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31st December
The Last Letter of Mary, Queen of Scots. 'At 2am on Wednesday 8 February 1587, Mary Queen of Scots picked up her pen for the last time. Her execution on the block at Fotheringay Castle was a mere six hours away when she wrote this letter, addressed to her former brother-in-law, Henri III of France. '

Ogura Hyakunin Isshu. '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.'
'Hyakunin Isshu is said to have been compiled by the famous thirteenth-century critic and poet Fujiwara no Sadaie (also known as Teika), though his son Fujiwara no Tameie may have had a hand in revising the collection. Teika also compiled a waka anthology called Hyakunin Shuka (Superior Poems of Our Time), which shares many of the same poems as Hyakunin Isshu.'
'The 100 poems of Hyakunin Isshu are in rough chronological order from the seventh through the thirteenth centuries. The most famous poets through the late Heian period in Japan are represented.'

Islamic Art. 'Islamic art is perhaps the most accessible manifestation of a complex civilization that often seems enigmatic to outsiders. Through its brilliant use of color and its superb balance between design and form, Islamic art creates an immediate visual impact. Its strong aesthetic appeal transcends distances in time and space, as well as differences in language, culture, and creed. Islamic art not only invites a closer look but also beckons the viewer to learn more. For an American audience a visit to the Islamic galleries of a museum such as the Los Angeles County Museum of Art can represent the first step toward penetrating the history of a religion and a culture that are often in the news but are little understood. '
This website is conceived as a companion to the Islamic galleries at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Intended as a general introduction to Islamic art, it draws upon examples from the museum's comprehensive collection, which includes works from an area extending from southern Spain to Central Asia, ranging in date from the seventh through the nineteenth century. The text is designed for readers who seek to go beyond the obvious surface beauty of Islamic art to discover the rich historical and cultural traditions from which this art emerged. '

Giorgio Vasari: The Lives of the Artists. Illustrated.

Barrister's Gallery. "The atmosphere of the gallery, and the focus of the exhibitions that Barrister's mounted, regularly caused mental and spiritual distress to the weaker souls who happened to wander into the space. One look at those shrunken heads and human and animal skulls, incredible African fetishes and other tribal artifacts, Marilyn Manson's paintings and drawings straight from the hands of serial killers, Voodoo veves, photographs of extreme body modifications, and assorted other retina-searing objects sent some scurrying out the door in fear of losing their immortal souls (or their lunch). But the rest of us-those who thought we'd seen it all at least twice--couldn't wait to get back to New Orleans--to eat at Emeril's and to see what Barrister's was up to. Because we understood that he wasn't trying to shock or disgust, but was interested in showing art that provoked a reaction and demanded something from its observers--a bit of open-minded curiosity, a lot of internal inventory, an ability to really look at something without preconceived ideas and try to understand why the artist created it."
--INKED, March 2000.

The World of 1898: The Spanish-American War. Presentation from the Library of Congress. "The war of the United States with Spain was very brief. Its results were many, startling, and of world-wide meaning." --Henry Cabot Lodge.

L'Aracine et L'Art Brut. Outsider art. Site in French; use Babelfish to translate.

Scenicruiser Home Page. With gallery. A fun site.

Infrared Space Observatory Science Gallery. 'This gallery is devoted to scientific results from ISO. Each of the main disciplines of Astronomy that have been explored by ISO has its own Gallery. By clicking on the relevant link for a particular discipline in the 'Galleries' column, you can enter the various galleries. These galleries contain images and spectra which link through to more information. More ISO images are in the IPAC Gallery. '

In and Out of Focus: Images from Central Africa 1885-1960.

Build Your Own Foxhole Radio. Via MeFi.

Vitamin Q. A weblog of fascinating things. Thanks, iconomy.

Blaffer Gallery. The art museum of the University of Houston.

Remembering Slavery. African Americans talk about their personal experiences of slavery and emancipation.

Quobna Ottabah Cugoano: A Former Slave Speaks Out. 'Quobna Ottabah Cugoano, usually known by the shorter form Ottabah Cugoano, was born in present-day Ghana in the 1750s. Kidnapped and taken into slavery, he worked on plantations in Granada before being brought to England, where he obtained his freedom. He was baptised as 'John Stuart' in 1773, a name he continued to use over the next fifteen years, during which time he worked as a servant to the artist Richard Cosway. While working for Cosway he wrote his Thoughts and Sentiments on the Evil and Wicked Traffic of the Commerce of the Human Species, the first directly abolitionist publication in English by an African, which was published in 1787. In London, he was a friend of Olaudah Equiano, and a neighbour of Ignatius Sancho. After publishing his work, he dropped out of the historical record, and we do not know where, when, or how he died. '

North American Slave Narratives, Beginnings to 1920.
Ottobah Cugoano: Narrative of the Enslavement of Ottobah Cugoano, a Native of Africa; Published by Himself in the Year 1787. Excerpts.

Chinese Pop Posters. 'The images you are about to see were collected over a three year period while working in China on a book project on traditional rural Chinese architecture. '

Chinese Rural Architecture. 'The richly diverse vernacular architectural traditions of China are unrivaled in the world. No nation has as long an unbroken tradition and, with the dissolution of the former Soviet Union, none is as ethnically diverse. China, a nation of 56 nationalities living in disparate natural landscapes with widely varying climatic conditions, is certainly more varied in its housing patterns than is the case in single nations such as the United States or even in comparison with multi-national Europe. China's folk architectural forms, even as they portray common elements, clearly reveal the broad range of solutions that humans are capable of in providing basic shelter and creating homes for their families ... '

Guangzhou's Horse Racing Track. 'In a country that has declared gambling "a paramount evil," ranked alongside prostitution and drug addiction, Guangzhou's race course, is nothing short of a modern day Babylon in the making. '

Bombay Bazaar. Photography.

Superstition Wilderness and Mountains Photography. Online galleries.

Joanne West Photography. Arizona wilderness photography.

History of the Bikini.

Mermaids and Sirens in art. Online gallery.

Maidens of Death in art. 'Maidens of Death - paintings inspired by literary works depicting women unfortunate in love, despairing and longing for death. '

Ode to the Muse. Art.

Paintings from the Year 1900. Art.

Mount Whitney. An account of a trip to the tallest peak of the lower 48 United States, with photographs.

Binge Barbie. 'There once was a pretty, fair maiden who, after returning from a difficult day as doctor, pilot, race car driver, teacher *and* fairy, found herself alone in her chalet house with a bounty of binge foods ... '

Oh Mercurial One. A confident woman.

30th December
The Bate Collection of Musical Instruments. 'In 1963 Philip Bate generously gave to the University of Oxford his extensive and systematic collection of European orchestral woodwind instruments. Since then he has continued to augment the Collection with gifts and loans, both of woodwind and brass. As a result of his original conditional of gift, that students should be able to play these historic instruments, the Bate Collection is unique in that many of its instruments are used. Philip Bate's friend and colleague Reginald Morley-Pegge both gave and also permitted instruments to be bought from his collection. After his death in 1972, his extensive library (which is especially important for its French material and for its unrivalled collection of early instrumental tutors) and all his remaining instruments were given by his son William Morley-Pegge as a memorial ... '

America's Shrine to Music Museum. 'Founded in 1973 on the campus of The University of South Dakota, the National Music Museum & Center for Study of the History of Musical Instruments is one of the great institutions of its kind in the world. Its renowned collections, which include more than 10,000 American, European, and non-Western instruments from virtually all cultures and historical periods, are the most inclusive anywhere.'

Scottish Bookbinding. 'The National Library of Scotland has the pre-eminent collection of decorative bookbindings produced in Scotland during the last five centuries. This section of the Digital Library, which at present includes wheel and herringbone bindings, will be expanded to display examples of other Scottish binding styles, in particular the work of the Edinburgh binder James Scott, and his son William, and also the creations of contemporary binders who feature in the National Library's annual Elizabeth A. Soutar Bookbinding Competition. '

Wessex Archaeology: Testwood Lakes. 'Fascinating evidence for the early use of rivers, including the oldest bridge found in England, emerged during the excavation of a reservoir and two lakes in Hampshire. '
'In 1996 Southern Water began to excavate at Testwood in Hampshire, to develop a reservoir to store water for 200,000 people in and around Southampton.'
'As with all major construction schemes, archaeologists were called in to see if there were any important remains from the past. While carrying out what they call a watching brief, staff from Wessex Archaeology came across fascinating evidence of early society, including part of the earliest bridge ever definitely identified in England, dating to the Middle Bronze Age, c1,500BC.'
'Using text and images, these pages tell us about the excavation, what was found and the people who lived during the Bronze Age.'

Ukiyo-e Prints Illustrating the History of Odawara. Text in Japanese. (Use Babelfish for a very rough translation).

The World in a Bowl of Tea. Recipes inspired by the Japanese tea ceremony.

Royal Persian Paintings: The Qajar Epoch 1785-1925. 'This is an impressive and highly significant exhibition for it boasts of over one hundred oil paintings, photographs and artefacts brought together from European, American, Russian and Iranian collections for the first time. Paintings of the Qajar epoch mark an important watershed in Iranian art. The late eighteenth and nineteenth century saw the transition from the opulence and lavishness typified by Safavid courtly art, to a more reflective and interiorised naturalism which set the tone for the piety and conservatism of twentieth century Iran. '

Dialogues of the Present: Contemporary Arab Women's Art. 'Dialogues of the present is a project that brought together the contemporary works of 18 Arab women artists in both publication and touring exhibition across the UK in 1999. Its aim is to increase public awareness of the works of Arab artists and reveal the myriad variations within contemporary Arab art that include traditional geometric imagery with conceptual video work. The combination not only represents a unique international selection of artists but also highlights different cultural interpretations of the functions of art.'

Rubens: The Virgin as the Woman of the Apocalypse.

Gentileschi: Lot and His Daughters.

Francken II: The Idolatry of Solomon. 'Solomon was known for his proverbial wisdom and great wealth. In his later years he was drawn more and more to the pagan cults, which were thought to have been introduced into Israel by the women who came from neighboring kingdoms to join his large harem. '
'This subject was popular in Protestant countries in the 1600s because it reflected Protestant disapproval of the Catholic Church's use of religious imagery, a practice that Protestants viewed as idolatrous.'

School of Vouet: Madonna and Child.

Metaphoria. 'In a belief that we can resolve our problems (and the world's) through improving our relationships, we began writing the newsletter in an attempt at clarifying our thinking. Metaphoria became a way to share our thoughts with others. '

Aurora over Edmonton. 'Northern and southern locales saw many a beautiful aurora over the last week, as particles from several large solar flares impacted the Earth. '

Aurora in Colorado Skies.

How to Carve a Pumpkin.

New York Do's and Don'ts.

The Popol Vuh.

Creation Myths of Primitive America, by Jeremiah Curtin, 1898. 'Despite the title, which suggests that this is a comprehensive study of Native American creation myths, this is actually a very good set of animal myths from two tribes of California, the Wintu and Yana. These tribes inhabited the northern Central Valley; the Yana are closely related to the Yahi, the tribe of Ishi, the 'last wild Indian'. Also, these are not creation myths per se; they are tales from an epic cycle about the proto-animal inhabitants of the California dreamtime, the beings who existed before the arrival of humans. That said, this is a very reputable collection which is cited to this day in scholarly papers about native California. Curtin treats this this lore with great respect, and because he is also a first-rate story teller, this is also a great read. Curtin, a distinguished folklorist and author, also wrote Tales of Fairies and of the Ghost-World, a collection of Irish supernatural folklore. '

RIP Bob Monkhouse. A great British comedian. I saw him in a shopping centre in Wolverhampton once.

Himalayan Art: Yama Dharmaraja. 'Yama Dharmaraja is a wisdom deity protector of the father class (method) of Anuttaryoga Tantra specifically employed by those engaged in the practices of the Vajra Bhairava Tantra. This practice is found in all the Sarma Schools however the Gelugpas hold Yama Dharmaraja in a special regard as one of their three main Dharma protectors along with the Shadbhuja Mahakala and Vaishravana ... '

Panchen Lama: Incarnate Lineage. Set of Himalayan paintings.

Maps of Liberia 1830-70. 'This collection of Liberia maps includes twenty examples from the American Colonization Society (ACS), organized in 1817 to resettle free black Americans in West Africa. These maps show early settlements in Liberia, indigenous political subdivisions, and some of the building lots that were assigned to settlers. This on-line presentation also includes other nineteenth-century maps of Liberia: a map prepared for a book first published in the 1820's by ACS agent Jehudi Ashmun, a map showing the areas in Liberia that were ceded to the society by indigenous chiefs, and a detailed map dated 1869 by a man thought to be the black American explorer Benjamin Anderson. '

Born in Slavery: Slave Narratives from the Federal Writers' Project, 1936-38. 'Born in Slavery: Slave Narratives from the Federal Writers' Project, 1936-1938 contains more than 2,300 first-person accounts of slavery and 500 black-and-white photographs of former slaves. These narratives were collected in the 1930s as part of the Federal Writers' Project of the Works Progress Administration (WPA) and assembled and microfilmed in 1941 as the seventeen-volume Slave Narratives: A Folk History of Slavery in the United States from Interviews with Former Slaves ... '

American Slave Narratives: An Online Anthology.

Exploring Botticelli. 'Glancing at the list of titles of early Renaissance painter Sandro Botticelli's works, one might recognize by name alone two of artist's most beloved masterpieces. They are the Birth of Venus and the Primavera. And it is interesting to note that both of these stunning paintings have as their subject Venus, the Classical goddess of love and beauty. Indeed, Botticelli's Birth of Venus is perhaps one of the most celebrated and famous depictions of this alluring ancient goddess ... '

Exploring Caravaggio.

Two Rivers. Article and photos.
'In 1805, Meriwether Lewis, William Clark, and their Corps of Expedition passed this way. This bend of the Columbia - at 1,232 miles the 49th longest river on earth - is replete with tales from their venture. Maps hereabouts are imprinted with their names. '
'As boys, we paused to marvel that so long ago they had passed by. If we squinted, we could see their ghosts in the smoke. '
'Three decades later I stand on the south bank of the Missouri a few miles upstream from where it empties into the Mississippi. If the Columbia is long, the Missouri is extensive, crossing five states and 2,546 miles. And it wends through an altogether different country, this August Midwest ... '

WW2: People's War. BBC site. Personal and family stories of World War II.

Scottish Historical Oddities.
Via the BBC's Scottish History site.

Gustave Moreau. 'French painter Gustave Moreau was an unconventional artist, who preferred to follow his own Muse rather than blindly accepting the prevailing artistic conventions of the time. Moreau is best known for his profoundly symbolic and haunting paintings, paintings that are both intensely personal and deeply mysterious ... ' Links to images.
The Birth of Venus.

Pierre Puvis de Chavannes. 19th century French Symbolist; links to art images.
Young Girls at the Seaside.

Odilon Redon. More Symbolism.
Buddha - Pandora - Orpheus

Thriplow's Historic Past. The history of a British village through its landscape.

British History in Photos. BBC site - the photos are user-submitted.

Japanese War Prints. 'Japanese woodcut prints depicting scenes from the Sino-Japanese war of 1894-1885 and the Russo-Japanese war of 1904-1905 are referred by collectors of ukiyo-e as War Prints. '

Yokohama Prints. 'Until 1853 Japan had isolated itself from the rest of the world. Japan was a forbidden country for foreigners and no Japanese was allowed to leave Japan. '
'The only exception were Dutch traders represented in the East Indian Trading Company. They were officially allowed to maintain all Japanese import and export trades with the outside world. However their presence was confined to the small island of Deshima in Nagasaki Harbor ... '

Dave Barry's Blog. American humorist.

Bart Rulon: Wildlife Artist.

Comet Borrelly. 'What does a comet nucleus look like? ... ' A bit like this.

29th December
Mi'kmaq Portraits Collection. 'The Nova Scotia Museum's Mi'kmaq Portraits database is a collection of portraits and illustrations in various media, of the Mi'kmaq of Atlantic Canada. '
'For thousands of years before the arrival of European settlers, the Mi'kmaq called themselves L'nu'k, which simply means 'the people,' 'human beings.' Their present name, Mi'kmaq, derives from nikmaq, meaning 'my kin-friends.' Their descendants are still living in what are now Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and parts of New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Quebec. Many Mi'kmaq also make their homes in New England, particularly in Maine and Massachusetts ... '

Tughra of Sulaiman the Magnificent. 'The tughra, the official signature used by the Ottoman sultans, was one of the most unique and sophisticated motifs in Ottoman Turkey. In this online presentation, we invite you to explore the history and meaning behind each intricate brushstroke in this elaborate calligraphic emblem. '

The Royal Museum at Naples. 'The ancient Roman and Greek cultures had a very different attitude about sexuality than successive European cultures, more akin to that of the Kama Sutra. This, of course, was unimaginable to latter day Europeans, who rigidly compartmentalized body, mind and spirit, and to whom any sexuality was sinful and morbid. '
'Some of the best artistic expressions of this can be found in the recovered city of Pompeii. Pompeii was frozen in time by the volcanic eruption of Vesuvius in 79 A.D., and not unearthed until 1748. Pompeii was a seaside resort, devoted to the arts, relaxation, and the pursuit of pleasure. The excavators were horrified to discover erotic frescos, mosaics, statuary and phallic votive objects. The moveable erotic artifacts were taken to Naples and kept in seclusion in the Royal Museum. The erotic wall and floor art had lockable metal boxes constructed over them and were displayed to tourists for an extra fee (women and children excluded). When I visited Pompeii in the late 1960s, this peepshow was still in operation. '
'This work is a translation of a book by a 19th Century French antiquarian César Famin. In 1836 he published (under the initials M. C. F.) Musée royal de Naples; peintures, bronzes et statues érotiques du cabinet secret, avec leur explication containing sixty lithographs of the best erotic artifacts in the Naples collection. The name of the artist is unknown. The volume was published with the cooperation of the Naples museum in a very limited edition. The French authorities confiscated and destroyed most known copies of the original book. One ended up in the 'Private Case' of the British Museum. There is also a copy in the Special Collections of the Library of Congress ... '

The Masculine Cross and Ancient Sex Worship. 'This short book on ancient 'Phallic worship', as the Victorians called it, contains much which is covered in the other entries in this literature. Hudson has a compelling thesis about the role of sexuality in ancient religions and their modern successors which bears careful examination. There is also a lot of speculation, incorrect information, conclusion-leaping and questionable etymology.'
'Hudson places an inordinate amount of signficance on anything that is vaguely phallic looking or resembles a vagina. This includes pawn shop signage, tortise heads, arched doors, lozange-shaped design elements, and so on. While some of this is revealing and possibly valid, he finishes off by pegging a fairly standard native Californian mortar and pestle as a set of ritual phallic symbols. There are examples ad nauseum of these items in the anthropologicial and archeological literature of California, and none of them have ever been associated with sex-worship to my knowledge.'
'Sometimes a pestle is just a pestle.... '

The South London Diaries. A fictional blog.

Detroit, Michigan. Travelogue.
'Not every significant thing built in Detroit has come with an engine. Since the 19th century, the city has also produced a series of remarkable historic places: estates that testify to the area's success; factories that revolutionized American industry; churches and homes that document the changes in and continuities of everyday life. Though many of these places do have connections to the city's most famous industry, others show that automobiles have been just a part of what has driven Detroit's development. '
'Detroit: A National Register of Historic Places Travel Itinerary illustrates that varied past and its contribution to life today. It uses residential, recreational, commercial, industrial, and religious locations to create a tour--usable on-line or while traveling through the city--that documents how past and present come together. The itinerary features 39 properties, all of which are listed in the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places, America's official list of places important in our history and worthy of preservation. Through maps, descriptions, and photographs of places both famous and little-known, this guide explains why Detroit has long been more than just a Motor City.'

Tony Howell Landscape and Flower Photography. Arizona, Utah, England, Scotland, Cornwall, the sea, the sky.

Ito Shinsui: Eight Views of Omi.

Kitano Tsunetomi Gallery. Japanese prints.
Spring in the Licensed Quarter.
Summer in the Licensed Quarter.
Autumn in the Licensed Quarter.
Winter in the Licensed Quarter.

A Discourse on the Worship of Priapus. 'This extended essay on fertility worship in the Classical period was written by Robert Payne Knight (1750-1820), a distinguished English scholar, parlimentarian, writer, and antiquarian. Published in 1786, this book shocked English society to such an extent that Knight took it upon himself to surpress his own book. Subsequently this became a very rare book until it was republished in several editions in the mid-twentieth century. Although the study of the history of religion has vastly advanced since Knight's day, this was one of the first books to deal with the issue of sexuality and religion. '

Photographic Panoramas of Floods. Pittsburgh 1907, Pennsylvania 1911, Ohio 1913.

Photographic Panoramas of Wrecks and Crashes. Trains, steamships, dirigibles.

Rules of the Black Panther Party.

American Art from the Arizona State University Art Museum. Via Internet Weekly.

The Souvenir Spoon Museum. Thanks to qB.

The Visual Telling of Stories Archive. Thanks to qB.

Magna Carta at the British Library.
'Magna Carta is often thought of as the corner-stone of liberty and the chief defence against arbitrary and unjust rule in England. In fact it contains few sweeping statements of principle, but is a series of concessions wrung from the unwilling King John by his rebellious barons in 1215. However, Magna Carta established for the first time a very significant constitutional principle, namely that the power of the king could be limited by a written grant ... '

Gutenberg Bible. 'In the fifteenth century Johannes Gutenberg invented a way of producing movable metal type, as well as printer's ink and the printing press, leading the way to mass production of books. The Gutenberg Bible, printed in Germany in around 1455, was the first substantial book to be printed using moveable type. The British Library holds two copies.'
Digitised images.

Leonardo da Vinci Notebook.

Lindisfarne Gospels.

Sforza Hours. A medieval book of hours.

The Propaganda Remix Project. Classic war posters touched up for a new era. These posters are fantastic, IMHO.

Makola Market. Photoessay. 'West Africa's markets are legendary and none more so than the famous Makola market in Ghana's capital, Accra. Run by powerful women traders who sell in the market, Makola is a place where you can buy anything you need - manufactured and imported foods, fresh produce, tools, medicines, shoes, pots and pans etc etc. It's also a place that's good for the soul; its humour and energy will recharge your batteries. If you aren't lucky enough to be in a West African city, you can still imagine you're there. Whether you are in New York, Paris or Sao Paolo, Johannesburg, Nairobi or Cairo, click on the link and join Ofeibea Quist Arcton on a stroll through Makola Market. It will do you good ... '

Fespaco 2003. Photoessay from Africa's biennial film festival, which in 2003 was held in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.

Political Badges. 'This site focuses on American political campaign and inauguration badges and medals, beginning with the 1824 campaign and ending with the first campaigns of the 20th century. Buttons commemorating George Washington's first inauguration are also included ... '

J. Harold Cobb's George Washington Inaugural Button Collection. 'Harold was the first major collector of GW's starting in the early 1950's. Over the years, he kept notes and research material on the types and numbers of buttons available, and with the encouragement from fellow collectors, put the results in his book. This book is itself a collectors item with only two printings, one in 1963, and a revised version in 1968 (revised with permission by Elmer Piercy). I have further revised it and put it in .pdf format and with the family's permission make it available for downloading ... '

Colour Symbolism in Buddhist Art. Fantastic images.

Shiva: The Sensuous Yogi.

Wisdom Goddesses: Mahavidyas and the Assertion of Femininity in Indian Thought. 'There exists in India a group of strange Goddesses, ten in number. One of them is shown holding her own freshly severed head, which feeds on the blood flowing from her headless torso; another holds a pair of scissors while sitting triumphant atop a corpse; third is depicted as an old and ugly widow riding a chariot decorated with the crow as an emblem. The series continues - an unusual assemblage to say the least ... ' More fantastic images.

Women and Jewellery: The Spiritual Dimensions of Ornamentation. 'The people of India have expended limitless energy and creativity in the invention of ornaments that celebrate the human body. Adorning the visible, material body, they feel, satisfies a universal longing for the embellishment of its intangible counterpart, namely the human spirit ... '

Images from the Australasian Antarctic Expedition 1911-14.

The Australasian Antarctic Expedition 1911-14: Drawings and Observations.

The Political Graveyard. 'The Internet's Most Comprehensive Source of U.S. Political Biography, or, The Web Site That Tells Where the Dead Politicians are Buried.'

Excerpts from Slave Narratives. From 1682 to 1937.

Cemeteries of Florida.

Mars Rising through Arch Rock.

28th December
Ways to help victims of the Iranian earthquake. Donate if you can. Via Iranian Truth.

27th December
Ansel Adams, featured on PBS's 'The American Experience'.

Myths of Crete and Pre-Hellenic Europe, 1917.
'When I first saw learned of the existence of this book, I was a little suprised, since very little concrete information is available on this topic, and even less was known in 1917. However, to paraphrase a recent President of the United States, Myths of Crete depends on what your definition of of is.... '

The Donner Party. 'At the start of spring in the year 1846 an appealing advertisement appeared in the Springfield, Illinois, Gazette. ''Westward ho,'' it declared. ''Who wants to go to California without costing them anything? As many as eight young men of good character who can drive an ox team will be accommodated. Come, boys, you can have as much land as you want without costing you anything.'' The notice was signed G. Donner, George Donner, leader of what was to become the most famous of all the hundreds of wagon trains to start for the far west, the tragic, now nearly mythic Donner Party.'

Indian Mounds of Mississippi. 'This guide to the publicly owned, visitor-accessible American Indian Mound sites of Mississippi provides a compact source of information on these impressive landmarks of the ancient past. '

Surviving the Dust Bowl. Stories from the Depression.

Naive & Glamour Art by Aurelio Pernice from Sicily.

In Search of Agenoria. Images of the Stour valley and the Black Country, in the English Midlands.

Lost Labours: The Stourport - Leominster Canal. Photographs and history.

Francis Toussaint Photography: Bruges.

The Dionysian Artificers. 'This essay, published in 1820, was an attempt to prove that modern Freemasonry derived from ancient Greek philosophical and religious ideas. Hippolyto da Costa (1774-1823), was a Brazilian journalist, author, Freemason and world traveller. He was imprisoned for being a Freemason by the Inquisition in Portugal in 1802; he escaped in 1805. He settled in London and wrote a two volume book about his experiences, Narrativa da Perseguição, in 1811. He went on to start the first Brazilian periodical, the Correio Braziliense or Armazém Literário, (1808-23), for which he is known today as "the founder of the Brazilian Press". '

Ishii Hakutei: Yoshicho. Japanese artist.

Ishii Hakutei: Asakusa.

Ishii Hakutei: Shitaya.

Ishii Hakutei: Akasaka.

Elliott Avedon Museum and Archive of Games. A marvellous collection of historic games of all kinds.

Anti-War Art by Leon Kuhn.

Naked People for Peace.

Dominic Tshabangu. 'My whole life I live in Dube, a part of Soweto. These images of the streets, markets, the ordinary people and the shebeens return in my collages. I was shaped in the township but was able to attend the African Institute of Arts - the Funda Centre in Johannesburg. One of the very few possibilities under Apartheid to study painting. At Funda I also qualified as a teacher. After winning the Bertrams V.O. Art of Africa Award I was offered a studio in the famous Bag factory in Newtown / Johannesburg. Although I exhibit regularly I have to combine my painting with a job as an lay- artists with Pace Magazine.'
'I capture the daily life and historical events in a journalistic manner. In my colllage paintings I use pictures and pages from magazines and include found objects like cloth and corrugated card board. My works have a mosaic atmosphere and are quite colourful. I tell short stories: scenes from the illegal bars; shebeen queen , how hostel dwellers have to live and how hard work gives little reward. '

Hama Goro. Malian artist. 'I was born in Dinangourou and I am from the Dogon people. After my studies at the Institute National des Arts in Bamako, the capital of Mali, I worked at the Atelier d'Arte Plastique Jamana. Next I went - in January 1995- to the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam for a period of two years ... '

Walter Sisulu's Funeral. Photoessay. 'The 'quiet giant' of the South African liberation struggle against apartheid, Walter Sisulu, was laid to rest at Croesus Cemetery near Soweto on May 17, 2003 in the same way he lived his life - with quiet dignity and honour. '

Namaste: The Significance of a Yogic Greeting. 'In a well-known episode it so transpired that the great lover god Krishna made away with the clothes of unmarried maidens, fourteen to seventeen years of age, bathing in the river Yamuna. Their fervent entreaties to him proved of no avail. It was only after they performed before him the eternal gesture of namaste was he satisfied, and agreed to hand back their garments so that they could recover their modesty.'

Birds and Animals in Indian Art: The Mughal Artist as a Naturalist. 'Indian art also includes depictions of animals which are made up of human figures or other elements from throughout nature - called Composite Animals. These images invert the normal Indian approach to interpreting form. These composites, made up of disparate elements (animal, human, demon, and so on) are found in India from the early Mughal period onward, giving rise to the Mughal label. The painters of the Mughal composites are able to invent composite animals which may startle us at first, but on close inspection seem so entirely natural ... '

Psy Op Art: Leaflets for the USA/UK.

Iraq Poster Exhibition. Antiwar poster art.

'The essence of all beings is the earth.
The essence of the earth is water.
The essence of water is the plant.
The essence of the plant is man.
The essence of man is speech.
The essence of speech is the Rigveda.
The essence of Rigveda is the Samveda.
The essence of Samveda is OM. '

Every Woman a Goddess: The Ideals of Indian Art.

Drawings of Pitcairn Island, 1848.

Lithographs by George Hamilton: Conflict between European and Aboriginal People in Australia.

Lithographs by George Hamilton: Australian Bush Life.

Antiwar Posters. 'I can print only a few posters so I am hoping that people with access to printers and photocopiers can print some for themselves ... '

The Jovita Idar Anarchist Image Library. 'The Jovita Idar Anarchist Image library contains over 200 anarchist graphics and anti-prison graphics. Please feel free to peruse and use these images for your flyers, websites and more. '

Index on Censorship. The magazine for free expression.

26th December
Circlemakers. A site for those interested in making crop circles and their fans. 'Home of England's crop circle makers.'

Painting on Light: Drawings and Stained Glass in the Age of Durer and Holbein. 'Rivaling oil painting in importance during the late Gothic and Renaissance periods, the art of stained glass attracted many of Germany and Switzerland's greatest artists. This installation offers a unique opportunity to view the milestones of German and Swiss stained glass-both preparatory drawings and the windows that resulted-through works generously lent by collections throughout the United States and Europe. '

Punto Final ('Full Stop' or 'The Last Word'). This Chilean satirical magazine - with a respected reputation for telling things as they are - has played a prominent role in Chilean modern history.
Site in Spanish; use Babelfish for a very rough translation.

William Hogarth and 18th Century Print Culture. 'Hogarth and 18th-Century Print Culture commemorates the 300th anniversary of one of Britain's most influential artists. This exhibition critically reassesses the satirical graphic work of William Hogarth (1697-1764) by highlighting a variety of eighteenth-century themes that are of particular fascination to a contemporary audience. Hogarth's range of inquiry was extremely wide, touching upon topics from everyday life as well as upon more theoretical debates. The thematic sections of the exhibition reveal Hogarth's deep concern with the ills of the modern city, the dignity of and the dangers faced by professional women, and issues of theatricality, race, class, and taste. Moreover, Hogarth was an active participant in the public sphere, immersed in contemporary aesthetic, political, and physiognomic debates. '

US Military Personnel Wounded in Iraq & Afghanistan: A Running Log.

The Toxic Inventory. 'In "Veil of Secrecy," a NOW with Bill Moyers investigation with U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT, David Brancaccio examines the government's actions to cut access to information about issues from toxic pollutants to airline and auto safety - leaving them hidden from public scrutiny. In an era in which homeland security is imperative, government transparency has been diminished. Since 9/11, the report shows the federal government has blocked access to information that may protect the public's health and safety. '

Essays on September 11 from

Japanese Paper.

Tiger Spirit: A Gallery of Cats.

Eating Scenes from Ukiyoe. Text in Japanese; click here for slideshow of large images.

Dar es Salaam in Delft Blue. Comparing Africa and Europe through favourite objects.

Arms into Art in Mozambique.

Max Macodou Diop. Senegalese artist.

Illustrations by Dore: The Adventures of Baron Munchausen.

Brassai. Photography.

KC Bajai. Photography.

Gertrude Blom 'is one of the world's finest, and under appreciated social observer photographers. Trudi came to Mexico in 1940, as a result of problems in Europe. '
'Trudi, born 1901, in Switzerland was a journalist reporting on the socialist movement in pre-world war 2 europe. These reorts caused her to embrace socialism, and reject the ills of European fascism. Trudi was arrested in Italy in 1925, for ties to the socialist movement. (her name appeared on a library checklist on the subjects of books of controversy.) As she left Italy in 1926, she found herself in Germany. When Hitler came to power, Trudi was persued as potential threat to the Third Reight. Trudi was one of many that was hunted, but managed to stay one step ahead of the Nazis, avoiding arrest ... '

Bill Brandt. Photography.

The Farm. A virtual tour of a farm.

The Coal Mine. Virtual tour of a working coal mine.

The Great Train Story. Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago. 'The Great Train Story replaces the Museum's 60-year-old model railroad exhibit and boasts a 3,500 square foot layout, which depicts the railroad's winding journey between Chicago and Seattle, passing through the Midwest, the Plains States, the Rockies, the Cascades, and into the Pacific Northwest. Along the way, trains are involved in industries as diverse as grain commodities, raw materials for manufacturing, consumer goods for import and export, lumber, apples, and tourism. '

Ceramics of the Late Ming Period.

Qing Dynasty Porcelain.

Landscape Painting in China. Some gorgeous images.

Jade and Lacquer in China.

The Smirking Chimp. US political commentary and satire.

Media Whores Online. 'The site that set out to bring the media to their knees, but found they were already there.'

BartCop. US political humour.

The Hamster. Combined blog and soapbox.

Bear Left! Progressive US news site and blog.