Chicago Uncommon. Uncommonly good images of the Windy City.
Motel Americana. Classic American motels by state.
'My "Special Book" collection started off as just a collection of Pop-up books but over the years of looking for these wonderful books I slowly accumulated an interesting array of books that "do" other things. '
'Even though the Pop-up books are the main part of the collection I've added the "others" in here to show you how diverse such books can be ... '
PearTree House. Treehouse history and design!
'The Tree house has been with us for many hundreds of years, dating back in time to when tree houses were used as primitive homes. Basic survival was top of the list and there was no safer place to shelter than high up in the treetops. '
'Now that survival is no longer a basic requirement for most of us the tree house has become a source of escapism and adventure. An additional room placed in a tree also answers our need for peace and tranquillity. We can allow ourselves the luxury of being immersed in the wonderful world of nature.'
Seeds of Change Garden at the Smithsonian.
'Take yourself on an adventure. An adventure that will help you get to know yourself, your family, your friends, and the earth. Take a new look at history. How can the past help us into the future? '
'Right this minute, people all over the world are eating, or shopping for food or preparing food to be eaten. It is a way of life. Everyone must eat to survive. '
'What are they eating? Often times that depends on where they live. What plants and animals live in that area? What kinds of transportation are available to the area? Can planes, ships, or trucks deliver food that was grown in another part of the world? ... '
Arctic Circle. Natural resources, culture, art and much more. Great resource.
'The Arctic Circle is commonly associated with the 66th parallel - a geographic ring crowning the globe. A broader definition includes the Arctic and Subarctic regions of Alaska, Canada, Greenland, Iceland, Scandinavia, Siberia and the Russian Far East. A territory of immense beauty far removed from the industrial heartland of North America, Western Europe, and East Asia, it is also rich in mineral and other natural resources. As such, it has long been a prime target for economic development by multinational corporations and government policy-makers - as well as a prime focus for protection by environmentalists and wildlife conservationists. '
'From the vantage point of Native northerners, the Arctic Circle and adjacent region is viewed differently. As expressed by the Inuit Circumpolar Conference, an international non-governmental organization, the Arctic is not simply an exploitable frontier for economic growth or a wildlife preserve for southern visitors. Its indigenous inhabitants " ... must allow for and facilitate spiritual, social, and cultural development." Of special significance is the linking of nature with 'stewardship' in which the people are active articipants within their historically-based lands, rather than rulers over them. Valuing these lands for their source of livelihood as well as spiritual and cultural meaning, northern peoples regularly find themselves the target of industrial capital's thrust to acquire resources worldwide. As a result, control over and distribution of lands and resources have become a crucial focus of struggle for circumpolar peoples everywhere - as well as a challenge to the sensibilities of many far to the south ... '
The Origin of the Moon. 'At the time Earth formed 4.5 billion years ago, other smaller planetary bodies were also growing. One of these hit earth late in Earth's growth process, blowing out rocky debris. A fraction of that debris went into orbit around the Earth and aggregated into the moon. '
Tsakli: Tibetan Ritual Miniature Paintings.
Historical Gurudwaras in India. Significant Sikh temples.
The Golden Temple. 'The Harimandir, now called the Golden Temple, is a living symbol of spiritual and historical traditions of the Sikhs. The tank and the temple have been a source of inspiration to the Sikh community ever since their foundation. It is evident from the Sikh chronicles that the Sikh Gurus had evolved traditions of founding new Sikh centres which were popularised among their followers as places of pilgrimage The foundation of Sri Harimandir Sahib is the most significant achievement of the Sikh Gurus as a centre of inspiration and action for the Sikhs. Soon after its foundation the temple became an unparalleled establishment as a place of pilgrimage ... '
Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. Her pages. Free Burma.
An American Visit to Japan, 1923. 'This is the diary kept by my grandfather on his visit to Japan from August 6 to September 10, 1923, an idyllic travelogue culminating in the cataclysmic Tokyo Earthquake and Fire. '
Pacifica Radio. American alternative and radical radio station.
Peace resource page.
The End of Life. Exploring death in America.
On Our Own Terms: Moyers on Dying. The challenges presented by ageing and the end of life.
'What challenges emerge from balancing medical intervention with care and comfort at the end of life? How can you maintain meaning throughout your life? Learn about solutions for finding a better death and explorer he options for humane care for the dying.'
Fantasy Coffins from Ghana.
Baraka: A World Beyond Words.
The Picture of Dorian Gray, by Oscar Wilde.
The Phantom of the Opera, by Gaston Leroux.
Amy Brown Fantasy Art. Via neurastenia.
Islamic Medical Manuscripts. Via Solipsistic.
Comic Postcards 1940s-1960s.
'From the 1940s through the 1960s, every tourist trap had a rack of postcards. Every postcard rack displayed views of the local attractions and a selection of comic cards. Some of those comic cards seem to have come from another world.'
'In the world of comic postcards, all women start as man-crazy airheads, then become either stern, overweight battle-axe wives or desperate "old maids." Southerners are hillbillies with outhouses and moonshine stills; after their annual bath, they mate with their kinfolk. African-Americans are shuffling, bug-eyed, thick-lipped caricatures. Someone could write a dissertation, or at least a master's thesis, about the audience to which these cards were marketed.'
'But not me. I'll just present a sample of the way women, Southerners and blacks were depicted in comic postcards. (I know many of these images are offensive. That's why they're here.) I've also assembled a few military postcards from World War II, and some British comic postcards with a different sensibility. Enjoy!'
Via Sugar & Spicy.
Ukrainian Postcards. Via Sugar & Spicy.
Maria Primachenko. Folk art.
Greetings from Ukraine!
Parish Church Gargoyles. Via headlessness.
The Blob: Liner Notes. Via MeFi.
Historic Colonial Theatre. Via MeFi.
The Malaysiana Digests. Via Sassafrass.
Traditional Religions in Africa. 'Religion has always been central to people's lives in Africa. Although the majority of Africans are now Muslim or Christian, traditional religions have endured and still play a big role. Religion runs like a thread through daily life, marked by prayers of gratitude in times of plenty and prayers of supplication in times of need. Religion confirms identity on the individual and the group.'
'There are a huge number of different religious practices on the continent. They share some common features: a belief in one God above a host of lesser gods or semi-divine figures; a belief in ancestral spirits; the idea of sacrifice, often involving the death of a living thing, to ensure divine protection and generosity; the need to undergo rites of passage to move from childhood to adulthood, from life to death ... '
Via the Story of Africa.
The Atlantic Slave Trade and Slave Life in the Americas: A Visual Record. 'The hundreds of images in this collection have been selected from a wide range of sources, most of them dating from the period of slavery. This collection is envisioned as a tool and a resource that can be used by teachers, researchers, students, and the general public -- in brief, anyone interested in the experiences of Africans who were enslaved and transported to the Americas and the lives of their descendants in the slave societies of the New World ... '
Renaissance Keyboards. 'Spinets, virginals, and harpsichords have strings that are plucked. What distinguishes them from each other is their formthe term harpsichord refers to the grand form of the instrument in which the strings run vertically front to back; the term virginal, or spinet, is applied to the square form of the instrument whose strings run horizontally ... '
Via the Met's Timeline of Art History.
Studiolo from the Ducal Palace in Gubbio.
Franz Liszt's Grand Piano.
Revisiting Watergate. From the Washington Post.
'Decades after Richard Nixon resigned the office of the president, Watergate remains one of the top presidential scandals of modern time. Early in the morning on June 17, 1972, police discovered five intruders inside the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee. The burglars were there, it turned out, to adjust bugging equipment they had installed during a May break-in and to photograph the Democrats' documents ... '
The Charlie Parker Residence. 'Built in l849, this Gothic Revival-style rowhouse was home to the alto saxophonist Charlie Parker (Bird) from l950-l954. With Chan Richardson and their three children, Parker occupied the ground floor apartment at the height of his career, having achieved considerable success and renown as the co-founder of bebop, the modern jazz style that he and trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie created in New York City during the mid-l940s. Parker enjoyed international fame while living here, performing with large and small ensembles, as well as with Latin big bands and string sections. Avenue B (between 7th & l0th Streets-along Tompkins Square Park) was renamed Charlie Parker Place in l992 and since l993 the Charlie Parker Jazz Festival is held annually in the park to celebrate Bird's birthday (August 29, l920 in Kansas City, Kansas) and his contribution to 20th century music ... '
John Coltrane: My Favourite Things.
Why Is the Sky Blue?
My Lai Peace Park. 'Near the hamlet of My Lai on December 6, 1996, after two years of discussions, a Memorandum of Understanding was drawn up and signed by Le Phuong Tuan, Vice Chair, Son Tinh District (My Lai) and Roy M. (Mike) Boehm, Vietnam veteran and representative of the Quakers in Madison, Wisconsin.'
'This Memorandum envisions the My Lai Peace Park as "a place for children to entertain and a place where people can meditate over the past with its suffering and losses and also to hope for a better future." The proposed Peace Park will cover two hectares (about 4.5 acres) near the My Lai War Memorial. Plans call for the Park's dedication on March 16, 1998 -- the 30th anniversary of the My Lai massacre. The peace park was inspired by the Vietnamese-American Peace Park North of Hanoi.'
'The My Lai Peace Park Project was undertaken by the Quakers in Madison, Wisconsin at the request of the Women's Union of Quang Ngai Province and the Quang Ngai Province People's Committee. Inspired by the Vietnamese-American Peace Park being built north of Ha Noi, they asked for help in building a similar park for My Lai ... '
In memoriam: The villagers killed at My Lai.
Vietnam: An Interactive Tour.
A History of Inauguration Day. Gallery.
Via 125 Years of the Washington Post.
25 Years of Metrorail. 'Before there was Metrorail, there was a mess, as the region was torn up to make room for the subway. This historical gallery, narrated by washingtonpost.com Executive Editor Douglas Feaver, is a look at the construction of the 103-mile subway.'
History of District of Columbia Fire and Police Call Boxes.
North Earth Street. 'A little house in the Washington, D.C. suburbs where friends often meet for food, fun and camaraderie. Enjoy your stay. I hope in some way your brief peek into our neighbourhood will be interesting.'
Highlights from the University of Hong Kong Museum and Art Gallery. Nice collection of Chinese art.
Chinese Archaic Jades.
Earth at Twilight.
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. 'In 1949, an A-bomb materials display room (called A-bomb Memorial Hall) was opened to the public in the Hiroshima Central Community Hall. The Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum and an accompanying building, Hiroshima Peace Memorial Hall, were opened in Peace Memorial Park in 1955.'
'A group of volunteers called the Association to Support the Collection of A-bomb Materials (now the A-bomb Materials Preservation Association) and many other Hiroshima residents were instrumental in gathering A-bomb artifacts. The two buildings have been renovated several times to improve the exhibit itself, to provide peace studies facilities for school field trips, and for other improvements. The present Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum was opened in 1994, unifying the two buildings (now called the East and West buildings). The East Building traces Hiroshima's history, depicting conditions in Hiroshima just before and after the bombing. The West Building uses photographs and artifacts to convey the facts of the atomic bombing itself. '
'Through its atomic bomb materials, Hiroshima intends to continue appealing to the approximately 1 million people from Japan and abroad who visit every year for the abolition of nuclear weapons and realization of genuine and lasting world peace. '
Miyajima Historical and Folklore Materials House.
The Billie Holiday Postal Stamp.
Ron Eckstein Jazz Photography.
Adire African Textiles. 'Over the centuries the weavers, dyers, and other textile artists of Africa have created an amazing and exciting array of textiles in a huge variety of styles. Some African textiles such as adinkra, kente and bogolan are becoming increasingly well known. Others such as Yoruba aso-oke and adire are perhaps less familiar but equally wonderful. We want to share our love of these masterpieces of African textile art with you over the following pages.'
Botanical Art and Illustration by Wendy Brockman.
Daily Life in Sierra Leone. 'In 1936-37 Henry Usher Hall, Curator of General Ethnology, led the first Museum-sponsored expedition to sub-Saharan Africa. He spent seven months conducting ethnographic research among the Sherbro peoples of Sierra Leone. During Hall's research trip to Sierra Leone, he collected many artifacts that are today considered to be one of the UPM's major ethnographic collections. Several of the objects seen in Hall's photographs are on display in the UPM's African Gallery. '
'The photographic images presented here have been selected from a larger collection of photographs and records in the University of Pennsylvania Museum Archives. The Archives include a broad selection of papers devoted to ethnographic and linguistic research in Africa, as well as photographs, films, maps, drawings, and tape recordings.'
'Hall's papers include field notes, bibliographies, and textual commentaries that provide ethnographic information about the way of life of the Sherbro people and others--including the Mende, Krim, and Temne peoples--who lived among them. Hall also published a book on the results of his work, The Sherbro of Sierra Leone (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1938).'
The Beat Goes On. 'Though his sales figures didn't rival those of Bob Marley or Celia Cruz, Nigerian bandleader Fela Anikulapo Kuti made just as much of a worldwide impact with his music. A unique and spectacular musician and a fiery political activist, Kuti died this past weekend at age 58 of AIDS-related complications. Despite repeated jailings and beatings at the hands of various Nigerian regimes, his voice was never silenced. He even ran for president of Nigeria in 1983, only to find himself banned from politics by government edict. '
'The son of noted feminist and labor organizer Funmilayo Kuti, Fela studied music at Trinity College in England in the late '50s, finding time to play with various jazz, R&B, and rock bands. It was in England that he began a lifelong friendship with drummer Ginger Baker in the early '60s. Kuti's greatest achievement was the creation of "Afrobeat," a sprawling, polyrhythmic sound that combined traditional Yoruba call-and-response chanting with freestyle jazz solos, funk guitar riffs, and constantly shifting percussive accents. His compositions were lengthy, multilayered narratives in which acerbic denunciations of military excesses and oppressive actions were punctuated by intense musical backing ... '
Fela Lives On...
Buddhism on the Silk Road. "There one sees a structure of an elevation prodigious in height; it is supported by gigantic pillars and covered with paintings of all the birds created by God. In the interior are two immense idols carved in the rock and rising from the foot of the mountains to the summit....One cannot see anything comparable to these statues in the whole world." ---Yakut describing Bamiyan in his geographical dictionary in 1218.
The Questions of King Milinda. His legendary conversion to Buddhism.
'In the land of the Bactrian Greeks, there was a city called Sagala, a great centre of trade. Rivers and hills beautified it, delightful landscapes surrounded it, and it possessed many parks, gardens, woods, lakes and lotus-ponds. Its king was Milinda, a man who was learned, experienced, intelligent and competent, and who at the proper times carefully observed all the appropriate Brahminic rites, with regard to things past, present and future. As a disputant he was hard to assail, hard to overcome, and he was recognized as a prominent sectarian teacher. '
'One day, a numerous company of Arhats, who lived in a well-protected spot in the Himalayas, sent a messenger to the Venerable Nagasena, then, at the Asoka Park in Patna, asking him to come, as they wished to see him. Nagasena immediately complied by vanishing from where he was and miraculously appearing before them ... '
The Poorhouse Story. 'Yes, Virginia, there really was such a thing as a Poorhouse! It was not just something your parents made up, like a boogeyman, to frighten you into saving your money and spending carefully and to discourage you from making excessive, greedy demands on the family budget. County Poorhouses dotted the United States throughout most of the 1800s ... '
Mark Twain at Large: His Travels Here and Abroad. 'In 1853, at the age of seventeen, Samuel Langhorne Clemens left his home in Hannibal, Missouri, for his first extended trip. Over the next fifty-seven years he crisscrossed the globe, at first working as an itinerant typesetter in several major eastern cities, then as a steamboat pilot on the Mississippi River, and later as a prospector and newspaper reporter on the American frontier, where he first used the pseudonym "Mark Twain." He made one-night lecture stops at hundreds of small towns, settled down for months in hotels and rented villas in England and Europe, escaped life's hurly-burly on tropical isles, and basked in society's limelight in many of the world's great cities. He visited five continents, steamed across the Atlantic twenty-nine times, and crossed the Pacific and Indian oceans as part of one complete round-the-world circuit. '
'With the astonishing success of his first travel book, The Innocents Abroad, Clemens realized that his experiences and insights as a traveler could be transformed into lucrative publications. A number of his trips were undertaken with a book or a series of articles in mind, or to secure international copyright. In the 1890s he was driven to Europeand then around the worldby heavy financial burdens and in search of health for his family and himself. Travel was not only an escape and a refreshment, it was sometimesfor literary or personal reasonsa necessity. '
'Occasionally, and uncharacteristically, Clemens claimed to weary of his wanderings. "The truth is, there are no sights for me," he wrote to his wife from England in 1872, "I have seen them all before, in other places. . . . Consequently I do just as little sightseeing as possible, but try to see as many people as I can." Nineteen years (and several trips) later he professed even greater disenchantment: "I have seen all the foreign countries I want to see except heaven & hell," he wrote in May 1891, "& I have only a vague curiosity as concerns one of those." But these were only passing moods. Inevitably, he would embark on another trip, the burden of his home cares would lift, and his appetite for fresh sights and new acquaintances would revive. To the end of his life, he expressed his high delight and interest in what he saw. The English countryside was "too absolutely beautiful to be left out doors"; the sunsets in Sweden were the most beautiful "this side of heaven"; as he traveled across India he found the natives to be "the most interesting people in the world." ... '
Mark Twain Takes on Art. 'Throughout his career Mark Twain expressed his strong reactions to Western painting and sculpture, particularly the Old Masters, both in his published works and in private. His opinions are often passionate, sometimes eccentric, and always lively. Occasionally he took a more "hands on" approach to art and included his own sketches in his literary works and in private letters. This exhibit presents some samples of his abilities in the areas of art criticism and art practice, drawing from the incomparable Mark Twain Papers archive of The Bancroft Library and the publications of the Mark Twain Project. '
The Mark Twain House. 'Step back to the Gilded Age during guided tours of the 19-room, Tiffany-decorated mansion where Mark Twain raised his family and worked from 1874 to 1891. During this incredibly productive period, Twain created such classics as The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court.'
'The Mark Twain House is located at 351 Farmington Avenue, Hartford, Connecticut 06105, midway between Boston and New York City, with easy access from Interstates 84 and 91. The House is less than one hour from such other major New England attractions as Mystic Seaport, Yale University and its associated museums, Basketball Hall of Fame and Yankee Candle.'
Russian History. 'Few nations have as colorful and vivid a history as Russia. At times torn between the East and the West, sometimes buffering the two, Russia has always been a pot of enormous ethnic diversity which refuses to melt. The result has been a mixture of socialism and capitalism, of east and west, Christianity and Islam with a bit of social experimentation thrown in. '
'This page attempts to capture the flavor of the rich diversity evolving over Russian history and hence depends as much on the endeavors of others as those of the Russian Studies Program. We hope you enjoy your visit and learn more about the origins of the Russians and their neighbors. '
The Face of Russia.
Hartford Friends and Enemies of Wallace Stevens. 'Welcome to the Hartford Friends and Enemies of Wallace Stevens web site. From 1916 until his death in 1955 Wallace Stevens lived with his wife and daughter in Hartford, where he wrote poetry and worked as a vice-president of the Hartford Accident and Indemnity Company. Visitors will find selected poetry, a walking tour, event notices, an online discussion group and contemporary artwork inspired by the poetry ... '
Springtime on Mars.
The View from Everest.
A Modern Herbal, by Mrs. M. Grieve.
'A Modern Herbal, first published in 1931, by Mrs. M. Grieve, contains Medicinal, Culinary, Cosmetic and Economic Properties, Cultivation and Folk-Lore of Herbs.'
Herbs and plants, recipes and poisons.
The Final Journey. 'A collection of short stories about people and death and dying.'
'What would you choose for your last meal on earth? '
'My friend Katie would start with three whole Maine lobsters. I'd take honeydew chunks, a Misty menthol, and a Stoli with water, two lemon twists. But unless we do something very aggravating to the general populace we won't be able to select the final supper. '
'Death row prisioners do get the opportunity to choose a final meal. I don't think they can have cigs or beer or a Jack and water though. Also I wonder if there is a monetary limit tagged to that last meal? That could put the kabbash on Katie's lobsters. Better to stay free and eat what you want when you want ... '
' ... My intention is not to immortalize these convicts. Rather it is an homage to the many, many people that walked to their death unjustly. It is my greatest fear to be falsely accused of a crime. '
'Deep in the mountains of Tokushima Prefecture, the breathtaking Iya Valley is renowned as one of Japan's three 'hidden regions'. In the early 1970's, American writer and art collector Alex Kerr stumbled upon an uninhabited 'kayabuki-yane' thatched-roof farm house in the remote East Iya hamlet of Tsurui, which he would later name 'Chiiori', and set about restoring.'
'Over the course of two decades, Alex and a large number of like-minded friends made improvements on the house, notably a complete re-thatching of the magnificent straw roof. The project gained a great deal of attention and was documented by, among other media outlets, NHK television. Chiiori, the 'House of the Flute', was also featured in Kerr's award-winning book 'Utsukushiki Nippon No Zanzo' (1993), later published in English by Lonely Planet as 'Lost Japan' (1996) ... '
Mingei: Japanese Folk Toys.
'Toys for adults? You better believe it. Welcome to the playful side of Mingei. A far reach from mere child's play, the "playful arts" are loaded with great depth and history, as well as mythological and religious connotations which persist into the present day. Each figurine tells a unique story. Whether serving to ward off evil spirits, to bring good fortune, or to protect a rightful owner, Japanese folk toys are a respected and integral part of Japanese folklore ... '
Mudras of the Great Buddha: Symbolic Gestures and Postures. Images.
'Mudras are a non-verbal mode of communication and self-expression, consisting of hand gestures and finger-postures. They are symbolic sign based finger patterns taking the place, but retaining the efficacy of the spoken word, and are used to evoke in the mind ideas symbolizing divine powers or the deities themselves. The composition of a mudra is based on certain movements of the fingers; in other words, they constitute a highly stylized form of gestureal communication. It is an external expression of 'inner resolve', suggesting that such non-verbal communications are more powerful than the spoken word ... '
The Story of Tibetan New Year.
St Mary Magdalene Church, East Ham, London.
'East Ham's old Parish Church is a building of immense archaeological interest. It stands in solemn grandeur amid the rush and turmoil of modern life, as a silent witness to the stability and continuity of our faith founded two thousand years ago. '
'It is the oldest Norman church in London that is still in weekly use and has a 9 1/2 acre churchyard which is now managed as a nature reserve by the London Borough of Newham ... '
The Harlem Renaissance.
'From 1920 until about 1930 an unprecedented outburst of creative activity among African-Americans occurred in all fields of art. Beginning as a series of literary discussions in the lower Manhattan (Greenwich Village) and upper Manhattan (Harlem) sections of New York City, this African-American cultural movement became known as "The New Negro Movement" and later as the Harlem Renaissance. More than a literary movement and more than a social revolt against racism, the Harlem Renaissance exalted the unique culture of African-Americans and redefined African-American expression. African-Americans were encouraged to celebrate their heritage and to become "The New Negro," a term coined in 1925 by sociologist and critic Alain LeRoy Locke.'
'One of the factors contributing to the rise of the Harlem Renaissance was the great migration of African-Americans to northern cities (such as New York City, Chicago, and Washington, D.C.) between 1919 and 1926. In his influential book The New Negro (1925), Locke described the northward migration of blacks as "something like a spiritual emancipation." Black urban migration, combined with trends in American society as a whole toward experimentation during the 1920s, and the rise of radical black intellectuals including Locke, Marcus Garvey, founder of the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA), and W. E. B. Du Bois, editor of The Crisis magazine all contributed to the particular styles and unprecedented success of black artists during the Harlem Renaissance period." '
Rhapsodies in Black: Art of the Harlem Renaissance. 'As the Jazz age dawned in the early 1920's, African American artists, writers and musicians flocked to a district of Manhattan called Harlem. 'The Mecca of the New Negro' soon became home to a cultural revolution, repercussions of which would be felt around the world, from the USA to Europe and Africa. The rich artistic legacy of the Harlem Renaissance rages from the music of Duke Ellington and Bessie Smith, to the paintings of Aaron Douglas and the poetry of Langston Hughes.'
'This Web site provides an introduction to the exhibition Rhapsodies in Black: Art of the Harlem Renaissance, curated by David A. Bailey and Richard J. Powell and organised by the Hayward Gallery, London in collaboration with the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington DC., and the Institute of International Visual Arts (inIVA). The Web site combines images and text to elaborate on some of the key themes in the exhibition ... '
African Creation Stories. 'Since the beginning of humankind, there has been one common thread that ties together all cultures and religions of the world: an attempt to explain their origins. this holds true for the numerous religious groups existing on the African continent. In the absence of science, they resorted to creating stories to account for what they did not and could not understand. While similar in their basic design and theory, these stories varies greatly in their content and meaning. By studying them, much can be learned about the African people of the present and past ... '
The Place of the Elephant in the Culture and Oral Tradition in Northern Cameroon. 'Due to the interaction of elephant with human beings, the elephant occupies an important and mythical position in the culture and oral traditions among the local population. Many tales are told with the intention to justify the behaviour of elephants in a given region. The most interesting and fascinating of these tales are those that attempt to give explanation to the origin of these elephants, their related human aspect as well as their relations with other animals ... '
Boston Gas Company Photographs. 'The Boston Gas Company Records contains a rich collection of approximatly 4500 photographs, spanning a hundred years from the 1880s through the 1970s. Taken by local commercial photographers, contracted by Boston Gas, the images document various projects from laying gas pipes underneath the city streets to construction of company facilities in Boston and neighboring communities. Not only documenting the Company's progress, the photographers also captured candid portraits of employees at work and at play at company sponsored social activities. The series as a whole provides a fascinating look at Boston life, particularly the lives of blue collar employees, and overall community development ... '
Liturgy & Life. 'The Liturgy and Life Collection offers an intriguing look at the daily life of American Catholics prior to the reforms instituted by the Second Vatican Council. The Artifact series is an important component of the collection. Dating primarily between 1925 and 1975, the objects include vestments, statuary, rosary beads, medals, chalices, crucifixes, sick call sets, prayer cards, relics and original paintings. Comprising several thousand items, they provide a rich documentation of both public and private devotional life ... '
Tip O'Neill Photographs. 'The Thomas P. O'Neill Papers include a variety of audiovisual materials. Among them are over 7,500 photographs. These images document O'Neill's life and career from his days at Boston College and in the Masschusetts State legislature through his terms in Congress, as a member of the Democratic leadership, to the final tribute he received upon his retirement in 1986. The largest segment records O'Neill's tenure as Speaker of the United States House of Representatives (1977-1986). '
Colonial Boston Unearthed.
'Katherine Nanny's first husband died in 1663, leaving her with a son, a daughter, and a "dwelling house...ware house and wharffe...near the drawe-bridge." She subsequently married Edward Naylor, and had two more daughters. But in 1671, she asked for a divorce, accusing Edward of beating her, of kicking one of the girls downstairs, of "whoredomes," and "abuses of the marriage bed." Edward fled to New Hampshire with their pregnant servant girl, whom Katherine had accused of trying to poison her beer. Their domestic disaster might have lain undisturbed in Suffolk County, Massachusetts, court records had not the city of Boston decided to replace its aging expressway, and to set aside an estimated four million dollars for archaeological research in advance of the construction of the new 11-billion-dollar Central Artery/Tunnel.'
'Archaeologists compared every historic map they could find with the route of the so-called Big Dig, identifying four areas where remains of colonial America might have survived. In Charlestown, where an approach tunnel would run through an early town square, they found postholes from Governor John Winthrop's Great House, built in 1629, interspersed with foundation stones for Three Cranes Tavern, built in 1635 and destroyed during the Battle of Bunker Hill. The site also yielded fragile porcelain tea bowls, delicate dessert glasses, and fine tableware, suggesting that tavern customers enjoyed a sophisticated life-style enhanced by trade with Germany, France, Holland, Spain, Italy, and the Orient, apparently undeterred by navigation acts forbidding trade with whatever country the English might be at war with at the time ... '
America's First Newspaper.
'America's first continuously-published newspaper, the Boston News-Letter published its first issue on April 24, 1704. John Campbell, a bookseller and postmaster of Boston, was its first editor, printing the newspaper on what was then referred to as a half-sheet. It originally appeared on a single page, printed on both sides and issued weekly. '
'In the early years of its publication the News-Letter was filled mostly with news from London journals detailing the intrigues of English politics, and a variety of events concerning the European wars. The rest of the newspaper was filled with items listing ship arrivals, deaths, sermons, political appointments, fires, accidents and the like ... '
A Halo Around the Moon.
Sun Halo at Winter Solstice.
Restoring Rembrandt. 'The painting has an unusual history. For more than 300 years it was hidden behind layers of overpaint, the work of one of his pupils. Years of painstaking cleaning have now restored the painting to its original state. '
Chronology of Canadian Postal History. Via Bifurcated Rivets.
Wartime Rags. Via Bifurcated Rivets.