plep Archive

13th May
' The smallest seahorse known to science has been identified by marine biologists. '
'The creature, to be known as Hippocampus denise, is typically just 16 millimetres long - smaller than most fingernails. Some were found to be just 13 mm long. '
Project Seahorse.

Heartfield versus Hitler. The work of the anti-fascist photomontage artist.

John Heartfield.
'Strongly critical of the Weimar Republic and Nazi Germany, the art of political photomontage artist John Heartfield was banned there throughout Hitler's Third Reich.'
'This site is the hub of a collaborative project based at Towson University that centers on a Towson-produced musical about the artist ... '

A Walk Through Time. 'The Evolution of Time Measurement through the Ages.'
'Celestial bodies the Sun, Moon, planets, and stars have provided us a reference for measuring the passage of time throughout our existence. Ancient civilizations relied upon the apparent motion of these bodies through the sky to determine seasons, months, and years. '
'We know little about the details of timekeeping in prehistoric eras, but wherever we turn up records and artifacts, we usually discover that in every culture, some people were preoccupied with measuring and recording the passage of time. Ice-age hunters in Europe over 20,000 years ago scratched lines and gouged holes in sticks and bones, possibly counting the days between phases of the moon. Five thousand years ago, Sumerians in the Tigris-Euphrates valley in today's Iraq had a calendar that divided the year into 30 day months, divided the day into 12 periods (each corresponding to 2 of our hours), and divided these periods into 30 parts (each like 4 of our minutes). We have no written records of Stonehenge, built over 4000 years ago in England, but its alignments show its purposes apparently included the determination of seasonal or celestial events, such as lunar eclipses, solstices and so on ... '

The Complete History of the Discovery of Cinematography.
'This subject has a rich history attached to it. In order to understand the full discovery and development of moving pictures, we must study the various elements of not only this medium, but all others which are related to cinematography and especially photography. This timeline will provide more than a substantial glimpse into the discoveries of these elements which include; optics, pinhole images, camera obscura, persistence of vision, showmen, magic lanterns, light, lenses, light-sensitive substances, phantasmagoria, motion study analysis, photography, and stop-action series photography in the overall growth of photography and ultimately, the movement of pictures ... '

Ethiopian Passages: Dialogues in the Diaspora.
'Ethiopian Passages brings together the artworks of 10 contemporary artists working within the diaspora. Their creative approaches, chosen media, artistic narratives and personal histories are eclectic, but they all share an attachment to Ethiopia. Perhaps more than any other group of African peoples in the last part of the 20th century, Ethiopians embarked on journeys, both near and far, fleeing difficult circumstances at home. As heirs to significant artistic traditions, Ethiopian diaspora artists have continued to contribute innovative artistic visions to the world ... '

The Directory of Hindu Resources Online. Philosophy, deities, arts, non-violence, and more.

Mahayana Art.
Bodhidharma. 'Credited with bringing Zen Buddhism to China from India in the 5th century C.E., Bodhidharma is a favorite theme of Buddhist art and Zen art in particular. He is renowned for having meditated for nine years in front of a blank wall at Shaolin Temple, world famous for its martial arts, before becoming enlightened. Stories about his life and efforts are a rich tradition that, born in Asia, is now spreading to the West ... '

Zen in Daily Life.

Loving Ganesha: Hinduism's Endearing Elephant-Faced God.

The Wonderful World of Snez.
Via Iconomy.

Going to Canada. Blog documenting a road trip across North America. Best of luck!

Operation Strangelove. Thanks, homunculus.
'Pre-emptive strikes. Cowboy diplomacy. Men conspiring in the War Room, bent on world domination. Weapons of mass destruction. And most terrifying of all, an invasion begun for one overwhelming reason: precious fluids. '
'Forty years after its filming, the dark and explosively funny "Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb" seems like a satirical time bomb planted by Stanley Kubrick and Terry Southern, set to detonate on Bush's doctrine of unilateral warfare, anytime, anywhere. '
'As the war on Iraq winds down (at least on TV), as the perils (and profits) of occupation loom, and as the Bushies plot the next pre- emptive strike, Operation Strangelove aims to show the warmongers in their true light. '
'On May 14, put on a screening of "Dr. Strangelove" - in your living room, at the local theater, on campus, on your laptop, anywhere you can - and say no to unilateral invasions, to endangering our troops for the sake of oil, to flouting international law and the world community in the name of empire. Follow the film with discussions, forums, debates. Keep talking. Keep acting. Let's give new meaning to the old Strategic Air Command motto, "Peace Is Our Profession." '

M83: The Southern Pinwheel Galaxy from VLT. Great picture.

In the Centre of Spiral Galaxy M83.

Face Mask. 'Attributed to Bamgboshe of Osi-Ilorin - died ca. 1920. Ekiti-Northern region, Nigeria.'
'The name of this mask, oloju foforo, means "the owner of the deep-set eyes," a reference to the cut holes through which the wearer sees. The form is unique to Osi-Ilorin, one of a dozen villages populated by the Opin Yoruba clan in the northeast region of Yorubaland. Honoring Baba Osi, or "father of Osi," the mask used to appear at an annual festival called Ijesu. This type of mask also came forth during Epa festivals that exalted ancestors and cultural heroes in other villages within the cluster of Opin towns and may be, as William B. Fagg has suggested, a two-dimensional version of the Epa mask ... '

Radical Cheerleaders.

City Limits. News for NYC's nonprofit, policy and activist world.

Clamor. 'Clamor Magazine's mission is to provide a media outlet that reflects the reality of alternative politics and culture in a format that is accessible to people from a variety of backgrounds. Clamor exists to fill the voids left by mainstream media. We recognize and celebrate the fact that each of us can and should participate in media, politics and culture. We publish writing and art that exemplifies the value we place on autonomy, creativity, exploration, and cooperation. Clamor is an advocate of progressive social change through active creation of political and cultural alternatives.'

CorpWatch. Holding corporations accountable.

Good Vibrations. Promoting sexual health and pleasure since 1977.
'Welcome to, Good Vibrations' online resource for sex toys, sex education, erotic and how-to books and adult videos. At, you can browse the Good Vibrations Magazine to read our feature articles and erotic stories and to find information on sexual health, pleasure and current events. Also check out our Antique Vibrator Museum, displaying sex toys through the ages, and our publishing and production companies Down There Press, Passion Press and Sexpositive Productions.'
'At Good Vibrations, we believe that sexual pleasure is everyone's birthright, and that access to sexual materials and accurate sex information promotes health and happiness. As a worker-owned, women-owned cooperative, we believe that progressive business goes hand-in-hand with open communication about sexuality and the philosophy that sex is fun and natural. We hope you'll join us in our pursuit of pleasure!'

Toys in Babeland 'is a sex toy store run by women whose mission is to promote and celebrate sexual vitality by providing an honest, open and fun environment, encouraging personal empowerment, educating our community, and supporting a more passionate world for all of us.'

12th May
Migrations: Humanity in Transition, 1993-1999. 'Concerned by the millions of refugees, migrants and dispossessed, Brazilian Sebastião Salgado photographed in 39 countries in 7 years. Why? "My hope is that, as individuals, as groups, as societies, we can pause and reflect on the human condition at the turn of the millennium. In its rawest form, individualism remains a prescription for catastrophe. We have to create a new regimen of coexistence." '
Via photographer Sebastiao Salgado's website.

The Majority World. Three photo-essays, 1977-92.
Other Americas. Rural life in Latin America.
Famine in the Sahel, 1984-85

Moon Hoax.
'This site examines the theories that suggest the NASA Apollo moon landings were faked. It hopes to prove, without any doubt, that these theories are wrong and a combination of a poor understanding of basic science and a desire to make a fast buck. Ultimately, however, you're going to have to reach your own decision. You might want to consider the qualifications of the main proponents of the hoax theories, and how they all want to sell you a book/video.'
'It is our intention that this site covers just about every piece of evidence put forward to support the hoax theories. Have a browse through the pages, we're sure you will find a discussion of what you're looking for.'

Chocolate. Eclectic collection of chocolate links. Thanks to Grow A Brain.

The File Room Censorship Archive.
'Was there a time or place in history in which censorship did not exist? Was there ever a group of human beings that was able to survive without censure? These questions precede and introduce The File Room, and locate censorship as a complex concept ingrained in our conscious/subconscious reality. Despite the impossible nature of attempting to define censorship, The File Room is a project that proposes to address it, providing a tool for discussing and coming to terms with cultural censorship.'
'The File Room began as an idea: an abstract construction that became a prototype, a model of an interactive and open system. It prompts our thinking and discussion, and serves as an evolving archive of how the suppression of information has been orchestrated throughout history in different contexts, countries and civilizations.'
'The process of suppressing information -of people in power attempting to hide images, sounds and words- must itself be viewed in perspective. The organizing principles of The File Room archive recognize acts of censorship in relation to their social settings, political movements, religious beliefs, economic conditions, cultural expressions and/or personal identities. The means of censorship are understood in equally broad terms and techniques, from behind-the-scenes structural censorship that regulates and controls access to the means of production; to obvious physical restrictions of single instances; to subtle, pervasive, and often invisible psychological methods ... '

The 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 1990-2000 , from the American Library Association's Banned Books Week site.
'[I]t's not just the books under fire now that worry me. It is the books that will never be written. The books that will never be read. And all due to the fear of censorship. As always, young readers will be the real losers.' -Judy Blume.

Banned Books: The Virtual Display. 'Most would-be book banners act with what they consider to be the highest motives -- protecting themselves, their families and communities from perceived injustices and evil and preserving the values and ideals they would have the entire society embrace. The result, however, is always and ever the denial of another's right to read. This Web page is offered in support of our basic right to read guaranteed in the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. '
'The message of Banned Books Week is more than the freedom to choose, the freedom to express one's opinion even if that opinion might be considered unorthodox or unpopular. The essential message of Banned Books Week is the importance of ensuring the availability of those unorthodox or unpopular viewpoints to all who wish to read them. '

Ban These Books Too, It's Only Fair.
'Dear Sir or Madam:
'Don't think your efforts, and that of your philosophical companions, haven't been noticed in public libraries and school boards to ban books that you believe are unsuitable for young minds. I realize that your struggle to protect children from their own curiosity and the alleged failures of parents to place your limits on what their own children read will continue, regardless of those who use words like First Amendment, censorship and freedom of thought ...
'Given all your hard work, it is almost embarrassing for me to point out that there is still much for you and your comrades to do, all of it uphill. I have stumbled across some incredibly offensive references in books that are widely available to children in probably 99% of the public libraries and (I'd bet) a majority of this country's school libraries, even at the elementary level! ...
'One particularly reprehensible author of whom you may have heard is William Shakespeare. He refers to the sex act thoughout many of his plays. In one, he revoltingly calls a black man copulating with a white woman a "black ram tupping a white ewe" and refers to them "making the beast with two backs" . In another, he euphemistically refers to sexual congress as doing "the act of darkness" . Besides all the fornicating, this author often makes jokes from references to human genitalia. Many of his books are full of murder -- of which he also makes jokes. Is nothing sacred?! '
'There's another set of books that is potentially more disturbing. They appear to have been written by various authors, but since the books are nearly always published as a collection under one cover, I consider them together as one book. You may have heard of them too. They are referred to as Scripture and the Bible ... '

Thomas Paine: The Rights of Man.

Mary Shelley: Frankenstein.

Fukuoka Asian Art Museum. Via Internet Weekly.

People Who Are Going Straight to Hell Museum. Via Internet Weekly.

The Scrap Album: Victorian Greeting Cards, Valentines and Scraps.
'Scrap books and albums date from the 18th century and contained a wide variety of printed material, as well as paintings, drawings and "...a medley of scraps, half verse and half prose and somethings not very like either, where wise folk and simple alike to combine, and you write your nonsense, that I may write mine." ... '
Via Iconomy.

Iraqi Most Wanted Solitaire. Via Milk & Cookies.

Dozens Dead in Chicago-Area Meatwave.

Anasazi: Canyonlands. Links to images.
'Anasazi, which means 'ancient stranger' or 'ancient enemy' in the Navajo language, is the name most commonly applied to the early pueblo dwellers who once lived in the Colorado Plateau or Four Corners Area. '
'The Hopi who are the likely descendents of the Anasazi called these predecessors the "Hisatsinom" for "The Ones Who Came Before." ... '

Ancient Indian Ruins in the Four Corners Area.

The Maasai People. Photo gallery.

Associated Press Puts Violent Words in Iraqi Protesters' Mouths.

Ceramic Liubo Players. 'is an ancient Chinese belief that the world one passed into after death was similar to the living world. Therefore, to maintain one's status in the next world, a tomb should be provided with all the things one had used in this life.'
'In the early part of the Western Han dynasty (206 BC - around 100 BC), tombs contained models of soldiers, as they had in the time of the first Qin emperor (221-206 BC). Slightly later, the burial goods would include ceramic models showing life among the nobility and the rich. In the Eastern Han dynasty (AD 25-220), the tombs of ordinary people - including farmers, musicians and dancers - contained models representing their daily lives ... '

Din Yunpeng, 'The God of Literature', A Hanging Scroll Painting, Ming dynasty.

Qian Xuan, 'Young Nobleman on Horseback', A Hanging Scroll Painting, Yuan dynasty.

NY Times reporter who resigned leaves long trail of deception.

10th May
The Solipsistic Gazette, new location for Speckled Paint.

Art Nouveau, 1890-1914. 'This Web feature offers a glimpse behind the scenes during the planning and construction of an exhibition at the National Gallery of Art. Art Nouveau,1890-1914, the largest and most comprehensive exhibition on the subject ever organized, presents one of the most innovative and exuberant of all modern art styles and the places where it flourished ... '

Antonia Burns. 'Fine little sculptures of polymer clay, painted brightly. They'll make you smile whenever you see them. Shelf sitters or lamp finials, each is unique. ' Fabulous!

Virginia Folk Art. The art of Virginia Rudd.

Medical Heritage of Great Britain. 'Over the centuries, disease and mankind's efforts to be rid of it have left a tangible mark on the landscape - what one might call the archaeology of medicine. These historical artifacts have been largely neglected and with the rapid changes in medical care which characterise contemporary society, old established institutions are being closed and their buildings abandoned. Derelict hospital buildings are now a familiar part of the British urban landscape. Some are rapidly reduced to rubble whilst others suffer a less ignominious fate by undergoing an architectural metamorphosis into supermarkets, hotels and residential developments.'
'General practitioners increasingly work within purpose built premises. The forerunners of such buildings are the 19th century dispensaries, some of which survive and have been adapted to other purposes. There are now very few examples of old established doctors' surgeries which are still providing a service in their original setting. A few early surgeries have been rebuilt in museum or heritage settings ... '

History of Anaesthesia.

Ngati Porou. The second largest Maori tribe in New Zealand.
'To all who may view this website on Ngati Porou, I extend to you a warm and cordial welcome as you traverse in print, into aspects of our history, traditions and customs. What is contained in this website are our perspective of who we are and what we deem to be of paramount importance to us as an Iwi. While we may share cultural features and aspects in common with other Iwi, never-the-less there are, as with other Iwi, idiosyncratic characteristics of history, historic sites, mountains and customs and traditions which are ours alone, and in our revelations we touch on some of these. '
'It is our fervent hope that you will find the information , prepared and written by our own people, to be both enlightening and interesting. You will read of our sacred Mountain Hikurangi, our Iwi, Waka (s), profiles of ancestors and from these glean some insights into who we are as well as the great pride we have in being Ngati Porou.'

Chinese Buddhist Sculpture in a New Light. 'As a result of new research, several stunning sculptures that have never before been displayed are on view, including some that date after the Tang dynasty and represent the fascinating, but often neglected period of later Chinese Buddhist art.'
'The Freer's collection of Chinese Buddhist sculpturearguably one of the best in the Western worldwas for the most part acquired during the first half of the 20th century when China's depressed economy fed the antiquities trade. Collectors were able to buy stellar Chinese artifacts that were hitherto little known in the West. But many of these sculptures were removed from Buddhist religious sites without proper documentation as to their provenance within China. Furthermore some sculptures were altered before sale by re-cutting of details or by cleaning, which removed their brightly painted or gilded surface decoration. Worst of all, the marketability of Chinese Buddhist sculptures led to the development of a lively trade in forgeries, a few of which were of such high quality that they entered major collections including those at the Freer ... '

Auto*Focus: Raghubir Singh's Way into India. 'Auto*Focus, one of Raghubir Singh's last great projects, combines the photographer's passions for color and the Indian landscape with his fascination with the Ambassador car, an icon of modern India. Diplomatic limousine, family car, and taxi, its distinctive silhouette is omnipresent across India. The Sackler's exhibition presents forty-eight photographs that place the car in the landscape or, conversely, frame, reflect, and refract the landscape through the Ambassador's windows and mirrors. The images convey the garish rhythms of the urban street or the harmonious palettes of desert and monsoon landscapes in juxtapositions of the ancient and the contemporary. Throughout the exhibition, the car serves as a metaphor for the photographer traveling through the landscape and as a meditation upon the nature of photographic representation ... '

Treasures of a Sacred Mountain: Kukai and Mount Koya. Celebrating 1,200 years of esoteric Buddhism in Japan at this Kyoto National Museum exhibit.

Jakuchu! 'The artist Ito Jakuchu lived in Kyoto in the eighteenth century. He was born the son of a greengrocer Nishiki-koji street, an area of food shops long known as "Kyoto's kitchen." He lost his father at the age of 23 and took over the family business as the fourth generation Ito Genzaemon. Though born and raised in this Kyoto shop, however, he was not at all suited to the life of a merchant ... '
Vegetable Nirvana.

International Space Station in Transit. 'A stunning telescopic image of the International Space Station crossing in front of an eight day old Moon, this picture was captured on April 11th. '

Norman B. Tindale's Catalogue of Australian Aboriginal Tribes. 'This is the full catalogue of Aboriginal language groups, described by Tindale as 'tribes', as published by him in his 1974 book Aboriginal Tribes of Australia. Their Terrain, Environmental Controls, Distribution, Limits, and Proper Names. '
Tribal map of Australia.

Perilous Night by Jasper Johns. An online exploration.

The Fauves. 'Paris, 1905. Henri Matisse, age thirty-six, has just arrived from the South of France with fifteen new paintings, including this one. Finally, he is pleased with his work. But when he submits the canvases to the Salon d'automne, the season's major public art event, the Salon presidentfearing for Matisse's reputationtries to dissuade him ... '

Italian Renaissance Ceramics.

Lottie Betts Tushingham: Champion Typist. 'Lottie was born in Ottawa on September 25, 1889, the oldest child of Isaac and Nellie Betts. Mr. Betts worked as a boilermaker for the Canadian Pacific Railway until he lost his sight in an industrial accident. In 1902, the family moved to Toronto. Lottie probably realized early on that she would have to take on a job to help her family. '
'We do not know where Lottie studied for her future career, but she must have taken a business course either at her secondary school or at one of the numerous private commercial and business colleges in Toronto at that time. A complete course lasted six months, and cost around $85 for tuition and books. In the business course, Lottie would have learned to take notes in shorthand, or stenography, as it was called. However, most of the course was devoted to mastering the typewriter ... '
Via the Canadian Museum of Civilisation.

Images from "American Life," the Video Madonna Won't Release. Courtesy of the Memory Hole.

9th May
Prison Art. 'Prison Art, a non-profit website created to provide an online outlet for the sale of crafts and artwork created by prisoners. Inmate artists from throughout the U.S. can post there works within. Each item of art or craft is posted with the artist's name, the prison he or she is incarcerated in, and in some cases a short biography of the artist is included. '

History of May Day. Workers' festival and pagan festival.

Whale Songs. People and whales.

Whale Watch. The Sydney Morning Herald's special feature on whales, and roundup of cetacean news.

Sentimental Reasons: The Story of Nat 'King' Cole.

National Portrait Gallery: Great Britons. 'Last year the BBC launched an unprecedented search for the greatest Briton of all time. Over 30,000 people nominated their chosen great Briton and the results have now been collated ... '
This site includes images of many of the 'top 100' Britons.

BBC: Great Britons.

Servants of God. The devadasis of India. A shocking story.

Dorothea Lange: A Sign of the Times - Depression - Mended Stockings. (1934)

Herpetology. Reptiles.
'Herpetology is the study of reptiles and amphibians. The two groups of animals are only distantly related but have traditionally been placed together as a research discipline, particularly in museums. The herpetology collection of the Australian Museum is extensive and broadly based, and includes a number of specimens of historical significance. Research at the Museum in recent years has focused on lizards, the richest and most diverse group of reptiles in Australia ... '

Image of Hindu Goddess Durga. 'This image shows the powerful goddess Durga, personifying knowledge and righteousness, slaying the Buffalo Demon, who represents darkness, evil and ignorance. Seated on her lion, Durga is attended by the gods of war and auspicious beginnings and by the goddesses of wealth and the arts. Many craftsmen have combined their skills to produce a vibrant object of worship. '

Wedding Dress. 'Worn in 1884 by the daughter of a wealthy Southern Ontario family, this wedding dress reflects the tastes and attitudes of Victorian society. '

Bridegroom's Coat. 'This embroidered, silk bridegroom's coat was made in Taiwan in the 1970s, and imported by a Toronto store which sold Chinese clothing. '

Javanese Shadow Puppet. 'This shadow puppet represents the monkey general Hanoman. '

Ao Dai. Short piece on the traditional four-flap Vietnamese dress for women.

African Voices: Diaspora. 'The tracks on this map show the African diaspora during the past 2,000 years, as African people and ideas spread to regions and countries around the world ... '
More African Voices.

Greenpeace: Whales Campaign.

Artwork Sent from Prisons and Jails.

Street Children. 'My art is about the rapid growth of street children we find today in our modern world. Life as you know it, is very difficult to live with so far as this modern world is concern but one has to be patience and hard working in order to make his ends meet rather than to go the easy way. Prostitution is one thing that has been a practice for both the young and adult. Just for money, ladies dress nicely and stand near our street for near our streets at night and wait for men to come for them and after having fun, they collect huge sums of money. ' Via Obliterated.

Ask the White House. Thanks, madamjujujive.

The World Watches Mercury. (BBC) Transit of Mercury images.

CBS News Deletes Two Iraq War Articles from Its Website. Via the Memory Hole.

Visual Diaries and a Korean Photoessay.
Via the Guardian's page of travel blogs, which also mentions plep - 'Initially unpromising collection of curiosities which turns out to contain some jewels - a tour of Massachusetts, Plep's favourite new exhibitions, a journey along the Silk Road, an underground tour of Seattle and - artwork dating from the first half of the last century. '