plep Archive

5th January
Where Were You? Stories of those who witnessed the first lunar landing. 'The first dusty footprints left by MEN ON THE MOON were also indelible footprints left on the hearts and imaginations of the human race. No other adventure was shared by more people. No other quest has meant more to our species as a standard by which we measure our incredible potential. This web site is dedicated to collecting memories of one of the most famous days in the history of our planet from the various points of view of people who lived it, right here on Earth. It is One Day in the Life of Earth--late 20th century--preserved in the reflection of an extraordinary achievement. Read here the human stories of the impact of a world changing event as told by living witnesses to history, before they are lost to time.'

Project Starshine.

Comet Hale-Bopp: The Great Comet of 1997. 'With over 5,100 images, this site has the largest collection of Comet Hale-Bopp images in the world available on the Internet. The home page is maintained solely on the volunteer efforts of myself. '

The Guido Mazzoni Collection. From the introduction :- 'This on-line exhibit showcases a representative sample of the Mazzoni Pamphlet Collection at Duke Univerity. This collection of 50,000 rare Italian pamphlets was acquired by Duke University in 1948. It is very likely one of the largest collections of an Italian private library in the United States. Assembled by the late Professor Guido Mazzoni, who taught Italian Literature in Padua and Florence and was Senator for life in the Italian Parliament, the collection consists of pamphlets, newspapers, programs, catalogs, and small volumes dating from the 16th through 20th centuries. It includes periodicals, political satire, Italian and French dramas, ballets, librettos, eulogies, epithalamia, materials from both World Wars, many collections of poetry, and many pamphlets relating to the Unification of Italy. '
Popular culture. This one is especially good.

Torture - Never Forget. 'Life is a mirage, you know. You are walking to reach the water, but it keeps flowing back and back. You begin to count the minutes and seconds, waiting to see what will happen.' - Babek, torture survivor.

Arms and Armour. (Metropolitan Museum of Art) 'This exhibition celebrates more than a decade of acquisitions made since the reinstallation of the Arms and Armor Galleries in 1991. Although high-quality works are becoming increasingly rare, a number of important gifts and purchases have significantly enriched the Museum's renowned collection of European, North American, Japanese, and Islamic arms, increasing its depth and breadth as well as its appeal to scholars and the public alike. '

The Written Image: Japanese Calligraphy and Painting from the Sylvan Barnet and William Burto Collection. 'This exhibition displays 60 works of Japanese calligraphy, spanning a period of more than 1,000 years, drawn from the exceptional collection of Sylvan Barnet and William Burto. The collection - which traces the evolution of Japanese calligraphy from the Nara period (710-784) through the 19th century-includes examples of both the Chinese script (kanji) and the Japanese script (kana). Also included are Buddhist and Shinto mandalas and a portrait of a Zen monk. '

Kana Calligraphy. 'In this home page, I invite you to the world of KANA CALLIGRAPHY, I hope you will have a good time. Please see my original calligraphy. '

The Theyyams of Malabar. 'The fantastical and the real, the exotic and the ordinary, the extravagant and the simple, all seem to merge seamlessly in British-born photographer Seth's work, which focuses exclusively on Hindu rituals in India's southern state of Kerala. While her subject might be the ultimate exotic, her direct approach to towards it, her emphasis on giving the whole picture and not just the sensational and the dramatic, lends a unique down-to-earth flavor to her photographs. '

William Gedney Photographs and Writings. 'From the mid 1950s through the early 1980s, William Gedney (1932-1989) photographed throughout the United States, in India, and in Europe. From the commerce of the street outside his Brooklyn apartment to the daily chores of unemployed coal miners, from the indolent lifestyle of hippies in Haight-Ashbury to the sacred rituals of Hindu worshippers, Gedney was able to record the lives of others with remarkable clarity and poignancy. These photographs, along with his notebooks and writings, illuminate the rare vision of an intensely private man who, as a writer and photographer, was able to reveal the lives of others with striking sensitivity. '

Historic American Sheet Music.

Emily Spalding Bryant Letters. 'Emma Spaulding Bryant wrote these ten letters to her husband, John Emory Bryant, in the summer of 1873. They recount Emma's activities during that summer when she and her daughter, Alice, were visiting relatives in Illinois and Ohio while her husband tended to his political affairs in Georgia.'

Stockport Hatworks. Stockport Museum of Hatting, 'brimming with activity'.

Chertsey Museum, Surrey.

Route 66: Area 51 USA Tours 1997-2002. 'Ryan and Frank have completed six ROAD TRIPS ACROSS AMERICA, including Route 66 from Chicago to Los Angeles, and the ET highway bordering Nevada's infamous Area 51. This website holds pictures and comments of our travels.'
Satellite images of Route 66.

La Hacienda Grande. 'When visiting New Mexico and the Southwest, experience the warmth and charm of an authentic adobe "great house" . . . La Hacienda Grande. From its very origin, over 250 years ago, the Montoya family worked the land and shared its bounty with friends and neighbors. Now bed and breakfast innkeepes Melody & Troy Scott continue the family tradition ... '

Blue Swallow Motel. 'An authentic Route 66 establishment awaits you! Built in 1939 and listed on the National and State Historic Registers, it continues to provide cozy accommodations at budget prices.'

King's Crown, Nigeria (Yoruba). 'Long, long ago, Olorun (OH-low-run), the sky god, lowered a great chain from the heavens to the ancient waters. Down this chain climbed Oduduwa, Olorun's son. Oduduwa brought with him a handful of dirt, a special five-toed chicken, and a palm nut. He threw the dirt upon the ancient waters and set the chicken on the dirt. The chicken busily scratched and scattered the dirt until it formed the first dry earth. In the center of this new world, Oduduwa created the magnificent Ife (EE-fay) kingdom. He planted the palm nut, which grew into a proud tree with 16 branches, symbolizing the 16 sons and grandsons of Oduduwa ... '

' Bushmen of the Kalahari stand to benefit from development of hoodia, which curbs appetite.' It would be nice.
Read Survival International on the plight of Botswana's Bushmen, thanks to government policy. Sign a petition.

Fixed opinions, or the hinge of history.
Thanks jp.

4th January
Against Their Will. The story of North Carolina's forced sterilisation programme.

Network for Good 'is a nonprofit organization dedicated to using the Web to help people get more involved in their communities - from volunteering and donating money, to speaking out on issues you care about.'
Ways to help East Timor, which will celebrate its first anniversary as an independent state in May.

Chronica Majora. A medieval weblog.
'Being the Chronicles written by Matthaei Parisiensis, a humble monk of the Abbey of St. Albans. '
Via Out of Lascaux.

NationStates. 'Jennifer Government: NationStates is a nation simulation game. You create your own country, fashioned after your own political ideals, and care for its people. Either that or you deliberately torture them. It's really up to you.'
Looks interesting.

Chimpanzee Cultures. 'This website gives access to an online database that describes the cultural variations in chimpanzee behaviour, and shows behaviour distributions across the long-term study sites in Africa. '

Orang-utans. 'Orang-utans, one of the animal species thought to be closest to humans, are edging a little closer. According to new research they have what was previously thought to be a very human characteristic: culture ... Not in the sense of an evolved political system or the ability to represent themselves in art, but in the day-to-day things that one group of orang-utans does differently from its neighbours ... '

The Great Ape Project supports granting certain 'human' rights to great apes.

Santa Claus. Netnotes.

Pi. 'We're several billion decimal places closer to knowing the true value of the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter. And you thought maths wasn't fun.'

Questions of Travel, by Elizabeth Bishop.
The transformation of the hummingbird: cultural roots of a Zinacantan mythical poem
Via Languagehat on hummingbird poetry.

Economist | American values. Interesting not so much for the text of the article, but for the accompanying World Values Survey graph which plots countries on secular/rational vs. traditional and survival vs. self-expression axes. The article includes a brief explanation behind the rationale behind this. You can take a good look at the graph here.

England's Thousand Best Churches. Extract.
'The English church is the true museum of the country. Once, it was every community's most important building. It was where English men and women went to dream their brightest dreams and express their deepest fears. In this six-part series, Simon Jenkins, author of England's Thousand Best Churches, tells the story of belief in England through these buildings. '

3rd January
Théodore Chassériau (1819-1856): The Unknown Romantic. 'Approximately 50 paintings and 80 works on paper constitute the first retrospective of the work of Chassériau (1819-1856) since 1933 and the first to be held outside France. Chassériau, a precocious disciple of Ingres, quickly succumbed to Romanticism and developed a personal style that fused Ingres's linear precision with the lush color and exoticism of Delacroix. Chassériau's trip to Algeria in 1846 inspired a wealth of Orientalist images, which highlight a career abruptly terminated by the artist's death at the age of 37. The diversity of his historical, religious, and Orientalist subjects as well as his portraits reveals how the government and the emerging art market in France formed his oeuvre.'

Orpheus and Eurydice.

Daring to Resist. Resistance during World War II. 'Actress Janeane Garofalo narrates this portrait of three teenage girls fighting genocide, taking risks they never dreamed possible: Faye Schulman, a photographer and partisan fighter in the forests of Poland (now Belarus); Barbara Rodbell, a ballerina in Amsterdam who delivered underground newspapers and secured food and transportation for Jews in hiding, and Shulamit Lack, who acquired false papers and a safe house for Jews attempting to escape from Hungary. '

Hello to those visiting via this 'readers' favourite blogs' piece on It's a pleasure to have you here. What a mixed bag webloggers are.
Thanks to Kristin of Sassafrass.

Belated happy blog birthday to Cheesedip; also to dumbmonkey, who has one coming up.

Harmonia Macrocosmica. 'Harmonia Macrocosmica, by Andreas Cellarius, is part of the Marriott Library's Rare Book Collection. Printed in 1661, it is an atlas of the heavens as seen by the astronomers of the times: Copernicus, Ptolemy, Brahe, and Aratus. There are 30 double-folio hand-painted color plates, plus approximately 200 pages of accompanying text in Latin. The entire book has been digitized and the images may be browsed or searched by clicking on the links to the right. '

The `Lost Letters' of J.C. Kapteyn (1851 - 1922). 'On June 9 - 11 1999, as part of the 385th anniversary of Groningen University (The Netherlands), the Kapteyn Astronomical Institute together with the Department of History organised a symposium about the legacy of the Dutch astronomer Jacobus Cornelius Kapteyn. '
'As Kapteyn's own archives have been lost in WWII, it was decided that - in connection with this symposium - an inventory could be made of his letters and papers still preserved in archives around the world. This I did in 1999 under the supervision of Klaas van Berkel. The results have been published under the title The ` Lost Letters' of J.C. Kapteyn in the symposium proceedings.'

The Antique Telescope Society.

A Look at Chinese Painting in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. 'On April 6, 1437, Yang Rong, a high-ranking scholar-official serving the emperor of China, invited eight important officials and dignitaries to his famous garden to view paintings and calligraphy, compose poetry, and play chess. One of these invited officials is seen above, brush in hand, poised to write a poem on the paper unrolled on the table before him. Two other guests admire a painting in the format of a hanging scroll. The servant on the left is readying another hanging scroll for viewing while two more hanging scrolls lie rolled up on the low table beside him. Yang Rong served at the court of five successive emperors, rising to the rank of grand secretary, the highest official position in the Ming dynasty court ... '

Art of Chinese Calligraphy. Huge.

Love Songs to Krishna.

A Grand Design: The Art of the Victoria and Albert Museum. A nice showcase.

Herb Ritts. 'Based in Los Angeles, Herb Ritts is very much an image maker for our time, a photographer whose assured eye, fertile imagination, and affirmative spirit translate our culture's dreams and desires into strong, memorable pictures. '
The man who created gods and goddesses with his camera. Herb Ritts, 1952-2002.
Obituary: Herb Ritts.

American Drawings and Watercolours in The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Highlights from the Collection, 1710-1890. 'To celebrate the publication of volume 1 of American Drawings and Watercolors in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, which catalogues works from the Museum's own holdings by artists born before 1835, some 100 highlights from the Metropolitan's exceptional collection of American drawings and watercolors are on view. Among the selections are works by Thomas Cole, John Singleton Copley, Asher Brown Durand, William Trost Richards, and James Abbott McNeill Whistler.

University of Bristol Theatre Collection. 'The University of Bristol Theatre Collection is a Fully Registered Museum and research centre dedicated to the study of British Theatre History, holding a vast collection of original documents, photographs and artefacts from theatres, actors, designers and much more. '
The Old Vic.
Theatre design collections.
Women's theatre collection.

Hackney Empire Theatre. A London icon.

Steam. Museum of the Great Western Railway. 'STEAM tells the story of the people who built, operated and travelled on the Great Western Railway. This new museum, which opened in June 2000, is located in the centre of Swindon's Great Western Historic Area. It is housed in a beautifully restored railway building and offers a great day out for all the family - so next time you are making a visit to the South West, come and enjoy.'
Isambard Kingdom Brunel.

African Journey. 'Hi! My name is Rich Piazza. Welcome to the African Journey WWW site. This site is a compilation of the photos, music, and information relating to my participation as a volunteer in the Peace Corps from 1961 to 1963 as well as the subsequent 3-month, 10,000 mile motorcycle trip through much of Africa. All references to countries' names, leaders, etc., reflect what they were at that time. A video comprising the full 300 photos, considerable indigenous music, and narration is available for viewing at the John Fitzgerald Kennedy Library, Columbia Point in Boston Mass.'

West Midlands Police Museum. 'Birmingham is Britain's second city and has long been an industrial centre. The movement of workers from rural areas and agriculture to the urban factories brought an increasing population in the 19th century. Many of these workers and their families moved in to appalling conditions of poverty - and this is reflected in the cases brought before the courts. Compare the reports of the 1880's with case reports of today. Compare the crimes and the penalties awarded by the Magistrates Court. '

HMS Warrior. 'As you arrive at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, the stunning sleek, black lines of Britain's first iron- hulled, armoured battleship, take your breath away. '
'The pride of Queen Victoria, Warrior revolutionised warship construction. Powered by steam and sail, she was the largest and fastest ship of her day. Her most radical innovation was her citadel - an armoured box housing her guns. '

Northern Ireland Murals. (BBC) 'Mural art often expresses the political feeling of the day in a very immediate way. View and read about the Mural art of both traditions in our galleries.'

How low can Dow go?
'In a stunning example of corporate insensibility, Dow Chemical, the worlds largest chemical company, and new owners of Union Carbide is to sue survivors of the 1984 Union Carbide gas disaster in Bhopal, India. While the site of the disaster lies covered in toxic waste and survivors struggle with continuing ill health and deadly pollution from the site, Dow has decided to add to their woes with a Indian lawsuit. '
'Yes that's right - the very people Dow should be helping are now facing a lawsuit from one of the world most powerful corporations. Why are they acting in such an amazingly perverse manner? On December 2nd a peaceful march of 200 women survivors from Bhopal delivered toxic waste from the abandoned Carbide factory back to Dow's Indian headquarters in Bombay with the demand that Dow take responsibility for the disaster and clean up the site. Dow obviously has other ideas because they are suing survivors for about US$10,000 for "loss of work". That's US$10,000 compensation demanded for a two hour peaceful protest where only one Dow employee briefly ventured out of the Mumbai corporate business park to meet the women protestors ... '
Tell Dow to clean up Bhopal.
Via BookNotes.

Ticketstubs, 'a place where you can upload scanned images of your saved stubs, and tell a story about that night, that concert, that movie, what happened on that date; basically, ask youself why you saved the stub as a reminder.'
Via environy.

Gnome find is not gnormal, make gno mistake. 'Puzzled French police are investigating after a mushroom hunter stumbled on an unexpected find in the middle of a pine forest in south-west France - 101 garden gnomes.'
Thanks to jp.
' Bluesman who taught Hiram Williams has gotten little credit. That may change.'

' Two prominent members of the Congressional Black Caucus have voiced support for a nationwide military draft, saying that children of the rich should serve alongside less privileged Americans in the war on terrorism. '
Interesting article on this bill on

John Poindexter Awareness Office.

Straight talk about smallpox vaccine. 'Larry Brilliant is , among many other things, an expert on smallpox. He worked for the World Health Organization in India during smallpox outbreaks there -- and has written movingly about that experience -- and he was part of the WHO team that looked for stores of smallpox virus in Iran in the early 1970s. '
'Ever since shortly after Sept. 11, 2001, Brilliant has been issuing a series of essays to interested friends, giving his views on various matters in which he has expertise. He recently wrote one titled "Why I Will Not Vaccinate My Family Against Smallpox -- Yet." ... '
Thanks again to d'monquis.