Because of the grace remaining in the martyr, they were an inestimable treasure for the holy congregation of the faithful." Fueled by the Christian belief in the afterlife and resurrection, in the power of the soul, and in the role of saints as advocates for humankind in heaven, the veneration of relics in the Middle Ages came to rival the sacraments in the daily life of the medieval church.'

The Veneration of Saints and Pirs in Islam.

SoYouWanna Join the Circus? Here's how.

The Tree of Life Crop Circle Formation. 'Two very significant crop circle formations appeared at Barbury Castle in May 1997. They seemed to reveal extremely important information. One of the formations was the Kabalistic Tree of Life ... ' (Thanks Joan!).

' A self-organising electronic circuit has stunned engineers by turning itself into a radio receiver.'

Milon's memory, a living obituary.

Checkershadow Illusion.

Emergency DIY Tips. Blocked drains happen at the most inconvenient times.