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5th May

Questionable Content. Online comic.

Scary Go Round. Online comic.

Chinook Texts, 1894. 'The Chinook tribes inhabited the salmon-rich lower Columbia river area in the Northwest culture region, in what is now upper Oregon and lower Washington state. As is evident from these texts, fishing was at the center of their culture, and they were also avid traders and gamblers. A creole based on their language and several European languages, the 'Chinook Jargon', was widely used as a trade language in the Northwest. The Chinook practised the 'Potlatch'--the charateristic Northwestern ceremony in which wealth was ritually redistributed.'

Kwakiutl Tales, 1910. 'This is a collection of myths and folklore from the Kwakiutl Native Americans of British Columbia, Canada. They originally resided on the northern end of Vancouver Island and the adjacent coast. The texts were collected and translated by Franz Boas, who was one of the founders of modern anthropology and linguistics. These stories are much more satisfying for the Western reader than many unfiltered Native American texts, with rich characterizations, earthy humor, spooky supernatural settings, and, for once, actual beginnings, middles and ends. It is obvious that the Kwakuitl were accomplished story tellers. '

The Great Central Railway: A Continuing Survey of Britain's Last Main Line Railway. 'This website is intended to document the current state of Britains last main line at it enters its second century. Built at the end of the 19th Century and carelessly disposed of after only 70 years, much of it yet remains - overgrown and largely forgotten. It is my intention to survey, section by section as much of the remaining trackbed and as many structures as possible. Click on a link below to view a section of the line. Clicking on the black circles on the map will bring up a brief description of the feature in the right hand frame, together with thumbnails. Clicking on a thumbnail will load a high resolution image in a new window.'

Bizarre Crime in Japan. A weblog. 'Japan has some very strange and bizarre crimes. This site is my own chronicle of these crimes. I am intrigued by their strange nature and by the way that Japanese people, the Japanese institutions, and public at large react to them. Please leave some comments. '

Renaissance and Mannerist Architecture. Online gallery.

Master Theoderic. 'Bohemian painter (active 1350-70 in Prague)'. Online gallery.

Some Western Shoshoni Myths, 1943.
'The Shoshone (also spelled Shoshoni) are Native Americans of the Great Basin region, and south and east of the Sierra Nevada mountain range. Shoshoneans are distributed widely--from Southern California, Death Valley and Mono Lake, through Utah to Western Colorado. Sacajawea, the woman who guided the Lewis and Clark expedition, was a Utah Shoshone. '
'While the beliefs of other Shoshonean tribes are fairly well documented, there is little published information about the mythology of the Great Basin Shoshone per se. This collection reveals that the Western Shoshone, who lived in central Nevada, were very similar to the Northern Californians in this regard. Their myths are inhabited by the lusty trickster Coyote, and other primordial zoomorphic demigods. '

Moritz Daniel Oppenheim (1800-1882). Artist exhibition from the Jewish Museum, Frankfurt.

Revolution by Design: The Soviet Poster. 'Although posters were produced in Russia before the Revolution, they were overshadowed by the remarkable propaganda posters of the Soviets. Lenin takes responsibility for creating the first truly modern propaganda machine, from postage stamps and Mayday parades to monumental sculptures. Perhaps its most colorful, dramatic and original form was the poster. Through it, the greatest artists of the time proclaimed government policies, asked for support, and demanded greater efforts -- all with the goal of building Soviet power. '

Tokyo Damage Report. 'This weblog is about interesting (meaning, fucked up) things that one can do in Tokyo. punk, visual, cosplay, s/m, gothic, street trends, capsule hotels, bizarre magazines, random subcultures, and bad Engrish. . . . .also it is about tokyo's, urban legends: square watermelons, Sanrio condoms, politically incorrect vending machines, etc. . '

Elemental Soup. 'You have reached elementalsoup, an alternative Northern Irish humour site. '

Girl Genius. Online comic. 'Gaslamp Fantasy with Adventure, Romance and Mad Science.'

4th May

The Newton Project. Via Monkeyfilter.
'Isaac Newton (1642-1727) is universally acknowledged as one of the two or three most influential scientists in history. In his Principia Mathematica of 1687 he announced three laws of motion and the concepts of mass, force and Universal Gravitation. In his brilliant letter to the Royal Society of February 1672, and later in his Opticks of 1704, he showed that white light was heterogeneously composed of more basic, primary rays, each with its own specific colour and index of refraction. Apart from these achievements in physics, Newton's mathematical prowess was extraordinary, and with Gottfried Leibniz he was one of the two independent inventors of the calculus. '
'Although these achievements are fundamental to modern mathematics and physics, it is less well known that Newton himself placed great value on his private researches into theology and alchemy. Interest in the wealth of surviving manuscript material in these areas has increased dramatically in recent years, and the Newton Project was formed in 1998 to make all Newton's texts, both 'scientific' and 'non-scientific' (including those papers relevant to his three decades service at the Royal Mint), available to a broad readership in a form that is at once scholarly and accessible. The Project aims to create a printed edition of Newton's theological, alchemical and administrative writings and an electronic edition of all his writings, including his correspondence...'

Tibetan Hands and Feet Paintings. 'Images of the hand and foot prints of famous teachers, predominantly Kagyu and Nyingma.'

Captain James Cook 1728-1779. 'Discover the story of Captain James Cook through the outstanding collections of the British Library linked with material held in institutions such as the Captain Cook Birthplace Museum in the North East of England'
'Cook was born in 1728 in Marton, now a suburb of Middlesbrough, and is probably the most famous maritime explorer of the 18th century. His exploits in Canada and North West America, the islands of the Pacific, New Zealand and Australia and his incursions into waters of the Arctic and Antarctic are well recorded, particularly through the journals, logs and pictures which were made during the voyages and today preserved in museums, libraries and archives throughout the world.'
'Find out how, since his death in 1779, Cook has been celebrated in the towns and villages of his native North East of England where there are survivals of his times in 'Captain Cook Country'.'

The Unicorn Tapestries. 'As early as the seventeenth century, the Unicorn Tapestries were documented as having been displayed as a group. Surely they were collected and exhibited together because together they illustrate the pursuit of the elusive unicorn so completely and in such astonishing detail, despite the likelihood that the seven individual hangings may come from two or more sets of tapestries. While its sacred and secular symbolism may not be as familiar to us today, we are still enchanted by the unicorn and its lore. '

Titian. 'Tiziano Vecellio (ca. 1488–1576), known as Titian, was the greatest Venetian artist of the sixteenth century, eventually gaining international fame. Titian is known above all for his remarkable use of color; his painterly approach was highly influential well into the seventeenth century. Titian contributed to all of the major areas of Renaissance art, painting altarpieces, portraits, mythologies, and pastoral landscapes with figures.'

Mothers' Day Cartoons by Donna Barstow. 'Donna Barstow is one of America's top magazine cartoonists. She has given us great a collection of Mothers Day cartoons! '

Iraq Coffins. Cartoons.

Photos of Iraqis Being Abused by US Personnel.

Edward Teller's FBI File. 'Hungarian-born American nuclear physicist who participated in the production of the first atomic bomb (1945) and who led the development of the world's first thermonuclear weapon, the hydrogen bomb ... '

Heavens' Embroidered Cloths: One Thousand Years of Chinese Textiles.

Origin Myth of Acoma, 1942. 'The following information was obtained in September and October of 1928 from a group of Pueblo Indians from Acoma and Santa Ana visiting Washington.'
'The Acoma origin and migration myth is presented as it was learned by the chief informant during his initiation in youth into the Koshari, the group of sacred clowns to whom theoretically all religious secrets are divulged. With this myth, according to Acoma ideology, everything in the culture must harmonize. When new practices are adopted, there is an attempt to fit them into the general scheme, although in recounting the tradition, the informant was careful to differentiate between contemporary practice and what was given in the tradition. Frequently after his dictation, when I would question him to bring out concrete instances, he would say, "It is not done so any more." The tradition is couched in archaic language so that in many places the younger interpreters were unable to translate and the elderly informant would have to explain in modern Acoma phraseology. This may account in part for certain obvious paraphrases of Pueblo or even of merely Indian ways of speaking. Other paraphrases may have been made for the benefit of the White man or as interpretation of Acoma religion by one who is an exceptionally good Catholic and no longer a participant in the ceremonial life of Acoma ...'

The Glory of Byzantium. 'The Metropolitan Museum of Art's on-line exploration of Byzantium was created in conjunction with the international loan exhibition The Glory of Byzantium (March 11 - July 6, 1997), which celebrated the art of the second golden age of Byzantine art (843­1261). This on-line exploration moves beyond the time frame of the exhibition and includes examples of art from the first golden age of Byzantine art (324­730) and the late period, which ended with the Turkish conquest in 1453 ... '

Built in America: Historic American Buildings Survey/ Historic American Engineering Record 1933-. 'The Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) and the Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) collections are among the largest and most heavily used in the Prints and Photographs Division of the Library of Congress. The collections document achievements in architecture, engineering, and design in the United States and its territories through a comprehensive range of building types and engineering technologies including examples as diverse as the Pueblo of Acoma, houses, windmills, one-room schools, the Golden Gate Bridge , and buildings designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Administered since 1933 through cooperative agreements with the National Park Service, the Library of Congress, and the private sector, ongoing programs of the National Park Service have recorded America's built environment in multiformat surveys comprising more than 350,000 measured drawings, large-format photographs, and written histories for more than 35,000 historic structures and sites dating from Pre-Columbian times to the twentieth century. This online presentation of the HABS/HAER collections includes digitized images of measured drawings, black-and-white photographs, color transparencies, photo captions, data pages including written histories, and supplemental materials. Since the National Park Service's HABS and HAER programs create new documentation each year, digital images will continue to be added to the online collections. The first phase of digitization of the Historic American Engineering Record collection was made possible by the generous support of the Shell Oil Company Foundation. '

The Panorama Museum. 'At the green heart of Germany, in Thuringia, lies the little town of Bad Frankenhausen, over a thousand years old. Above the town, a cylindrical building rises from the idyllic southern slopes of Kyffhäuser Mountain. That building houses the centrepiece of one of the most spectacular commissions in recent German art history, the monumental painting ... '
Monumental painting by Werner Tübke "Frühbürgerliche Revolution in Deutschland" (Early Bourgeois Revolution in Germany, 1983 – 1987, oil on canvas, 14 x 123 metres).

3rd May

Immigration centre detainee dies.
'An investigation has been launched at an immigration removal centre after a detainee died. '
'First aid staff tried to revive the collapsed inmate at Haslar detention centre in Gosport but failed. '
'The Home Office said the death was probably from natural causes, but a post mortem would follow and a full investigation by the prisons ombudsman. '
'The Hampshire centre was the scene of riots and breakouts in 2003 and was criticised by prison inspectors. '
Via Frizzy Logic.

Apple Ad. 'Apple bought all of the advertising space in November/December special election issue of Newsweek in 1984, and devoted it all to Macintosh. Below you can see all 39 pages of the advertisement. ' Via Sugar & Spicy.

Mother Jones: The Miners' Angel. 'The elderly woman smoothed her black dress and touched the lace at her throat and wrists. Her snow-white hair was gathered into a knot at the nape of her neck, and a black hat, trimmed with lavender ribbons to lend a touch of color, shaded her finely wrinkled face. She was about five feet tall, but she exuded energy and enthusiasm. As she waited to speak, her bright blue eyes scanned the people grouped beyond the platform. Her kindly expression never altered as her voice broke over the audience: "I'm not a humanitarian," she exclaimed. "I'm a hell-raiser." '
Via wood s lot.

The Pagan Pilgrim: Thomas Morton of Merrymount. 'Morton, a senior partner in a Crown-sponsored trading venture, sailed to New England in 1624 with a Captain Wollaston and 30 indentured young men. They settled and began trading for furs on a spit of land given them by the native Algonquin tribes, whose culture the classically educated, broad-minded Morton soon came to admire as far more civilized and humanitarian than that of his intolerant, brutal European neighbors. When Wollaston began seeking more profits by selling off the indentured servants to hard labor on the Virginia tobacco plantations, Morton persuaded the remaining servants (it wasn't hard) to reject their harsh master and throw in with this visionary as free members of a colony that would trade and live in harmony with the local tribes.' Via wood s lot.

Domestic Odyssey. 'The San Jose Museum of Art presents Domestic Odyssey, an exhibition that features work by national and international artists who use household items — appliances and furniture — as touchstones for their work. In this exhibition, everyday objects are transformed into seductive, whimsical, and thought-provoking meditations on cultural, social, and autobiographical issues. '
Via art for housewives.

Gene Merritt. Via gmtPlus9.

Nuclear Waste Transportation Routes. 'Highway and rail routes most likely to be used to transport high-level nuclear waste to Yucca Mountain, Nevada' Via Incoming Signals.

The Art of Alan Bean. Apollo 12 astronaut. Via Incoming Signals.

The Thousand and One Nights, translated by Richard Burton. Via Incoming Signals.

Tobacco and Salt Museum. Via Bifurcated Rivets.

'Compassionate Conservatism'.

Sam's Mailbox Pictures. 'I have always been intrigued by the ability of a craftsman to take a boring mailbox and make it into a thing of interest, adventure or beauty-- I know that we all see them every day but some are really neat and make me say-- "I wish I'd have thought of that!" ' Via Blort.

Boiled Alive! 'Below is my personally edited collection of drawings depicting men and women in pots. Click on the thumbnail images or on the title of the work to see the full drawing. Most of these images have been downloaded from the internet. Some come from bulletin boards. None are under restrictive copyright (at least as far as I know). I have tried to identify the artists whenever possible. ' Via Geisha.

The Battle of Antietam. Official records and battle description of 'the bloodiest day' of the American Civil War. Via MeFi.

Anatomy of an Exhibition: Art Nouveau 1890-1914. 'This Web feature offers a glimpse behind the scenes during the planning and construction of an exhibition at the National Gallery of Art. Art Nouveau,1890-1914, the largest and most comprehensive exhibition on the subject ever organized, presents one of the most innovative and exuberant of all modern art styles and the places where it flourished. The exhibition is on view at the Gallery October 8, 2000, through January 28, 2001.'

Ancestral Traces. Items recording Jewish social and personal histories.

Landscape of Memory: The Art of Mu Xin. 'The work of Mu Xin (b. 1927) is, in part, a dialogue with the past masters of Chinese painting and, thus, with Chinese history in general. This dialogue is a key factor in connecting Mu Xin with the continuous tradition of Chinese landscape painting, begun in the 10th century, which is embedded with meanings both personal and profound. Emerging from his knowledge and interpretation of past masters, Mu Xin created paintings that responded to the past while criticizing the future. Although in this regard Mu Xin could be compared with many Chinese artists, perhaps the greatest connection can be made with the "yimin" painters of the early Yuan period (1279 - 1368) and of the early Qing (1644 - 1911).'

The British Countryside. articles, pictures of the month, countryside poets. Links to country diary-type websites.

Einstein Revealed. 'Welcome to the companion Web site to the NOVA program "Einstein Revealed," originally broadcast in October, 1996. This two-hour special presents a penetrating profile of Albert Einstein, who contributed more than any other scientist to our modern vision of physical reality. '

Aspirations to Sweetness. We always enjoy Jann's writing. Browse through the archives and other areas of the site.

Sweatshop Watch. 'Founded in 1995, Sweatshop Watch is a coalition of over 30 labor, community, civil rights, immigrant rights, women's, religious and student organizations, and many individuals, committed to eliminating the exploitation that occurs in sweatshops. Sweatshop Watch serves low-wage workers nationally and globally, with a focus on garment workers in California. We believe that workers should earn a living wage in a safe, decent work environment, and that those responsible for the exploitation of sweatshop workers must be held accountable. The workers who labor in sweatshops are our driving force. Our decisions, projects, and organizing efforts are informed by their voices,their needs, and their life experiences. '

Between a Rock and a Hard Place: A History of American Sweatshops 1820-Present. 'On August 2, 1995, police officers raided a fenced compound of seven apartments in El Monte, California. They arrested eight operators of a clandestine garment sweatshop and freed 72 illegal Thai immigrants who had been forced to sew in virtual captivity. '
'Although the El Monte incident was an extreme case of exploitation, sweatshops are not new to America. Since the dawning of the Industrial Revolution, many generations of Americans have toiled in sweatshops. Then, as now, their labor has been accompanied by widespread debate over what constitutes a fair wage, reasonable working conditions, and society's responsibility for meeting those standards. This exhibition places the current debate on sweatshops in the garment industry in a historical context and explores the complex factors that contribute to their existence today.'

The Artistry of African Currency. 'Throughout history, many different objects have been used to facilitate trade for goods and to measure wealth. Today, we usually think of dollars and coins when we define what we regard as money, although much commerce is carried out without any physical currency at all. Value is counted by entries in bank and credit card accounts, and the transfer of money often takes place through electronic impulses between computers. Objects have served the same purposes as well, in other times and places. '
'Throughout Africa's past, many objects have served as money—salt, shells, beads, metal, indigenous coins, European coins, jewelry, woven cloth, weapons and tools. The keys to understanding why a particular object came to be used as currency are acceptability and value. Acceptability encompasses such aspects as familiarity, usefulness and artistic expression, which add to the intrinsic value of the medium itself. Thus, while the scarcity of copper might have caused it to be exchanged on that basis alone, its use was further validated through the forms into which it was cast. Iron was more ubiquitous in African societies, but refining, forging, forming and decorating similarly increased its value ... '

Southeast Asian Monuments: A Selection of 100 Slides. '100 slides of monuments in Mainland Southeast Asia ( Burma, Thailand,Cambodia, Vietnam), selected from the collection of Marijke J. Klokke, are presented here (see map) .They were made in January and February 1995. They document Hindu and Buddhist structures, dating roughly from the 9th to 15th centuries. Overviews, sculptures, and ornamental details are included. Duplicates of the presented slides are kept in the Oriental Department of the Leiden University Library. Information can be obtained via e-mail from Aad Janson, who prepared these pages for WWW, and Marijke J. Klokke, who wrote the texts and made the photographs.'

Early Christian and Byzantine Art. Many images.

Byzantine Museums and Collections in Greece. Many images; fantastic site.

Sexual Firsts. 'I always thought I was sexually adventurous but my husband's been whining and he says I've always been a prude in our relationship. Because I won't stick my finger up his ass. Any ideas on what to do?'

8 Million Stories in a New York Minute. 'New York has enough eccentrics to make the normals seem crazy. Heather Holland Wheaton has captured quite a few in her new collection, Eight Million Stories in a New York Minute. Excerpts from a pint-sized book. '

Call Centre Confidential. 'Call Centre Confidential is the story of my life as a Team Manager in a Call Centre.' A blog about one of working in one of the UK's growth industries.

2nd May

Visited Countries. Generate your own map. Well worth playing with - this is a great site. Don't forget the map of most visited countries. I believe that I linked to this site previously, but the comments in this thread are worth a read too. (Comedy platinum!)
'The UK isn't actually a country you know, it's simply the name for a collection of countries.' ... AND ... 'You're missing the scottish, where do all us keltic folks come form then? ' ... AND ... 'Read the site owner's rule at the top of the page. "My basic rule is that a nation has to be internationally recognized, i.e. by the UN." FIFA doesn't count. '
'Where's Sicily? Doesn't it count as a serparate country? ' ... AND ... 'um... i was wondering where Brussels was ? ' ... AND ... 'dude Brussels, Scotland, Wales and Holland are all missing, ' ... AND ... 'Where is Cyprus as it aint Greek or turkish where is it ' ... AND ... 'what about teneriffe and all that lot? are they on there or am i just blind?' ... AND ... 'I don't think you can generalize so much but I do think Europe should be split into a few decent sized countries. Like maybe combine the Balkans with Hungary, Poland and Belarus. And combine Germany, Austria, and Italy. Then Join France Portugal and Spain since their not too different places. And then all of Scandanavia can join the UK. That would be reasonable I think.'
'But I am missing Palestine. Also, just clicking "United States" marks everything from New York to Hawaii and from Houston to Alaska. Would make much more sense to have the US states isolated. ' ... AND ... 'Your map is pretty crap, and, to make it more accurate, you should include more countries, and separate places like the states in america and have small countries like all the things people said before me ' ... AND ... 'Well, as somebody said, it would be nice to mark each US state separately. ' ... 'So, clearly many Americans don't feel significant enough, having been overseas once or twice, so they want their trip to New Orleans and camping in Nevada to be exhibited on the map..' ... 'look at the map, nimrod. we've got a LARGE country. in fact, it's a UNION of SEPARATE STATES. ' ... 'Sweden should be much bigger on the map. You see, Sweden is by far the most mighty and powerfull country on the face of the earth. Therefor it should be bigger!'
'Now that you've used this service, I think you ought to know where singapore is. Not that it's a great country, but this'll probably stop people in chatrooms from asking where singapore is. '
'What about a map showing the oceans that you have [swam] in? Now that would be cool.'
'How come Iraq isn't shown as a territory of the US? '
And whither Greenland?

The F Scale. 'Fifty years ago, the Authoritarian Personality studies attempted to "construct an instrument that would yield an estimate of fascist receptivity at the personality level." '
'This online, interactive F Scale presents that instrument in its final form. Additional infomation, including an explanation of the personality variables the F Scale tries to measure, is given below after the questionnaire. So take the F Scale now --- and enjoy! '
(I'm a whining rotter).
Via the LGF Quiz.

'Blame Canada'. Comedy gold. Thanks, jp.

1st May

Kubrick 2001: The Space Odyssey Explained. Thanks, jp.

Back from Budapest.

Hungary (along with nine other mostly eastern European countries) joined the European Union on the stroke of midnight last night. There was a big fireworks display and outdoor concert in Heroes' Square, next to City Park.

It was quite a pleasant trip. Budapest has the feel of a much smaller town than it is - I suppose this may be partly because the Hungarians are the only non-Indo-European-speaking people in central Europe, which may set them apart to some extent; maybe also the Catholic and central European familial quality of close-knit community. Budapest is a pleasant city to walk in - every day while I was there, I went for five-to-ten mile walks across the city. Architecturally and visually, the city is very interesting, with lots of interesting feature, and the art nouveau influence much in evidence. It might have been worth staying longer.

(It occurs to me that the former Hapsburg countries of central Europe are among those I've visited most over the years. Hmmm).

Art nouveau Budapest. Just a couple of images.
Famous buildings of Kecskemet. More images.