plep Archive

14th September
Save Amina from Death by Stoning. Open letter to the President of Nigeria :-
'Your Excellency,
'I am writing to express our concern about the sentence of death by stoning which was passed on Ms Amina Lawal, on 22 March, by a local court at Bakori in Katsina State.
'It was particularly distressing to learn about this judgement in view of the recent and very welcome decision by the Appeal Court in Sokoto State to uphold the appeal of Ms Safiya Hussaini, who had also been sentenced to be stoned to death.
'The sentence on Ms Lawal has provoked a world-wide wave of shock and revulsion. There is general disbelief that Nigerian women, living in a democracy, could be sentenced to such a cruel, inhumane and degrading punishment, which runs completely counter to the International Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhumane and Degrading Treatment and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.
'I urge you to use your wisdom of office and growing international respect to ensure that this sentence is not carried out.
'Please ensure that all citizens of Nigeria - men and women - are protected by the rule of law, and in accordance with international standards of human rights, from such cruel, inhumane and degrading punishments as the sentence passed on Ms Amina Lawal.
'Yours sincerely ... '
(with thanks to jp, posting on American Samizdat. )
Merton Amnesty International group.

On the Surface of Things. Images in science and engineering.
'Felice Frankel, an artist in residence at MIT and a research scientist in Electrical Engineering & Computer Science, illustrates cutting-edge research in biology, chemistry, physics, and other disciplines using microscopic photography and digital imaging. While much of her work has been produced at MIT, she has also created images in the research labs of Harvard, Brandeis, Lehigh, the University of Chicago, and the University of California at Davis. '

Aboriginal Shell Necklaces of Tasmania. 'Shell necklace making is one of the few surviving traditional Aboriginal crafts in Tasmania. There are only a handful of Aboriginal women who are still actively making the necklaces. Their work can be seen on display in a special gallery in the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery at Inveresk in Launceston, the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery in Hobart, the Tiagarra Aboriginal Cultural Centre in Devonport and the Maritime Museum of Tasmania in Hobart. The Devonport Art Gallery also has a necklace in its collection that it will show you by appointment. '
Via Found and Made in Tasmania.

Did You Ever Have a Dream Like This? (American Museum of Photography) 'Tall Tales have an honored place in American culture. From Paul Bunyan and King Kong to the legions of fishermen boasting about "the one that got away," there is something about exaggeration that appeals to our sense of national grandeur. Perhaps it's also our view that in the modern world, anything is possible. Giant hybrid crops? Sure. Rabbits the size of Buicks? Well--maybe. '
'Exactly this formula proved the key to oversize wealth and success for a photographer named William H. "Dad" Martin. In 1894, he took over a studio in Ottawa, Kansas. Martin began using trick photography in 1908, producing a series of wildly exaggerated post cards. These were so popular that he sold his studio the next year to concentrate on the post card business ... '

The Day Britain Returned Hong Kong to China. (BBC, 1997)

The Romance of the Three Kingdoms 'tells us a history of the late Han dynasty.After the Huang Jin uprising, there were many warlords.Through decades of chaos there were three countries--Wei Shu and Wu kingdom.Soon Si Ma family got the power of Wei Kingdom and found Jin dynasty.Finally Jin unified the country.'
'We present you an interesting part of the novel with beautiful Chinese paintings.'

Out of This World: The Golden Age of the Celestial Atlas. 'Welcome to our exhibition, celebrating the most glorious of scientific books, the celestial atlas. This electronic catalog will serve as a guide to the exhibition, but will also utilize the unique advantages of hypertext media to explore the history of celestial cartography from many vantage points ... '

Tropisms. A video-log of a journey through South America with camera and laptop. Check it out. (Graphics-heavy - best viewed over a fast connection).


Museum of Bad Art. 'The Museum of Bad Art is a community-based, private institution dedicated to the collection, preservation, exhibition and celebration of bad art in all its forms and in all its glory. '
'The pieces in the MOBA collection range from the work of talented artists that have gone awry, to works of exuberant, although crude, execution by artists barely in control of the brush. What they all have in common is a special quality that sets them apart in one way or another from the merely incompetent. '

The Atomic Age Opens Postcard Project. Via Bowling Green State University Popular Culture Library.

billyblob Cartoons, art, true stories.

Toxteth Red Watch. Liverpool firefighters.

Ariga. 'Online since 1995 for pleasure and peace.'
Pleasure: Arts and Letters. 'If you were looking for sex, sorry. We think moving the Middle East to the Mediterranean is pretty sexy ... '

Open Tent. 'Open Tent's mission is to promote understanding and appreciation of Middle Eastern cultures and faith traditions, and to engender mutual respect, harmony, cooperation and a sense of shared heritage among people of Middle Eastern backgrounds.'

Hall of Presidents. (Smithsonian) Portraits of US presidents.

Picturing Business in America. Online exhibition on the distinctive line drawing head portraits ('hedcuts') in the Wall Street Journal.

History of the Benson Hotel, Portland, Oregon.

A Scottish Pineapple. A garden folly.

Hong Kong in Pictures.

Diana Remembered. (BBC, 1997) What a strange time that was.

Beautiful Dreams Company. An artistic website. Lots to see here.

African Gallery @ the University of Pennsylvania Museum.

Megalítica - Megaliths of Menorca.

Mental Culture in Burmese Crisis Politics: Aung San Suu Kyi and the National League for Democracy.

Who armed Saddam? 'An American company, Pfaulder Corporation of Rochester, New York, supplied the Iraqis with a blueprint in 1975, enabling them to construct their first chemical warfare plant. The plant was purchased in sections from Italy, West Germany and East Germany and assembled in Iraq. It was located at Akhashat in north-western Iraq, and the cost was around $50 million for the plant and $30 million for the safety equipment. '

13th September
Goya to Beijing. 'In the politically responsive spirit of Goya, internationally acclaimed contemporary artists have gathered together to remember the tragic events which took place in Tiananmen Square, Beijing, China, June 4, 1989. '
'The purpose of this exhibition is to commemorate the anniversary of this political struggle for democracy.'

Royal Journal | Found Art. Good stuff.

Daily Martian Weather Report.

A Photo Essay on the Great Depression.
A Depression Art Gallery.

Mishima Yukio Cyber Museum.

Paradise Possessed. (Australian National University)
'The possible existence of a great south land can be traced back to the writings of Ptolomy, who believed that a large land mass must exist in the earth's southern regions as a balance to the land in the north. Unable to be verified, due to the great distances involved, the existence of the southern land remained in the realm of myth for over 1500 years. The lack of accurate information did not prevent people from speculating upon what this southern land would hold, but seemed rather to encourage the imagination. In early maps and descriptions of Terra Australis Incognita, rather than leave a blank space, the land is peopled with European fears or desires- expressions of the monstrous or the exotic. '
'Terra Australis became a setting for utopias and distopias, a land in which to demonstrate the possibilities of human behaviour, and raised the hope that a second Eden might exist, a paradise rich and unspoiled. When the European nations began to seek the substance behind the myth and to set out on voyages of discovery, it was with the desire to possess paradise ... '
Online exhibition.

The Great Masters by Mortimer Menpes. 'Australian-born artist Mortimer Luddington Menpes (1855-1938) completed his art training in London in 1880. He first gained recognition as a student and follower of 'The Master', James McNeill Whistler, and later became one of the most popular and widely exhibited artists of his generation. '
'Menpes was a prodigious traveller and raconteur, an innovative and entrepreneurial printmaker and print publisher, a biographer, crack- shot, wrestler, prize fowl-raiser and lover of all things Japanese. In 1911 he donated 38 works to the people of Australia. Now housed at the National Library, each painting is a copy by Menpes of a work by a 'Great Master'.'
Menpes gifted the Australian people with his copies because the great majority of Australians would be never be able to see the originals, in Europe.

Monkey Heaven 'is a tribute to the cult classic live action Japanese TV series Monkey (sometimes known as Monkey Magic), made by NTV in the late 1970s, and starring Masaaki Sakai, Toshiyuki Nishida, Shiro Kishibe, Masako Natsume, Tonpei Hidari, Shunji Fujimara, Mieko Takamine. '

Public Lettering: A Walk in Central London.

Map Collections: 1500-2002. 'The Geography and Map Division of the Library of Congress holds more than 4.5 million items, of which Map Collections represents only a small fraction, those that have been converted to digital form. '
'The focus of Map Collections is Americana and Cartographic Treasures of the Library of Congress. These images were created from maps and atlases and, in general, are restricted to items that are not covered by copyright protection.'
Panoramic maps of towns and cities.
Mapping the national parks.
Railroa d maps.

A Guide to the Alleys, Courts, Passages and Yards of Central London. 'On the 5th July 1763 Dr Johnson, advising his long suffering biographer, Boswell, said 'Sir, if you wish to have a just notion of the magnitude of this city, you must not be satisfied with seeing its great streets and squares, but must survey its innumerable little lanes and courts.' Many years ago I decided to take the good doctor up on his recommendation and became so enthralled in what I saw and read that the inclination to write about them came quite naturally ... '

Westminster Cathedral. Has an interesting history; also does good work for the homeless.

CIA Museum.

St Ethelburga, 'completely destroyed by an IRA bomb in 1993, was the smallest of the City churches at 56 feet long and 30 feet wide. The parish covered just three acres, an acre less than the area covered by the Bank of England.'
'The church had survived since 1390, having been outside the area destroyed by the Great Fire. In a unique arrangement, until 1932 a little shop and a house (built in 1577 and 1615) stood against the western end of the church adjoining the street.. '
'The church is currently being restored as a centre for peace and reconcilliation. '
Via City of London Churches.

A Reader's Guide to the Arts of Japan.

World's Columbian Exhibition of 1893 in Chicago. 'Photographs from Shepp's World's Fair Photographed, Chicago and Philadelphia, 1893, and from Glimpses of the World's Fair Through a Camera, Chicago, 1893. '
Check this out too :- MIT Museum Online Gallery: Boston grads go to Chicago.

Travellers' Reports on Papua New Guinea. (Lonely Planet)

An American Christmas, decade by decade, 1840 - 2000.
'... Of special importance is our celebration of Christmas - a day that has become preeminent on our yearly calendars. How did our celebration come about? The Hoover Presidential Library Museum tells the story in this online exhibit.'

Trajan's Column. 'This is a site for exploring the Column of Trajan as a sculptural monument. The core of the site is a searchable database of over 500 images focusing on various aspects of the design and execution of the column's sculptural decoration. These images (slides and drawings) were generated by and for sculptor Peter Rockwell, over the course of his study of Roman stone-carving practices. The aim of this site is to make these images available to the widest possible public, in a form that can contribute both to ongoing study by specialists and to enjoyment and appreciation of the monument by the general public. '

Ancient Journeys: A Festschrift in Honour of Eugene Numa Lane.

The God Machine. (Fortean Times) 'Frankenstein's creation of a living being became a key image of modern science's quest to unlock the secrets of life itself. But, in 1854, an experiment far stranger than anything in Mary Shelley's novel took place when a New England clergyman married science and spiritualism in an attempt to build nothing less than a god ... '

The White Crow Society. 'White Crow Society's mission is to support individuals who believe they've experienced a paranormal crisis. The Society provides information packets, referral services, at-a-distance consultations and field investigations. We are a non-profit organization which offers professional consultation for those experiencing hauntings, ghosts, psychic possessions, nocturnal assaults, poltergiests, and related phenomena.'

versAtile. New poetry blog. Check it out.

9-11 commemorations around the world and in the UK.

12th September
Protect and Survive. An archive of UK civil defence material.

Powers of Ten. 'Come visit a place where the farthest reaches of the Universe and the familiar features of your own back yard are just a few steps-and a few zeros-apart. Powers of Ten, an exhibit based on the landmark film by Charles and Ray Eames, will bring this exponential journey through time and space to the California Academy of Sciences from June 1, 2002-January 5, 2003. "I am excited that the Academy is able to offer this opportunity for visitors to learn about scale," says Academy Curator and Executive Director Patrick Kociolek, "since our understanding of the most massive and miniscule things around us is often critical to the health of our planet, our communities, and our bodies." ... '

The Ruth and Charles Elkus Collection of Native American Art, 'assembled between 1922 and 1965, reflects changes occurring within several art traditions during that time. Navajo and Pueblo artists are best represented in this collection, which includes artworks from many cultures and regions. '

A Thousand Cranes. "With my pictures of cranes, I hope to enlighten and inspire people to put greater efforts into environmental protection." - Wu, Shao-Tung.

Venoms: Striking Beauties. 'Some of the world's loveliest creatures are also the most lethal creatures. Why? '

Weird Tales: The Unique Magazine. 'In 1923, J.C. Henneberger began Weird Tales--The Unique Magazine. Throughout its 30-year history, the obscure pulp published some of the most outré fiction ever issued. The stories were odd, macabre, and completely unique. Weird Tales existed in a void, and the stories published therein reached pinnacles of strangeness never equalled. '
'Many of the tales contained in the crumbling pages have never been reprinted, and exist solely in the few decaying copies of the magazine which remain. Slowly disintegrating with the cheap paper upon which they were printed, their sublime poetry is lost forever.'

Mahatma Gandhi Album. Reminiscences, biography, photo album...

Johann Georg Strasser's 'Mechanical Orchestra'. 'This program provides an introduction to the large free-standing clock incorporating a mechanical organ that is the most famous work of Johann Georg Strasser, a mechanic and clockmaker who lived in St Petersburg in the early nineteenth century. The three-dimensional computer model shows the functioning of the concealed mechanism of a device that delighted and fascinated people right up to the time when recorded music appeared.'
Via the State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg.

Adolf Hitler's Dorset Legacy. 'These photographs were taken during time of war, when there was a real possibility of the invasion of Dorset by the ascending might of the Nazi forces. The German airforce (the Luftwaffe) produced numerous aerial photographs of the county, many were taken of military establishments such as the naval facilities of Portland and Weymouth, the army camps at Lulworth, Dorchester and Blandford, but there are many of the countryside.'

Iraqipages. Old documentary photography of Iraq; partly in Arabic.

Alice Iola Hare Photograph Collection. 'Mrs. Hare was born Alice Iola Schnatterly, on December 12, 1859, in New Geneva, Pennsylvania. Born to a large family, she was one of eight children. In 1877 she married James W. Hare. In 1880 the first of the Hares' four sons, John, was born. John would eventually become a photographer and work for several San Francisco newspapers as well as the Chicago Daily Journal. In 1881 the Hare family moved to Carlinville, Illinois, where two more of their sons, James and Ray, were born. In 1895, the Hares moved to Santa Clara, California. Their fourth son, Harry, was born that same year. Shortly thereafter, perhaps encouraged by her son John, Mrs. Hare began to practice photography ... '

Fallout Protection: What to Know and Do about Nuclear Attack. US civil defence document from 1962.

The Automobile Club of Southern California Digital Archive 'provides documentation on the region's transportation history from the Auto Club's Corporate Archives. The Digital Archive includes: approximately 100 strip maps, illustrating the development of major Southern California routes from 1912 to 1936; 650 engineering notebook photographs, along with searchable transcriptions of the engineers' notes, documenting the condition of streets, highways, bridges, railroads, etc., between 1921 and 1957; and, nearly 500 photographs, depicting buildings, businesses, streets, vistas and points of interest between 1892 and 1962. '

The Japanese American Relocation Digital Archive 'collection of 222 photographs from the Hearst Collection of the Los Angeles Examiner documents the relocation of Japanese Americans in California principally during the period 1941-1946. Many of the photographs show daily life in the camps. Captions on the photographs are quoted directly and, in many cases, were originally published in the Los Angeles Examiner.'

California Faces: Selections from The Bancroft Library Portrait Collection.

Soweto Township, South Africa. Picture gallery, November 1997.

Princess Diana's Klondike Dress.

General Idea. MoMA's online projects page's description :- 'General Idea, the Toronto-based artist group formed in 1968, designed this project in association with The Museum of Modern Art, äda'web, and ArtAIDS. It coincided with the exhibition Projects: General Idea, on view at the Museum from November 28, 1996 through January 7, 1997. The Web project includes on-line animation and a free downloadable screen saver, based on a digital version of General Idea's AIDS logo, itself a transformation of Robert Indiana's famous LOVE painting of 1967. '

Les Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry. 'The Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry is usually referred to as "le roi des manuscrits enluminés" or "the king of the illuminated manuscripts", but it is also a pinnacle in the entire history of painting.'
'Commissioned by Jean, Duc de Berry in 1413, it was painted by the Limbourg brothers who left it unfinished at their (and the Duc's) death in 1416.'
'The Duc Charles I de Savoie commissioned Jean Colombe to complete the painting of the manuscript between 1485-1489.'

A School for Iqbal.

Kennin-ji: The Oldest Temple in Kyoto. 'The temple of Kennin-ji, sitting quietly amidst the pleasure quarters of Gion in Kyoto, is perhaps the most unpretentious of the gozan ('Five Mountains') - the five head temples of Rinzai Zen during the Muromachi period (1392-1573). In actuality, however, this discreet complex is the oldest Zen temple in the former capital, built at a time when Zen was beginning to establish deep roots in Japanese society ... '

C.C.A. Christensen Mormon Panorama. Early Mormon paintings by a Danish convert to the religion.

' Never have the ordinary people of America, the decent, working stiffs whose bodies lay in the hecatomb of Ground Zero, needed and deserved a great tribune more urgently. The greatest honour we could do them is to take back the voice of democracy from the plutocrats. ' - Simon Schama, British historian.
Via the paper edition of the Guardian, a Metafilter thread, and skimble (a great blog).

11th September
Earth's second moon (Update :- actually its third. The second is called Cruithe).
How Mondrian was on right lines and fakes cannot fool the eye.

Books2Eat: The International Edible Book Festival. 'The International Edible Book Festival is a yearly event on April 1 throughout the world from 2-4 p.m. (depending upon time zone). The edible books are exhibited and, at 4 p.m., tea and/or coffee is served and the,books are consumed.'

The Edible Monument.

Burlingame Museum of Pez Memorabilia, California.
Pez Exhibit.

London's Museums of Health & Medicine. 'From rare plants, heart surgery, illuminated manuscripts, and helicopter emergency services, to pharmacies, false teeth and Freud, the exhibits in these museums help to place the history and development of medicine and health care in its widest context. Along the way, they provide some remarkable insights into an age-long campaign against illness, disease and injury. '

The Wellcome Library. Medical history. Don't miss the exhibitions.

The British Library Newspaper Library. 'Welcome to The British Library Newspaper Library, the national archive collections in the United Kingdom of British and overseas newspapers. We are the only large, integrated national newspaper service in the world, combining facilities for the collection, preservation, and use of newspapers all on one site. '
Searchable newspaper web catalogue.
British comics collection, football programmes, Dutch underground press 1940-45, early American, English and Indian newspapers, General Strike newspapers 1926, Northern Ireland political literature, the Thomason Tracts (English Civil War pamphlets), Tuskegee Institute news clippings, pop and jazz periodicals... much more...

Virtual Panopticon. 'There has been much ballyhoo about the liberating and decentralizing aspects of new media technologies like the Internet and ubiquitous computing, but the fact remains that new information technologies will be every bit as effective for established organizations as they will be for garage e-zine publishers. It still remains to be seen to what extent the new media technologies will in fact increase the centralization of power by facilitating unprecedented monitoring and observation. '
'I have explored this idea through the virtual construction of Bentham's panopticon as an information space. The user of the space is put in the central place of the information collector and controller, inverting our traditional role as the subject of observation. The faceless prisoners of this space are held in darkness, illuminated only by roving spotlights that prevent them from observing their observers, reinforcing Foucault's idea of a citizen who "is seen, but he does not see; he is the object of information, never a subject in communication" (Foucault, 1979). The spotlights never illuminate the observer, but they probe the darkness to find prisoners who can be examined to divulge their information, in the form of hypertext links. '

The Bird Site.

Cats! Wild to Mild.

The Bowes Museum. Some good stuff here.
'The Bowes Museum originated in a private foundation created between 1862 and 1875 by John & Josephine Bowes. It has a collection of European fine and decorative arts of the period 1400-1875, unrivalled in the North of England and outstanding in Britain. There is particular emphasis on the arts of France including items from the Bowes' home in Paris. Spanish paintings are another specialisation, and there are good collections of Italian and Northern European paintings, English furniture and European ceramics and textiles. There are also collections of archaeological material from County Durham, and social history from Teesdale. The Museum building is essentially a French museum on British soil. A unique characteristic is the location of this large, metropolitan collection in a rural area ... '
Musical instruments.
Virtual tour.

Funu Jem. Senegalese dance troupe, educating people about HIV.

Aids & Africa. News and headlines.

Kenneth Kaunda Children of Africa Foundation.

Crimes of War Project. International law etc.
My testimony against Milosevic. ' ... Looking smug and defiant, with his arm draped over the back of his chair, he continued with a political conspiracy theory about an anti-Serb plot. He suggested that Human Rights Watch was working "hand-in-glove" with NATO and the tribunal to destroy Yugoslavia. He looked out at the court gallery and his audience beyond when claiming that he was merely fighting a terrorist group within the borders of the state ... '
Iraq and the 'Bush Doctrine' of pre-emptive self-defence. [ ... ] 'Among our experts, the principles of the Bush doctrine met with a wide spectrum of responses. On one extreme, Byers argued that even if there were some legal right of pre-emptive self-defence, the Bush doctrine was so far beyond it as to be transparently unlawful. On the other, Taylor said that the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction made the claims of the administration reasonable, when dealing with extreme cases like Iraq.'
'Between these positions, our other experts maintained that some forms of pre-emptive self-defence were legitimate, but all questioned whether an US attack on Iraq would meet the necessary tests. Clearly, the strongest way for the administration to win support for its actions would be to provide convincing evidence that Iraq is working with terrorist groups in a way that threatens the use of weapons of mass destruction against the United States or its allies. Significantly, the British government is said to be compiling a dossier on Saddam Hussein's biological weapons programme; the Times of London reported on August 3 that "the latest assessment in Washington and London is that Saddam's plan is to produce a basic weapon that can be used by a terrorist group to attack the Iraqi leader's enemies, the United States and Israel." Since the September 11 attacks, such claims have often been floated, but so far nothing more substantial has emerged to confirm them.'

Bleeding Kansas. First-hand documents relating to the violent history of Kansas in the 1850's.

Harikyu Museum. Museum of Japanese traditional medicine, with dolls.
The Meridians.

Warabekan Toy Museum, Tottori, Japan. 'The Warabekan is a museum of toys, nursery rhymes and children's songs. We welcome everyone from children to adults to come and visit.'

Edo-Tokyo Museum.
Nihonbashi Bridge. (click on the images at the bottom to see other exhibits).

Hogs Back Brewery.

Road Ghosts.

PalladioWeb. 'In this site you will find palaces and castles to buy in Italy.'

Centro Cultural Salvador Allende. (Spanish)
The Crimes of Augusto Pinochet.

Don't Rebuild. Reimagine. Ideas for Ground Zero.

Sensorium. 'The human body replaces 200 to 300 billion cells every day--a rate of about 200 million cells per minute!
(Incidentally, an adult is comprised of approximately 60 trillion cells.)
Indeed, without having done a thing,
"you are not the same person you were yesterday!":-)'

Daisy World Wide Web.