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30th December

Six Grimms' Fairy Tales with Etchings by David Hockney.

From Jesus to Christ: The First Christians. (PBS)

Taipei Confucius Temple.

Sacred Visions: Early Paintings from Central Tibet.

Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. Civil rights history.

Alistair Cooke's Letter from America. 'The world's longest running speech radio programme began in 1946, continuing till Alistair Cooke's retirement in February 2004. '

Isaac Asimov Book Cover Collection.

Heroines of Peace. The female winners of the Nobel Peace Prize.

In the Beginning: A Navaho Creation Myth.

Yin Chih Wen: The Tract of the Quiet Way, 1906. Taoist text.
'Yin Chih Wen is a religio-ethical tract, which, in spite of its popularity all over the Middle Kingdom, has not as yet, so far as we know, been translated into any Western language. Next to the Kan-Ying P'ien it is read and studied and taught both in schools and at the home, and there is probably no family in China without it; but its contents are very little known in the. Western world, and we have only once met with references to it by Professor Douglas in his Confucianism and Taouism under the title of "Book of Secret Blessings." ...'

Roadside Memorials: A Photographic Documentation.

BoardGameGeek. All about board games.
'BoardGameGeek is a database for board game information, reviews, session reports, images, files, and links. We focus on new games you might not yet be familiar with but thousands of people around the world are playing and having a great time. We also have all the classics you are familiar with so you can enjoy a stroll down memory lane. '

England's Trent Valley: The Land of the Pilgrim Fathers.

Previous Surgeons General (of the USA).
'The first Supervising Surgeon of the Marine Hospital Service was appointed in 1871. This position became Supervising Surgeon General in 1873 and Surgeon General in 1902. The Marine Hospital System was the precursor of the U.S. Public Health Service. Fourteen men and two women have served in the office. Biographical information about each Surgeon General can be viewed by selecting the respective picture or text below.'

USA Prints. American art.

Sounds of the Soviet Union. Soviet music.

Birds of Prey.

The Professor Branestawm Gallery. Vintage British children's book covers.

WikiTree. An attempt to construct a humanity-wide family tree.

29th December

The Ricksha Arts of Bangladesh. 'This website is dedicated to celebrating one of Bangladesh's unique popular arts, the paintings and decorations on the three-wheeled cycle ricksha -- or "rickshaw", as spelled in English dictionaries. This site is based on my anthropological field visits to Bangladesh between 1975 and 1998, when I traveled about, took photos, and interviewed people. '

Le Tumulte Noir: Paul Colin's Jazz Age Portfolio.
'In 1925, Josephine Baker (1906-1975) and the musicians and performers of her troupe, La Revue Nègre, exploded on the stage at Paris' Théâtre des Champs-Élysées with a wild new dance called the Charleston. The Jazz Age was at its height, and Baker was destined to become its high priestess.'
'Four years later, French poster artist Paul Colin (1892-1985), Baker's one-time lover and life-long friend, published a portfolio of vividly colored lithographs titled "Le Tumulte Noir" ("The Black Craze") which captured the exuberant jazz music and dance that dazzled Paris.'

Sister Wendy's American Collection. 'In Sister Wendy's American Collection, the engaging art critic moves beyond the world of daVinci and Monet to explore the wider riches of six of America's greatest museums: Boston's Museum of Fine Arts, Forth Worth's Kimbell Art Museum, New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Cleveland Museum of Art. Each one-hour episode focuses on one of the featured museums, showcasing its treasures from around the world.'

An American Family: The Beecher Tradition. 'Families that have been influential in American life and culture are often recognizable by their signature names. The Beecher family is an example of one such family whose deep religious convictions and social conscience spanned the nineteenth century and made them prominent historical figures whose impact on religion, education, abolition, reform movements, literature and public life were exceptional. Biographer Milton Rugoff claims that in "two generations the Beechers emerged, along with many other Americans, from a God-centered, theology-ridden world concerned with the fate of man's eternal soul into a man-centered society occupied mainly with life on earth." (The Beechers, p. xiii)...'

The Woodward and Bernstein Watergate Papers. 'Between 1972 and 1976, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein emerged as two of the most famous journalists in America and became forever identified as the reporters who broke the biggest story in American politics. Beginning with the investigation of a "third-rate burglary" of the Democratic National Committee headquarters in the Watergate complex, Woodward and Bernstein uncovered a system of political "dirty tricks" and crimes that eventually led to indictments of forty White House and administration officials, and ultimately to the resignation of President Richard Nixon...'

Photo Journal: Geisha. 'Kimina, 23, works in Kyoto, Japan, as a geiko - the local term for a geisha...'

Inside Battersea Power Station. 'As Battersea Power Station awaits development the BBC News website gained rare access. Below are panoramas, picture galleries and more about the site's past, present and future. '

We Were There.
'Welcome to the Ministry of Defence's internet version of the 'We Were There' Exhibition. It is our tribute to the contribution made to our defence by military and civilian personnel from what was then the British Empire and later the Commonwealth and whose descendants now form part of the richly diverse ethnic population in the United Kingdom. The 'We Were There' website won an award in the prestigious Race in the Media Awards 2002.'

The Chinese Historical Society of America.
Chinese-American history.

The Black Seminoles.
'The Black Seminoles are descendants of free African Americans and fugitive slaves traditionally allied with Seminole Indians in the U.S. states of Florida and Oklahoma. 20th century historians popularized the name "Black Seminoles" to describe the community, whose members were known in the 19th century as Seminole Negroes, Seminole maroons, or simply the black allies of Seminole Indians. Today Black Seminoles are concentrated in parts of Oklahoma, where they are known as Seminole Freedmen; in Nacimiento in the Mexican state of Coahuila, where they are known as los mascogos; and along the U.S.-Mexico border near Del Rio and Brackettville, Texas, where they are more likely to describe themselves as Black Seminoles. How they came to live in these former frontier regions constitutes one of the lesser known but more remarkable odysseys of nineteenth-century American history.'
John Horse and the black Seminones, first black rebels to beat American slavery.

Tending the Commons: Folklife and Landscape in Southern West Virginia.
'Tending the Commons: Folklife and Landscape in Southern West Virginia incorporates 718 excerpts from original sound recordings, 1,256 photographs, and 10 manuscripts 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.'

Sacred Places.
'Sacred or holy places are found in different cultures, past and present, all over the world. Such places are frequently marked or embellished by architectural structures and art. '
'This website contains text and images which examine the nature of the sacred. It also explores how art and architecture serve to embody or make manifest on both physical and spiritual planes the sacredness or mystery of a site. '
Caves, stones, mountains, trees, water, and landscape forms.

Shrine and Shroud: Textiles in Illuminated Manuscripts.
'This exhibition explores the role of textiles in medieval manuscripts.'
'Fabrics were luxury items, works of art, and even holy objects during the Middle Ages (about A.D. 500–1500). People handled manuscripts with cloths to preserve their metalwork or ivory covers. Manuscript makers often included textile fragments in bookbindings and sewed pieces of cloth onto the pages as protective "curtains." Manuscript illuminators also depicted clothing and textiles in their paintings to show the importance of the people and objects they represented...'

Principality of Paradise, a unique and eccentric house in Las Vegas.
'Castillo del Sol, as it is now called, started out as a $45,000 house built in 1969 from a standard plan as a frame stucco, four bedroom house. the large addition built in 1975 was placed over the top and in front of the house to accommodate an observatory and planetarium. This was built to local code and without a variance, as it met the conditions for ranch estates that limit height to 35 feet. Several lawsuits have been dismissed after it was proven that the building met applicable codes and that the doctor was not a "Peeping Tom".'
'The doctor had long wanted to study astronomy, but never had the time, money, or the inclination to sit outside in the cold Minnesota nights to study the stars. His science interests are broad, ranging from biology to medicine to mathematics, anthropology and psychology. His special focus is the history of scientific thought. Most old structures such as the pyramids and Stonehenge were oriented to directions relevant to the positions and motions of the sun, moon and stars. The specific discipline that studies this combination of archaeology and astronomy is called archaeoastronomy. Lonnie fancies himself as an amateur archaeoastronomer...'

Through Mazes to Mathematics. History and mathematical analysis of labyrinths.

The Hidden Power. Esoterica/Occult writings.
'The material comprised in this volume has been selected from unpublished manuscripts and magazine articles by Judge Troward, and "The Hidden Power" is, it is believed, the last book which will be published under his name. Only an insignificant portion of his work has been deemed unworthy of permanent preservation. Whenever possible, dates have been affixed to these papers. Those published in 1902 appeared originally in "EXPRESSION; A Journal of Mind and Thought," in London, and to some of these have been added notes made later by the author...'

Pibgorn. Online comic.

Follies and Monuments. A UK-wide gazzetteer.

The Badger Pages by Steve Jackson. All about badgers.

28th December

Antisemitism. US Holocaust Memorial Museum exhibit. 'Sometimes called "the longest hatred," antisemitism has persisted in many forms for over two thousand years. The Nazis' racial antisemitism took hatred of Jews to a genocidal extreme. Yet the Holocaust began with words and ideas--stereotypes, sinister cartoons, the gradual spread of hate.'

Electronic New Jersey: A Digital Archive of New Jersey. Revolution and Civil War, women's suffrage, the Cold War and the 1960s, the consumer society, etc.
Jersey homesteads. 'Every day travelers pass this road sign unaware of the rich history related to the Borough of Roosevelt, New Jersey. '
Paul Robeson. Performer and activist. 'In Princeton, New Jersey on April 9, 1898, Paul Robeson was born to a former slave, the Rev. William Robeson. His mother, a teacher, died shortly thereafter when he was only five years old. Three years later, the Robeson family moved to Westfield, New Jersey. In 1910, Robeson's father became pastor of St.Thomas A.M.E. Zion Church and the Robeson family moved to Somerville, New Jersey. Paul Robeson attended Somerville High School. There, Robeson excelled in sports, drama, singing, academics, and debating. He graduated from Somerville High School in 1915...'

Taiwanese Aborigines 'are the indigenous peoples of Taiwan. They are a group of Austronesian people, who are descended from the inhabitants of Taiwan who lived on the islands before Han immigration in the 1600s...' Map of tribal distribution, images of traditional dress.
Taiwan First Nations.
Quick guide to Taiwanese aborigines.

Mornington Crescent Game. A game of the London Underground. 'Before you play Mornington Crescent it is assumed that because it was Sunday yesterday you will know that the short rules only apply and from the 2nd turn in reverse order during December. Please also remember rule 7b: All Egyptian moves are disallowed except crossovers and double takes.'
Explanation. 'Mornington Crescent is a game of strategy created and popularized by the BBC Radio 4 programme I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue. Named after the Mornington Crescent tube station, it consists of moves between stations on the London Underground, the winner being the first to reach Mornington Crescent. The game's secretive, complex-sounding rules and dramatic manner of play are thought by some who are unfamiliar with the game's rules as being a parody of strategy games and the deep analysis in which their players engage.'

Indian Adept (Mahasiddha). IHimalayan art. 'These Adepts, kings, monks, scholars, yogis, boatmen, cobblers, men and woman, were the source of the rich Tantric tradtion known as Vajrayana Buddhism...'

The Marquis de Sade: Letters from Prison.
'In writing my biography, The Marquis de Sade: A Life, I found that one of the true surprises was the richness, the humor, the genuine humanity that can be seen in his letters from prison, written mostly to his patient and devoted wife Renée. Since he spent 29 years behind stone walls, prison letters were one of his most typical forms of discourse. In addition to the features mentioned above, in these letters, you will also see the extremes of his personality swings, his bizarre and paranoid system of reading hidden meanings from numbers and words, his essential loneliness and self-absorption, his preoccupation with his sex life, his attempts to understand himself, his development as a literary stylist and ultimately as a fiction writer.'
Read them.

Reconciliation Australia: 'Reconciliation Australia is the body established to provide a continuing national focus for reconciliation following the end of the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation in December 2000.'
Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation: 'This site contains all the documents and history of the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation for the ten-year period of their existence to December 2000.'

Langmaker. Constructed languages.
'Some people build model airplanes, some craft model trains and some... well, they invent model languages. Model languages can be everything from a few words of made-up slang to a rigorously developed system of interrelated imaginary tongues. It is not a hobby many people know about, since model languages cannot be flown in the park like a model airplane or displayed in full glory in the basement like a model railroad. Model languages exist on paper or in computer files and may be shared only with a few close friends or may be used to give depth to imaginary worlds read or watched by millions.'
On Tolkien.

Mail Order Husbands. It's a very funny joke.

'The letters posted here illustrate (hilariously unsuccessful) attempts at ADVANCE FEE FRAUD. The sender claims to be a bureaucrat, banker or royal toadie, who wants to cut you, and only you, in on the financial deal of a lifetime. '
'In plain English, the writer claims to be in a position to skim public accounts. Hint: There is no money to be laundered - except yours. Palms must be greased. With your money. Generally in the form of a Western Union money order. A few K here, a few K there... eventually you get wise, and retire to lick your wounds. Dead soldier, dead farmer, dead bank customer, reformed murderer, lotto prize, phony job offer, phony request for bid, different pot of money, different countries... same scam...'

26th December

The Mendel Museum. Gregor Mendel, geneticist.

Romanov Timeline. 'The Romanov Dynasty begins in 1613 and ends with the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917. Explore Russia's rich history through the lives of some of its most famous leaders. '

Historic Chinese Architecture in Singapore.

A Madras Miscellany.

Sao Paulo Street Leaflets.

BongoToons. Cartoons from Tanzania.

The 'Family Guy' Reference Archive. US cartoon for adults.

Latter-Day Saints Photoessays. Mormon photography.

Scripts for the Blind. 'Scripts for the blind use raised positions of paper to make feeling the symbols possible. Best known today is Braille which used raised dots in a formation of 2 wide and 3 (later also 4) high, but there are also other codes. '

Florida Memory Project. Florida photographs and history.

Indian Pueblo Cultural Center. The American Indian Pueblos of New Mexico.

The Potteries: The Local History of Stoke-on-Trent. Pottery, history, photos, dialect.
'Stoke-on-Trent is a unique city in England. It made up of six distinct towns: Tunstall, Burslem, Hanley, Stoke, Fenton and Longton - collectively known as "THE POTTERIES"...'

Texas Death Row Home Page. A lot of really interesting information is here, including all kinds of statistics, and trivia.

Optical Illusions and Visual Phenomena.

Introduction of Authentication and Forgery Detection of Fine Art and Collectable Prints. Lengthy, and fascinating.

Shedrub Development Mandala. Buddhism. 'Welcome to the website for the activities connected to Ka-Nying Shedrub Ling Monastery. '

Truman Capote. 'Truman Capote, best known for his extravagant, celebrated, and outrageous lifestyle as much as his famous works Breakfast at Tiffany's and In Cold Blood, reached a level of success few writers, celebrities, and socialites dream of...'

Marxist Writers: Harry Braverman 1920-76.
'Harry Braverman joined the Trotskyist movement in 1937 while a member of the YPSL, the Socialist Party youth movement. Although without formal academic training, he developed into a powerful theoretician and organiser. In the early 1950s he was a leader of the so-called Cochranite tendency and was expelled with them from the SWP. He then became editor of The American Socialist until its demise in 1959. During the early 1960s he worked as an editor for Grove Press, where he was instrumental in publishing The Autobiography of Malcolm X...'

The Kentucky Derby is Decadent and Depraved, by Hunter S. Thompson, 1970.
'Parental discretion advised for this essay, as it is rated R. It includes adult language, references to drug and alcohol abuse, and other generalizations and behavior which readers might find quite shocking.'

Antiques Roadshow. The US version.

People Who Have Declined a British Honour. E.g. a knighthood or OBE.

The Richard Nixon Library and Birthplace.

23rd December

Christmas Edition

Snow Crystal Photography.

The Gallery of Unfortunate Christmas Cards. Kitsch.

Visions of Christmas. The evolution of Santa, the Christmas tree, and other Christmas traditions.

Forgiveness & Revenge: Christo Brand & Vusumzi Mcongo.
'Christo Brand was one of the warders directly assigned to guard Nelson Mandela at Robben Island prison between 1978 and 1987. At the same time Vusumzi Mcongo was a political prisoner serving a 12-year sentence. Following the collapse of the apartheid regime, both men now work for the Robben Island Museum in Cape Town.'
(Part of the Forgiveness Project).

The Christmas Story. An online art exhibition from the Met.

Art from the Tsunami. Scrolls from West Bengal documenting last year's disaster.

My Creepy Valentine. More creepy greetings cards, for a different holiday.

The Christmas Truce. The truce on the Western Front, 1914.

The Christmas Resistance Movement! Those who feel differently. 'The growing CHRISTMAS RESISTANCE MOVEMENT is joined in solidarity against the Shopping Season.'

Sunrise by Season. A clear demonstration of how the position of the Sun alters between the summer and winter solstices and the equinox.

Yes, Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus. 'Francis P. Church's editorial, "Yes Virginia, There is a Santa Claus" was an immediate sensation, and went on to became one of the most famous editorials ever written. It first appeared in the The New York Sun in 1897, almost a hundred years ago, and was reprinted annually until 1949 when the paper went out of business.'

The Child Rescue Centre, Bo, Sierra Leone. Art by child victims of war.

Urban Legends: Christmas.

Build a Tony Blair. Instead of building a Christmas tree... fun with Flash. Good cartoon too.

21st December

Penny Postcards. Fantastic vintage hilarity to send to a friend or 50.

American Indian Resource Directory. 'The purpose of Resource Directory is to provide general administrative Tribal contacts, unique cultural information and links to additional locations that provide information about American Indian tribes and their resources.' With a tribal directory and a section on indigenous people's literature.

Sita - The Silent Power of Suffering and Sacrifice. Hindu myth and art.

Roman Mythology. 'Roman mythology, the mythological beliefs of the people of Ancient Rome, can be considered as having two parts. One part, largely later and literary, consists of whole-cloth borrowings from Greek mythology. The other, largely early and cultic, functioned in very different ways from its Greek counterpart...'

Jabberwocky. Nonsense verse.

In Search of Giant Squid.

Presidents as Poets. 'Whether it be the anguished love poems of a youthful George Washington, the religious poetry of John Quincy Adams, the melancholy verse of Abraham Lincoln, or the sturdy, plainspoken poems of Jimmy Carter, many presidents of the United States have turned to poetry at certain points in their lives as an outlet for their feelings and thoughts, or to explore the resources of the English language. Presidents as Poets: Poetry Written by United States Presidents is a guide to the poetic endeavors of U.S. presidents. Select a president from the list at the right to learn about the context in which his poetry was written and to find samples of his poetry.'

The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln. 'In 1953, the Abraham Lincoln Association published The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, a multi-volume set of Lincoln's correspondence, speeches, and other writings. Roy P. Basler and his editorial staff, with the continued support of the association, spent five years transcribing and annotating Lincoln's papers. The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln represented the first major scholarly effort to collect and publish the complete writings of Abraham Lincoln, and the edition has remained an invaluable resource to Lincoln scholars. Through the efforts of the Abraham Lincoln Association, the edition is now available in electronic form. '

Mr. William Shakespeare and the Internet. Shakespeare's life and work, and Internet resources.

Houston Architecture. Skyscrapers, skylines, and landmarks of Houston, Texas.

The Lu Xun Internet Archive. 'Lu Xun (Lu Hsun) was the pen name of Zhou Shuren. Lu is widely regarded as one of modern China's most prominent and influential writers. His work promoted radical change through criticism of antiquated cultural values and repressive social customs. '

The Nobel Peace Prize: Revelations from the Soviet Past. 'Since the end of the Cold War, many surprising facts and well-kept secrets about the policy-making in the former Soviet Union have been disclosed through the release of newly declassified documents. In more ways than one, this new openness has added to our knowledge about the history of the Nobel Peace Prize. For many years, the Prize was seen by circles in Soviet society as a weapon in the ideological warfare between East and West...'

The Red Cross: Three-Time Recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. 'The International Committee of the Red Cross was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1917, 1944 and 1963 - on the third occasion jointly with the League of Red Cross Societies. This makes the Red Cross unique: no recipient has been awarded the Peace Prize as often as this organisation. The very first time the Peace Prize was awarded, in 1901, the Norwegian Nobel Committee chose to pay tribute to the founder of the Red Cross, Henry Dunant from Switzerland. Thus his story is a natural point of departure when examining the role of the Red Cross in the history of the Peace Prize.'

London. 'London is the capital city of the United Kingdom and of England. It produces 17% of the UK's GDP and the City of London is one of the world's major financial centres. The capital of the former global empire, London is a leader in culture, communications, politics, finance, and the arts and has considerable influence worldwide. New York City, Tokyo and Paris are often listed with London as the four major global cities...'

Jazz. 'Jazz is a musical art form originally developed by African Americans from around the turn of the 20th century. It is characterized by blue notes, syncopation, swing, call and response, polyrhythms, and improvisation. As the first original art form to emerge from the United States of America, jazz has been described as "America's Classical Music".'

Lost Counties, Cities and Towns of Virginia.

Cannabis. 'Cannabis is a genus of flowering plant that includes one or more species. It is also known as hemp, although this term usually refers to Cannabis cultivated for non-drug use. As a drug it usually comes in the form of dried flowers (marijuana), resin (hashish), or various extracts collectively referred to as hash oil...'

The Encyclopedia of Astrobiology, Astronomy, and Spaceflight. An alphabetical guide to the living Universe.

The Encyclopedia of Alternative Energy and Sustainable Living.

True Stories. Tokyo photographs and stories. Many of the photo gallery are not safe for work.

Garance. Outsider artist.

National Anthem of the Soviet Union.

20th December

Leonardo da Vinci, Master Draftsman.

Tacky Mail. Tacky postcards.

The Damned Art. 'An exhibition of books relating to the history of witchcraft and demonology, drawn mainly from the Ferguson collection.'

Faces of India. Photographs.

David Goldblatt: Photographs from South Africa.

The MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive.

The Kraus Collection of Sir Francis Drake. 'Sir Francis Drake, English explorer and naval strategist, circumnavigated the earth from 1577-1580. During these travels, Drake visited the Caribbean and the Pacific claiming a portion of California for Queen Elizabeth and waging battles on the Spanish. This collection comprises important primary and secondary materials accumulated about Drake's voyages throughout the then Spanish territory of the Americas. Texts are in English, Latin, German, Dutch, Italian, Spanish and French. '

Mr. Lincoln's Virtual Library. 'Mr. Lincoln's Virtual Library highlights two collections at the Library of Congress that illuminate the life of Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865), the sixteenth president of the United States. The Abraham Lincoln Papers housed in the Manuscript Division contain approximately 20,000 items including correspondence and papers accumulated primarily during Lincoln's presidency. Transcriptions and annotations for the Papers are available through a cooperative agreement with the Lincoln Studies Center, Knox College. The "We'll Sing to Abe Our Song!" online collection, drawn from the Alfred Whital Stern Collection in the Rare Book and Special Collections Division, includes more than two hundred sheet-music compositions that represent Lincoln and the war as reflected in popular music. In addition to the sheet music, the Stern Collection contains books, pamphlets, broadsides, autograph letters, prints, cartoons, maps, drawings, and other memorabilia adding up to over 10,500 items that offer a unique view of Lincoln's life and times. Mr. Lincoln's Virtual Library provides access to a variety of documents and resources about Abraham Lincoln. '

Fanny Hill, or Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure, by John Cleland, 1749. 18th century erotic fiction.

Yang Chu's Garden of Pleasure. 'Yang Chu was a philosopher of the classic age of Chinese thought who probably lived in the 300's B.C.E. He has been associated with the Taoists since the rise of official Confucianism and the consolidation of what we now call 'Taoism', although this term is problematic, as thinkers like Yang Chu, Chuang Tzu, and Lao Tzu are quite different and were not considered to be members of a single school in ancient times...'

The Talmud: Selections. 'If you have browsed the Rodkinson 10 volume abridged translation of the Talmud (the full text of which is also available at sacred-texts), you probably know that the work is a vast expanse of wisdom literature, with huge stretches of incredibly dry legal debates and minutiae interposed with rich oases of fascinating lore. It is difficult to find these islands without a map. Polano's Talmud: Selections, is just such a guide. This was one of the first English anthologies of Talmudic literature...'

Professor Longhair. Legendary New Orleans blues master.

The Republic of Minerva. 'The Republic of Minerva was one of the few modern attempts at creating a sovereign micronation on the reclaimed land of an artificial island. The architect was Las Vegas real estate millionaire and political activist Michael Oliver, who went on to be involved in other similar attempts in the following decade. Oliver formed a syndicate, the Ocean Life Research Foundation, which allegedly had some hundred million dollars for the project and had offices in New York and London. They anticipated a libertarian utopia of light industries, commercial activities and fishing as part of the economy of the new nation...'

James Bond. 'James Bond, also known as 007 (pronounced "double-oh seven"), is a fictional British spy introduced by writer Ian Fleming in 1953. Fleming wrote numerous novels and short stories based upon the character and, after his death in 1964, further literary adventures were written by Kingsley Amis, John Pearson, John Gardner, Raymond Benson, and Charlie Higson; in addition, Christopher Wood wrote two screenplay novelizations and other authors have also written various unofficial permutations of the character...'

Solving the Mystery of the Missing Neutrinos, by John N. Bahcall.
'The three years 2001 to 2003 were the golden years of solar neutrino research. In this period, scientists solved a mystery with which they had been struggling for four decades. The solution turned out to be important for both physics and for astronomy. In this article, I tell the story of those fabulous three years.'
'The first two sections summarize the solar neutrino mystery and present the solution that was found in the past three years. The next two sections describe what the solution means for physics and for astronomy. The following sections outline what is left to do in solar neutrino research and give my personal view of why it took more than thirty years to solve the mystery of the missing neutrinos. The last section provides a retrospective impression of the solution.'

John Steinbeck: Biography. Nobel literature laureate 1962.
'John Steinbeck (1902-1968), born in Salinas, California, came from a family of moderate means. He worked his way through college at Stanford University but never graduated. In 1925 he went to New York, where he tried for a few years to establish himself as a free-lance writer, but he failed and returned to California. After publishing some novels and short stories, Steinbeck first became widely known with Tortilla Flat (1935), a series of humorous stories about Monterey paisanos...'

Elfriede Jelinek: Provocation as the Breath of Life. Nobel literature laureate.
'Elfriede Jelinek has, for more than twenty years, constantly challenged her contemporaries with texts which are feminist and deeply critical of society and, moreover, which are perceived to be obscene, irritating and full of biting derision. With her satirical acumen, a love of linguistic experiment and not least by treading upon and, indeed, overstepping taboos in the sexual sphere, she has succeeded in provoking strong reactions. No Austrian author has excited as much hatred as Elfriede Jelinek, but nor has any other received such a euphoric reception...'

Sustainable Africa. African news and issues.

Pandas at San Diego Zoo.

Tolstoy's Legacy for Mankind: A Manifesto for Nonviolence.

The Uganda Conflict Action Network.

19th December

The Library of Numbers.

The Talk.Origins Archive. Exploring the creation/evolution controversy.

Primary Documents in American History.

The Decameron Web. A hypermedia archive of materials devoted to Boccaccio's masterpiece.

The Margaret Sanger Papers Project. The life and work of the birth control pioneer.
'Margaret Sanger's work as a visiting nurse focused her interest in sex education and women's health. In 1912 she began writing a column on sex education for the New York Call entitled "What Every Girl Should Know." This experience led to her first battle with censors, who suppressed her column on venereal disease, deeming it obscene. Increasingly, it was the issue of family limitation that attracted Sanger's attention as she worked in New York's Lower East Side with poor women suffering the pain of frequent childbirth, miscarriage and abortion. Influenced by the ideas of anarchist Emma Goldman, Sanger began to argue for the need for family limitation as a tool by which working-class women would liberate themselves from the economic burden of unwanted pregnancy...'

Huckleberry Finn Debated.

Untitled Zen Story.

The Canterbury Tales.

The Confessions of Jean-Jacques Rousseau. The Enlightenment philosopher's autobiography.

The Church of Scientology vs. the Net. 'The Church of Scientology is a religious cult which has unwisely decided to declare war against the Usenet and Internet communities. Since December of 1994, this Church and its followers have committed numerous acts that are hostile to the spirit of free speech on the Net. This web page is intended to document these activities. '

Cartoonbank. 'New Yorker' cartoons and covers.

Tyburn Tree: Public Execution in Early Modern England.

Chinese Temples.
'Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism are three main religions in China. Although they have never acquired such important roles to be considered to dominate the political system in China's history as Christianity or Islam has done to some western countries. However, they do have deep influence on the development of China's politics, philosophy, art and social cultures. Chinese temples, range in size from back-alley Taoist hut to magnificent Tibetan Buddhist Drepung Monastery, the largest and richest monastery, which covers an area of over 200 thousand square meters...'

Love, the Living Spirit of Khajuraho. Erotic Indian temple sculpture.
'Khajuraho temples, now only twenty-four of the original eighty-five surviving, are great shrines of love. Devastating winds, torrential rains, charring summers, rocking lands, rapacious hands of man, nature's cruelties and heavy booted feet of time spanning them inch by inch and layer to layer, deprived them much of their vigor - lips of their smiles, eyes of their glow, bodily curves of their passionate yearnings and gestures, and figures of their wholesome impact, but despite they are still amongst the finest works of art that man's creative genius might claim to have ever created on the earth. Whatsoever human imagination conceives, it will fall short of the magnificence that these stone structures breathe. '

Nikola Tesla 'was an inventor, physicist, mechanical engineer, and electrical engineer of profound genius. He is often regarded as one of the greatest scientists in the history of technology. In addition, Tesla is recognized among the most innovative engineers of the late 19th century and early 20th century. His patents and theoretical work form the basis of modern alternating current electric power (AC) systems, including the polyphase power distribution system and AC motor, with which he helped usher in the Second Industrial Revolution...'

Windows of San Diego.

Herman. Classic offbeat comic.

The Parliament of Canada Photo Gallery.

Think Progress. Lefty stuff.

Regular Expressions. 'A regular expression (regex or regexp for short) is a special text string for describing a search pattern. You can think of regular expressions as wildcards on steroids. You are probably familiar with wildcard notations such as *.txt to find all text files in a file manager. The regex equivalent is .*\.txt...'

17th December

The Body Revealed: Renaissance and Baroque Anatomical Illustration.

Art from the Tsunami: Patachitra Scrolls of West Bengal. 'We were fortunate to come across these extraordinary artworks in the summer of 2005. Created in a workshop of patua, travelling scroll-painters in West Bengal, India, they graphically depict the terrible events of the tsunami of December 26, 2004. Organized by the Asian Heritage Foundation in India, the scrolls were produced and marketed as a means of raising funds for tsunami relief. Like the patachitra scrolls and paintings by Montu Chitrakar and others we show on the previous pages, these scrolls follow the conventions of an age-old narrative tradition. The scrolls are by various artists, all of whom by convention share the surname Chitrakar, meaning painter, whether actually related or not. '

Charles Dickens: A Christmas Carol. 'Already the successful author of Sketches by Boz, Pickwick Papers, Oliver Twist, Nicholas Nickleby, The Old Curiosity Shop, Barnaby Rudge and American Notes, Charles Dickens (1812-1870) was one of the best-loved novelists of the time when he wrote this short novel, which was completed in a mere six weeks in tandem with the production of the eleventh episode of the serially published Martin Chuzzlewit. '

The Time of the Lincolns. 'Elected President only to see the nation fracture in two, Lincoln led a confused and frightened people through the most terrible war in their history. At the same time, his own household mirrored the fissures that split the nation: the great emancipator was married to the daughter of a slave owner from Kentucky. Mary Todd Lincoln was an aristocratic southerner who met Lincoln when he was still a backwoods politician lacking in experience and sophistication. Although she remained fiercely loyal to her husband and the Union cause, two of her brothers fought for the South. Their marriage was long and turbulent, and knew many trials, including the loss of two children. Abraham and Mary Lincoln: A House Divided weaves together the lives of the two Lincolns, drawing us into their long-vanished world.'

The Story of Africa. 'Africa's top historians take a fresh look at the events and characters that have shaped the continent from the origins of humankind to the end of South African apartheid.'

Seaside Entertainment. 'In the first half of the 20th century most Scots spent their holidays in Scottish seaside resorts. All down the east coast and around the Clyde estuary each resort had its entertainers. The earliest entertainment was often provided by concert parties in which a small group performed songs, dances and sketches. Many a star such as Harry Lauder, Lex McLean and Ella Logan started their careers in this manner...'

Glasgow Cathedral Windows.

Americana. 'An exhibition of books and manuscripts relating to the history of the Americas, drawn mainly from the Hunterian collection. The non-medical section of Hunter's library reflects interests both deep and wide: fine topography, botany, zoology, astronomy, numismatics, fine art, and certain aspects of vernacular literature. A strong section of books on exploration and travel contains a wealth of Americana as well as important materials on the East Indies and on contemporary voyages to the South Seas.'

French and Francophone Literature.

In Pictures: South African Lawyer. 'As part of a BBC News Online series about people's daily lives, Hlezi Dube describes her life as a public prosecutor. '

The United Nations CyberSchoolBus. Global teaching and learning project.

Edgar Degas. Metropolitan Museum of Art online exhibit.
'Edgar Degas (1834-1917) was an outspoken proponent of a new sensibility. He and his contemporaries, known as the Impressionists, organized independent exhibitions in which they showed their controversial work. Degas's style, subject matter, and artistic sensibility set him apart from the other Impressionists. '

Transnational Poster Art: East Germany and Latin America. Communist era posters.

I Resign. 'Guarantee a stylish and dignified exit by using one of these template resignation letters. You can now customise each one before printing, to fit your own circumstances...'

The Upper Stall. An excellent resource on the cinema of India.

Scottish Clans. Guide to the clans and tartans of Scotland.

The 1900 Storm: Galveston, Texas. One of America's worst natural disasters.

National Prohibition of Alcohol in the US. 'Prohibition of alcohol existed in the U.S. between 1920 and 1933. The story of how Prohibition came to be, what it was really like, and how it effects American life even today is a story of unusual ideas, fascinating characters, surprising events, and unexpected outcomes.'

perlintro. An introduction to the Perl programming language.

Spiders and Other Arachnids at UC Riverside.

Cute Overload! Via Monkeyfilter.