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10th August

Avedon at Work in the American West. 'Avedon was ready to go forward. He had spent almost forty years photographing people close to his own world in New York City: creative people, people from the worlds of fashion, theater and the arts. He was ready to take time out from the responsibilities of a demanding studio. Although he had worked in the South during the Civil Rights movement and in Vietnam during the Anti- War movement, he was anxious to complete his unfinished portrait of America. He knew that to widen this portrait, he needed to look at a whole different segment of society. He sensed that one of the great, hidden strengths of the nation came not so much from either coast, but from the country's interior and its hard working, uncelebrated people ... '

Aftermath by Ziyah Gafic. 'I am impressed by his knowledge of history, of events and, for me; this represents an exciting guiding principle when working with a photographer. Gafic is different by nature from the great western photographers who went to work in Bosnia with commitment and courage, sacrificing money, carrier, time, private life and who have left a documentation of great importance, a portrayal on 5 years of war seen through the eyes of a Westerner, but who have often admitted to be devastated and powerless in front of this experience (let's not forget that the War has caused 250.000 dead people and 1,500.000 refuges); he is different because he sees all this with an extra eye, if you can say it like this, because he felt this experience on his own skin as a boy and after a few years he told us all about it to make us act politically and be an active part in what we live ... '

Baghdad: One Year Later. 'One year. Saddam Hussein's image has been replaced by that of Imam Ali, the Shiite martyr. Crime is out of control. Coalition forces who thought of a warm welcome now fear for their lives. Resistance guerillas push a fragile Iraq even closer to civil war. And if for photographers nothing has changed, you still can't take pictures of anything remotely dealing with the military without a hassle, for many Baghdadis the business at hand is still finding food, medicine and the simple basics of life ... '

My First Stories, America 1971-75. 'When I review my life as a photographer, I feel blessed and fortunate to have experienced so many wonderful emotions, the most significant being the sense of being alive, being powerfully alive. These beautiful experiences began with a book by the master French photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson, a gift from my parents while I was hospitalized with a knee injury sustained during a high school football game. It was 1971, I was 16 years old, and that year in my hometown of Ft Wayne, Indiana, I discovered photography. Cartier-Bresson's work awakened me to the glory that existed in the common moments of daily life. Suddenly my primary mode of self-expression, sporting activities, gave way to countless forays into the inner city of my hometown, always with my camera. Photography expanded my world. It has always been for me, a medium through which I can share my observations and responses to the world ... '

Playing with Krishna. God as child in art and mythology.
'A beautiful young woman, in the full bloom of her femininity, once entered the residential premises of a provincial chief of cowherds. Dressed attractively, she appeared very comely, what with her raised hips, nicely swollen breasts, earrings, and the heavily scented flowers in her hair. The thin waist added in no small measure to her allure. Her smiling face captivated the hearts of everyone present and she found it easy to glide in to the innermost chambers where the chief's wife was resting along with her newborn infant son. Approaching the adoring mother, she offered to suckle the young one from her own breasts. There was no question of refusing the request. The lady accepted the child into her open arms and held him to her bosom. The baby took one breast in his little hands and started sucking. Then a strange thing happened. From the look of a strange triumph, the woman's expression first transformed into one of surprise and shock and then into agony, and finally her features contorted into a mask of anguish and shrieks of pain escaped her lips. Her efforts to take away the breast from his soft grip were futile. Her cry was so intense that both sky and the earth reverberated with its echo. As the child pressed her breast extremely hard and sucked out her very life, she fell to the ground. With her arms and legs spread, she began to cry, "Oh, child, leave me, leave me!" Suddenly, as she entered the spasms of death, her beautiful appearance disappeared, revealing a monstrous personality beneath ... '

The Engineering Timelines Map of the British Isles. Engineering history.

Irish London.

Social Fiction Weblog.

Memorable Dublin Houses. Virtual tour.

Deutsche Bank Historical Association. German banking history from the late 19th century to now.

Leonardo da Vinci 1452-1519. Interesting article with good links.

Kailas: Manasarovar & Tibet. 'Mount Kailas (22,028 ft, 6,714 m), the famed holy peak, is situated to the north of the Himalayan barrier in Western Tibet. This legendary snow-shrouded rock dome is one of the most revered pilgrimage sites for Hindus, Buddhists, Jains and Bonpos (Pre-Buddhists) and draws pilgrims from India, Nepal, Mongolia, Tibet, Japan, China, Southeast Asia and other parts of the world. At the slopes of Kailas, a stream is said to pour into Manasarovar and from this lake, flow four of Asia's great rivers ­ the Indus, the Brahmaputra, the Karnali and the Sutlej ... '

Yoruba-Speaking Peoples of the Slave Coast of West Africa, 1894. Folklore and mythology.

This Dynamic Earth: The Story of Plate Tectonics. A US Geological Survey pamphlet, online. Well worth a look.

The Last Word. Science questions and answers, courtesy of the New Scientist.

A Talk.Bizarre Sampler.
'What IS talk.bizarre, anyway?
'It's a newsgroup. It's a sewer. It's a social group of (not for) literate misfits. Or, to quote Tom Boutell,
I've come to believe that talk.bizarre must be simultaneously a loving, hugging, COME HOLD ME YOU BIG GALOOT community of sweet sensitive koala bears and a boiling death-swamp of fifty-foot fire- breathing clue mosquitoes.
Otherwise, the koala bear population would get OUT OF CONTROL and INBREED, and pretty soon we'd have ALT.CUDDLE. Otherwise the fire- breathing clue mosquitoes would GET HUNGRY AND ATTACK REC.PETS.CATS, AND LORD KNOWS WE CAN'T HAVE THAT.
Wait a minute, they already have.'

9th August

Western Highlands and Islands: Island Blogging. 'Welcome to Island Blogging, a new website created by residents of North Argyll. If you live on one of the islands covered you can take part by creating your own blog. If you live elsewhere, you can post a comment to the bloggers. '
The islands.

Gedun Choephel Artists' Guild, Lhasa. 'Usually groups are formed through someone's initiative. However, this particular Gedun Choephel Artists' Guild came together naturally through shared experiences and common interests. We were all born in the turbulent 1960s and 70s. We lived through the rationing period of Chairman Mao, and remember his passing away. We also have experienced the radical modernizing changes brought about by Deng Xiao Ping throughout China ... '

The Geometry Junkyard. 'These pages contain usenet clippings, web pointers, lecture notes, research excerpts, papers, abstracts, programs, problems, and other stuff related to discrete and computational geometry. Some of it is quite serious, but I hope much of it is also entertaining.'

Suburban Tribe. Online comic.

Crisis in Sudan. Editorial cartoons.

Images of Mass Graves in Somaliland. 'This is the sort of crime that does not have a statute of limitations .'
'Floods at the Malka Durduro site in Hargeisa's dry river bed unearthed a series of mounds containing the bodies, half a kilometre (mile) from the main gate of the headquarters of the 26th division of the late President Siad Barre's army. '
'The finding is the first of its kind and confirms rumours that mass graves existed in the Somaliland capital, but the identities of the bodies and their manner of death remain unclear...'

Burp. A great art blog.

Cipango. Also a great art blog.

Pop and Politics. ' began as a prototype blog site, my personal journal from the New Hampshire Primary, the Iowa Caucus, the political conventions and beyond. The response was overwhelming: other young Americans (and people from other nations) wanted to contribute to the political debate, too. So we grew from a one-person outlet into a mini-magazine. We gained thousands of readers and subscribers, and got honors ranging from Cool Site of the Day to being named to Alternet's list of New Media Heroes. Most recently, we were named number seven on's survey of the top 25 Who Are Changing the World of Internet and Politics, ahead of and behind AOL. The only problem: we didn't have any cash ... '

Japanese Ritual Architecture.

Leo Tolstoy. 'Leo Tolstoy is one of Russia's greatest authors. This site provides a biography, pictures, geneology, reading tips, and various other resources in hopes that more of us will discover Leo Tolstoy.'

Chios. Chios. Interactive map of monuments, museums and ancient sites on the Greek island.

The Coming of the Fairies, by Arthur Conan Doyle.
'Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of Sherlock Holmes, in his later years became attracted to spiritualism and occult topics. This was after the death of his son Raymond during World War I. While researching the topic of fairies, some photographs from a working-class family in rural Yorkshire were brought to Doyle's attention by a Theosophist friend. These photographs appeared to show diminutive fairies cavorting in the presence of humans, specifically two teenage girls, Elsie and Frances. They had taken the photographs by themselves, and there were no overt signs that the negatives had been tampered with. Doyle championed the photographs, and in the process destroyed his reputation; which is probably why this book, out of all of the Doyle corpus, has not been put into etext until now. The Coming of the Fairies was possibly a bigger disappointment for Doyle fans than when he killed off Sherlock Holmes.'

Etiquette in Society, in Business, in Politics and at Home, a guide to American manners from 1922.
'Far from being a proscriber of minutiae, Post the philosopher offers a way of living: "Manners are made up of trivialities of deportment which can be easily learned if one does not happen to know them; manner is personality-the outward manifestation of one's innate character and attitude toward life." Post gives us thousands of tips on correspondence, wedding planning, party giving and conduct in every public or private setting.'

The Extrasolar Planets Encyclopaedia.

Iroquoian Cosmology, 1903. 'This is a set of literal translations of three Iroquois creation myths, from the Onondaga, Seneca and Mohawk tribes respectively. The interlinear translations in the original have been omitted for technical reasons. These myths are of great interest for several reasons. The Iroquois Confederation was the dominant culture group in the northeastern region at the time of European contact, and as such has maintained its traditions in a fairly intact state. There are minor infiltrations of Biblical elements in the narrative, which are, however, easy to recognize.'
'The Iroquois had a matrilinear culture in which men and women shared power, which is reflected in this myth by the strong participation of female demi-gods in the creation. The translation is by an experienced anthropologist writing for an academic audience and so it is almost completely free of the sentimentality and prudishness that infected other contemporary books about Native American mythology and folklore. '

Cultural Tourism DC. Historic neighbourhoods and places in Washington DC.

7th August

History of Haiku: 10 Haikuists and Their Works.

Babbage. 'Charles Babbage (1791-1871) is widely regarded as the first computer pioneer and the great ancestral figure in the history of computing. Babbage excelled in a variety of scientific and philosophical subjects though his present-day reputation rests largely on the invention and design of his vast mechanical calculating engines. His Analytical Engine conceived in 1834 is one of the startling intellectual feats of the nineteenth century. The design of this machine possesses all the essential logical features of the modern general purpose computer. However, there is no direct line of descent from Babbage's work to the modern electronic computer invented by the pioneers of the electronic age in the late 1930s and early 1940s largely in ignorance of the detail of Babbage's work ... '

Les Tres Riches Heures du Duc de Berry. 'The Très Riches Heures is the classic example of a medieval book of hours. This was a collection of the text for each liturgical hour of the day - hence the name - which often included other, supplementary, texts. Calendars, prayers, psalms and masses for certain holy days were commonly included. '
'The pictures in this exhibition are from the calendar section of the Très Riches Heures. This was painted some time between 1412 and 1416 and is arguably the most beautiful part of the manuscript; it is certainly the best known, being one of the great art treasures of France. In terms of historical and cultural importance, it is certainly equal to more famous works such as the Mona Lisa, marking the pinnacle of the art of manuscript illumination. '

The Evil Eye, 1895.
'There is another concept of "why bad things happen" that probably predates the theory that there is one centralized source of evil. This is, to use a computer anology, a peer-to-peer theory of evil. The evil eye is a widespread belief that unlucky events can ensue if you attract the attention of particular people. These people, sometimes involuntarily, sometimes voluntarily, can cast a malignant spell on others simply by looking at them. '
'This lavishly illustrated work is the classic study of this superstition. Starting with a mass of anecdotes from contemporary observations in Italy and rural England, Elworthy, using all of his skills as a folklorist and etymologist, delves deeper. He gives examples of the belief on a world-wide basis and far back in time, to classical paganism and beyond. He also elaborates all of the methods that have been used to ward off the jettatura, including talismans, spells, spitting, hand gestures and many others. '
'Belief in the evil eye is still very active even with the advance of modernity. As I was researching this topic in preparation for developing this etext, I stumbled on a Google link to a middle-eastern chat board. The posting included detailed and very arcane descriptions of rituals that one could use to purge an attack of the evil eye. So the evil eye is still with us, and even if you don't believe in it, there are many cultures which take it very seriously. Understanding the malocchio is an important part of being a world citizen. '

An Illustrated History of the University at Albany.

Back to the Ranch: The Photographs of Matt O'Brien. 'When I was little, I used to love going to my uncle's ranch. It was beautiful and full of life and so different from suburban San Mateo across the bay where I lived. I have very early memories of being at a round up at the ranch -- the excitement I felt at seeing my Uncle John and other ranchers bringing in the cattle, the sounds of hundreds of hooves hitting the ground as the cattle rushed into the corrals, the mooing, the smoke, the smells of the animals and of the branding. I remember standing on the corral sides watching the roping and all the activity in amazement. '
'As a kid I took ranching and ranches and their being a part of life in the Bay Area for granted; it was one of the things that made life rich. I don't take it for granted anymore, because ranches and ranching in the East Bay are disappearing, and they're disappearing fast.'

History of the Smithsonian's Arts and Industries Building. 'When the Arts & Industries Building opened in 1881, it was the embodiment of the hopes anddreams of one man, Spencer Fullerton Baird (1823-1887), second Secretary of the Smithsonian. The opening of Arts & Industries also irrevocably established the Smithsonian as the national museum of the United States. When James Smithson (c.1765-1829) wrote his will, he was quite vague about what he expected his institution for "the increase and diffusion of knowledge" to be. The United States Congress debated for a decade whether the Smithsonian should be a library, university, astronomical observatory, scientific research institute, or even a museum. A quintessential American political compromise, the 1846 act establishing the Smithsonian included almost all of these things. The first Smithsonian Secretary, Joseph Henry (1797-1878), a physicist, wanted the Smithsonian to be primarily a scientific research institute. He was reluctant to run a museum or national library that might use all the Smithsonian's funding and leave little for basic research. He believed museums reached only a local audience and the Smithson bequest shouldn't be spent on popular attractions. '

Balfour W. Currie: The Second International Polar Year. 'Balfour Watson Currie (1902-1981) was associated throughout his academic career with the University of Saskatchewan, as a Professor and Head of the Department of Physics, founder of the Institute of Space and Atmospheric Studies, Dean of Graduate Studies and Vice-president, Research.'
'Frank Thomas Davies (1904-1981) taught as a Lecturer in the Department of Physics, University of Saskatchewan; was a member of Byrd's first Antarctic Expedition; was Director of the Carnegie Geophysical Observatory in the Peruvian Andes; and was Director-General of the Defence Research Telecommunications Establishment.'
'They worked together at Chesterfield Inlet during the Second International Polar Year (1932-1933). Their records and data analysis from that period were of primary importance in shaping future research in aurora borealis and upper atmospheric studies.'

Literature Reimagined: An Exhibition of Illustrated Texts. 'Some works of literature transcend their times and continue to speak to readers. The plays of Shakespeare, the poetry of Emily Dickinson, the stories of Edgar Allan Poe still captivate generation after generation. Artists, printers, and publishers also continue to be inspired by these icons of literature and continue to present them in new and innovative ways. "Literature Reimagined" offers multiple editions of popular literary works, focusing on the ways in which they have been reinterpreted over time. These books have been transformed by artists, writers, and publishers to conform to their personal visions and the work's perceived audience.'

Gray's Anatomy of the Human Body, 1918. Illustrated.

The Boston Cooking-School Cook Book, 1918. 'This classic American cooking reference includes 1,849 recipes, including everything from "after-dinner coffee"-which Farmer notes is beneficial for a stomach "overtaxed by a hearty meal"-to "Zigaras à la Russe," an elegant puff-pastry dish. chose the 1918 edition because it was the last edition of the cookbook authored completely by Farmer.'

The History of Rock n Roll. 'Rock-and-Roll (räk'n roll') n. first so used (1951) by Alan Freed, Cleveland disc jockey, taken from the song "My Baby Rocks Me with a Steady Roll". The use of rock, roll, rock and roll, etc., with reference to sexual intercourse, is traditional in blues, a form of popular music that evolved in the 1950's from rhythm and blues, characterized by the use of electric guitars, a strong rhythm with an accent on the offbeat, and youth-oriented lyrics ... '
'... This web page attempts to explore the roots of rock in such a way as to illuminate the natural progression of musical styles. Too often the study of rock begins with Bill Haley and His Comets and includes scant information about the blues and rhythm records that he, and others, used as a model. A musical genre does not simply appear, it gradually evolves to a point in time when some event-performance, publication, or recording allows listeners to perceive its unique qualities and apply a label. Wyonnie Harris' 1947 recording of "Good Rocking Tonight" was one of many "rhythm records" made during the late 1940s, however when it was recorded by Elvis Presley in 1954 it seemed like a new and different approach. What made it seem new and different was its context. Without exploring the history of black popular music, country and western music, race relations, technical developments, and the music business one can be led easily to the conclusion that rock and roll was some new and different music which appeared suddenly. '

Hangul. The fascinating story of a unique alphabet.
'Hangul is the native alphabet used to write the Korean language (as opposed to the Hanja system borrowed from China). For other romanized spellings of "Hangul," please see Names below.'
'While Hangul writing may appear ideographic to the uninitiated, it is actually phonetic. Each Hangul syllabic block consists of several of the 24 letters (jamo)-14 consonants and 10 vowels. Historically, the alphabet had 3 more consonants and 1 more vowel ... '

The Island of Lesbos. An interactive map linking to monuments, museums, archaeological sites etc.

Stalin's Death, 1953. 'Joseph Stalin had been leader of the Soviet Union for nearly 30 years. Though he is now considered responsible for the deaths of millions of his own people through famine and purges, when his death was announced to the people of the Soviet Union on March 6, 1953, many wept. He had led them to victory in World War II. He had been their leader, the Father of the Peoples, the Supreme Commander, the Generalissimo ... '

Swarthmoor Hall. 'George Fox, widely regarded as the founder of the Quaker movement, made a historic journey in 1652, which culminated in his arrival at Swarthmoor Hall in June of that year. His story starts in Fenny Drayton in the Midlands. A very serious-minded young man, he was disillusioned by what he saw as the religious hypocrisy of "so-called professors of the Christian faith", and left home to wander the countryside. He came to believe that God could speak directly to each person without the need for priests or churches, and he set out to spread his message. In 1651, in Derby, he was arrested (not for the first time) and jailed for 12 months for illegal preaching. On his release he journeyed north and found himself on Pendle Hill, on the top of which, looking out over Lancashire towards the Irish Sea, he had a vision of a "great multitude waiting to be gathered." '
'He found "the great multitude" on Firbank Fell a little later when he met up with the Westmoreland Seekers under the leadership of Francis Howgill and John Audland. It is said that Fox convinced 1000 people on that occasion, and many regard the place as the birthplace of the Quaker Movement.'

5th August

Nepal: Adventures in a Living Museum.

Galileo Galilei's Notes on Motion.

a visual notebook. Photoblog.

The Children of Odin, 1920. 'This is Padraic Colum's retelling of the Eddas and the Volsung Saga for young adults. Colum and Pogany also collaborated on The Adventures of Odysseus, and The King of Ireland's Son. ' Illustrated.

actual_blue. Photoblog.

The Nizkor Project: Holocaust Educational Resource. 'Dedicated to the millions of Holocaust victims who suffered and died at the hands of Adolf Hitler and his Nazi regime.'

Able & Baker. Web comic. 'The main characters Able (the monkey) and Baker (the sheep) are named after the first pair of animals to survive a space flight in 1959. Like their predecessors, Able and Baker are research animals for the space program. '

Achewood. Web comic.

Australian Observer: The Photographs of Harold Cazneaux 1878-1953. 'The photographs of Harold Cazneaux are timeless in their creative beauty and their extraordinary tonal qualities.'
'Cazneaux was the leading exponent in Australia of the school of 'pictorial photography.' Indeed, Max Dupain once called him 'the father of modern Australian photography.' The pictorialists argued that every photograph should be a work of art and that the camera was an aesthetic instrument to be used on the way to a final image rather than a purely functional tool. This approach is most evident in Cazneaux's bromoil prints, in which the final image is produced by brushing an oil pigment on to the surface.'

The Kama Sutra. 'The Kamashastra is the ancient Indian treatise governing the relationship of humans and the sexes. Its origins can be traced to very first rules of conduct (along with the Dharmashstra and the Athrashastra) in Hinduism. Numerous saints and sages wrote commentaries on the treatise for the common man, known as the Kamasutra (kaa-ma-soo-tra, meaning Aphorisms on Love), but as Kamat points out in his Introduction to Erotic arts of India, most of these works have been lost.'
'Fortunately one such guide by sage Vatsyayana (a.k.a. Vatasayana) written in the early part of the Christian era (see a note on dating of the Kamasutra) is available today in its full form and beauty, and is generally referred to as The Kamasutra of Vatsyayana or simply the Kamasutra. '
A gallery of sexual positions in Indian art. Not safe for work.

Propaganda Photographs from Soviet Georgia in the 1930s.

Jesuits in the Sciences 1540-1995. 'A remarkable characteristic of the Society of Jesus during the period of its first founding (1540-1773) was the involvement of its members in the sciences. The reasons for this interest in scientific study can be found in the nature and mission of the order itself. Saint Ignatius Loyola considered the acquisition of knowledge and the performance of mundane labor as spiritually profitable tasks, and this fostered in the Society an action-oriented, utilitarian mentality sympathetic to scientific study. In addition, the role of the Society as the "schoolmasters of Europe" meant that the pedagogically (and scientifically) useful principles of rationality, method and efficiency were highly valued. The tight-knit organization of the Society created among its members habits of cooperation and communication, essential for the gathering and exchange of scientific information. Finally, mission work in Asia and the Americas gave the Jesuits opportunities and impetus to study and record the phenomena of these new worlds. '

The Bishop Museum Ethnology Collection. 'The Bishop Museum's Ethnology Collection includes more than 70,000 objects from throughout the Pacific region.'
'Photographs and detailed information are available for more than 400 cultural objects.'
'We've grouped them to help you find some of the more popular cultural objects. Click on a group to the right to learn more.....'

Hawaiian Ethnobotany. 'Please browse the cultural and scientific information about 145 plants commonly used in traditional Hawaiian culture. More information, plants, and pictures are coming soon. Search by Hawaiian names or scientific names. There isn't a one-to-one match but we've followed experts such as Mary Kawena Pukui, Isabella Abbott, and Beatrice Krauss as much as possible. '

Autographs. Online galleries - Lyndon Johnson, Tolkien, J. Edgar Hoover, Mark Twain, and others.

An Ayn Rand Gallery.

4th August

The Bogside Artists. Northern Ireland.
'The links to the left contain photographs of, and details about, their work. The artists are committed to creating a series of ten murals for the entire length of Rossville Street in the Bogside. There are currently nine murals completed and it is hoped to finish the final mural in the summer of 2004. The Artists published a book about their work in December 2001.'

A Brief History of Algebra and Computing.

Photographs of Buddhism in Japan.

The Secret Lives of Pets. Cartoons.

Steve Sack's Fine Art Tour. How the great artists might draw editorial cartoons.

sebi's flog. Great photoblog.

The Book and Beyond: Electronic Publishing and the Art of the Book.

Medieval Logic and Philosophy.

Paul Cezanne. Links to online galleries of his work - portraits, bathers, still lifes, landscapes, and Chateau Noir.

Georgia 1918-21. Photographs from a brief period of independence for Georgia in the Caucasus following the Russian Revolution.
'The October Revolution of 1917 has destroyed the Russian Empire. On May 26, 1918, on the meeting of National Council in Tiflis, Georgia was declared to be a Sovereign Democratic Republic. Noe Zhordania, the leader of Social-Democratic Party became the head of Georgian Government ... Georgia was looking for the ways of free development under the permanent pressure of external danger and was striving for the acknowlegment of it's independence ... '

Islamic Art of the Deccan. 'The "Deccan" (derived from Dakshina) is a geographical term that refers to the plateau in south central India still ruled by Hindu kings when the first Muslim sultanates of India were established in Delhi. The Khaljis (1290-1320) and the Tughluqs (1320-1414) after them both tried to conquer the Deccan but were ultimately unsuccessful. The officers of Muhammad ibn Tughluq rebelled against him and an independent sultanate was declared under the leadership of the general Zafar Khan. His descendants, known as the Bahmanids (1347-1528), ruled from a capital located first in Gulbarga and later in Bidar ... '

Aaron Thomas: The Caribbean Journal of a Royal Navy Seaman. 'The journal of Aaron Thomas, housed in the Archives and Special Collections Division of the Otto G. Richter Library at the University of Miami, is a 374 page leather-bound volume containing approximately 367 pages of handwritten material. The journal begins on June 15, 1798 and concludes on October 26, 1799, and chronicles the experiences and adventures of a British seaman serving in the Royal Navy aboard HMS Lapwing in the West Indies during the French Revolutionary wars. The journal contains insightful, first-hand accounts of naval operations, customs of the day, and humorous, detailed anecdotes involving shipmates and superiors. Thomas, who joined the navy in 1793, includes entries regarding the health and punishment of the men aboard ship, as well as his personal views on slavery, religion, and morality. With the exception of the final three pages, all entries are written in Thomas's hand. '

Austin Beginnings. Texan history. 'Austin's history has been filled with events great and small, significant and trivial, historic and amusing. All have contributed to building the city that is first in our hearts. Finding these milestones is one of the pleasures of conducting research in the Austin History Center. The staff, volunteers, and customers of the Austin History Center share just a few of the memorable firsts that we have discovered in our files.'

Austin Streets. 'Austin's street history truly begins in 1839, just prior to the city's founding, when Mirabeau B. Lamar, President of the Republic of Texas, commissioned his old war-time friend Edwin Waller to survey the site for the new capital city and to oversee its planning and construction. Waller, who had participated in the signing of the Declaration of Independence and was well-acquainted with pioneering work, accepted the task. After the area was thoroughly surveyed and the first city plan drafted, Waller and his team of 160 men proceeded to convert the wilderness site into a working city within a matter of months.'
'The city was laid out in a simple grid pattern on a single square-mile plot with 14 blocks running in both directions. One grand avenue, which Lamar named "Congress," cut through the center of town from Capitol Square down to the Colorado River. The streets running north-south (paralleling Congress) were named for Texas rivers with their order of placement matching the order of rivers on the Texas state map. The east-west streets were named after Texas trees, despite the fact that Waller had recommended using numbers (they were eventually changed to numbers in 1884). The city's perimeters stretched north to south from the river at 1st Street to 15th Street, and from East Avenue (now IH-35) to West Avenue. Remarkably, much of this original design is still intact in the downtown area today.'

Austin's Creeks: A Tribute to Tributaries.

Austin College: Sherman Journal 1873-86. 'The history of Austin College may be viewed as a 150 year-old success story. It may also be viewed as a history of crises. The coming of Austin College to Sherman, Texas, in 1876, was born of a series of such crises. At a crucial time in his campaign for the College, Daniel Baker died suddenly in Austin in 1857. Four years later Civil War preoccupied the state as well as the nation. Free schools siphoned off prospective students during Reconstruction. A national economic depression in 1873 further discouraged private school enterprise. Right from the start, the venture in Sherman ran into difficulty. The move intended to relieve one crisis created others. The problems of Texas, the South, and the nation could not be overcome by a geographic cure. That Austin College survived the move to Sherman, indeed, that it survived at all, was more than a testament to Presbyterian pride and tenacity; one might say it was nothing less than a miracle of Divine Providence. Minutes of the trustees' meetings tell the story.'

3rd August

Van Gogh's Letters. Comprehensive online collection.

The Word on the Street: Scottish Broadsides. 'In the centuries before there were newspapers and 24-hour news channels, the general public had to rely on street literature to find out what was going on. The most popular form of this for nearly 300 years was 'broadsides' - the tabloids of their day. Sometimes pinned up on walls in houses and ale-houses, these single sheets carried public notices, news, speeches and songs that could be read (or sung) aloud.'
'The National Library of Scotland's online collection of nearly 1,800 broadsides lets you see for yourself what 'the word on the street' was in Scotland between 1650 and 1910. Crime, politics, romance, emigration, humour, tragedy, royalty and superstitions - all these and more are here.'
'Each broadside comes with a detailed commentary and most also have a full transcription of the text, plus a downloadable PDF facsimile. You can search by keyword, browse by title or browse by subject.'

Akanezumiya: Fine Japanese Antiquities. Shinto and Buddhist art, dolls, paintings etc... galleries here.

Sava Stojkov. Yugoslav naive artist. Biography here, gallery here.

The Delight Makers, 1890.
'Adolf Bandelier was a pioneering Southwestern explorer and anthropologist. This is a novel based on his experiences with the Pueblo Native Americans of New Mexico. The ethnographic novel very rarely works as either ethnography or novel. In this case, it works as both. Not only does The Delight Makers open a door into the world of the pre-Columbian Pueblo Indians, it is also a great contribution to the literature of the Southwest.'
'The Delight Makers is a Greek tragedy of a story, in which the treachery of a woman causes a community to fall apart. As the story progresses, we become immersed in Pueblo culture, to the point where we don't even notice when Bandelier stops explaining the untranslated terms and unfamiliar customs. '

The Richest Man in the World: Andrew Carnegie. 'Andrew Carnegie's life embodied the American dream: the immigrant who went from rags to riches, the self-made man who became a captain of industry, the king of steel. He preached the obligation of the wealthy to return their money to the societies where they made it -- then added, says Carnegie's biographer, Joseph Frazier Wall, "a very revealing sentence. He wrote, 'and besides, it provides a refuge from self-questioning.'" Produced by Austin Hoyt. David Ogden Stiers narrates. '

The Rockefellers. 'For decades, the Rockefeller name was despised in America–associated with John D. Rockefeller Sr.'s feared monopoly, Standard Oil. By the end of his life, Rockefeller had given away half his fortune–but even his vast philanthropy could not erase the memory of his predatory business practices. His only son, John D. Rockefeller Jr., would dedicate his life to recasting the family image. In the quest for redemption and respectability, Junior would give away hundreds of millions of dollars, and would insist that his six children behave impeccably. Their contributions transformed America. When he died at age 86, Junior left his six children and 22 grandchildren an invaluable inheritance: a name which stood not for corporate greed, but for "the well-being of mankind." '

Molecular Expressions. 'Welcome to the Molecular Expressions Photo Gallery. Our portfolio of galleries contains thousands of full color photomicrographs (photographs taken through a microscope) and digital images selected from our many image collections.'
'It is very easy to view examples from any of our collections. Simply pick the button below that describes the collection of your interest, and you will link to a summary of that collection that includes information about the collection as well as several example photomicrographs.'
E.g., soft drinks.

The Shipwreck by Claude Joseph Vernet. 'The wind came out of nowhere, lifting the sea and slamming our ship into the rocky shore. A blanket of clouds quickly closed in-but for the ragged flashes of lightning, we were in the dark. With thunder blasting like cannons at close range, men leapt into the surf, towing a line and tying the ship to a rock, while I, along with my sons, slid down the rope line to safety. A drowning woman, pulled from the sea, lay half- dead on the beach as we came ashore, and another leaned into the wind, exhausted, crying out to the heavens.'

Egil's Saga. An Icelandic saga about a genuinely quirky, hideously ugly, kind and heroic, and introspective character.
'The characters in the Egilssaga are well marked and forcibly drawn. In the house of Kveldulf, old Kveldulf himself, Thorolf the elder, Skallagrim, Egil, stand forth as real men with characters well-sustained throughout. Outside the family king Harold is well drawn, the able ruler, generous in much, but suspicious, as a tyrant must needs be. His son Eric is violent, but weaker, and swayed by his wife Gunnhilda, who is to him somewhat as Jezebel [vi] was to Ahab. Arinbjorn is perhaps the noblest character in the story, the brave, generous, true friend. But the reader will estimate these and others for himself; of the hero who gives his name to the Saga a few words will not be out of place. Egil certainly must have been a remarkable man. Strong in body beyond his fllows, he was no less uncommonly gifted in mind, a poet as well as a soldier. Brave he was even to foolhardiness, yet wary withal and prudent; full of resource in danger, never giving up the game however desperate; a born leader, liked and trusted by his men. His character has its unpleasant side; he was headstrong, brutal at times when provoked, determined to have his own way, and overbearing in pursuit of it. Yet there is nothing mean or little about him; he does not engage in petty quarrels, he helps or hinders kings and great chiefs. He is outspoken and truthful, and his ire is especially stirred by meanness and falsehood in others. To women he is pleasant and courteous, as appears on several occasions. For the sake of his friend Arinbjorn and his kin he risks his life more than once.'

Mikhail Gorbachev. Nobel peace laureate, 1990. Biography, Nobel lecture and acceptance speech.

Paintings of Ravi Varma. 'Great injustice has been done to the artist Ravi Varma in our country because he used modern hues and oils in his work and because of the western influence in his paintings. The critics said his was not Indian art. To me, Ravi Varma is not only among India's greatest artists, but also a great patriot. His depiction of the beauty of the Indian woman is unequalled in Indian art.'

As Precious as Gold, the Alaska/Klondike Gold Rush. Online exhibit.

Percy & Ruth Crawford and the Birth of Televangelism: An Exhibit of the Bill Graham Centre Archives. 'In the mid-1990s, Americans suddenly awakened to the Internet, and especially the possibilities of e-mail and the World Wide Web, although earlier versions of the Net had been available for decades. In much the same way, in the late-1940s television began to make an impact on American society. Growing numbers of people were able to watch and react to the small flickering black and white images of Howdy Doody, the World Series, roller derby, Milton Berle, Hopalong Cassidy, Meet the Press and Kraft Theatre.'
'While Fundamentalist and Evangelical Protestants quickly became concerned about the programs transmitted over the new medium, some also saw it as a new means of communicating the Gospel. Potential TV broadcasters were concerned that the opportunity be open to all who could pay the costs and meet industry standards. They wanted the new industry to avoid the restrictions that had for many years limited the hours of religious radio broadcasts to those of a few "representative" mainline denominations ... '

Vanuatu: A Photographic Exhibit. 'David Becker has lived on a sailboat in the Western Pacific for more than 20 years. He is currently based in New Caledonia, just south of Vanuatu. He specializes in cultural photography, working with museums and other cultural institutions, primarily in Melanesia. '
'Sailing through Papua New Guinea for eight months in 1986, Becker saw how rapidly traditional cultures were being changed by contact with the outside world. With friends, he founded The Society for the Recording of Vanishing Cultures, and has since devoted his life to this work.'
' "It is important to record this precious heritage before it disappears. I hope that whatever I can do will help future generations realize the beauty,the richness, and the dignity of this way of life." '

Austin at Work. Texan social history. 'Most of us get up and go to work on most days. We work to make money, to make a difference, to fulfill our dreams, and sometimes even to enjoy ourselves. It hasn't been that different in Austin since Waller and his 200 workers toiled on a short deadline in 1839 to build the city in the wilderness that became our capital.'

2nd August

European Clocks in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries.

Robin Hood, by Paul Creswick, 1903.
'This is Paul Creswick's able retelling of the Robin Hood myth. The Robin Hood narrative first surfaced as a short mention in Piers Plowman, and accreted details through folk-tales, ballad, literature, and of course, cinema. Like other English literary productions such as King Arthur or Sherlock Holmes, the fact that Robin Hood is a fiction is almost irrelevant; people want to believe that he was an actual historical personage. Creswick's version of this tale brings it to life, and the luminous Wyeth illustrations complete the picture. '

Caravaggio and His Followers. 'Trained in Milan and active in Rome (1592?1606), Naples (1606?7; 1609?10), Malta (1607?8), and Sicily (1608?9), Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (1571?1610) was one of the most revolutionary figures of European art. His practice of painting directly from posed models violated the idealizing premise of Renaissance theory and promoted a new relationship between painting and viewer by breaking down the conventions that maintained painting as a plausible fiction rather than an extension of everyday experience ... '

Six Great Ukiyo-e Artists. Harunobu, Kiyonaga, Utamaro, Sharaku, Hokusai, Hiroshige.

The Woman's Bible. 'The Woman's Bible, written by famous 19th Century feminist Elizabeth Cady Stanton and a "Revising Committee", is one of the first attempts by women to evaluate the Judeo-Christian legacy and its impact on women through history. Stanton concluded that 'the Bible in its teachings degrades Women from Genesis to Revelation'. However she and the other contributors found much to admire in the Bible, particularly some of the Old Testament women. While many of her views are still controversial, time and advances in womens' rights have lessened some of the shock value of this book. Stanton doesn't go as far as some modern feminist theologians and proclaim 'God is a woman', but there are several contributions which discuss the gender of the 'Elohim' and the female aspects of the Kabbalah.'

Oceanography from the Space Shuttle. 'Oceanography from the Space Shuttle is a pictorial survey of oceanic phenomenon visible to the naked eye from space. Originally published in 1989, it is now out of print and only available on this web site. To navigate, click on the shuttle and then follow the arrows pointing right - or you can reach any page from the table of contents. Thumbnail images give a preview of each chapter's photographs. '

Oliphant's Anthem. 'Pat Oliphant won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial cartooning in 1966, just two years after he left his native Australia for an American career. Now, thirty years later, he is considered among the most gifted practitioners in the history of the profession. He has caricatured seven United States presidents, from Lyndon Johnson to Bill Clinton, and offered provocative graphic commentary on salient social and political issues of the past three decades, including Watergate, Vietnam, the collapse of communism in Europe, and the Gulf War. Few artists have done as much to influence the form and content of contemporary American political cartoons.'
'Oliphant weds two great traditions in political cartooning: the subtle wit and detailed artistry of the British tradition with the more blunt, spare style that persists in America. At the Library of Congress his cartoons and sketchbooks will be preserved alongside the most extensive collection of American political prints in existence, one of the finest assemblages of English satirical prints outside Great Britain, and thousands of original works by the most influential European and American cartoonists from the seventeenth century forward. When asked what it means to be included in this august company, Oliphant responded, "to be in these collections is, to me, every award I could possibly want." '

Mark Twain on Religion.
The War Prayer.

The Age of Saint Louis. 'Thus Jean, sire de Joinville, friend and Crusader in the company of Louis IX of France, describes the degree to which people venerated the king as a saint even during his lifetime. Following his death, nearly 400 witnesses gathered at Saint-Denis to testify to his sanctity. There, in the royal abbey, a chapel came to be dedicated to Saint Louis (Two Grisaille Panels, 1982.433.3,4). There the faithful- and, in particular his own descendants-came to pray and honor his example (The Hours of Jeanne d'Évreux, 54.1.2), for during his long reign (1226-70), both the saintly king and the nation thrived, and the city of Paris was firmly established as the premier artistic and intellectual center of Europe. At the end of Louis's reign, 101 different craft guilds were established in the city; the university welcomed scholars and students from across Europe.'

The York Mystery Plays. 'York Mystery (Corpus Christi) Plays are a magnificent example of medieval drama. Using the colourful language of medieval Yorkshire, they present the 'history of the world' from the mystery of God's creation, through the birth, death and resurrection of Christ, to the Last Judgement. '
'To the people who first drew together to perform and watch the Plays, the battle between Good and Evil was not theoretical theology, but an all-pervading fact of life. Disease and sudden death were an ever-present threat. '
'The Plays taught a simple message, but not in a simple way. Written to appeal to all sections of the community, they were sophisticated, often lavish, always theatrical ... '

Socialist Realism. 'The Socialist Realism, an ideology enforced by the Soviet state as the official standard for art, literature etc., was defined in 1934 at the First All-Union Congress of Soviet writers. It was based on the principle that the arts should glorify political and social ideals of communism. Every artist had to join the "Union of Soviet Artists", which was controlled by the state. The paintings had to be idealisations of political leaders and communistic ideas.'

Shotei Gallery. Shin hanga.
'The child who was later to be known as Takahashi Shôtei was born, Matsumoto Katsutaro, in Mukoyanagiwara, Asakusa, Tokyo on January 2, 1871. As a child, he was adopted into the Takahashi family, becoming known as Takahashi Katsutaro. At the age of 9, he was apprenticed to his uncle, Matsumoto Fuko (1840-1923), with whom he studied Japanese-style painting. According to tradition, Fuko gave him his art name "Shotei" a variant of his own surname "Matsumoto". The first Japanese character of their names is pronounced either "Sho" or "Matsu" ... '

The Cherokee Ball Play with Remarks On Ojibwa Ball Play, 1890.
'Among their other many cultural gifts to the world, Native Americans contributed the game which later became known as Lacrosse. The Cherokee Ball Play vividly describes the ethnography of this sport with particular attention to its ritual significance.'
'This sport served as means of community social cohesion, an occasion for some big wagers, a surrogate for battle with other villages, and sounds like a great deal of fun. Many of the ceremonial aspects will be familiar to anyone involved with High School football. Some of the practices required a very high tolerance for pain. On a spiritual level the game is a magical battle between shamans, and the rituals and ceremonies used to gain advantage are of great interest.'
'This monograph includes musical notation for some of the songs transcribed by none other than John Phillip Sousa.'

The Sacred Formulas of the Cherokee, 1891. 'This is an ethnographic description of Cherokee shamanistic practice. Based on several manuscripts written by Cherokee shamans of the 19th Century, this includes the actual text of the rituals to treat various diseases, information on herbs used, love spells, hunting rituals, weather spells, as well as a spell for victory in the Ball game. '

Lindbergh. 'At 25, Charles A. Lindbergh -- handsome, talented, and brave -- arrived in Paris, the first man to fly across the Atlantic. But the struggle to wear the mantle of legend would be a consuming one. Crowds pursued him, reporters invaded his private life. His marriage, travels with his wife and the kidnapping and murder of their first child were all fodder for the front page ... '

MacArthur. 'No soldier in modern history has been more admired -- or more reviled. Douglas MacArthur, liberator of the Philippines, shogun of occupied Japan, mastermind of the Inchon invasion, was an admired national hero when he was suddenly relieved of his command. A portrait of a complex, imposing and fascinating American general. '