Extreme Web Surfs!
Monday, May 31, 2004
 
UNRELATED STUFF

Unsolved Codes from throughout the ages..

Duck Dementia - a bizarre, serious looking site from Germany that features great works of art transformed into duck stuff..

Some Nice Flash:

Beatles "Come Together"

Youth of Britain "Chill Out" - featuring the Veitch kitten. On a motorcycle..

Click Walk through Norwegian Cities! (excellent idea and execution)

African Americans in US Military History

Archaeology of the American Arctic

A Silent World - cemetery site, claims to be the world's best. ( Nope, Beth's is better!) Still, particularly enjoyed browsing the epitaphs..

The Culture of Beauty

Speaking of beauty, one of the more surprising claims made by Dutchmen is that their sky is somehow better than evryone elses. Yes, their sky! Claim that's why the Dutch masters painted such nice landscapes, etc. Well, never having been there, I can't say for sure. But, some admirable photography here tends to buttress their argument! Sunsets might be a 'dime a dozen' , but these galleries include some of the finest I've seen..

Classic Anatomy Illustrated Texts, Online

Design Your Own Cereal Box! Nice PBS kids site, shows them how advertisers manipulate them..

Knowledge is of two kinds: We know a subject ourselves, or we know where we can find information about it.
Samuel Johnson
Sunday, May 30, 2004
 
2ND PUNIC WAR



Having a bit more time on my hands this long weekend, I've picked up a classic I never got around to reading before, Livy's History of Rome (the books dealing with the 2nd Punic War). Lest it sound like I'm putting on intellectual airs, I might add that I was once a voracious reader, but like many of us, I have been seduced by the allure of cyberspace, and now make much less time for it than I should.

In any case, just reading the introduction, I saw an interesting analogy between Liviy and our own dedication of the WWII Memorial yesterday. Livy was writing at a time when Rome had begun it's long decline into excess and decadence. A true Roman patriot, Livy looked back at this war, fought a few centuries earlier, as the highpoint of Roman virtue. For him, the good guys and bad guys were obvious, and the citizenry joined together to make sacrifices that all felt were worth making. Like WWII; unlike the wars since..

The best site, overall, on the web dealing with Carthage, Hannibal, and the Punic Wars is this one. Many resources here.

A bit more on Carthage here, including a debate on whether they engaged in child sacrifice..

This site is devoted to Hannibal himself, and calls him the greatest military commander in history. Arguable, but even Livy can't hide his grudging admiration. At Cannae, Hannaibal executed THE classic double envelopment, the Holy Grail of strategists ever since. The Schlieffen Plan, blueprint for German strategy in WWI, hoped to replicate it. It was watered down before being put into effect, so we'll never know if it would have succeeded..

Most who know little else of this war will have heard something about Hannibal crossing the Alps with elephants..

VARIOUS

OK, my day wasn't ALL serious. Found a few other things..

Spank Bush (not a political statement, I'd rather spank Kerry myself. But the site is cool!)

Ginsburg reading list - for a course he taught on the literary history of the Beat generation at the Naropa Institute

M.C.Escher Art

The Duncan YoYo Company maintains a nice site..

Finally, few people can equal punk rocker G.G.Allin for being a truly vile human being. His music sucked, he was a social deviant of the first order, racist, perverted, mean.. but he WAS authentic. Here's some pics..

In difficult and hopeless situations the boldest plans are the safest.
Titus Livius
Saturday, May 29, 2004
 
VARIOUS



Did you know that in most places, cows 'moo' , or something simlar, but in Bangladesh, they 'HAMBA!' ? Or that dogs go 'wang wang' in Chinese? Well, you can learn these essential facts and much more at the Georgetown University Animal Sounds page. One of my faves..

SpaceWeather has all kinds of info for astronomy buffs.

As we prepare for Memorial Day, this gallery of D-Day Beaches and Cemeteries is a poignant reminder of what it's really about..

Girls With Guns - heck, if you're into it, here it is. I never felt they needed 'em. I go willingly..

Two nice galleries of drawings: Andrea Cuevas, & Bal

Adversity is the state in which man mostly easily becomes acquainted with himself, being especially free of admirers then.
Samuel Johnson
Friday, May 28, 2004
 
CUCKOO CLOCKS AND TIME



Make Your Own

Or Fix the one you've got..

Cuckoo Land UK

German Museum

U.S. Museum

Dutch Museum



Cuckoo Clock Logic Puzzle

And One For The Kids

What Time IS it? Simple site; more complex, round the world site..

Biblical Concept of Time

Time in Hindu Mythology

Analysis of Nargajuna's Concept of Time (Buddhist/Philosophical)

Sergei Meyen's Concept of Time (..a paleobotanist)

Hitoshi Kitada gives good summary of 'time' in physics

I'd post more, but I'm running out of time.. (groan)

To live is so startling it leaves little time for anything else.
Emily Dickenson
Thursday, May 27, 2004
 
HOOTERS & BLOGGING

Well, I must confess, I engaged in a bit of an experiment this morning. I had, innocently enough, included a link to a photo album of 'Biker Chicks With Big Hooters'. Hey, it was good PHOTOGRAPHY! Well, before work, tired of seeing low hit counts, I promoted the blog in a few 'large breasts' newsgroups. And, lo and behold, I've had my most visitors ever! So, 'sex' defeats even 'death and gore' in the polls, folks..

Don't worry, I'm not about to change my focus. But out of gratitude and hospitality to the recent arrivals, here's 3 more PBase sites of Biker babes:

Photomad's Girls

Bike Week 2002

Girls of Daytona

OK, I'm a 'sell-out', a 'hits whore' etc. But I've gotta have SOME fun to keep doing this - sheesh, I've only got one comment all week from you intellectuals..

VIRTUAL TOURS

Durham Cathedral and Castle

The rest are of the 'panoramic' kind. Require java (or in some cases, Quicktime) but I really enjoy moving these things around..

New York City

Helsinki

National Gallery of Art Van Gogh Exhibition

Dismal's Canyon

"Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth."
Oscar Wilde
Wednesday, May 26, 2004
 
PHOTO GALLERIES

OK, it's the middle of the week, no one feels like thinking too hard. So let's look at some nice photos!

French Alps

Algau Alps

Rock Carvings in the Alps

Snakes

Albino Snakes 1

Albino Snakes 2

Hannah the English Bulldog (super cute..)

Musical Instruments

Theremins

..and finally, for those who wonder why they came here tonight, Texas Biker Chicks with Big Hooters..

Instead of promoting freedom and democratic principles, our government seemed to believe in any strugle with evil, we could not compete effectively unless we played by the same rules or lack of rules as the evildoers.
Jimmy Carter (1983)
Tuesday, May 25, 2004
 
MONGOLS - PAST AND PRESENT



'Ghenghis Khan' ; 'The Golden Horde' - the names still resonate in our collective imagination. Symbols of fierce, brutal, barbarian conquerors. But is this accurate? Yes, the Mongols were warlike; yes, they could be brutal. But they also exhibited military and political genius of the highest order.. They have had an impact on world history - from China through the Middle East and into Europe - that has perhaps been unequalled by any other people. Let's look at them from a variety of perspectives, then take a brief look at Mongolia today..

Mongols.com - a good starting point..history AND present day stuff..

The Realm of the Mongols - exciting site which views the Mongols in an extremely positive, indeed spiritual light..

Mongols in World History from Columbia University..

More History, this site has great charts and timelines..

Mongols in China

And one more history site, very well done by Carol Keller

Three nice museum exhibits of art and artifacts:

Reclaiming Ghenghis Khan - U Penn exhibit

From Edmonton Alberta

From LACMA

Have they found Ghenghis Khan's burial site?

Women in Mongol Society (surprisingly, pretty advanced until they began to be influenced by the Chinese and Islamic societies they 'conquered')

Early Christian Europe and the Mongols ( er, no, they ain't Prester John, guys..)

Moving on to more recent times, this article deals with alleged Chinese genocide in Inner Mongolia..

Mongolia Today - intersting online magazine

Mongolia Photo Galleries

Lonely Planet on Mongolia

For those like me who considered Mongolia a very backward place, this Flash Site was a bit of an eye-opener! Someone in Ulan Bator can design websites..takes a minute to load, but well worth it..

Yet Mongolia is not without serious social problems, as this page on the Underground Children of Ulan Bator illustrates..

Revenge is profitable, gratitude is expensive.
Gibbon
Monday, May 24, 2004
 
MONDAY SLACKER POST

..just a few..

Are you logical? It's not too late!

Boids - important early simulation project. Read the science, or just trance out..

Wine History

If you're looking for links to anything nautical, look no further!

2 Nice PBase Galleries - Croatian Islands, & Beetles

To hell with reality! I want to die in music, not in reason or in prose. People don't deserve the restraint we show by not going into delirium in front of them. To hell with them!
Celine
Sunday, May 23, 2004
 
SOME LONELY PLACES



'L'enfer c'est les autres', says Sartre. 'Hell is other people.' I don't know if I go that far into misanthropy. Yet as I wrap up another 'too short' weekend, and prepare to return to a small room for another five days with three people whom fate threw me together with either as a joke or a punishment, my imagination drifts towards places where one can be REALLY lonely..

Mount Elgon, Kenya's second highest, qualifies..

as does the aptly named Nullarbor Plain in southern Australia..

Going 1500 KM south, we come to the delightful MacQuarrie Island.. (this is yet another example of the truly fine websites the Australian government has set up. I've said it many times, I'm wicked impressed, and I'm no Crocodile Dundee groupie either..)

There's even a nicely functioning Webcam on the island!

Hindu Magazine somehow found the Yapashi ruins of northern New Mexico to be a great and lonely place. Thoughtful article here..

And finally, Britain's loneliest island - St. Kilda

Oh, for a lodge in some vast wilderness, Some boundless contiguity of shade, Where rumour of oppression and deceit, Of unsuccessful or successful war, Might never reach me more!

William Cowper
 
MORNING QUICKIE!

Have you checked out this years 'Webby' nominations and awards? You might not agree with it all, but it's a good look at what's considered to be quality on the web..

Is the 'War on Terorism' the right terminology? Thought provoking article by Andrew McCarthy, who was one of the prosecutors of the FIRST World Trade Center bombing..

In the Footsteps of the Famine - great project by a Pbase regular, Terry Ballard.

And, of course, he managed to fill up a gallery while over there - Springtime in Ireland..

May all have a pleasant Sunday!
Saturday, May 22, 2004
 
SPEAKING OF CICADAS!

Just a quick update: found a great PBase photo gallery on the Emergence of Brood 10!


 
CEMETERY SPECIAL



TIme for another celebration of the necropolitan world!

If you haven't visited it yet, you must start with fellow blogger Beth's superb site, Grave Addiction. And even if you HAVE been there before, you should check out her recent updates!

Cemetery Junction is a great resource, designed more for geneologists, but useful to anyone interested in cemeteries of the world..

Cape Cod Gravestones a great site which focuses on examples of the master carvers to be found on the Cape. As I mentioned to Beth in a comment yesterday, often the salty ocean air bodes ill for long term survival of the stones, and better preserved examples are to be found inland. However, as this site shows, some stones have done rather well on the Cape..

PharmCat has some great photography from British graveyards. I particularly recommend you check out the Infrared photos..

Inner Source has many nice photos from cemeteries worldwide - lots of US, but also Canada, Mexico, Netherlands, Greece..



Nice study of the Brown Family Stones in North Burial Ground, Providence's OTHER great cemetery. The Browns, perhaps the most prominant early Rhode Island family, were a fascinating mixture. Includes notorious slave traders, and Quaker philanthropists..Brown University named after them.. then click links at bottom to discover other RI Historical plots..

The Dodge Family also reside in North Burial Ground..

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission maintains a great site, devoted to their work, history and many other details.. Canada also has its own site..

There's a little piece of Germany in Staffordshire..

The mystery of Robert Emmet's grave..

Finally, we would not have these nice places to visit, were it not for our friend, Death.

"Even at our birth, death does but stand aside a little. And every day he looks towards us and muses somewhat to himself whether that day or the next he will draw nigh."
-- Robert Bolt
 
A LITTLE BUSINESS..

Have you been occasionally getting a Blogger 'url not found' message when coming here? I do myself, and it's quite frustrating. Got it at other people's blogs too, all since the recent Blogger changes. If anyone knows why this is happening or how to correct it, a word in the comments would be appreciated!
Thursday, May 20, 2004
 
DO SOME ALTERNATIVE READING

It has never been so easy to expand out understanding of issues, through reading contrasting viewpoints as it is today. The Net offers us a chance to see beyond the narrow focus of our local newspaper, probably owned by a huge conglomerate much more interested in the 'bottom line' than in the truth.. here's a few examples of alternative sources of info:

Poe News - seems pretty good - anti-authoritarian in tone, but without always coming down strictly to the 'left' or 'right'. I was pleased to see in today's issue that they had taken the BBC to task for self-censoring a documentary which included a segment on the growing problem of sexual abuse of white children by Asian males in West Yorkshire, in order to 'not inflame racial tensions'..

Privacy International . Personally, I think it's a lost cause, unless you're willing to live in the woods. But you can find all the depressing details here of HOW it's being lost..

World Net Daily - "..to the Right,Right,Right!"

Counterpunch "..and the Left, Left, Left!"

And nothing but the truth: Nexus

All men are frauds. The only difference between them is that some admit it. I myself deny it.
H.L. Mencken
Wednesday, May 19, 2004
 
VARIED!



Jade Exibition, Columbus (Ohio) Art Museum - very nice presentation..

Jade from Chinese University of Hong Kong

Metal Art Museum - in Japanese, but visual links enable one to find lots of cool art..

Florida Memory Project - exemplary state history site..

The Seminoles

Cape Cod 'Firsts' - local pride, 40 minutes from here...

Cape Cod Canal Telecam- panoramic views of this very scenic canal..

Cape Cod Railroad Bridge Website..

Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night.
Edgar Allan Poe
Tuesday, May 18, 2004
 
INDO MUSIC AND CULTURE

My friend Maarten, who spent much time in Indonesia, sent me an interesting email describing 'Indo' (mixed race; Dutch-Indonesian) culture, and particularly a style of music called krancong which was developed by them. He has been so kind as to allow me to link to a krancong zip file (not large, contains midis) on his site. Check it out, it is a unique sound!

That inspired me to look at the music, the culture, history and some related issues in greater depth.

A look at a few types of Indo Music.. and more info here..

Indo Records - an interesting company devoted to it..

A Dutch site (also in English) devoted to Indos

Another site, includes Malays as well..

November 1828 is an Indonesian film which explores the relations between and within the cultures..

Gene Express is a blog devoted to the 'verboten' topic of genetic variations among races. Dutch and post-colonial immigrants discussed here..

Aletta Jacobs was a early 20th century traveler and feminist. Her letters discussed here..

Dutch Colonial Education of Indonesian and Indo girls (pdf file)

Colonial City - great analysis of Indonesian cities in colonial era from a Leyden professor..

The Dutch have some great recipes to show for their colonial adventures..

Eurasian is the new chic!

More here..

..I have often wished I had time to cultivate modesty . . .
But I am too busy thinking about myself.

Dame Edith Sitwell
Monday, May 17, 2004
 
A BIT WEIRD AND VARIED



Roof Rats

Hamster Man

Happy Hamsters

Hamster for President

OK, those were a BIT silly. But fun. But THIS one is REALLY silly -but REALLY fun! A Proper Sendoff gives you a virtual funeral for your deceased pet.

Adam Worth was called 'the Napoleon of Crime'. Memorialized here, the full story here..

Victorian Resources for Schools . This is actually a really cool, fun site! You can play with online versions of 19th century toys here...

And for my conscience's sake, one really significant site. The National Trust (US) each year puts out a list of the 11 most endangered historic sites. This page links to the 2003 list, but to the left there's links to previous years - also sorted by state.

What other dungeon is so dark as one's own heart. What jailer so inexorable as one's self?
Nathaniel Hawthorne.

Sunday, May 16, 2004
 
BILLY WILDER



One of the greatest film directors, Billy Wilder died in 2002, at the ripe age of 95. I have already done a post on Sunset Boulevard, one of my personal favorite movies. Now let's look at Wilder and three more films in greater depth.

Here is a good overview of Wilder and his work..

An interview with the great man himself..

A tribute by Bright Lights magazine..



Double Indemnity, based on a novel by the king of 'hardboiled' writers, James Cain, is a towering classic of film noir..



"Lost Weekend" , and adaptation of Charles Jackson's novel,
is one of the greatest films about alcoholism ever made..

Read the script here..

Wilder was not all dark visions, however. He also directed some of the most hilarious comedies ever made. My favorite is 'Some Like It Hot' , which features Marilyn Monroe, as well as Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon as a crossdressing pair of gangsters on the run from mob boss George Raft..

Another review, and the script..

Shoot a few scenes out of focus. I want to win the foreign film award.
Billy Wilder
Saturday, May 15, 2004
 
LOVECRAFTIANA



As I was driving past Swan Point Cemetery tonight, on my way home from a concert in Providence, it struck me that I haven't featured its most illustrious denizen, H.P.Lovecraft, in quite some time.

Read a scholarly article about him at The Scriptorium..

Read his Works!

Sing hymns to the Great Old Ones!

Found some Lovecraft at Gaslight, which is a fascinating and laudable site in itself..


BEECHAM AND WILLAM TELL

Earlier in the day, I was able to download some performances of the great English conductor, Sir Thomas Beecham, and listen to them. You will often see quotes by Beecham on my blog, as his virtuosity was equalled by his wit. For example, here is a famous anecdote:

"During a rehearsal, he thought that his female soloist was playing less than adequately on her fine Italian cello. He stopped the orchestra and declared: "Madam, you have between your legs an instrument capable of giving pleasure to thousands, and all you can do is scratch it!"

Anyway, if you have Quicktime installed, you can hear a 1 hour and 45 minute concert of rare Beecham performances here..

What I was listening to was that famous warhorse, Rossini's 'William Tell Overture".

(You can get midi versions of that and many other classics here..)

Got me thinking about William Tell. As a child, I had a set of recordings wherein classical music was interspersed with the tales themselves. I remember thrilling to the story of Tell - but was most impressed by the evil Austrian villain, Gessler..

Schiller's play (in English) is here..

Myths and Mythmakers do an in depth study of the legend..

Tell as a tax rebel!

Try everything once - except incest and folk dancing.
Sir Thomas Beecham
Friday, May 14, 2004
 
FRIDAY SMORGASBORD



Want to buy your own Private Island?

A Medical Examiner Intern's Blog - not too frequently updated, but interesting reading, with good links to forensic kinds of stuff..not for the squeamish..

Fun Trivia Page

Television Without Pity - join this merciless crew in ripping appart TV shows, current and classic!

Gryphon's Aerie - nice artwork by Kitsume, including extensive comics work..

A Good PBase Travel Photographer The English Cathedrals gallery is very impressive..

And finally, also at PBase - Pugs Made to Look Ridiculous!

The louder he talked of his honour, the faster we counted our spoons.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thursday, May 13, 2004
 
LINKS FROM OTHER BLOGS

Something a bit different tonight: a half a dozen links taken from an equal number of 'links blogs' which I read myself. Now, I'm not talking about Brent's Blog, or Beth's Blog, or Christopher's Blog or Maarten's Blog. You folks are regular visitors, and I keep up with your blogs daily (well, Maarten's is now more of an archive, but were I less ethical, I could easily draw a month's worth of posts from it!). However, you'll see in my blogroll at the right that there are numerous other blogs I consider worth visiting. Several of these provide great links, so I'll give you a few samples.

Some of these guys have better looking blogs,with more links.They're obviously smarter, sexier, and wealthier than me. So I'm counting on your loyalty, folks, not to abandon the old Extreme Web Surfer..:) That, and the certain 'je ne sais pas quoi' that I alone possess..

I learned about this years cicada cycle at the Waterboro Library blog. This blog is unique, head and shoulders above the often pretentious pack of literary blogs..

Flags of the World Graded! Funny and insightful.. I found it at 'The Glory of Carniola' a excellent blog by an ex-pat living in Slovenia. It transcends its subject matter, as the writer is so wryly humorous, warm and informative. He jokes a lot about them, but it becomes obvious in no time that he's come to love this irascible and quirky people most of us know little about..

Mr. Picassohead is a great Flash project, and example of the wide selection you'll find daily at The Ultimate Insult. This guy knows how to comb the web for stuff he likes - and most of us will like it too!

Voting is for Old People? - a bit of social commentary found at Snarkout. Snarkout features thoughtful, link-loaded postings, usually on a single theme, of a type I greatly admire. A blog you can visit and know you'll come away having learned something..

Barbelith is a huge message board devoted to esoteric (read;subgenius) topics. Found it at Linklicht a cutting edge, part Dutch, part English, all interesting blog. This guy did me the honor of a small feature month's back!

How many of these classics of literature can you identify based upon their first lines?
Found this at 'Other Crap' , a blog whose consistent quality gives the lie to its prosaic name!

If we are to achieve a richer culture, rich in contrasting values, we must recognize the whole gamut of human potentialities, and so weave a less arbitrary social fabric, one in which each diverse human gift will find a fitting place.
Margaret Mead
Wednesday, May 12, 2004
 
VARIED STUFF



Flemish Measurers - Oxford Virtual Exhibition on Art And Mathematics..

Brag Generator - a bit ridiculous, but worth a click or two, for the truly bored!

Thai Children's Artwork - some of these are truly outstanding, this nation's graphic future is in good hands!

Gay History Links - a definitive collection of links on this subject..

DICTATORS

Parade Magazine's 10 Worst Current Dictators

More Dictators - emphasis on Latino dictators of note..

Human Remains - Jay Rosenblatt's 30 minute documentary on their 'human' sides..

2 THRIVING COMMUNES

The term now is 'intentional communities'. But both The Farm and Twin Oaks started in the hippy heyday, but have managed to negotiate a third of a century of social change . One has to really respect these folks for their commitment in making it work..

TIME TRAVEL

The Theory of Why it's Possible

A physics professor teaches us the math using two-dimensional Flatland . Cool!

And a zany Frenchman provides excellent pictures!

As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master. This expresses my idea of democracy.
Abraham Lincoln
Tuesday, May 11, 2004
 
FOOD HISTORY AND ANECDOTES



What's Cooking, America? Site with history pages on all kinds of foods.

Quartermaster Museum - Army cooking from the Civil War through the present..

Way Back! Ancient Roman recipes..

Medieval and Renaissance Recipes (among other stuff!)

A to Z of exotic foods..

Food Edge

In the Devil's Garden - a history of forbidden food and sin..

The Pineapple - as food and symbol..

Sushi Timeline

I went to a restaurant that serves "breakfast at any time". So I ordered French Toast during the Renaissance.
Steven Wright

Monday, May 10, 2004
 
BAGPIPE UPDATES!

It's a good thing I go back and check the comments from previous posts! Otherwise, I would have missed a few great links suggested by Ken to add to the piping links. Specifically, Ken suggested Bagpipe Web , run by Bob Dunsire. How I missed this one, I don't know, but it is obviously THE piping place on the web, and the links from there will take you almost anywhere. In fact, I found a link to Galician Bagpipes there, to make Maarten happy..

Ken also suggested we visit this site , and while you're in the neighborhood, I recommend a visit to Ken's Web Site. He's a piper himself, and also a guitarist, and has a really great piece of autobiographical writing there as well. Thanks, Ken!

To those who visit here, if you also can recommend a link - or many - that I overlooked on a particular subject, please do so in the comments section! You do not have to have a 'home page' or even give your email, if you prefer not to. Those who just drop by here once may do so out of curiosity or boredom, but I'm sure those who come more often have the same kind of restless, curious - even 'omniverous' - minds as I do, so don't hide your finds away, share them!

ABANDONED MINES



I'll start off this post by saying 95% of the links I found on this subject are strictly stern warnings about the extreme dangerousness of exploring - or even passing over - these relics of a pre-regulated era. A good place to start is here, to see what I'm talking about.. So, unless you are a speleologist with very expensive equipment, and professional level training - and the proper permissions - I don't advise you to try this stuff. Be an armchair explorer, like me! At least we won't end up like this..

The Bureau of Land Management has begun a huge project of reclamation for abandoned mine lands.

In Idaho, abandoned mines provide a habitat for many bats..

This organization explores Pennsylvania mines

Brian just likes to explore everything!

This guy is a bit more venal - he wants the artifacts!

Finally, though only partly 'on topic' , SubBritannica is a great site devoted to underground exploration in the UK..

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
Sunday, May 09, 2004
 
COMIC RELIEF?



OK, let's say that, inspired by my early morning Mother's Day post, you just went and spent a day in the radiant company of your family! Let's say you revived the arguments you started in the '60's, and now continue on the yearly installment plan. Let's say Uncle Ralph got drunk and was leering at your wife again. And then humilated you in an arm wrestling match. And he's 75. Let's say that Mom herself confirmed the fact that, after the lost Powerball ticket incident of 1996, YOU were the major disappointment of her life!

Or, let's say you're me, and spent the day napping, drinking coffee, watching sports on the tube and surfing the net. And have had your strong sense of conservatism shattered by seeing an entirely new Blogger interface unexpectedly thrown at you. Either way, you could use a laugh about now..

Marshmellow Bunny Survival Tests

Outrageous New Zealand Dogfood Ads!

Another Stupid Button Thing (but it was way cool in 1994, and I DO want us all to appreciate Internet history..)

Aerican Empire - one of the better micronation sites..

Care to calculate the effects of an interterrestial object landing nearby?

Does your cow have Mad Cow disease?

Garden Gnome Abuse

Disturbing Auctions

And one rather clever one - Soda Play . Can't describe, just go there. But come back, ya hear?

The biggest human temptation is to settle for too little.
Thomas Merton
 
HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY



Whistler's Mother

..or color it yourself!

Leigh Schmidt Article

The Queen Mother - hard to believe she's been gone 2 years. Nice memorial site..

Ma Barker

The Mothers of Invention!

So, any boobs out there forget their Mom this year? Well, I'm SURE she'll be mollified if you send her a NICE ECARD!

Whatever else is unsure in this stinking dunghill of a world a mother's love is not.
James Joyce
Saturday, May 08, 2004
 
BAGPIPES



Bagpipes, and similar wind instruments, may be found throughout Europe. In some areas, their use in traditional music has dwindled away, whereas in others - such as Ireland, Brittany and Scotland - there remains a strong and vibrant piping community.

Two great sites on bagpipes throughout the world are: Hot Pipes and Roots World.

The Scottish Bagpipes are the type most familiar to many of us.. here is some history

Three bagpipes dealers, with much good info, photos and many links are: Gibson, R.G. Hardie, and Culinn

How to care for your pipes!

Cops in Kilts - an outstanding website by the Chicago Police Department's Emerald Society bagpiperes and drummers..

A brief stop in Northumbria - the smallest and least known UK pipe..

The Uileann Pipes - Ireland's Glory! If you've ever listened to the Chieftains, you'll have heard these..

Differences between Scottish and Uileann pipes..

More Uileanns

And now, let's hop around Europe..

Sweden

Brittany

Germany & Austria

Macedonia

Turkey

Poland

And, an opposing view on the pipes here

I got to try the bagpipes. It was like trying to blow an octopus.
Sir Thomas Beecham
Friday, May 07, 2004
 
JUST A FEW!

The Cave Page - best on the net, so those in the know say...

2 More Great Flash Games - Escape from the Crimson Room and Try to Get Laid! (this one had me laughing so hard, I choked on a Pringle..)

If you like cats, check out these PBase galleries...

..and particularly, this 'get out your handkerchiefs' page about a deformed cat...(don't worry, it's a happy story!)

Look for a larger post tomorrow - this was my weekend indulgence..

It is requisite for the relaxation of the mind that we make use, from time to time, of playful deeds and jokes.
Thomas Aquinas
Thursday, May 06, 2004
 
GREAT LITERATURE



I'm in a highbrow mood tonight, so if you're visiting and looking for fluff - well, scroll down the page a bit!

Online Poetry Anthology - many of the classics, in nicely formatted pages..

The Nibelungenlied - English translation

..and a German site - links to original annotated manuscripts, etc..

Icelandic Sagas - dual language versions, and more..

Christiaan Staang's Dosteyevsky Research Station THE place to go online , for all your needs concerning this monumental novelist..

Essay on Horror in Literature and Film

Literature, Arts and Medicine Database - an exceptionally good resource from NYU, listing almost every major piece of literature and art with medical themes in it..

Sublime Anxiety - Online 'exhibit' on the Gothic family..

Literary works of Queen Elizabeth I (..good thing you didn't quit your day job Lizzie. Still, I don't think Bush or Blair could match you!)

G.K.Chesterton - overview here

Online text of Chesterton's 'The Everlasting Man' - Take a fresh look at Christianity , with this brilliant work as your guide..

A classic is a book that has never finished saying what it has to say.
Italo Calvino
Wednesday, May 05, 2004
 
FUN, FACTS AND FASHIONABLE FRIVOLITY


2 Great Flash Games - The Apprentice (don't get fired!) and Ant City ( very therapeutic..)

Into Diptera? The subscribe to this..

Online animals galore at The Big Zoo

A place I plan on visiting someday - The Scilly Isles

Royalty - keep up with all the news!

Ian Brennan - heraldic sculptor for the British Royal Household

Turkish and Turan History - good site, if you're interested..

Balkan Military History - fascinating stuff, I mean we're talking Vlad the Impaler ('Dracula') here..

And if you're willing to leave your comfort zone, surf past the scanty English page, and look at the awesome pictures of Hungarian castles..

'Gen. Grant habitually wears an expression as if he had determined to drive his head through a brick wall and was about to do it.'
Anonymous Union Soldier, American Civil War

Tuesday, May 04, 2004
 
A BIT OF THIS, A BIT OF THAT

In case yesterday's post seemed a bit one-sided as to 20th century Japanese history, here are two links from the Korean perspective.

Anti-Japanese Resistance in Korea

Korean Quislings

And speaking of Providence, this man, Raymond L.S. Patriarca was the most powerful man in it, when I was growing up. He is a part of history now, things have changed greatly. But back then, Providence was a MOB TOWN. He was a 'Godfather' in the classic mode. And I must confess, living a the smallest state of the union, in an era when all the industry had moved south and we didn't have much besides quahogs and Lovecraft's grave to brag about, we did feel a perverse sense of pride that the entire New England mob was run from Federal Hill. Gangsters from Boston, a city 10 times larger than Providence, would have to make weekly trips down I-95 , hat in hand, and pay fealty to Raymond just to keep breathing. In fact, unlike almost every other mafioso, he didn't even have a catchy nickname. He was not prone to laughs at his own expense, and no one thought it wise to invent one..

Now Federal Hill's Italian atmosphere is enriched by Mediterraneo , one of the finest restaurants in America. It is a favorite stop for Danny DeVito, among others, when he's in town..

Weird Crap is a great site, particularly their comics page!

Museum of Gardening

Historical Development of Japanese Gardens

The First Garden - Has Eden Been Located?

"We're not children here.The law is-how should I put it?A convenience.Or a convenience for some people,and an inconvenience for other people.Like, take the law that says you can't go into someone else's house...I have a house,so, hey, I like that law.The guy without a house-what's he think of it?Stay out in the rain,schnook.That's what the law means to him..."
Paul Castellano
Monday, May 03, 2004
 
YASUKUNI SHRINE



This beautiful Shinto shrine in Tokyo is, in fact, one of the most controversial religious monuments in the world. It was the focal point of the cult of nationalism and militarism which reached its peak during WWII. In fact, I first heard of it in a book about kamikaze pilots, who often made prayed here before their final voyages..

In 1978, the remains of 1048 'war criminals' were secretly reinterred here, where they will be indeed worshipped in perpetuity. However, before jumping to conclusions, there is evidence that the 'crime' of some of them was being on the losing side.. And Tojo hanged, as Stalin sipped vodka and tonics with Roosevelt and Churchill..

Here is the shrines home page, English version..

More information..

BBC article

A Trip to the Shrine

VARIED

Maarten has begun to put together his own website. See this menu and enjoy the clever transitions to the recipes!
Be sure to visit, so Maarten will keep on sending me fun and zany links!:)

I found a nice PBase gallery of photos from an exchange student at the RI School of Design. These pictures are all of Providence, and many are of streets I walk daily to get to work. He has done a great job capturing the flavor of the city which, like HP Lovecraft, I call home..(er, even though I don't live there. It's my spiritual home. Or something..)

Weird Science - Cold Fusion!

Celtic Computer Art - really nice site, which includes lots of free clip art. One of those very personal sites, which bring out the best in the internet's possibilities..

“Eagles may soar, but weasels don’t get sucked into jet engines.”
Anonymous

Sunday, May 02, 2004
 
TV AND BROADCASTING HISTORY



History of American Broadcasting - great set of links to single themed pages, includes radio as well..

Early Television Museum - focus is on the sets themselves..

Television Museum - a broader focus, including an oral history page ("My first encounter with television..etc..")

TV History - nice site..

Classic TV Database - all the classic shows are here!

The Comedy Zone has a year by year tv sitcom guide on this page..

The TV Single Dads Hall of Fame - amazing what a recurrent theme this is!

Watched It! A celebration of kid's tv of the past. For what it's worth, I'm from the Captain Kangaroo generation - you know, sandwiched between Howdy Doody and Sesame Street. Most of us did a lot of drugs trying to shake those images of Mr. Green Jeans..

On cable TV they have a weather channel - 24 hours of weather. We had something like that where I grew up. We called it a window.

Dan Spencer
Saturday, May 01, 2004
 
SOME SANITATION HISTORY



This is a fascinating subject, not least because ancient civilizations had very enlightened and practical provisions in the area of waste disposal, particularly human waste. Yet, this was 'lost' for over a thousand years, and Western Civilization has only recently emerged from a veritable cesspool once again..

History of Plumbing - starting in Babylon, this site covers many civilizations..

History of Toilets

More Toilet History

Medieval Sanitation - a humerous approach by a member of the Society for Creative Anachronism

However, the results were not funny - among other things, the Plague .. (from Karen Lee's fine medieval pages..)

Sanitation in Pepys' London

The Sewers of Paris

A More Analytical View of Parisian Sewers

Sewer History.Org - truly, a labor of love..

Poor Sanitation and Disease in the construction of the Panama Canal

Hygiene and Sanitation - scientific perspective

War Between Science and Theology - many of Clark's conclusions in this 1898 work are debatable, and in fact seem a bit dated today. However, there are some fascinating and perceptive chapters on the theological reasoning behind the filth on medieval streets..

"It is to be regretted that domestication has seriously deteriorated the moral character of the duck. In a wild state, he is a faithful husband.....but no sooner is he domesticated than he becomes polygamous, and makes nothing of owning ten or a dozen wives at a time."

Isabella Beeton

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