plep Archive

20th February
Andrew's Depression Page.

A Nice Cup of Tea. George Orwell's eleven-step guide to making tea.

The Story of the Tea Leaf by Montfort Chamney, with a picture of the biggest tea bush in the world.
'... Knowledge in remote times regarding some of the properties of the tea plant is indicated by a few early Chinese Chroniclers, and the introduction of its leaf into Europe and first use there of the infused beverage have attracted the notice of some modern writers of repute. In the light of these facts it may seem almost an impertinence for a retired old Civil Servant, blind and unknown, to take up such a subject anew. Nevertheless the writer, who more than once and for long periods has been brought into close contact with different aspects of the great tea industry, here ventures to outline from accumulated notes, and through the medium of a Braille writing machine, a brief summary of the strange and not uneventful history of tea ... '

The Tea Tavern. 'This booklet is printed for distribution to owners of roadside cafés and Tea Taverns in the British Isles and is published by the Hovis Organization in association with the Tea Bureau.'

The Tea Clippers. 'An account of the China Tea Trade and of some of the British Sailing Ships engaged in it from 1849 to 1869 by David R. McGregor.'

The Queen Anne's Revenge Shipwreck Project. Interesting site about the conservation of the remains of 'Blackbeard's flagship'.

'Merry of Soul': The Legacy of Robert Louis Stevenson.

A Fury from Hell - or Was He? 'As underwater archaeologists pull artifacts from what may be the wreck of Blackbeard's flagship, historians raise new questions about the legendary pirate.'

Treasure Island.

The Museum of HP Calculators. 'The Museum of HP Calculators displays and describes Hewlett-Packard calculators introduced from 1968 to 1986 plus a few interesting later models. There are also sections on calculating machines and slide rules as well as sections for buying and selling HP calculators, an HP timeline, collecting information and a software library. '
Reverse Polish notation.

The Quartz Watch. How it works.

The Intel Museum.

Ethnographie Ordinaire, Gens du Mali. Portraits of people from Mali; in French.

Four African Artists.

The Buddha's Daily Habits.
Sources on the Buddha's Life and Death.

Buddha: The First Sermon.
Buddha: Sermons and Teachings.

The Ramayana Story in images.

The Plateau, website of Dr. Zahi Hawass, the egyptologist.
The secret five chambers.

Dead Romans, 'a work-in-progress that features information about Roman coins, architecture, and artwork from the Early Roman Empire. '

Illustrated Guide to Sites of Greece.

Win Without War: 'On February 26th, you can join a massive march on Washington without leaving your living room. The Virtual March on Washington is a first-of-its-kind campaign from the Win Without War coalition ... '
Virtual march on Washington.

Bloggers Against War.

Kurdish leaders enraged by 'undemocratic' American plan to occupy Iraq.

19th February
Who Invented Body Odour? 'In the 1910s and particularly the 1920s, advertising agents focused their attention on identifying—and often inventing—personal anxieties that could be resolved by the purchase of specific products. "Advertising," wrote one commentator in a trade publication, "helps to keep the masses dissatisfied with their mode of life, discontented with ugly things around them. Satisfied customers are not as profitable as discontented ones." Advertisers, as historian Stuart Ewen notes, tried to endow people with a "critical self-consciousness" directed especially at their personal appearances ... '

The Children of Africa Gallery. Art by African children.
Part of the International Gallery of Children's Art.
Also from the site :-
When They Were Children. 'These collections highlight the artwork created by artists in their early years. Through archiving their early works within PapaInk, contributing individuals and organizations help build a collective history of creative youth. Art=Humanity!'
Building a Sense of Home. 'The On the Map: Building a Sense of Home project brings together young people's capacity to express a sense of home that is at once practical and visionary; organizations that are positioned to benefit from children's vision and to actualize it; and the archival mission of PapaInk to build meaning-based art collections that enter children's expressions and experience into the cultural record.'
Redeeming the Irredeemable. 'The images in this collection share a strikingly iconographic quality. The young artists' vivid expressions throw a particular historical moment into relief, while simultaneously projecting a redemptive 'solution' to the (il)logic of history.'
September 11.

Into the Wardrobe: A Website Devoted to C.S. Lewis. With a daily Lewis quote. So much to see here; a really, really good site.

The Carolands 'is a 98 room mansion on 5-1/2 acres in Hillsborough, California. At 65,000 square feet, it is said to be the largest single- family residence west of the Mississippi. It is 4-1/2 stories tall, and originally stood on 544 acres. Features include bathrooms with marble tubs, a central staircase, a library, and hidden passageways for the servants. One hallway, with its curved ceiling, resembles a Pullman car.'
'According to the SF Chronicle, the internal structure of the Carolands is composed of a skeleton of reinforced vertical columns and horizontal beams. All of the floors are of reinforced concrete, and the bays between the columns are filled in with mortared bricks. The exterior walls are stucco finished to look like stone. All of the exterior decorative features are of cast concrete ... '
Murals in the kitchen.

San Francisco Bay Area Arts & Crafts Movement. Good collection of articles, and images (though they may take some digging around for).
'The Arts & Crafts Movement had its roots in the Mid 19th Century in the UK with the designs and works of such individuals as William Morris, Charles Rennie MacKintosh, and Richard Norman Shaw. The Arts & Crafts Movement gained followers in the US through the efforts of Gustav Stickley, Elbert Hubbard and the The Roycrofters, and many major architects at the end of the 19th and early 20th centuries.'
'California provided a wealth of opportunities for the Arts & Crafts Movement to flourish. The Gold Rush during the middle of the 19th century spurred the growth of the region. Fortunes were made by many individuals in mining, transportation, banking and other industries. The varied climate, geography, and abundance of natural scenery and materials provided the followers of the Arts & Crafts Movement with wealthy clients willing to explore the elements of living in harmony with nature espoused by the style. The earliest history of the Arts & Crafts Movement in California might be credited to a Swedenborgian minister named Joseph Worcester, who designed his own shingle-style residence in 1876. Rev. Worcester was associated with many significant architects and artisans, among them Bernard Maybeck, A.C. Schweinfurth, A. Page Brown and Charles Keeler.'

Walter Burley Griffin: In His Own Right. (PBS)

His Eminence Ngor Ewam Phende Rinpoche.

The Dalai Lama's Homepage.

From Frying Pan to Flying V: The Rise of the Electric Guitar. 'This exhibit features instruments that illustrate how innovative makers and players combined the guitar with a pickup (sensor) and amplifier to create a new instrument and a new sound that profoundly changed popular music--blues, country, rhythm and blues, jazz, and rock and roll--in the 20th century.'

The Enchanted Gardens of the Renaissance.

Belarusian Architecture. 'During the course of its history Belarusian nation has created a highly developed and original architecture. Its best monuments mirror the peculiarities and most important architectural trends and achievements of the epoque, prove the practical wisdom and artistic craftsmenship of Belarusian people. The history of Belarusian architecture is the history of the development of Belarusians as a nation in the middle of Europe - a nation experiencing numerous invasions and wars, absorbing and developing european ideas and philosophies, building socialism, capitalism, and still struggling to its better future ... '

Ancient Lego Building Contest.

Via Gordon :-
Leaving the Temple. 'These photographs are the result of 3 years of work in Asia and represent, in many ways, the discovery that I wouldnt find spiritual fulfillment in Asia. When I arrived in Thailand in 1988, I saw a land of golden light and saffron robed monksidealistic images of an idealized land. Although an atheist, I briefly thought I'd find God in Asia ... '
Native American Masks.

Rally at the South Pole. Via ghost rocket.

Peace on the Beach.
Via Gordon Coale.

Baring all for peace.
F16 march in San Francisco.
Harrumph! in SF.
Bitter Shack of Resentment.
All via dumbmonkey.

a moveable beast: pictures from Knoxville - such as these few.

What would you suggest? (Jonathan Freedland) 'Those who are opposed to war on Iraq need to show that there is a peaceful way to liberate its people.'
' ... First, we have to establish that we oppose the Ba'athist regime with all the fervour now claimed by the PM. (And it won't do to bring out the yellowing scrapbook, and brag about all the anti-Saddam rallies we held in the 1980s: the issue is now.) '
'Second, we have to dispute Blair's description of the coming attack as a war of liberation. He may be claiming that now, as he seeks to win over a stubbornly sceptical public opinion, but it hardly squares with the rhetoric coming from the chief prosecutors of the war. Washington does not cast this conflict centrally in humanitarian, Kosovo-style terms, but as a way of snuffing out a threat to US security. Those who claim this as a war for the Iraqi people need to listen harder to the men who will be fighting it: Bush, Rumsfeld and the guys don't talk that way ... '
'Third, the peace camp has to set out its own, alternative method of ridding Iraq of its oppressor. We have to have an answer to our critics' legitimate question: what would you do? ... '

Settle down and listen up. ' ... I was in Paris on Sept. 11, 2001. The reaction was so immediate, so generous, so overwhelming. Not just the government, but the people kept bringing flowers to the American embassy. They covered the American Cathedral, the American Church, anything they could find that was American. They didn't just leave flowers, they wrote notes with them. I read over 100 of them. Not only did they refer, again and again, to Normandy, to never forgetting, there were even some in ancient, spidery handwriting referring to WW I: "Lafayette is still with you." '
Via BookNotes.

Voices on Iraq.

18th February
Charles Rennie Mackintosh. 'Welcome to my pages about Charles Rennie Mackintosh (1868-1928), Scottish architect and designer. On these pages I will try to give an overview on his life, show some pictures of his work and provide links to other sites. '
His life.
' The entrance to 5 Blythswood Square is one of Charles Rennie Mackintosh's minor works. In 1908 he fitted the doorway into the rounded arch for The Glasgow Society of Lady Artists' Club. The panelled entrance hall behind the door might be from CRM as well, but this is not confirmed ... '
Queen's Cross Church.

House for an Art Lover. 'Situated in Parkland and adjacent to magnificent Victorian Walled Gardens, the House for an Art Lover is a truly unique venue. It represents one of the most exciting pieces of recent research on Charles Rennie Mackintosh and provides an excellent resource for visitors as a contemporary conference venue and cultural attraction. '

The John Hudson Thomas Gallery.
Biography. 'John Hudson Thomas was born in Ward, Nevada and grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. He attended Yale University, graduating in 1902. Later that year he entered the U. C. Berkeley Department of Architecture where he studied under Bernard Maybeck and John Galen Howard. After graduating from Berkeley, he worked for two years in Howard's office. In 1906, he entered into a partnership with George T. Plowman and established an independent practice in 1910 ... '
Buildings by John Hudson Thomas.

Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association.
Berkeley Observed. Articles and images of Berkeley buildings.
A reminder of West Berkeley's industrial heritage. 'The H. J. Heinz Building is located on San Pablo Avenue just north of Ashby Avenue. Its Mediterranean-style facade is a prominent and distinctive feature on the streetscape of San Pablo Avenue. The building looks like an elegant school or office complex from the exterior, but behind the nicely detailed facade was once a real industrial/manufacturing building engaged in the production of 28 of the H. J. Heinz company's famous " 57 Varieties". '
One structure with many associations. 'The history of garbage disposal is an interesting and rather shocking one. Our current concern for the protection of the environment was not shared by our forefathers. When garbage was out of sight it was considered adequately deposed of; the land, sea and sky were believed able to absorb all the "bad things" ... '

The Tibetan Book of the Dead. Special online exhibition.

Whispered Prayers: Portraits and Prose of Tibetans in Exile.
The woman who whispered her prayers. 'My name is Ama Adhe and I am sixty-five years old. I spent twenty-eight years of my life in eight different Chinese prisons as a political prisoner. My chuba, which is the traditional dress of both Tibetan men and women, became my protection at night in the cold and dampness of my small prison cell. I used my sleeve as a pillow, one side of my chuba as a mattress and the other side as a blanket, since in many of the prisons there was no other bedding or blankets. Often, when I worked in the prison vegetable gardens that fed the Chinese guards, my chuba became a secret hiding place where I would store and conceal food to bring to the other prisoners who were starving. I was caught and severely punished for this on many occasions.'

Chiefs & Spirits. Contemporary African art gallery in the Netherlands.

Thomas Alva Edison 1847-1931. Site celebrating the 150th anniversary of Edison's birth.
'On February 11, 1997, the Lemelson Center celebrated Thomas Edison's 150th birthday with a special Innovative Lives program. In an electronic field trip, school groups from the Washington, D.C., area visited the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village in Dearborn, Michigan.'
Make a light bulb.

The Harp. An essay on its history, playing of, tuning of, and feeding of.

Amsterdam Heritage. 'The city of Amsterdam enjoys great fame for being the proud owner of one of the most important intact historical city centres in the world. The distinctive Amsterdam cityscape is dominated by canal houses, most of them built as residences for wealthy citizens. These rich mansions are characterised by narrow, relatively tall facades, crowned by richly ornamented gable tops. Amsterdam Heritage includes an introduction to the history of Amsterdam as well as an outline of the topographical development of the city. Moreover, this website offers you a unique opportunity to take part in a virtual guided tour along the most significant historic buildings and sites. Detailed information on the architecture and on the preservation of historic buildings is presented along the way.'

Prints Old & Rare - Monkeys Page. '1913: The First Love Story. A monkey dressed as cupid writing a letter from the cover of Life Magazine Vol. 61, No. 1600, June 26, 1913. '
Via Speckled Paint.

Then and Now. Things change, not always for the better.
Via Skimble.

17th February
Andes Expedition: Searching for Inca Secrets. (National Geographic)

Huarochiri, a Peruvian Culture in Time. 'Huarochir is an Andean province near Lima, Peru. This site offers an ethnographic and historical tour of some of its communities. It samples the Huarochir Quechua Manuscript, which alone among colonial documents explains a pre-Christian tradition in an Andean language, and visits modern highlanders who inhabit and interpret the mythic landscape.'
Huarochiri's ancient Quechua book.
The village of Tupicocha.
Khipus, or quipocamayos, a unique Huarochiri legacy. 'Today, the citizens of Tupicocha, in central Huarochir, call cord records like this one "quipocamayos" or "equipos" or "caytus". They treasure these post-Inka specimens of the ancient Andean information technology as their sacred charters. '

Sri Krishna: The Prophet of Love and Action. 'The Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture, Golpark, Kolkata, in collaboration with the Indian Museum, Kolkata has organised an Art Exhibition on 'Sri Krishna, the Prophet of Love and Action.' The exhibits range in date from the 7th through 20th centuries hailing from different parts of India, belong mostly to Indian Museum collection; it has been supplemented by a small collection of the Institute. The exhibition is on display from 23rd December 2002 to 22nd January 2003 at the Insititute Mueum & Art Gallery, Golpark, Kolkata.'
Krishna killing Bakasuru.

Soul of India: Bronze Sculpture.
Via the Indian Museum, Calcutta.

Painted Tales from India.

A Brush with Truth: Early Buddhist Ink Paintings from Japan and China.

An Eternity of Forest: Paintings by Mbuti Women. ' @All lives, all dances and all is loud." Energy, motion and sound: the exuberance and vitality of the forest aesthetic is defined alike by a Gabon Pygmy song, and by the paintings of the Mbuti women of the Ituri Forest of northeastern Zaire ... '

Ituri Forest People's Fund. 'Established in 1985 to promote the health and education of Efe (pygmy) foragers and Lese farmers in northeastern Congo.'

Selected African American Artists.

Titian at the National Gallery, London.
Virtual tour of the 'camerino dalabastro'. 'Reconstruction of Alfonso d'Este's lost 'camerino d'alabastro' from his castle in Ferrara, showing the arrangement of the surviving paintings commissioned for the room.'

Puzzling Pictures. 'This section of the National Gallery website looks at some of the more unusual paintings in the collection: those which may have had an interesting history since they were painted, or perhaps have a surprising subject or have been deliberately left incomplete. The pictures may come from very different places and periods but all of them have unconventional or puzzling aspects. Choose one of the pictures below to find out more.'
Manet - Strozzi - Rubens - Piombo - Velazquez

The National Gallery During the Second World War.

The Art of Science. 'Some of the National Gallery's paintings can tell us about scientific instruments and inventions from the past. Click on the details below to find out more...'

Fundamentals of Physical Geography.


Centre for the Quilt. Quilting heritage.

Rock Art in the British Landscape.

Stone Circles in Angus and Perthshire.

Sacred Sites, Contested Rights/Rites. 'Paganisms, archaeological monuments, and access.

Megalithic Ireland.

The Prehistoric Monuments of Wales.

California Gold: Northern California Folk Music from the Thirties. 'The WPA California Folk Music Project is a multi-format ethnographic field collection that includes sound recordings, still photographs, drawings, and written documents from a variety of European ethnic and English- and Spanish-speaking communities in Northern California. The collection comprises 35 hours of folk music recorded in twelve languages representing numerous ethnic groups and 185 musicians. '
Drawings and sketches.

Poetry and American Memory. (The Atlantic Online, 1999)
'The poet laureate reflects on what makes the American people "a people" -- and what our poetry can teach us about the "fragile, heroic enterprise of remembering". '

The American Sense of Puritan.
Pilgrims and Puritans.
The Pilgrims in the Capitol.

Fire and Ice: Puritan and Reformed Writings.

100 Worst Britons.

AntiWar Game. Via diminishedResponsibility.

Snake Robots. Via Speckled Paint, Geisha Asobi.