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5th July

Alternative Handwriting and Shorthand Systems for Dummies. Via MeFi.

Sadhus: The Great Renouncers. 'Indigo Gallery had the pleasure of hosting another Thomas Kelly photographic exhibition that brought an aspect of Nepali and Indian culture to a contemplative gallery setting.'
'The ascetic Sadhu ritual practices (sadhanas), involving demanding yoga postures and colorful body imagery, are captured by Thomas Kelly whose work encompasses a span of two decades. In his own words, Thomas tells what it has been like to move through the world of the sadhus, witnessing their ritualized practices, following their endless pilgrimage, and dancing with the humor and danger this has entailed. '

Bathing and Boating 1800-1900. Online art collection.

Horses in Art. Online gallery.

Hidden Ireland: A Guide to Irish Faeries. 'St Patrick's legacy of Christianity gave Ireland its image of 'saints and scholars'. These rose from among the ancient tribes and kingdoms of ancient Ireland, whose religions worshipped the trees and lakes, stones and animals of the wild landscape. Such gods and beliefs would not die easily. '
'We present, in this special feature, a reflection on some creatures of Irish myth which may not be entirely fictional.'

Tlingit Myths and Texts. 'This is a massive study of the myths and legends of the Tlingit, Native Americans of southern Alaska. These texts include a lengthly cycle of stories about Raven, the trickster figure of the Northwest, the equivalent of the better known Coyote of the Southwest. Another major thread that runs through these stories is the typical Northwestern preoccupation with wealth and status. The land was abundant with marine life, wildlife and other resources. The Tlingit, along with other cultures in the region, had developed a very high level of material wealth, as well as levels of social inequality not found elsewhere in North America. For this reason, many of the stories are parallel to European folklore (without being derivative in the slightest way), in which a low-status person achieves wealth and respect by supernatural intervention or a series of epic trials.'

Many Swans: Sun Myth of the North American Indians. '"Many Swans" is based upon a Kathlamet legend, the main theme and many of the episodes of which I have retained, while at the same time augmenting and freely departing from it in order to gain a wider symbolism. Four of the songs in my poem are real Indian songs, one is an adaptation, the others are merely in the Indian idiom. In the interest of atmospheric truth, I have felt at liberty to make occasional use of Indian expressions and turns of thought, and I here wish to record my gratitude to that small body of indefatigable workers in that field of Indian folk-lore and tradition whose careful and exact translations of Indian texts have made them accessible to those who, like myself, have not the Indian tongues.'

The Golden Gate Bridge. From PBS's 'American Experience'.
'On May 27, 1937, 200,000 people thronged to the newly-completed Golden Gate Bridge and walked, climbed, skated or cycled across. After 18 years of struggles to complete the bridge, San Francisco's jubilance was unrestrained. There was a tap dancer, a tuba player and a woman determined to be the first to walk its length with her tongue out.'
'Twenty years earlier, choked off at the tip of a peninsula, San Francisco had faced a future of increased congestion and economic strangulation. Though many in the city longed for a bridge connecting San Francisco to the counties to the north, the obstacles to construction were daunting.'
'It took a hustler and self-promoter, a man who had never designed or overseen the building of a suspension bridge, to take up the challenge. Joseph Strauss spent thirteen years wrangling with local politicians, arguing with the War Department over designs and fighting lawsuits from bridge opponents before he was able to break ground. By the time the bridge was complete, Strauss, his team of designers and his construction crews had built what has since been called one of the "Seven Wonders of the Modern World." '

The Science Behind the X-Files. 'Welcome to The Science Behind The X-Files! As you can see, this page has undergone some serious restructuring, but it's still committed to bringing you all the cool science facts that can be found in each episode of The X-Files. '

Railway Archive: The Last Main Line. 'The Last Main Line examines the history and continuing social, environmental and economic impact of the Great Central Railway's 'London Extension', which ran between London and North Nottinghamshire between the 1890s and 1960s.'
'The Last Main Line uses S.W.A. Newton's unique photographic record of the Great Central Railway's construction as a starting point for the story of this major transport undertaking.'

Tibetan Charts. Astrological, medical and protective talismans.

Venetian Colour and Florentine Design. 'Artists from different parts of Italy approached the representation of nature differently and, as a result, produced works that differ not only in execution and appearance but in their very conception. In Florence, disegno, that is, "drawing" or "design," was viewed as the essential beginning of artistic endeavor, the primary means for making art approximate nature. In Venice, colorito, "coloring"—not only color but also its judicious application—was deemed fundamental to conceiving painted images charged with the look of life. Florentine color was frequently more vivid than the palette used in Venetian paintings; typically Venetian, however, was the process of layering and blending colors to achieve a glowing richness. A long-lived debate between the two positions involved theorists as well as artists and regional rivalries as well as aesthetic concerns ... '

European Tapestry Production 1400-1600 AD. 'Tapestries were ubiquitous in the castles and churches of the late medieval and Renaissance eras. At a practical level, they provided a form of insulation and decoration that could be easily transported. In addition, the process of tapestry weaving, where every stitch is placed by hand, enabled the creation of complex figurative images on an enormous scale. Many medieval tapestries measure as much as 5 x 10 yards and sets could include ten or more pieces. While much production was relatively coarse, intended for decorative purposes, wealthy patrons could commission designs whose subjects embodied celebratory or propagandistic themes. Enriched with silk and gilt metallic thread, such tapestries were a central component of the ostentatious magnificence used by powerful secular and religious rulers to broadcast their wealth and might ... '

The Code of Handsome Lake. 'Handsome Lake (1735-1815) was a religious reformer among the Iroquois, the prominent alliance of New York tribes. His 'Code', presented in this book in full, attempted to simplify the spiritual practices of the Iroquois, preaching temperance, a strict moral code, and self-determination. It also contains some startling prophecies: Handsome Lake believed the world would end (by fire) in the year 2100; he predicted the destruction of the environment, famines, and war; and one of his visions (see section 93) appears to describe the destruction of the ozone layer. This book also contains invaluable descriptions of Iroquois religious rituals and myths at the turn of the twentieth Century.'

Coos Texts. 'This is a short collection of texts from the Coos people of Oregon, collected by anthropologists a century ago. This includes origin myths and lore about what lies beyond the sky and death, tales of people who marry anthropomorphic animals, and legends about natural disasters such as floods and fires. Like other unedited, unfiltered native American texts, they possess earthy humor and a dreamlike, cyclic narrative stucture.'

Building a Bridge Pier. 'James B. Eads faced many obstacles when he built the first steel bridge in the world over the Mississippi River, none of which was more daunting than the sinking of the bridges' two piers and abutments to bedrock. Eads plan was based on a similar technology used in Europe: that of using caissons. This demonstration shows the step-by-step process of constructing one of the piers and explains this amazing feat of engineering.'

Remember the Alamo. From PBS's 'American Experience'.
'In the early 1830s Texas was about to explode. Although ruled by Mexico, the region was home to more than 20,000 U.S. settlers agitated by what they saw as restrictive Mexican policies. Mexican officials, concerned with illegal trading and immigration, were prepared to fight hard to keep the province under their control. Caught in the middle were the area's 4,000 Mexican Texans or Tejanos.'
'With war on the horizon, the Tejanos had to pick a side. Many chose to fight with their Anglo neighbors against an army sent by Mexico City. The conflict pitted brother against brother and devastated the community. The Tejano gamble for a more prosperous future in an independent Texas proved tragic. Following the revolution, the Tejanos were overwhelmed by a surge of Anglo immigration -- leaving them foreigners in a land they had fought to defend...'

4th July

Cancer Giggles. 'This site is hopefully an idiot's guide to accepting, living with, laughing at and dying from cancer. The very, very last bit I can't be absolutely sure of but then who the hell can? I could have put together some beautifully crafted, grammatically correct essays but I hope you will understand, that when I say "I don't have a lot of time" I mean it far more literally than you do. I wanted to publish some thoughts which may just light a spark in some people'

The Ideals of the East, by Kakuzo Okakura, 1904. 'This is a short but very concise introduction to Asian art by the author of The Book of Tea. Written from a Japanese perspective, and focusing on Japanese art, one of the major themes is the relationship between spirituality, particularly Buddhism, and the evolution of Asian art. '

Gisli the Outlaw, by George Webbe Dasent, 1866
'The story of Gisli the Outlaw, one of the minor Icelandic sagas, was first translated into English by George Dasent, who also wrote Popular Tales from the Norse. Dasent was a skilled linguist, folklorist, and journalist, and had a good feel for story-telling.'
'This is a story of cyclic blood-revenge, set off by a casual overheard remark, leading to the protagonist, Gisli, becoming a fugitive from society, and eventually dying in single combat against a dozen foes. It is similar in theme and structure to the Saga of Grettir, if not as elaborate. Set during the introduction of Christianity to Iceland, there are numerous details about pagan practices which are dotted through the narrative.'
'The Gisli saga is notable for its deep psychological treatment of its lead character, who is tormented during his exile by vivid foreshadowing dreams of two wives, one good and one evil. Also of note are the female characters, who can be just as hot-headed as their male counterparts. For instance Auda, Gisli's wife, in one notable scene spurns Eyjolf's, Gisli's nemesis, offer to betray Gisli for a bag of silver--by bashing Eyjolf in the face with it. '

Ioläus: An Anthology of Friendship, by Edward Carpenter, 1917.
'This is Edward Carpenter's study of (primarily male) friendship, which in this case is a thinly veiled codeword for 'homosexuality'. In earlier cultures, particularly classical antiquity, but up to and including Elizabethan times, intense, even romantic emotional relationships between men were accepted by society. Paradoxically, these relationships between men were often in the context of cultures which disparaged same sex eroticism, but had no problem accepting these strong bonds between men.'

The Papacy and the Vatican Palace. 'The Vatican is located on the left bank of the Tiber River in Rome, abutting the ancient Circus of Nero, where, according to tradition, Saint Peter, the first pope and the apostle to whom Christ entrusted his ministry, was martyred in 67 A.D. The seat of the Holy See and the pope's principal place of residence, it is the smallest independent state in the world. In 320–27 A.D., the emperor Constantine built a five-aisled basilica atop the early Christian necropolis that was Peter's resting place, with a shrine in the apse of the church to mark the location of Peter's tomb, then as now an important pilgrimage site. By the fifteenth century, the building was in disrepair and more space was needed, and plans were made to repair and expand the church ...'

Jesse Reno. Outsider artist. 'Reno splatters his art across paper and canvass and it gets on your psyche. His colors appeal like a highway crash; its hard to look away. Keep your eyes peeled and you'll see his vision and his acceptance of the fight. He won't lose.'

America Oh Yes! 'We have one of the most extensive folk art collections in the country...and very reasonable prices. (We know they are reasonable because we sell to many art galleries and other dealers!) Presently we have art by more than 165 self-taught artists from all over America; our inventory is constantly changing. Although we cannot include ALL the art we have on our web site, we have tried to include some of the best known artists and many who are rapidly emerging.'

The Museum of Bad Art 'is the world's only museum dedicated to the collection, preservation, exhibition and celebration of bad art in all its forms.'

Events in the Night Sky. Astrophotography by Stan Richard.

The Art Collection of Christ Church Gallery. Paintings and drawings.

Kassandra. Erotic photography. Not safe for work.

The Story of Workhouses. 'The Workhouse is an institution that often evokes the harsh and squalid world of Oliver Twist, but its story is also a fascinating mixture of social history, politics, economics and architecture.'
' is dedicated to the workhouse - its buildings, inmates, staff and administrators, even its poets... '

Japanese Landscape Prints.

Marie Curie and the Science of Radioactivity. Online exhibit.

Everlasting Star. Marilyn Monroe pictures.

The JFK Library. Gallery, exhibits.

The Toaster Museum.

1st July

Through the Eyes of Children: The Rwanda Project. 'Through the Eyes of Children began as a photographic workshop in 2000, conceived by photographer, David Jiranek, and inspired by the founder of the Imbabazi Orphanage, Rosamond Carr - an American woman living in Rwanda for over 50 years. Using disposable cameras, the children originally took pictures for themselves and to share with others, exploring their community, and finding beauty as the country struggles to rebuild.'
'Initially, the pictures were developed locally, displayed on the orphanage walls and put into photo albums by the children. A year later, the children were invited by the US Embassy to exhibit their work in the capital, Kigali where the pictures were sold, with all proceeds going towards the education of the children. In the 2001 Camera Arts Magazine Photo Contest, 8 year old Jacqueline won "First Prize - Portraiture," and the project has won Honorable Mention in an international competition featuring professional and non-professional photographers from around the world. '

A Nepalese Village. 'I am Mahabir Pun. I would like to take you on a tour of my village (Nangi), and my country (Nepal and the Himalayas). I would like you to learn about our High School in Nangi Village, Nepal. Some people from abroad have visited and worked in Nangi and have interesting stories to tell you of their time here. '

Belonging: Who Shaped Australia? 'An exhibition exploring some of the ways that people have experienced belonging in Australia in the twentieth century.'

Artform Gallery: The Female Nude in Art. 'The artworks in Artform Gallery are presented for your enjoyment and as a celebration of the female form. They are a visual reference to the way in which the nude has been portrayed in art history, though it has been left for you, the viewer, to form your own opinions as to whether the images retain their sensuality and appeal regardless of the period of time in which they were painted. '

Civil War Treasures from the New York Historical Society. 'This selection of images is intended to serve as a chronological overview of the war as depicted in items from the Civil War collections at the New-York Historical Society. The variety of materials in the collections represented here provides a complex look at the war, from both the Union and Confederate points of view, by artists and observers of many types. '

Sweeping the Dirt Floor: Fuego! Fuego! 'The Peace Corps has ambitious goals for its programs and participants, though setting a pueblo on fire isn't one of them. Former Corps member Matthew Baldwin recounts the early days in San Pedro, Bolivia, before his infamy.'

The Army Wives' Club. 'There is life as a civilian, life as a soldier, and then something in-between: a soldier's spouse. Army wife Nicole Hunter reports on the glamour, stress, and rewards of life on the base.'

Beloit College Presidents. 'Each page contains a photograph and a brief biography of each Beloit president.'

Microscopic Views of Beers from Around the World.

Japanese Architecture in Kansai. (Link fixed 3rd July).

Northumberland Battlefields. Virtual tour.

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.'

Late Medieval German Sculpture. Various articles, images.

Joe Day. Outsider artist. 'Bits and pieces of another life, another view, another dream fall into Joe Day's head and come out looking like the art below. An amazing assemblage of paper, text, paint, drawing and symbols combine to give us an opening never closed. His cities preach, his hearts pump and Joe Day wonders where he goes next. From the mind of Joe Day, life rearranged.'

The Tacky Postcard Archive. Lots of fun.

Lost in the Grand Canyon. 'In the summer of 1869 a one-armed Civil War veteran, John Wesley Powell, led an epic journey down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. It was the last important exploration within the continental United States. Powell wrote a literary classic about his trip, explored the region for another ten years, studied Native American cultures, and used his position as director of the U.S. Geological Survey to argue against the over development of the West. '