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10th March

Strokes of Genius: Contemporary Iraqi Art. 'Throughout history, Mesopotamia has been referred to as the 'Cradle of Civilisation' and its art, treasured in museums worldwide is praised as one of the greatest achievements of mankind. Today, Iraqi art forms an important facet of the kaleidoscope of global contemporary art to which the artists contribute with a diverse yet distinct vocabulary formed by their unique artistic, cultural and religious roots.'
'Due to recent world events, as a result of which many Iraqis have had to seek alternative existences outside their homeland, an innovative body of artworks by Iraqi artists has emerged and taken shape. Many of these address contemporary themes informed by the complexities of the artists' lives, be it outside Iraq, in the distressed position of being an 'other', or indeed within Iraq, where day to day survival has become for many an enormous struggle and an unprecedented burden. A culmination of a colossal five-year effort, this historical undertaking intends to bring together Iraq's scattered 'talents in the wind' and communicate the positive and creative energies of Iraqi artists dispersed throughout the world today. '

The Smithsonian in the 1800s. 'The tour you are about to take of the Smithsonian is set in the late Nineteenth Century. At that time there were only two buildings, the Castle and the present Arts and Industries building, known at the time as the National Museum. We will be using the 1886 Visitor's Guide to walk through the exhibitions, using descriptions as they appeared in this Guide. '

172nd Salem Campground Camp Meeting. 'The camp meeting is a venerable tradition of Methodist and Presbyterian churches, and is a distinctly American contribution to Protestantism. The earliest camp meeting recorded took place in Kentucky in 1800. The Camp Meeting at Salem Campground in Newton County, some 40 miles east of Atlanta, started in 1828, and, except for the period of the Civil War, has taken place every year since its inception.'

1492: An Ongoing Voyage. '1492. Columbus. The date and the name provoke many questions related to the linking of very different parts of the world, the Western Hemisphere and the Mediterranean. What was life like in those areas before 1492? What spurred European expansion? How did European, African and American peoples react to each other? What were some of the immediate results of these contacts?'
'1492: An Ongoing Voyage addresses such questions by examining the rich mixture of societies coexisting in five areas of this hemisphere before European arrival. It then surveys the polyglot Mediterranean world at a dynamic turning point in its development. '

Japanese Netsuke.

Icelandic Sagas. 'The Icelandic Sagas were written between the 12th and 13th centuries. They document either the lives of specific people (as in Egil's Saga) or whole communities (as in Laxdaela Saga, or Eyrbyggja Saga). Most, but not all, of the Sagas were written anonymously. The Heimskringla, a book chronicling the lives of Norwegian kings, is known to be written by Snorri Sturluson (q.v., § Snorri, further down.), one of Iceland's most prolific writers, best known today as the author of the younger Edda. Most sagas are quasi-historical texts; the subjects they treat were orally passed down many centuries before finally being written down, and therefor can not necessarily be considered perfectly authentic historical documents; for example, some of the Sagas, such as Eyrbyggja Saga, contain many instances of supernatural events which are obviously fantastic. The nature of these texts can sometimes be humorous; Icelanders reveled in the strength of their women and warriors. All battles and hardships they endured with little regard to their own mortality, usually for the sake of honor, can be rendered in a positively sanguine and decidedly dark humor, not unlike tales of ancient Sparta. But more generally the Sagas arouse heroic interest, from the menacing viking warrior-poet Egil of Egil's Saga, the warring and ultimately tragic young foster-brothers Kjartan and Bolli of Laxdaela Saga, to the levelheaded, prophetic lawyer Njal of Njal's Saga, the cast of characters that populate these ancient texts are as interesting and respectable as any of ancient and medieval history's most famous literary figures ... '

The 10th Mountain Division. US Army history.

010101: Art in Technological Times.

The Noh Plays of Japan.

Komori Soseki. 'Komori Soseki (sometimes known as Shoseki) was a designer of kacho-e prints during the 1920's and early 1930's. His prints, now difficult to find, were published by Kawaguchi and Sakai. Unfortunately, very little is known about Soseki. Though his prints depict rather typical kacho-e subject matter, they are noteworthy for their sensitive rendering and lush printing. Of particular beauty is the blended printing of the water in Mallard Ducks, and the colorful gradient edges of the lily pads in Moorhens. '
' Gallery.

The San People of the Kalahari. Photographs.

Jazz Images.

Gabriel Garcia Marquez: Macondo. Interesting online features. 'Whether writing short stories, epic novels, or nonfiction, Gabo is above all a brilliant storyteller, and his writing is a tribute to both the power of the imagination and the mysteries of the human heart. In Gabo's world, where flowers rain from the sky and dictators sell the very ocean, reality is subject to emotional truths as well as physical boundaries. It is a world of great beauty and great cruelty; a world where love brings both redemption and enslavement; and a world where the lines between objective reality and dreams are hopelessly blurred. It is a world very much like our own ... '

Jorge Luis Borges: Garden of Forking Paths. 'Welcome to the Garden of Forking Paths, one of the most intriguing areas of the Libyrinth of Allexamina. Here you will find access to the garden planted by J.L. Borges, the Argentine writer, poet and philosopher. Although I tend the garden as well as I can, beware: among these sprawling labyrinths you will find illusions most seductive and truths most elusive. Let me show you around.'
Look, here - a beautiful poppy, yes? But some say that it has the power to unravel time. And here: yes, this narcissus-flecked pool. The locals contend that if you gaze into its depths too long, you are in danger of merging with your reflection and losing all sense of Self; for your image becomes that of all men. And there, a gallery of mirrors most enigmatic; and hanging here, by this coin: the skin of a most unusual tiger....'

The Angel of the Prairies; A Dream of the Future, by Elder Parley Parker Pratt, 'One of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' , 1880.

Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Art Gallery.

Jeanette Winterson. British writer.

Ballparks. Baseball, American football, basketball, ice hockey.

9th March

The Legacy of Genghis Khan on the arts of Asia.

Vintage Classics Collection: Nostalgic Clip Art Photography from 1900 to 1950.

Run Rabbit Run. 'The story of rabbits in Western Australia - where they came from, attempts to control them, and what might happen next ... '

Mandela. Photographs.

Soweto in Colour. Photographs.

Josephine Lawrence. 'A versatile and prolific author, Josephine Lawrence began her career in journalism, soon branched out to ghostwrite girls' and tots' series under her own name and pseudonymously, then went on to earn national recognition for her adult fiction. When she died in 1978, she had written 33 adult novels and approximately 100 children's books. Despite Lawrence's many publications, biographical information about her remains sparse, scattered among a number of brief articles and reviews of her books. This webpage attempts to remedy that lack of information by providing a detailed bio-bibliography of a noteworthy -- and too often overlooked -- woman writer. '

Douglas Adams. Website dedicated to the author of 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy'.

The Tlatelolco Massacre. 'As researchers, human rights investigators and journalists explore the newly-released "dirty war" files in Mexico's national archives, details about 1968 massacre continue to emerge through newly declassified U.S. documents. In commemoration of Tlatelolco's thirty-fifth anniversary, the National Security Archive is posting a complete set of the most important documents released to date from the secret archives of the CIA, Pentagon, State Department, FBI and the White House -- many of them recently declasified in response to Freedom of Information Act requests filed by the Archive.'

The Dawn of Mexico's Dirty War. 'Lucio Cabañas Barrientos - a native son of Guerrero, school teacher- turned-revolutionary and chief of the small rebel force dubbed the Party of the Poor - was nothing more than an ordinary bandit, according to the government he so fiercely opposed during the 1970s.'
'A thug, a criminal, a gang leader, said Defense Secretary Hermenegildo Cuenca Díaz. Working "for very dark interests," hinted President Luis Echeverría ominously, "trying to provoke regressive or conservative tendencies.'
'American military, intelligence and political officers viewed Cabañas in a somewhat different light.'
' "The most important single leader" of the Mexican armed opposition, wrote the State Department in 1972. "Mexico's best known guerrilla," agreed the CIA in a top secret analysis in 1974. "He enjoys widespread support and sympathy among the peasants." ... '

Hossein Derakhshan's Weblog. Iran, technology and pop culture.

Folk Stories from Southern Nigeria.

Scientific American in the 19th Century. Issues from 1845 onwards. 'The Scientific American of the 19th century bears little resemblance its 20th century sibling. The first volume was a four page 15 x 20 newspaper that provided the reader poetry, religious news, interesting tid-bits from around the country and technical news and instruction ... '

Manet/Velazquez: The French Taste for Spanish Painting. 'This exhibition examines the impact of Spanish painting on French artists, presenting some 150 paintings by masters of Spain's Golden Age—Velázquez, Murillo, Ribera, El Greco, and Zurbarán—as well as masterpieces by the 19th-century French artists they influenced, among them Delacroix, Courbet, Millet, Degas, and, most notably, Manet. An exhibition on this subject has never before been attempted at this scale and depth, and it is indeed revelatory. Napoleon's Spanish campaigns (1808–14) marked a turning point in the French perception of Spanish painting, which, up to that time, had been virtually ignored and poorly represented in the French royal collections. Yet, only two decades later, in 1838, King Louis Philippe inaugurated the Galerie Espagnole at the Louvre, placing on view his extraordinary collection of hundreds of Spanish paintings. Although this collection was sold in 1853, these paintings left an indelible impression in France and by the 1860s, the French taste for Spanish painting was perceptible at each Paris Salon. In New York, the exhibition also includes works by American artists such as Sargent, Eakins, Whistler, and Cassatt, who studied in France but learned to paint like Spaniards.'

Arkhangelskoye. ' "The Russians have a feeling for the beauty of nature, and they know instinctively how to enhance it. Take, for example, the village of Arkhangelskoye, twelve miles from Moscow...," thus wrote the eminent Russian historian Nikolai Karamzin in his Notes on Sights in and around Moscow (1817). And today, after almost centuries, Arkhangelskoye is still one of the most famous architectural complexes in the vicinity of Moscow. '
Virtual tour via interactive map.

The Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum. 'At 11:02 a.m. on Ausust 9, 1945, the explosion of an atomic bomb devastated Nagasaki.'
'The ferocious heat and blast indiscriminately slaughtered its inhabitants. Even the people who managed to survive continue to this day to suffer from late effects.'
'Five decades have passed since that day. Now the atomic bomb survivors are advancing into old age and their memories are fading into the mist of history. The question of how to inform young people about the horror of war, the threat of nuclear weapons and the importance of the peace is therefore a matter of passing concern ... '
Records of the Nagasaki atomic bombing.

The Spread of Buddhism. A history for different regions.
South Asia - East Asia - South East Asia - the Himalayas - the West

Highlights from the Aberdeen Art Gallery and Museums. 'Here you can choose to view a selection of objects illustrating particular themes or aspects of the collection. Select the link of your choice to the left. This is a limited selection and will be added to in the near future - please revisit.'
Aberdeen in the 1930s.
Queen Victoria and John Brown.
Hall Russell Shipyard.

Denounce Newswire. Parodies of corporate press releases. 'When you're not looking for a reliable, accurate site for industry news, there's only one place to go: Denounce. '

The Surly Heckler. Online satire zine.

Dirt Central. Comedy news.

7th March

Historical Anatomies on the Web 'is a digital project designed to give Internet users access to high quality images from important anatomical atlases in the Library's collection. The project offers selected images from NLM's atlas collection, not the entire books, with an emphasis on images and not texts. Atlases and images are selected primarily for their historical and artistic significance, with priority placed upon the earliest and/or the best edition of a work in NLM's possession.'

Emotions and Disease. 'The exhibition Emotions and Disease was initially developed by the History of Medicine Division of the National Library of Medicine, in conjunction with the Third International Congress of the International Society for Neuroimmunomodulation which met at the National Institutes of Health in November 1996. The exhibition was intended to provide historical perspective and context for the scientific discussions and presentations at the Congress and to explain to the general public the meaning and relevance of scientific developments linking neurophysiology to the functioning of our immune systems. Using the historical approach, we could make these sophisticated scientific developments more accessible to a non-specialist audience. The historical approach could also be used to show the complex relationships between scientific theories, popular ideas, and their cultural context ... '

Paintings of Ladakh. "The mountains are landscape - and they are a state of mind. Perhaps nowhere more so than in Ladakh, the high plateau sited between the northern Karakorum and in the rain shadow of the Great Himalaya. La means mountain pass, Ladakh is the land of the mountain passes and was once part of the great trade routes that criss-crossed the mountains of India, China and Tibet."

Sacred Visions: Early Paintings from Central Tibet.

The Adoration of the Kings. Religious art from the National Gallery.

Winter Scenes. Art from the National Gallery.

The Couch: A Retrospective. 'The Couch: A Retrospective is a photo essay that documents the life and times of a very comfortable, odd-colored piece of office furniture that was destined for storage. Fortunately, it found a temporary home in my office-- temporary because I had the office for only five months. '

Urban Legend Zeitgeist.

Adirondack Lives. Interesting people.

Anti-Saloon League 1893-1933. 'The Anti-Saloon League from 1893 to 1933 was a major force in American politics. Influencing the United States through the printed word and lobbying, they turned a moral crusade into a Constitutional amendment. The League left a legacy of printed material at a site bequeathed to the Westerville Public Library which houses the Anti-Saloon League Museum. The Westerville Public Library in an effort to preserve and share the League's story has established this Web site with financial help from a grant provided by the State Library of Ohio.'

Tales of the Cochiti Indians, by Ruth Benedict, 1932.

Atmospheric Optics. 'Light playing on water drops, dust or ice crystals in the atmosphere produces a host of visual spectacles - rainbows, halos, glories, coronas and many more. Some can be seen almost every day or so, some are once in a lifetime sights. Find out where to see them and how they form. Then seek and enjoy them outdoors. '

The Theyyams of Malabar. 'The fantastical and the real, the exotic and the ordinary, the extravagant and the simple, all seem to merge seamlessly in British-born photographer Seth's work, which focuses exclusively on Hindu rituals in India's southern state of Kerala. While her subject might be the ultimate exotic, her direct approach to towards it, her emphasis on giving the whole picture and not just the sensational and the dramatic, lends a unique down-to-earth flavor to her photographs. '

Family Ties in Asian Textiles. 'In China and Japan in the early part of the 20th century, infant mortality was quite high, with many children not living to see their first birthdays. In these cultures, prosperity was believed to come from a long bloodline and from having many children. Because the child mortality rate was so high, lavish celebrations and rituals took place from birth to the time the child reached adulthood to assure the child's good fortune and longevity. '
'These elaborate rituals often involved textiles and reflected the indigenous concept of life and death that was intimately connected to vulnerable children. '

The Nativity. Religious art from the National Gallery.

The Adoration of the Shepherds. From the National Gallery.

Nobody for President. 'On December 8, 1975, at the United State Cafe, on Haight Street, in San Francisco, I spoke with Wavy Gravy about voter apathy. I pointed to some statistics that showed people were not registering to vote and aproximately 50% or less of the registered voters made it to the polls. Wavy responded, "You mean Nobody is winning the Presidential elections?" That question became the spark that ignited the Birthday Party's "Nobody for President Campaign". Wavy became "Nobody's Fool", I became "Nobody's Campaign Manager", and the rest is history. '

The Book of Ratings. Humorous online zine.

The November Coalition. 'Members educate the public about destructive, unnecessary incarceration due to the U.S. drug war.'

The Psychedelic Sixties. 'The summer of 1967, with its "Love-Ins," "Be-ins," and "Flower Power," came to be known as "The Summer of Love," and was one of the seminal moments of our generation. Over thirty years later, we who came of age during the turbulent decade of the sixties are dismayed to realize that, to the young adults of today, those years are now ancient history. '
'The "Psychedelic Sixties" broke the rules in every conceivable way from music to fashion (or lack of it), to manners and mores. Boundaries were challenged and crossed in literature and art; the government was confronted head-on for its policies in Vietnam; the cause of civil rights was embraced by the young; and mind-expanding drugs were doing just that. '
'Were the sixties the best of times or the worst of times? Did America evolve as a nation and we as individuals? Are we better for the experience? We who were there have our own answers, but it is the historians who will write the collective answers for posterity. In any case, for better or worse, this dynamic, controversial, exciting time was our youth, our creation, and our legacy, and this exhibition is an attempt to revisit it, share it, and interpret it. '

6th March

The Human Image. 'Whether scratched on rock, moulded in clay, sculpted in stone, carved from wood, cast in metal, painted, drawn or printed, the urge to create figures in our own image has existed since man first sought to define his place in the world. In most cultures and at most times in history, people have created representations of themselves, or representations of other beings in human form.'
'The exhibition Human Image considered human representation taking the broadest approach possible. It grouped images from different cultures and periods in thematic sections to stimulate reflection and response in the visitor.'

Textile and Clothing Museum, Barcelona. 'The Textile and Clothing Museum is an institution charged with safeguarding the valuable heritage of material history formed by textiles, tapestries, embroideries, lace, liturgical ornaments, civil dress and accessories, and apparatus for the production of these objects, dating from the early centuries of our era to the present day. In addition to the preservation and study of these materials, the museum seeks to act as a vehicle conveying the creativity that has marked textile and clothing design over the course of history ... '
Collections and exhibitions.

From Van Eyck to Bruegel: Early Netherlandish Painting in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Online galleries here.

The Mabinogion. 'This is Lady Guests' translation of the Mabinogion. The Mabinogion is a cycle of Welsh legends collected in the Red Book of Hergest, a manuscript which is in the library of Oxford University. Mabinogion means 'tales of youth'; although this appellation only applies to a few of the stories, Lady Guest appropriated it as the title of this book, and The Mabinogion is now used as the name of the entire collection. The stories are based on historical characters and incidents from the dark ages in Wales and environs, embellished with supernatural and folklore elements. Throughout there are echoes of primordial Celtic mythology and folklore, including the ancient gods and goddesses.'

Kabuki Theatre of Japan. 'Kabuki, the popular theatre of Japan, has captured the hearts and minds of audiences from its beginnings in 1603 to the present day. Music, dance and drama are skilfully employed, bringing to life characters from the Japanese past, both real and imaginary. All the actors in Kabuki are men, playing the roles of warriors and thieves as well as respectable ladies and low-class prostitutes. Seated on the floor, the audience participate by shouting out the names of their favourite actors during the long performances. The colourful spectacle of stage and costume add dramatic effect to what is often described as 'Grand Kabuki' or 'The Resplendent Theatre of Japan' ... '

Images of Power and Identity in the National Museum of African Art. 'This exhibition introduces the visual arts of Africa south of the Sahara. While it is not intended to be a comprehensive installation, it is a presentation of some of the most familiar and visually compelling imagery from various cultural groups. Included are figures, masks, pottery, and jewelry, works of art that were associated with divination, altars, mask performances, rites of passage, and items of regalia and personal adornment. Aesthetic, thematic, technical and historic concerns have been considered in selecting the works of art. '

The Capital and the Bay: Narratives of Washington and the Chesapeake Bay Region, ca. 1600-1925 'comprises 139 books selected from the Library of Congress's General Collections and two books from its Rare Book and Special Collections Division. The collection includes first-person narratives, early histories, historical biographies, promotional brochures, and books of photographs that capture in words and pictures a distinctive region as it developed between the onset of European settlement and the first quarter of the twentieth century. '

The Story of Virginia. 'Until recently, experts believed the first humans came to Virginia from Asia about 11,000 years ago. The theory was that they came overland across North America through a corridor between two great glacial masses that dominated the continent. Their culture was called Clovis after their distinctive type of projectile points, found near Clovis, N.M. However, archaeological discoveries at Cactus Hill, Virginia, show that people were here much earlier, at least 16,000 years ago. These first Virginians must have come here a different way, because at that time there was no corridor between the glaciers covering most of North America. Probably, the people leapfrogged down the western coastlines of North America and moved gradually from west to east ... '

The Gawker. Fab blog-type site.