Extreme Web Surfs!
Wednesday, December 31, 2003

I had planned to do some huge celebratory posting tonight, but Blogger/Blogspot didn't cooperate! I remember when I was a drinker, we alkies referred to New Year's Eve as "Amateur Night". We had only scorn for those who would only make this 'once a year' commitment to intoxication. Seems the blogging world might be like that - all those folks who update 2 or 3 times a month,at best, were probably seized with a compulsion to make some profound statement today, and fried the servers for a spell...but still, there's a limit to how much I can gripe, considering how much fun I have here for free..:)

Anyway, I hope all who view this have a happy and healthy 2004!


If you're looking for a good "mainstream" overview of the year, Time Magazine Online has a nice collection of photo essays up..

And here's a good collection of what some photobloggers consider their Best of 2003

...but enough about LAST year! I'd rather look forward, myself - and also, Maarten has promised to do a good 2003 recap on HIS blog tomorrow...meanwhile, it's..


How about a trip into the zany world of "Biblical Prophecy" for 2004? (note: I don't disbelieve in prophecy, but these folks take things a bit far!)

Revelation 13

Glory Brides




Nostradamus, Cayce and such

From the psychic camp

The 2004 Oscars

Computer Stuff

More Computer Stuff

Camera Stuff

Talk Left

Marty Nemko

Well, that's all, folks! Not one of my sterling efforts, but hey, at least you know I'm alive, surfing, blogging, and wishing you all the best! Tomorrow's another day - if the amateurs don't swamp things again, look for some deep surfing from me!

Tuesday, December 30, 2003

Rats may be a maligned species, but in doing this little search, I was amazed at the passion with which their devotees defend their choice of pet...hmmm, well I guess they ARE kinda cute..

Fancy Rats

Pet Rat Photos

The Rat's Nest - a great site, particularly as it devotes a lot of space to the older rattus rattus , or "ship's rat" , as well as to the more common rattus norwegicus..

Looking for a more scientific aproach, I reached the relevant section of Walker's Mammals of the World and decided you need to bookmark the whole thing for reference and fun!


I enjoyed reading the discussions , both in comments here by Chelsea, and in Brent's Blog that my "Stinkers" link precipitated. I'm more of a 'classic film' buff myself, I tend to see movies years after everyone else. I've already shared some of my favorites in past postings, here's a few more:

The Producers - this early Mel Brook's film is one of the funniest movies I've ever seen. Zero Mostel gives a sidesplitting performance as Max Bialystock, a theatrical producer and gigolo extraordinaire!

Strangers on a Train - this seminal Hitchcock vehicle belongs to Robert Walker, whose portrayal of the twisted but charming Bruno Antony is nonpareil. Of course, the carousel scene is one of film's great moments..

Stevenson's 'Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde' has been filmed many times; good history of that here . However, for bizarre eroticism, insanity, and depravity, nothing matches the 1932 version, starring the almost forgotten Fredric March..

Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor in "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" 'tour de force' is not out of line here..

"Lawn Dogs" ,which was Mischa Barton's second film outing, is a strange but fascinating flick. Some love it, some hate. I love it, but find it a bit depressing, and there are things I'd change in the storyline. However, it's the type of movie that is hardly ever made in America, much more like something we'd expect from Europe..

James Whale , the director of "Frankenstein" and "Bride of Frankenstein" was a fascinating character. Traumatized WWI veteran, and openly gay, he was one of the greatest. "Gods and Monsters" a film about him, is just superb. It made me cry, even!


One of the amazing things about computers is the way in which historical aeons seem to have been compressed into decades, even years. Let's take a brief look back!

Charles Babbage died in 1871, but people who should know pretty much give him all the credit, so take a look! Here's a second site, as the first seems to be on an unreliable server..

A Timeline of Personal Computers

Like Old Computers? This site's devoted to them!

Read "The History of the Internet"

"The brain is like a muscle. When we think well, we feel good. Understanding is a kind of ecstasy."

Carl Sagan
Monday, December 29, 2003

Well, it's been one of those 'draining Mondays' wasn't sure how much I'd get done here, but I managed to find a few interesting tidbits. But first, I want to vent about something from my searches! OK, we all know a certain amount of pop-ups, cookies, advertising banners and so on are 'facts of life' on the web. Especially for those of us who like our fun for free. I'll never promise you won't find that stuff on my links, and I always urge people to arm themselves with something like Adaware or Spybot Search and Destroy (or both, see my post on utilities from a week or so ago, also Maarten frequently looks at this topic). I've heard these utilities called 'the Morning After Pill" for websurfing!

However, there's such a thing as "going over the top"! One site I was trying to get to tonight, an artists, hit me with so much stuff that within 3 seconds I had 10 windows in IE , and a Gator Downloader staring me in the face. And, this wasn't some porn site, it was this guy's art gallery! Sheesh, if you need a free site, take out a Webshots Gallery or something. Start a blog! Whatever! This was like, "thanks for visiting my site; now excuse me, while I rape your computer.."

OK, all done, feel better now..


I've always found the lute to be a fascinating instrument, and it's amazing how much is on the web about them. These sites are good for starters, and contain tons of additional links if you want to explore further..

Lute History

More Lute History, along with Guitars, Theorbos etc..

A Lutemaker's Site

Maybe the Best Site

You can download some lute music here


Another huge source of classical music links

Art Pepper was the premier alto saxophonist of the West Coast school of jazz, and in fact one of the all time jazz greats, period. His long career was marked by many brilliant albums and legendary performances. Unfortunately, he was also a hard core heroin addict, womanizer, and downright nasty guy. Spent years in California prisons. Wrote a fascinating autobiography called "Straight Life" (the ironic title of one of his classic tunes) , staged a 'comeback' in the '70's , and made music till his much abused body gave out at the age of 56. This site is full of info about him, including input from his wife, Laurie Pepper, who's putting together a movie..


Sirpa Alalaakkola - Finnish by birth, located in New Zealand. Vibrant stuff..

Antony Densham - uses "secondary materials" (trash, to us) to make statements on our 'throwaway culture'..

Susan Harrison-Tustain - OK, a little bit commercial, but nice, serene, in a Kincaidish sort of way..

Cross Toulouse Lautrec, Edward Munch, and Robert Crumb - and you'd probably get something like MY favorite of the lot, Ian Kingstone. Angst, weirdos, vague indecipherable threats and foreboding, great stuff!


A great Pbase photographer , Steve covers his native ground of Missouri in his memorable and haunting work..

Stinkers.com - explore the world of REALLY BAD MOVIES!

"The physician can bury his mistakes, but the architect can only advise his clients to plant vines."

Frank Lloyd Wright

Sunday, December 28, 2003

Well, as I have a bit more time on my hands tonight, I decided to do another posting, this one devoted to some aspects of Boston, "my kind of town". I'm not a native "Boston Boy" , that honor belongs to Providence, RI, 45 minutes to the south -a REAL great burg, even IF our beloved ex-mayor "Buddy" is now doing time in a federal pen . But Boston, where I have spent a few years, and visit all the time, is the cultural capital of New England, or in the eyes of a true Boston snob, the entire Western Hemisphere. It's a great city, loaded with colleges and universities, gritty ethnic neighborhoods, bars, cuisine, history and finance. Big enough for skyscrapers, small enough to get around in. But if you visit, and learned driving in a civilized locale, use public transportation!

Boston Online is a super place to poke around in, gives you a real feel for the place..

Nice collection of Boston Photos

Boston is just putting the finishing touches on one of the hugest civil engineering projects in history, The Big Dig.. according to local politicos, the pyramids were nothing, compared to this. Too bad after $5 Billion, it hasn't fixed the traffic problems...

In earlier posts, I gave the links for the Museum of Fine Arts, and the Boston Symphony Orchestra . There are two other museums (among many good ones) I especially want to mention tonight.

The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum is one of a kind, the bequest of a fabulously wealthy old lady. It is a very personal, quirky collection. She knew what she liked, and that's what we got! It was also the scene of the greatest art theft in American history, still unsolved, in which, among other things, a priceless Vermeer was made off with..

The Busch Reisinger Museum is actually across the Charles in Cambridge, off Harvard Square. It is devoted to Germanic and Northern European art, including a great collection of Bauhaus stuff (highlighted in site). 20 years ago, I lived nearby, it was free and I was generally broke, so I often found myself roaming its corridors. Often, there would only be an aged security guard and myself in the whole building - I acquired a fascination with German Expressionism in those days - not they I knew anything about it, but like Isabella, I knew what I liked!

The Freedom Trail is what every (American, anyway) tourist has to do in Boston. Pivotal places from our Revolutionary War days. I had some fun last summer, taking a British lady friend on it..

The Irish are huge in Boston, both population-wise, and in terms of their impact on the city's history and culture. You're as likely to hear great Celtic music in Southie as in Dublin..They have their own Heritage Trail..

One Boston Irishman whose haunts you won't find on that trail is Whitey Bulger , currently topping the FBI's Most Wanted list..

And speaking of crime, who can forget The Boston Strangler? Although this case is officially closed, there are many who believe Albert deSalvo was not the man..working in the drug rehab field, I have met several people who spent years in Massachusetts prisons, who assert that this is common knowledge "inside"..

Finally, a few recipes. Boston Cream Pie , and many versions of Boston Baked Beans

And this is good old Boston
The home of the bean and the cod,
Where the Lowells talk to the Cabots,
And the Cabots talk only to God

John Collins Bossidy

All Your Base... (Flash movie)

It is generally agreed that Bram Stoker received at least some inspiration for his famous vampire from the REAL Dracula, Vlad Tepes..

Here's the best online history article (in English) I could find..

Here's another view..

Some photos of his Romanian haunts..

And Bran castle, they're obviously counting on old Vlad to bring in some tourist dollars (or euros) ..

French page on Vlad ....found at this scary site


European Art Glass

Dutch Glass (commercial site, but subtle about it, and with nice pictures..)

Old Morgantown Glass

Early American Pattern Glass Collectors Society

Vaseline Glass

And, if you're looking for something to collect, but glass doesn't do it for you, check this page of links from the Open Directory for ideas!

(of course, I collect websites, which is fun AND economical!)


The Seventh Continent - great overall site..

Cool Antarctica - also a nice one

Australian Antarctica - I give the Australian government credit, they maintain decent websites..thinking of yesterday's Sydney Opera House one, and the ones on the Wollemi pine, and various types of wildlife I've browsed..

New Zealand Antarctica ... let's not forget the Kiwis, either!

Virtual Tour

Wired Antarctica

Polar Challenges (this is the English page, you can also choose the original French version)

Scott Polar Research Institute



Ireland (updated since last link)

Arizona (be sure to check this guy's other galleries. One of the best at Pbase for his chosen topics..)

"The Government is like a baby's alimentary canal, with a healthy appetite at one end and no responsibility at the other."

Ronald Reagan

Saturday, December 27, 2003

Well, just a few short days ago, you heard me ranting about not being sucked into the "Blogging Subculture" etc; but like any addiction, it's an insidious progressive thing.. So now I've begun to include links to other blogs (besides Maarten's - his will always occupy a place of honour at the top!), guess I'd better explain..

For awhile, it seemed ludicrous to me to have "sidebar links" in a blog primarily devoted to links to begin with! However, I've realized that the links IN the blog are "content", and the links I'm now adding are more "community". There IS a certain reciprocity which has evolved with the blogging world, and who am I to try to change the rules? I would like to think others will like this blog enough to link to me, and it's only fitting I provide easily accesible links back. Moreover, I've encountered several blogs that are worth visiting, whether they ever notice this one or not.

So, the links to the right will be from one of these categories: 1) Blogs that just impressed me for one reason or another; 2) Blogs and sites with useful info or tools about "blogging" itself. 3) Blogs that link to ME (please make me aware of it), even if they suck! 4) People whose site I mention in the blog, who get back to me with any kind of nice comment or feedback will move up to this permanent place of honor (e.g. Dave Mitchell, Chelsea the Pixie) . OK, now to today's finds!


Their Official Site

Nice site from a guy who tried 'em out; it wasn't for him, but he left with a lasting respect...

The English Carthusian Martyrs

Nice essay on the architecture of a charterhouse found at this superb site..

A few links to short devotional photo essays..


Chelsea commented on yesterday's music education post, asking if I'd heard of this; well, only in the vaguest sense, but I looked it up and found this great site , which has several .mp3 downloads, as well as loads of info ,on this remarkable group of recordings of rural Canadian schoolkids singing '60's and '70's pop classics. Believe me, much better than my brief description indicates! Also, found a review here..


Wanted to do a post on famous ones, but the official sites for both La Scala and the Sydney Opera House were so poorly designed, overladen, bombastic, and 'user unfriendly', that I refuse to even link to them! However, I did find a halfway decent Australian Government Site for the Sydney Opera House..




The Mary Rose

HMS Victory


Strictly Film School will give you an education, all by itself, in the masters of cinema..


..unless they go here..


All it about it here also in Danish. And no, I'm not even going to try to put the dots above the "u". Let it suffice that I know they belong there!


My sympathies to the Iranian people, on this terrible disaster.. I urge all who are in a postion to help the relief efforts, financially or otherwise, to do so. here's a few photos of this remarkable city before the quake..


Nice bunch of galleries, many with "Middle Earth" themes, here..

"Every man wishes to be wise, and they who cannot be wise are almost always cunning."
Samuel Johnson
Friday, December 26, 2003

..as you've probably figured out from my postings, I'm a music lover. Good music (in many genres) should not be something for a small elite to enjoy. It is everyone's cultural birthright. And though we are all born with certain innate musical instincts, to fully develop them, and participate in an informed way, either as creators, performers, or listeners, requires education. I don't know how it is in other countries, but in the US, when faced with the dual squeeze of budgetary constraints, and school performance rated by standardized test scores, it is the arts and enrichment courses and programs which 'get the axe' first. This is tragic; I personally know many people whose lives were transformed through involvement in school music programs.. so, SAVE THE ARTS IN OUR SCHOOLS! - end of rant, here's some resources:

Music Staffroom (great collection of articles online)

The Suzuki Method

Mozart Connect (a varied teaching project)

Music Education Webring - great resource to discover many more sites..



Polygamy 101


A 'Christian' church in Germany espousing it..


Polygamy.Org - particularly concerned with women who have escaped from polygamous situations in renegade Mormon turf..

Rick Ross Links - collection of relevent news articles and such..


..favoured topic of conspiracy buffs..

From A to Z

Where's the USS Eldridge now?

The New World Order, OF COURSE!


The Cyprus Conflict - great site, using hypertext to link to source documents. Tries to be unbiased, at least..

Time Witnesses - site ( also in German and French) which collects memories from folks in various European nations as to their experiences (especially as children) during WWII

Canada: Hidden from History ; Institutional Child Abuse ; a note about these two sites: the first, about the alleged genocide practiced against Canada's native peoples, is perhaps not entirely proven in its allegations. The second, however, is an offical government report. In no way am I posting these to point fingers at our northern neighbor. In fact, having always considered Canada a rather benign, friendly country, I was shocked to read this stuff. What it shows me is that evil, brutality and indifference can't be pinned on just certain cultures or epochs. It is a fact of human existence. Canada is to be commended for having had the courage to confront these abuses in its own recent past, and take steps to ensure it won't happen again. I pray my own nation, and all others in the world,will also make progress towards the time when such links would be found in a section entitled 'Ancient History'..

Serial Killers (actually, after visiting again, I realize this is less a 'history site' than a personal shrine to homicidal maniacs.. but I DID learn a few facts, so I'll keep it listed, you can make up your OWN minds!)


Asian Online Recipes - hmm, this works like a blog, looks like a recipe site..anyway, cooks'll like it!

Cop Talk - a blog written by a police officer . His unusual perspective on life (at least for us in the blogging world), sense of humor and technical savvy make this one worth visiting..

"If you can't say something good about someone, sit right here by me."
Alice Roosevelt Longworth

Thursday, December 25, 2003

Bush Jokes

Rate My Kitty

The Best of Alt. Bitterness ( hey, fun for ME, not necessarily for NORMAL people..)

The Brick Testament (the entire Bible illustrated by Lego characters; one might ask WHY? , but still, quite an achievement!)

A Super Intelligent Forum Exchange!

Embarassing Moments ..people share their most..

Get Your War On! ..this has become a classic comic..

A Very Silly Thing, beggars description

Kaz Comix

USS Catastrophe

Team Alternator

Art Comics

Dark Hotel

Well done Flash by J. Bradley Johnson

The Comic Journal - fans of the genre need to bookmark this one! For a holiday treat, this page has an hour of interviews with one of my heroes, R.Crumb, in .mp3 files!

Italian Portal to a universe of comics and related art! Just scatched the surface myself, but I know I'll be spending time in this one!

And finally, a Pbase gallery for Maarten, as food and photography are well blended here!

"The trouble with the rat race is that even if you win you're still a rat."

Lily Tomlin


Good integration of pics and travel writing here.. links at bottom to other journeys..


Deviant Art don't let the name scare ya, whatever this started as, it's now a huge online community with everything from the bizarre to the staid.. well worth exploring!


Medieval Internet Sourcebook , essential resource for history buffs..

Knights Templar - website run by magazine, but lots of nice stuff here..


Oh by the way. when I posted the Catalan Culture blog link, I should have posted this VERY excellent one, Puerta del Sol..


..for those whose holiday celebrations have taken a Rabelaisian turn..

First, get your definitions straight!

Then explore History of Whisky site..

Here's a worshipful link on the subject! (other spirits at top..)

OK, two great sites in French: whisky taster; mes whiskys

Now, Scots in depth!

and Irish..

Finally, check the author's name here; he should have stuck with drinking!

"I have taken more out of alcohol than alcohol has taken out of me."

Winston Churchill

Wednesday, December 24, 2003

All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet :"The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel"--which means, "God with us." Matthew 1:23

May the joy of this season be felt by all who visit here!

Bethlehem , where it all began...

A Theory on the 'Star'







And a whole bunch more..


a Pbase gallery. These guys would scare me inside, till they left town..


The famous newspaper editorial; other sites have this in nicer graphics, but this includes a bit more bio of Frank Church and Virginia..


Great Grinch Site

..and The Song

Back with more tomorrow!

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

..ah, the humble accordion. I remember , in the days of my youth, the 'hierarchy of coolness' in instruments. The guitar players, the drummers, maybe the saxophonists at the top. And me, WAY down the list, carrying around my trombone...But, I despaired not - as long as there was a fat girl, or a recent Greek immigrant kid ,condemned to play the accordion, the uncoolest of instruments, I was safe..

Of course, I was wrong about this, like most things. The Greek immigrant kid is now a tenured Professor of Music Theory at a local college, and the fat girl plays in an avant-garde ensemble which regularly tours Europe...(and I sold my trombone for drugs in the late '80's, and now play the kazoo..)

Accordions.Com all you need, really. If it's not there, they link to it.. hey, they play these suckers EVERYWHERE!

History of the Accordion

In huge chunks of the US, accordions mean 'polkas'! Polka Web will more than satisfy you with them, including many sound files.

And, especially for Maarten (..turn those speakers WAY UP) the Polka Pigs!


I've never wanted to dive headfirst into the self-referential "blogging subculture". It seems some folks spend all their time playing "you scratch my blog, I'll scratch yours" to the detriment of any other content. Anyway, Maarten is enough, he's 'high maintenance'..

However, there ARE many blogs I DO enjoy, and felt it was about time I credited a few here. I don't AGREE with all these folks, espouse their politics, religion, causes, or whatever. But each, in some way, has either amused me, educated me, inspired me, or just given me an honest window into someone else's worldview, which is the great potential of this medium..

Catalan Culture ..name says it all..

Venezuelan News and Views Daniel comments astutely on politics and happenings there..

Blue Sessions ..a guy faithfully and often hilariously documents his attempts to start a porn production company..

Tine is a Belgian housewife and mother (writing in English) who just blogs about the events of her life. What makes this worth reading is her balanced personality and her tremendous skill at the graphical and other technical aspects of blogging. It's a visually appealing blog, and moreover, contains numerous links to her PBase photo galleries, so you can see the people and places she's talking about..

Merde in France OK, I find this amusing! Please, my newly loyal French visitors, don't take this the wrong way, I love you guys! I mean Pascal, Huysman, Truffaut, Manet, where would we be without them? And the fromage! And the vin! ..but it's still funny..:)

I Wanna Be a Spiritual Guru ..I had to include this one. Painfully honest (at times) journal of one person's struggle towards spirituality, of the '12 Step genre' . Although I've embraced a different theology myself, I can SO relate to this kind of process, having been there..

Blogging seems huge in Brazil, judging by the number that appear in the Blogger "newly updated" section. Here's 2 interesting ones. Watch an extremely cute baby girl grow up, or enjoy this guys' raunchy sense of (visual) humor. Your choice..

Pamela's Blog - she's got all the bells and whistles!

Purple Pen - Canadian, Quebec, in English but has "Francophone links" (for any of you guys still with me after 'Merde in France'..)


The Netherlands (I expect to be told if this is good..)

Jals Galleries ..don't need to be told, this guy IS good!


Peggie's Place is a labor of love, one of the finest Christian sites I've seen, and she's provided a great Christmas Page

"God is love, and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him."

1 John 4:16 (KJV)
Monday, December 22, 2003

Well, Maarten sent me along a few links to circus related stuff, thinking apparently they'd fit better here. So I'll post them, and then sink deeper into some sideshow freak stuff of my own!

Roddy Circus

Old Circus Postcards

Circus World Museum

Circus Web

Sideshow Central Great starting point to explore this subculture..

The following links all have some connction to Gibsonton, Florida. A MOST unusual retirement community..

Freak Show, by Cliff Bostock

The Trade Festival

William Burkhart (nice write-up upon his death at age 94)


Oh yes, Maarten also requested I pass on these links about Julius, a talented kid from the Nairobi slums who was given a camera by Dutch TV, and has "taken off' with it.. Julius 1 ; Julius 2


The Movie

The Weirdo Press


Robert Locke's Article

Derrida at Hebrew University of Jerusalem

hey, I don't HAVE to present a fair and balanced view! It's MY Blog! And I REVEL IN my presuppositions and biases!



Minimalist Works by Robert Plant (..I don't know, ask him..)


"It is better to be violent, if there is violence in our hearts, than to put on the cloak of nonviolence to cover impotence."

Mohandas K. Gandhi
Sunday, December 21, 2003

Institute for Linguistic Research nice site from the University of Texas..

Omniglot - really excellent site on every type of writing system, including some undeciphered ones (see Old Elamite, above..)

Old Church Slavonic Institute - nice site from Zagreb, Croatia

Learn Old Norse Online come on, you KNOW you want to..


..just the 'heavies' today, good starting points..

African Wildlife Foundation

East African Wildlife Foundation


African Wildlife Resources - plans to be internet resource for links on this topic,still a work in progress, but many good links already up..


Anime is one of those things which appeared and evolved to maturity, indeed, became an entire subculture, while I was not paying attention. However, I stay young by not giving up on this stuff..:)

Acid ArtRadish


Altar Girl



"All knowledge is of itself of some value. There is nothing so minute or inconsiderable that I would not rather know it than not."

Samuel Johnson

Saturday, December 20, 2003

I love art by kids. I'm not being condescending, or sentimental. Unburdened with a million artistic conventions and inhibitions, their work often says something in a bold and direct way, that adults affecting a 'primitif' style just can't match. Here are a few places to view some:

Natural Child



An opposing view: MaddoxRules ..and OK, Mr. Maddox, if you 'reverse link' and get here, I'll confess, I split a gut laughing. Enough to recommend your whole site..


Alison Kraus - this 'newgrass/country' artist has a beautiful voice, plays a fantastic fiddle, is a gifted songwriter, and is backed by the best musicians in the genre. Oh yeah, she's gorgeous too..


Providence Art Scene centered here

Bethany Hamilton - 13 year old surfing champ, attacked by shark; inspiring story of her indomitable faith and spirit

Scary Squirrels - and "lovey" has the scariest page..

Speaking of scary - Serious Ghost Studies and Pics

Historic Asylums - this is an excellent site; I have always been fascinated by the architecture and culture of these huge institutions, which have passed out of vogue now that it's considered better to use medication and integrate the mentally ill into the community ( My view - much better, IF the sufferers are truly provided with a caring and capable support network. To be homeless, frightened, alone and raving is NOT an improvement..)

"How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a naughty world."



A little variety pack to start my day, more later on..

(..and if you like breakfast cereal characters such as the good Captain Crunch , find many more here )


The Dental History Timeline

..or, if your teeth aren't all that they should be, you can invoke St. Appolonia..


..maybe the Jains can help..

Or maybe you need to confess that shameful thing you did yesterday...


..look up those urban legends before repeating them!


..heal a frog..

..save a rare pine tree..

..or even enable a person..

"There's small choice in rotten apples."

Friday, December 19, 2003

It was most gratifying to read Dave's comment on the subject of translation. Dave translates Russian scientific stuff for a living, but is also a poet, so he knows a bit about it all! He kindly shared the url of his poetry , which I found to be very moving and well worth a visit. He said we 'bloggers' are welcome to use it, etc., but of course I know that we will all remember to give credit where it's due..

I enjoy doing this blog in and of itself; however, a contribution such as this REALLY makes my day...THANKS,DAVE!


A little History of the Harpsichord

Hear the Sounds of Different Historical Harpsichords at this site..

Wanda Landowska was the towering figure in the 20th century harsichord revival..

Interesting article on various harsichord approaches to Bach's Well Tempered Clavier

Harpsichords Unlimited is the website of a NYC ensemble..


..each with lots of freshly whipped cream (not out of a can or plastic tub!)

Pecan Pie : Emeril Lagasse's version ; Machine Shed version

Grapenut Pudding a dessert loved by Swamp Yankees


Images From the Rim

"Conceit is the finest armor a man can wear."

Jerome K. Jerome

Thursday, December 18, 2003

A few personal sites, all have stills, some have short excerpts from their work in video formats..

Joost Rekveld

Pixie Vision

Usama Alshaibi

Rohesia Hamilton Metcalfe

And, a great starting point for web resources on Stan Brakhage


Here is the official website for the Rhode Island tribe.. They have been in the news recently; disgruntled by their inability to get a tribal casino built in Rhode Island, they decided to assert their sovereignty by selling tax free cigarettes on tribal land. ( $15.00 a carton as opposed to $50.00 or so elsewhere). They had cars lined up for miles, purchasing them, but the RI State Police soon stormed in, in a rather excessive action..the lawsuits are now in the courts, read about it all here




Found an interesting place on the web devoted to the culture and languages of the Low Countries..Even info on the dialects of Dutch, Frisian, etc..


Brian O'Neill's PBase Gallery Call me a philistine, but I like 'em..

Well, I've been informed by Maarten that my choice of an article on Max Havelaar last night was unfortunate, as the author (Pramoedya Anante Toer ) was guilty of varied nasty acts as Minister of Culture in Sukarno's government. Oh well, leave it to me. Maybe Ed Meese wrote on Melville, and Maarten will inadvertantly link to it someday..



Canary Islands (in Spanish)



Ulster I find this site a fascinating and admirable one. Looks to a "3rd way" - an Ulster which accepts its own identity, seperate from both the UK and the Irish Republic..

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

In Maarten's Blog today (see link to right) he discussed the difficulty of translating Max Havelaar into English, or any other language, I assume. It got me thinking about the concept of translation. First off, I must confess to sharing the faute americaine of linguistic ineptitude (haha). I can read a few romance languages, order a beer in half a dozen, and flirt and negotiate a drug deal (..er, not any more, but I could!) in Spanish. Other than that, I'm limited to English.

There are strange advantages along with the obvious disadvantages to such a limitation. For example, I have heard it said that manyl of the greatest poets have been monolingual. Perhaps being tied to one idiom forces one to push at the boundaries of expression in new ways, taking hold of that area between the borders of coherent thought that one could otherwise bridge by jumping into a different language altogether..

En tout cas (haha again, I'll fire my whole arsenal here, if I'm not careful..) I'm sure no matter what our native tongue might be, each of us can think of works of literature that seem impossible to translate. Yet the fact remains that they are, and occasionally with glorious results. I believe this only occurs when the translator, in his own way, is as great an artist as the original writer - peculiarly gifted in the nuances of both tongues, yet self-effacing, willing to let the soul of the author pass through him to the reader. Much as a great conductor can bring a musical work from another place and time to life for a new generation of listeners..

So, want to know which Dutch works have been most translated? Go here..

Read about the problems of translating Alice in Wonderland into Dutch..

And, see several English translations of Dutch poems, alongside the originals..

Nice article on The History of Translation..

The story of The King James Version

Translating Laozi (..or Lao Tzu)

"The limits of my language mean the limits of my world."

Ludwig Wittgenstein

Tuesday, December 16, 2003
..just one topic tonight, been a long day out..


We often will excuse much in poets; they are expected to be eccentric, occasionally insane and sometimes criminal. However, Pound's transgressions passed the point of excusability: a rabid anti-semite, he made anti-American broadcasts in the service of the Fascist government in Italy during WWII. After the war, he was charged with treason, but deemed mentally incompetant to stand trial, and committed to a mental institution (St. Elizabeths) where he remained for 12 years.

Yet Pound also wrote some of the greatest, and certainly most ambitious, poetry of the 20th century. Here are a few links exploring this enigma of a man, and his work.

A selection of his poems

Canto 1 , with link to audio file of Pound reading it..

Canto LXXXI with excellent use of hypertext to elucidate it..

Critical Essay by Donald Lyons

Pound: Traitor/Poet

What did Pound really Say?

The poet Elizabeth Bishop penned the poignant "Visits to St. Elizabeths" about him..

"O woe, woe,
People are born and die,
We also shall be dead pretty soon
Therefore let us act as if we were
dead already."

Ezra Pound "Song in the Manner of Housman"

Monday, December 15, 2003

Wombat Facts

More Wombats

Bilingual Wombats

Northern Hairy-Nosed Wombats


Early Subway Tunnels

Abandoned Subway Stations

Holland Tunnel

3rd Water Tunnel


Sussex Castles

Ireland Photo Gallery


Roman Catacombs Official Site

Roman Catacombs, another site

Palermo - Mummified Remains


Creepy the Clown

Porn Clown Posse

Evil Clown Generator (fantastic, most fun I had today...)

"Life is a long lesson in humility."

James Barrie

Sunday, December 14, 2003

Finland's Greatest Composer

Sibelius - good site, with essays by Stokowsi and Ormandy

Essay on Virtual Finland Site

Sibelius Museum

Decade by Decade Biography (with pictures)

The Monument , by Eile Hiltunen


When one is diehard 'websurfer' , you pick up a lot of junk on your PC, and navigate some nasty terrain of pop-ups, cookies, JS ExceptionExploits, and downright 'bad code'. So I certainly find it necessary to do routine maintenance and cleaning, and I recommend the same to any don't already do so. I am sharing here a few tools that I have used, both on my Windows 98, and my current XP. Can't say much for Mac or Linus folks, but again, feel free to share info in the comments section if you're so inclined.. Links are to download pages, will not start download themselves..

Window Washer This, unlike what follows, is shareware, not freeware, with a 30 day trial ( though there are ways around that, nod,nod, wink, wink). However, I find it an excellent way to clear the browser cache, history, cookies and so on, as well as other options you can decide upon.

SpyBot Search and Destroy ,and Adaware are both excellent programs to remove 'spyware' and various other 'pests' from your system. You'll probably be surprised what they find, first time you run them! I used to use Adaware, switched over to Search and Destroy..however, Maarten has found some advantages to using both of them..

XEN is a little program, no frills, written by a geek, that will truly enable you to clean junk from your system other programs don't even go near. I run it monthly. One warning: be sure to follow the prompts, reading them carefully if you do the "spring cleaning" option, as the writer is a hardcore minimalist, and if you don't pay attention, Xen will remove things you want to keep!

Starter is found about halfway down this page, right above 'Startup Manager' which is supposedly about equally good. What this will do is give you more information and control over the various processes running on your system. I use it in conjunction with this list of tasks, to find out what each is process is.. Starter is particularly handy in controlling those programs which automatically register themselves to run at startup, even when you hardly ever need them. It provides a way to disable this, without having to go into Regedit yourself..

Zonealarm - free firewall, nothing better! I've uninstalled ones I paid for ...er, SOMEONE paid for..and put this back in!

Finally, one program I am not currently suing myself. AVG Anti-Virus is freeware, and from all accounts, including the experience of personal friends, it is as effective as the "big names". I just happen to be using Norton because it was part of a package I installed - if you're not protected against virii , give it a try..

"..the moral flabbiness born of the exclusive worship of the bitch-goddess 'Success'. That - with the squalid cash interpretation put on the word success - is our national disease."

William James (in letter to H.G.Wells, 1906)


A few sites from or about the Balkan nations. The politics and history of these nations being so complex and bitterly contested, I make no pretense to having a fair and balanced selection of links here - it is merely what I've found recently, in English. As I've noted a few Balkan visitors here lately, you are more than welcome to post comments or links to additional web resources in the "comments" area below..

Modern Balkan History - 25 Lectures

Remembering and Inventing

The Indomitable Balkan Soul

Modern Balkan Revisionism

Bringing Down a Dictator (PBS)

Serbian Epic Poetry

Milorad Pavic

Croatian Fairy Tales (award winning flash animation site)

Romanian Folk Dance and Costumes

Albanian Music Portal (listen to Albanian songs, and much more - works very well, good connectivity..)

Contemporary Arts Center (Skopje,Macedonia)

Slovenian Alps

Central Balkan National Park (Bulgaria)

"Peace is not an absence of war, it is a virtue, a state of mind, a disposition for benevolence, confidence, justice."

Benedict de Spinoza

...a few MORNING FINDS, will be back later!

Depression Art Gallery

Australian Wines Review Forum

Adventures of a Porn Video Clerk (free lance writer reduced to working in video store, renting porn tapes..)

Nice Reptile Photos

Stradiveri Society

National Museum of Music (US)

Saturday, December 13, 2003

... guess I'm just carried away with seasonal spirit...

Black Death

Insecta Inpecta





Hecker - The Black Death and the Dancing Mania

Effect on Art

Blaming the Jews

Can Happen Again..




A very useful site, listing bank holidays by country.. find out which days your international webfriends will be especially drunk by noon!


Afrol has news, links by nation and much more. They're testing a new server, seems to be going well..


Huge archive of advertising images in hundreds of categories, from the last century. A 5 star site!


Just a couple, will do it in depth one of these days..

French Revolution

Contemporary British Newspaper Accounts

"A committee is a cul-de-sac down which ideas are lured and then quietly strangled."

Barnett Cocks


I prepared this whole post a few hours ago, replete with witty, incisive and thought-provoking commentary. It was a masterpiece of the blogging art. Then I published it at the exact second Blogspot went down, and lost the whole thing. So, as it is foolish to try to replicate greatness of that sort, I'll just post the same links, and you can form your own opinions!


Russian Empire

Catherine Desmars

Vincent Crudelle (weird, good)

British 9 & 10 Year Old Kids Photograph Architecture

Tribal Photos

Stereoscopy (in German, some vintage erotica for those disappointed in the scarcity of smut here..)

Macrophotography (in French)

Animal Exploitation (disturbing photos, you've been warned)

Jacob Holdt (powerful, though one-sided photographic indictment of America by Dane)



Saudi caves; UK caves; Slovenian caves:

"Cynicism is an unpleasant way of saying the truth."

Lillian Hellman

Friday, December 12, 2003

The Travellers (their preferred appellation) or "Tinkers" (as they are generally called by 'outsiders') are a small but culturally significant population in Ireland, who practice a lifestyle similar to Gypsies, though they are not of Romany stock. Here are some sites devoyed to them..

Their Own Site


More On Travellers

And More


..searching on the word "tinkers" I found some other good stuff!

Dutch Gypsy Horses (in Dutch, small English page link at top)

Japanese Manga (I think it's manga, never learned the difference bewteen that, hentai, and other words that are used- if you can educate me on this, please do in comments below!)

A French Irish Music Site (free .mp3 downloads here)

A thoughtful essay on the internet

..and finally, reasons why Ireland is the most interesting place in the world right now..


Chico Mendes

An E-Text : Fritz W. Up de Graff, Headhunters of the Amazon

Native Web - wonderful site devoted to concerns of indigenous peoples (might have posted this one before, but worth a repeat)


5 Worst Christmas Movies (very subjective, choose your own!)

Worst Christmas Gifts (people posting their own worsts..)

Worst Santa Study(..but clever, I must admit..)


Famous Canadians

Arctic Dawn (virtual tour,a journey of Samuel Hearne)


I know I'm in the minority today when I say that I consider Mann's visionary novel,set in a Swiss tuberculosis sanitarium , the greatest literary work of the 20th century, and one of the most profound of all time. But I do. This essay is very well done, though it really only taps into one aspect of this monumental masterpiece..

"We have to believe in free will. We've got no choice."

Isaac Bashevis Singer

Thursday, December 11, 2003

Denver Underground - art, poetry, much more..

Thomas Love Peacock - highly individual 19th century author, full texts and more at this site..

Whole Tone Scale - favorite of Debussy


Few are aware that 2 classic American foods, Kellog's Corn Flakes , and Graham Crackers, were created by 19th century crackpots who felt masturbation was responsible for the decline of civilization as we know it..

Food for Pure Thought ; Sex , Graham & Kellog ; Stay Free

Graham's House now "Sylvester's Restaurant" and here you can read Kellog Book Complete Online


Hear national anthems of the world, here (best files of these) & here (part of a very good site, however)

..and some more interesting midis - punk ska, actually - and a few mp3's here


The Simpsons

South Park


A hike in Kluane National Park , Alaska

Japanese Gardens - several albums here

South Texas Flowers and Wildlife - again, several, from one of the finest birding locales in the US..

"Every hero becomes a bore at last."

Ralph Waldo Emerson
Wednesday, December 10, 2003

This traditional instrument of Australian aboriginal peoples is enjoying a renaissance. Here are some sites to learn more about it - several contain mp3 files, so you can hear it as well..

Aboriginal Art

Charley Didge


Didgeweb ( in Dutch)


Due to the fact that historical treaties recognize Native American tribes as sovereign nations in many respects, Indians have in the last quarter century found a financial bonanza through casinos on tribal lands. A thoughtful selection of essays on this phenomena is here


A few diverse..

Wake Island

Boricua (Puerto Rican Culture)

St. Pierre et Miquelon (..a bit of France in North America; site in French, link to English information)


High Museum (Atlanta, GA)

Hunter Museum (Chattanooga, TN)

Parrish Museum (Southampton, Long Island NY)

RISD Museum (Providence, RI - walk past this one daily, visit when I can; one of premier design schools in world, girls had purple hair here 3 years before it hit the malls..)

Tiger Tail Virtual Museum - great web concept, splendidly carried out. Bookmark it!


Maarten (his blog linked at top right) and I are planning to start a "cooperative" link blog, in addition to keeping up our own sites. We are looking for a few other kindred spirits to join us in this venture. If you're a websurfer yourself with a variety of interests, and would like to hear more : EMAIL MATT

"We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time."

T.S. Eliot "Four Quartets:Little Gidding"

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

Although most cinephiles have never considered him an artist of the first rank, Browning directed two films, "Dracula", and "Freaks", which still maintain their hold on fans. More on Browning, still more, more "Freaks"..


Wildflowers ..poignantly photographed..

Asheville Area (Smoky Mountains, North Carolina)

Cartoons (originals by Michael Cappozola ,very good!)


Walt was a poet I loved at 12, scorned at 20, and am now appreciating in a new way...with all his faults, excesses and quirks, he embraced life in the true Villonesque manner..

Walt Whitman Archive - the biggest and best site..

Long Island's Whitman - includes "tour" of his native ground..

Reminiscences by Trowbridge - fascinating article in 1902 Atlantic Magazine..

More Whitman Still More

..ok, it's a short selection tonight, but I will leave you with a passionate denunciation (in poor English) of "Italian Doctors Who Smoke"...

"Whatever crushes individuality is despotism, by whatever name it may be called."

John Stuart Mill

Monday, December 08, 2003

Several sites devoted to these nautical naughties..

Pirates Info



Spanish main

Bibiography (excellent listing of books in English for serious researchers..)

Modern Day Piracy


Blues Online is a megasite which will lead to all eras and styles

The Zen of the Blues

A rather contoversial view of Blues Origins

Adam Gussow wrote a great book on the Blues entitled "Seems Like Murder Here"



Blathering Idiots


United States


Northern Ireland (about half are dead links, but a Google search should find you live ones, if they exist. )




..I'll have to come back to this one again, there's so much out there! Seems every region of the world proudly displays it's batrachians online..

Hear some here







A Japanese Guy's site, many other beasties too, and fun English from an online translator..

The Cane Toad

..and finally, a nice kid's site..

"The great pleasure of a dog is that you may make a fool of yourself with him, and not only will he not scold you, but he will make a fool of himself too."

Samuel Butler

Sunday, December 07, 2003

The art of 'clowning around' is indeed an ancient and noble one. See for yourself..

Fools as Mythbearers

Medieval Jesters


Russian Fools

More Jesters


Though parts of this site are commercial, it contains many excellent articles and galleries as well..






..in finding the above pages, I was struck with the debt we owe to Japanese music lovers for their diligence in cataloging, and in hosting these sites. It is a often stated axiom in the American jazz community that many great artists of the genre would have starved were it not for the enthusiasm of Japanese fans; it seems they support Western classical music in as wholehearted a manner..

So here's a PBASE ALBUM dedicated to them: Kyoto

..and while I'm at it, here's a wonderful bunch of albums of American Autumn Colors


When I read this page, a warm feeling of nostalgia - and a fit of laughter - overtook me. Like the author's, MY mother was a wonderful woman, deeply missed - but no cook! In fact, I wondered if my brother had a pseudonym, so accurately did this guy describe the meal!

As I ventured into the 'great big world' , I sought most of all to escape her culinary straitjacket. No food was too spicy, too exotic, too 'unlike Mom's' for me to try. Strangely, as I plummet into middle age, I find myself delighted when I get the chance to have a meal such as the "NE Boiled Dinner" again - and fortunately, there are some folks who can cook it fairly palatably, as evidenced here..


Simply wonderful site here

It led me also to these sites on the:

Treasures of Mount Athos , and

Medieval Bulgarian Manuscript Treasures


Rlyeh! ..lots of "flash" ,sound, graphics. An experience..


Another one of the reprobates who wound up in colonial Rhode Island, Ann has become something of a 'poster girl' for present day feminists..

Record of her Massachusetts Trial

..and, if you wonder what she advocated that was so bad, well ,read here

"The Irish don't know what they want and are prepared to fight to the death to get it."

Sidney Littlewood

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