Back to plep

25th February


Window of the Sacred World. ' 'Window of the Sacred World' is the title of this catalogue, presenting a fine selection of authentic art of India, The Himalayan regions and Southeast Asia. Focusing only on the highest artistic quality, it aims to represent the beauty and spirituality of sculpture through the camera's eye; a modest contribution towards the understanding and appreciation of Asian religious art which still contains many secrets. '

T'ang Haywen: Paths of Ink. "Contrary to the generally held belief, Chinese painting has never ceased to evolve. At the various stages of its growth, individuality and respect for tradition acted together or in opposition to produce countless treasures and innovations. The example of T'ang Haywen, in the second half of the 20th century, illustrates this phenomenon particularly well. T'ang never received any formal education in art apart from learning calligraphy from his grandfather, T'ang Yien. In Paris, he acquainted himself with the work of western artists and chose to become a painter. Art was a way of life for him, not a career choice..."

Cotton Town: The History of Blackburn and Darwen. 'Cotton Town tells the story of the rapid social and economic changes that occurred as Blackburn and Darwen began to expand in line with the United Kingdom textile industry. It is a vast electronic collection of material, based on the influence of the cotton trade on our communities.'
'It examines the early textile industry encompassing the Industrial Revolution and its effects on the local community and its workforce. When we look at the history of our town we must in turn look at merchants and mill owners in order to demonstrate how their legacy has impacted on the development of the town, our multicultural heritage and community life.'

Boadicea's Grave. 'Unfortunately another London monument of dubious antiquity, but don't let that spoil it for you.'

Henry VIII Mound, Richmond Park. 'It is a view that has delighted visitors to Richmond Park for nearly three centuries. '

Fiddle Tunes of the Old Frontier: The Henry Reed Collection. 'Fiddle Tunes of the Old Frontier: The Henry Reed Collection is a multi-format ethnographic field collection of traditional fiddle tunes performed by Henry Reed of Glen Lyn, Virginia. Recorded by folklorist Alan Jabbour in 1966-67, when Reed was over eighty years old, the tunes represent the music and evoke the history and spirit of Virginia's Appalachian frontier. Many of the tunes have passed back into circulation during the fiddling revival of the later twentieth century. This online collection incorporates 184 original sound recordings, 19 pages of fieldnotes, and 69 musical transcriptions with descriptive notes on tune histories and musical features; an illustrated essay about Reed's life, art, and influence; a list of related publications; and a glossary of musical terms. '

New National Parks Website Makes National Parks Obsolete. 'In an effort to make America's natural wonders available to all citizens, the Department of the Interior announced Monday the creation of a $2 million National Parks Website.'
'The new website clears the way for the wholesale development of the parks: Next Monday, bulldozers will begin leveling more than 100,000 square miles of pristine, federally protected national parkland, finally making it available for industrial use.'

Lab Rabbit Strongly Recommends Cover Girl Waterproof Mascara for Sensitive Eyes.

Rachel's Weekly. Environmental news.

Loth: Susannah and the Elders. 'Two lascivious Jewish judges lean over a voluptuous nude female, bullying Susannah, the pretty and God-fearing wife of a rich and prominent Jew, as she bathes. Though she had thought she was hidden, these elders of the community had spied on her and entered her husband's private garden. She shies away in modesty, refusing their desires despite their threats to accuse her of adultery. When they later brought Susannah to trial, the young prophet Daniel proved her innocence, and her false accusers were sentenced to death in her place. '

Baciccio: Saint Francesca Romana Giving Alms. 'Prayer book in hand, Saint Francesca Romana stops to offer a piece of bread to a beggar in need. A Roman aristocrat's daughter famous for her charity, Francesca also organized a society of Roman women leading lives of self-denial and good works "in the world." After her husband died, she withdrew from the world to the religious community she had founded, which still flourishes today. '

Rocca: Penitent Magdalen. 'While contemplating the crucifix, Mary Magdalene clasps her hands in prayer and devoutly kneels with her eyes raised towards the heavens. The agitated drapery of her gown and the white light streaming into her tear-filled eyes convey a deeply emotional and spiritual scene. A vision of angels appears in the sky, and putti sitting beside her hold objects often associated with the penitent Magdalene. '

Magnasco: Christ and the Samaritan Woman. 'When Christ paused to rest at Jacob's Well, a holy site for both Samaritans and Jews, he requested a drink of water from a Samaritan woman. Though initially surprised, since Jews and Samaritans were traditional enemies, she became increasingly intrigued by the knowledgeable and all-seeing visitor as they talked. Believing him to be a prophet, she spoke of looking forward to the coming of the Messiah. "I am he, the one who is speaking to you," Jesus replied. '

A Day in the Life of Africa. 'On February 28th, 2002 95 photojournalists from 26 countries spread across the African continent for a 24-hour photo shoot. Their mission was to capture the day-to-day life of Africans. Over 50,000 photos were taken and 250 were selected for the book "A Day in the Life of Africa" the proceeds of which will fund AIDS-education programs in Africa. '

The Atlantic Slave Trade and Slave Life in the Americas: A Visual Record. 'The hundreds of images in this collection have been selected from a wide range of sources, most of them dating from the period of slavery. This collection is envisioned as a tool and a resource that can be used by teachers, researchers, students, and the general public -- in brief, anyone interested in the experiences of Africans who were enslaved and transported to the Americas and the lives of their descendants in the slave societies of the New World. '

Greeneland: The World of Graham Greene. "Biography and criticism of major works. When you visualized a man or woman carefully, you could always begin to feel pity -- that was a quality God's image carried with it." - from The Power and the Glory.
The Quiet American. 'When my novel was eventually noticed in the New Yorker the reviewer condemned me for accusing my "best friends" (the Americans) of murder since I had attributed to them the responsibility for the great explosion -- far worse than the trivial bicycle bombs -- in the main square of Saigon when many people lost their lives. But what are the facts, of which the reviewer needless to say was ignorant? The Life photographer at the moment of the explosion was so well placed that he was able to take an astonishing and horrifying photograph which showed the body of a trishaw driver still upright after his legs had been blown off. This photograph was reproduced in an American propaganda magazine published in Manila over the title "the work of Ho Chi Minh" although General Thé had promptly and proudly claimed the bomb as his own. Who had supplied the material to a bandit who was fighting French, Caodaists and Communists?'

A Franz Kafka Photo Album.

The Thomas Warner Letters. Letters from a soldier in the War of 1812. 'During Ens. Warner's tour of duty he wrote letters home to his wife, five of which have been preserved. From these letters one may follow Ens. Warner's progess from Baltimore, through Carlisle, Pennsylvania, to the shores of Lake Ontario. From camp at Sacketts Harbor, Warner's unit proceeded to the Battle of York (now known as Toronto), the capitol of Upper Canada, fought in late April, 1813. Under the leadership of the adventurous Brigadier General Zebulon Pike, for whom Pike's Peak is named, the American forces scored a victory, but lost their General, killed in battle.'

Renaissance and Baroque Architecture. Image gallery. 'The images included in this collection were scanned from slides taken by Professor C. W. Westfall and used in his survey course, Renaissance and Baroque Architecture (ARH 102), University of Virginia, School of Architecture, Department of Architectural History. They are organized according to his course syllabus. Each section includes images relating to that particular topic as well as images which are included as comparative material, and are included to reinforce particular points which Mr. Westfall makes in his bi-weekly lectures. '

The Watts Gallery, Compton, Surrey. 'The Watts Gallery is the memorial gallery to G F Watts, the Victorian artist and sculptor. ' Don't miss the link to the Watts Chapel - a sort of architectural folly of the Arts and Crafts Movement.

Kazuyuki Iwata. Japanese photographer.

Daisuke Imotsuka. Japanese photographer. Not safe for work.

Church Sign Generator. Humour.

Microbes dot info. Everything there is to know about micro-organisms. 'Microbes.info is an internet web site designed to bring useful and interesting microbiology informational resources to you. With literally billions of web pages out there in cyberspace, searching effectively and efficiently for any information is becoming increasingly difficult. Finding accurate and specific information on microbiology topics is much like "looking for a needle in a haystack". This web site attempts to reduced the clutter and the size of the haystack in an effort to help you filter through the information in an organized manner. '
link

24th February


City Beautiful: The 1901 Plan for Washington DC.

Magna Carta at the British Library. 'Magna Carta is often thought of as the corner-stone of liberty and the chief defence against arbitrary and unjust rule in England. In fact it contains few sweeping statements of principle, but is a series of concessions wrung from the unwilling King John by his rebellious barons in 1215. However, Magna Carta established for the first time a very significant constitutional principle, namely that the power of the king could be limited by a written grant.' And you can view the whole page.

Universes in Collision: Men and Women in 19th Century Japanese Prints. ' "In the beginning, woman was the sun." As the Japanese writer Hiratsuka Raicho noted in 1911, the origin and symbol of Japan is the sun-goddess. This eternally rising glory was perhaps incarnated in early Japanese history by powerful empresses, priestesses and female poets. Japan's greatest writer, the medieval novelist Murasaki Shikibu, was a woman whose genius combined Shakespearean might with Proustian refinement. Such a fusion of might and refinement characterizes much of the best of Japanese art and life. For swaggering machismo may tremble and weep with poetic sensitivity and female obedience be a treasure-house of steadfast integrity and courageous sincerity. Both swords and cherry blossoms are sacred emblems of fateful purity. Flower and sword: Which is purer? Which is stronger? All is duty - all passes like dew ... '

How Green Was My Valley. India as was. 'We bring this nostalgic photo exhibit, shot in 1976 in a rural town in India, of life at a slightly slower pace. The pictures show most common of the people going about their jobs. At that time, the mechanization and motorization of India had not yet taken place, and you can see the age old methods of doing things. '

African Masks and Headdresses.

Iron Age Britain. 'The 'Iron Age' in Britain began at the time when iron was first commonly used to make tools and weapons, around 2800 years ago (800 BC). It ended when the Romans conquered most of the country, from AD 43. They never successfully conquered most of Scotland, and never invaded Ireland; Iron Age ways of life continued in both.'
'Iron Age Britain was a land of farms and small villages. There were no towns. People did not use money until the end of the era. In some areas people built large hillforts, duns and brochs. Communities were organized into tribes and larger groups. Perhaps as many as one to two million people were living in the country when the Romans arrived. Britons only started to use writing in the last 100 years of the period. However, they left no books or stone inscriptions. A few Roman books mention Iron Age Britain, telling us a little about the kings, but less about other aspects of life. So in order to study Britain in this period, scholars have to rely on archaeological evidence.'
'This tour will provide a short introduction to Iron Age Britain through some of the objects people made, used, lost or sacrificed. COMPASS has more information about these and other Iron Age objects, if you want to find out more.'

Mei: Christ Cleansing the Temple. 'Upon seeing the Temple of Jerusalem turned into a marketplace by moneychangers and traders in sacrificial animals, the whip-carrying Jesus bursts out in anger. With an animated composition laid out on diagonals, and monumental figures reeling, Bernardino Mei's canvas aptly portrays Christ's righteous fury. '

Poussin: The Holy Family. 'Poussin placed the Holy Family in an idealized landscape with sixteenth-century Italianate buildings. The Virgin Mary sits in the center, but the action focuses on the embrace shared by Jesus Christ and John the Baptist. To the left, Saint Elizabeth gazes steadily at Mary, perhaps foreseeing her future suffering. Saint Joseph leans against a wall and smiles approvingly at the scene below. '

Piola: Madonna and Child Adored by Saint Francis. 'Bending gently, a robust figure of Saint Francis in his characteristic brown robe raises the Christ Child up to a graceful, queenly Madonna.'

Cavallino: The Shade of Samuel Invoked by Saul. 'Dressed in full royal attire, a brightly illuminated King Saul points to his chest. He wears a shiny breastplate, a cloak of vibrant red, and a crown upon his head. Saul kneels before the ghost of Samuel, the last Judge of the Israelites. Silhouetted against the bright light that emanates from the doorway, Samuel's skin is ashen and gray. He leans towards Saul with an intense and penetrating gaze indicating troubled concern. Between the two figures, the Witch of Endor also leans forward to look fearfully at the kneeling king. '

Rules Grammar Change: English Traditional Replaced to be New Syntax With. 'The U.S. Grammar Guild Monday announced that no more will traditional grammar rules English follow. Instead there will a new form of organizing sentences be.'

School 'Fine', US Teens Report. 'To the question, "How was school today?" 68 percent of participants responded "fine," while 18 percent answered "good" and 10 percent "okay." The remaining 4 percent replied with a shrug.'

Moonrise Through Mauna Kea's Shadow. 'How can the Moon rise through a mountain? It cannot -- what was photographed here is a moonrise through the shadow of a large volcano.'

Moonlight, Mars and Milky Way. 'this celestial scene, a four day old Moon illuminates a dreamlike foreground while bright planet Mars (above center) rules and the Milky Way's cosmic clouds of stars and dust seem to stretch from horizon to horizon. '

Living and Dying. 'People around the world seek well-being for themselves and for their communities in many different ways.'
'These differing approaches reflect the ways they understand their world. Some people see well-being in terms of the individual and the body. Others think of it at the level of the community, requiring the maintenance of important relationships. These relationships might be with other people, animals, spirits or the earth. In most societies an individual can seek to avert harm, identify its causes and treat its effects in a range of accepted ways.'
'This tour explores these themes through material ranging from ancient gold artefacts to modern paper sculptures and a specially-commissioned art installation, Cradle to Grave. These objects are some of the highlights of the exhibition Living and Dying in the Wellcome Trust Gallery. This new display draws on the British Museum's outstanding ethnography collections to show how people everywhere make exuberant and constantly developing responses to the challenges we all face. '

History of Space Exploration. 'There are things that are known and things that are unknown; in between is exploration.' -Anonymous.

Transforming Traditions: Ancient Motifs in Medieval Manuscripts.

Tibet: Treasures from the Roof of the World. 'Travelers trekked thousands of miles to see them. Emperors presented them as gifts. This October at the Bowers Museum, visitors will see the same sacred treasures for the first time in the Western World in the groundbreaking exhibition, Tibet: Treasures From The Roof Of The World. Almost 200 exquisitely created sacred objects, all with great cultural significance, are making their first journey to the Western World. Tibet: Treasures From The Roof Of The World will offer a rare glimpse into a culture both opulent and deeply spiritual. The exhibition will feature objects drawn exclusively from collections from the Dalai Lama's magnificent residence at the Potala Palace, as well as the recently established Tibet Museum in the magical Tibetan capital of Lhasa. '

Zao Wou-Ki. Chinese art. 'Zao Wou-ki, now 82, found his distinctive voice and vocabulary in his mid-thirties, having by that time lived in Paris for a decade. By the end of 1957 he had committed to abstraction, on terms which from the beginning set him apart from the other artists of his circle—Mitchell, Riopelle, Vieira da Silva, Soulages—as much as from his great supporter Henri Michaux. His cypher-like signature, to which he has remained faithful for over fifty years, gives his first name in Chinese characters and his last in a Western orthography. It is emblematic of a stranded cultural identity, recognized from the first by sympathetic critics as the key to his artistic direction. The recognition, however, took the form of a view of Zao’s painting as an exemplary reconciliation of Chinese and European aesthetics, in which the language of modern Western abstraction is enriched by a Chinese sensibility rooted in the past.'

Darwin Country. Shropshire culture, heritage and natural history.

Portraits of the Elizabethan Court. 'On the death of her half-sister Mary, on 17 November 1558, Elizabeth I ascended the throne of England. The daughter of Henry VIII and his second wife Anne Boleyn, Elizabeth had maintained her Protestant beliefs during Mary's reign, and on her accession determined to restore England to Protestantism. However, the stability of the country depended on her uniting her people, and throughout her long reign (until 1603) she struggled to preserve an uneasy peace with her Roman Catholic subjects. Her own strength of character, and the ability of her ministers, notably Lord Burghley, ensured that the Elizabethan age was on the whole one of peace and prosperity. The might of her sea captains, particularly Francis Drake, and the development of exploration and trade enabled England under Elizabeth to become a world power ... '

Robben Island Museum. 'For nearly 400 years, Robben Island, 12 kilometres from Cape Town, was a place of banishment, exile, isolation and imprisonment. It was here that rulers sent those they regarded as political troublemakers, social outcasts and the unwanted of society. '
'During the apartheid years Robben Island became internationally known for its institutional brutality. The duty of those who ran the Island and its prison was to isolate opponents of apartheid and to crush their morale. Some freedom fighters spent more than a quarter of a century in prison for their beliefs. '
'Those imprisoned on the Island succeeded on a psychological and political level in turning a prison 'hell-hole' into a symbol of freedom and personal liberation. Robben Island came to symbolise, not only for South Africa and the African continent, but also for the entire world, the triumph of the human spirit over enormous hardship and adversity.'

Protest dot net. A calendar of protest, meetings and conferences.

Schalken: The Annunciation. 'This finely painted work depicts the Annunciation: the Archangel Gabriel announcing to the Virgin Mary that she has been chosen to become the mother of Christ. In a rather personal interpretation of the theme, Godfried Schalcken represented Mary as a young Dutch woman in contemporary dress, holding a loose scroll rather than the traditional book. The swirling clouds at his knees, the pointing gesture, and the bright light around the angel's head betray Gabriel's spiritual status, for he has no wings or traditional symbols to identify him as God's messenger. Bright light illuminates Mary's thoughtful face. Schalcken delicately manipulated light and shadow to describe the folds in Gabriel's white gown and the shadows cast by his outstretched right arm and tilted head. '

Mola: The Vision of Saint Bruno. 'During his devotions in the wilderness, Saint Bruno, the founder of the Carthusian order, a monastic community committed to solitary meditation, experienced a vision. Gazing intensely up at the sky, the saint tentatively reaches out to touch the mystical illusion of angels appearing in the sky. To the left, two tall trees cross each other at an angle, forming a cross. Below the rolling clouds, hills and land gently recede into the distance. '

Blue Line Jumps 11 Percent. 'Excitement swept the financial world Monday, when a blue line jumped more than 11 percent, passing four black horizontal lines as it rose from 367.22 to 408.85.'

Executive Quits Fast Track to Spend More Time with Possessions.
link

23rd February


Civil Rights Movement Veterans. 'We who believe in freedom cannot rest' — Ella Baker.
Stories from veterans of the Southern Freedom Movement.

Integrating Old Miss. 'In the fall of 1962 the college town of Oxford, Mississippi, erupted in violence. At the center of the controversy stood James Meredith, an African American who was attempting to register at the all-white University of Mississippi, known as "Ole Miss." Meredith had the support of the federal government, which insisted that Mississippi honor the rights of all its citizens, regardless of race. Mississippi's refusal led to a showdown between state and federal authorities and the storming of the campus by a segregationist mob. Two people died and dozens were injured. In the end, Ole Miss, the state of Mississippi, and the nation were forever changed.'
'This site lets visitors witness the events firsthand through the actual letters, recorded telephone conversations, and images of those who made history.'

Japan's New Japonisme. Photo-essay.
'For most of the past 150 years many Japanese have treated their own culture as an unwanted child. Japanese clothes like kimono, yukata (a kind of cotton Summer kimono), haori (a sort of coat to wear over a kimono or yukata), happi (a short yukata) and geta (wooden shoes) were seen only as 'traditional', as old-fashioned. Japanese houses were torn down. Most were actually destroyed after the end of WWII, not during the war. Japanese furniture was thrown out with the garbage.'
'In the past few years this has begun to change. In the late 90's Japanese top designers brought the yukata back in vogue ... '

The Anonymous Pilgrim of Bordeaux (333 AD). 'This itinerary (also known as Itinerarium Burdigalense) is the earliest description left by a Christian traveler in the Holy Land. The journey was made in 333 A. D. when Flavius Dalmatius and Domitius Zenophilus were joint consuls. The name of the author is not known to us, but it is generally assumed that the author was a native of Bordeaux (France), because the itinerary starts from there.'
'The Latin original text is written in the simple and lean form which is typical of the Roman Itineraria. It consists mostly of a list of localities and their distances. Localities are subdivided into cities, halts and changes; in these places the traveler could remain for a while, rest, have dinner, or just change the mount and keep going on.'
'Having passed through Milan and Sirmium, the traveller arrives in Constantinople; from there, he crosses to Asia reaching for Palaestina and in particular Jerusalem. The last part of the itinerary starts from Heraclea, in Hellespontus, and arrives again in Milan passing through the city of Rome ... '

The Madaba Map: A Virtual Travel through the Holy Places. 'You are about to start a fascinating travel through the Holy Places as they had been represented on the mosaic floor of an ancient church at Madaba (Jordan). You will discover the most truthful map of the Land of the Bible ever done ... '

The Agonist. 'Breaking, balanced news from around the globe.'

Wish Jar Journal. Fab Canadian weblog. 'Simple things hold the secret.'

Hearthside. Great personal site with photos of megalithic and medieval sites.

Weird Gardens. A truly fascinating house and garden; explore online.
Gallery.

The Trams of Ballarat. 'The stories told in The Trams of Ballarat are both a history of public transport in Ballarat and part of the public history of the city. The stories presented here are derived from the personal accounts of those who worked on the trams and they show how the trams of Ballarat were more than just public transport.'

Tamaki Obuchi. Photographer from Kitakyushu.

Kazuaki Maeda. Photographer from Kitakyushu.

Remembering Slavery. African Americans talk about their personal experiences of slavery and emancipation.

Stanislaw Lem on the Web. The great Polish science fiction writer. Includes details of the 'Lem affair', cover galleries etc.

The Language Museum. Samples of 2000 languages.

The Crock of Gold, by James Stephens, 1912. A novel based on Irish folklore.

In Wicklow and West Kerry, by John M. Synge, 1912. A travelogue of rural Ireland.

Flesher Banjos. 'Bob Flesher Custom Banjos has been creating beautiful handcrafted banjos since 1990. With thirty five years of banjo building experience, founder and former partner of the Liberty Banjo Company, Bob has built hundreds of custom banjos over the years. We offer a line of Minstrel Banjos from the 1840's - 60's, Open-back Banjos for Clawhammer or Frailing and unique Bluegrass Banjos. We will also custom build any banjo your heart desires. From the simplest tack-head banjo to the very fancy bluegrass powerhouse, to the elegant one-of-a-kind collector's piece, Bob has mastered them all. Enjoy the following pages of what we have to offer in custom built banjos.'
link

21st February


Spiritual Spirits. Photo-essay about sake. 'Sake, Japanese rice wine, is said to have its roots as a sacred drink. A drink for the gods. Thankfully, these days mere mortals may enjoy it as well. But sake has kept many of its connections to more sacred worlds. Shinto shrines still offer sake as an offering to the countless deities that are worshipped in Japan, and many a religious festival would surely soon cease to exist without this lubricant.'
'Although sake is sold in bottles and packs in Japan's shops and supermarkets, shrines still use the age old keg. Quite a few shrines have dozens of beautifully decorated sake kegs stacked up against their walls. It is an almost magical sight that has captivated many a photographer.'

Prehistoric Jersey. Dolmens, menhirs and other prehistoric stones.
'Jersey, largest of the Channel Islands has an area of approximately 114 sq. km. and is situated in the Gulf of St Malo. Originally connected to the European landmass the island became separated by rising sea levels at about 4000 BC. For a small island it is rich in archaeology.'
'This site was created to provide those interested with photographs of as many of the main prehistoric sites and structures that can be identified in Jersey today. Several are barely recognisable through the undergrowth, some are on private property, most though are accessible if you know where to look. Also included are photographs of future sites and stones that have been suggested to have a megalithic history. The grid references relate to the 1:2500 Ordnance Survey maps of Jersey produced in 1981 and 2003 ... '

The Hendrick I. Lott House. 'The Lott House, built circa 1800, is one of the last Dutch-American farmhouses in New York City. It was occupied by descendants of Hendrick I. Lott until 1989 when the house was designated a New York City landmark ... '

Adam Zyglis. Editorial cartoons and caricatures.

Josh Gerrin. Of the University of Utah; voted best college editorial cartoonist of the year.

Ukraininan Icons. Images.
From the introduction - 'The sources of Ukrainian icon painting can be traced back to the time of Kyivan Rus' (10th-l3th century), the epoch when Christianity became the predominant religion of the State. At that time a notion unknown to pagans entered the consciousness of believers: the concept of the icon (from Greek eikon - an image), a consummate representation of a sacred image. Painted with egg tempera on panel, every icon was endowed by believers with a supernatural power which had the mysterious and inexplicable ability to link the soul of a mortal with God. Miracles were expected from icons, which were seen to be invested with divine grace; they were, in effect, worshipped and fervently prayed to. And the greater the mastery of the artist and the more inspired his brush, the deeper was the icon's aesthetic influence, and it became more venerable as a result ... '

Chateaux and Castles in France. Photographs and articles.

Janet Jackson and the Superbowl! Cartoons.

The Songs of Bilitis. 'First published in Paris in 1894, this purports to be translations of poems by a woman named Bilitis, a contemporary and acquaintance of Sappho. This caused a sensation, not only because finding an intact cache of poems from a completely unknown Greek poet circa 600 B.C. would be a miracle, but because of its open and sensitive exploration of lesbian eroticism. Actually Bilitis never existed. The poems were a clever forgery by Pierre Lou˙s--the "translator"; to lend weight, he had even included a bibliography with bogus supporting works. Lou˙s actually did have a good command of the classics, and he salted Bilitis with a number of quotations from real poets, including Sappho, to make it even more convincing. '
'Just because this is a fake does not detract from its literary value. And just because it was written by a man did not prevent it from acquiring cultural significance for Lesbians. In fact, one of the earliest organizations of Lesbians in the United States was called the Daughters of Bilitis (although this could have been because it was a reference that would elude most people) ... '

Ray Johnson, Father of Mail Art 1927-95. 'On Friday, January 13, 1995, Ray Johnson, pop art pioneer, conceptualist, and the father of mail art was discovered drowned in Sag Harbor Cove, Long Island. News of Johnson's death spread rapidly through telephone calls, email messages, and mail art created by friends of Ray Johnson, members of Ray's New York Correspondence School (NYCS).'
'The New York Correspondence School was established by Ray Johnson in the early '60s; it was singularly the most important contribution of Ray Johnson to the history of art, a point missed by leading newspapers and art magazines reporting Johnson's death. It was Fluxus and Ray Johnson's NYCS that birthed mail art, the largest international art community and movement in the history of art. Membership into the NYCS was bestowed upon anyone Johnson chose to correspond with and the exchanges were wonderful, intimately engaging verbal and visual play. Throughout the 1960s til his death, Ray Johnson was the conduit, the server, the proto-internet dada daddy surfing the mailstream, invading mailboxes everywhere with bunnies, imaginary Fan Clubs, and correspondance wordpla ... '
Gallery.

The Bramah Museum of Tea and Coffee. 'The Bramah Museum, only two minutes from London Bridge Station, is the world's first museum devoted entirely to the history of tea and coffee. It tells the commercial and social 400 year old history of two of the world's most important commodities since their arrival in Europe from the Far East and Africa. '
'Since the British played a major role both in the China trade and development of production in India, Ceylon and Africa, the museum naturally tells the story from a British perspective. The museum through its ceramics, metalware, prints and displays answers all those questions that people from around the world ask about British tea and coffee.'
'The museum believes everything possible should be done to maintain and if possible improve the quality of tea and coffee offered to the public ... '
History of tea.
History of coffee.

John Constable. Online gallery of the English landscape artist.
'John Constable was one of the major European landscape artists of the XIX century, whose art was admired by Delacroix and Gericault and influenced the masters of Barbizon and even the Impressionists, although he did not achieved much fame during his lifetime in England, his own country. John Constable was born in East Bergholt, Suffolk, on 11 June 1776, the fourth child and second son of Ann and Golding Constable. His father was a prosperous local corn merchant who inherited his business from an uncle in 1764. Constable was educated at Dedham Grammar School, where he distinguished himself more by his draughtsmanship than his scholarship. In 1793 his father decided to train him as a miller and, consequently, Constable spent a year working on the family mill, which helped him to determine his course of life: he would be an artist ... '

Goryeo Dynasty: Korea's Age of Enlightenment, 918 to 1392. 'For nearly five centuries, arts and culture flourished under the patronage of the Goryeo aristocracy, whose taste for luxury and refinement was unprecedented in the history of the country. Goryeo Dynasty features 113 rare and superb artworks (seven are designated as National Treasures of Korea) from this period-many on view in the United States for the first time-including extraordinary celadon ceramics, Buddhist paintings and sculptures, illustrated sutras (sacred Buddhist texts), ritual implements, metal crafts, and lacquer wares ... '
Avalokiteshvara.

Asia: A Collection of 19th Century Photographs. 'In the decades following the invention of photography in 1839, European photographers traveled to Asia, documenting cultures and landscapes with a realism previously unknown. Employing cumbersome large format cameras and delicate paper or glass plate negatives, these intrepid photographers captured the first images of Japan after it had been closed to the West for over 200 years; the first images of the forbidding Himalayan Mountain passes; the first images of bound-footed women and of grand golden temples.'
Entrance to the Temple of Minakshi in the Great Pagoda.

Nick Engelbert's Grandview. 'In 1937, after his children were grown, Nick Engelbert began to build an elaborate arched porch of concrete around the front entrance of his farmhouse, ultimately covering every inch of the outside surface of the house with concrete inlaid with shards of china, glass, beads, buttons, and sea shells. Over the next 15 years, Nick created more than 40 concrete sculptures in his yard, combining patriotic themes with imagery from history, fairy tales, mythology and his own imagination. At the age of 70, no longer able to make sculptures, he turned to painting, producing over 200 oils before his death in 1962 ... '

Le Brun: The Martyrdom of St. Andrew. 'Arms thrown wide, Saint Andrew implores the heavens above while soldiers tie him to a cross in the shape of an X. His executioner, the Roman governor Egeas, watches from a classical porch above, and confusion reigns as soldiers try to push back the surging crowd. Charles Le Brun heightened the emotion of the figures by contrasting the stern, silent figure of the emperor with the chaos below. He used gesture, facial expressions, and strong colors to create a dynamic composition in the theatrical Roman setting. '

Jordaens: Moses Striking Water from the Rock. 'A crowd of Israelites gathers to observe a dramatic Old Testament miracle. After they wandered in the wilderness of the Sinai desert without water, God saved them by instructing Moses to strike a rock with his staff, whereupon fresh water gushed out. '

Victors: The Angel Taking Leave of Tobit and His Family. 'After curing Tobit's blindness, returning the family's wealth, and making it possible for Tobit's son Tobias to marry his beloved Sarah, the Archangel Raphael has dropped his disguise and revealed himself as an angel, saying, "I was not acting on my own will, but by the will of God." Such a scene of miraculous intervention was especially attractive to Protestants in Holland, who believed in doctrines of faith, mercy, and divine grace. '

Reni: Virgin and Child with Saint John the Baptist. 'In this depiction of a meeting between the young Christ and Saint John the Baptist, Guido Reni eliminated unnecessary detail and concentrated on the scene's emotional qualities. The eyes of the two children meet as Mary looks on. The doves that the Christ Child gives to his cousin are an allusion to both Jesus's future role as the King of Peace as well as his eventual sacrifice. Joseph enters through a doorway in the background. '

How to Cook Thanksgiving Dinner. 'What is it about Thanksgiving that brings out the crazy in everyone? When you distill the holiday to its essence, it's just another dinner for a bunch of people; but for most people, this is no ordinary dinner party – this is family. So, any insecurity you might have about your cooking skills is magnified by whatever factor equals how much your family members stress one another out. As the tensions mounts, remind yourself this entire hullabaloo is over 20 minutes of speed-eating and 10 minutes of sighing and belt-loosening. That's tantamount to gluttony, which is a sin. And if you're going to sin, you might as well have fun doing it ... '

Rollercoaster. 'Dear Sir or Madam, I would like to make a small roller coaster in my friend's backyard. I believe it should have brakes. My question is: How do hydraulics work? I find them rather bewildering. Thank you, Mo.'
link