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30th May

365 Portraits.
A photo of a person a day, all year.

Animals of the London Underground.
Find the hidden bestiary in the London Tube map.

The Treehouse Guide.

Fargo: Then and Now.
Fargo, North Dakota in old photographs and postcards.

Fruits: Color on Tokyo's Streets.
Tokyo street fashion.

Map of Online Communities.

Fantastic creatures. 'Bestiaries are part of a tradition that began in the 3rd or 4th centuries AD with the greek 'Physiologus', a collection of animal-based moral stories, widely circulated in Europe ... The artists were often copying from predecessors and were unlikely to have been familiar with many of the animals, accounting for the odd appearance at times. Fabulous animals such as mermaids, unicorns, griffins and dragons were usually included. '

Make 42 out of 2,3,4 and 9.
You may use each number once and only once, using any (not necessarily all) of the arithmetic operators +,-,* and / .

'6-11 pm filter: what do you people DO between these hours? I am tired of watching bad TV and drinking warm vodka.'

'What great questions can I ask to cultivate relationships and build stronger bonds?'

'Someone who I attended Middle School and High School with twenty plus years ago recently Google'd me to apologize for the way he treated me back then. I'm pretty much over all that school age bullying, what's my obligation to my former bully? How should I reply to his email? Or should I just forget it and move on?'

'Share with me your favorite math tricks, truisms and formulas that clarified and simplified math problems and made life easier in high school and college.'

How to not kill baby plants.

'I have a 2-year-old son who loves blowing and chasing bubbles. How can I make the most awesome possible bubble mix using materials available in my home? '

How to Whistle.
I've never been able to whistle but I'm willing to learn!

Pictures of Mongolia's Reindeer People.

Japanese Festivals.

Venus Near the Moon.

Posters from the Paris 1968 Uprising.

Cute Corner: Frog Pile.

Cute Corner: Studious-looking Hamster.

Lapine: The Language of 'Watership Down'.

The Embryology of Turtles.
'Swiss-American Louis Agassiz (1807-1873) trained as a doctor and scientist but devoted his life to zoology (particularly icthyology), paleontology, geology and he did groundbreaking work in glaciology. He was taught by and had close associations with Georges Cuvier and Alexander von Humboldt and became a (famous) leading scientist in America through his field work and his professorship at Harvard University among many other accomplishments. He was also the last eminent scientist of his day to resist Darwin's evolutionary theories - "I trust to outlive this mania"...'

Selections from Audubon's 'The Birds of America' (1826-38).

A Solar System Portrait.

Postcards from Tibet.
'The plateau was white, the way cold things are white, and the cold was startling as it bit down to us. The bus windows rattled in their metal casements and drafts rushed in through every crack. I huddled around myself, watching as the contours of land began to show, sculpted in gold, greys, white, and shadow. As we passed through a shallow gorge I saw a long-eared rabbit at an icy stream. I imagined his footpads on the frost...'

Spiral Galaxy M81.

Elsa Beskow.
'Elsa Beskow (1874-1953) is one of the most well known of Swedish childrens' books illustrators...'

The Comancheria, Lost Homeland of a Warrior Tribe.
'... From around mid-18th century, they roamed an area known coinciding with present-day north-western Texas, western Oklahoma, parts of southern Kansas and Colorado and eastern New Mexico. This area, first called the Comancheria by the Spanish, coincided with the Southern Plains in which the buffalo roamed, and in such plentiful numbers that the Comanche's numbers increased significantly as well. This was also due to Shoshone immigration and the capture of enemy women and children...'

The Panopticon.
19th century philosopher Jeremy Bentham's model totalitarian prison.
'The Panopticon ("all-seeing") functioned as a round-the-clock surveillance machine. Its design ensured that no prisoner could ever see the 'inspector' who conducted surveillance from the privileged central location within the radial configuration. The prisoner could never know when he was being surveilled -- mental uncertainty that in itself would prove to be a crucial instrument of discipline...'

Tikis: Symbols of the South Pacific.

Ant Anatomy.

Baseball and Jackie Robinson.
'When he stepped onto Ebbets field on April 15th, 1947, Robinson became the first African American in the twentieth century to play baseball in the major leagues -- breaking the "color line," a segregation practice dating to the nineteenth century. Jackie Robinson was an extremely talented multi-sport athlete and a courageous man who played an active role in civil rights. '

23rd May

The Online Paper Airplane Museum.

With Nature and a Camera.
'Being the adventures and observations of a field naturalist and an animal photographer'.
Beautifully illustrated work of British natural history - published in 1898!

16th to 20th Century Maps of Africa.
'This site features digital copies of 113 antique maps of Africa and accompanying text dating from the mid 16th Century to the early 20th Century. '

Images of Las Vegas.
Hotels, casinos, and kitsch.

Pictures of chocolate.

Lenticular Cloud over Wyoming.

New York Rises.
Construction of NYC's buildings in photographs.

Engineering the Renaissance.
15th century engineering manuscripts.
'At the age of 50 Taccola began producing engineering manuscripts - a new type of technical publication that favoured the prominent display of explanatory illustrations - the first of which was completed in ~1433. These works are said to contain a large array of devices that had not previously been recorded but it's not known for certain how many of these ideas began with Taccola...'

Awakenings: Zen Figure Painting in Medieval Japan.

Kami no Michi (The Way of the Kami): The Life and Thought of a Shinto Priest.
'May I hope that your meeting with the Reverend Yukitaka Yamamoto,. 96th High Priest of Japan's oldest Shrine will point you to a pathway of inspiration and assist in your own search for the deep truths upon which humankind's best hopes for survival and development must be based.'

A.D.: New Orleans After the Deluge.
'When the levees broke, everything changed for New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. A.D.: New Orleans After the Deluge is about surviving Hurricane Katrina-and its aftermath. Told in webcomic form, A.D. is written and illustrated by Josh Neufeld, and presented by SMITH Magazine.'

The Postcode Map of the United Kingdom.

Baghdad Burning.
A young Iraqi woman writes.

Mythical Monsters (1886).
'Charles Gould, the son of the ornithologist John Gould, wrote this book in the 19th century on the subject now called 'cryptozoology,' the study of (possibly imaginary) animals only known through anecdotal or folklore evidence. '

Scottish Decorative Bookbinding.

15th to 18th century occult diagrams. Very intriguing.
'An eclectic mix of esoterica purloined from the Polish site, Gnosis. The above images come from the Iluminatornia section of the site. '

'Some people seem to hold different expectations of me than they do of others. I used to think it was in my imagination, but lately a few of my friends confirmed that they've noticed it too. How can I make this stop? I need to be allowed to be human. Just because I'm a strong woman, doesn't mean I want to always HAVE to be.'

'I love beans, but when I make them myself, they taste gross. What's the secret to great tasting beans?'

'What if your girlfriend frequently accuses me of looking at other women when I'm most certainly not?'

'I think thirteen years of surfing the internet has ruined my brain...'

'Which is the greatest world history book you know about?'

'Can you stop being affected by the contagiousness of yawns and coughs?'

'I found WW2 "yellow stars," Jewish identity papers and other tragic items at a Hungarian flea market. What to do?'

'What, specifically, makes an ugly person ugly.'

'In your opinion, what causes déjà vu? I mean the most common type - déjà vécu (already lived)?'

How to dress like a Parisian fashionista.

1/ The hour and minute hands of a clock are superimposed at 12:00. When will they next be superimposed (I don't mean lined up as they are at 6:00)?
2/ Which has a better chance of giving the right time: a clock that has stopped or one that loses a minute every day?

Cute Corner: Humphrey, the Downing Street Cat.

Cute Corner: Dog Hugs Baby.

Cute Corner: Furry Lobster.

Circum-axial Leaf Trails.

A Spherule from the Earth's Moon.

Doodle Dandy.
''With a few deft strokes, Saul Steinberg turned institutional letterhead into signature works of whimsy...'

They Needed to Talk.
Wonderful photograph of two young women, talking.
'The details are a bit sketchy now, but everyone agrees the picture was taken in Memphis, Tennessee, on a late summer night in 1973. Karen Chatham, the young woman in blue, recalls that she had been out drinking when she met up with Lesa Aldridge, the woman in red. Lesa didn't drink at the time, but both were 18, the legal age then. As the bars closed at 3 a.m., the two followed some other revelers to a friend's house nearby. In the mix was a 30-something man who had been taking pictures all night...'

The 27 Club.
'The "27 Club" is a popular culture reference to a group of several rock and blues musicians, who experienced a career that ended with their death at age 27...'

Summer of Love.
'In the summer of 1967, thousands of young people from across the country flocked to San Francisco's Haight Ashbury district to join in the hippie experience, only to discover that what they had come for was already disappearing. By 1968 the celebration of free love, music, and an alternative lifestyle had descended into a maelstrom of drug abuse, broken dreams, and occasional violence...'

Studies in Scarlet: Marriage & Sexuality in the US & UK 1815-1914.
'Studies in Scarlet presents the images of over 420 separately published trial narratives from the Harvard Law School Library's extensive trial collections. Included are a number of trials of the wealthy and renowned such as an account of the adultery trial of Caroline, Queen Consort of George IV, the sodomy trial of Oscar Wilde, and the trial of Harry Thaw for the murder of Stanford White, the famous architect who was Evelyn Nesbit Thaw's lover...'

Darwin Correspondence Project.
The collected letters of Charles Darwin.

Field Guide to the Loner: The Real Insiders.
The joys of solitude.

16th May

In Palm Springs: US Steel Homes.
'The U.S. Steel homes were experiments in all-steel construction and angular, modern shapes. A strip of these private residences are still standing along Sunny View Drive, tucked away just Southeast of San Rafael and Indian Canyon Drives. The project, designed by Donald Wexler in 1961-63, proved to be too expensive and only six homes were built...'

19th Century Austrian Fashion Plates.

The Royal Games of Burma.
'This is a 19th century burmese parabeik - a folded concertina picture book usually made of palm leaves - with watercolour illustrations of sporting and cultural activites viewed by royalty. '

Images of the interesting diamond-like microscopic beings.
'Who would have thought that so many out there share my love for these astonishing microscopic lifeforms. But what's not to love? Diatoms, like my other all-time favourite, slime mould, are neither fish nor fowl. Which is to say that they are neither plants nor animals, and are not bacteria or fungi either...'

Saturn from Above.

The Tibetan Game of Liberation.

What Happens To People When They Get Old?
'The kids at my daughter's pre-school were asked to describe what happens to people when they get old. '

'My boyfriend just locked his keys inside his boss's house. Boss's house key is on the key ring that is inside the house. Boss is on vacation out of the country and is unreachable. Boyfriend's wallet and phone are also locked in the house, and so is the boss's cat. Please help us.'

'What does it means to be an adult and how do I become one?'

'Normally, I'm a rather shy reserved person. So why is it when I find a new friend, I get all "intense"....?'

'Does the atmosphere rotate? In other words, is there a net shift in air around the globe, east to west?'

Bob is 104. He is twice as old as Alice was when Bob was as old as Alice is now. How old is Alice?

Welcome to Planet Earth.

Soviet Movie Posters 1921-73.

Buddhist Art and Architecture.

Rembrandt's 'Night Watch'.
Exploring a painting.

Native American Portraits.
Old photographs.

A Hale-Bopp Holiday (1997).
'Seen from the Pik Terskol Observatory in the northern Caucasus mountains, comet Hale-Bopp and the bright stars of the constellation Perseus hang above the snowy, moon-lit landscape.'


A Jazz Timeline.

Timeline of the Big Bang.

Soviet Propaganda Posters.

Missing White Woman Syndrome.

Photographs from Arkansas State Prison 1915-37.

The J.L. Carr Collection.
Art of rural England. 'The collection consists of original art works by J.L. Carr, depicting scenes from around Northamptonshire...'
'... Joseph (James) Lloyd Carr was born in the North Riding of Yorkshire in 1912, the youngest child of a Railwayman. He attended Castleford Secondary School and later Goldsmiths Teacher Training College. After teaching in Hampshire and Birmingham, interrupted by his service flying reconnaissance missions during the Second World War, he became headmaster of Highfields Primary School, Kettering, in 1951...'

Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers.
'Welcome to Chronicling America, enhancing access to America's historic newspapers. This site allows you to search and read newspaper pages from 1900-1910 and find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present. '

Atlas of the Caucasian Languages.
I.e. languages of the Caucasus - a region rich in ethnic and linguistic diversity (like other mountainous regions of the world).

10th May

It Came from the Sears 1971 Catalog.
'I found this Fall 1971 Sears catalog at an estate sale. Estate sales are where others come and loot the deceased for fun and profit. I was hoping to find some nice toy pictures in this catalog. The toys only show up in the "Wish Book". I did find over 1600 pages of pure ugly. '

Images from a Photo Booth in San Francisco.

This is a nice idea - send a postcard to a random person somewhere in the world, and get one back from another random person.

Glossed Over.
Vanity, vitriol, and fashion magazines.

The Murthly Hours.
Illuminated manuscript.
'The Murthly Hours is one of Scotland's great medieval treasures. Written and illuminated in Paris in the 1280s, it also contains full-page miniatures by English artists of the same period, and was one of the most richly decorated manuscripts in medieval Scotland. Medieval additions include probably the second oldest example of Gaelic written in Scotland.'

The Incredible Shrinking Lake (Chad, That Is).
Maps dramatically showing the disappearance of Lake Chad over about 40 years.

The Chairman Smiles.
Propaganda poster art from Communist countries.

A Dark Sky Over Death Valley.

Cook's Voyage to the Pacific Ocean.
'The National Library of Australia have 87 engraving plates on display from Captain James Cook's Voyage to the Pacific Ocean of 1784. Multiple resolution and pan/zoom options. Cook was speared and stoned to death in the Sandwich Islands (Hawaii) in February 1779. '

George Petty 1947.
Pin-up art.
'Regardless of the "kitsch" content and subject matter, these paintings are wonderful examples of masterful use of the airbrush. '

A Brief History of the 'Clenched Fist' Image.
Post-May Day link.

China Girls.
'This exquisite and delicate watercolour album is from Hong Kong. There is very little information available at Carnegie Mellon University's Posner Library website. It mentions that the paintings are by 12 different artists of the 12 beautiful ladies from 'Hung Lou Meng' by Ts'ao Chan. I am presuming, from a further snippet, that the book or story is from the 18th century...'

The Voynich Manuscript.
The world's most mysterious book.

The Highgate Vampire.

Available Emblems of Belief for Placement on US Government Headstones and Markers.

'Is there a website that lets you input the contents of your cupboard and fridge, then shows you recipies you can make with what you have?'

'How do I hop a freight train? I've wanted to do this for years and I think this summer is going to be the one.'

'My interaction with an armed robber prevented a possible tragedy at crowded shop, but my husband has yet to acknowledge that...'

'What are some good 3+ hour made-for-TV series or epic movies along the lines of I, Claudius and Shogun?'

'What are some great books that aren't hideously long?'

'What are some of the ways you try and get out of a bad mood?'

'How should I respond to some friends who are concerned that I'm becoming too codependent, and who have written and given to me a list of things I need to do to become a more balanced person?'
I must admit this made me laugh.

'Would vacuum damage a corpse? This is actually a scientific research question ...'

'My boyfriend is on the verge of a psychotic breakdown and I don't know how to help him.'

'What is the physiology of bird sounds?'

'How can I break the cycle of dysfunction in my family?'

'I'm living the "uphill both ways" joke. I cycle to work, and I've always got a headwind, every day, in both directions. Why?'

'Are there any "Americatowns" or "Little New Yorks"? I mean, are there any neighborhoods outside the U.S. that are known for having a sizable American expatriate/emigrant population and culture?'

'What are some good American Indian (or "Native American") blogs or community politics/culture/what-have-you discussion sites? '

Imagine a rope that fits snugly all around a planet like a ring on a person's finger. Now imagine the rope is made one metre longer and lifted off the surface until it is taut.
What will its height be above the surface of the planet?
(For the purposes of the puzzle, assume that the planet is a perfect sphere).

Nightmare at 20,000 Feet.

Read great works of literature really quickly... or not!
And here are some more...

Funfairs, Fairgrounds, and Circuses.

Seascapes and Shorelines.

Welcome to Pyongyang.
'Welcome to Pyongyang by photographer Charlie Crane and producer Nicholas Bonner offers an intriguing portrait of tourism in the North Korean capital. '

Numbered Pinecones.


Film Stills.
'This is a community for those of us who love those fantastical movie moments...'

Cosmic Journey: A History of Scientific Cosmology.

The Pines Hotel.
Abandoned hotel in upstate NY.

Circus Hall of Fame.

2nd May

Royal Navy Sketchbooks.
"A bound sketchbook containing a series of 36 pencil and watercolour sketches drawn by Commander Mervyn Scott Lindslay whilst a prisoner of the Japanese at North Point Camp in Hong Kong from 1942 to 1945..."

Save the Girls!
World War II fighter and bomber nosecone art.

Masters of Haitian Art.
The art of Vodou.

80s kids' science fiction TV - classy.

Europe from Moscow (in 1952).
A fine piece of Cold War propaganda art. 'Perspective and the right choice of colours can help to infuse a map with meaning, this one being a very good example. The map is entitled Europe From Moscow, and was featured in the Time Magazine issue of March 10, 1952...'

Out of Africa: The Kirk Papers.
'The Kirk Papers is a collection of photographs and papers belonging to East Africa pioneer Sir John Kirk ... Born in Barry, Angus, in 1832, Kirk qualified in medicine at Edinburgh University and then volunteered for medical service in the Crimea. An accomplished botanist, zoologist and diplomat, he was also a talented photographer. This is evident from the collection of over 250 photographs, many of them stunning.'

Old Photographs and Images of Wolverhampton and the Surrounding Area.

The Zen Site.
If you meet Buddha on the road, kill him.

7,000 Stars and the Milky Way.
'This panorama view of the sky is really a drawing. It was made in the 1950s under the supervision of astronomer Knut Lundmark at the Lund Observatory in Sweden. To create the picture, draftsmen used a mathematical distortion to map the entire sky onto an oval shaped image with the plane of our Milky Way Galaxy along the center and the north galactic pole at the top. '

Unst Bus Shelter.
The most northerly bus shelter in the British Isles.

Panoramic Pictures of the Paris Metro.

Cold War Gas Mask Fashion.

Fictional Diseases.

Cool Murals and Painted Buildings.

Laurel and Hardy Photo Gallery.

What's Your D&D Alignment?
I'm Neutral Good, hooray!

Niels and Albert were excitedly discussing the result of the International Puzzle Competition in Belgium. There were three contestants, Erwin, Werner, and Marie. Niels reported that Erwin won, while Werner came in second. Albert, on the other hand, reported that Marie won, while Erwin came in second.
In fact, neither Niels nor Albert had given a correct report of the results of the competition. Each of them had given one correct statement and one false statement. What was the actual placing of the three contestants?

'Is there any way to train yourself to raise one eyebrow?'

'Have you purposefully changed your standard of beauty? If so, how did you do it?'

There were some good Ask Metafilter questions on 1st April.

'How do I keep from getting stupid?'

'How many sexes are there?'

'How do I deal with a friend getting a sex change?'

'A Tale of Two Pretties.'
Marian sounds like the nicer person, choose her.

'Does anybody have any ideas of some practical jokes i can play on a colleague by remoting into his registry?'

'Can my computer kill me without warning?'

'I need to get through a meeting where I will be attacked personally without crying. Is there anything (not therapy, not enough time) that will make it significantly harder for my eyes to produce tears that I can use?'

'Have you considered writing your own obituary?'

'How can I stop fighting?'

'Exactly how does shyness come across as arrogance?'

Chess Boxing.
Fusing the ultimate thinking game with the ultimate fighting sport.

Discover Islamic Art in the Mediterranean.

Green is Beautiful.

Yellow | Orange | Red.


Fifty Word Fiction.

West Virginia Historical Photograph Collection.

Japanese Rockabilly.
'Tokyo rockers show off their moves every fine Sunday in Yoyogi Park. Another pack also hang out in Ueno Park.'

Virtual Museum of Antique Spectacles.

Revolutionary Players.
The story of the Industrial Revolution in the West Midlands.

Map of Currency Symbols of the World.

Personal Animals.
'If the scant information online is correct, then Käthe Schönberger from Austria was 15 years old when she produced the illustrations for 'Aus Thier und Menschenleben' ('From Animal and Human Lives') in 1896. The personification of animals theme is very reminiscent of JJ Grandville's work (see particularly the uniformed chickens fighting). She picked a fine mentor, if so...'

Solar System Rising Over Fire Island.

In Pictures: Sudan's Slave Voices.

The Discovery of Global Warming.
'This Web site created by Spencer Weart supplements his much shorter book, which tells the history of climate change research as a single connected narrative. '

Chicago's Front Door.
History of Chicago's lakefront. 'This digital exhibit explores the impact of the Lake Michigan waterfront on the development of Chicago from its earliest days of French exploration through the rebirth of the city after the 1871 Chicago Fire and two World's Fairs. '