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9th April

Condi Rice and the 9-11 Commission. Satirical and editorial cartoons.

MODIS Image Gallery. Wonderful satellite images of Earth.

Southwest Lincolnshire Country Houses. Virtual tours. 'What follows is a one week tour of South-west Lincolnshire by car, including excursions into neighbouring counties. The tour is centered on the village of Ropsley just to the east of Grantham ... '

Mysterious Landscapes and the Korean Edition of Yuzhi Bizangquan from the Nanzenji Sutra Collection. 'In the collection of the entire Buddhist canon (J., issaikyô) from Nanzenji are nineteen volumes (scroll seventeen missing from an original set of twenty handscrolls, which were later remounted into accordion books) of the Korean Goreyo-dynasty (918–1392) edition of Yuzhi Bizangquan, a compilation of a thousand annotated verses in twenty volumes elucidating Buddhist teachings by Taizong (r. 976–997), the second emperor of the Northern Song dynasty (960–1127) in China. The Goryeo edition—produced to pray for the retreat of the invading Mongolian Khitai tribe—took over seventy-five years to complete, beginning in the second reign year of the Goreyo emperor Hyeonjong (1011). This edition was the earliest carved set of the entire Buddhist cannon in Korea and based on the Kaibao edition, an imperially commissioned set of the entire Buddhist cannon that was carved and printed in China during the early Northern Song dynasty (960–1127). The imperially commissioned Kaibao edition of the Northern Song dynasty met much destruction during attacks from the Jin army and with the exception of fragmentary segments and pieces only about ten scrolls are known to be in extant. The Goryeo woodblocks, later used to reproduce this original edition, were also destroyed during Mongolian invasions in Gojong 19 (1232). The remaining manuscripts of this first carved Goreyo edition are also few, making these rare printed scriptures invaluable ... '

Mendicant Orders in the Medieval World. And art history.
'The mendicant friars were bound by a vow of absolute poverty and dedication to an ascetic way of life. They lived as Christ did, renouncing property and traveling the world to preach. Their survival was dependent upon the good will of their listeners. It was this way of life that gave them their name, "mendicant," derived from the Latin mendicare, meaning "to beg." Unlike monks of the Cistercian or Benedictine orders, mendicants spread God's word in the cities. They were active in community life, teaching, healing, and helping the sick, poor, and destitute. Their personal maxim was: sibi soli vivere sed et aliis proficere ("not to live for themselves only but to serve others") ... '

Frescoes and Wall Painting in Late Byzantine Art. 'Fresco painting from the later Byzantine period reveals much about the mobility of artistic techniques and styles. The restoration and decoration of the Chora Monastery in Constantinople (1316–21), funded by the scholar Theodore Metochites, conveys the great skill and versatility of Byzantine artists. The church originally contained an extensive cycle of the Life of the Virgin and the Infancy and Ministry of Christ. An interesting feature of these designs, a resplendent mixture of mosaic and painting, is the use of perspective in the treatment of space, one reason that certain scholars call this period the "Westernization" of Byzantium. It is possible that the presence of Westerners during the Latin occupation had much to do with these new forms of painting. This spread of Western styles affected many areas within the Byzantine sphere. The fresco decorations of the Peribleptos Monastery (1350–75) in Mistra reveal an interest in the treatment of space and movement comparable to work by Western artists. This church possesses many relics, including those of Saint John the Baptist, who is depicted in the fresco showing the Baptism of Christ. Another relic at this church is the head of Saint Gregory of Nazianzos, which was popular with Western pilgrims...'

Brookelyn. Great personal blog, great photography.

Kitta. Really good personal blog from Australia. Pleasant to look at.

Knitting Together: The Heritage of the East Midlands Knitting Industry. 'Welcome to the new look Knitting Together website. The navigation bar above provides access to our virtual museum, project themes, interactive exhibits and a range of other information. To the right is our timeline that tells the story of the East Midlands knitting industry over the past four hundred years. During the next few months we will continue to add many new images and exciting features to the site. Sound, video, interactive tours, virtual exhibitions, and places to visit will provide an insight to the history of the East Midlands knitting industry ... '

Baltic Wizards, 1928.
'Enchantments, Wizards, Witches, Magic Spells, Nixy Queens, Giants, Fairy White Reindeer, and glittering Treasures flourish in these tales from the Baltic Lands--Lapland (both Finnish and Scandinavian), Finland, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.'
'And their setting is the Long Winter Night with its brilliant play of Northern Lights over the snow-covered tundra; or the brief Arctic summer--its sun burning night and day--with its birds, flowers, insect-clouds, singing waters, and almost tropic heat; or the golden sunshine of the southern amber coast.'
'But it is the Northern Lights themselves, flashing and flaming through the dark heavens, that cast their mystic weirdness over many of these tales molded by the peculiar imagination of the Asiatic and European East Baltic folk ... '

Byzantium: Faith and Power. 'The third exhibition in a chronological series devoted to the art and influence of Byzantine civilization, this major international loan exhibition demonstrates the artistic and cultural significance of the last centuries of the state that called itself "the Empire of the Romans." The exhibition begins in 1261, when the capital Constantinople was restored to imperial rule, and concludes in 1557, when the empire that had fallen to the Ottoman Turks in 1453 was renamed Byzantium—the name by which it is still known today. The importance of the era is primarily demonstrated through the arts created for the Orthodox church and for the churches of other East Christian states that aspired to be the heirs to the empire's power. The impact of its culture on the Islamic world and the Latin-speaking West is also explored—especially the influence of the Christian East on the development of the Renaissance ... '

The Torii Gallery: Japanese Prints.

Paradise Now: Contemporary Art from the Pacific 'takes as its departure point the popular perception of the Pacific as a paradise, a worn cliché refreshed seasonally by tourist operators, drinking water companies, pearl traders, and other enterprises. While acknowledging the persistence of such perceptions of their region, the fifteen artists included in this exhibition provide an alternative, more complex vision of the Pacific--one based in the experience of day-to-day life in the region ... '

Band Music from the Civil War Era 'makes available examples of a brilliant style of brass band music that flourished in the 1850s in the United States and remained popular through the nineteenth century. Bands of this kind served in the armies of both the North and the South during the Civil War. This online collection includes both printed and manuscript music (mostly in the form of "part books" for individual instruments) selected from the collections of the Music Division of the Library of Congress and the Walter Dignam Collection of the Manchester Historic Association (Manchester, New Hampshire). The collection features over 700 musical compositions, as well as 8 full-score modern editions and 19 recorded examples of brass band music in performance. '
Civil War band photo gallery.

Civil War Soldier in the Wild Cat Regiment: Selections from the Tilton C. Reynolds Papers documents the Civil War experience of Captain Tilton C. Reynolds, a member of the 105th Regiment of Pennsylvania Volunteers. Comprising 164 library items, or 359 digital images, this online presentation includes correspondence, photographs, and other materials dating between 1861 and 1865. The letters feature details of the regiment's movements, accounts of military engagements, and descriptions of the daily life of soldiers and their views of the war. Forty-six of the letters are also made available in transcription.'

Shutterbug: Photographs by Tracey. 'my name is tracey and i'm twenty two years old. i live in sydney australia with my husband regan. currently i'm a webdeveloper trying to get a start in photography.'
'shutterbug is a collection of my latest photographs.'

8th April

Lichens of North America. 'This website grew out of the activities of Sylvia and Stephen Sharnoff, who did the photographic fieldwork for the book Lichens of North America, by Irwin M.Brodo and the Sharnoffs, published in November, 2001 by Yale University Press. For more information about the book, please go to The Book. For a brief introduction to lichen biology and how lichens interact with the greater environment, go to Lichen Biology and the Environment . Information about lichens and wildlife, including invertebrates, can be found at Lichens and Wildlife. For a description of how people have made use of lichens, including an extensive bibliographical database, click on Lichens and People. Check out the Useful Links page for many useful connections to this project and to the world of lichens. '

Kiowa Drawings in the National Anthropological Archives. 'The Smithsonian's collections of Kiowa drawings include works of art on buffalo hide and more recent examples on paper, a medium that Kiowa artists adopted after it became widely available in the late nineteenth century. Together, these drawings offer a unique source of information on tribal social and artistic traditions.'
'The best-known bodies of Kiowa graphic art are the drawings produced by Kiowa men imprisoned at Fort Marion in the 1870s and the work produced in the twentieth century by the Kiowa Five, a group of artists who studied at the University of Oklahoma. The National Anthropological Archives has excellent material from both of these important traditions, plus many other drawings that provide a bridge between the two.'

Kirtling Parish Church. An English parish church and the history of its community over the centuries.
'The parish church is much more than the repository of the local community's faith. It is a record of the twists and turns in the history - religious, political, and social - of the whole country. The architectural details of the building itself are full of clues which can be followed by the informed eye. Some churches still retain details that pre-date the Norman Conquest whilst others have histories that do not stretch back nearly so far. But whatever the case, most parish churches can bear at least some scrutiny and repay the visitor with a greater sense of history. '
'Take Kirtling Parish Church, in Cambridgeshire. Christians have worshipped here for over a thousand years, and the church has been altered and changed many times along the way. Tracing its history is a business of piecing together clues from looking at the actual fabric of the building both inside and outside, from the landscape around the church, and from documentary records ... '

The Creatures in My Head. Daily illustrations by Andrew Bell.

Antique Figural Bottle Cap Openers.

Sebastiano Ricci. 'Italian painter, Venetian school (b. 1659, Belluno, d. 1734, Venezia).' Online galleries.

Japanese Mingei.

Japanese Sculpture.

The Russian Record: Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii. Photographs of Russia before World War I.

Pop Culture Junk Mail. Still one of our favourite weblogs.

Tales and Traditions of the Eskimo, 1875. With illustrations.

The Thrilling Detective. Celebrating pulp culture.

Jeff Brouws. 'Jeff Brouws has been photographing various aspects of American culture over the past 15 years. His work has been published in Highway : America's Endless Dream (Stewart, Tabori and Chang 1997), Inside the Live Reptile Tent : The Twilight World of the Carnival Midway (Chronicle Books 2000), Twentysix Abandoned Gasoline Stations (Gas -N- Go Publications, 1992) and the forthcoming Readymades : A Catalog of American Artifacts (Chronicle Books 2003). '

Japanese Zen Gardens. Photography.

A Victorian Anthology, 1837-95: Selections Illustrating the Editor's Critical Review of British Poetry in the Reign of Victoria. 'These 1,274 works by 343 authors represent the full course of one of the great literary ages of English verse.'

Russian Fairy Tales. 'Enjoy the adventures of the mighty knight Ruslan, the beautiful "dead" princess, Ivan Tsarevich, Prince Gvidon and many many others in this collection of Russian fairy tales. For most of these stories, a long version (for those who want more details) and short version (for those want a summary) are available. '

Jewel of the Lotus 'is an international company which purveys magnificent antique jeweled adornments and artifacts from the Indian sub-continent.' Indian and Himalayan art.

Pissarro: Landscape in the Vicinity of Louveciennes (Autumn). 'Within a few hundred yards of his home, Camille Pissarro painted a view of peasants working in a shady, wooded garden alongside a group of village houses. In the foreground, a woman carrying a bucket pauses to talk with a young boy carrying his school satchel over his shoulder. The gray sky and the trees losing their leaves indicate autumn.'

Monet: Sunrise (Marine). 'In the muted palette of the emerging dawn, Claude Monet portrayed the industrial port of Le Havre on the northern coast of France. The brilliant orange of the rising sun glimmers amid the damp air and dances on the gentle rippling water, lighting up its iridescent blues and greens. Barely discernible through a cool haze, pack boats on the left billow smoke from their stacks. Painted during the spring of 1873 as the country struggled to rebuild following the Franco-Prussian war, this Sunrise might also metaphorically suggest a new day dawning in France. '

Don't Be Rude: Part I, Kindness. 'You may think that etiquette doesn't matter, that grapefruit spoons are for sissies and no one should hold the door anymore. Think again, jerk. Margaret Berry weighs in with her first of a four-part series on being polite.' Good advice.

20 Percent of Area Man's Income Spent Ironically.

Spiral Galaxy NGC 1232. Astro photo.

NGC 4631: The Whale Galaxy. Astro photo.

7th April

Alice's Adventure's in Wonderland. 'Over a seven year period, a well known rare book dealer in Victoria, R.D.Hilton Smith gathered almost 500 books for the collection. The collection includes more than 200 editions of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland usually accompanied by Through the Looking Glass and displays the work of more than 80 illustrators. The collection includes the 1866 official first edition to a calf-bound set that bears Alice Hargreaves' (Alice's married name) signature. The collection also includes parodies and imitations, musical and stage productions, film stills, translations, as well as other works by and about Carroll ... '

Eccentrics. 'Soga Shohaku, whose work initially resembled Muromachi- period (1336-1573) ink painting, ultimately devised wild, almost surreal depictions of ghosts, demons, and bizarre Zen-like images. '
'Ito Jakuchu, like Rosetsu, worked in both ink and color, producing monochrome portrayals of animals, vegetables, and Zen-inspired subjects as well as colorful images of birds, flowers and animals remarkable for their vibrancy, detail, and refinement. '

Badgett's Coffee Journal. Blogging about coffee.

The U. Nahon Museum of Italian Jewish Art. 'Housed in the former Schmidt Compound's building in the heart of Jerusalem, the U. Nahon Museum of Italian Jewish Art is one of Jerusalem's most precious possessions.'
'Founded in 1981, it was set up to collect, preserve and display objects pertaining to Jewish life in Italy from the Middle Ages through the present. In addition to the permanent collection, a number of temporary exhibits are held throughout the year covering a wide range of topics related to Italian Jewry, as well as conferences, concerts and guided tours suitable for all ages and interests.'
The Cycle of the Year.
The Cycle of Life.

All Aboard Toronto! 'Welcome to the Toronto Public Library's first virtual exhibition. All Aboard Toronto! - Railways and the Growth of a City celebrates the role that railways have played in the history and development of Toronto. The images shown are from the Library's Special Collections as well as some loaned items. '

Gone Fishing. Images of Canada.

Gone Paddling. Images of Canada.

Arctic Canada in photographs.

Tsuchita Koitsu. 'The landscape prints of Tsuchiya Koitsu are notable for their dramatic use of light and shadow. Born near Hamamatsu with the name "Koichi", Koitsu moved to Tokyo at age of fifteen. He planned to apprentice with a woodblock carver named Matsuzaki who worked for the artist Kobayashi Kiyochika. Instead, he became Kiyochika's student and moved into his home to study art and print design. Koitsu lived there for 19 years, working and studying with Kiyochika. Much of his skill at depicting light can be attributed to his studies with Kiyochika.'

Palestine in the 1930s: A Photoessay. 'Eduard Fischer, who created the images of Palestine presented, was born in Berlin, Germany, on October 7, 1907. In 1931 his older brother Nathan established himself in Jerusalem as an engineer. In 1932, Nathan helped Eduard (as well as his parents, sister Minna, and 'kid' brother Heini) join him in Jerusalem and escape Nazi Germany (Nathan, at over 90, still lives in Jerusalem with his wife Lotte. Heini also lives in Jerusalem with his wife Judith). '
'A s a means of support, Eduard became a self-trained freelance journalist. In 1939 he traveled to the United States to photograph the World's Fair. He decided to remain in the United States when he met and married Anneliese. In 1994 Eduard was still taking pictures and playing his favorite sport, tennis. Now 89, Eduard has stopped playing tennis but is still taking pictures, living in Florida, and vacationing in Austria. '

London's Abandoned Tube Stations. 'London Underground are ridiculously possessive about their abandoned tube stations - most requests to visit the stations fall on spoilsport ears. So for those who have wondered what those old stations look like, I hope the following photos will be of interest. '

Dresden: Treasures from the Saxon State Library.

Cornered. Comic online.

Canela Body Adornment.Photographs.
'Among the Canela of Brazil, adorning the body enhances appearance, signals changes in social identity, and expresses culturally prescribed values.'
'Canela men's and women's bodies receive different cosmetic treatment, corresponding to perceived differences between the two sexes. Socially responsible men should be receptive to orders from elders and chiefs, but first their ears must be opened, physically and symbolically ... '

Texas Twisted: How the West Was Weird. Texas travel, road trips, weird attractions.

Resisting Cyber- English.

6th April

Aldus Pius Manutius. 'This exhibition is about the life and work of the greatest editor, publisher and printer of the Italian Renaissance, Aldus Pius Manutius. Manutius was born in 1452 at Bassiano, a hilltown some 80 km south of Rome. Between 1467 and 1473 he was a student in the Faculty of Arts in the University of Rome where he developed a passion for Classics. In the late 1470's he attended the University of Ferrara, where he studied Greek under the distinguished humanist and educator Battista Guarino (1435-1505). From 1480 he was employed as tutor to the children of the Duke of Carpi, near Ferrara. '
'In 1489 Aldus decided to abandon teaching for the rough-and-tumble of publishing. He moved to Venice, the centre of the European publishing industry, where he entered into a partnership with an established printer, Andrea Torresano (1451-1529), who supplied expertise and material resources to the new company, and Pierfrancesco Barbarigo, a member of one of the Venetian ducal families, who contributed financial backing and arranged political support. Aldus managed the printing shop, selected the texts to be published, made editorial decisions, and arranged for the marketing of the books. He probably owned only ten percent of the firm he headed from its inception in 1494 until his death in February 1515, although he presumably improved his stake by marrying Maria Torresano, his partner's daughter, in 1505. Aldus was succeeded in the publishing business by his youngest son, Paolo, and later by his grandson Aldo II, who headed the firm until 1598 ... '
Image gallery.

Alfred Tennyson, 1809-1892. 'The Tennyson exhibit in 1992 marked an important event — the Tennyson centenary. Alfred Tennyson (1809-1892) was acclaimed very early in life as "the greatest poet of our generation, perhaps of our century" (letter of Arthur Hallam to William Gladstone, the future Prime Minister, September 1829). Tennyson's longer works, such as his religious poem In Memoriam (1850) and his Arthurian epic Idylls of the King (published in stages over a forty-year period), soon established themselves among the central, canonical works of English literature. Many of his shorter poems, such as "The Brook," "The May-Queen," and "The Charge of the Light Brigade," entered popular culture as songs or recitation-pieces. His poetry has spoken to intellectuals, to aesthetes, and to more ordinary readers for more than 150 years. Tennyson, more than any other British Poet Laureate, gave that oft-derided position a genuine literary distinction, and Tennyson was the first English poet ever given a peerage "for services to literature." His was a unique career in the close interrelations it demonstrates between a highly individual creative artist and the culture of his age. '

Outdoor Japan: Japanese Landscape Photography.

Red Voltaire. A current affairs journal from Chile. Site in Spanish. Interesting perspective.

Algiers: The Right Bank. New Orleans local history.
'Most of us know it as the "West Bank" (some detractors have called it the "worst bank," only to be countered by defenders who insist that it's the "best bank). Historically, though, the section of Orleans Parish across the Mississippi River from the "city proper" was always known as the "Right Bank." Indeed, during the years from 1846 to 1870, the area was governed by the Police Jury of the Parish of Orleans on the Right Bank of the River Mississippi. Since 1870 Algiers has been known as the Fifth Municipal District of the City of New Orleans. '
'For most of its history Algiers was a village sandwiched between the commercial activity on the River and the agricultural activity of the vast majority of its 13,000 acres. With the opening of the Greater New Orleans Mississippi River Bridge in 1958, the Right Bank of New Orleans began to take on the appearance of a modern suburb, with new brick houses built on slab foundations, shopping centers and country clubs. But Old Algiers, centered in the Algiers Point neighborhood, still retains much of the appearance and pace of the quiet village of years past ... '

'The Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition. 'In the summer of 1909, a world's fair, the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition, took place on the grounds of the University of Washington. The fair shaped the campus in ways that are visible today, creating the Rainier Vista and Drumheller Fountain. For many years, some of the former fair buildings were used by the University; today only Architecture Hall and Cunningham Hall remain. Landscaping for the fair was done by the famous firm of Olmsted Brothers, whose plan influenced all later designs for the campus. '
'A succession of world's fairs took place in the United States following the tremendous popularity of the World's Columbian Exposition, held in Chicago in 1893. Local civic boosters successfully developed plans for such a fair in Seattle, intended to promote the region's economic and cultural ties to Alaska, the Canadian Northwest, and the Pacific Rim. The exposition opened on the grounds of the University of Washington on June 1, 1909 ... '

Albert A. Michelson: A Virtual Tour of a Life in Science.
'My greatest inspiration is a challenge to attempt the impossible." -- Albert A. Michelson'
'Albert A. Michelson, USNA Class of 1873, was one of the giants in the scientific world of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. He was born on December 19, 1852 in Strelno, Prussia. When he was two, his parents moved to the United States. He grew up in Murphys, California and in 1873 graduated from the United States Naval Academy. Michelson maintained a teaching career as a professor of physics at various institutions, beginning that career at the Naval Academy in 1875. He was the second American citizen, and the first American scientist, to become a Nobel Laureate, receiving the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1907 ... '

The Straight Dope. Satire and politics. 'Hello and welcome to the official Internet home of Cecil Adams, World's Smartest Human Being, and his famous syndicated column The Straight Dope. Here you will find all manner of things relating to the column and the vast Straight Dope media empire ... '

The Vatican Museums. With virtual online tours.

Van Gogh in Nuenen. 'This site shows you spots painted by Vincent van Gogh during his stay in Nuenen (1883-1885). You can see those spots as they are today as well. '

Buddhist Art and Ritual from Nepal and Tibet. 'Buddhist Art and Ritual in Nepal and Tibet conveys the way art functions in a traditional Tantric Buddhist altar. It suggests the integration of art and ritual that is fundamental to understanding the true meanings of these objects as part of living cultural traditions. As a context-oriented approach to the presentation of art, it complements the chronological and stylistic display of painting and sculpture in the Ackland's Yager Gallery of Asian Art.'
'For this two-year installation, the Ackland Art Museum borrowed twenty paintings, sculptures and other sacred objects from museums with significant collections of Himalayan Art -- The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The Newark Museum and the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University. Ackland curators selected the works of art and Venerable Tenzin Gephel, from the Namgyal Monastery in Ithaca, New York, was invited to place them in their appropriate setting. This installation will be brought to life by the Namgyal monks during their three-and-a-half week construction of a Medicine Buddha sand mandala in the gallery from February 26 - March 21, 2001.'

St. Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin. 'Saint Patrick on his journey through Ireland is said to have passed through Dublin. In a well close to where the cathedral now stands, he is reputed to have baptised converts from paganism to Christianity. To commemorate his visit, a small wooden church was built on this site, one of the four Celtic parish churches in Dublin.'
'In 1191, under John Comyn, the first Anglo-Norman archbishop of Dublin, Saint Patrick's was raised to the status of a cathedral and the present building, the largest church in the country, was erected between 1200 and 1270. Over the centuries as the elements, religious reformation and persecution took their toll, the cathedral fell into serious disrepair, despite many attempts to restore it. Eventually between 1860 and 1900 a full-scale restoration based on the original design, was carried out by the Guinness family ... '
With a virtual tour.

Zitkala-Sa: Old Indian Legends, 1901. 'These legends are relics of our country's once virgin soil. These and many others are the tales the little black-haired aborigine loved so much to hear beside the night fire. '
'For him the personified elements and other spirits played in a vast world right around the center fire of the wigwam. '
'Iktomi, the snare weaver, Iya, the Eater, and Old Double-Face are not wholly fanciful creatures. '
'There were other worlds of legendary folk for the young aborigine, such as "The Star- Men of the Sky," "The Thunder Birds Blinking Zigzag Lightning," and "The Mysterious Spirits of Trees and Flowers." ... '

Brian Butko. 'My books on the Lincoln Highway, diners, and Isaly's all have a common theme - the desire to document people, places, and things that go mostly unnoticed by other historians. '
The Lincoln Highway.
Abandoned Pennsylvania turnpike trip.

Dixmont Insane Asylum '(aka Western Pennsylvania Hospital for the Insane) is located 20 minutes from downtown Pittsburgh on Route 65 in Killbuck Township. The hospital opened in 1859 and was named after the social reformer Dorothea Dix. Dorothea was a soft-spoken crusader for the proper care and treatment of the mentally insane and chose the 400 acre site for the hospital. When it opened Dixmont had 140 beds, but during the latter part of the 1900's the hospital was filled with over 1,000 patients ... '

The Prison Blog. 'Collecting news and opinion on imprisonment from around the world. '