plep Archive

3rd May
Art of Mesoamerica and Central America.
Via the Met's Timeline of Art History.

Kongo Crossroads. Honouring the ancestors in Central Africa.
'The image of a circle pierced by a cross represents the physical boundary across which the living and the ancestors meet. In the Kongo world view, other boundaries present the same possibility: the horizon where the sky meets the water or crossing roads where random encounters can determine fate. '

Spiders. The Australian Museum's guide to both the natural and cultural history of these creatures. 'Wherever you live, you're always close to a spider. '
A spider's life.
Spiders in art and history.
Dangerous spiders.

The Spider's Parlour from Museum Victoria.
'Wherever you are, at any time, there is usually a spider about a metre away. It may be inside the room or outside on a wall, in a web stretched high between trees or a hole in the ground. Spiders are at home almost everywhere. '
'Whether you think them fascinating or scary, a nuisance or a useful insect pest control, we invite you to enter Spider's Parlour and find out more. '

Meet Some Spooky Spiders, courtesy of the Queensland Museum Explorer.

Tarantulas. 'Rick West is one of the leading authorities on tarantulas (theraphosidae) in the world. These mygalomorph spiders are also known in other parts of the world as baboon, cat-leg, monkey, bird-eating, crab and horse spiders. His knowledge of these giant hairy spiders is encyclopedic and includes uses and myths by indigenous people from many tropical countries. Rick is the author of over twenty publications on tarantulas and owns one of the most extensive, high quality, tarantula photoslide archives on record ... '

The Official Marx Toy Museum of Glen Dale, West Virginia. 'The Official Marx Toy Museum offers an opportunity for once Marx employees to reunite and admire their endless hours of labor, for families to renew and share their childhood memories, and for Marx collectors to gather and admire the many wonders Marx toys had to offer. '

The Vintage Toy Room.

West Virginia Penitentiary Online. Seems like an interesting place.
'This 132 year old structure is listed on The National Register of Historic Places and was featured as 'One of the Best 500 Places to Visit in The United States' by US News & World Report (April, 1996). Last year over 20,000 visitors from 49 states and 17 countries toured the former West Virginia Penitentiary in Moundsville. Don't miss your opportunity... '

Ohio Trespassers. Urban exploration.
Exploring the Moundsville Penitentiary.

Bath in a Field. 'Welcome to "Bath-In-A-Field.Com". This web site was created to give the world the opportunity to share in my pleasure of "Tub-Spotting". We all know the feeling. It's a wet autumn day, and your forced into the back seat of your fathers green Hillman hunter, and driven around the countryside. Your fed-up! Then . . . something catches your eye in the field to the left of you. "CHRIST" you shout at the top of your voice as your father slams on the breaks. You race out of the car and stop just a few yards away from it. You know that this is one of those times that will change your world forever ... '

Britney Underground. Defaced Britney Spears posters. Pure punk.
'The Britney Spears Live from Las Vegas ads assaulted the Big Apple for weeks, amidst the post 9.11 trauma and heartbreak. To mimic the question penned on one ad poster, can we afford this anymore? The message this scantily clad teen offers in a time of war is uncertain, but several NYC subway riders didn't hesitate to express their thoughts.'
'Britney Underground takes you on a tour of poignant urban artistry in a time of crisis. '

Open House. 'A traditional Japanese farmhouse complete with thatched roof and hearth, Chiiori in the Iya Valley offers adventurers the opportunity to relive the best of old Japan. Bryan Shih paid a visit to "Lost Japan" author Alex Kerr's humble abode.'

Tokyo Story. 'It's been 400 years since Shogun Ieyasu Tokugawa made Edo his capital. As Tokyo gets ready to celebrate four centuries as Japan's premier city on March 24, Matt Wilce takes a look at the metropolis' less familiar history.'

To Die For. 'Cardboard coffins, online mourning, space burials and wearable remains. Tama Miyake reports on what's in store at Japan's modern funeral homes and why more and more people are buying. '

Saved by the Bell. Being a Samaritan in Japan.
'With the suicide toll topping 30,000 since 1998, can hotline pioneer Inochi no Denwa, now supported by the government, answer Japan's cry for help?'

Tips for Gentle Souls.
'Help for those that want to comfort and assist the bereaved and the dying.'

Dying Well.
'Resources for people facing life-limiting illness, their families, and their professional caregivers.'

Le Blogeur.
Le Blogeur has composed an ode to Rebecca Blood for the occasion of the fourth anniversary of her Pocket.

The Armillary Sphere.
'An armillary sphere is basically a skeletal celestial sphere with a model of the Earth or, later, of the Sun placed in the center. It is useful as a teaching tool and as an analog computer for solving various astronomical problems to a crude degree of accuracy. Armillary spheres were developed by the Greeks in antiquity for use as teaching tools. In larger and more precise forms they were also used as observational instruments, being preferred by Ptolemy. Armillary spheres became popular again in the late middle ages. With the advent of the Copernican model of a Sun centered Universe pairs of spheres contrasting the Copernican and Ptolomaic models became common teaching/demonstration tools. Such small teaching sphere remained popular through the nineteenth century ...'
Via MeFi.

Idylls of the King. Photography by Julia Margaret Cameron. Via MeFi.

Red Dog Army. Thanks, taz.

English Handwriting 1500-1700: An Online Course. Via the Apothecary's Drawer.

Officers of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps Died at Gallipoli, 1915. Via boynton.

Montgolfier Balloon (1783).
'In June 1783 the Montgolfier Brothers made the first public demonstration of a model hot-air balloon and in September - in the presence of King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette - they flew a balloon carrying a sheep, a duck and a cockerel to demonstrate that it was possible to survive in the sky. '
Via Giornale Nuovo.

Little Pieces from Big Stars in aid of War Child. Via Iconomy.

Dinosaur Origami. Via Incoming Signals.

Thoreau the Buddhist. Via dumbmonkey.

Blogroll as Social Logic. Via Eclogues.

The Hidden History of Rock and Rap Music. Via Bifurcated Rivets.

The Tennessee Centennial Exposition, 1897. Via gmtPlus9.
'The City of Nashville first undertook the construction of a full-scale replica of the Parthenon for the Tennessee Centennial Exposition of 1897. The exposition celebrated 100 years of Tennessee's statehood a year after its true centennial birthday of 1896. Centennial organizers blamed lack of funds, slow construction and the presidential election of 1896 for the delayed start date. Once started, the Tennessee Centennial was a huge success with approximately 1.8 million people in attendance over the six-month period.'

Miss Vera's Finishing School for Boys Who Want to be Girls. Via Everlasting Blort.

Bondage in Everyday Life. Via Diminished Responsibility.

Candy Mejia. Via Dr Menlo.

Keith Richards photographed by Steve Pyke. Via Portage.

A May Day Ditty. Via Languagehat.

Project Phoenix.
'Project Phoenix is the world's most sensitive and comprehensive search for extraterrestrial intelligence. It is an effort to detect extraterrestrial civilizations by listening for radio signals that are either being deliberately beamed our way, or are inadvertently transmitted from another planet. '
Via ikastikos.

Eric Chase Anderson.
'his detailed, whimsical illustrations capture such an innocence, you'll be immediately returned to your childhood. '
Via Riley Dog.

The Life and Death of Kevin Carter.
'As TIME's Johannesburg bureau chief for the past five years, Scott MacLeod has seen more than his share of tragedy. But nothing prepared him for the devastating news in July that a colleague, 33-year-old South African photojournalist Kevin Carter, had killed himself. Carter was famous in South Africa for his fearless coverage of deadly township violence, and he had become internationally known for his Pulitzer prizewinning photo of a vulture coolly eyeing an emaciated Sudanese child struggling toward a feeding station. "Few journalists saw as much violence and trauma as he did," says MacLeod. Shocked by Carter's suicide, MacLeod determined "to understand as best I c ould the complexities behind his tragic end." ... '
Via Pop Culture Junk Mail.

7000 Oaks.
'Dia installed five basalt stone columns, each paired with a tree, at 548 West 22nd Street in 1988, continuing the sculpture project 7000 Eichen (7000 Oaks) by German artist Joseph Beuys. Five different varieties of trees were planted: gingko, linden, bradford pear, sycamore, and oak. In 1996 Dia extended this project by planting 18 new trees, each paired with a basalt stone, on 22nd Street from 10th to 11th avenues, adding Pin Oak, Red Oak, Elm Honey Locust, Gingko and Linden. '
Via wood s lot.

Starbucks Everywhere. 'At the suggestion of a photo editor at the New York Post, I have begin putting together this gallery of photos of myself at various Starbucks throughout the continent (and eventually, the World).' Via consumptive.

Combat Art in Iraq. Via Out of Lascaux.

Octopus Ballgown Skirt. Via Cheesedip.

1930's Pan Am Postcards.
Via Speckled Paint.

Longhorn Auction Centre, Montana. Via BookNotes.

A Cannabis Chronology. Via abuddhas memes.

Steal These Buttons! Via Linkmachinego.

Hypnosis in Media. Via Quiddity.

Rejected Google Holiday Logos. Via Geisha Asobi.

Haunted Paper Toys. Via Shikencho.

A Tribute to the Jens. Via Spinning Jennie.

Tasmanian Apple and Pear Crate Labels. Via Coudal.

Unknown News. Always worth reading.

2nd May
Dreams of Tibet.

Love Hotels. 'Sure, Zen gardens, sushi and the Sony Walkman are great, but the greatest Japanese invention of all time has to be the love hotel. In the dull, concrete wasteland of cinderblock buildings that is the modern Japanese city, the love hotel stands out as a refreshingly off-the-wall escape from conformity, a monument to hedonism, and a libertine's paradise. It's also a godsend when you're tired of taking your girlfriend back to your gaijin apartment with its half-inch plywood walls and nosy neighbours. Nearly every foreigner in Japan has a love hotel story to tell and number of Japanese people who were conceived in one must be enormous ... '
Via Quirky Japan.

African Art from the de Young Museum.
'The de Young's African art collection features work from many areas of sub-Saharan Africa, and showcases some of the oldest and most diverse traditions in art. This collection is growing rapidly, and the addition of stellar pieces like a terracotta Yoruba lidded pot from Nigeria, a power figure from Zaire and a Makonde helmet mask from Mozambique are enhancing the de Young's reputation in this area.'
Poro society mask, Liberia.

Art of the Americas. 'A walk through the de Young's collection of objects from Mesoamerica, Central and South America, as well as the West Coast of North America reveals the richness and complexity of art that links the Americas. Notable treasures include the largest group of Teotihuacan wall murals outside of Mexico, a Peruvian mouth mask of hammered gold from the Nazca culture, and a ten-foot totem pole from Alaska.'
Warrior bird.

The Butterfly Alphabet. 'For hundreds of years the English-speaking world has been happy with one alphabet. Now we have found a second, or rather the first; nature's own alphabet, the real language of dreams and love. This alphabet has been around for over 50 million years! ... '
Thanks to Iconomy.

Iraq Playing Cards.
Via Incoming Signals.

Live Piip Show.
Via Speckled Paint.

Urban75: Mayday Protests.

Mount Wilson Observatory.

Saint Mary Magdalene in art.
'It is told in the Gospels that Mary Magdalene came to Christ as a penitent fallen woman. She washed his feet with her tears, dried them with her hair and then anointed them with a precious ointment of oil of myrrh. In paintings she is generally shown with a jar of the precious ointment as her attribute.'
Kitchen Scene with Christ in the House of Martha and Mary.

Saint Sebastian in art.
'Saint Sebastian is represented in many paintings. He was an early Christian martyr who became popular in the Medieval and Renaissance periods. Saint Sebastian served as a soldier in the Roman army, but he was discovered to be a Christian and so was sentenced to death by the emperor Diocletian. He was to be shot by his own archers. He survived the arrows, which miraculously failed to pierce any vital organ, and the arrow became his identifying attribute. Eventually he was stoned to death, and his body was thrown into a sewer.'

Nechung - The State Oracle of Tibet.
Via the Government of Tibet in Exile.

Quirky Japan Photos.

Photographic Archive of Southeastern Nigerian Art and Culture. 'This is an archive of digitized photographs depicting the arts and cultures of southeastern Nigeria. The collection includes examples from Ibibio, Igbo, Ijo and Ogoni speaking peoples. All of the photographs were taken in the 1930s by the late G.I. Jones, Department of Social Anthropology, University of Cambridge. The majority of the images are from the Igbo speaking regions where Jones conducted most of his research. The materials included here represent only a sample of the complete Jones collection. The photographs are unique for the creative brilliance of the art represented, the quality of the photography itself, and the cultural and historical significance of photographic records from this time period in Nigeria.'
Two Masquerades.

Jacobson House Native Art Centre. 'The Jacobson House is located on the northwest corner of the campus of the University of Oklahoma, at 609 Chautauqua in Norman, Oklahoma. Following the death of Oscar Jacobson in 1966, the House became rental property until it was gifted to the OU Foundation and then sold to the University. The University planned to solve one of its pressing problems by demolishing the House and providing more parking at this convenient location. Fortunately, a group of Norman people saw far more than a parking lot in the somewhat run-down residence and began work to preserve the House.'

The Great Red Spot of Jupiter. Images.

The Enchanted Castle.

Avenue at Chantilly, Cezanne.

Prophets. Outsider art in Washington DC.

Found Slide Foundation. 'Every year, untold numbers of slides are dumped on the street. Some are thrown away by uncaring stock houses, some are discarded after a new digital camera is bought, some are just lost in the shuffle during cleaning. Only with your help can they be reunited with their rightful owners. So please, if you know of someone who has lost a slide, we hope that you will tell them about us and our cause. You can make a difference. '

Spillway. Found photography and more.

Selden Rodman's Gallery of Popular Arts. 'For over 60 years, Selden Rodman has immersed himself in the art and culture of Haiti, and his passion was the doorway for many to discover the powerful visual expression there. As an academic institution with an international mission, Ramapo College of New Jersey is very fortunate to have in its possession the renowned Selden Rodman Collection. The iniatial donation of art from Carole and Selden Rodman was made in 1983, with subsequent additions in later years. Another Rodman Collection consisting of fewer works is housed at the Yale University Art Gallery in New Haven ... '

Art by Prisoners.

Kentuck. 'Now in its 32nd year, Kentuck is a two-day outdoor juried arts festival that attracts 30,000 visitors to historic downtown Northport. More than 300 booths are filled with contemporary artists from throughout the United States, nationally acclaimed visionary folk artists and demonstrations by expert traditional craftsmen. Visual arts are augmented with performances by legendary musicians, children's arts activities, the Kentuck Festival Races, a talk from our judges, art of the word, and unique southern and ethnic food specialties ... '

For the Love of Creativity: The Passional Pursuit of Self-Taught Artists.

In Sight: Portraits of Folk Artists.

1st May
Brickfields. Explore the history of Hackney.
'The landscape of what is now the London Borough of Hackney has changed dramatically from Roman times. From the woodland through which the Romans carved the first road, now Kingsland Road, the land remained predominately agricultural until the Victorian period. The green fields gave way to the brickfields of housing developments and industry, which still characterise Hackney today. '
'This site graphically explores the events and people that fuelled this transformation. The main body of the site is for anybody interested in Hackney from Roman times to the present day. In addition there are two sections aimed at family learning; Homes through Time and Victorian Hackney. These are for adults and children to learn together and they contain activities and games ... '

The Robert Johnson Notebooks. 'On November23, 1936, Robert Johnson recorded his songs for the first time in San Antonio,Texas. This first of two sessions was unceremoniously squeezed betweenW. Lee O'Daniel & His Hillbilly Boys the day before, and Hermanas Barazacon guitarras the day after. Yet out of this modest recording session, after which Robert Johnson collected his money and disappeared again into the Mississippi Delta, came a powerful and unique sound which forever changed music in America ... '

Can't You Hear the Wind Howl? The 'Robert Johnson' film.

Cherry Blossom Season in Japan. Spring.

The Nagasaki Peace Declaration. (City of Nagasaki)
'Fifty-seven years ago today, August 9th, the City of Nagasaki was instantly transformed into ruins. Dropped from an altitude of 9,600 meters, a single atomic bomb was detonated 500 meters above the ground, emitting heat rays of several thousand degrees Celsius and creating a blast winds of tremendous force, unleashed against a civilian population of women, the elderly, and blameless children. Some 74,000 people were killed, and 75,000 injured. Radiation-induced leukemia and cancers have gradually claimed many more lives since. Even more than half a century later, the survivors of the atomic bomb suffer constant anxiety over their health, and are stalked by death.'
'If the instruments of indiscriminate mass destruction known as nuclear weapons were ever to be used again, the environment would be destroyed and the very survival of all humanity would be jeopardized. The citizens of Nagasaki, having themselves experienced the tragedy of an atomic bombing firsthand, have continued to appeal to the world for the complete elimination of nuclear weapons. Nevertheless, there remain in existence some 30,000 nuclear warheads, each with unimaginably more destructive power than the bomb that was dropped on Nagasaki. Most of these weapons are in a state of immediate launch readiness ... '

The Story of Virginia: An American Experience.

Old Virginia: The Pursuit of a Pastoral Ideal.
'To some the term "Old Virginia" conjures up images of the region's proud past and traditions, of its great men, and of its contributions to the cause of freedom. To others it evokes an apparently civilized way of life built upon a foundation of racial oppression and cruelty. This exhibition examines the origins of these conflicting conceptions of the heritage of the Old Dominion, and in the process attempts to uncover new ways to understand Virginia's past.'
'Although there have been a number of studies that have taken for granted the existence of an entity known as Old Virginia, until now there has not been an examination of the emergence and evolution of the term itself. This exhibition delves beneath the competing mythologies of Old Virginia as either a bucolic world of benevolent planters and contented slaves or an infernal region of bondage and suffering to examine the attempts by the Virginia gentry to create and then defend the concept of a pastoral sphere in which the pursuit of virtue and honor was ones greatest ambition. This theme of rural bliss originated in the colonial era, then endured as "Old Virginia" became a weapon for those who wished to maintain the social status quo before and immediately after the Civil War, was reimagined by the creators of Colonial Williamsburg, and survives today through the efforts of a modern gentry that is resident in the Virginia countryside ... '

Virginia Treasures of the National Portrait Gallery. 'While the National Portrait Gallery in Washington is closed for renovation, thirty-three of its most important portraits of Virginians have come to the Virginia Historical Society for an extended stay. Among the works are paintings of Arthur Ashe and Richard Henry Lee, sculptures of Sam Houston and Booker T. Washington, prints of Thomas Jefferson and Pat Robertson, and vintage photographs of Ella Fitzgerald and Stonewall Jackson ... '

Holy Men of India. 'Since the visit of the Alexander, the holy men of India have held a mysterious position to the westerners. Indeed, within India itself, their role is often misunderstood, although revered. The Naga Sadhus who descend the Himalayas during the Kumbh Mela are not the same as those worshipped as deities! The former practice cult religions such as Shakta or Naga and are typically known as Sadhus or ascetics. They are detached from life, although not necessarily devoid of its pleasures (like narcotics, sex etc.) The Sadhus practice rituals involving fire, water, yoga, and meditation, and beg for a living, following the lifestyle of Lord Shiva ... '

The Song Celestial. Notes on the Bhagavad Gita.

Microscope Simulations, timeline and more. Great stuff.
Via the Nobel e-Museum.

Trees for Life. 'A Scottish conservation charity dedicated to the regeneration and restoration of the Caledonian Forest in the Highlands of Scotland.'

Sneak into Andy Warhol's Private World at Inverleith House.

Take a Walk Through One Woman's Mind in Wolverhampton.

Cosmic Mystery Tour. 'Humankind has wondered about the origin of the universe throughout recorded history, and no doubt before. Before the invention of the telescope, we believed our solar system (the sun, the earth and other planets) comprised the entire universe. The stars were believed to be small holes in a heavenly sphere behind which burned the fires of creation. '
'As astronomers probed deeper into space with powerful telescopes, they realized the universe is vastly larger than our solar system. We now know that the edge of the visible universe is roughly ten trillion (10,000,000,000,000) times as distant as Neptune, currently the outermost planet in our solar system ... '

A Quasar Portrait Gallery.

The Book of the Cave of Treasures.
'The Book of the Cave of Treasures is a sixth century Christian sacred history written by a Jacobite. The Jacobites are an eastern Monophysite sect, seperate from both the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches. This book and the Book of the Bee are both interesting because they present the 'history' of the world from the creation to the death of Christ, thus reproducing a good bit of the story contained in the Bible, but they also contain many stories not included in the canonical account, some of the material being Jewish, some of it Greek, and some of it Mesopotamian. According to Budge--'
'The principal object of the writer of the "Cave of Treasures" was to trace the descent of Christ back to Adam, and to show that the Christian Dispensation was foreshadowed in the history of the Patriarchs and their successors the kings of Israel and Judah by means of types and symbols ... '

The Book of the Bee.
'The Book of the Bee is a Nestorian Christian sacred history. According to Budge it was written ca. A.D. 1222 by a Syrian bishop named Solomon (Shelemon). There is very little about the work itself in the Preface to this edition, it being concerned primarily with the manuscript sources. In the Introduction to the Book of the Cave of Treasures, Budge says that Solomon's object in writing the Book of the Bee was to present "a full history of the Christian Dispensation according to the Nestorians." ... '

Karl Blossfeldt, photographer. Thanks taz.

Marc-Antoine Charpentier, Musicien du Baroque. Thanks, Jeff.

Vegetable Sex Art.
Via Geisha Asobi.

The BraBall. Via Geisha Asobi.

The Physics of Sex. Via ikastikos.

Subversive Aspects of Popular Songs. Via wood s lot.

Fish feel pain.