plep Archive

12th February
The Chilbolton Arecibo Message. Wot a scream. Images in Action. 'Historical and modern day images often contain hidden messages about us, about others and about our world. These subtle lessons lie just beneath the surface. In order to see them, we must replace passive consumption of images with critical analysis. '
'We can no longer accept a sculpture or a logo at face value. We must dig deeper. We must ask questions about why we perceive things the way we do. '
How well do you know your enemies? 'Artists often dehumanize the "enemy" by reducing human beings to mere caricatures. '
'What is the universal symbol of emergency relief?' Answer here.

Bernard Maybeck and Brookings, Oregon. Ideas and sketches for the design of a town.
"The message of the pamphlet was simple... It recommended contour planning of roads and lot subdivisions, coordinated planting of trees and street embankments, and houses shaped and pigmented to blend with the natural landscape. Maybeck's drawings of an ideal neighborhood. show watercourses turned into public parks; streets ascend the hills with gentle curves and gradients, forming observation terraces at their switchbacks; houses, paralleling the contours of the land and varying in setback lines, are surrounded by informal gardens. In the manner prescribed by the Hillside Club Bulletin, Maybeck designed Rose walk as a public thoroughfare in a 1912 development... Rose Walk connects a portion of the hillside area with a street which is serviced with public transportation; private walks to residences blend with the public way, 'in an immense garden with nothing to show that it is not all owned by each.'"
9th Church of Christ, Scientist, San Francisco; sketches by Bernard Maybeck.

Willis Jefferson Polk. An American architect - life, work, and writings, all on a beautifully designed site.

Roadside Architecture: Society for Commercial Archaeology. (USA). '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.

Innovative Lives. Online display exhibiting the lives of inventors.
Kevlar the wonder fibre.
Phantom fingers and robot ants. Via the Lemelson Centre for the Study of Invention and Innovation at the Smithsonian.

Invention at Play.
'When asked what inspired them to become inventors, many adults tell stories about playing as children. In our virtual playhouse, you can set your own inventive thinking in motion.'
'The abilities humans develop through play- curiosity, persistence, imagination, communication, problem solving-have been and continue to be an important part of the inventor's tool kit. Explore the stories of inventors, both famous and little-known, whose creative habits of mind began in childhood play and resulted in a variety of useful contributions.'

Icelandic and Faroese Photographs of Frederick W. W. Howell.
' At the end of the nineteenth century, the British artist, photographer and traveler Frederick W.W. Howell, F.R.G.S., recorded Icelandic and Faroese landscapes, farmsteads, towns and people in a remarkable series of photographs that depicted Iceland and the Faeroe Islands on the edge of modernity. Daniel Willard Fiske, who bequeathed the Fiske Icelandic Collection to Cornell University, purchased over 400 prints from Howell around the turn of the century ... '

90 Days in Cambodia as a travel writer and international election observer. Text and pictures by Marcel Stoessel, 1998.
'There is something magic about Cambodia. Either you feel it, or you don't. There is nothing in between. During my first trip through the former Indochina in 1997, which included Cambodia, I certainly felt it. I'd better not analize too deeply what made me come back. There was my dad in Ho Chi Minh City to visit. There was improving security in Cambodia's provinces. There were some articles to be written. All true, but then there was maybe also the feeling of being at a place where some of the biggest horrors of mankind have taken place, the adventure of going out to the provinces where no guidebook tells you what to do, where to go, and what the situation is. But to make it clear: My sense of adventure is not being held up at gun point by a drunken soldier. It is the exceptional, the unknown, and the magic ... '

A Pilot Returns to Vietnam on Bicycle, by John Nettleton.

British Museum | Africa. 'Extensive collections from historic and contemporary societies of Africa, including Egypt after the ancient period.'
Bronze trophy head from Benin - Kente cloth, Ghana - Double membrane drum decorated by contemporary Tunisian artist Nja Mahdaoui - Silver dollar, 1791 - issued by the British Sierra Leone Company for use in the West African settlement established for freed slaves

Where Is Raed?: Likely Humanitarian Scenarios in Iraq.

My Gun Was As Tall As Me. Child soldiers in Burma. Thanks, homunculus.

Log Buddha.

The Church in the Southern Black Community 1780-1925. 'This compilation of printed texts from the libraries at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill traces how Southern African Americans experienced and transformed Protestant Christianity into the central institution of community life. Coverage begins with white churches' conversion efforts, especially in the post-Revolutionary period, and depicts the tensions and contradictions between the egalitarian potential of evangelical Christianity and the realities of slavery. It focuses, through slave narratives and observations by other African American authors, on how the black community adapted evangelical Christianity, making it a metaphor for freedom, community, and personal survival. An award from the Library of Congress/Ameritech National Digital Library Competition supported the digitization of 100 titles. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill supplemented these titles with thirty-five additional texts illuminating the same theme. '

Pioneering the Upper Midwest: Books from Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, ca. 1820-1910.

Modelling a Ferris Wheel.

ExpoMuseum. History of the World's Fairs. Pages for each fair.
'Ever since the first world's fair in London in 1851, the goals of world's fairs have been both high-minded as well as commercial. They also allow people to explore the world outside of their everyday experience outside cultures, new scientific advancements, and new inventions.'
'As times change, world expositions have changed to fit those times. They continue to reflect both the commercial needs of their times while presenting the ideals, hopes, and aspirations of people even as those evolve ... '

The Red Hot Jazz Archive. (Linked previously, no harm in linking again).

Intertribal Bison Cooperative. '51 Native American Tribes uniting for a common goal: Restoring the American Bison to it's rightful range. ' Thanks, homunculus.

I Left My Heart in Seguin.

11th February
Tree of Life. 'The Tree of Life is a collaborative web project, produced by biologists from around the world. On more than 2000 World Wide Web pages, the Tree of Life provides information about the diversity of organisms on Earth, their history, and characteristics. '
'Each page contains information about one group of organisms (for example, the Coleoptera page gives information about all beetles, the Salticidae page about jumping spiders, the Cephalopoda page about squids, octopi, and related molluscs, and the Fungi page about fungi). Individual Tree of Life pages are linked one to another in the form of the evolutionary tree that connects all organisms, with the pages branching off from a group's page being about subgroups. For example, the links from the page on frogs leads one to pages on individual families of frogs, and eventually up to some individual species of frogs ... '
Root of the tree.

Emma Goldman and the Spanish Civil War. 'Goldman was sixty-seven years old when the Spanish Civil War erupted in July of 1936. It was less than a month after the tragic suicide of Alexander Berkman, her closest comrade and "chum of a life-time." The promise of an anarchist revolution in Spain revived Goldman's broken spirit. Despite her advanced age, Emma hurled herself into the Spanish cause with an enthusiasm reminiscent of her early activist years in America.'
'Goldman thought the Spanish Civil War was not only crucial to the international struggle against fascism, but also a great moment in the history of Spain and the world. It was in her view the only peasant and working-class revolution ever to be inspired by anarchist ideals. Building on more than a half-century of agitation and organization, the Spanish anarchists by the mid-1930's had won popular support in parts of Spain--with Catalonia their strongest base. When Emma visited collectivized towns and farms in Aragon in 1936 and the Levante in 1937, she was electrified by what seemed to her to be the beginnings of a Spanish anarchist revolution ... '

A Sentimental Journey through France and Italy, Laurence Sterne.
Prologue. '-You have been in France? said my gentleman, turning quick upon me with the most civil triumph in the world. -Strange! quoth I, debating the matter with myself, that one and twenty miles' sailing, for 't is absolutely no further from Dover to Calais, should give a man these rights.-'

The Vietnam Pictures Archive.
Buddhist statues in North Vietnam.
Pictures of daily life in the Mekong delta.
Ethnology exhibits from the Museum of Fine Arts in Hanoi. 'This section presents a photographic tour of the Anthropology section of the Museum of Fine Arts (shown above) in Hanoi. These photographs have been taken by Manh Nguyen, who has graciously scanned them for the Vietnam Pictures Archive. '

Cambodian Auto-Genocide Page.
'In the loving memories of the Cambodian people who died under the Khmer Rouge Regime from 1975 to 1979, we, Khmers and concerned friends of Cambodia, have formed an ad hoc group to establish the Digital Archive of Cambodian Holocaust Survivors. We call upon you to participate in the preservation and protection of the memories of Cambodian holocaust survivors of Angkar.'
'Until now, no one has endeavored to digitize and distribute Cambodian survivors' stories on multimedia CD-ROM and via the world's information superhighway: the Internet. '
'We invite you to submit your testimonials, stories, images and experiences under the Khmer Rouge, to be digitized for distribution on the Internet. Memories of life under the Khmer Rouge are precisely those which must be preserved for future generations of Cambodians and for the entire world. They must never be forgotten or left on the ash-heap of history. '
Cambodia today.
Survivors' stories.

The Steve Biko Memorial Homepage.

The Black Press: Soldiers Without Swords. ' "Soldiers Without Swords" retrieves an important missing page from American history and brings it virtually to life. It's beautifully produced and directed and tells a story as only a powerful film can do. ' - Bill Moyers.
The Chicago Defender , 'which was founded by Robert S. Abbott on May 5, 1905, once heralded itself as "The World's Greatest Weekly." The newspaper was the nation's most influential black weekly newspaper by the advent of World War I, with more than two thirds of its readership base located outside of Chicago ... '

Endangered Buildings of Northwest Indiana.

Hudson Valley Ruins 'provides a record of historic and distinctive architecture threatened by development, vandals, and time and exposure to the elements. We hope this website will be a catalyst for efforts to save the neglected historic structures of the Hudson Valley region of New York State. Through education and public-awareness, the buildings contained herein may yet see another day. If we can't save the mansions, churches, factories, and mills, then at least we've got the photos for you to look at. Along the way you will also find examples of buildings that are being or have been restored ... '

A Guide to Colorado Architecture. 'The Office of Archaeology and Historic Preservation of the Colorado Historical Society initiated a project to develop an architectural guide for Colorado in March 1983 with the assistance of a grant from the Colorado Commission on Higher Education. The purpose of the guide is to standardize the terminology used in describing Colorado architectural styles to assist surveyors in recording properties for the Colorado Inventory of Cultural Resources. The terminology will provide consistency for encoding and retrieving architectural information from the computerized data system. This document is not intended to be a history of architecture in Colorado, but simply a dictionary of common architectural styles and types ... '
Online guides to Colorado architects and architecture.

Jesus of Nazareth in Early Christian Gospels. The lost gospels.

Connections in Space. A more imaginative London Underground.

Platform for Art at the London Underground.

Holidays in the Axis of Evil. (I wouldn't mind a holiday in Cuba, myself).

' The well known alternative news publication was just shut down by its hosting comapny! ... ' Via Unknown News.

The Memory Hole. Always important.

Cricketers wear black armbands to mark death of democracy in Zimbabwe.

10th February
Virtual Herbarium. Established 1994.

The Library of the Sphinx. 'Things that are not real must, by definition, be endlessly fascinating, unbearably frightening, overwhelmingly important. The Library of the Sphinx, whether it exists in the imaginings of Freud or undiscovered beneath the stone images of Egypt (some of which sat staring at the first analyst as he wrote), is the repository of unwritten texts. A survey, discussion, meditation, -an indiscriminate midden of theories- concerning these unreal books is entirely unnecessary, constitutionally incapable of rigour or result. '
'But it just has to be done.'
A guide.

The Evolution of the Medieval Book. 'Among the many innovations that transformed Europe in the Middle Ages, perhaps none was more central than the metamorphosis of the written word. The evolution of writing in this period reached a dramatic climax in the 1450s, when Johann Gutenberg invented moveable metal type-and revolutionized human communication. This exhibition traces the history of the medieval book-its appearance, content, audiences, and forms- from the 9th to the 15th centuries ... '

Saigon on Wheels. 'In the spring of 1994 I went to Vietnam for the first time. As a youth growing up in America in the 1970's, Vietnam was a place I only knew as a tragic war. With talk in the press of increasing ties between the two former enemies, and the possibility of a lifting of the U.S. trade embargo, my instincts told me that the time was ripe for a visit. I also wanted to visit Vietnam quickly, before the onslaught of U.S. journalists that would be sure to follow any warming of relations between the two nations ... '

Chaudoc, Vietnam Photographs.

Child Rescue Centre, Sierra Leone.
"Our mission is to provide for the spiritual, intellectual, physical and social needs of children and youth who have become victims of neglect, abuse, poverty, hunger, culture, war and corrupt political systems. Our primary goal is to provide food, shelter, clothing, health care, education and skills training for orphans, street children, school dropouts and children and youth in extremely difficult socio-economic circumstances."

Chicago Landmarks. Maps, listings, virtual tours.

Longwood Gardens. 'Welcome to the world's premier horticultural display garden ... '

L.D.S Temples of the American West. Mormon temples virtual tour.

Lantern Room. 'If you enjoy nostalgia, you've stumbled into the right place. Inside you will find about 350 original images of Lighthouses from all over the World, Old Water Mills, Covered Bridges, Steam Trains and Missions of California. Update October 13, 2000. '

Appeals Worldwide 'specializes in producing appeals letters based on Amnesty International cases, for you to send to the authorities in the countries concerned. The definitive cure for "writer's block"!'
Hypertext Amnesty letters.

1846: Portrait of the Nation. America in 1846.

Mathew Brady's Portraits.

The Tiny Pineapple Nurse Book Collection and Pineapple Postcards. Thanks, Miguel.

Tests reveal Amesbury Archer King of Stonehenge was a settler from the Alps.

Photoshop for World Peace. Via Geisha Asobi. Vintage Photo Gallery. Via Coudal.

The Photobloggies. Via Songdog.

New Year on Dartmoor.
London graves to be destroyed by Chunnel link.
Via methylsalicylate.