Friday, February 27, 2009

Jalgaon District, India

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 map.

A physical features map.



Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Never Mind the Pussy Cat

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.



Islamic Baby Clothes

Islamic baby clothes.



Cheetah, Cheetah, In the Night

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

Obama and Pope Painted on Nude Dancers

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.



Struga Online

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 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.



Boxing Kangaroos Makes First Contact

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.



Tuesday, February 3, 2009

I Could Be a Poet

Taylor Mali: