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10th June

Mark Ryden. Spooky artist. Great site.

Pop-Up and Movable Books. 'Harlequinades, also known as metamorphoses or turn-up books, were the simplest type of movable books. Folded parts of a page were lifted to disclose a new picture that fitted neatly on to the remaining part of the first one. The books were called "harlequinades" because early examples often retold the stories of London pantomimes, in which the character Harlequin usually appeared ... '

Dan Markovich. Russian artist. Gallery here.

French Manhole Covers. 'Like shields, slowly polished by traffic and sunshine they glow silently and show us the color of sky, these who cover the access to the deep dark to where we send what has to desapear of (our) life.'

Medieval Irish Poetry.

Doi Seals. 'Many shin hanga collectors feel that Doi seals pose some challenges and risks, particularly for prints by the popular artists Kawase Hasui and Tsuchiya Koitsu. There have been few solid guidelines for determining the age of a Doi print based primarily on its seals. While many collectors use the Pachter date ranges for Watanabe seals on Hasui prints, there has been no comparable Doi reference tool in widespread use ... '

Bags and Boards. A weblog published on the Variety site. 'The trends, the buzz and the business of the comic book industry. '

Corn Valley Cartoons by Eric Bezdek. Editorial cartoonist.

9th June

Stop the BNP. European elections tomorrow; proportional representation means that any vote in the UK cast for a party other than the BNP, is a vote against the BNP.

Transit of Venus Image Gallery.. Via MeFi.

Via Life in the Present :-
Vues de Paris.
Bowling Pin Art.
Giants and Girls.
Ronald Reagan Cigarette Ads.
Cuban Propaganda Posters.
Heads of State Rock Posters.
The Visual Record: Photography.
Magic Pictures.
Tales of Old China.

Classicism in Modern Dress. 'History, whether manifested as embracing revival or smug repudiation, is especially evident in fashion. Although components of Hellenic attire have appeared throughout Western fashion's 600-year history, it is only from the 1790s to the 1810s that classicized forms are embraced as the prevailing mode. For most of the period that followed, classical motifs and allusions were essentially superficial. Not until the first decade of the twentieth century, with the movement to an uncorseted body, did a classical sensibility return to fashion with any pronounced significance.'
'Hellenic dress, with its diversity of draped effects based on reductive, orthogonal components, established an apt paradigm for designers. While the modernists gravitated toward the elegant economy of the construction of dress provided by antique models, postmodernists preferred to cite classical iconography more explicitly. That such contradictory movements incorporated the concepts and imagery of classical dress suggests the protean nature of the style ... '

Animals in Medieval Art. 'Animals, both real and fantastic, occupied an important place in medieval art and thought. Artists readily employed animal motifs, along with foliate designs, as part of their decorative vocabulary. Early medieval jewelry, for instance, abounds with animal forms elongated and twisted into intricate patterns ... '

The Four Ancient Books of Wales, 1868. 'This corpus is one of the treasures of world literature. It is also the only true source material for the study of Bardic lore, which reputedly preserved the esoteric (and long-lost) beliefs of the Druids. Largely written to satisfy wealthy patrons, much of the subject matter is related to mead-inspired battles, particularly the renowned Gododin cycle. However, the poetry rises above the gory combat and toadying to achieve an artistic height that would not be reached for many centuries. Some of the later works, which use Christian themes as a jumping-off point, have an almost haiku-like quality. The poems are infused throughout with mystic clarity, strange flashes of wisdom, and insight into humanity and nature.'
'This book is very rare, and only available for purchase today in an expensive print-on-demand edition. This etext, produced at sacred-texts, is the first comprehensive posting of this fascinating material on the Internet. '

The Kitano Tenjin Engi Emaki. Japanese art. 'Human deceit, the wrath of nature, and the torment of hell are all described here in a format uniquely suited to dramatic narrative. Blending historical fact with accounts of divine miracles, this set of five handscrolls comprising the Kitano Tenjin Engi Emaki juxtaposes written text with thirty-seven illustrations to tell the tale of the gifted but tragic courtier Sugawara Michizane (ca. 840–903) and the origin of the Kitano Shrine in Kyoto. Michizane was a celebrated statesman and scholar who ended his life in exile after being slandered by a rival at court. Seeking vengeance, his spirit caused natural disasters and visited horrible fates upon his persecutors until he was appeased by a posthumous promotion to the highest civil rank and deification as a Tenjin (heavenly deity), the most venerated kind of Shinto god. The Kitano Shrine is one of the most influential Shinto shrines in Japan, with ancillary relationships with more than four thousand shrines across the country ... '

Exchange of Art and Ideas: The Benin, Owo, and Ijebu Kingdoms. African art.

The Rational Enquirer. Political and current events blog.


Drums Along the Mohawk: The American Revolution on the New York Frontier. 'The year is 1777. Rumors are spreading of not one, but two armies of invaders who (the rumors say) will come down Lake Champlain from the north, and from the British stronghold Oswego to the west. In both armies are red and white men who have been driven from their homes and their families. They're coming to take back what's theirs and to turn the tables on their enemies - their neighbors who cast them out as traitors.'
'It's just another day in the Mohawk Valley...'

The Christmas Story in art. 'The birth of Jesus Christ and the events surrounding it are the subject of many beautiful works of art in the Metropolitan Museum. We present a few of them here, accompanied by the sacred texts that inspired them, excerpts of which are read by Philippe de Montebello, director of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Such religious works of art helped the viewer meditate upon the sacred event. In fact, some of these images depict the devout persons who commissioned them as eyewitnesses to the miracle. As we contemplate these works of art, we, too, are moved by their story of "good tidings of great joy" and "peace, goodwill toward men." '
'Much Christmas imagery is taken from descriptions in the Gospels of Saint Luke and Saint Matthew. Over time, however, artists added details not found in the Bible stories, including the animals of the stable and even midwives. A cave or a classical edifice sometimes replaces the ordinary stable. The wise men from the East become kings, their number is set at three (to match the three gifts cited in the Gospel—gold, frankincense, and myrrh), and they acquire physical characteristics that identify them with different ages or races. Among the sources of these details are such medieval texts as "The Golden Legend" and "Meditations on the Life of Christ," both written in the thirteenth century. Medieval plays and pageants also influenced Christmas imagery ... '

Folk Tales from the Russian, by Verra Xenophontovna Kalamatiano de Blumenthal, 1903. Illustrated.
'In Russia, as elsewhere in the world, folklore is rapidly scattering before the practical spirit of modern progress. The traveling peasant bard or story teller, and the devoted "nyanya," the beloved nurse of many a generation, are rapidly dying out, and with them the tales and legends, the last echoes of the nation's early joys and sufferings, hopes and fears, are passing away. The student of folk-lore knows that the time has come when haste is needed to catch these vanishing songs of the nation's youth and to preserve them for the delight of future generations. In sending forth the stories in the present volume, all of which are here set down in print for the first time, it is my hope that they may enable American children to share with the children of Russia the pleasure of glancing into the magic world of the old Slavic nation.'

The Perthshire Herbarium. 'Housed in Perth Museum and Art Gallery the Perthshire Herbarium is a collection of 12,000 pressed plants from the old county of Perthshire. Perthshire was larger than the existing Council area of Perth and Kinross, at 6,800 square kilometres. Members of the Perthshire Society of Natural Science collected the plant specimens between 1860 and 1920. The majority of the collection was brought together by Dr Francis Buchanan White whilst he worked on the Flora of Perthshire published posthumously in 1898.'
During 1999/2000 local botanist, Nick Dadds, catalogued the collection. A Cataloguing Grant awarded by the Museums & Galleries Commission, with support from The Jerwood Foundation and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport funded the production of the database and this web-site ... '
A rare & rich fauna.

Zen Art Gallery. 'Shambhala Publications is pleased to offer a fine selection of original Zen art available for purchase. These rare and exquisite art works have been selected and authenticated by John Stevens, Shambhala author and internationally recognized authority on Zen painting and calligraphy.'
Zen circles of enlightenment.
Zen painting and calligraphy.

Astrophotography. 'This is a web site of deep-sky astronomical photographs, tips and techniques for astrophotography, and digital enhancement in Photoshop.'

The Galaxy Catalog 'is a collection of digital images of 113 nearby galaxies. Images taken in several passbands and a color-composite image are included for each galaxy. '

L.F. Tantillo. New York State landscape and nautical artist. 'Growing up in a small historic town in the Hudson Valley of New York State instilled in Len Tantillo an appreciation for the past. Those early years also saw the emergence of his lifelong fascination with art. Tantillo's work clearly shows the combined influence of the luminists of the 19th century and the great marine artists of the past. The blending of his visual story-telling ability and a wonderful sense of adventure and excitement is evident in all of his paintings. Len Tantillo's work has appeared in books, periodicals, and television documentaries in the US and abroad. His work has been exhibited in numerous galleries across the country. '

Existing Railroad Stations in New York State.

8th June

The Book of Enoch. 'The Book of Enoch, written during the second century B.C.E., is one of the most important non-canonical apocryphal works, and probably had a huge influence on early Christian, particularly Gnostic, beliefs. Filled with hallucinatory visions of heaven and hell, angels and devils, Enoch introduced concepts such as fallen angels, the appearance of a Messiah, Resurrection, a Final Judgement, and a Heavenly Kingdom on Earth. Interspersed with this material are quasi-scientific digressions on calendrical systems, geography, cosmology, astronomy, and meteorology. '
'This etext has been prepared specially for sacred-texts, and is a great improvement over other versions on the Internet, with the introduction, correct verse numbering, page numbers from the 1917 edition, and intact critical apparatus. '

Northvegr. A Norse heathen website. Arts, sagas, etc. Lots here. Brilliant site.

Guercino. 'Italian painter (b. 1591, Cento, d. 1666, Bologna).' Online galleries.

Victorious Durga. 'Javanese Images of the Hindu Goddess who Conquered the Buffalo Demon.'

French Furniture in the Eighteenth Century. 'Some of the most beautiful and refined furniture ever made, displaying the highest level of artistic and technical ability, was created in Paris during the eighteenth century. Much admired by an international clientele, it was used to furnish residences all over Europe and also influenced fashions of cabinetmaking outside France.'

A History of London. From 'Though there were prehistoric settlements throughout the vast area that we now call London, no evidence has yet been found for any such community at the northern end of London Bridge where the present city grew up. The origins of London lie in Roman times ... '

Gardens of Western Europe 1600-1800. 'Gardens held a central place in the history of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century European art and architecture. Two distinct types of gardens developed during this period. In the seventeenth century, geometric layouts—defined as formal or Baroque gardens—were designed according to exact mathematical rules and strict symmetry and planted with artificially trimmed plants and trees. In the early eighteenth century, the desire to make gardens more "natural" resulted in the development of the landscape garden, based on irregular, undulating forms. Each garden type was the result of a different set of aesthetic values and philosophical ideas. What distinguished the Baroque garden from the earlier Renaissance garden tradition, even though it consisted largely of the same elements, was the concentration on dynamic spatial features and splendor ... '

Ukiyo-e About the Genpei War. 'Yashima, located in the east of Takamatsu, is popularly known as the historic site of a crucial battle fought between the Heikes and the Genjis, two major clans of late Heian Period.Takamatsu Historical Museum has been collecting articles such as pictures and books describing the battle between the two clanssince the opening of the museum. We should like to introduce part of the collected articles ... '

The Church in the Southern Black Community 1780-1925. 'This compilation of printed texts from the libraries at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill traces how Southern African Americans experienced and transformed Protestant Christianity into the central institution of community life. Coverage begins with white churches' conversion efforts, especially in the post-Revolutionary period, and depicts the tensions and contradictions between the egalitarian potential of evangelical Christianity and the realities of slavery. It focuses, through slave narratives and observations by other African American authors, on how the black community adapted evangelical Christianity, making it a metaphor for freedom, community, and personal survival. An award from the Library of Congress/Ameritech National Digital Library Competition supported the digitization of 100 titles. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill supplemented these titles with thirty-five additional texts illuminating the same theme. '

Patriots' Day. 'It's been over two and a quarter centuries since local American militias routed the British at the Battle of Lexington and Concord, but 65 men of his Majesty's 10th Regiment and 67 American rebels are still fighting.'
'American Experience takes a look at who they are and what has taken them on their personal journeys into the American past.'

Public Enemy Number 1. 'From 1933 to 1934, America was thrilled and terrorized by John Dillinger, a desperado, a bank robber, a bad man no jail could hold. His reputation grew until he was named the country's first Public Enemy #1 and hunted by virtually every cop in America. Operating during a time of great hardship, Dillinger became a mythic figure who struggled against authority and garnered the support of many ordinary Americans, particularly those hardest hit by the Great Depression. Dillinger finally met his match in J. Edgar Hoover, who used the outlaw's celebrity to burnish his own reputation and that of his national law enforcement agency, the FBI. Hoover won the day making sure in the process that the moral of Dillinger's tale was "crime doesn't pay." '

Reconstruction: The Second Civil War. 'Abandoned plantations and the promise of freedom draw former slaves to plant crops and create their own communities. Northern activists like Tunis Campbell arrive to offer help and a vision of black liberty. Emancipation is finally real -- until white planters return to claim their lands ... '

adrants. 'I've created Adrants to give coverage to some of the more unique and odd forms of advertising that have separated themselves from the standard fare and to comment on the changes traditional media can and should be making to remain competitive and avoid extinction. Oh, but don't worry. It's not as pretentious and boring as it might sound ... ' Great site.

The Shaker Compendium, 1858. 'In respectful response to the often-expressed desire of the public, to have the information respecting Shakers and Shakerism, that is now spread through some five or six volumes, concentrated in a Compendium, this work has been prepared by the author and compiler, in union with and aided by, his Gospel friends ... '
The Shakers 'were a unique Christian group who fled persecution in England, arriving in America in the 18th Century. They believed that their founder, Ann Lee, was the second coming of Christ. The Shakers believed that God had both male and female aspects, and practiced equality of men and women at all levels in their organization. They were one of the first churches in America to integrate their congregations, involving both Blacks and Native Americans from the very start. Known for simple values, hard work, communal living and absolute celibacy, the Shakers went into a long decline during the 20th Century. They are only today represented by a few elders at one farm. It is difficult not to be moved by their sincere belief that any act, including dance, song, and even manual labor, can be an act of worship. '

The Planet Mars. Mars news and images, and a map.

7th June

Georgia: Architectural Photographs 1850-1914. From Georgia in the Caucasus, not Georgia in the US.
'The epoch of feudal Tbilisi has kept only the lay-out of old blocks of houses, ruins of citadel, several fragments of the city's fence and churches, that still play an essential role in creation of a unique silhouette of the old city ... '
'... From the begining of XIX century, when Georgia joined the Russian Empire, a new page was opened in the history of Tbilisi. The change effected every aspect of life-political, social, economical, cultural. Feudal city little by little turned into the capitalist and "Red-tape" city (as Tbilisi was the most important administrative centre of Trans- Caucasia), and the oriental city was getting more European. Tbilisi increased significantly, new blocks of houses were built, old buildings saved from medieval invasions were chainged by new ones. Europeanization of architecture was connected with the changes that happened in the social life of city residences. Industrial objects and banks were founded, stores were opened, industrial exhibitions were held ... '

The Plantation of Ulster. BBC history site.
'The Plantation of Ulster began in the 17th century when English and Scottish Protestants settled on land confiscated from the Gaelic Irish. Through essays, audio, photographs and interactive maps you can discover how the Plantation transformed Gaelic Ulster.'

Flaneur. 'What's a flâneur? Webster defines it simply as "an idle man-about-town," one of those fin- de-siècle dandies who ambled through the crowds of European cities in search of bustle, gossip, and beauty. And what is Flâneur? It's a magazine dedicated to the celebration of urban life, the sanctification of the stroll. '
'In the tradition of literary flâneurs-Walt Whitman, Fran Lebowitz, Alfred Kazin, Joseph Mitchell, the Beastie Boys-Flâneur seeks to scrutinize the city, to evoke the essence of the street. And to encourage flaneurial behavior, whether detached observation or decadent gadding about. '

Japanese Fairy Tales, 1911.

The Philadelphia Experiment. 'In October 1955 "Dr." Morris Jessup received a series of strange letters. Jessup was a 55 year-old astronomer and adventurer. Though he'd never officially received a Phd he'd written a dissertation in the field of astrophysics. Later he developed interests in jungle exploration, archaeology and "fringe" science. In that same year his book The Case for the UFO was published in hardcover and paperback. '
'It was shortly after the paperback version of his work came out that the letters arrived. They were rambling, strangely worded and written with several different colors of pencil and pen. The second of these letters told Jessup about an experiment the U.S. Navy had tried in 1943. According to the writer, the Navy was trying to render a destroyer invisible by applying Einstein's Unified Field Theory. The ship, the U.S.S. Eldridge, had indeed disappeared, the letter said, but at a terrible price to the crew: ... '

Dick Jones' Patteran Pages. 'A patteran is a coded configuration of leaves, sticks and stones left at the roadside by Gypsies to communicate with each other. This is my digital version, left for any passers-by... '

Photography in Africa: Alain Paris. Great photographs of African women. Not safe for work. Use the symbols in the top right corner to navigate.

Squaresville. Great web comic, highly surreal.

Photo-Secessionists from the Circle of Stieglitz. Photographs from the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

The Soviet Exploration of Venus. 'The Soviet exploration of Venus, from 1961 to 1984, is the largest effort ever undertaken to study another planet. The fundamentals of interplanetary spacecraft design and remote sensing were first realized in these attempts. Successful missions included 3 atmospheric probes, 10 landings, 4 orbiters, 11 flybys or impacts, and 2 balloon probes of the clouds. '

Christ Church, Spitalfields. Nice collection of photographs. 'Christ Church, Spitalfields, is one of the Fifty New Churches, commissioned by the Act of Parliament of 1711 to be built on open sites in outlying areas of the City of London, which were experiencing rapid growth.'

Masterpieces of Japanese Art. Gallery here.

Henry O. Flipper. 'Born into slavery in Thomasville, Georgia, on March 21, 1856, Henry Ossian Flipper was appointed to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York, in 1873. Over the next four years he overcame harassment, isolation, and insults to become West Point's first African American graduate and the first African American commissioned officer in the regular U.S. Army. Flipper was stationed first at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and, later, at Forts Concho, Elliott, Quitman, and Davis, Texas. He served as a signal officer and quartermaster, fought Apaches, installed telegraph lines, and supervised the building of roads. At Fort Sill, the young lieutenant directed the construction of a drainage system that prevented the spread of malaria. Still known as "Flipper's Ditch," it is now a national historic landmark.'
'In 1881, while serving at Fort Davis, Flipper's commanding officer accused him of embezzling $3,791.77 from commissary funds. Flipper denied the charge and claimed that he had been framed by his fellow officers, who hated him because he was African American. A court-martial found him not guilty of embezzlement but convicted him of conduct unbecoming an officer and ordered him dismissed from the Army.'
'After his dishonorable discharge, Flipper fought to clear his name as he pursued a distinguished career as an engineer and an expert on Spanish and Mexican land law. In 1898, a bill reinstating him into the Army and restoring his rank was introduced in Congress on his behalf. To bolster his case, he sent Congressman John A. T. Hull, chairman of the House Committee on Military Affairs, the letter displayed below along with a brief supporting the bill's passage. Flipper's letter to Hull is an eloquent statement professing his innocence and asking Congress for "that justice which every American citizen has the right to ask." The bill and several later ones were tabled, and Flipper died in 1940 without vindication, but in 1976, the Army granted him an honorable discharge, and a review board stated that he had been singled out because of his race. In 1999, President Bill Clinton issued him a full pardon ... '

August J. Pollak. 'Comics, cartoons, and/or subversive leftist propaganda'.

Outside the Box. A weblog about 'the interesting promotional items that Variety receives in the mail'. On Variety magazine's website. Currently on hiatus but it still makes an interesting read.

Small World. An editorial cartoon stri, 'a tiny little weblog in words and pictures'.

6th June

Last night - a Bloggers' Minisummit with Konstantin of London Leben, Annie Mole of London Underground Blog, Ralf the Cartoonist, and Mr. Matt BaliHai.

One Stop Short of Barking. Uncovering the London Underground. Mecca Ibrahim's forthcoming book - we were privileged to a preview of it last night, and it looks fantastic.

Alfedo Zalce. 'He was born in Patzcuaro, in the state of Michoacan, on January 12, 1908. During his early years he became friends with Mexico's older great artists, including Rivera, Tamayo, Siquieros, Orozco, and Kahlo. He founded art schools and organizations which still function and are of current importance. When the President of Mexico last visited the Vatican, the one gift from Mexico chosen as a gift to the Pope was a small painting of a Mexican village painted by Maestro Alfredo Zalce. '
'Unlike other artists, Zalce has spent an entire lifetime avoiding fame and fortune.He simply wants to paint. His artistic versatility is partially demonstrated by his total mastery in producing art with oil, acrylic, batik, pencil, watercolor, engraving, serigraph, bronze, stone, ink, pastel, ceramic, monotype, and on and on. His art has been exhibited in every country of the free world, and his numerous gigantic murals and statues represent a vital part of Mexican history. Zalce nevertheless remains a humble and people-loving man who would rather draw and paint than sell art. He hasn't dealt with art galleries because they want him to paint what they can sell, and he paints for enjoyment rather than money. Nevertheless, celebrities and politicians worldwide wait in line for years to obtain an artwork from him. '

Roman Copies of Greek Statues.

A Book of Saints and Wonders, by Lady Gregory, 1906. Celtic lore.

1 Squadron. British World War 2 photographs and stories.
'On 13 May 1912 one of the first three military aviation units of the new Royal Flying Corps was formed - although in those days it was an airship squadron, known as 1 Squadron. At the outbreak of World War One it was reformed with aeroplanes, thereafter becoming one of the leading British fighting scout units on the Western Front.'
'During the interwar period the unit remained in existence, and in October 1938 some of the first Hawker Hurricane monoplane fighters were issued to the squadron. The following year, fully operational on these fast modern aircraft, it was moved to Octeville in France on 9 September 1939 - during the first week of World War Two ... '

Child Survivors of the Holocaust. 'Ursula Adler, Anne Berkovitz, Harry Bibring and Helga Carden came to Britain on the kindertransport. In these video clips, recorded by the 'Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation', they describe their experiences as Jewish children in Nazi Germany and Austria, and the emotions they felt when leaving their parents in order to find safety in Britain.'

Nazi Propaganda. 'The story of the Nazi rise to power in the Germany of the 1930s is often seen as a classic example of how to achieve political ends through propaganda. The Nazis themselves were certainly convinced of its effectiveness, and Adolf Hitler devoted two chapters in his book Mein Kampf ('My Struggle', 1925), to an analysis of its use. He saw propaganda as a vehicle of political salesmanship in a mass market, and argued that it was a way of conveying a message to the bulk of the German people, not to intellectuals.'

Indian Textiles: Trade and Production.

Painting of the Qin Dynasty. 'The brilliant reigns of the Kangxi (r. 1662–1722) and Qianlong (r. 1736–95) emperors display a period when the Manchus embraced Chinese cultural traditions and the court became a leading patron in the arts as China enjoyed an extended period of political stability and economic prosperity.'
'Three principal groups of artists were working during the Qing: the traditionalists, who sought to revitalize painting through the creative reinterpretation of past models; the individualists, who practiced a deeply personal form of art that often carried a strong message of political protest; and the courtiers, the officials, and the professional artists who served at the Manchu court.'

Exit Strategy. Satirical cartoons.

You Say It First. Web comic.

Greg Anka. Outsider artist.

Kurt Vonnegut. 'Welcome to the most expansive, yet wholly unauthorized, Kurt Vonnegut site in the cosmos. Here you'll find pages on each of his novels as well as all manner of detail on the man's life and work.'

Reagan. From PBS's 'American Experience'. 'In 1988, after two terms in office, Ronald Reagan left the White House one of the most popular presidents of the twentieth century -- and one of the most controversial. A failed actor, Reagan became a passionate ideologue who preached a simple gospel of lower taxes, less government, and anti-communism. One by one, his opponents underestimated him; one by one, Reagan surprised them, rising to become a president who always preferred to see America as a "shining city on a hill." Produced by Austin Hoyt and Adriana Bosch. David Ogden Stiers narrates. '

Mount Rushmore. 'High on a granite cliff in South Dakota's Black Hills tower the huge carved faces of four American presidents: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt. Together they constitute the world's largest piece of sculpture.'
'The massive tableau inspires awe, curiosity and bemusement. How, and when, was it done? What obstacles were overcome to cut the 60-foot-high heads out of a wilderness mountain? Who possessed the audacity -- or lunacy -- to create such a gargantuan work?'
'The story of Mount Rushmore's creation is as bizarre and wonderful as the monument itself. It is the tale of a hyperactive, temperamental artist whose talent and determination propelled the project, even as his ego and obsession threatened to tear it apart. It is the story of hucksterism and hyperbole, of a massive public works project in the midst of an economic depression. And it is the story of dozens of ordinary Americans who suddenly found themselves suspended high on a cliff face with drills and hammers as a Danish sculptor they considered insane directed them in the creation what some would call a monstrosity, and others a masterpiece. '

Mr. Miami Beach. 'A master promoter who produced elaborate spectacles to sell bicyles and cars, Carl Fisher had already made a fortune and built a motor speedway in his native Indianapolis when he was seized by a vision. On a narrow spit of Florida swamp land, Fisher created Miami Beach, a tropical paradise of sand and palm trees, then masterminded a dazzling sales campaign. It worked -- until a devastating hurricane and the stock market crash of 1929 brought an end to his dreamworks. '

Gizmodo. The gadgets weblog.

Amy's Robot. 'Mainly, we write about entertainment, media, culture, and some news, with a New York slant.'

Television Without Pity.

The Why Files. Science in the news.

A Retrospective Look at a New South Africa. Photo-essay.
'grew up in the knowledge that South Africa was the worst country on earth. Even though some of that certainty would later be confirmed, as I stood on the grounds of the Union Building in Pretoria amid a "rainbow" of humanity, nothing seemed further from the truth. This miraculous country presents its twin truths as an awkward juxtaposition of the best and the worst that our world has to offer." '
'Award-winning Nigerian photographer Jide Adeniyi-Jones offered these reflections in 1994 after driving across South Africa during the first days of democracy. As he traveled across the country he documented the experiences of millions of newly enfranchised and empowered people, as well as the hope and apprehension of that transitional time. Jide recently revisited these decade-old photographs and selected some for this photoessay.'

Links All About Paris. Thanks to ikastikos.