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25th June


The Alphabet. Via MeFi.

James Joyce's Ulysses: One Page Every Day. Via MeFi.

Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci: A Page a Day. Via MeFi.

Trading Places: The East India Company and Asia 1600-1834. 'Imagine an England without tea in china cups, without pepper, chintz or chutney; imagine an India without cricket or gin and tonic, a world without Bombay or Singapore.'
'Interested in finding out more about the East India Company and its effects on life in Asia and Britain? Then go on a Journey of Discovery ... '

Portugal: First Impressions. Photography.

Pavla, Pavlo, Pavlou, Pavlis, Pavl... Portraits/photographs of a woman.

British World War II Posters Gallery. 'Magazine illustrations, advertisements and government information posters, published during World War Two, offer a fascinating insight into social attitudes of the time - as well as the impact of wartime austerity. Equally, the War Savings posters reveal aspects of the propaganda war, in the appeals of the British and US governments to the patriotism of their respective peoples.'
'UK War Savings Certificates, or War Bonds, were first introduced during World War One to allow the government to borrow more money. They proved a huge success. Although the scheme continued during the inter-war years, it saw its second period of massive growth during World War Two. By the end of 1945, it had reached the amazing figure of £1,754 million ... '

Dog Complex. Fab online comic.

Rugg. 'A slightly deranged comic strip, updated every 6 or 7 days!'

fragilegravity. Online comic strip.

Greystone Inn. Daily comic strip.

Atmospheric Phenomena. Online photo galleries with explanations; click around.
Fogbows.

The Wonderful World of Trees. Includes a year in the life of a tree.

Tibetan Buddhist Art. 'Buddhism was introduced to Tibet by the seventh century and was proclaimed the state religion by the end of the eighth century. Although Buddhist influence waned during persecutions between 838 and 942, the religion saw a revival beginning in the late tenth century. It rapidly became dominant, inaugurating what is known as the "later diffusion of the Buddhist faith." During the first few hundred years of this renewed interest, many monks from Tibet traveled abroad to India ... '

Maiolica. 'Maiolica, the refined, white-glazed pottery of the Italian Renaissance, was adapted to all objects that were traditionally ceramic, such as dishes, bowls, serving vessels, and jugs of all shapes and sizes. It was also used as a medium for sculpture and sculptural reliefs, as well as floor and ceiling tiles. The latter were rectangular, laid side by side across specially adapted joists ... '

Manuscript Illumination in Italy. 'During the early Renaissance, the art of manuscript illumination flourished in Italy, alongside that of painting, with the formation of regional schools and centers of production.'

Avidor Studios. Online cartoons. Don't miss Illichville, an imaginary American town.

Sidewalk Bubblegum. Clay Butler's editorial cartoons.

Troubletown. Political/ satirical cartoons.
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24th June


BookNotes has a new URL.

The Legacy of Genghis Khan. 'Genghis Khan (ca. 1162-1227) and the Mongols are invariably associated with terrible tales of conquest, destruction, and bloodshed. This famed clan leader and his immediate successors created the largest empire ever to exist, spanning the entire Asian continent from the Pacific Ocean to modern-day Hungary in Europe. Such an empire could not have been shaped without visionary leadership, superior organizational skills, the swiftest and most resilient cavalry ever known, an army of superb archers (the "devil's horsemen" in Western sources), the existence of politically weakened states across Asia, and, of course, havoc and devastation.'
'Yet, the legacy of Genghis Khan, his sons, and grandsons is also one of cultural development, artistic achievement, a courtly way of life, and an entire continent united under the so-called Pax Mongolica ("Mongolian Peace"). Few people realize that the Yuan dynasty in China (1279-1368) is part of Genghis Khan's legacy through its founder, his grandson Kublai Khan (r. 1260-95). The Mongol empire was at its largest two generations after Genghis Khan and was divided into four main branches, the Yuan (empire of the Great Khan) being the central and most important. The other Mongol states were the Chaghatay khanate in Central Asia (ca. 1227-1363), the Golden Horde in southern Russia extending into Europe (ca. 1227-1502), and the Ilkhanid dynasty in Greater Iran (1256-1353) ... '

Art from Oaxaca. 'Long renowned as a center for folk art production, the mountainous southern Mexico state of Oaxaca has a growing reputation for the fine arts as well. Birthplace of the late master Rufino Tamayo, Oaxaca has also produced such leading Mexican artists as Francisco Toledo, Rodolfo Nieto and Rodolfo Morales. But it is the vitality of the younger generation of Oaxaca artists, such as Enrique Flores, Leovigildo Martinez, Fernando Olivera, and Carlomagno Pedro that has led critics to identify a distinct Oaxaca School of Mexican art. Oaxacan art draws its strength from native Indian culture, myths and legends. It is suffused with "magic realism" a folk surrealism in which people fly and mysterious juxtapositions are the norm. As poet Alberto Blanco has written, the artists of Oaxaca "all tend to depict one theme: the appearance in our history of another time and place. A space within another space. A time within another time." ... '

Switzerland from Above. Photographs.

The Easter Rising. 'The 1916 Easter Rising and the War of Independence that followed in 1919-21 transformed the political landscape in Ireland. You can explore the events leading up to 1916, the Insurrection itself and its aftermath, through essays, photographs, sound archive, music and newspapers from the period.'

Rudy Park. Online comic.
'Modern life has its complications. Entire romances take place online (including the naughty parts); twelve-year-olds are preoccupied with balancing their portfolios; the desire to own the world's largest SUV is almost as urgent as the desire to own the world's smallest cellular phone. In short, this culture needs to take a good, hard laugh at itself. Rudy Park, a comic strip by Darrin Bell and Theron Heir, brings a unique point of view to the comics pages and the Web (at www.comics.com). Rudy Park appears in 60 newspapers worldwide, including the Chicago Sun-Times, Detroit Free Press, Minneapolis Star Tribune, The Seattle Times and Denver Rocky Mountain News. '
'Rudy Park lampoons consumerism, technology and culture. The strip is not afraid to ask the tough questions, like whether it really, absolutely, positively has to be there overnight. And, if technology's so great, how come we still can't program the VCR? '

Frank & Ernest. Online comic. 'Bob Thaves' innovative comic panel stars Frank and Ernest, playful punsters with the ability to appear as any person, place or thing in any time period, past, present or future. They can appear as plants, bugs, angels, planets, Roman gladiators, Medieval knights, clowns, robots -- the list is as long as Thaves' imagination. The only constant element is the pair's "frank and earnest" iconoclastic attitude. '

Jest Sports. 'Jest Sports is the belly-busting comic that shows us what happens when the wacky world of sports collides with life.'

Bulls N Bears. Online comic.
'The workers in "Executive Suite" have made a career shift from making tools to maki ng trades. "Executive Suite," by William Wells and Jack Lindstrom, has been renamed Bulls N Bears,as familiar characters Jonathan Stone and company open a new brokerage firm and navigate the unpredictable business of stock trading and investments. Oblivious managing director Jonathan Stone, smart and witty executive assistant Helen Hopkins and the rest of the cast of "Executive Suite" continue to work together in the new Bulls N Bears Brokerage. With the same office humor that gave readers a parody of their own workdays in "Executive Suite," Bulls N Bears takes on WallStreet from a Main Street perspective. Bulls N Bears is a stock brokerage firm in a town where,as in most places, investing has become an obsession.'

The Art of Zen Buddhism. 'The essential element of Zen Buddhism is found in its name, for Zen means "meditation." Zen teaches that enlightenment is achieved through the profound realization that one is already an enlightened being. This awakening can happen gradually or in a flash of insight (as emphasized by the Soto and Rinzai schools, respectively). But in either case, it is the result of one's own efforts. Deities and scriptures can offer only limited assistance.'

Renaissance Drawings: Material and Function. 'During the late fourteenth century, artists began to use paper more and more to explore their ideas for the design of paintings and sculptures, rather than simply to copy or record finished works of art. This exploratory type of drawing offers a vivid and intimate glimpse of the artist creatively thinking on paper ... '

Music in the Renaissance. 'Music was an essential part of civic, religious, and courtly life in the Renaissance. The rich interchange of ideas in Europe, as well as political, economic, and religious events in the period 1400–1600 led to major changes in styles of composing, methods of disseminating music, new musical genres, and the development of musical instruments. The most important music of the early Renaissance was composed for use by the church—polyphonic (made up of several simultaneous melodies) masses and motets in Latin for important churches and court chapels. By the end of the sixteenth century, however, patronage was split among many areas: the Catholic Church, Protestant churches and courts, wealthy amateurs, and music printing—all were sources of income for composers ... '

David Cortner. Personal astrophotography site. 'This site consists mostly of astrophotographs and other stuff of an astronomical bent.'

Luminescent. Great photoblog.

Slowpoke Blog. 'Jen Sorensen is the author and artist behind "Slowpoke." Born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania in 1974, Jen has been turning out drawings of a comical nature for as long as she can remember. In high school she honed her craft through incessant doodling, as well as giving friends the occasional ballpoint pen tattoo. She went on to attend the University of Virginia, where she spent more time doodling in notebooks and studying cultural anthropology. There she also penned a popular daily strip entitled "Lil' Gus."'

Cartoonista. Editorial cartoons by Lalo Alcatraz.

Don Asmussen's Bad Reporter. Online cartoons.
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23rd June


Basement Beauties: Photographs by Mack Sennett. Beauty queens.

The Shashwati Women's Museum Collection. 'One of the best kept secrets of Bangalore city is the Shashwati Women's Museum at the N.M.K.R.V. College. Founded by the great educator/scholar C.N. Mangala ... it showcases arts and artifacts depicting the life of women in India though the ages. Artifacts include tools women used for household chores, examples of women's art, handicrafts, ornaments, and means of infant care. Here are some pictures from Shashwati (meaning durable or inveterate) Museum Collection. '

Still Life: Bosschaert, Melendez and Peale. 'Today we take the idea of still life for granted: an arrangement of fruit, flowers, and beautiful objects seems like a natural subject for a painting. But this was not always the case. Still life emerged as an independent subject around 1600, when a growing interest in the natural world led to its simultaneous appearance in northern Europe, Italy, and Spain. Ever since, it has played a prominent role in the history of art ... '

An Australian Alphabet. Australian birds, flowers and animals.

Paris: Virtual Tours. 'Would you rather visit Paris walking around on your own, or do you prefer a historical guided tour with comments? Or maybe visit the Catacombs? '

Basketball at Davidson College. Photographs and history.

Batman, Catman and a Kit Called Ginger: The Comic Book Invasion of Australia. 'During the 1930s, 40s and 50s Australia had a small but extremely active comic book industry which took its lead from the giant production houses of America. As well as publishing local reprints of such staple titles as Batman and Superman, local publishers brought together vibrant and creative teams of writers and artists who capitalised on the immense popularity of overseas comic books by producing derivative, yet at times highly sophisticated, titles of their own ... '

The Baton Rouge Bus Boycott of 1953. 'Baton Rouge was the site of the first successful bus boycott of the 1950s. This event became a blueprint for the more publicized boycott to take place two years later in Montgomery, Alabama, and it set the stage for desegregation in the Deep South. '
'This exhibit includes photographs, an historical timeline, and the personal recollections of some of the major figures behind the Baton Rouge bus boycott. It represents the combined efforts of students at McKinley High School and Louisiana State University graduate students of EDCI 5880, Summer Session 1998.'

America Votes: Presidential Campaign Memorabilia.

American Artists in Uniform: The World War II Experience.

Rimpa. 'Rimpa, a unique Japanese decorative style originated in the first half of the seventeenth century by the artists Hon'ami Koetsu (1558-1637) and Tawaraya Sotatsu (died ca. 1643). During the Edo period (1615-1868), the style was continued by artists such as Ogata Korin (1658-1716), Watanabe Shiko (1683-1775), Sakai Hoitsu (1761-1828), Nakamura Hochu (late 18th - early 19th century), and Suzuki Kiitsu (1796-1858). '
Gallery.

Country Cures. 'Country Cures is an interactive project to gather information about the sometimes familiar, often surprising, use of plants in traditional medicine. It is a tribute to herbal remedies, not those from ancient books or old scientific journals, but those kept alive by word of mouth between generations.'

Araucanian Royalist Society. 'The Kingdom of Araucania and Patagonia founded in 1860 by the Mapuche Indians in territory now occupied by the Republics of Chile and Argentina. Orelie-Antoine de Tounens, a French lawyer living in Araucania, was elected by the Mapuche to be the first King of Araucania and Patagonia. In 1862, King Orelie-Antoine was kidnapped by Chilean soldiers and deported to France. He mounted three expeditions to reclaim his throne and rally the Mapuche against the Republic of Chile, which was invading and colonizing Mapuche lands. In 1878, King Orelie-Antoine died in Tourtoirac, France ... '

Islamic Spain (711-1492). 'Islamic Spain was a multi-cultural mix of the people of three great monotheistic religions: Muslims, Christians, and Jews.'
'For much of the time, the three groups managed to get along together, and to benefit from the presence of each other. '
'It brought a degree of civilisation to Europe that matched the heights of the Roman Empire and the Italian Renaissance ... '

The Hebrides. Images of the Scottish Highlands and islands. 'This website features the photography of Sam Maynard, who lived in the Hebrides from 1980 to 2000.'

An American Family: The Beecher Tradition. 'Families that have been influential in American life and culture are often recognizable by their signature names. The Beecher family is an example of one such family whose deep religious convictions and social conscience spanned the nineteenth century and made them prominent historical figures whose impact on religion, education, abolition, reform movements, literature and public life were exceptional. Biographer Milton Rugoff claims that in "two generations the Beechers emerged, along with many other Americans, from a God-centered, theology-ridden world concerned with the fate of man's eternal soul into a man-centered society occupied mainly with life on earth." ...'

The American Indian Observed: Sketches and Documents From the Collections of the Archives of American Art. 'Having amassed over thirteen million items since its founding in 1954, the Archives of American Art is the world's largest repository of material relating to American art and artists. The professional and personal papers of artists, dealers, critics, and art historians; the institutional records of art galleries, museums, socieities and other organizations; and a thriving Oral History Program, all provide documentation on a wide variety of artistic styles, movements, and periods. '
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22nd June


Popular Tales of the West Highlands, 1890. 'This is the first of four volumes of Campbell's collection of Scottish folklore. Campbell, who was fluent in Gaelic, spent years in the field eliciting these stories from people in all walks of life. This was a salvage project, as the stories and the storytellers were rapidly dying out. It is because of Campbell's pioneering effort that we have a comprehensive record of this rich vein of folklore. '

Shogun Gallery. Japanese prints. Great online gallery.

Icons and Iconoclasm in Byzantium. 'Icons (from the Greek eikones) are sacred images representing saints, Christ, and the Virgin, as well as narrative scenes such as Christ's Crucifixion. While today the term is most closely associated with wooden panel painting, in Byzantium icons could be crafted in all media, including marble, ivory, gemstone, precious metal, enamel, and mosaic ... '

The Greek Slave. 'This sculpture by Hiram Powers was perhaps the most popular American work of art at mid-century. Over one hundred thousand people paid to see it during its 1847-1848 tour around the country. Powers himself supplied this gloss on the statue's sensational subject--a woman on sale as a sexual object ... '

Robert Gendler Astroimaging. Astrophotography.

Stickball Hall of Fame. 'The game of stickball, an early variant of baseball, was developed by city children whose playground was the neighborhood street. From the 1880s to the 1920s, New York City's population swelled with new immigrants. During the same period, baseball was developing into "America's favorite pastime," and learning the game was considered one of the rituals of becoming an American. Undaunted by the lack of ball fields in their increasingly crowded urban neighborhoods, African-American, Irish, Italian, and Jewish children, recent arrivals to Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Manhattan, adapted the game to city streets. Stickball became one of the most popular summer sports for boys during the Depression. After World War II, many Puerto Ricans and other Latinos settled in New York and picked up the game at a time when street games were declining due to increased traffic ... '

Coffee, Tea and Chocolate in Early Colonial America. ' "Thank God for tea!" wrote the British clergyman and essayist Reverend Sydney Smith (1771-1845), one of many to pay impassioned tribute to the world's most popular infusion. Yet, prior to its importation to Europe by Dutch traders around 1610, tea was virtually unknown to Westerners, who routinely began their day with a mug of beer or ale. Three exotic beverages-coffee, tea, and chocolate-arrived in seventeenth-century Europe at a time of burgeoning exploration and trade, and their arrival caused a near revolution in drinking habits. Celebrated by some, deplored by others, these stimulating brews gave rise to a number of important social institutions, such as the coffeehouse, the tea garden, and the ritual of afternoon tea. At first valued for their curative powers, they were soon counted among the necessities of daily life, and the utensils used in their preparation and service became essential as well ... '

American Needlework in the 18th Century. ' In eighteenth-century America, a girl was expected to grow up, get married, have children, and take care of a home. Because of the limits of her sphere, a girl received a very different education from that available to a boy. Indeed, before the advent of public education in the mid-nineteenth century, in order to receive any education at all a boy or a girl had to be born into the middle or upper classes and have parents who valued education enough to pay for it. Usually, a boy would be taught traditional academic subjects, while a girl might be tutored in the barest rudiments of reading and arithmetic. Instead of academic studies, girls were usually sent to schools that taught an assortment of skills considered "female accomplishments"-music, watercolor painting, comportment, manners, and sewing ... '
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21st June


Baron von Mueller's Melbourne: Remarkable 19th Century Germans. 'When we think of Germans in 19th century Australia, we probably think first of their role in the opening of the vast sheep and wheat belts of South Australia, Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria, and the feats of intrepid individuals such as Ludwig Leichhardt. We tend to overlook the role of groups like Melbourne's small but distinguished band of Germans, whose achievements in the sciences, arts, crafts, commerce, even gymnastics, amounted to what has been described as "one of the high points of Australian colonial culture" ... '

Kelly Culture: Reconstructing Ned Kelly. 'Kelly Culture: reconstructing Ned Kelly explores Australia's fascination with Edward "Ned" Kelly and his enduring presence within our literature, visual arts, cinema, performing arts, music and popular culture. This exhibition presents the key historical artifacts associated with Ned Kelly and his Gang together with paintings, posters, photographs, manuscripts, textiles, music and moving image. In addition to the State Library of Victoria's extensive holdings of Kelly-related material, Kelly Culture brings together major loans from public and private collections throughout Australia. '
'In recent years, with the release of Peter Carey's novel, True History of the Kelly Gang, the opening ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games and now a new feature film, Ned Kelly looms as large as ever on our cultural horizon. Rather than debate whether he was a villain or a saint, Kelly Culture reflects Ned Kelly's broad appeal throughout the decades and our mythologising of Kelly at different times as a larrikin, criminal, gentleman or hero ... '

The Barthelmy Collection of Tarascan Folklife. 'Richard Barthelemy and his wife, Margaret, lived in San Juan Nuevo Parangaricutiro, Michoacan for over a decade, beginning in 1974. He took photographs of the life of the people of San Juan Nuevo and neighboring towns. Heidi, also an accomplished photographer, worked with her father and contributed many of the images in this collection showing the agricultural, industrial, and ceremonial life of the Tarascan people. '
The Tarascan culture. 'he Purepecha, known to outsiders as Tarascans, are descendants of a large and powerful nation-state unconquered by their Aztec neighbors. They speak an isolate language unrelated to other native tongues of Mexico. The Mexican State of Michoacan was drawn around the central part of the Purepecha homeland. Most of the people live in towns and villages located in the cold, rainy highlands between six and eight thousand feet in elevation. It is from this region that the collection was assembled.'

Made in Yuhnan. Photos of the southwestern Chinese province.

Baseball Enlists. 'Only weeks after Pearl Harbor, baseball commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis placed the fate of Major League Baseball in the hands of President Franklin Roosevelt. "What do you want [baseball] to do?" Landis asked FDR. "If you believe we ought to close down for the duration of the war, we are ready to do so immediately. If you feel we ought to continue, we would be delighted to do so. We await your order."'
'Within two days, Landis had his answer. President Roosevelt stayed baseball's demise and gave the game a valuable gift. In the "Green Light" letter, FDR told Landis that he personally considered baseball "thoroughly worthwhile." He further encouraged the commissioner to schedule more night baseball games so day-shift workers could "see a game occasionally." With "orders" from the president, baseball initiated an energetic campaign to support the war in every conceivable way. Patriotism joined the roster. Baseball had enlisted ... '

Dressed to the Nines: A History of the Baseball Uniform.

Maryland Historical Society: Online Quilt Tour. 'The Maryland Historical Society's textile and costume collection provides insight to Maryland history from a distinctly different vantage point. Women, those who most often made these textiles, wrote their lives in this visual format. With added information from diaries, letters, and other objects, 19th-century Maryland quilts unfold rich and varied stories of life throughout the state.'
'One of the most distinctive textile forms in Maryland is the Baltimore album quilt. The album quilt had early roots. The ultimate form-a quilt made by many hands, each contributor providing an appliquéd or pieced block inscribed with messages - evolved from skills and methods seen in earlier quilts. '

Baltimore Architecture, Then and Now. ' "Baltimore Town" was officially created by an act of the Maryland Colonial Assembly in 1729, including an area of 60 acres surveyed in 1730. In 2001, very little remains of the pre-1800 town. At the beginning of the 19th century, wealthy merchants built elegant country houses such as Homewood, owned by Charles Carroll of Carrollton, and Montebello, built by General John Smith. It was during this period that great architects such as Benjamin Henry Latrobe and Maximillian Godefroy designed buildings in the city. With immigration and economic growth, the population of Baltimore grew in both numbers and wealth. It was also at this time the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad was founded linking the city with the rich farmlands to the west ... '

Tibetan Book Covers.

The Karl Liebknecht Archive. 'The son of Wilhelm Liebknecht, one of the founders of the SPD, Karl Liebknecht trained to be a lawyer and defended many Social Democrats in political trials. He was also a leading figure in the socialist youth movement and thus became a leading figure in the struggle against militarism ... '
'... Freed by the November revolution he immediately threw himself into the struggle and became with Rosa Luxemburg one of the founders of the new Communist Party (KPD). Along with Luxemburg he was murdered by military officers with the tacit approval of the leaders of the SPD after the suppression of the so-called "Spartacist Uprising" in January 1919.'

Trajan's Rome. Art and virtual tours.

The Sacred Sites of Wales. ' "The Sacred Sites of Wales" takes you on a journey around Wales, from Tintern Abbey in the southeast, to the shrine of St. Winifred in Holywell, in the northeast. It covers many of the ancient burial grounds, but is mainly centered on the six cathedrals of Wales: St. Woolos, Llandaff, Brecon, St. David's, Bangor and St. Asaph. ;

Jacob Lawrence: Storyteller. 'Jacob Lawrence was one of the greatest painters of modern history, best known for his series paintings based on Harriet Tubman and the Great Migration. His works are often taught in classrooms as examples of excellent artistic achievement as well as wonderful ways to tell stories about American history. '

The Urban Dictionary.

John Biggers Gallery. Art.
More on John Biggers. 'Welcome to The Web of Life: The Art of John Biggers, an artsednet Talk online exhibition and discussion that focuses on using discipline-based art education (DBAE) in the classroom. This program concentrates on the life and work of the African American artist and art educator John Biggers. It features information about Biggers, teaching materials, activities for students, a conversation with the artist, and examples of his work. '

Space Art Through the Ages.
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19th June


18th and 19th Century Shakespearean Illustrations. The gallery starts here.

Allison Delarue Collection. Ballet history and the art of ballet.
'Ballet in the nineteenth century was an ideal medium for the manifestation of the Romantic movement. Expressionism, lyricism, and inspiration took precedence over Classical ideals, and interest in the supernatural and the exotic provided subject matter for some of the most popular ballets of the period, among them La Sylphide and Giselle. '
The Romantic ballet was dominated by female dancers. Marie Taglioni, whose Parisian debut in 1827 essentially marks the beginning of the period, was noted for her grace and strength. Her opposite in physique, style, and temperament was Fanny Elssler; the two were defined by Theophile Gautier as Christian and pagan dancers. Arthur Saint-Leon and Jules Perrot were among the most famous of the male dancers, who functioned as lesser partners and often became choreographers in addition to appearing on stage. It was Perrot who choreographed the Pas de Quatre with four stars of the era: Taglioni, Carlotta Grisi, Fanny Cerrito, and Lucile Grahn ... '
'The Delarue Collection offers not only vignettes of this extraordinary time of artistry and grace, but also a glimpse of the entire period portrayed as well. '

Zenga. 'Zen Buddhism, which originated in sixth-century China, began to flourish in Japan in the twelfth century. Devoid of strict rules or complex texts, it is based on the pursuit of personal enlightenment. The term "Zenga" refers to the ink painting and calligraphy executed by Zen monks of the Edo period (1615-1868) as a tool for meditation and spiritual teaching. '
'These simple sketch-like paintings derive from an introspective, meditative view of reality. '
Gallery.

Albert Schweitzer. Nobel peace laureate 1952.

Photographs of the Prince Edward Island Railway. Vintage photos.

Helen Bayfield's Photo Album. Canada in the 19th century.

Newbery Family Photographs. A 19th century Canadian family album.

175 Years of Life at the University of Virginia. 'Retiring to Monticello in 1809 at the end of his second term as president, Thomas Jefferson focused all his energies on the creation of a university which would "prove a blessing to my own State, and not unuseful perhaps to some others." Joining him in the enterprise were Presidents James Madison and James Monroe; together with John Hartwell Cocke of Fluvanna County, noted reformer and a general in the War of 1812; and Joseph Carrington Cabell, a delegate and state senator from Amherst County, who supported Jefferson's educational program in the Virginia legislature ... '

Popular Tales from the Norse, 1904. 'This is George Dasent's classic collection of Scandinavian folklore. This is not about Norse mythology per se; so if you are looking for tales of Odin, Loki, and Freya etc., you will have to look elsewhere. Rather, this is an anthology of folk tales, similar to the Grimm Brothers, or Campbell's Popular Tales of the West Highlands. All of the usual suspects are in place, including giants, trolls, witches, evil step-siblings, magical boons and tasks, and anthropomorphic animals. '
'The introduction is exceptionally well written, and places various magical and other themes from the tales into the context of ancient Norse Pagan beliefs. It is a victorian scholarly treatise however (with the requisite multipage foonotes and rhetorical flourishes), and will mostly be appreciated by academic readers. Once you get past the introduction however, the prose descends to the young adult level, and the delightful stories can be appreciated by readers of all ages. There is also an appendix which has a few 'Anansi' stories from the West Indies. '

Japanese Textile Art. Online galleries.

The Glory of the Gothic Page. 'Featuring whimsical marginal decorations, vivid narratives, and the lavish use of gold leaf, Gothic illumination is among the most innovative and beautiful art forms of the Middle Ages. Gothic was a term originally coined by Renaissance writers who disliked the nonclassical style of architecture that emerged in France around 1150, which they attributed to the barbarian Goths. Its early negative meaning has long since been lost. The word is now also applied to the style of manuscript illumination that evolved around the same time, characterized by a naturalistic style of painting and a sense of liveliness in the format of the page. Gothic illumination, which flourished in northern Europe from about 1200 to 1350, graced the pages of some of the most stunning works of art to survive from the Middle Ages ... '

Stained Glass. 'During the Gothic period and the Renaissance (1100s–1500s) stained glass was one of the foremost techniques of painting practiced in Europe. It may seem surprising to call stained glass a form of painting, but in fact it is. Look closely at the image here and note that the surfaces of each piece of glass are painted in a wide range of dark tones. One of the most widespread forms of painting, stained glass inspired the lives of the faithful through religious narratives in churches and cloisters, celebrated family and political ties in city halls, and even decorated the windows of private houses. This exhibition presents highlights from the recent acquisition of a group of stained glass panels, which broadens the scope of the J. Paul Getty Museum collection to include this significant medium.'

Irregular Webcomic!

The Phineas T. Manbottle Library of Arcane Knowledge and Questionable Humor. Just brilliant.

The Panther Observatory. Astro pix. Includes online gallery.

Tolstoy and Gandhi. 'Best MeFi post ever'.
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17th June


Alice and Beyond: English Children's Books. 'When it was first published in 1865, Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland was unusual ­ a book for children with no avowed purpose except entertainment. The writings of Lewis Carroll, as well as imaginative literature by other English author-illustrators were immensely popular in England. Their books became emissaries of English culture - influencing attitudes toward childhood as well as language, fashion, imaginative art and literature, in England and abroad ... '

Asian Art in the Denver Art Museum. Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Tibetan, Indian.

Petrovac by the Sea - Petrovac na Moru, Montenegro. Photography.

Mount Athos. Monasteries; an interactive map.

Marilyn Monroe Art by Frank Rozasy.

Dr. Seuss Went to War. Political cartoons. 'Dr. Seuss (Theodor Seuss Geisel, 1904-1991) was a life-long cartoonist: in high school in Springfield, Massachusetts; in college at Dartmouth (Class of 1925); as an adman in New York City before World War II; in his many children's books, beginning with To Think That I Saw it on Mulberry Street (1937). Because of the fame of his children's books (and because we often misunderstand these books) and because his political cartoons have remained largely unknown, we do not think of Dr. Seuss as a political cartoonist. But for two years, 1941-1943, he was the chief editorial cartoonist for the New York newspaper PM (1940-1948), and for that journal he drew over 400 editorial cartoons ... '

History of Money from Ancient Times to the Present Day. Including the origin of the dollar and dollar sign, money in North American history, etc.

The Book of American Negro Poetry, 1922. 'The 31 representative poets in this anthology of 177 works inspired the Harlem Renaissance generation to establish firmly an African-American literary tradition in the United States.'

The Plain Layne Mystery.
'In the past two years, Layne has discovered she's bisexual; fell in love with a Spanish go-go dancer; made room in her home for her cousin's pregnant girlfriend and now her newborn infant; met up with one of her birth parents for the first time; recounted a fling she had with a former boss (who had a girlfriend at the time); hinted at a rape she endured in Mexico (which turned her into a lesbian); charmed a straight woman co-worker into sleeping with her, becoming her girlfriend and then fiancee (!); broken off the engagement with said co-worker; frequently hooked up with one of the ex-fiancee's friends (another straight girl, if you can believe it); most recently slept with three women in the same week; and somehow, as all this was going on, held down a job at a large corporation working 80 hours a week managing a very successful IT group.'
'Late last week, her site was taken down and replaced with a bit of Polish text. And that (plus the fantastical series of adventures that Layne was constantly and consistantly embarking on) set people wondering: Is Layne real? And if so, how real is she?'
Layne, if you're reading this, please do get in touch (whoever you are).
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16th June


Le Blogeur and Plep Day. We are forever grateful to Le Blogeur for this institution. Plep Day is the second Monday in June.

Bilderberg Archiv der Fotografen. Via MeFi.

Ballad in Hanoi. Photographs of Vietnam.

David & Geraldine - Une Histoire d'Amour: The Cyber-Wedding Album.

Robot Wisdom: The Internet Ulysses by James Joyce. Because today is Bloomsday, the hundredth anniversary of the odyssey. A quite remarkable guide.

Secret Soviet Moon Mission. 'Without a doubt, the 20th century's unique contribution to the history of mankind is the remarkable achievement of going to space. It took the combined efforts of literally hundreds of thousands of people, scores of brilliant minds and two great nations committing unprecedented resources to reach that goal. One name will forever be linked to this once unimaginable feat: Sergei Pavlovich Korolev, until his death known only as the Chief Designer. Under his remarkable leadership the Soviets achieved amazing triumphs, launching the world's first satellite, the first dog in space, the first man in space, the first woman in space and the first spacecraft to reach the moon. His dream was to send man to Mars and Venus and beyond. His story is virtually unknown outside Russia. '

Child Hunger in Ethiopia: Photographs and Text by David Blumenfeld. 'Drought in Ethiopia is as old as the land itself. The first recorded famine due to drought in the region dates as far back as 253 BCE. Over the centuries millions have died from hunger and drought related diseases. While other countries have learned to cope with the problem, Ethiopias population continues to suffer. While some place blame on government inefficiency and corruption, others attribute the situation to a lack of farming technology and irrigation as well as ineffective food distribution. '
'This year Ethiopia witnessed one of the worst droughts in recent history. Record-low rainfall led to failed-crops, loss of livestock, malnutrition, hunger, and a sharp increase in disease and death toll.'

Checkerboard Nightmare: An Adventure in Unkept Promises. Great online cartoon.

Frazz. Web comic. 'Bryson Elementary's janitor is the most respected educator in the school. Every kid's pal and peer, Frazz exudes a love of learning that's contagious. The principal wants to be just like him. The other teachers want to learn from him. The students can't get enough of him. A Renaissance man, friend, role model and so much more, Frazz makes learning fun for everyone. '

Sheldon. Web comic. '"Sheldon" is about a ten-year-old boy who earned billions with his own software company. Despite his billions, Sheldon's still very much a kid -- happily going to school, relaxing with friends at the ol' swimmin' hole, and spending hours watching "Star Trek." He's raised by his grandfather: a warm-hearted man who barely understands the toaster, never mind these newfangled "computers." Now retired, Gramp is not quite sure what to make of his grandson's billions, but seems to take it in stride. Gramp and Sheldon are joined at home by Arthur, Sheldon's sarcastic, talking pet duck. Egotistical and brash, Arthur is able to cause a heck of a lot of trouble for someone only fourteen inches tall. Together, these three share the normal life that one might expect from a boy-billionaire, a retiree, and a talking duck...which is to say, not very normal at all. '

Ukiyo-e Bijin. Japanese prints of beautiful women.

Galina Kirillova. Graphic artist and books illustrator. 'In our well-planned and rationalised world, there is a strong need in someone who may look on the reality with crystal and naive eyes of a child... With crystal eyes which are able to see the Internal Truth... '

Nikola Tesla. 'Tesla has been praised as a genius by some scientists and denounced as a fraud by others. I trust the judgement of distinguished men who knew Tesla, granting him friendships and professional awards. Below are links to a report I wrote in 1972: Nikola Tesla's Investigation of High Frequency Phenomena and Radio Communication ... '

Tower Hamlets History Online. 'Welcome to Tower Hamlets History On Line where you will find articles on the history of Bethnal Green, Bow, Bromley-by-Bow, the Isle of Dogs, Limehouse, Mile End Old Town, Poplar, Ratcliff, St. George's in the East, Shadwell, Spitalfields, Stepney, Wapping, Whitechapel - or any of the other hamlets that make up the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. It was created by David Rich in 1998 and has been growing steadily ever since...'

Austin Postcard. Vintage postcards from Austin, Texas. Ephemera, history.

Zippy the Pinhead. Cartoon.

Desmond Tutu. Nobel peace laureate 1984.

Movable Books and Pop-ups from the Collection of Adriaan Heino. 'Hello, my name is Adriaan Heino. I dedicated this site to the fascinating world of movable books. It contains a bit of history on movable books, a short description of the different types of books and links to other interesting sites. But above all, it will show you examples of books that I have in my collection. Buying movable books for about 15 years has resulted in a collection of about 600 items, which is still growing rapidly. Although most of my books are rather new, I also own some very nice older ones. '
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