plep Archive

8th January
Mapping the Icelandic Genome.
About. 'In 1998, a biotech company, deCode Genetics, headed by a charismatic Icelandic physician and geneticist, Kari Stefansson, proposed an audacious and controversial project- to produce a comprehensive genomic map of the Icelandic people. Although some would contest the scientific worth of such a map, the core controversy has arisen over deCode's proposal to keep that map and its associ ated data in the private realm while claiming to protect the economic, health and ethical interests of the Icelandic people ... '

Smallpox: Inoculation, Vaccination, Eradication. A history of the struggle against the disease, to mark the two hundredth anniversary of Edward Jenner's 1798 discovery of vaccination.

Charles Darwin - Zoology of the Voyage of the Beagle - Birds. 'Charles Darwin boarded the H.M.S. Beagle and set sail on 27 December 1831 for an around the world voyage that would last almost five years; the Beagle returned home in 1836, landing at Falmouth, England, on 2nd of October. After his return, he turned to the task of reporting on his findings ... The work consisted of 5 volumes covering fossil mammalia, mammalia, birds, fish, and reptiles. Darwin collaborated with experts for each of the volumes: Fossil Mammalia - Richard Owen; Mammalia - George B. Waterhouse; Birds - John and Elizabeth Gould; Fish - Leonard Jenyns; Reptiles - Thomas Bell. There are plans to include selections from all of the works in this series in the near future.'

Tetraevangelia and Qur'ans of the Balkans. 'UNESCO presents a selection of 16 manuscripts kept in the St. Cyril and Methodius National Library, Sofia, Bulgaria. Many of the monuments included in the selection are presented to the scholars for the first time.' Great.

Opera - A Philatelic History. 'These pages will attempt to document the development of opera from its inception in the late 16th.century to the present day. We will include the composers, the librettists, the conductors, the producers, the venues and any other opera-related theme that appears on stamps.'
'Bear in mind that I am neither a historian nor a musicoligist - I am simply an opera-loving stamp collector! All the stamps that appear here are from my own collection - I hope you enjoy them.'

Historic Opera Images. A huge collection of operatic postcards. Just great.
Lina Cavalieri. 'Billed as "the most beautiful woman in the world," it was inevitable that Cavalieri's image would be a popular postcard subject. I suppose she had a healthy opinion of her looks because she was photographed from all sides and all angles. ' Also featuring Lina Cavalieri's beauty secrets.

Women in Chinese Paintings.

Images of Nikko.

Beliefs and Legends Associated with Indian Temples. 'In this section on Beliefs and Legends, Templenet explores some of the beliefs that are central to temple worship in the Indian subcontinent. Indian religious thought is among the oldest in the world, and the colorful legends that constitute the puranas have no parallel elsewhere. Summarized here, also are legends from some of the puranas. '

African Postcards. (In French).
Page 2.

Life of the People: Realist Prints and Drawings from the Ben and Beatrice Goldstein Collection, 1912-1948. 'Labor advocate and garment manufacturer Ben Goldstein, with the support of his wife Beatrice, left to The Library of Congress -- and the nation -- a collection of American prints and drawings informed by a sympathy for the condition of working people. A native New Yorker, over decades he collected works that stirred his very personal interest in the city of his birth, the American people, and the human condition during the first half of the twentieth century. His concerns encompassed a broad spectrum of social and political issues that touched on life in urban centers and in rural areas, American labor and industry, and the experience and achievements of minority groups ... '

Madison's Treasures. 'The documents presented here are among the most significant Madison holographs in the Library of Congress' James Madison collection, the largest single collection of original Madison documents in existence. The majority of these documents relates to two seminal events in which Madison played a major role: the drafting and ratification of the Constitution of the United States (1787-8) and the introduction (1789) in the First Federal Congress of the amendments that became the Bill of Rights. Other documents relate to the freedom of religion, a cause to which Madison was passionately devoted, and to the burning of Washington, D.C., by the British in 1814--perhaps the major embarrassment of Madison's political career. Also included is family and autobiographical information written in Madison's hand ... '

Oliphant's Anthem. (1998) 'Pat Oliphant won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial cartooning in 1966, just two years after he left his native Australia for an American career. Now, thirty years later, he is considered among the most gifted practitioners in the history of the profession. He has caricatured seven United States presidents, from Lyndon Johnson to Bill Clinton, and offered provocative graphic commentary on salient social and political issues of the past three decades, including Watergate, Vietnam, the collapse of communism in Europe, and the Gulf War. Few artists have done as much to influence the form and content of contemporary American political cartoons ... '

A Petal from the Rose: Illustrations by Elizabeth Shippen Green.

A History of British Architecture. (BBC page) 'Architecture is about evolution, not revolution. It used to be thought that once the Romans pulled out of Britain in the fifth century, their elegant villas, carefully-planned towns and engineering marvels like Hadrian's Wall simply fell into decay as British culture was plunged into the Dark Ages. It took the Norman Conquest of 1066 to bring back the light, and the Gothic cathedral-builders of the Middle Ages played an important part in the revival of British culture ... '

The Medieval Stonemason. 'The medieval mason was not a monk but a highly skilled lay craftsman who combined the roles of architect, builder, craftsman, designer and engineer. Using only a set of compasses, a set square and a staff or rope marked off in halves, thirds and fifths, the mason was able to construct some of the most amazing structures ever built: Gothic cathedrals. Their awesome size combined with their appearance of lightness and fragility have led people to believe that medieval masons had some magical secret but this was actually just an understanding of proportion and basic geometry ... '

The Cathedrals of Britain. 'The cathedrals of Britain span the millennium - from the cathedrals dating from the 1100s to the modern cathedrals found in Liverpool and Coventry. They display a wide array of architectural styles from Early English Gothic, to the majesty of the Renaissance at St Paul's and the sixties modernism of Liverpool's Roman Catholic Cathedral ... '
Liverpool's cathedrals. From parts of London, you can make out two cathedrals in the same skyline - St. Paul's and Southwark. Some time ago I wondered which other cities this is possible; many thanks to Jonn for reminding me of Liverpool's two cathedrals.

Green's Mill & Science Centre, Nottingham. 'Once home of the mathematical physicist, George Green (1793-1841)'
A short history of Green's Mill. 1800 :- 'It is possible that the baker referred to is a Mr Green who has a bakery near the Market Square and who has grain stored by the Nottingham Canal. His bakery is attacked and he pleads with the Mayor for assistance. Mr Green's son, George, is seven years old. He will become one of the greatest scientists of his time, a mathematician whose work is known and used the world over today. But before then he must help his father by working in the bakery.'
The miller's other tale. 'True Stories of windmills and millers in 19th century Nottinghamshire' (Crime, scandal, death, bankruptcy etc.).

British Golf Museum St. Andrews.

24 Hours of Democracy, 1996. A celebration of free speech on the Internet.

'I had swapped one prison for another.' A refugee from Afghanistan writes of her experiences in seeking asylum.

Pianist rejected by Britain fears Mugabe's police. 'Talented gay Zimbabwean musician is refused asylum as anger over cricket World Cup trip grows.'

' The young woman who escaped from the London home of a Sudanese diplomat saying she was being kept as a slave has been granted asylum in a change of heart by the British government. '

William Gibson's weblog. Via Linkmachinego.

Cloning may be 'elaborate hoax' says monitor.

Milky Way encircled by stars.

In praise of clutter.

' Astronomers have discovered the most distant known planet, a hot Jupiter-class world closely orbiting a star about 5,000 light-years away. '

' A research institute in India says it has developed a way of using eggs as an antidote to potentially fatal snake-bites. '

Beer belly 'gene' found.

' A radio station in the American state of Florida has played a practical joke on President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela with a hoax phone call he believed was from his friend and ally, the Cuban leader Fidel Castro. '

7th January
Thackray Museum. Medical history. 'The Museum was the inspiration of Paul Thackray, grandson of Charles F Thackray, founder of the medical company bearing his name in Leeds in 1902.'
'With the aid of a £3 million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the museum has been established in a former workhouse building adjacent to St James's Hospital. The displays, which opened in March 1997, explain the ways in which people's lives have changed over the last 150 years as a result of improvements in public health, medicine and healthcare. The building also has a large conference and corporate entertainment centre.'

The Relief of Pain and Suffering. 'Although physicians have sought to alleviate pain for centuries, the history of pain research and modern pain treatment begins in the 1800s. The enigma of pain, which Albert Schweitzer called "the most terrible of all the lords of mankind," has yielded slowly to determined investigators and clinicians ... '

Bloodletting. 'For many centuries, blood-letting was considered a tried and true remedy for certain conditions. It was recommended for fevers, inflammations, a variety of disease conditions and, ironically, for hemorrhage. Although it fell in and out of favor, it persisted into the 20th century and was even recommended by Sir William Osler in the 1923 edition his Principles and Practice of Medicine ... '

Freud Museum, London.
About. 'The Freud Museum, at 20 Maresfield Gardens in Hampstead, was the home of Sigmund Freud and his family when they escaped Nazi annexation of Austria in 1938. It remained the family home until Anna Freud, the youngest daughter, died in 1982. The centrepiece of the museum is Freud's library and study, preserved just as it was during his lifetime ... '

Siberian Digital Photo Collection. Collection of photos of people and places from 19th century Siberia.

The Tebtunis Papyri Collection. 'The Tebtunis Papyri consist of the papyrus documents that were found in the winter of 1899/1900 at the site of ancient Tebtunis, Egypt. The expedition to Tebtunis, led by the British archaeologists Bernard Grenfell and Arthur Hunt, was financed for the University of California by Mrs. Phoebe Apperson Hearst. '
'The Tebtunis Papyri are the largest collection of papyrus documents from a single site in the United States. Although the collection has never been counted and inventoried completely, the number of fragments contained in it exceeds 21,000. '
'This web site, which is still under development will provide electronic access to the images of the Tebtunis Papyri as well as textual information ... '

The Gate of Heavenly Peace 'is a documentary about the protests at Tiananmen in 1989, and the resulting Beijing Massacre of June 4. The film explores the history of the demonstrations and comments on the "deep structure" of political habits and attitudes that have informed public life in China over the past century. The filmmakers present a wide range of Chinese perspectives on a defining moment in China's modern history. '
'In addition to information about the film, this website includes articles, essays, and book excerpts, containing analysis and interpretation of the 1989 protests. Original source documents, video and audio clips, posters, photographs, and artwork are also available ... ' (PBS)

Chinese Landscape Paintings.

Monsoon Magazine. Contemporary writing from India; excellent material - fiction and interviews.

The Gettysburg Address. Library of Congress exhibition.
The only known photograph of Lincoln at Gettysburg.

Herblock's History: Political Cartoons from the Crash to the Millennium. 'From the stock market crash in 1929 through the new millennium beginning in the year 2000, editorial cartoonist Herb Block has chronicled the nation's political history, caricaturing twelve American presidents from Herbert Hoover to Bill Clinton ... '
Animal Farm.
The Sorcerer's Apprentice.

John Bull and Uncle Sam: Four Centuries of British-American Relations. 'A joint project of the Library of Congress and The British Library, the John Bull and Uncle Sam exhibition brings together for the first time treasures from the two greatest libraries in the English-speaking world in an exploration of selected time periods and cultural movements that provide unique insights into the relationship of the United States and Great Britain. The Library of Congress and the British Library are unique among world cultural institutions in their range (more than 250 million items in the combined collections) and depth ... '
From Abolition to Equal Rights. 'The multiple movements for moral and humanitarian reform, which swept through the United States in the first decades of the nineteenth century, are a prime example of the strength of the anglicizing impulse in American life. The strength of this impulse is especially remarkable in that it flourished against a background of intense political animosity that produced the War of 1812 and at other times created acute tension between Britain and the United States.'
Inventions and Discoveries. 'During the infancy of the United States, Americans imitated and adopted British inventions and technology. As American political and economic power grew in the mid-nineteenth century, the impact of each country's technology on the other began to be mutual. After the United States became the dominant world power in the twentieth century, American science and technology deeply affected many areas of British life.'
Common Language, Separate Voices.
Popular Culture: From Baseball to Rock and Roll.

Language of the Land: Journeys into literary America.
Introduction. 'From Robert Frost's New England farms to John Steinbeck's California valleys to Eudora Welty's Mississippi Delta, American authors have shaped our view of America's regional landscapes in all their astonishing variety. They have created unforgettable characters, inseparably identified with the territory they inhabit. The Yearling's wandering in the Florida woods, Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox's exploits in the dark northern pines, Huckleberry Finn and Jim's adventures on the Mississippi River, and the Joad family's exhausting trek to California have become an enduring part of the American imagination. Language of the Land uses the metaphor of a journey to tour this rich literary heritage through maps, the words of authors, images of characters, and photographs. '

Dulwich Picture Gallery, London.

Bath Preservation Trust. The town, that is.

Bletchley Park. 'During WW2 the German armed forces top secret codes were broken at Bletchley Park, providing the allies with vital information towards their war effort.'
'The world's first programmable computer and other technologies we take for granted today were initiated at Bletchley Park ... '

The Battle of the Atlantic. Play the 'Battle of the Atlantic' game.

The Tank Museum. 'For generations man has dreamt of creating the invincible war machine to aid him to overcome his enemies in battle. For almost 2,000 years attempts were made but technical developments in the early Twentieth century, combined with the impetus of a terrible and bloody World War, finally solved the problems ... '

Woman's Dress. (Lakota) 'There was another world before this one. But the people of that world did not behave themselves. Displeased, the Creating Power set out to make a new world. He sang several songs to bring rain, which poured stronger with each song. As he sang the fourth song, the earth split apart and water gushed up through the many cracks, causing a flood. By the time the rain stopped, all of the people and nearly all of the animals had drowned. Only Kangi the crow survived ... '

In Austin, asylum denied.
'Their American lives have come to this: seven days and counting. '
'The antiseptic order denying their quest for asylum -- two short paragraphs that spoke nothing of their artwork and music, his taxi-cab living, their nonprofit arts society and radio show, their son's high school education -- gave each "alien," six family members in all, 30 days to leave the United States voluntarily -- or be deported to Iran. The deadline is Sunday. '
'Mo Jamal and Shahla Etemadzadeh, one-time opponents of Iran's Islamic government, fled their country in 1985 with their four young sons. Jamal, an artist who drew caricatures critical of the government, said he would have ended up in jail -- and still fears he will be jailed if he returns ... '
Via BookNotes.

T-Shirt Travels. 'From the closet to the donation bin to a barge across the sea, discarded clothes and other castoffs are playing a devastating role in the economy of a small African country.'
'As an aid worker stationed in Zambia, Shantha Bloemen discovered that secondhand clothing, given away as charity in the western world, is exported to Africa as part of a multibillion-dollar business ... '
Thanks, jp.

Baladna Youth. 'Baladna is an Arab youth organization founded to give Arab youth in Israel a non-partisan, comfortable forum for youth activities and informal education, centering on a discussion of identity. A registered non-profit organization, Baladna aims to strengthen Arab youth's understanding of democracy and gender equality, to foster pluralism and tolerance, and to enable a discussion and debate about Arab Palestinian history, grievances and culture.'
Via Crosspoint Anti-Racism.

White Privilege: An Antiracism Resource.
Black origins of Captain America. Thanks, jp.

Jazz Age Chicago. Via BookNotes.

Pulp fiction galleries.
Via BookNotes.

Jesus 'healed using cannabis'.

6th January
' An Australian power company is planning to build the world's tallest structure - a solar tower - in the middle of the outback. '
'The project is part of a global campaign to encourage the use of more renewable energy. '
Via homunculus @ MeFi.

Ghostwatch. ' ... Events inside the house rapidly went from bad to worse. Suzanne and Kim began channelling the spirit of 'Pipes,' screaming out phrases in the spirit's voice, such as "he's hurting me." Then chaos broke loose and everyone fled the house except for Sarah Greene who was shown searching for Suzanne in the cellar while the sound of howling cats echoed around her ... '
BBC page.
' Stephen Volk, writer of Ghostwatch, talks about the show that spooked the nation.'

London Bridge. 'What about the one before this one? That bridge is the "London Bridge" that was dismantled, exported, and reassembled at Lake Havasu in Arizona. But that one isn't the medieval bridge, either. Designed by John Rennie and built by his son , it was completed in 1831 as a replacement for the medieval bridge. The medieval bridge was dismantled utterly after the "New Bridge" was opened, and aside from a few carved objects made as souvenirs from some of the original pilings (and various pieces of stonework that were actually eighteenth- century additions to the original bridge), nothing remains but pictures.'
Thanks, Languagehat.

Humanoid Robotics Group.

The Memory Exhibition. How memory works; lots to see here. Great site.

Mars Pathfinder. 1997 mission; historical page.

The New Cypriot Galleries. (Metropolitan Museum of Art) 'With the opening of the new Cypriot Galleries, a selection of 600 outstanding works from the Museum's Cesnola Collection-comprising approximately 6,000 sculptures, bronzes, vases, terracottas, gems, glass, and jewelry from Cyprus dating from ca. 2500 B.C. to ca. A.D. 300-returns to public view. The collection was acquired by Luigi Palma di Cesnola (1832-1904) while he was serving as American consul in Cyprus and was purchased by the newly formed Metropolitan Museum between 1874 and 1876; in 1879, Cesnola was named the Museum's first director ... '

The Forgotten Friezes from the Castle of Vélez Blanco.

The Ghetto Fighters' House.

Japanese Calligraphy at Kyoto National Museum.

The Virtual Museum of Japanese Arts.

Peace of Mind. Religious art from India and the Himalayas.

Antelope Headdress, Mali. 'Chi Wara was the offspring of a snake and the first person, a woman called Mousso Koroni (moo-sew core-OH-nee), meaning "little old woman." From infancy Chi Wara tilled the earth using his claws and a sunsun tree stick his mother gave him. He magically transformed weeds into millet and corn and taught people to do the same. He also taught them the value of hard work. Thanks to Chi Wara, the people became excellent and prosperous farmers ... '

The Urban Landscape. 'The Urban Landscape Digital Image Access Project is a database of images from various collections held by the Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library at Duke University. The database contains 1000 images pertaining to the theme "The Urban Landscape," from fourteen different collections. '

Documents from the Women's Liberation Movement. 'The materials in this on-line archival collection document various aspects of the Women's Liberation Movement in the United States, and focus specifically on the radical origins of this movement during the late 1960s and early 1970s. Items range from radical theoretical writings to humourous plays to the minutes of an actual grassroots group.'

The Sixties Project. Focuses on the Sixties and American history and society.

George Percival Scriven: An American in Bohol, The Philippines, 1899-1901. The journal of an American officer in the Philippines at the turn of the century.

Still Going On. Celebrating the life and times of William Grant Still, an African-American composer. The site was constructed to mark the centenary of his birth in 1895. Photos, letters and music scores.

Leeds Castle, Kent.

The Museum of Submarine Telegraphy, Porthcurno. Great.

Trowbridge Museum, Wiltshire. 'The Trowbridge Museum was opened in August 1990 and is located on the second floor of Salter's Mill. The Mill was the last working woollen Mill in Trowbridge and did not shut until 1982. Today both Museum and Mill have been incorporated into the Shires Shopping Centre. The Museum's unique location within a modern shopping centre provides many advantages, not least free parking, shelter from the elements and lifts and escalators for those that might require them. And admission is free!!'

Milton Keynes Museum. 'The museum follows the history of the Milton Keynes area, including North Buckinghamshire and South Northamptonshire, from 1800 to the present day. Our collections include social, domestic, industrial and agricultural items with a connection to the area. Each has a story to tell, and many of them can be found on this website.'

Russian love story crosses the decades. 'When Kapitolina Panfilova, a sweetheart of a Scottish soldier during World War II, spoke to Caroline Wyatt, she had no idea what became of the young man who returned home leaving her pregnant. But then a listener got in touch, bringing full circle the events which began in Archangel in 1944 ... '

Free Nelson Mandela - I was there.

China's dream of reinvention. 'Kate Adie recalls China's landmark student protests in 1989, and the beginnings of the country's march towards material splendour. '

India's black day remembered. By Mark Tully. 'All of us journalists, if we are honest, have to admit that we get it wrong sometimes. And I got it wrong that morning 10 years ago when perhaps as many as 150,000 members of the RSS, an organisation dedicated to the promotion of Hindu nationalism, had gathered in the north Indian town of Ayodhya ... '

'There is a revolution taking place in Kenya. No, it's not the one you heard about on the radio, on the television, and in newspapers. '
'The sweeping victory of Mwai Kibaki, Kenya's first opposition leader to take power, and the crushing defeat of the party that ruled since independence, is just the beginning ... '

A Georgian way of death.

Afghan children given a chance of life.

Battling cancer through art.

Test your hidden bias. 'In the United States, equality is protected by the Constitution and supported by civil rights laws. Yet reports of unequal treatment because of skin color, religion, gender, age, sexual orientation, country of origin, ability and other differences persist ... '
'Created by psychologists at Yale University and the University of Washington, this collection of Implicit Association Tests (IAT) measures unconscious bias. We invite you to test yourself and reveal what may be lingering in your psyche. '

That violence solves conflict is a deep belief. It's wrong. 'When some wild Arab spokesman describes America as the "Great Satan" we know immediately that he is appealing to a myth. But when President Bush puts Iraq and North Korea on the "axis of evil" we react as if he is stating a fact. Are we incapable of seeing in ourselves that which we see in others?'
Via wood s lot.

Israeli Arab porn video inflames community passions.

More hummingbird poetry. Via Languagehat.