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25th May

Power of Woe. Images of women in prints from the Renaissance to the present.

Moleskinerie. Great art and culture-oriented blog.

Punk 77! 'A history of UK Punk Rock from 1976-79: Featuring an A-Z of punk bands from Adam and The Ants to The Sex Pistols to X Ray Spex, fanzines, punk girls, rare record sleeves, audio clips, fashion, punk rock lyrics, interviews and loads of pictures. '

The Saddam Hussein Sourcebook. 'Saddam a "presentable young man" with "engaging smile," Let's "do business," said British Embassy in 1969.'
'Rumsfeld met Saddam in 1984 with instructions to improve relations, Despite chemical weapons use and sanctuary for terrorists.'
'U.S. construction giant Bechtel planned to evade 1988 CW sanctions, Now has biggest AID contract for reconstructing Iraq.'
'New declassified documents reveal secret U.S.-British-Iraq history; Saddam Hussein Sourcebook published by National Security Archive.'

Tending the Commons: Folklife and Landscape in Southern West Virginia 'incorporates 679 excerpts from original sound recordings and 1,256 photographs from the American Folklife Center's Coal River Folklife Project (1992-99) documenting traditional uses of the mountains in Southern West Virginia's Big Coal River Valley. Functioning as a de facto commons, the mountains have supported a way of life that for many generations has entailed hunting, gathering, and subsistence gardening, as well as coal mining and timbering. The online collection includes extensive interviews on native forest species and the seasonal round of traditional harvesting (including spring greens; summer berries and fish; and fall nuts, roots such as ginseng, fruits, and game) and documents community cultural events such as storytelling, baptisms in the river, cemetery customs, and the spring "ramp" feasts using the wild leek native to the region. Interpretive texts outline the social, historical, economic, environmental, and cultural contexts of community life, while a series of maps and a diagram depicting the seasonal round of community activities provide special access to collection materials. '

Thanksgiving Prayer by William Burroughs.

Hihokan: Erotic Museums in Japan. Photography. Not safe for work.

Jenny Marx in Post-Commune France. 'The following provides an interesting glimpse into the personal life of the Marxes after the Paris Commune -- when international rumors abounded about the nefarious evil genius of Dr. Marx, and his maniacal machinations intent on formenting bloodshed and destruction everywhere. '
'Herein, his daughters experience firsthand the paranoid, counter-revolutionary police state. (Post-Paris Commune France's "law and order" government was cracking the whip.) '
'Amongst their adventures... the young women encounter the dreaded strip search! '

Life of the Buddha. 'According to tradition, the historical Buddha lived from 563 to 483 B.C., although scholars postulate that he may have lived as much as a century later. He was born to the rulers of the Shakya clan, hence his appellation Shakyamuni, which means "sage of the Shakya clan." The legends that grew up around him hold that both his conception and birth were miraculous. His mother, Maya, conceived him when she dreamed that a white elephant entered her right side (The Dream of Queen Maya, 1976.402). She gave birth to him in a standing position while grasping a tree in a garden (Birth of the Buddha, 1987.417.1). The child emerged from Maya's right side fully formed and proceeded to take seven steps. Once back in the palace, he was presented to an astrologer who predicted that he would become either a great king or a great religious teacher and he was given the name Siddhartha ("He who achieves His Goal"). His father, evidently thinking that any contact with unpleasantness might prompt Siddhartha to seek a life of renunciation as a religious teacher, and not wanting to lose his son to such a future, protected him from the realities of life ... '

The Vikings. Art history of. 'According to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, a history of early medieval England, the year 793 brought with it terrifying omens, lightning, high winds, flying dragons, famine, "and a little after that, in the same year, on 8 June, the ravages of the heathen men miserably destroyed God's church on Lindisfarne with plunder and slaughter." By 820, the Irish Annals of Ulster record similar occurrences: "The sea spewed forth floods of foreigners over Erin, so that no haven, no landing-place, no stronghold, no fort, no castle might be found, but it was submerged by waves of Vikings and pirates." In the ninth and tenth centuries, Scandinavian raiders repeatedly visited the Christian countries of Europe, at first to plunder and later to settle. These were Vikings in the Old Norse sense of the term, where viking designates the enterprise of going abroad on raids, and a vikingr is a pirate so engaged. In modern usage, the term Viking is generally applied to medieval Scandinavian culture as it flourished between the 790s and roughly 1000. Although Christian annalists normally portray the Vikings as uncivilized and unprincipled men, the evidence of their achievements proves their sophistication, and the record of their violent activities shows them hardly rougher than their contemporaries ... '

Barbarians and Romans and art history. 'From the time of Marcus Aurelius, barbarians had been deployed to protect the Roman frontiers. The increasing strength and reach of the military in the later centuries of the empire required the incorporation of ever greater numbers of barbarian units–known as foedarati–into the army. By the fourth century, some 75,000 soldiers were stationed in the Roman province of Gaul (modern France), most of them Germanic. Many of these barbarians would in time return to their homeland, while others would remain with their families in Roman territories, some rising to the highest military ranks. Germanic burial rites, as distinct from Roman practices, included weapons and military equipment; thus the burial goods of Germanic graves both in and outside the empire's borders offer a rich evocation of the money, gifts, and often elaborately decorated military insignia that such service accrued to soldiers ... '

The Cabbagetown Chronicles. Stories of a Toronto neighbourhood. 'Short stories and pictures from my Cabbagetown of the 50s & 60s And any other goofy thing I feel like putting up'

A Tiny Galaxy is Born. 'New detailed images from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope show a "late-blooming" galaxy, a small, distorted system of gas and stars that still appears to be in the process of development, even though most of its galactic cousins are believed to have started forming billions of years ago. Evidence of the galaxy's youthfulness can be seen in the burst of newborn stars and its disturbed shape. This evidence indicates that the galaxy, called POX 186, formed when two smaller clumps of gas and stars collided less than 100 million years ago (a relatively recent event in the universe's 13-billion-year history), triggering more star formation. Most large galaxies, such as our Milky Way, are thought to have formed the bulk of their stars billions of years ago. '

Velorution. Weblog about bikes and biking. 'Dismantling the car economy.'

22nd May

Natalie d'Arbeloff and her alter-ego Augustine, and Augustine's graphic novel. A virtual friend, and now a real life one.
Augustine interviews God.

Orazio and Artemisia Gentileschi: Father and Daughter Painters in Baroque Italy. 'Orazio was among the first artists to respond to Caravaggio's revolutionary method of painting from posed models. From this experience he created his own very personal and poetic style, in which realism is tempered by a refined sense of beauty. In Italy he worked in Rome and Genoa as well as in the region of the Marches, and he was also active in Paris, where he worked for Marie de'Medici, and London, where he was court painter to Charles I. Artemisia has received much popular attention and is the subject of two biographical novels and a recent movie. However, her reputation as an artist has often been overshadowed by the notorious public trial that followed her rape by an associate of her father's when she was still a teenager. A figure of enormous determination and ambition, she became an artist of remarkable qualities: the first woman who managed to live exclusively by her brush and who refused to be bound by the conventions usually imposed on female artists (still-life painting and portraiture were the areas deemed proper for a woman) ... '

The Haitian Spirit: Paintings, Sculpture and Vodou Banners. 'Indigo Arts Gallery celebrates the artistic genius and the indomitable spirit of the Haitian people, with a continually changing collection of Haitian paintings. We fell in love with the art and people of Haiti on our first visit twenty years ago. While our focus is on artists actively working today, we also have a stock of paintings from the 60's through the 90's that we have collected in Haiti over the last eighteen years or acquired from estates and collections. A sampling of the artists we normally carry includes: Theard Aladin, Gerald Bruny, Gelin Buteau, Gerard Fortuné, Alexandre Gregoire, Jorelus Joseph, Dieuseul Paul, Gerard Paul, Manno Paul, Denis Smith, Louisiane St. Fleurant, Pierre-Joseph Valcin, Julien Valery, Jacques Valmidor and Wagler Vital. We also offer sculpture fashioned from recycled steel oil drums by such artists as Gabriel Bien-Aimé, Serge Jolimeau, Janvier Louis-Juste and Michel Ramil Remy. '
'Doubtless the most spectacular Haitian art form is the sequin-covered Drapo Vodou or "Voodoo Flag". Vodou banners derive directly from the practice of the Vodou religion, a syncretism of traditional African religions brought to Haiti by slaves, with the Catholicism of their former masters. The banners are traditionally the work of practicing vodou priests and their followers. They are displayed in the vodou sanctuaries and are carried at the commencement of a ceremony. Each flag depicts the vévé symbol or image of the loa to which it is devoted. The flags are made of shiny silk fabrics to which have been sewn a brilliant mosaic of sequins and beads. A full-size banner typically contains 18,000 to 20,000 sequins and may take ten days to complete ... '

Russian Art Gallery. 'Since the chaotic days of the Gorbachev era, Russian Art has been gaining popularity in the West. There's evidence of ever growing international interest in the rich and varied talents of Russian and Soviet artists. Exhibitions of Russian art are being staged in Europe and America nearly every month. Twice a year, the two major auction houses Sothebys and Christies hold sales of Russian Works of Art. The number of commercial galleries devoted to the sale of Russian paintings has been growing ever since the first Russian Art auction in Moscow organized by Sotheby's in 1988. '

Virtual Tour of Ancient Athens. 'This is a sensitive map. It is also a "magic" map. Behind each icon you see on your screen lays a fascinating piece of the Greek history. If you wish to learn about it, just select the icon of your preference on the map or the corresponding title in the tables underneath. '

A Marxist History of England. From the Peasants' Revolt and the English Revolution to the General Strike of 1926.

The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. 'Welcome to Britannia's online version of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, one of the most important documents that has come down to us from the middle ages. It was originally compiled on the orders of King Alfred the Great in approximately A.D. 890, and subsequently maintained and added to by generations of anonymous scribes until the middle of the 12th Century. The original language was Anglo-Saxon (Old English), but later entries were probably made in an early form of Middle English. '
'We like to think of this document as the ultimate timeline of British history from its beginnings up to the end of the reign of King Stephen in 1154. The Chronicle certainly does not present us with a complete history of those times and is probably not 100% accurate, either, but that doesn't diminish its enormous value in helping us to arrive at a clearer picture of what actually happened in Britain over a thousand years ago.'

Japanzine Articles. 'Japanzine is a great humour and lifestyle magazine. They have travel information, entertainment calendars, movie reviews, classified ads, interesting features about Japanese culture and the only Japan-related comics that have ever made me laugh. '
Featuring articles about danger, death and odd Japanese festivals.

Girl Culture: The Women of India. Photographs.

Privacy Cartoons by Chris Slane.

Defamer. Fab blog about Hollywood life and culture.

What I Did On My Summer Vacation. 'Not stuck in the back of a station wagon, but stuck in a doldrums with cheap hot dogs, hidden popsicles, and a soulmate lost. Kevin Fanning brings the words, Reuben Stanton brings the pictures.'
Launch images.

The Morning News Guide to Urban Etiquette: New York City. 'We see all kinds of behavior in New York, and as citizens, we practice our own varieties. Call it research, this constant bumping-into, hustling-over, spitted-on; some people behave well in this city, others don't. Based on good and bad examples of etiquette we've witnessed, this guide has been compiled to help the tourist and veteran alike in navigating New York in the best possible manner.'

The Broken Heart. 'Just in time for Valentine's Day, let's remember we've all had our hearts broken. People on the street were asked to tell us about the jerk who treated them bad, and what they'd say to that jerk right now. Photographs by Geoff Badner, transcription by Rosecrans Baldwin.'

The Bohemian Index. 'Not in 'number of illegal clubs' or art-supply stores, that's for sure: So how, really, do you measure 'bohemian-ness' in New York City? Dorothy Gambrell developed a method of calculation, and has maps to illustrate her findings.'

Mad Professor. 'This website started out as a promotional site for my bizarre science experiment book, Mad Professor. Now it's my media review blog.'

Gimmicky. Cos we like anything to do with Dr Menlo.

Kurt Vonnegut: Cold Turkey. 'Many years ago, I was so innocent I still considered it possible that we could become the humane and reasonable America so many members of my generation used to dream of. We dreamed of such an America during the Great Depression, when there were no jobs. And then we fought and often died for that dream during the Second World War, when there was no peace.'
'But I know now that there is not a chance in hell of America's becoming humane and reasonable. Because power corrupts us, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Human beings are chimpanzees who get crazy drunk on power. By saying that our leaders are power-drunk chimpanzees, am I in danger of wrecking the morale of our soldiers fighting and dying in the Middle East? Their morale, like so many bodies, is already shot to pieces. They are being treated, as I never was, like toys a rich kid got for Christmas.'

Seymour M. Hersh: The Gray Zone. 'How a secret Pentagon program came to Abu Ghraib.'
'The roots of the Abu Ghraib prison scandal lie not in the criminal inclinations of a few Army reservists but in a decision, approved last year by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, to expand a highly secret operation, which had been focussed on the hunt for Al Qaeda, to the interrogation of prisoners in Iraq. Rumsfeld's decision embittered the American intelligence community, damaged the effectiveness of élite combat units, and hurt America's prospects in the war on terror ... '

21st May

Photographs from the Chicago Daily News 1902-33.

The Secret Commonwealth of Elves, Fauns and Fairies, by Robert Kirk and Andrew Lang, 1893. 'This is one of the most sought after and enigmatic texts about Celtic fairies. Written by a Scottish clergyman, Robert Kirk, in 1691, and not committed to print until the early 19th century, The Secret Commonwealth is an unusually sympathetic account of the denizens of fairyland, and a complex of still mysterious extrasensory phenomena including poltergeists, clairvoyance and doppelgangers (here called 'co-walkers').'
'This version was issued in 1893 in a very limited edition by the renowned folklorist Andrew Lang, and it includes a 'comment' and some endnotes by Lang which are actually about as long as the Kirk material. This book is very rare. I was extremely fortunate to acquire a copy of the first (and to my knowledge, only) edition of this work when it came up for sale at a local used bookstore. This copy is signed on the flyleaf by Uma Jeffers, wife of the poet Robinson Jeffers, and bears their bookmark, "The Hawk Tower, Tor House, Carmel-by-the-Sea" ... '

'The Auschwitz Album. 'The Auschwitz Album is the only surviving visual evidence of the process of mass murder at Auschwitz-Birkenau. It is a unique document and was donated to Yad Vashem by Lilly Jacob-Zelmanovic Meier. The photos were taken at the end of May or beginning of June 1944, either by Ernst Hofmann or by Bernhard Walter, two SS men whose task was to take ID photos and fingerprints of the inmates (not of the Jews who were sent directly to the gas chambers). The photos show the arrival of Hungarian Jews from Carpatho-Ruthenia. Many of them came from the Berehov Ghetto, which itself was a collecting point for Jews from several other small towns.'
'Early summer 1944 was the apex of the deportation of Hungarian Jewry. For this purpose a special rail line was extended from the railway station outside the camp to a ramp inside Auschwitz Many of the photos in the album were taken on the ramp. The Jews then went through a selection process, carried out by SS doctors and wardens. Those considered fit for work were sent into the camp, where they were registered, deloused and distributed to the barracks. The rest were sent to the gas chambers. They were gassed under the guise of a harmless shower, their bodies were cremated and the ashes were strewn in a nearby swamp. The Nazis not only ruthlessly exploited the labor of those they did not kill immediately, they also looted the belongings the Jews brought with them. Even gold fillings were extracted from the mouths of the dead by a special detachment of inmates. The personal effects the Jews brought with them were sorted by inmates and stored in an area referred to by the inmates as "Canada": the ultimate land of plenty.'
'The photos in the album show the entire process except for the killing itself ... '

The Kora of the Jokhang Temple in Lhasa, Tibet. 'The Jokhang, Tibetan Buddhism's most sacred temple, stands broad and low in the heart of old Lhasa, the recipient of prayers of daily worshippers and once-in-a-lifetime pilgrims. These photographs are part of a project that documents the kora, the sacred path of worship that circles the Jokhang. '
'From earliest dawn to last light, Tibetans arrive to make the circumambulation of the Jokhang to earn religious merit. Yet, the kora is also a residential area and a market, the heart of Lhasa where Tibetans live, meet, socialize and shop. Houses and stores fill the spaces between the smaller temples, prayer poles and prayer wheels. Broken only by intersecting alleys, the buildings transform the kora into an enclosed lane. All day long there is constant movement: a clock-wise flowing stream of worshippers, shoppers and vendors, inhabitants...'

The Online Antique Phonograph Gallery. 'Welcome to the Online Antique Phonograph Gallery! This is the front door to our photo gallery of just some of the many incredible personal collections of antique phonographs and related items. If you are just looking around then we suggest you follow through each exhibit. For collectors we have also provided an index of the machines here by category as best we can. If you are just poking around, spend a minute and see these incredible machines that began the revolution of sound. If you have a collection please check out our page for submissions. Enjoy!'

Theory of the Daily. 'The domestic and the everyday in literature, history, philosophy, and science. '

Living on Less. Web journal about just what it says.

Food Blog.

Photographs of Japanese People.

Wonkette. Washington DC culture blog; heaps of fun.

Treesit Blog. 'By Remedy - a woman who sat in a 1,200 year-old redwood for 361 days without touching the ground, before being forcibly removed by Maxxam/Pacific Lumber hired tree climbers. '

Sixth Leon H. Sullivan Summit. Photo-essay.
'sixth Sullivan gathering of African and African-American leaders and other friends of Africa was held July 12-17, 2003 in Abuja, Nigeria. The theme, Africa - A Continent of Possibilities, evoked the spirit of the late Reverend Leon Sullivan, who believed Africa's problems could be solved by determined and optimistic addressing of the continent's challenges. A World Airways charter from Atlanta brought hundreds of delegates to the Nigerian capital. In the background can be seen Air Force One; President George W. Bush was on the last day of a five-nation Africa trip when the Sullivan delegates arrived. '

Misfit Media. Online comics.

Architecture and Interior Design for 20th Century America: Photographs by Samuel Gottscho and William Schleisner 'is comprised of over 29,000 images primarily of architectural subjects, including interiors and exteriors of homes, stores, offices, factories, historic buildings, and other structures. Subjects are concentrated chiefly in the northeastern United States, especially the New York City area, and Florida. Included are the homes of notable Americans, such as Raymond Loewy, and of several U.S. presidents, as well as color images of the 1939-40 New York World's Fair. Many of the photographs were commissioned by architects, designers, owners and architectural publications, and document important achievements in American 20th-century architecture and interior design.'

Creation of the National Mall. 'The National Mall serves as America's Common. It is here where people meet to exercise their democratic rights, relfect on the great leaders and events of the nation's past, and celebrate it's birth. '
'This website explores the evolution of this important national treasure, from it's inception, to the present and beyond. '