Extreme Web Surfs!
Saturday, July 31, 2004

I think my brain turns to mush, for 24 hours or so, starting on Friday afternoon..oh well, still found some nice stuff, albeit random. Just don't ask what the elephants are for.

Wildlife Pimps - worthwhile site devoted to exposing shoddy animal attractions in the US

My dad would roll over in his grave if he knew he shared a name with a radical anarchist/socialist!.

Road Rage - this site discusses the topic, allows you to report incidents, see their prevalence in your area, and take a test to see how prone you are to raging yourself!

The Dreaming Eye - Aego Yan's surrealist art..

Paranoia Magazine - bringing you the best conspiracies online...

Chosin Reservoir - site devoted to this epic and horrendous battle of the Korean War

Several excuses are always less convincing than one.
Aldous Huxley

Friday, July 30, 2004

Somehow, on Friday nights I often find myself without the usual energy to search and post. Nevertheless, I like to have SOMETHING new here, to reward your journey. So here's this week's 'lazy post'.

The Caves of Lascaux - the pinnacle of Gallic civilization...

Roman Empire - megasite, to be accurate one should note it includes much pre-Imperial stuff too..

Good site on Islamic science, philosophy during its medieval heyday..

Decameron Web - this site, maintained by the Italian Studies Department at Brown University, which I walk through daily, is a model of its kind..

Nice African Sculpture Exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

..and, while wasting time at work today, I found this fascinating collection of memories of participants in Uganda's 'Bush War' in the post Idi Amin years..

And now, a good night's rest so I can be inspired over the weekend!

If water derives lucidity from stillness, how much more the faculties of the mind! The mind of the sage, being in repose, becomes the mirror of the universe, the speculum of all creation. Chuang Tzu

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Maarten sent me this link on Maoist Propaganda Posters ; it was pretty interesting so I decided to do a whole post on the subject of 'propaganda posters. As a medium, they have been used to motivate participation in both the noblest and the most evil of causes. I will leave you to decide which is which, and just provide the links here..

I found one other good site for Chinese posters..

During the First World War, the art of the propganda poster really took off..

The Spanish Civil War was marked by great artistic efforts in poster art..

National Socialism is often one of the first things to come to mind when the word 'propaganda' is mentioned. This site, while claiming neutrality, seems a but suspect to me. I mean, if you're 'neutral' about the Holocaust, seems you're not 'neutral' at all.. Here's a more responsible study of Nazi posters, before 1933 and 1933 to 1945.

Canadian propaganda posters from WWII

Polish Posters from 1951-1957

A vast collection, though a rather confusing site, of Eastern Bloc propaganda posters..

Supposedly, some Cubans sued to have their posters taken off the above site, but someone had downloaded them and put them up here..

Posters of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict

Extreme Islamicist Posters (includes non-poster images as well, such as postage stamps..)

Through clever and constant application of propaganda, people can be made to see paradise as hell, and also the other way round, to consider the most wretched sort of life as paradise.
Adolf Hitler
Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Yesterday, I jokingly commented on Christopher's Blog that I would assemble a grim set of links for his next visit, in retaliation for a piece he wrote reminding us all of the ticking clock of mortality. So here it is! But don't take it too hard, Chris, you know I have to plumb the depths of morbidity at least once a month anyway...

Let's start with a few more serious ones. The Sociology of Death and Dying is one of the best pages on the topic..

Dr. Gail Walker is a psychologist at Alfred University who has been on the forefront of the stufy of issues relating to death and bereavement. Not long ago, she found out she has  terminal cancer herself. This open letter is not light reading, but it is loaded with wisdom, insights and spirtual hope. If you or someone close to you are in this situation, I recommend it. Also for those not afraid to look at the reality of the human condition square in the face..

On this page are letters from people claiming to have had 'Encounters with the Angel of Death'..

On a much lighter note, if you haven't visited the Stick Figure Death Theatre, you should!

Two nice cemetery sites are: Beneath Los Angeles , and this one, on Chicago cemeteries..

While on this trek, I stumbled across Anomalies Unlimited; has a death page, but also all kinds of other weirdness to check out..

Taphophobia - the fear of being buried alive. Is it well founded? Take a look at these sites..

Ghost Magazine Article

Urban Legends discusses the topic..

A Civil War soldier experienced it..

Inventors profited from it..

..and the Society for the Recovery of Persons Apparently Dead tackled the problem..

Sleep well - but not too long. Tempus fugit...

"Your lost friends are not dead, but gone before, advanced a stage or two upon that road which you must travel in the steps they trod."

Tuesday, July 27, 2004
As I occasionally like to do, I'm devoting tonight's post to links to some nice photo galleries on a variety of subjects..

Enjoy the beauty of Australian landscapes, or check out an island in northern Sweden...

If you ride the Space Shuttle , watch out for the Green Flashes!

Or if you prfer to stay earthbound, ride an unusual train..

Irish Moss - a look at the variety seen on the Canadian Atlantiic Coast..

Mushrooms, and Apples

A beautiful selection of Scottish Agates...anyone old enough to remember when 'agates' and 'marbles' were synonyms?

And finally, a great PBase gallery of wildlife Gary Hughes captured on what must have been a superb camping trip. I am particularly amazed by the moose shots. I have gone camping many times in the North Maine Woods, and seen many of these beasts. I've always creeped as close as I dared to snap a photo ( aware that these mostly docile creatures, during 'rutting' season - which I never knew the dates of - could suddenly charge and antler one to death) and be smugly sure I had a great one. Until the photo was developed and the moose was a little dot that could have been anything. Yeah, sure, Gary probably has expensive zoom lens and all, but  the great assortment he showcases here tells me he put a lot of time and stealth into getting these..

If it's free, it's advice; if you pay for it, it's counseling; if you can use either one, it's a miracle.
Jack Adams
Monday, July 26, 2004

Russian Avant Garde

Golden Age of Icons

Wassily Kandinsky

Illustrations from Russian Fairy Tales   (good stuff!)

Polish Painting Masterpieces - really nice project, over 640 works up in decent resolution image files..

Although strictly an unschooled novice in art appreciation, I enjoy it immensely. It has broadened my mind and soul. However, one thing which has broadened me much more than that is my appreciation for tasty food, so I'll finish with some nice Russian and Polish recipe sites!

Komar's Russian Recipes

Marianna's Recipes - this is a site with a bit of a twist; Marianna is a Finn of Russian heritage, and the recipes here stem from the interplay of the two cuisines..

Sharon's Polish Recipes

Bitsy's Kitchen Polish Recipes

The word 'compositon' moved me spiritually and I made it my aim in life to paint a composition. It affected me like a prayer and filled me with awe.
Wassily Kandinsky
Sunday, July 25, 2004

Arthur Schnabel (1882 - 1951) was one of the outstanding pianists of the twentieth century. Though he composed symphonies himself, in what might be termed a "post-Bartokian" style, his  piano playing eventually settled into a glorious devotion to the great triumvirate of Mozart, Beethoven & Schubert. He was the first to record the complete Beethoven Sonata cycle, and I had the good fortune to pick the set up while my 'musical ears' were still being formed. By some internal mechanism, whenever I hear a new version of a Beethoven sonata - and I've had the privilege to hear many great ones, live and recorded - it is first of all held up to the light of Schnabel's towering wisdom and genius.

There have been many pianists more proficient technically. In fact, Schnabel could be a bit clumsy at times. Yet, his minor gaffes are dwarfed by the profundity of his insight. His was SERIOUS Beethoven - not gloomy, or academic, but serious in the sense that he did his homework, and also seemed to have some sort of spiritual connection with the composer. Like Furtwangler with Wagner, he achieved moments of pure transcendence. Listen to the 'Waldstein' and you'll see what I mean..

The one really good site devoted solely to Schnabel is here. Unfortunately, it's in German only..

Jeffrey Chappell has written a nice piece on Schnabel as a teacher..

Here is an interview with Schnabel himself, in both English and German..

And here are two very good wep pages, with personal choices for the top pianists of the century, both of whom include Schnabel. The Piano Wizard , and Mark Ainley

Fellow blogger Nitedivine was nice enough to alert me to a great link site which she thought (correctly) I'd be interested in: Death and Dementia . It of course foisted an ethical quandry upon me. Do I spend a week harvesting links from there, and posting them here, pretending to have discovered them with my usual blood,sweat toil and tears? Or do I give you the main link?

Well, obviously, I chose the course of righteousness tonight. But I'm still going to share a few of my favorites that I discovered there. I'm skipping the occult/New Age stuff, as I think it's drivel, and the horror movie fansites, and many other things that are there if you're into them. You should definitely see what's available through this exhaustive resource!

The Sawney Beanes - everyone's favorite Scottish cannibal clan..

Any Dylan fans here? You probably know the words to 'Hurricane' by heart, as I do. Well, there IS another point of view, documented here..

Finnish Witchcraft Trials

 A classic bit of Americana, Alice Morse Earle's 'Curious Punishments of Bygone Days' . Bring back the 'ducking stool'!

Finally, a personal favorite, 'Hands From the Grave'  tales. Check out this nice bedtime story:

The Willful Child
Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm
Once upon a time there was a child who was willful and did not do what his mother wanted. For this reason God was displeased with him and caused him to become ill, and no doctor could help him, and in a short time he lay on his deathbed.
He was lowered into a grave and covered with earth, but his little arm suddenly came forth and reached up, and it didn't help when they put it back in and put fresh earth over it, for the little arm always came out again. So the mother herself had to go to the grave and beat the little arm with a switch, and as soon as she had done that, it withdrew, and the child finally came to rest beneath the earth.

Man, they just don't write kid's stories like they used to! No wonder Freud kept busy..
Have a great week, friends and visitors alike..

I am attracted only to music which I consider to be better than it can be performed
Artur Schnabel

Saturday, July 24, 2004

Rhode Island may be the smallest state, but along with Providence, there is a second city with a rich history, from colonial times through the present. Newport has long been known as a traditional summer stop for the rich and famous. In fact, that is where John F. Kennedy married Jacquiline Bouvier, who summered at Hammersmith Farms. And, interestingly, where a young John Kerry met Kennedy..

But Newport's history begins long before that. In fact, it started when Ann Hutchinson, who has been covered here in depth, was kicked out of Boston for her antinomian views, and led the first settlers to Aquidneck Island. This early quest for religious freedom was later to result in the arrival of a group of Sephardic Jews, who established Touro Synagogue, the first in the US.

In the 18th century, Newport was the home of some of the finest furniture makers ever. The Townsend and Goddard families, joined by marriage, produced cabinets and other items which have drawn the highest prices ever at auction..

In the late 19th century, Newport really hit its stride. The great millionaires of the Gilded Age built gigantic mansions in Newport, as summer cottages. It became the most exclusive resort in the world, for a time.

A recent notable who made her home in Newport was the eccentric heiress and philanthropist, Doris Duke, of the tobacco family. She lived at Rough Point, and collected beautiful objects of all kinds..she was also, by all accounts, a person who did much good with her wealth, including anonymously supporting many jazz musicians who had hit tough times..

Speaking of jazz, the Newport Jazz Festival, the 'granddaddy of them all' celebrates 50 years this year..

In 1965, the Newport Folk Festival was the scene where Bob Dylan made history by 'plugging in' for an electric version of 'Maggie's Farm'. You can download an mp3 of that performance, as well as other mid 60's Dylan, at this site..

Two other famous Newport institutions are the Naval War College and the International Tennis Hall of Fame..

Finally, a nice PBase gallery, mostly of pictures taken along the 'cliff walk'. This is a beautiful spot for an afternoon hike, with many scenic vistas as the walk overlooks the ocean, and wends its way behind the mansions...it also snakes by a Catholic girls college, Salve Regina , which- you don't need to be told I'm sure- the locals call 'Save the Vagina'...

"If at first you don't succeed... So much for skydiving."
Henny Youngman

Friday, July 23, 2004
A short post tonight, as the week wound up with a tiring 'Friday from Hell'. But I think you will enjoy these few links which all pertain to seeking out the treasures of history, often buried just a few feet below us as we go about our mundane existence..

Buried Treasures in Sussex

Accidental Treasure Discoveries in Wales - nice exhibit in Welsh museum, devoted to finds by farmers, hikers and such, as opposed to serious archaeologists..

Flanders Diggers - an admirable group of Belgian hobbyists, who are devoted to excavating relics of the First World War. Often just a few steps ahead of construction projects, they discover and preserve artifacts of growing significance..

An article summarizing the excavation of the Castle Mall area, in Norwich, medieval England's largest town..

Naval Archaeology

The German Clay Pipe Research Society one might start out snickering, but when you see how methodically they pursue their subject of interest, one can only admire these devoted Teutons..

The evil that men do lives after them;The good is oft interred with their bones.
William Shakespeare

Thursday, July 22, 2004

General Winfield Scott may not be known to every school child today, but his position in American military history was profound. He was the most prominant military leader between
the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, and played key roles in many conflicts that defined both our borders, and our willingness to use armed might in our quest for land.

During the War of 1812, Scott was a brigadier general and fought in the Niagara Campaign, in which he was wounded..

Scott's Tactics became a standard  manual for soldiers soon after it was written..

Scott fought in many actions against Native Americans. Unsavory to us today, but as a career military man, he accepted his assignments, and tried to carry them out efficiently first, and humanely, if possible. Here is his speech to the Cherokee Nation, as they were forced onto the 'trail of tears'..

His greatest triumph was probably during the Mexican War..

At the beginning of the Civil War, Scott was 75, and soon would step down to be replaced by the uninspired George McClellan. However, his long range strategic view can be said to have set the course of the war in much the same way as von Schlieffen posthumously directed the course of german strategy in the First World War..

I think I understand what military fame is; to be killed on the field of battle and have your name misspelled in the newspapers.
Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Just mining a good source of wackiness tonight, and passing on some faves..

Two Bizarre Flash Movies:  Miko Miko Nurse , and I Like Bukkake

Fake or Not?  Breasts that is. Cool game, 'R' rated. Test your powers of discernment against the wizardry of modern plastic surgery..

Entrances to Hell in the UK

Texas Roller Derby Girls - there's some association with Catholic schools here, but haven't figured it out exactly..

And speaking of Catholics, here's one of the best morbid sites ever, the Capuchin Catacombs in Palermo. There's a peculiar beauty in death as found here..

Think YOU have a lousy job? Try this one on for size..so to speak..

great beer site - and a new classic from Australia..

Catch the Tube - a subway flash game..

Dyke Dolls   ... yep...

Great Russian Flash Game, with superb art. If you could figure out last week's Japanese game, you'll figure this one out too..

Completely bizarre Flash game, in German or English, involving psychiatry for overwhelmed stuffed animals - or something..

And, tonight's WORST SITE! A Florida Pixie shows off his new outfit..

"If you can't get rid of the skeleton in your closet, you'd best teach it to dance."
George Bernard Shaw

Tuesday, July 20, 2004
Just stuff I like...
Louise Brooks Society - interesting, well-done site devoted to this silent film actress, who was the quintessential icon of the 'flapper' era..
Interactive Electric Chair - you pull the switch on a murderer here..
The Archive of Misheard Lyrics  (e.g. did Hendrix REALLY say, 'scuse me, while I kiss this guy..' ?)
Gravikord Site - I admire anyone who invents their own instrument, and then a genre to go along with it. This an elctronic 9 string polyphonic harp type thing..
Dallas Progressive Christian Music Radio - listen live!
Culture Jamming
A sort of lighthearted anarchist pastime, it seems...
Billboard Liberation Front
Adbusters - Culture Jamming Central
Changing the Climate - tag an SUV with one of these!
Great Unwieldy Novels!
Andrei Biely's "St.Petersburg"  ... sort of like Joyce's "Ulysses", but possibly much better..
Thomas Pynchon's "Gravity's Rainbow" .. I first got into this one at about 14, and dug it for the kinky sex. A few years later, it was the drugs and 'anti-war' message. Then later it was the ruminations on history and the place of the individual therein. Now I don't know WHAT I read it for, but it still comes off my shelf quite often..
David Foster Wallace's 'Infinite Jest' .. the most recent one here, a book you could use as a small table. Pynchon is often mentioned as an influence. What I like is that much of it's byzantine plot is set in AA meetings and sober houses in the Massachusetts area. Been there, done that, and he captures not only the tone, but the upbeat nihilism of a Boston burnout!
Finally, what in my opinion is one of the 5 best books ever written, and the next thing after the Bible I'd bring to MY desert island. Thomas Mann's 'The Magic Mountain'  has not even made some recent 'best 100 novels' lists that get bandied about the blogging world ad nauseum. Well, all the more reason for me to feel secure in my contempt of contemporary culture. This book has it all: philosophy, spirituality, mysticism, sickness and death, love and eroticism, friendship and hate, the bourgeois and the radical, coming of age and the coming of AN age, the entire 20th century was predicted in it, and perhaps all the way to the end of the world. If you have not read it at least twice, you're cheating yourself.

A classic is a book that has never finished saying what it has to say.
Italo Calvino, 1981

Monday, July 19, 2004
Ludwig Wittgenstein

Well, as traffic has been a bit slow the last two days, and we're all now in the midst of beginning a sultry summer week, I decided to post a few links on a subject that has been requested. The philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein. Particularly, his views on the relationship of language to reality had a profound influence in the last century.
The views of his early period culminated in the Tractatus Logico-Philsophicus , found here in a bilingual online edition.
The North American Wittgenstein Society discusses many aspects of his life and works..
Saul Kripke, who wrote a 'classic book' on Wittgenstein, here takes a beating from a philosophy professor who finds his whole analysis deeply flawed...

OK, maybe not much of a post. But perhaps you'll be like this guy, and your reading of Wittgenstein will produce a deep Zen-like revelation in your conciousness! Or perhaps you'll be like me, and get bored and go seeking out pictures of large breasts..
Philosophy can be said to consist of three activities: to see the commonsense answer, to get yourself so deeply into the problem that the commonsense answer is unbearable, and to get from that situation back to the commonsense answer. (BB 108-9)
Ludwig Wittgenstein

Sunday, July 18, 2004

I will continue with my 'Armed Forces' series of posts, but feel the need to relax a bit, and catch up on some varied things that struck me over the last few days..

Through one of the newest additions to my blogroll, The Anger of Compassion, I found a link to a list in The Scotmans of the 100 most beautiful women of all time.  Obviously, a list we could all find room to argue with! However, Audrey Hepburn, the choice for number 1, does deserve to be somewhere near the top. The devotion of her fans is shown by the fact that two of the nicest tribute sites I've ever found for an actress are devoted to her: L'Ange des Enfants , and this site as well..
And if the subject of the 100 most beautiful women does nothing for you at all, cheer up! The Extreme Web Surfer hasn't forgotten you! How about 'Queer Horror' - gays, lesbians and transgendered in horror films?

Or that classic 'coming out' story, 'Rusty is a Homosexual'?

Maybe you're seeking some really good poetry. Try Yusef Komunyakaa..
Richard Pryor's website is worth visiting, if only for its name!
If you're in the mood for state of the art Flash, visit Tokyo PlasticYayashin, or Tokidoki..
Finally, when the Roto-Rooter folks care enough to give us a Java plumbing game online, I for one, feel obliged to link to it..
The people I distrust most are those who want to improve our lives but have only one course of action.
Frank Herbert
Saturday, July 17, 2004

Continuing with this project, we now move to consider the contributions of Asian Americans, as well as the unique struggles of Japanese Americans in particular, during the Second World War. A note to regulars: I haven't abandoned the 'webcam' idea, just don't have it ready yet!
This article provides an interesting overview of the subject, and this timeline accomplishes the same ..
The first Asian people to settle in the United States in any number were the Chinese. Until I started my research, I was unaware of the extent of their involvement in the Civil War.
World War II marked the end of the discriminatory Chinese Exclusion Act, perhaps so Chinese Americans could be drafted in good conscience, and perhaps because Japan was perceived as a common enemy. In any case, fight they did, as these photos and this story illustrate..
Japanese Americans faced a much worse time of it during the WWII. Now, I am not going to engage in a great deal of handwringing here. Compared to the atrocities Japan enacted upon civilian populations in China, Korea, the Phillipines and elsewhere, our record is not TOO bad. However, it was bad enough. These were American citizens, many born here, who because of their ethnicity were considered enemy combatants, rounded up, dispossessed of their property and placed in dreary confinement in the wastelands. If you don't think this speaks to us today, visit this site maintained by Muslim Americans in the Armed Forces. Many of us are deeply concerned about terrorism and security. But we can't take the lazy route of making suspects out of people based upon ethnicity. It was wrong in the 1940's , and is wrong today.
This site tells the story of the internment ,and this site views it from a rather extreme Marxist perspective.. .Perhaps the best material, however, is available from the admirable Densho site, which seeks to pass on the experiences of past generations to Japanese Americans of today..
Photo galleries of the Topaz and Tule  camps..
Despite this oppression, young Japanese Americans were given the opportunity to enlist in the Armed Forces. They served with great distinction in the European theatre. This site refers to them as Nisei Marauders.. among their other feats was the Rescue of the Lost Battalion .
The 232nd Engineering Company was composed entirely of Japanese Americans, and served in a superb manner, often attached to the most famous Nisei unit of all, the 442nd Regimental Combat Team.
Time for a look at Asian American recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor..
Finally, I'd like to mention an Asian people whose service, in effect, preceded their immigration to these shores. The Hmong people ( also called 'Meo') are a Southeast Asian mountain tribe ('Montagnards' in the French Indochina War) who fought fiercely alongside of Americans during the Vietnam War. When we withdrew, their position became desperate indeed. Some of the fortunate ones were able to escape, reach refugee camps in Thailand, and eventually immigrate to the US or other places. Providence was one of the cities chosen for their resettlement, and I have met some of these folks. They were literally taken from an environment that can only be called primitive, and forced to adapt to modern urban life. And of course, the locals passed around stories of chickens in  third floor apartments, with snickers and condescension. Yet these folks could tell stories of heroism and struggle which would curl your hair. And in one generation,  they have children who are graduating from college, becoming teachers, doctors, bankers. For those left behind, however, there has been no such happy ending. See here.  
Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win.

Friday, July 16, 2004

I had an interesting discussion with my Dutch friend Maarten. He questioned me on the lack of Black or Asian faces in 'Band of Brothers'. It led me to explain that despite the very significant contributions of these groups to all our wars, from the American Revolution through present day Iraq and Afghanistan, it is only since the Truman administration that our armed forces have been racially integrated. I first intended to cover it all in one post, but the breadth of material available really calls for several focused posts. Thus, tonight we'll begin with African Americans..
The role of Blacks in the American Revolution
The study of African American involvement in the Civil War is complex and extensive. I can recommend no better starting point on the web than the 'Lest We Forget' site.. I might also add that I am indebted to this fine site for several other links in this post.. including this one, on the New York riots of 1863. Though it is not specifically a military story, it is good to read, to get a sense of the social context in which Blacks made the decision to fight..
The term 'Buffalo Soldiers' has often been used generically for Blacks in the 19th and early 20th century army. However, the original 'Buffalo Soldiers' were Blacks, faced with very limited opportunities, who enlisted in the army in the post Civil War era, and were sent west, where they excelled during the Indian Wars. Much can be made of the irony of pitting one oppressed and disadvantaged group against another. Still, we need to be careful about putting our 21st century constructions on the realities of a very different time.. The Buffalo Soldiers Museum includes a good overview of Black Military History..
Blacks played a significant role in the First World War .
And, in even greater numbers, in WWII . Here is a superb archive of photos. 
One of the very significant developments was training and utilization of the Tuskegee Airmen.
And finally, the story of the integration of the armed forces.
A bit on Blacks serving in the Vietnam War..
Over this long history, many Blacks received the Congressional Medal of Honor. And many more probably deserved it, but were deprived by forces of racism in the very land they gave their lives to save. Some, indeed, have been honored posthumously.
The modern definition of 'racist' is someone who is winning an argument with a liberal.
Peter Brimelow
Thursday, July 15, 2004
Well, first thing I noticed is new Blogger posting interface. Basically, it seems they're making this as close to MS Word as possible. If the whole shebang wasn't owned by Google, I'd think it was part of Bill Gate's evolution into the Antichrist.  And of course, being lazy, I'll love it within a week, and forget how I used to do this.. repeat after me, "We Love Big Brother"  ... and while you're at it, thank him for the color, I'd never bother on my own.. 
Porcelain Artists


Amy  , from Hong Kong..
Bev Crane , very nice site..
M.I.T. has a nice Inventor of the Week Site ; my favorite is Ruth Wakefield. (Before you click, what did she invent? A clue - indispensable to quality of life..)
Florida Holocaust Museum - very well done..
The Rise and Fall of Human Violence (..don't be relieved, it's rising again!)
Why is bus photography so big in the UK?
M. Vidocq - criminal turned master detective in 19th century Paris..

He that lives upon hope will die fasting.
Benjamin Franklin

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Chalk Fossils of Britain - beautiful photos, nice site in every way.

The Social Security Administration has a nice page showing the ranked popularity of baby names in various years. You can also plug in name and track it's popularity over the years. Nice to see they're doing SOMETHING useful with those weekly deductions from my check. Because it looks like I'll be 100 before I'm eligible to get any back, at the rate they're going..

Words Without Borders - a superb online magazine, that has literature and essays from all over the world translated into English. Good stuff we'd otherwsie miss..

Access Project - rather creepy interactive art installation, that involves tracking people in public places with robotic cams and laser beams. Just when you thought it was safe to leave the house..

Speaking of webcams, here's an interesting news bit about a robbery in Florida that was foiled by a lady in Kentucky watching it on a webcam..

Native American Photo Galleries: Apache nation, and Cree of Northern Quebec

And how about the 'Most Wanted' from Massachusetts? And Iowa? (Brent must have been slacking on these..)

"There are, in every age, new errors to be rectified, and new prejudices to be opposed."
Samuel Johnson
Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Our first link is humorously titled 'Instrument of Music or Instrument of Torure?" My parents would have given a hearty 'amen' to that, as I used to chirp away on these continuously. Instead of practicing the trombone, like I was supposed to be doing. But in my defense, listening to that could be pretty torturous as well. And it was louder..

This very nice page is from an Iowa school. Nice after you scroll past the rather scary lady playing a seriously large recorder.. Now that I've said that, of course, she'll reverse link and visit me here, and I'll have to apologize. One link out of every 300 brings them here, and it's usually one I made a snide remark about. So, might as well do it up front: "I meant the recorder,of course,madam, not you! YOU make me jealous of Brent for his proximity!"

Er, moving right along.. Benoit Sauve offers some mp3 downloads of him playing an interesting variety of genres. For the linguistically challenged, click on 'extraits musicaux'..

Puzzlemaker.Com allows you to create various types of puzzles, using your own words, online. (crosswords, word search, etc.) A must for teachers or anyone who wants to keep some kids busy for a few minutes..

I know there's other lighthouse fans out there. Lighthouse Getaway is a great portal to pictures of lighthouses around the world..

Finally, Christopher, of 'Insert Witty Title Here' made a great suggestion in the comments box last night. He suggested I do a post on unusual webcams. I liked the idea right away, and plan to do one within a week. But I don't want to do a perfunctory one, a result of a quick search. I want to get some truly interesting ones. So I could use suggestions - if you have some, click my email address in the comments and send 'em to me, I'll include them! And no, no dodgy sorority girls live XXX webcams. Unless they're free...

Here's a quick one as a sample - Koh Samui - a beach in Thailand..

And though it only barely qualifies as a 'webcam' , I like the zoom panorama options of this camera in Providence Rhode Island. That's what it looks like, folks, take it from me. If you're timing's right, you might even spot me on it someday..(now THAT'D be a treat, the heck with the busty sorority girls!)

"Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake."
- Napoleon Bonaparte
Monday, July 12, 2004

Remember what the Dormouse said: 'Feed your head'...

Ralph Abraham - a mathematician (chaos theory) , tabla player, and proflific designer of websites, this guy can direct you to new avenues of thought..

Todd Green, who studied with him, maintains a fabulous collection of musical instruments..

William Irwin Thompson - guru of radical sociohistorians... I had a high school teacher who worshipped him. He was a brilliant guy, who retired to the country to be a beekeeper shortly thereafter..

Body City - New Perspectives coming out of India..

Ulf Wakenius - a 'guitarist's guitarist' . Free mp3's on the site..

Groo the Wanderer

David Stuntzner's Art

Read about your favorite dictators, or punch a celebrity!

"Nothing has a better effect upon children than praise."
- Sir Phillip Sydney
Sunday, July 11, 2004

Sacred Space - a very nice daily prayer site run by the Irish Jesuits..

If you found the story of the Batavia interesting, you will also enjoy this site from Perth which focuses on the VOC explorations (that's the Dutch East India Company, I'm not even going to try to spell it in Dutch!) There's also many fine links at the bottom of the page.. and with a little diligence, you can find a picture of the skeletons unearthed from the Batavia massacres..

Outstanding in every way is the Australian National Maritime Museum site.

Joze and Zlata Volaric are two Slovenian artists, sculpting in iron. This site is an outstanding flash presentation of their work. Even if you aren't greatly interested in sculpture, you should visit just for the outstanding website design..

The Black Holocaust - a passionate summary of a long and tragic story..

Islamic Fundamentalism and the Iranian Sex Slave Trade - sobering article by a professor at the University of Rhode Island..you go, girl!

Race and History - Historical Views - great collection of scholarly articles..

And finally, a GREAT GAME!
Nevermind the Japanese writing, and the couple of minutes it takes to load. This is top shelf - I killed an hour, getting to level three. And will go back after I post. Reunite a little girl with her lost head. You'll see. (Brent, you have to try this one!) Challenges your mind, not your reflexes!

"Beware of all enterprises that require new clothes."
- Henry David Thoreau
Saturday, July 10, 2004

A link I posted a few days back, on Dutch explorers of Australia, led me to an event which I had known next to nothing about. The shipwreck of the Dutch ship 'Batavia' along the western coast of Australia in 1629 was merely the beginning of a saga so filled with adventure, evil, pathos and heroism that it almost without parallel. Jeronimus Cornelisz (Cornelius) emerges from this story as one of the towering figures of psychotic, charismatic malevolence of all time!

Good overview here..
..and a bit more here..

The Australians have recently become aware of the dramatic potential in this part of their 'pre-history'. Arabella Edge has penned a brillian novel, 'The Company'.. , and Richard Mills and Peter Goldsworthy teamed up to create an impressive opera, 'Batavia'.

Meanwhile, the Dutch have recreated the ship itself, which was the crown of their fleet in 1629..

Speaking of mad Dutchmen, Maarten has been eager for me to link something about this weeks 'San Fermin' festival, best know to us for the 'running of the bulls in Pamplona.' Seems being gored in the scrotum only counts as a minor injury, among these hearty folk..

This week, Maarten's Yahoo Recipe Group (if you like cooking or eating, check it out!) touched on the subject of edible seaweed..

And, on the same subject, if you're lost in the jungle, don't know your poisonous plants, but are about to starve, scroll down this page for instructions on determining whether a plant will kill ya or save ya! Hmmm, on second thought, maybe you'd better print it out and put it in your backpack!

Finally, in yet another shameless bid to boost my ratings, here's a link to a fine Pbase gallery of a beautiful French Model, "R" rated..

"Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves."
- William Pitt Speech to the House of Commons
Friday, July 09, 2004

Elvis Impersonators

Beautiful Women, Well Photographed - a PBase gallery, at times erotic without ever being pornographic..

Photos of Dogs - good place to find what each breed looks like..

A Cute Shar Pei Gallery

Popup Stopper Tests - if you use a 'popup stopper', this page has links to tests to see how many different kinds it works against. And even if you don't, you can learn a lot about the types of these pests that are out there, and how they work..

Movie Mistakes - a huge site devoted to these..

Spiderman 2 parody with Legos.. thanks to Maarten for last three links..

'Compfused' has a huge collection of funny videos, photos, and cool flash stuff..

An example - world's worst sales video attempt..

Mysterious Britain - hauntings, folklore, etc. etc. Massive, very worthwhile site!

Ken Musgrave - one of the best, and most established 'computer artists'..

"A little inaccuracy sometimes saves a ton of explanation."
- H. H. Munro (Saki)
Thursday, July 08, 2004

TheThe Chinese Cultural Revolution as History

Tai Ji Quan - animated illustration of techniques!

The Nanking Massacre - nice memorial site, hosted by Princeton

Rhode Island's Vampires

Mercy Brown's Grave

Dutch Explorers of Australia - Captain Cook gets all the credit in the English speaking world, while few are aware of these folks!

"When I am working on a problem I never think about beauty. I only think about how to solve the problem. But when I have finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong."
- Buckminster Fuller
Wednesday, July 07, 2004

We all come from somewhere, although some of us grow up with a greater sense of being 'rooted' than others. I'm rather grateful now that I experienced something other than the bland, ubiquitous suburban mall culture of today. But I'll confess, most of us couldn't wait to get out of the decaying old hardscabble mill town back then..

Pawtucket, RI, may be known to some as the the setting for (part of) Michael Corrente's movie, "Outside Providence" , based on the (much better) book of the same name by Peter Farrelly.

Others will know it as the home of the 'Pawsox' , Boston's AA Farm Team.

A rather florid, 19th century history of Pawtucket here..

Pawtucket's real claim to fame, though, is as a 'mill town'. And not ANY old mill town; nope,let's try the first one in America. The Industrial Revolution hit these shores right here folks, so if you've ever sweated on an assembly line, waiting for that whistle to blow, you can thank us!

It all started with Samuel Slater, an ambitious and unscrupulous apprentice in Milford, England.. Moses Brown, brother of the slave trading benefactor and namesake of Brown University, lured him over here, his photographic mind filled to the brim with trade secrets. He started a mill ( now a museum) on the banks of the beautiful Blackstone River. (one good thing about the industry moving south, and finally overseas: people fish in the Blackstone now, when I was a kid you could practically walk on it..)

More on Slater

The Blackstone is now part of a National Historic Corridor

The superb 'Art in Ruins' site has some of the best images online of the Pawtucket industrial landscape..

I might conclude in saying that, though I only live a few miles away, I rarely go to Pawtucket anymore. Everyone important to me from there dead or dispersed. Yet, the city is vibrant in many new ways. A large Hispanic population that was unheard of 30 years ago. New developments, new malls (ugh!)...someday, I'll 'go home again' and make my peace with it all. Or maybe this post will do it..

Home computers are being called upon to perform many new functions, including the consumption of homework formerly eaten by the dog.
Doug Larsen
Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Back to the reality of work today, don't even have the STRENGTH left to whine about Blogger!

Largest Rodent Ever

Largest Rodent NOW

Henderson Island - largest of the Pitcairn group

Is Palmyra Island under a curse?

Mouthwatering Food Photography (not 'diet safe')

"The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them."
- Albert Einstein

How can I be dismal, when I've earned a place in Narrow Larry's site?

And I received bracing comments from Doug and Christopher last night? Nope I guess I just keep on trucking! And to thank those who've cheered me up in my time of frustration, here's three morning tidbits - and it takes a lot to wring a morning post out of me!

Board Games of the Ancient Romans

Nice Interactive Games for YOU! (from Boston University, simple games, but no annoyances..)

Bugs Bunny Sounds

OK, Doug here's some Shaw for you:

"There are some experiences in life which should not be demanded twice from any man, and one of them is listening to the Brahms Requiem."
- George Bernard Shaw
Monday, July 05, 2004

Still not fixed. Might host blog on another server, but I'll need to learn a whole bunch of new stuff. Or, is this the way it ends, 'not with a bang, but a whimper?'

It does give me a chance to think. The time might soon come when I want to try a different kind of blog, one that challenges me to write a bit more. However, if things start working again, I will keep this one around too, just update it less frequently. Or maybe I'll take up philately....

Anyway, I never was good at quitting things cold turkey, so here's some links on Newfoundland history for those persistant or bored enough to stop by here today..

One Page Overview

Pirates of Newfoundland

The Original Inhabitants - The Beothuk

..and then there were The Micmacs

Maritime History Archives

History of Religions in Newfoundland and Labrador

Interested in further research? Start with this..

"I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them."
- Ian L. Fleming
Sunday, July 04, 2004

Well, OK, Blogger/Blogspot still ain't fixed, and even getting here is a big hassle. And I DID decide to not post until it was. However, checking my stats, I saw that 30 or so dedicated souls had already been here today, despite the obstacles. Moved to tears, I realized that kind of loyalty deserves a reward! So here's a few good ones..

The Treasures of St. Johns - great website by Benedictines..

Mad Monarchs ( It's GOOD to be the King! Especially when you're a few beers short of a sixpack, and no one dares say anything..)

Beautiful PBase Gallery of Switzerland

Superosity - Online Comic Strip

Red Meat - Is it comix? Is it just weird? You decide..

RISKS Forum - learn about all the gaffes, flaws and decisions on computer security issues

And by the way, hope all my American visitors enjoyed the holiday! And that thing about "moved to tears" , well, I did twitch slighly..and I do appreciate you stopping by, even in the worst of times!

"Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit upon his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats."
- Henry Louis Mencken (1880-1956)
Saturday, July 03, 2004

It seems Blogspot is having some hosting issues - I've had to try an average of three times to even get here. I've written to 'Support' and hope this can be corrected soon. There have been issues of one type or another all week. Perhaps they're short staffed due to vacations or something - I really can't complain, as this is on the whole an excellent free service. However, I really don't need to bust my hump creating posts no one gets to, so I am am hereby 'on vacation' until it's fixed!

Matt, The Extreme Web Surfer
Friday, July 02, 2004

OK, you sat through last night's serious post on Teilhard De Chardin, so you deserve a reward! (thanks to Maarten for some of these..)

First things first: Bikinis and Boats- PBase gallery to get you in a summer mood..


Just hearing the name of this critter, also called GLIS sent me on a search for more. And yes, they ARE edible. The ancient Romans considered them a delicacy, fed them a strict acorn diet for best results..

BBC Nature Factfile

Walker's Mammals

Very Nice Photo



Poughkeepsie ( a history here; I visited Poughkeepsie once on business, was very impressed, would like to return to the area for pleasure..)


Napoleon's Army - Mass graves discovered in Vilnius

Khnoppf - Belgian Symbolist Painter


Did you know....that if someone posts a picture that is 'cropped' or otherwise altered to hide the naughty bits, you can often use PhotoShop to find 'em again? As evidenced here .. (rated 'R' , or whatever other rating you would assign to big stupendous naked celebrity hooters you weren't meant to see..)

Great Flash Game - How far can you stagger drunk? (In German, but drunks everywhere will understand the rules..)

And a silly Dutch flash game..

Clay Kitten Shooting

Haven't trashed Michael Jackson here lately..

Bad Fortune Cookies..

"Tragedy is when I cut my finger. Comedy is when you walk into an open sewer and die."
- Mel Brooks
Thursday, July 01, 2004

Mystic, visionary, heretic, fraud - such are the reactions mention of this fascinating Jesuit brings forth, almost 50 years after his death. His synthesis of evolutionary theory with a Christian theology continues to inspire, liberate and provoke..

Teilhard de Chardin Foundation of the Netherlands - many resources, site available in Dutch, English, German and Russian..

Planetary Conciousness - Teilhard de Chardin and a 'Net Conciousness'

Noosphere - a term he coined..

An Impassioned Defense of Teilhard de Chardin by a Jesuit..

An Anti-Modernist Catholic rebuttal of his theology.. and it's influence on the Dutch Catechism

The Harbinger - very 'pro' site

Was Teilhard de Chardin implicated in the Piltdown Hoax? No, say these defenders..

Teilhard de Chardin's 'The Phenomenon of Man' on the 'self help classics' list..

Science 'Charged with Faith'

Teilhard de Chardin and 'The New Cosmology'

Teilhard de Chardin's grave, in the Jesuit Cemetery near Poughkeepsie, New York

Someday, after mastering the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love, and then, for a second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

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