Friday, May 22, 2009
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Rooms, it seems, are the theme for today. Here are more than a few amazing examples, from Curious Expeditions, in a post titled Librophiliac Love Letter: A Compendium of Beautiful Libraries:
For us here at Curious Expeditions, there has always been something about libraries. Row after row, shelf after shelf, there is nothing more magical than a beautiful old library.
The example here is from the Handelingenkamer Tweede Kamer Der Staten-Generaal Den Haag, or the Old Library of the House of Representatives in the Hague, Netherlands. (Click for much larger image.) You can practically smell it.
Monday, March 23, 2009
From a 15th century Fechtbuch - "fight book" - a manual on the art of trial by combat, part of Germanic Law, practiced in Medieval Europe from after the fall of the Roman Empire in the the 5th century until, in some cases, until the 19th century. Excerpt:
Hie hatt sie In gebracht an den Rucken vnd wyl In wirgen vnd ziehen vsz der grub.
Here she has laid him on his back and wishes to strangle him and drag him out of the hole.
Friday, March 20, 2009
This is amazing:
Ninety-seven printmakers of all experience levels, have joined together to produce 118 prints in any medium; woodcut, linocut, monotype, etching, lithograph, silkscreen, or any combination. The end result is a periodic table of elements intended to promote both science and the arts.
The image above is by Mark M. Cullen of Middleton, Wisconsin, is a linocut with watercolor and gouache, and represents the element platinum, atomic number 78.
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Friday, February 27, 2009
The Jalgaon District of India has a wonderful Web site.
Jalgaon District is located in the north-west region of the state of Maharashtra. It is bounded by Satpuda mountain ranges in the north, Ajanta mountain ranges in the south. Jalgaon is rich in volcanic soil which is well suited for cotton production. It is a major business centre for tea, gold, pulses, cotton and bananas. Languages spoken are Marathi, Ahirani, Hindi, and English. Jalgaon District receives an average rainfall of about 690 mm and the temperature varies from 10 to 48 degree Celsius.
48? That's 118 Fahrenheit. Ow.
A physical features map.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
The Ornithological Art of Edward Lear:
In 1830, visitors to the new Zoological Gardens in London were bemused by a young man—a boy, really—who sat sketching the birds in the Parrot House. He drew the birds as they perched and played, and with the help of a zookeeper named Gosse, measured their wingspans, and the dimensions of their bodies, beaks, and legs. Visitors lingered to watch, and he filled the margins of his paper with caricatures of the people around him.
Edward Lear was working on a startlingly audacious project. Illustrations of the Family of Psittacidae, or Parrots was a monograph he planned to publish by subscription in fourteen folios. It was ground-breaking in several ways: Lear was the first ornithological illustrator to publish in the large folio size, and the first to devote an entire book to a single family of birds. His insistence on drawing from life whenever possible was innovative, as was his decision to use lithography.
Lear published the first two folios of the Psittacidae on November 1, 1830.
• Photo from Wiki Commons. Click on photo for very large image.
• Hat tip, Monkey Filter.
A rare cheetah has been photographed by remote camera in Algeria:
There are thought to be less than 250 adult Northwest African or Saharan cheetahs, making the subspecies critically endangered, but very little is known about the cat.
The first camera-trap photographs of the cheetah, taken as part of a systematic survey of 1,750 square miles of the central Sahara, are providing scientists with information on population numbers, movement and how it interacts with its environment.
There are also "sand cats" in the area. Sand cats.
This is one of the more difficult cats to study in the wild. Their foot coverings allow them to walk on sand without sinking, leaving their footprints nearly invisible. They have learned to crouch down and shut their eyes when a light is shone on them, which prevents the light from reflecting their eyes for tracking. That combined with their protective coat color makes them blend right into their habitat. They also bury all of their excrement making it impossible to find and analyze so their diet can be studied.
More on Saharan Cheetahs here.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
I couldn't get the video to work, maybe you can, but the image I got from it is pretty striking. (Click to enlarge.) The story:
A swiss artist has created an unusual live body art performance, using as inspiration the images of US President Barack Obama and Pope Benedict.
The performance, held on Monday (February 16) is described by the artist 'Dave' as a form of 'fusionism', combining abstract painting and choreography in a performance.
The artwork involves ten nude performers with painted bodies, who are choreographed to eventually assemble into a complete picture.
The world's largest poetry festival is held every year in Struga, Macedonia, on the shores of Lake Ohrid, the deepest, and, many believe, oldest lake in Europe. (More on the festival, and the "Golden Wreath Award," which in 1986 was won by Allen Ginsburg, here.)
This I learned at Struga Online:
Our site was born as a result of an initiative among a few young people from Struga who thought that this beautiful place deserves a home on the Internet. Since then the idea behind struga.org has not changed. Everything that is presented here is done by our team solely from love and passion for our pretty little town.
It's a nice, simple site. They have hand-drawn maps, photos of old Struga, Struga writer biographies, Struga history:
The first Neolithic settlement, which is assumed to have been a fishing area, was built on the place where the river Crn Drim flows out of the Lake Ohrid. It is a pile dweller, an ancient fisherman community.
You can learn a lot about Struga, at Struga Online.
This is too funny. I did a post 8 months ago wherein I gave the results of googling the word "nurk". Yes, I was bored. One of the results was to an English dirty ditty writer named Ivor Biggun, ahem, who was once in a band called "Nurk Wildebeeste and the Mutations." That image there is an ad from one of their shows, as it appeared in the Retford Gainsborough and Worksop Guardian, a newspaper that may or may not still exist.
Well that noodling little post has caused one S. Bourne, also English, I'll presume, to email Boxing Kangaroos and confess, as it were, to being one of the Mutations.
The wonders of the internets.
I have responded to S. Bourne and asked for more information. Hopefully he will respond soon.
Monday, January 19, 2009
DNA evidence, these researchers say, shows that human and kangaroo DNA is far more alike than expected, and that we went our separate ways on our evolutionary paths perhaps about 150 million years ago.
It is endlessly fascinating to think that we humans share common ancestors with every living thing on Earth. With the kangaroos: a kangan, or, better - a humaroo.
Saturday, January 17, 2009
Truly remarkable story at a truly remarkable Web site, WFMU's Beware of the Blog:
While it is well-known among jazz fans in New York that the great virtuoso Charlie Parker lived across from Tompkins Square Park during the 1950s—a jazz festival in his name takes place there every year—another vitally important saxophonist was, it has only recently been discovered, a one-time homeless inhabitant of New York, possibly in Tompkins Square itself, as well as in shelters and institutions around the city and elsewhere. In fact, the revelation that this man is still alive puts to rest an enduring and agonizingly unresolved mystery: the unknown whereabouts and presumed demise of Giuseppi Logan.
Friday, January 16, 2009
You've no doubt heard of the "dream job" being offered by the Queensland, Australia, tourism board:
An Australian state is offering internationally what it calls "the best job in the world" -- earning a top salary for lazing around a beautiful tropical island for six months.
The job pays 150,000 Australian dollars (105,000 US dollars) and includes free airfares from the winner's home country to Hamilton Island on the Great Barrier Reef, Queensland's state government announced on Tuesday.
In return, the "island caretaker" will be expected to stroll the white sands, snorkel the reef, take care of "a few minor tasks" -- and report to a global audience via weekly blogs, photo diaries and video updates.
The Web site is here.
Some photots of Hamilton Island. Wow.