Weblog about politics, science, life, from Greece.
Halfway Down the Danube. Weblog from Romania.
'Why is this blog called "Halfway down the Danube" when we are writing
from Bucharest -- which is not on the Danube and if so, then rather
close to its end?
We started this blog in April 2003 when we were living in Belgrade,
Serbia -- which is roughly halfway down the Danube. That's why. '
America's History at the
'The Smithsonian's National Museum of American History has over 3.2
million objects in its collections. These objects reflect not just the
lives of the people who made and used them but also the values of the
people who chose to preserve them. They represent different answers to
the question: What is worth saving? '
September 11: Bearing Witness to History.
'The collection we present on this site represents a work in progress.
It embodies the best efforts of staff across the National Museum of
American History to document and preserve a wide range of stories
about September 11. Each object, as material evidence of the attacks
and their immediate aftermath, is a piece of a large and complex
story. The collections will grow as we gain historical perspective and
a greater understanding of the events of September 11. '
Cleopatra: A Multimedia
Guide to the Ancient
'is an interactive guide to the Ancient Art Collection of The Art
Institute of Chicago.This Web site is named after Cleopatra, queen of
Egypt from 51 to 30 B.C., because she embodied the three great
cultures of the ancient Mediterranean region: she was Greek by birth,
ruled Egypt as its queen, and lost her kingdom to Rome.'
Art in the
'From the collection of the new Shechen Monastery in Kathmandu,
Nepal, various tangkas of buddhas, deities and portraits of famous and
unidentified lamas are exhibited. '
by W.E.B. Du Bois, 1915.
'This is a pioneering work on African-American history by the noted
activist and scholar, W.E.B. Du Bois. Born in 1868, three years after
the end of the Civil War, Du Bois lived until 1963, one year before
the March on Washington. He was a founder of the NAACP, and worked his
entire life to lift what he called "the Veil", or segregation. '
'While some minor items in this book have been disproven, the vast
majority of it still stands as one of the best books ever written on
the subject, and an ideal supplement for any curriculum in world
history. Du Bois covers a vast swath of African history, including the
indigenous high sub-Saharan civilizations such as Zimbabwe, Ghana, and
Songhai, the disasterous impact of centuries of the slave trade, and
an overveiw of Black history in the Caribbean and the United States. '
The Nude in Art
'It's very difficult to find works that are able to materialize the
fantastic conjunction of the Nude with Art. Only a few masters in the
history of art were able to pass this test. The true essence of art is
beauty, joined with the sensuality of the nude, often confused with
vulgarity. Nudity is always disquieting, instigating and surprising.
So the artist, both in painting and in sculpture, in dancing or in
photography, discovers in the nude a profound link with the pureness
of being. Sensuality stimulates creativity in every sense. Sensuality
also evokes love, passion and the creation of man. This is why nudity
moves us so profoundly. For all those who appreciate the artistic
nude, OCAIW offers the most complete gallery, with representations by
the principal masters and artists of art history.'
The Sayings of Confucius.
'These 500 verses of sayings attributed to the teacher of the ideal
gentleman form one source of Confucianism.'
The Dynamic Earth.
'Earth's history is written on pages of stone. Since our planet's
birth 4.6 billion years ago, rocks have been continually forming and,
over time, changing from one kind to another. Every rock preserves
part of this ancient and ongoing story ...'
'Shijing (The Book of Songs) is the earliest collection of Chinese
poems including 305 poems of the Zhou Dynasty (1122-256 B.C.). It
was originally called Shi (Poems) and Shi Sanbai (Three Hundred Poems).
It was the Confucians of the Han Dynasty who gave it the name Shijing.
It is also called Maoshi (Mao Poems) because it was by the hand of Mao
Heng of the Han Dynasty that Shijing was passed down to the present
'I started thinking about a "new patriotism" not long after September 11,
2001. Patriotism, it seemed, was hijacked by rabid nationalistic
flag-wavers who railed against any criticism of our government. This
rigid, frightening and angry patriotism rears its ugly head still today,
as seen at the 2004 Republican National Convention. '
'It's time for a New Patriotism.'
'Welcome to Grendel's Lair, the grendel.org site on the various
Grendel characters in literature, media, and the internet community.
The site has finally reached maturity as an overview of Grendel-related
issues and a nexus for more thorough material on the web. We now have
discussion boards, academic papers, and a healthy set of links.' We're
hoping that this site will be of use to teachers and students of Beowulf
and Gardner's novel, as well as of interest to fans of Matt Wagner's epic
Hunting and Pursuit in Ancient Greece. Art.
'Many of the paintings in the National Gallery represent ancient Greek
myths. One of the richest sources for the stories was the
'Metamorphoses'. Written by the Roman poet Ovid (43 BC - 17 AD), the
'Metamorphoses' is a long verse which retells Greek and Roman legends.
Written as a sequence, they are unified through the theme of
metamorphosis or transformation ...'
'The 2004 National Population Cartoon Contest organized by the
Population Media Center got 187 enthusiastic entries from cartoonists
across the country who are all quite savvy about population issues.
Here are some samples from the portfolios of the finalists. '
Roots of Kettering, a town in
Northamptonshire. Online archaeology.
'Welcome to ROOTS, a database of around 800 objects from the Museum's
archaeological collections.' Take a
'The most successful and resourceful portraitist of America's early
national period, Gilbert Stuart (1755-1828) possessed enormous natural
talent, which he devoted to the representation of human likeness and
character. This retrospective exhibition highlights his achievement by
displaying a carefully selected group of portraits of exceptional
quality, ranging in date from the early works he produced in Newport,
Rhode Island, to those executed in Boston at the end of his brilliant
career. ' More
Correggio: The School of Love.
With links to more paintings by Correggio.
'The scene takes place in a forest clearing, with Mercury to right
acting as schoolmaster to the young Cupid, accompanied by his mother
Venus Mercury apparently lacks his winged helmet and looks tenderly
down towards Cupid while Venus, unusually shown with wings, faces more
directly to the front in a decorous pose loosely based on the
classical Venus Pudica. '
Watashi to Tokyo.
'Watashi to Tokyo is a web magazine about Tokyo filled with my writing
on living in Tokyo and general, in Japan.'
artist. 'Gregory Stewart fills the canvas, arranges planes of color
that feels like a fractured leg and looks like a smorgasbord of color.
Amble on up and go away feeling stuffed. Behind the obvious rich style
and careful planning lurks a visionary. '
a Christian, by Karen Horst Cobb.
'I was told in Sunday school the word "Christian" means to be
Christ-like, but the message I hear daily on the airwaves from the
"christian " media are words of war, violence, and aggression.
Throughout this article I will spell christian with a small c rather
than a capital, since the term (as I usually hear it thrown about)
does not refer to the teachings of the one I know as the Christ. I
hear church goers call in to radio programs and explain that it was a
mistake not to kill every living thing in Fallujah. They quote chapter
and verse from the old testament about smiting the enemies of Israel.
The fear of fighting the terrorists on our soil rather than across the
globe causes the voices to be raised as they justify the latest prison
scandal or other accounts of the horrors of war . The words they speak
are words of destruction, aggression, dominance, revenge, fear and
arrogance. The host and the callers echo the belief in the
righteousness of our nation's killing. There are reminders to pray for
our "christian" president who is doing the work of the Lord: Right to
Life, Second Amendmendment, sanctity of marriage, welfare reform, war,
kill, evil liberals. . . so much to fight, so much to destroy. '
into Matter: The
Photographs of Edmund Teske.
'Edmund Teske (1911-1996) was one of the most significant
artist-photographers active in Los Angeles in recent decades. He
approached photography as a highly malleable medium, open to the
artist's intervention at several points in the creative process. An
inventive darkroom technician, Teske created photographs that
expressed his emotional and spiritual concerns. His images reveal the
power of memory and dreams to transform our perception and
understanding of the visual world.' Images
'The Sumerians were a non-Semitic, non-Indo-European people who lived
in southern Babylonia from 4000-3000 B.C.E. They invented cunieform
writing, and their spiritual beliefs influenced all successive Near
Eastern religions, including Judaism, Christianity and Islam. They
produced an extensive body of literature, among the oldest in the world.
Samuel Noah Kramer spent most of his life studying this literature, by
piecing together clay tablets in far-flung museums. This short work
gives translations or summaries of the most important Sumerian myths. '
Early Australian History. Rare book exhibit.
'To understand our past we must be aware of it. The Australiana
section of the Monash Rare Book Collection allows researchers to
approach more closely to the experience of our ancestors. We find there
the accounts of the early discoverers, settlers and explorers. The
conditions under which they lived and their response to Australia's
native inhabitants can be understood much better if we read what they
'These koans, or parables, were translated into English from a book
called the Shaseki-shu (Collection of Stone and Sand), written late
in the thirteenth century by the Japanese Zen teacher Muju (the
"non-dweller"), and from anecdotes of Zen monks taken from various
books published in Japan around the turn of the 20th century. '
Orcinus. Fine weblog about politics and other
humble. Fine personal weblog about
the minutiae of New England life, the drama of the
Reality Carnival. Science stuff seen creatively.
"News that shatters the ice of our unconscious!"
Stories from the
'Spenser's The Faerie Queene is one of the masterpieces of English
and certainly part of the literary pedigree that culminated in Tolkien.
However, the original text is very difficult to follow for modern
because of the archaic language and spelling. To the rescue comes Mary
Macleod. Her late Victorian retelling in straightforward modern English
allows one to plow through Spenser's intricate and allegorical plot. If
are planning to read the Faerie Queene, or want to understand the
but don't have the time or patience to tangle with an epic poem in
English, you've come to the right place.
Grand Canyon Explorer.
'This web site was created and continues to be maintained out of a labor
love with the Grand Canyon, one of planet Earth's most astounding
features. I began my adventures at the Canyon over 20 years ago with
numerous visits to the both the north and south rims and have been
to it ever since. In late 1987 I did my first day hike down into the
canyon and discovered a whole new world down there below the rim. '
The Solar System in
'This website has 315 web pages with over 340 pictures. This website has
purposes: To give a pictorial overview of the solar system and to quiz
about these pictures.'
'pilot project to develop digital collection, storage,
and distribution strategies for multimedia anthropological
information from the Himalayan region.'
'Mysticism is concerned with the nature of reality, the individual's
struggle to attain a clear vision of reality, and the transformation of
consciousness that accompanies such vision. I've selected quotations
number of Christian works which I feel illustrate these issues. '
Naguib Mahfouz. Nobel literature laureate.
"I am the son of two civilizations that at a certain age in history have
formed a happy marriage. The first of these, seven thousand years old,
is the Pharaonic civilization; the second, one thousand four hundred
years old, is the Islamic civilization."
Romance of the Three Kingdoms.
'Kongming’s Archives is dedicated to Luo Guanzhong’s novel, Romance of the
Three Kingdoms (Sanguo yanyi), related games (e.g. Koei’s Romance of
the Three Kingdoms, Dynasty Warriors, Kessen II), and the history
behind them. '
'These texts are historical documents relating to the 'Brotherhood of
the Rosy Cross', a renaissance German secret society. This group had a
huge impact on more recent organizations such as the Golden Dawn, and is
often cited by conspiracy theorists for completely different reasons.'
Rare Books of the English Restoration 1660-1700.
'The exhibition includes original writings from the time and provides an
insight into the politics and history of the era, including the amoral
lifestyle of the court, the execution of Catholics during the Popish
Plot scare and the 'glorious revolution', which saw the flight into
exile of Charles's brother James II. '
'Phyllis Atha visited Uganda for two weeks and her life was changed.
She tells her story through words, photographs and art in a beautiful
Flash presentation, which is linked here and on the About page. The
About page is full of information about the Kellermanns, the Batwa
pygmies, opportunities to work with the Kellermanns and related
'During the World War I era (1914-18), leading newspapers took
advantage of a new printing process that dramatically altered their
ability to reproduce images. Rotogravure printing, which produced
richly detailed, high quality illustrations-even on inexpensive
newsprint paper-was used to create vivid new pictorial sections.
Publishers that could afford to invest in the new technology saw sharp
increases both in readership and advertising revenue.'
'The images in this collection track American sentiment about the war
in Europe, week by week, before and after the United States became
involved. Events of the war are detailed alongside society news and
advertisements touting products of the day, creating a pictorial record
of both the war effort and life at home. The collection includes an
illustrated history of World War I selected from newspaper rotogravure
sections that graphically documents the people, places, and events
important to the war.'
Guys of Bottesford, Lancashire.
A family history.
'The Guy family from, it seems, the time of Domesday, 1086, have by
and large dwelt and farmed in a relatively small, by today's standards,
area of north Leicestershire. It also appears that they have been a
moderately religious family who, like a lot in their time, hope for a
future life after death secured by offerings to the church. This practice
although at one time widespread now seems to be dying out. '
Trompe de l'Oeil.
'A French term literally meaning "trick the eye." Sometimes called
illusionism, it's a style of painting which gives the appearance of
three-dimensional, or photographic realism. ' Images.
David Rumsey Historical Map Collection.
'The David Rumsey Historical Map Collection has over 10,000 maps online.
The collection focuses on rare 18th and 19th century North and South
America maps and other cartographic materials. Historic maps of the
World, Europe, Asia and Africa are also represented. '
English archaeology, good stuff.
'This website has been designed to allow you to learn more about the
archaeology of the lower Tees Valley and the activities of our service.'
Travels with Samantha.
' "This book is about the summer I spent seeing North America, meeting
North Americans, and trying to figure out how people live," writes
Greenspun after losing his companion. You'll come face to face with
examples of the stunning ethnic, scenic, and cultural richness of the
'An important urban center in contemporary southwestern Nigeria,
Ife's origins can be traced back to around 350 B.C., when it began as a
cluster of some thirteen hamlets. Ife holds particular significance to
the Yoruba, a traditionally urban people who represent one of the largest
ethnic groups in Nigeria and on the African continent. Spreading through
the African diaspora, Yoruba heritage has furthermore made important
contributions to the cultures of Cuba, Brazil, and the United States.
The many religious arts of the Yoruba have long served to mediate
relations between worshippers and an elaborate pantheon of gods, and have
more recently expanded to address the Muslim and Christian faiths. Yoruba
peoples today maintain a plurality of views but remain linked by a common
Let Puerto Rico Decide.
'The 3.8 million U.S. citizens who live in Puerto Rico can't vote. As
residents of a "US territory," they are not permitted to vote in
Presidential elections, or for Senators, or for full Representatives
in the House. But Puerto Rico is not an independent nation, either.
Puerto Rico is caught in limbo, without equal representation and without
full sovereignty. This is unfair, undemocratic, and wrong. That is why
CEF-US promotes decolonization for Puerto Rico. '
Photographs of Wales.
'Personal photographs of coastlines, landscapes, abandoned railway
stations, street scenes, promenades and castles in and around Cardiff,
Caerphilly, Cardiff Bay, Penarth, Crickhowell, Abergavenny, Brecon
and south Wales.'
'From the early 1930s, stylish resorts were frequented by women
wearing midriff-baring two-piece bathing suits consisting of a bra
and modest, shorts-like trunks. Concurrently, these styles were
being seen on the silver screen courtesy of Mack Sennett's Bathing
Beauties and, in a sarong version, Dorothy Lamour in the 1937 film
Hurricane. Though these ensembles were alluring and sexy, they were
not necessarily scandalous. The difference between the bikini and its
two-piece predecessor is brevity. Simply defined, the bikini is an
abbreviated two-piece swimsuit with a bra top and panties cut below
the navel. Broadly defined, the bikini represents a social leap
involving body consciousness, moral concerns, and sexual attitudes.
Named after an A-bomb testing site on a remote Pacific atoll, the bikini
has had a history and reputation deserving of its name.'
Native Languages of the Americas.
'Welcome to Native Languages of the Americas! We are a small non-profit
organization dedicated to the survival of Native American languages,
particularly through the use of Internet technology. '
Modern Australian Poetry.
'This exhibition shows some of the extensive collection of Australian
literature held in the Monash Rare Book Collection. The items on display
range from the 1920s to the present. They include examples of the works
of many of Australia's most important writers, e.g. Kenneth Slessor,
A.D. Hope, Judith Wright, and one of the rarest books on display,
Patrick White's The Ploughman. The most spectacular books in the
exhibition are the Wayzgoose Press artist's books by Jas H. Duke, and
Ken Bolton and Heemskerck Shoals, by R.D. Fitzgerald.'
Cristobal Balenciaga 1895-1972.
'A true fashion innovator, Cristobal Balenciaga radically altered
the fashionable silhouette of women in the mid-twentieth century. With
the methodical skill of an expert tailor, he created garments of fluidity
and grace. Unlike many couturiers, Balenciaga was able to drape, cut,
and fit his own muslin patterns, known as toiles. He was respected
throughout the fashion world for both his knowledge of technique and
construction, and his unflinching perfectionism.'