plep Archive

12th March
Refugee Stories, YWCA Sydney.

The Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Mesoamerica.

Life and Death in Ancient Mexico.
'The Spanish Conquistadors, brutal men themselves, were appalled by the bloody human sacrifices of the Aztecs. '
'Rightfully so. '
'The Maya, and the Olmec before them, had equally gruesome rites. Can we hope to understand? ... '

Rubbings of Maya Sculpture.

Naachtun: A Lost City of the Maya. 'The Maya of the Classic period, which begins at approximately AD 250, lived in an area that now includes Guatemala, Chiapas and the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, western Honduras, Belize, and El Salvador. The Classic period Maya were organised into numerous small city-states, each with their own king. Within the large cities that served as the capitals of these kingdoms, the Mayan people erected grand public buildings, including palaces and temples, large plazas, and reservoirs to collect water. They also recorded history in hieroglyphic writing, which was carved onto stone monuments called 'stelae', and documented events in the lives of their kings. However, the Classic period was also plagued by continuing warfare between the various kingdoms and their allies. Ultimately the endemic warfare was an important factor in the downfall of the Classic period Maya, that resulted in the abandonment of most cities and their surrounding territories by AD 900 ...'

Journeys & Destinations: African Artists on the Move. 'Journeys and Destinations features artists who hail from Africa but form part of a significant and long-standing diaspora in Europe and America. Their artistic expressions, life experiences and critical place within the global art world reflect the realities of many of Africa's contemporary artists. The journeys of these artists are rarely simple stories of migration, but rather ones of multiple moves, homecomings and fluctuating affinities to place, space and identity. The motivations for leaving Africa vary from cases of political exile to pursuit of training or patronage, market opportunities or inspiration ... '

Mirrors of the Heart/Mind. Tibetan art.
Six-armed Mahakala.

A Basketmaker in Rural Japan.

Lain Singh Bangdel. 'On Tuesday, October 15, 2002, the world lost a great artist-scholar, Nepal lost a great leader, and The Huntington Archive lost one of its dearest friends. '

The Blue Highway '. . winds past the plantation houses of the Mississippi Delta to the south-side clubs and tenements of postwar Chicago. While it's a somber trip, humbling, and even distressing, it's also enchanting and joyful -- and reassuring in its success.'
'The history of the blues is more than a musical chronology. The blues was born the day the West African shoreline fell from the horizon. It was raised amid the institutionalized savagery of the Deep South and flourished in the dark heart of America's largest cities. We owe the blues to those who bore the pain of enslavement behind the frightful shadows of our collective soul. The Blue Highway, then, is dedicated to the men and women who traveled beyond our ignorant place, and to those who could not.'

Sushicam. Really great photo/weblog from Japan.

Le Dejeuner Sur L'Herbe.
' When this painting was first shown to the public at the Salon des Refuses in 1863 it caused an outcry. What upset the critics the most was Manet's audacity in 'copying' the old masters, by parading vulgar modern figures. These were not nymphs and shepherds of myth, but modern Parisian city dwellers indulging their petit-bourgeois passion for picnicking in the country. Also the title of the painting gave no explanation as to why the men were clothed and the woman wasn't.'

Le Dejeuner sur L'Herbe at Maui.

Le Dejeuner sur L'Herbe at Grounds for Sculpture.

Sciart. Science as Art.

Voices of the Presidents. Audio archive.

Presidential Letters.
Washington - Jefferson - Lincoln

Love Letters.
Henry VIII - Cromwell

Dear Santa Letters.

Getting the Message Out. 'Getting the Message Out! National Political Campaign Materials, 1840-1860 presents an examination of national popular political culture in antebellum America. It includes histories of the presidential campaigns from 1840-1860, as well as primary source material, such as campaign biographies and campaign songbooks. Recordings of some of the songs are also available. '

Prairie Fire: The Illinois Country, 1673-1818.

Illinois During the Civil War.

Illinois During the Gilded Age.

Network for Good.

My Flesh and Blood. Experience of a miscarriage.
Via MeFi.

Saigon Poster Art.
Via Coudal /hama7@MeFi.

Guernica in Exile, with many more links at the bottom.
Via consumptive.

New York City in Lego.
Via the Presurfer, Idle Type.

The Bookery in the Rookery. Storytelling involving crows.
Tales of the Birds, 1891.

Gallery of Unusual Playing Cards.
Via Iconomy/ MeFi.

Shock & Awe, the weblog.
Via wood s lot.

Discussions about Nonviolence has just started up.
Some links found via this page :-
The Martin Luther King Papers Project.
Unesco Nonviolence Education Page.
Thich Nhat Hanh.

Shock and awe. (via environy).


Disinfopedia, an 'encyclopaedia of propaganda'.

Out There News. All kinds of odd stuff. (Thx, Kay)

11th March
Heloise (1101-1164): Letter to Abelard. 'The letters of Abelard and Heloise are, now, among the best known documents of early romantic love. From the thirteenth century on, there are references to the couple by multiple authors. With their inclusion by Jean de Meun in his Roman de la Rose (1280), their immortality as symbols was ensured ... '

Together They Stay A World Apart. 'A young girl, her hair tightly rolled and covered with a scarf, gazes out a screened door. Her dreamy look is typical of millions of American children. Her clothes mark her as different. She is a Hutterite. '
'To be a Hutterite is first of all to be a member of a community, a tiny part of an integrated whole. In small colonies these Christians live in shared buildings, eat in common dining rooms, labor and worship together. They hold no personal property, and have little contact with those outside their community. This, they believe, is God's plan ... '

The Hutterian Brethren. 'Welcome to the Homepage of the Hutterian Brethren. Hutterites are a religious group originating back in 1530. We live communally in rural North America. Learn about our unique lifestyle, religion, customs, traditions, and history. Discover how we earn our living, and what we do in our leisure time. In addition, find out what our schools are like. '

Riverview Hutterite Colony School. 'At our school we are taught to have friendship with everyone and trust. This is the most important thing to learn. We are taught to do our work the way we want as long as we get it done. We get taught about wilderness and living off the land. I like this very much because it is very close to us and we have lots of land around us to explore. We all try to work together at becoming adults and solve problems together the way people should do when they are older. Our teacher is a big help with this by helping us to figure out as much as we can and then shares advice ... '

The Aldo Leopold Foundation. 'Building upon the vision Aldo Leopold enunciated in A Sand County Almanac and other works, the Aldo Leopold Foundation strives to promote the care of natural resources and foster an ethical relationship between people and land. '
'Demonstrating this ethic on the original Leopold Family Farm outside Baraboo, Wisconsin, the Foundation seeks to restore the ecological health and integrity of the prairie, oak savanna, woodland, and riparian communities once abundant in this area. Working closely with neighbors and other private landowners, Foundation staff, interns, and volunteers share their stewardship expertise throughout the region to save and restore "every cog and wheel," so that the land retains its capacity for self-renewal. Programs include the restoration and protection of over 15,000 acres through partnerships with more than 30 organizations ... '
The Leopold Shack. 'The rickety chicken coop, rebuilt by the family in 1935, has become a metaphor for living lightly on the land. It was here at his weekend retreat, his "refuge from too much modernity" that Leopold gained insight into and inspiration from the complex workings of the land and its inhabitants ... '

Excerpts from the Work of Aldo Leopold. 'Acts of creation are ordinarily reserved for gods and poets, but humbler folk may circumvent this restriction if they know how. To plant a pine, for example, one need be neither god nor poet; one need only own a good shovel. By virtue of this curious loophole in the rules, any clodhopper may say: Let there be a tree--and there will be one ... '

Dread History: The African Diaspora, Ethiopianism, and Rastafari.
'Diasporas invariably leave a trail of collective memory about other times and places. But while most displaced peoples frame these attachments with the aid of living memory and the continuity of cultural traditions, the memories of those in the African diaspora have been refracted through the prism of history to create new maps of desire and attachment. Historically, black peoples in the New World have traced memories of an African homeland through the trauma of slavery and through ideologies of struggle and resistance ... '

Textiles of the North American Southwest.

The Kojiki. (The Shinto creation; translated 1882).
'Having descended from Heaven on to this island, they saw to the erection of a heavenly august pillar, they saw to the erection of a hall of eight fathoms. Then Izanagi, the Male-Who-Invites, said to Izanami, the Female-Who-Invites, "We should create children"; and he said, "Let us go around the heavenly august pillar, and when we meet on the other side let us be united. Do you go around from the left, and I will go from the right." When they met, Her Augustness, the Female-Who-Invites, spake first, exclaiming, "Ah, what a fair and lovable youth!" Then His Augustness said, "Ah what a fair and lovable maiden!" But afterward he said, " It was not well that the woman should speak first!" The child which was born to them was Hiruko (the leech-child), which when three years old was still unable to stand upright. So they placed the leech-child in a boat of reeds and let it float away. Next they gave birth to the island of Aha. This likewise is not reckoned among their children ... '

Yin Chih Wen: The Tract of the Quiet Way. Translated 1906.

Buddhism in Tibet, by Emil Schlagentweit, 1863.

She-rab Dong-bu (The Tree of Wisdom), by Nagarjuna.

British Waterways.
'200 years ago, enterprising businessmen constructed a revolutionary new transport system that led to wealth creation on an unprecedented scale.'
'The purpose of this site is to reveal the hidden world of Britain's inland waterways network. It shows how you can find and enjoy them, how they are managed and how you could get involved in their future conservation ... '

British Canal History. 'British Canals can be dated back to the Roman times, when several canals were built here including the Fossdyke, still navigable today. However, after the Romans left, no canals were built for a prolonged period. It was not until the era of Elizabeth I that the next canal was built, at Exeter. This was also the first use of pound locks in Britain- the type of lock in common use today. The navigable rivers at that time used flash locks. Soon after, many schemes were introduced for the improvement of river navigations, in 1660 there were 685 miles of river navigation, by 1724 another 475 miles had been added ... '
The Trent and Mersey Canal Society.

Bridgeport: Lock Zero. 'A brief history and look into one of Chicago's oldest neighborhoods.'

Around the World Alone. 'Joshua Slocum was the first to do it, a hundred years ago, then wrote about it; the world is still awed by his seamanship - and his prose ... '

Home for Life. 'Curvilinear Architecture for earth sheltered homes, educational projects and commercial developments.'

The Waste Land. A hypertext exploration of T.S. Eliot's poem.

The Red Neck War of 1921. 'The assassination of Matewan Massacre defendants Sid Hatfield and Ed Chambers in August 1921 brought the West Virginia Mine Wars to a frenzied crescendo. Outraged coal miners marched South from the Kanawha Valley by the thousands, determined to end the nonunion regime in Logan and Mingo. They were intercepted by Logan Sheriff Don Chafin, an infamous figure in union history. Chafin's men met the miners along a broad defensive front just inside the northern Logan border, and The Battle of Blair Mountain began. It took the U.S. Army to end it ... '

Solemates: The Century in Shoes.

Before Prohibition. 'Images from the preprohibition era when many psychotropic substances were legally available in America and Europe.'
Via Quiddity.

10th March
The Memory Hole: This Is War.

Alutiiq Museum, Kodiak, Alaska.
Alutiiq word of the week.

Warsaw: The City That Would Not Die.

Paderewski's Piano. 'Its gleaming black frame perches with dignity on three fluted columns. The ivories are white, all bloodstains now carefully removed. Only the inscription under the lid of Steinway concert grand No. 71227 at the National Museum of American History - a few words in black ink scrawled onto gilt metal - bears testimony to a trying musical tour and the great musician who survived it: "This piano has been played by me during the season 1892-1893 in seventy-five concerts. I. J. Paderewski." ... '

The Sierra Club. American conservation group, founded 1892.

"For a While...It Was Fun". 'On September 8, l900, a hurricane that had swept across the Gulf of Mexico slammed into Galveston, Texas. Situated on an island that amounted to little more than an unprotected sandbar, the city was devastated. Entire neighborhoods were obliterated. Shipping facilities were demolished. Some 8,000 people died, a toll that exceeds the total loss of life caused by the Chicago fire of 1871, the calamitous forest fire at Peshtigo, Wisconsin, that same year, the Johnstown flood of 1889, the San Francisco earthquake of 1906 and the Florida hurricane of 1928 ... '

America 1900: The Galveston Hurricane. PBS site.

The 1900 Storm: Galveston, Texas. A special site from the Galveston County Daily News.

The Strange Case of the Surgeon at Crowthorne.
' "I am Dr. James Murray of the London Philological Society and Editor of the New English Dictionary. It is indeed an honor and a pleasure to at long last make your acquaintance - for you must be, kind sir, my most assiduous helpmeet, Dr. W. C. Minor?" '
'So begins Simon Winchester's extraordinary tale about James Murray, one of 19th-century England's great scholars - the man who launched the Oxford English Dictionary, and edited more than half of it - and Dr. William Chester Minor, who, from his cell in an English asylum for the criminally insane, contributed meticulously, by mail, to the dictionary's research ... '

Red Thread Zen - The Tao of Love, Passion and Sex.

The Book of Tea by Kakuzo Okakura. 'Tea began as a medicine and grew into a beverage. In China, in the eighth century, it entered the realm of poetry as one of the polite amusements. The fifteenth century saw Japan ennoble it into a religion of aestheticism--Teaism. Teaism is a cult founded on the adoration of the beautiful among the sordid facts of everyday existence. It inculcates purity and harmony, the mystery of mutual charity, the romanticism of the social order. It is essentially a worship of the Imperfect, as it is a tender attempt to accomplish something possible in this impossible thing we know as life. '

Alaska Native Heritage Centre. 'The Alaska Native Heritage Center is an exciting place where all people can come to expand their understanding of Alaska's first people. Here we share the rich heritage of Alaska's eleven cultural groups - drawing upon the lifeways of long ago, the wisdom of our elders, and the traditions that endure. The encounter is designed to enhance self-esteem among Native people and to encourage cross-cultural exchanges among all people.'

Around the Mall and Beyond.
' "I am very astonished to learn that you have not received my several letters but I hope that meantime you will be in possession of some of these. . . ." '
'I love letters. They may not tell you much about a historical event, but they can give you a feel for people caught up in that event, a sense of what it was like to be there, and most important, an insight into the people themselves and how they responded to what was going on. '
'This letter, written in laborious English on May 5, 1942, the last lines cramped as he tried to get it all down, was Moritz Schoenberger's attempt to cheer up his wife and daughter, safe in New York while he labored in a work camp in Occupied France ... '

Voyage of the St. Louis. More on Moritz Schoenberger.
'Begin your research by examining Moritz Schoenberger's passenger registration card. The passenger registration card below provides data about Moritz Schoenberger that will help you to verify whether information found in other documents relates to him as well ... '

A Sage for All Seasons. 'A little more than 50 years ago, the manuscript of a book by a relatively unknown University of Wisconsin professor named Aldo Leopold was accepted for publication. A Sand County Almanac has long since been enshrined as one of the nation's environmental masterpieces. When it first appeared, the themes that underlay Leopold's keenly observed and elegantly written nature essays had scarcely penetrated America's consciousness ... '

History of the Oxford English Dictionary.

OED Word of the Day.

Kentucky Battles, Duels, Panics and Skirmishes.

Jackson-Benton Duel 1813. Involving Andrew Jackson.
Another account, with a picture of Thomas Hart Benton.

In Ghostly Japan, by Lafcadio Hearn, 1899.

Gleanings in Buddha Fields, by Lafcadio Hearn, 1897.

The Spirit of Diana.
Via Bifurcated Rivets.

Heavy Seas. Via MeFi.

ZetaTalk. Planet X is coming! discusses ZetaTalk.

Smart-mobbing the war.

RIP Barry Sheene.
Via Nick Jordan.

9th March
Peace Pipe.
Dayku. Haiku for peace.
Via wood s lot.

Tens of Bush supporters take to the streets! 'Four loyal Americans from break the will of 850,000 peacenik protesters with their spirited invective.'
Via, which has been very good of late.

Independent on Sunday: Not in Our Name, Mr Blair. 'You do not have the evidence. You do not have UN approval. You do not have your country's support. You do not have your party's support. You do not have the legal right. You do not have the moral right. You must not drag Britain into Bush's unjust and unnecessary war.'

American Notes by Charles Dickens.
"I hesitated once, debating with myself, whether, if I had the power of saying 'Yes' or 'No,' I would allow [solitary confinement] to be tried in certain cases, where the terms of the imprisonment were short; but now, I solemnly declare, that with no rewards or honours could I walk a happy man beneath the open sky by day, or lie me down upon my bed at night, with the consciousness that one human creature, for any length of time, no matter what, lay suffering this unknown punishment in his silent cell, and I the cause, or I consenting to it in the least the degree." - Dickens.

East Asian Images in the Chester Beatty Library, Dublin.
Flowers and birds.
Krishna with the cowherd girls.
The collection.

China in the State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg.
Buddha in Vajrasana.

Chinese Peasant Art.

Wonders of the African World.
Black kingdoms of the Nile.
The slave kingdoms.
Ethiopia: An ancient legacy of Christianity.

Women in African Art. 'Women have played a significant role in African art. They are highly respected and adorned in many fashions throughout several societies. Esentially, the woman's role is not only that of a care-taker, but extends to other forms. In art, the African woman has been portrayed several ways: procreator, goddess, mother, ancestor, and sage. Because women have played such a significant role in African art, this exhibit will focus on women in African art: family, life, and beyond ... '

Maya/Aztec/Inca Lords of the Earth, 'a Web site, which deals with the Archeology and Anthropology of the Americas. These disciplines are based on the study of a specific location, then expanding via concentric circles, into the surrounding areas in order to identify possible diffusion among the various polities. However, as with any bulls eye target, at times an arrow (or spear) from a foreign source will strike any one of the defined circles, creating a tear in the fabric called diffusion. Until the source of the arrow is discovered, there can be no sensible explanation of the culture ... '

Descendants of the Incas: Inca Weaving Traditions and Family Ties. 'Welcome to Descendants of the Incas. We hope the images and comments you explore will give you a flavor of the rich culture of Inca people living today near the city of Cusco, once the capital of the Inca empire ... '

The Art Newspaper: Looted Art. 'The Art Newspaper takes a special interest in reporting the lasting repercussions of the Second World War as they relate to the art trade. As the recent Schiele case (see below) demonstrates, this will be an issue in the art world for some time to come. Here is a selection of recently published articles on this subject ... '

CBC Witness: Restitution. 'Thousands of priceless works of art were stolen by the Nazis and their collaborators during World War II. Some were from public galleries in occupied countries, others from Jews the Nazis sent to death camps. Of those who survived, most never saw their stolen art again. Today, there's a renewed call to bring restitution to those families robbed of their precious possessions. '

The Lost Art Internet Database 'is a joint project of the federal government and the federal states of Germany to register cultural assets that were relocated, transported and, especially with regard to Jewish citizens, confiscated as a result of persecution during World War II and the Nazi-period. '
'This Internet database facilitates the world-wide registration of cultural assets relocated during the war or seized in the course of persecution or of cultural assets which have provenance gaps. In the last case a relocation or illegal seizure cannot be excluded ... '

Today in Science History.

Speaking of DNA. 'James Watson and Francis Cricks famous paper on the structure of DNA transformed our understanding of life. Clear and concise, it has many stories hidden between its lines. Our annotated version lets you glimpse the personalities, ideas, and intrigue behind its historic debut ... '

The Lost Railways of Surrey.

West Bromwich Albion Football Club History. 'West Bromwich Albion are one of the oldest and proudest names in English football, and one of a select group of clubs to have won all three major domestic honours ... '
Via the BBC's Black Country pages.

Daddy Long Legs, a tram that travelled on water. Via the BBC's Southern Counties pages.

Jim Popso and His Coal Country Folk Art.

The History of Hobo Art.
'For almost eighty years in America's history, the time between the Civil War and the Second World War, teenage boys dreamed of becoming hoboes. To them, the excitement of hopping a moving freight train, riding the rods beneath the passenger car, or outsmarting the railroad officials was equaled by no other dream. To these young men, hoboing was the ultimate test of manhood. It took courage, strength, skill, imagination, daring, and endurance to live on the road. And even though the reality of hobo life proved to be lonely, brutal, and often tragic, some considered their days riding the rails to be the best times of their lives. '
'The American hobo was probably one of the most maligned, misunderstood, and exploited members of American society. To better understand the true nature of the hobo, one needs only interpret one origin of the word hobo, which is derived from the English use of the term "hoe boys." This term was used to refer to the people who worked and hoed the gardens and estates of the very wealthy. In other words, the hobo was the original migrant worker. In America, these wandering workers were fairly common by the eighteenth century. Because there were no railroads, most of these men would suddenly appear in villages fairly near their home seeking work ...'

The Hobo Nickel Guy. 'During the Great Depression, hobos carved nickels using simple hand made tools. They would trade these nickels for food, lodging, mending or any of the other needs they had. Over the years the art of coin carving has all but disappeared. In 1999, Mike Pezak discovered this wonderful art form and fell in love with carving coins ... '

Tall Tales. Hobo stories.

Happy Hobo Days. 'The following story took place 50 years ago an is presented as a matter of historical interest. Train hopping is both illegal and extremely dangerous. The author of this site strongly discourages train hopping and does not condone trespassing in any form.'

The Eccentric Art of Lewis Smith.
Thanks, madamjujijive.

Reusablog. The art and science of making old things into news things. From the fine mind behind Spinning Jennie.

The Yoruba Ethnographic Archive.

A Nigerian Yoruba Naming Ceremony in the Washington DC Area.

Venda Girls' Initiation Schools.
The above three links via vitpil, via here.

The Lysistrata Project.
Sex boycott urged over war.

The unloved American. Simon Schama's essay on European views of America, from Dickens and Kipling to Hyde Park.
'On the Fourth of July in 1889, Rudyard Kipling found himself near Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone with a party of tourists from New England. He winced as a "clergyman rose up and told them they were the greatest, freest, sublimest, most chivalrous, and richest people on the face of the earth, and they all said Amen." Kiplingówho had travelled from India to California, and then across the North American continentówas bewildered by the patriotic hyperbole that seemed to come so naturally to the citizens of the United States ... When a "perfectly unknown man attacked me and asked me what I thought of American Patriotism," Kipling wrote in "American Notes," his account of the journey,"I said there was nothing like it in the Old Country," adding, "always tell an American this. It soothes him." ... '
'But of all the character flaws that Europeans have ascribed to Americans, nothing has contributed more to widening the Atlantic than national egocentricity (a bit rich, admittedly, coming from the French) ... Virtuous isolation, of course, wasn't a problem so long as the United States saw the exercise of its power primarily in terms of the defensive policing of its own continental space. But now that policing has gone irreversibly global, the imperious insistence on the American way, or else, has only a limited usefulness in a long-term pacification strategy. Like it or not, help will be needed, given America's notoriously short attention span, intolerance of casualties, and grievously wounded prosperity. Serving the United Nations with notice of redundancy should its policies not replicate those of the United States and the United Kingdom might turn out to be shortsighted, since in Europe, even in countries whose governments have aligned themselves with America, there is almost no support for a war without U.N. sanction. Perhaps Mrs. Trollope put it best after all: "If the citizens of the United States were indeed the devoted patriots they call themselves, they would surely not thus encrust themselves in the hard, dry, stubborn persuasion, that they are the first and best of the human race, that nothing is to be learnt, but what they are able to teach, and that nothing is worth having, which they do not possess." '

'American military officials acknowledged yesterday that two prisoners captured in Afghanistan in December had been killed while under interrogation at Bagram air base north of Kabul reviving concerns that the US is resorting to torture in its treatment of Taliban fighters and suspected al-Qa'ida operatives.'

' British intelligence claims that Saddam Hussein has been trying to import uranium for a nuclear bomb are unfounded and based on deliberately fabricated evidence, according to an investigation by the UN nuclear inspectors in Iraq. '

Did China's new leaders take part in a school bloodbath?

Concern for Jack Straw's soul. (David Marquand, in the Guardian letters page) 'With admirable frankness, Jack Straw has now let the cat out of the bag. In warning the French and Germans that they will "reap a whirlwind" if they stick to their guns on Iraq (Report, March 5), he is really saying they must give in to US blackmail - or else. If they succumb to this threat, they will fortify the ugliest forces in American politics and betray the basic ideals of the European Union. And they will never be able to call their souls their own again.'

New WTC design chosen.
Gallery: WTC design plans.

RIP Adam Faith.