'Welcome to my website of Ex-military tunnels, Napoleonic fortifications
and Underground tunnels of Kent. Kent has many underground features that
date back centuries, from Iron Age earthworks, through to seventeenth
century smuggling tunnels to the defence of Britain right up to the
atomic age ... '
Detectives on Stamps.
'Although some forty countries issued stamps commemorating the 50th
Anniversary of Interpol, the International Police Organization, most
issues were of a single stamp with the Interpol symbol or a picture of
the Headquarters Building. Only Nicaragua issued a large set with
S. Manabe. 'We met the Kyoto Yuzen-shi S.Manabe while he was giving
a demonstration at the National Crafts Center located in Aoyama,
downtown Tokyo ... '
'The Kanda River runs through Takadanobaba and in an earlier era led to
the rise of various businesses oriented around the kimono, one of its
more distinctive jiba-sangyo, or local industries. Though these
businesses have declined in number in recent years, there are still
shokunin still very much active in the area. Among them is Y. Hiroshima,
a 2nd generation yuzen-shi of the Edo-style who has carried on his craft
for over 50 years. '
'This web site is dedicated to giving information (what little there is)
on the weirdest book in the world, the CODEX SERAPHINIANUS. The Codex
is a collection of original artwork by Italian artist Luigi Serafini,
presented as a travalogue or scientific study of an alien world. Unlike
such alien worlds as Darwin IV in Barlowe's Expedition, which one might
find in a science fiction novel, the world in the Codex is obviously
some kind of perverse reflection of our own. All of the Codex is
presented entirely in an obscure alien writing. This writing, in
combination with the bizarre pictures, is what finally puts the Codex in
its own league for weirdness. For instance, on one page is a "Rosetta
Stone" - only it just translates Codex script into another alien
language. A lecturer presenting the "Stone" is nonchalantly stabbing a
red blob inside of it while he points out aspects of the script. The
whole effect is unimaginable, even after several "readings", and I
intend to stop failing to describe it now. Follow the links below for
some images and more information.'
East Timor Revisited: Ford, Kissinger and the Indonesian Invasion
'The Indonesian invasion of East Timor in December 1975 set the stage
for the long, bloody, and disastrous occupation of the territory that
ended only after an international peacekeeping force was introduced in
1999. President Bill Clinton cut off military aid to Indonesia in
September 1999—reversing a longstanding policy of military
cooperation—but questions persist about U.S. responsibility for the 1975
invasion; in particular, the degree to which Washington actually
condoned or supported the bloody military offensive. Most recently,
journalist Christopher Hitchens raised questions about the role of
former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in giving a green light to the
invasion that has left perhaps 200,000 dead in the years since. Two
newly declassified documents from the Gerald R. Ford Presidential
Library, released to the National Security Archive, shed light on the
Ford administration's relationship with President Suharto of Indonesia
during 1975 ... '
Curtis Botanical Magazine.
'William Curtis (1746-1799) was a trained pharmacist living in
London, whose greater interest was the study of flora and
insects. He maintained a large garden where he grew
beautiful exotic plants, and began publishing the
Curtis Botanical Magazine in 1787. This digital presentation
represents one thousand fifty records, one thousand forty-eight
plates, (two of the original plates are missing, plates 797 & 860),
and there are one thousand four hundred fifty-six related pages of
text from the first 26 volumes. The entire print collection of
164 volumes is housed at the National Agricultural Library in
Beltsville, Maryland. '
Popsubculture Biography Project.
'Welcome to the Biography Project. This reference tool is an ongoing
effort to catalog and document the contributions of authors, artists,
scientists, film makers and other culturally influential individuals on
underground culture in its various forms. This is direct response to the
unfortunate *lack* of accurate and comprehensive information on the net
regarding 'popsubculture'. It is a totally volunteer effort, in fact, it
is done in my ever shrinking spare time. '
'Although initially trained as a doctor, Lu Xun came to believe that the
plight of the Chinese masses could be improved only through the
widespread dissemination of socially aware art and literature. In the
woodblock print, especially as developed by the German Expressionists,
Lu Xun saw an effective tool for exposing the social ills of China.
Artists influenced by Lu Xun focused on the inequities suffered by the
lower classes. Due in part to this redirection in subject matter, the
woodcut medium was perceived to be Western and modern although woodblock
printing had been invented in China and had been widely used since the
Urban Local History in Coventry.
'Join Charles Insley in Coventry for a walk through time. Although each
town or city is different, they share many common themes. Discover how
to read the history of your town from the buildings around you. '
Jordaens: Venus and Eros Punishing a Satyr.
'The painting's exact subject is unclear. A satyr struggles on his hands
and knees against three putti directed by Venus, who sits on a rock at
the right. At the far right, another putto holds a standard, while a
second records the scene on a scroll. An androgynous, fleshy nude figure
lurks in the shadows of the trees behind Venus, and two men leer out
from the woods.'
De La Hyre: Glaucus and Scylla.
'Laurent de La Hyre represented a romantic scene from Ovid's
Metamorphoses. Glaucus rises from the sea with an elegant, curling white
beard, a muscular torso, and a scaly tail that unwinds among the reeds.
Clad only in crumpled white and red drapery gathered around her waist,
Scylla leans forward, gesturing with her hand. Behind her, Cupid looks
ready to let loose another arrow. La Hyre used soft pinks in the sky and
delicate hues of blue in the water, in contrast to the vivid green used
for the reeds and foliage. '
'The painting was intended as a design for a tapestry series woven by
the Gobelins factories and representing the loves of the gods. '
T. Ibaraki. 'Based in bustling Takatanobaba, a 10-minute walk from
the station brings us to the quiet neighborhood of uwae-shi (mon-carver)
T. Ibaraki. We can hear the laughter of school children drifting by
outside as Ibaraki, talkative and friendly, welcomes us into his small
tatami-room studio ... '
Yanagawa. 'Working together in a team of three, the Yanagawa family
works together in downtown Takadanobaba to smooth bolts of kimono cloth
with steam. "It's like a sauna in here during the summer," remarked the
son as he guided 30 bolts of fabric through the specialized yunoshi
machine ... '
Ely Cathedral. Virtual tour; BBC site.
'Take a detailed look at Ely Cathedral and uncover the rich history of
British medieval architecture. Learn what to look for and how to read
the history from a cathedral near you. '
Rock Paper Scissor Spock Lizard. 'This game was invented because it
seems like when you know someone well enough, 75-80% of any Rock-Paper-
Scissors games you play with that person end up in a tie. Well, here is
a slight variation that reduces that probability. (Note that for those
of you who like to swing your fist back and forth and say, "Rock, Paper,
Scissors, GO!", might want to continue to do that, replacing "Rock" with
"One," "Paper" with "Two," and "Scissors" with "Three.") This version is
also nice because it satisfies the Law of Fives.'
and Shadows. 'This collection of oral folklore
from coastal Georgia was assembled during the 1930s as
part of a WPA writers' program, under the supervision
of Mary Granger. The accounts in this book, framed by
colorful descriptions of the rural locales where they
were collected, were principally from elderly
African-Americans, some of them centarians. Most had
been slaves. In some cases they had known first
generation slaves who had been born in Africa. '
'This book focuses on a set of beliefs and magical
practices (some of which are today known as 'Hoodoo'),
including root doctoring, the existence of spirits,
talismans, lucky and unlucky acts and omens and more.
The interviewer also investigates the use of drums and
dancing during celebrations, funeral and baptism
rituals, food taboos, and other aspects of folklore
and ethnology. This study dispels any lingering doubt
that these beliefs are derived directly from
Africa--it exhaustively cross-references the
narratives with an appendix of quotes from African
ethnographers, folklorists and explorers. '
Toilets of Austin. 'Duchamp had one toilet; we
have 17. Texas photographer MicHael Galkovsky spent a
great deal of time in Austin bathrooms to bring us a
series of intimate portraits. ' ... View
Hampshire Heritage Online. 'Hantsphere is an
online Hampshire local studies resource. '
'You can explore and learn about Hampshire's heritage
by searching the Hantsphere database or following the
themes ... '
Hole in the Clouds. 'What could create a huge hole
in the clouds? Such a hole, likely hundreds of meters
across, was photographed last month from a driveway
near Mobile, Alabama, USA. Very unusual to see,
hole-punch clouds like this are still the topic of
meteorological speculation. A leading hypothesis holds
that the hole-punch cloud is caused by falling
ice-crystals ... '
The Inn of the Black Pig at Maarsseveen. Circa
1688. 'On a small piece of land next to the Vecht
River stands the inn at Maarsseveen, identified by the
sign hanging outside that features a black pig, the
town's coat of arms. Maidservants wash clothes in the
river while behind them two converse. Other men fish
from the bank or navigate their boats along the canal.
A Panoramic Landscape. 1665. 'Philips Koninck
specialized in painting panoramic views of his native
countryside. Although the view seems convincing, he
composed this imaginary landscape from various raw
elements of nature, playing with expressive lighting
and perspective upon a natural stage. The view assumes
a point of view high above the earth, which did not
exist in the flat land of Holland. '
Ada and the Ohio Northern University. Community history. 'In 1902,
shortly after the sale of Ohio Northern University to the Methodist
Church, a short promotional booklet appeared highlighting the Village
of Ada and its chief industry, the university. Ada and the ONU is
noteworthy, despite its brevity, in that it offers the reader a concise
view of Ohio Northern and its community at the time ... '
Adams Family Papers: An Electronic Archive. American notables.
'The Adams Family Papers: An Electronic Archive presents selections from
the most important manuscript collection held by the Massachusetts
Historical Society. Digital images of the letters exchanged between John
and Abigail Adams, John Adams's diary, and John Adams's autobiography are
presented alongside transcriptions.'
Africa: Selections from the Rex B. Grey Collection. 'For centuries,
Africa has been a place of mystery and wonder in the European imagination,
largely unknown and misunderstood. Although the ancient Mediterranean
world encompassed much of North Africa, it was not until after the
fifteenth century, when Portuguese naval exploration reached Africa's
southern and eastern shores, that the entire continent began to "open up"
to Europe. Explorers pushed inland, "discovering" natural features,
unfamiliar plants and animals, and encountering native peoples. Initial
contact often led to exploitation, as Europeans sought wealth in the
resources of the land and in the African people themselves through the
slave trade. Missionary activity took root as European Christians saw
in Africa a chance to spread their faith. Finally, widespread colonization
followed, with Europeans from many countries settling permanently in
Africa. By the nineteenth century, colonialism had become a reality--
a reality that continues to affect the linguistic, geographic, and
cultural landscape even today ... '
African American Family Photographs. 'The Wormley/Graves family
photographs are part of the African-American Family Photograph
Collection that was created to enhance the holdings of images depicting
the richness of African-American life and culture in Cleveland. Donations
of photographs from the public continue to develop this Collection,
which is an invaluable resource to students and researchers. '
Enchanted Chessmen: A World of Fantasy. 'As a universal game
played the world over by young and old alike, chess has the richest
literature of all games. Students of chess explicate its technical
aspects, record its achievements and failures, and document both the
major and minor events of its history as its proponents battle --
displaying their skills, strategical knowledge, and acts of daring
imagination over the sixty-four squares of the chessboard. Chess has
also attracted an amazing variety of enthusiasts and has generated wide
human interest over more than ten centuries. Around the inner circle
of its champions, students, and aspiring masters, it has attracted to
its orbit a diverse peripheral band of writers, critics, scientists,
historians, archaeologists, and artists. Consequently, chess enjoys the
widest representation in the general literature: from simple folktales
to sophisticated romances, from philosophy to psychology, and from
mathematics to allegory, religion, and art.'
Libellus Magicus: A Nineteenth-Century Manuscript of Conjurations. 'The
Libellus Magicus manuscript in the John G. White Collection of the
Cleveland Public Library is a nineteenth-century translation into
English of at least two Latin texts of conjurations published in Germany
also in the nineteenth century. Both the German-published Latin sources
and the English-language manuscript claim that the original texts are from
the sixteenth century and were composed by Jesuits. The noted authority on
witchcraft, demonology, and superstition, A.E. Waite, owned the manuscript
English-language translation at one time. Waite also wrote about the text
and expressed serious reservations about the claims of antiquity. Waite
believed that the text was a nineteenth-century forgery.'
'The condition of the manuscript in 1999 was typical of commercially
produced notebooks from the nineteenth century: fragile, brittle paper
that did not permit reading or use of the manuscript. In 1998, the Fine
Arts and Special Collections Department decided to transcribe the document
to make a digital version available to researchers over the Internet. '
Truro Cathedral, Cornwall.
'Welcome to Truro Cathedral, situated in the far south west of the
British Isles. In this Celtic county, surrounded on three sides by
the sea, and separated from Devon on the fourth by the River Tamar,
Christianity has been around for sixteen hundred years. So many of the
centres of population are named after Cornish Saints and many ancient
churches are situated where they lived and worked ... '
Me You Them. A
great Brazilian film about a 'menage-a-quatre'. Story and images.
Soundtrack by Gilberto Gil. 'In the starkly beautiful, dry landscape
of the poverty-stricken Brazilian Northeast, there lives a woman who
shares a modest home with her three husbands.... '
'... The idea of making ME YOU THEM occurred to Waddington in 1995, when
the director saw a television special about a woman who had lived under
the same roof with her three husbands for ten years. "I found the story
very interesting," says the director, "especially for being the opposite
of what normally happens. It's more common in that area to find a 'sugar
daddy' who lives with more than one woman. I wanted to investigate how a
woman in such a macho culture managed to deal with that situation." '
'California Diners & Coffee Shops of the 1950s & 60s'.
Calendar. 'Since ancient times, calendars have been indispensable
for knowing the changes of days, months and seasons. Every era has
various types of calendars used in the daily life of the people, and
some were particularly enjoyed for their special features. In this
context, old calendars contain highly interesting materials reflecting
the transition in life-style and culture down through the ages.'
'This, then, traces the history of the Japanese calendar based on the
National Diet Library's calendar collection, with special focus on the
Daisho-reki calendar consisting of months, some with 30 days, others
with 29, which was used in the Edo period (1603 to 1867). It also
includes notes on how to better appreciate it.'
Women Come to the Front.
American female journalists and photographers in World War II. 'The
women featured in this exhibit were chosen because of the strength and
variety of their collections in the Library of Congress. Like their
colleagues, the women followed various paths to their wartime
The Nibelungenlied. 'Originally written in Middle High German
(M.H.G.), sometime around 1200 A.D., although this dating is by no means
certain. Author unknown. Translation by Daniel Bussier Shumway, 1909. '
The History of Haiti.
'A tiny tropical island sits in the Caribbean, decorated with palm trees
and colorful hibiscus flowers. Its mountains stand majestically looking
down upon sandy beaches and green valleys. From afar it appears as any
other island one might encounter sailing the turquoise waters of the
Caribbean. Yet, as we draw closer we notice a difference. There are no
tourist resorts dotting the coasts, no high rise hotels with sand
volleyball courts and marimba bands. This is Haiti, this is different.
If the land could speak it would tell of tragedy and violence, of abuse
and bloodshed, of power and greed. Why does the country stand apart from
its neighbors? The answer lies in the turbulent history of this tiny
Indian Legends, by Zitkala-Sa, 1901 (North
American Indian). 'These legends are relics of our
country's once virgin soil. These and many others are
the tales the little black-haired aborigine loved so
much to hear beside the night fire. ' 'For him the
personified elements and other spirits played in a
vast world right around the center fire of the wigwam.
' 'Iktomi, the snare weaver, Iya, the Eater, and
Old Double-Face are not wholly fanciful creatures.
' 'There were other worlds of legendary folk for
the young aborigine, such as "The Star- Men of the
Sky," "The Thunder Birds Blinking Zigzag Lightning,"
and "The Mysterious Spirits of Trees and Flowers."
' 'Under an open sky, nestling close to the earth,
the old Dakota story-tellers have told me these
legends. In both Dakotas, North and South, I have
often listened to the same story told over again by a
new story-teller ... '
A Collection of Poems by Anna Akhmatova. 'Anna
Akhmatova is the literary pseudonym of Anna Andreevna
Gorenko. Her first husband was Gumilev, and she too
became one of the leading Acmeist poets. Her second
book of poems, Beads (1914), brought her fame. Her
earlier manner, intimate and colloquial, gradually
gave way to a more classical severity, apparent in her
volumes The Whte Flock (1917) and Anno Domini MCMXXI
(1922). The growing distaste which the personal and
religious elements in her poetry aroused in Soviet
officialdom forced her thereafter into long periiods
of silence; and the poetic masterpieces of her later
years, A Poem without a Hero and Requiem, were
published abroad. '
The Tree of
'The Tree of Life is a collaborative web project,
produced by biologists from around the world. On more
than 2600 World Wide Web pages, the Tree of Life
provides information about the diversity of organisms
on Earth, their history, and characteristics.
' 'Each page contains information about one group
of organisms (for example, the Coleoptera page gives
information about all beetles, the Salticidae page
about jumping spiders, the Cephalopoda page about
squids, octopi, and related molluscs, and the Fungi
page about fungi). Individual Tree of Life pages are
linked one to another in the form of the evolutionary
tree that connects all organisms, with the pages
branching off from a group's page being about
subgroups. For example, the links from the page on
frogs leads one to pages on individual families of
frogs, and eventually up to some individual species of
frogs ... '
The Oxford Book
of Australasian Verse, 1918. 'The national
characters and natural beauty of Australia and New
Zealand invigorate 205 poems by 80 authors; from
Wentworth and Harpur to Kendall and Gordon up to
Derham and Napier, this unique anthology spans a
century of publishing during the explosive growth of
Sakharov, Nobel peace laureate, 1975. Autobiography.
'I was born on 21 May 1921. My father was a well-known
teacher of physics and the author of textbooks,
exercise books and works of popular science. I grew up
in a large communal apartment where most of the rooms
were occupied by my family and relations and only a
few by outsiders. The house was pervaded by a strong
traditional family spirit - a vital enthusiasm for
work and respect for professional competence. Within
the family we provided one another with mutual
support, just as we shared a love of literature and
science ... ' Acceptance
speech and Nobel
and Obeahs, 1932. 'This companion book to Psychic
Phenomena of Jamaica goes into much greater depth as
to the New World-African connection, and adds more
material about Afro-Carribean religion in Haiti. The
primary strength of this work is the careful
documentation of the history and ethnography of Vodun.
Williams includes numerous quotes from rare documents
and books on the subject. The weakness is the lack of
detailed information about the religious system of
Vodun, which we now know to be as complicated (or more
so) than any of the major religions. There is scarcely
any mention of the loas, the pantheon of Vodun Gods
and Goddesses, and he misses the importance of
possession during the religious ceremonies. However,
all things considered, this is required reading if you
want to understand the background of Haitian and
Jamaican Vodun, and the profound influence of
imperialism, slavery and racism on its development.'
Dreams. 'Our dreams often help us understand
ourselves, who we love, or how we look naked. Other
times they're simply worth ignoring. Artist Sam Brown
offers his interpretive talents.'
'A note on Sam Brown: For the past two years, artist
and explodingdog creator Sam Brown has been hiding out
in his top-secret hideout in Connecticut. When he gets
around to it he puts some new pictures up on
explodingdog; some of these are good, some are bad,
and some are neither good or bad but are interesting
Launch the feature here.
Sunlit Pictures: A War Album.
'Conflict is an unchanging part of our society, and
only seems in remission when it's not at our own
doorstep. Tobias Seamon offers a collection of
vignettes about war and its constant presence in our
of the North American Indians, Stith Thompson,
1929. 'Stith Thompson, a Distinguished Professor of
English and Folklore at Indiana University,
anthologized these Native American tales from the
ethnographic literature. His chief contribution to the
field was his 'Motif-Index of Folk Literature', which
is a cross-cultural index of themes that occur in
folktales ... '
Landscape with a Calm. 'In the late 1640s and
early 1650s, at the height of his artistic maturity,
Nicolas Poussin turned from historical narrative to
landscape painting. Landscape with a Calm does not
illustrate a story but rather evokes a mood. The
ordered composition and clear, golden light contribute
to A Calm's utter tranquility, while glowing, gem-like
colors and fluid paint strokes enliven this scene of
benevolent nature. Poussin's sketching campaigns in
the Roman countryside with his friend and fellow
landscape painter Claude Lorrain account, in part, for
its fresh observation of cloud-scattered sky and
grazing goats. '
Landscape with Bathing Nudes.
'A sense of uninhibited freedom pervades the scene as
a group of women bathe, lounge, and socialize in an
area below a rocky hillside. Drying herself, the woman
in the center of the painting turns toward her
voluptuous nude companion lying in the foreground.
Cornelius van Poelenburgh softly modeled the figures,
evoking the texture of tender flesh. The landscape
captures the atmospheric qualities of the Italian
countryside and deliberately calls to mind an idyllic
mythological land filled with languid nymphs. '
Two Deer Pursued by Hounds.
'As the dogs close in, even the frightened deer
realize that the court's hunting expedition is almost
over. In the five other paintings in the series, wild
bulls, deer, and boars flee more attacking hunting
dogs, with no human hunters in sight. These six
canvases were meant to decorate the walls above the
doors and windows in King Philip IV of Spain's famous
hunting lodge near Madrid. Along with his
brother-in-law Frans Snyders, Paul de Vos painted many
pieces for that lodge.'
'Forget worrying over book contracts, alcoholism, or
unwanted kids – where do Nobel laureate authors turn
for advice on their hair? Ken Krimstein discovers the
lost correspondence between two great authors.'