Published on 2012-03-16 06:30:00
Elizabeth Mackintosh, aka Gordon Daviot,aka Josephine Tey.
Few people have heard of
Published on 2012-03-14 02:01:00
Yul Brynner as King Mongkut does the polka with Debra Kerr.
Image courtesy of www.amuseum.org.
Yul Brynner made a career out of playing a Thai king who danced the polka. For many people this was, and sadly is, their knowledge and impression of Thailand. The King and I was one of Rodgers and Hammerstein's outstanding theatrical successes during the "golden age" of musical theater. Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein were initially reluctant to pursue the project proposed by a theatrical atto [..]
Published on 2012-03-12 02:01:00
From L'Encyclopedie by Diderot et d'Alembert, Paris, 1751
The "Meister der Spielkarten", or "The Master of the Playing Cards" is known only through the 106 engravings that have been attributed to him, including the set of playing cards that he is named for. The term “master” is reserved for someone who has completed an apprenticeship and ran his own workshop, teaching apprentices. His presumed students are also unknown but have similar names, such as "The Master of the Nurem [..]
Published on 2012-03-09 02:01:00
John James Audubon (1785-1851)Oil on canvas by John Syme, 1826Currently hanging in the White House.
John James Audubon, a Haitian-born man raised in France, had a vision. One that resulted in a monumental and important work – Birds of America.
Carolina Pigeon(now called Mourning Dove)
He had loved birds and nature as a child, and was encouraged by his father to explore and draw what he saw. He was reported to be quite charming, played the flute and violin, learned to ride and to fence, b [..]
Published on 2012-03-07 02:01:00
Los Borrachos or The Drunks, 1629, by Diego Velázquez.
Velázquez served as court painter for Philip IV of Spain.
Court painters were artists who were employed by members of a royal or noble family. Sometimes they were given a fixed salary; sometimes they were employed on an exclusive basis. In some eras and locations, this freed them from the restrictions of their local guilds. Hans Dürer, Jan van Eyck, Francisco Goya, Hans Holbein the Younger, Peter Paul Rubens, Titian, and Diego Veláz [..]
Published on 2012-03-06 02:01:00
Initial C: Monks Singing. MS. 24, Leaf 3V.Unknown artist, Italian, circa 1420.Tempera colors, gold leaf, and ink on parchment.18-5/16" x 13-5/8"
Picture a dimly lit church. The scent of incense is in the air, and you hear the sound of chanting. Choristers are clustered in a corner, performing a call and response with one of the monks. In front of them is a lectern, and on top of it is a huge book. It is big enough that they all can read it at the same time. Now swing around behind them a [..]
Published on 2012-02-23 02:01:00
A portrait of Murakasi Shikibu by Tosa Mitsuoki, painted
in Yamato-e, the classical Japanese style, 12th century.
What is generally acknowledged as the world's first novel was written by a Japanese woman a thousand years ago. The Tale of Genji, by Murakasi Shikibu (known as Lady Murakasi in the West), is regarded to be an accurate description of life in the imperial court in the Heian era (794 - 1185 CE). The daughter of a scholar and an officer of the court, she was given a male's education. [..]
Published on 2012-02-07 02:01:00
Dinky Bird, 1904, from Eugene Field's Poems of Childhood.
When I was 19, a friend gave me a poster of the above work by Maxfield Parrish. She said it reminded her of me. I was very pleased, as I fell in love with it upon first sight. She was about a decade older than me and had been a real hippie, so I was especially flattered. It hung in every bedroom I had until it finally got damaged in a move. But the dreamy print always made me feel peaceful, and was my first piece of art as an adult.
Published on 2012-02-02 02:01:00
Image courtesy of UNESCO (see link below).
Borobudur is a temple located in central Java. It is a shrine to the Buddha, and a pilgrimage place. It was built between 750 and 842 CE. Carved into the base of the temple are 160 carved reliefs, the most complete collection of Buddhist reliefs anywhere in the world. Looking down on it, one can see a mandala - a microcosm of the universe - a pattern with spiritual and ritual significance for Buddhists and Hindus.
An aerial view of the temple fr [..]
Published on 2012-01-31 02:01:00
The Vegetable Lamb of Tartary, illustration from Lee, H., 1887.
The Vegetable Lamb of Tartary: a Curious Fable of the Cotton
Plant, to Which is Added a Sketch of the History of Cotton and
the Cotton Trade. S. Low, Marston, Searle & Rivington, London.
Medieval Europe subscribed to beliefs in many legendary creatures, unicorns being a prime example, although that myth began in ancient Greece. Most of these critters were born from hearsay and a lack of knowledge of foreign places. One such crea [..]
Published on 2012-01-30 02:01:00
Study of Tamayo's Hands; 1931; silver gelatin print.
I love black and white photography. Without the dimension of color I can really see and concentrate on the subject. I think for some photographers it is harder; you need a unique kind of eye to see something in black and white. In fact, I see black and white photography as a different genre from color photography. My favorite black and white photographer is Manuel Álvarez Bravo.
Split Nopal; circa 1970; gelatin silver print.
Bravo is [..]
Published on 2012-01-27 02:01:00
A relief from ancient Egypt, circa 1,500 BCE, showing the
growing of grapes, and the production and trade of wine.
The earliest evidence of wine production (oenology) is from Georgia (Russia, not the U.S.) around 6,000 BCE. This was determined by a gene-mapping project in 2006 where 110 common cultivars were analyzed and found to originate in Georgia. Evidence has also been found in sites in Iran (5,000 BCE) and Armenia (4,000 BCE), while domestication of the grapevine seems to have occurred [..]
Published on 2012-01-26 02:01:00
Guido Daniele and a model.
Guido Daniele is a celebrated Italian artist who is well-known for his hand and body art. A master at trompe l'oeil, his work can be seen in many ads. A resident of Milan, he graduated from the Brera School of Arts as a sculpture major. He continued his education in India at the Tankas school in Dharamsala.
Trompe l'oeil from the Casa Fichter in Milan, 1997.
After trying and testing different painting techniques, he has become quite proficient with the airbrush [..]
Published on 2012-01-25 02:01:00
Movie poster image courtesy of John Story.
My parents never went to drive-in theaters; actually they hardly went to theaters at all. But I remember fondly going to the drive-in with neighbors and the families of friends. On a summer night in Southern California, not much could be finer. I remember getting really comfortable, often among the cushions spread in the bed of a truck, and eating food that we brought in ourselves - everything from real dinners to homemade goodies. And if the movi [..]
Published on 2012-01-24 02:01:00
Big Sur is the short, anglicized name for el país grande del sur or "the big country of the south" because it was an impenetrable region south of Monterey, the capital of the Spanish colony of Alta California. It is a unique spot in the U.S. for two reasons: Cone Peak, the highest coastal mountain in the contiguous 48 states (5,155 feet above sea level); and arguably one of the most scenic driving routes in the world.
The famous "Dinosaur Rock" and Bixby Bridge.
The area basically runs al [..]
Published on 2012-01-23 02:01:00
Ocean City Ferris Wheel on the boardwalk in New Jersey.
George Washington Gale Ferris, Jr. was an engineer from Pittsburgh whose firm specialized in testing and inspecting metal for use in bridges and railroads. In 1891, the directors of the World's Columbian Exposition to be held in 1893 in Chicago, issued a challenge to American engineers. They sought a monument for the expo that would surpass the structure built for the Paris International Exposition of 1889 - the Eiffel Tower. They asked [..]
Published on 2012-01-20 02:01:00
Fasti Antiates Maiores, part of a fresco found at Nero's villa at Antium, shows
a pre-Julian calendar with the months Quintilis (QVI) and Sextilius (SEX).
Before the Julian calendar was introduced in 46 BCE, the Roman calendar was in use. One of the versions of the Roman calendar was supposedly invented by Romulus, legendary founder of Rome, and had ten months with 30 or 31 days in each month, for a total of 304 days: Martius, Aprilis, Maius, Iunius, Quintilis, Sextilis, September, October, N [..]
Published on 2011-07-05 02:01:00
Alfred Russel Wallace at age 24 in 1848.
The late 1700s and early 1800s saw a huge explosion of discovery in the study of flora and fauna, perhaps thanks to botanist Joseph Banks (who was with Captain James Cook from 1768 to 1771 when Cook wen
Published on 2011-07-04 02:01:00
Fireworks display at the Washington Monument on July 4, 1986.
Photo by Sgt. Lono Kollars, courtesy of the DOD.
Today we celebrate Independence Day in the United States. This commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July
Published on 2011-07-01 02:01:00
The Merry Macs - Mary Lou Cook and Ted, Joe, and Judd McMichael.
When I was little my parents seemed to watch a lot of television shows with band leaders on them - Lawrence Welk, Skitch Henderson, and once in a while Norman Tabernacle and his choir
Published on 2011-06-30 02:01:00
The ludicrousness of the immigration debate has a long history. Based on racism, it proves that there is nothing new under the sun...
Map of the United States of Mexico at the time of the Treaty
Image courtesy of the Library of Congress
Published on 2011-06-29 02:01:00
A fortune cookie is a perhaps a strange thing to write a graduate thesis on, but that's what Yasuko Nakamachi did. The folklore and history graduate of Kanagawa University spend over six years researching the origin of the fortune cookie.
Published on 2011-06-28 02:01:00
2008's 2nd place supercomputer, Cray's Jaguar. Image courtesy of Wired.
Supercomputers are ones that are used for extremely complex processing jobs such as problems in quantum physics, weather forecasting, climate research, molecular modeling,
Published on 2011-06-27 02:01:00
"My art is inspired by the death of the printed word. Books andnewspapers are becoming artifacts of the 21st century. As a societywe're shifting away from print consumption and heading straighttowards full digital lives." Nick Georg
Published on 2011-06-24 02:01:00
Books on Wheels from Richmond providing free books and bike repair at the
Our Community Place Lawn Jam in Harrisonburg, Va. Photo by Artzcerxes/Wikipedia.
Bookmobile and mobile libraries are designed to service areas that have no access to boo
Published on 2011-06-23 02:01:00
Image courtesy triptourism.com.
On July 7, 2007, Brazil's internationally known icon - the statue of Christ the Redeemer - was chosen as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World by the New Open World Corporation. Two years later it was declar
Published on 2011-06-22 02:01:00
18th century engraving of Pfeffel, artist unknown.
Image courtesy of the Indianapolis Museum of Art.
Gottlieb Konrad Pfeffel, aka Amédee or Théophile (French translations of the German name "Gottlieb" or "God love"), was a French-German writer and
Published on 2011-06-21 02:01:00
The Crystal Bridges Museum in Bentonville, Arkansas.
Photo courtesy of the site.
The Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art will open in Bentonville, Arkansas on November 11, 2011. (11/11/11 - get it?) The 201,000 square foot museum will
Published on 2011-06-20 02:01:00
Dr. Demento, photo by Mark Takeuchi/Rhino Records.
A year ago last June one of the most unique syndicated radio shows in history ended, at least for radio. The cult radio institution Dr. Demento took his show online. Dr. Demento speciali
Published on 2011-06-17 02:01:00
Image courtesy of Amazon.com.
If you're going to San Francisco,be sure to wear some flowers in your hair.If you're going to San Francisco,You're gonna meet some gentle people there.
If we went back in time forty-four years ago, to 1967, we could be
Published on 2011-06-16 02:01:00
Photograph of Jane Webb Loudon taken before her
death in 1858. Image courtesy of Wikipedia.
"In the year 2126, England enjoyed peace and tranquilityunder the absolute dominion of a female sovereign."
Thus begins the novel The Mummy!: Or
Published on 2011-06-15 02:01:00
Image courtesy of Putumayo.com
The bossa nova, samba, lambada, these are just a few of the styles of music that came from Brazil. Influenced by European, African, and Amerindian music, Brazil has been a great cooking pot creating a wide variet
Published on 2011-06-14 02:01:00
Publius Ovidius Naso, known as Ovid. Image courtesy of www.thefamouspeople.com.
The Roman poet Ovid not only had his book, Ars Amatoria (The Art of Love) banned, but he himself was banished from Rome for writing it in the year 8 CE. All o
Published on 2011-06-13 02:01:00
A coin from ancient Sicily circa 400 BCE. This decadrachm features the
signature of Euainetos on the reverse. The woman is Arethusa, a nymph
and a Nereid (daughter of Nereus). To protect her from unwanted attention,
Published on 2011-06-10 02:01:00
Christ Leading the Patriarchs to Paradise, circa 1480
by Bartolomé Bermejo. Image courtesy of The Web Gallery of Art.
No, not the biblical patriarch who lived to be 969 years old. We know he has passed. Besides, he's a piker compa
Published on 2011-06-09 02:01:00
Image courtesy of Muffet/Wikipedia.
The Germans have a word for it - "königliche Gemüse" - which means "royal vegetable". It is rumored that there is a 3,000 year old Egyptian frieze with asparagus, but hours of searching for an image have b
Published on 2011-06-08 02:01:00
Brian Dettmer has a thing for books...and other media that he feels is going by the wayside. His mind works in mysterious ways, and like a book archaeologist, he digs and carves his way through a book's physical body searching for treasure.
Published on 2011-06-07 02:01:00
That's what Susan Rossi-Wilcox, curatorial associate at the Harvard Museum of National History, calls The Glass Flowers, a collection of botanical models used for teaching. These highly realistic glass botanical models are more formally known a
Published on 2011-06-06 02:01:00
Elias Ashmole's coat of arms, 1925, in a window of the
Museum of the History of Science, Oxford.
Combine acquisitiveness with perseverance, ambition, and wealth, and you have Elias Ashmole. This son of a saddler lived a life of varied experien
Published on 2011-06-03 02:01:00
Image of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine and the Peace Fountain
courtesy of Gesalbte/Wikipedia.
The Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City is the largest cathedral in the world. (St. Peter's Basilica in Rome is not a cathedral,
Published on 2011-06-02 02:01:00
A panther chameleon. Image courtesy of this site.
Chameleons are very special and specialized members of the lizard family. While the majority, about half of all species, come from Madagascar, they also hail from Africa, Asia, Portugal,
Published on 2011-06-01 02:01:00
Statue of Girolamo Savonarola in his birthplace of Ferrare, Italy.
Photo courtesy of ho visto nina volare/Wikipedia.
Yes, Tom Wolfe wrote a book of that title in 1987 about ambition, greed, politics, racism, and social class in 1980s New York.
Published on 2011-05-31 02:01:00
Who's buried in Pizarro's tomb? Unlike the one about Grant's tomb, this riddle is tricky. Or was. No one knows definitively who WAS buried there, but Pizarro is in there at last.
It's hard to think that someone who was as cruel an
Published on 2011-05-30 02:01:00
Entropa exhibit. Image courtesy of Wikipedia.
Two years ago a controversial art piece was unveiled that still has tongues wagging. Entropa: Stereotypes are barriers to be demolished was created by artist David Černý for a commissi
Published on 2011-05-27 02:01:00
The Ben Ezra Synagogue in Old Cairo.
Image courtesy of Wikimedia.
A genizah (plural genizot) is a storeroom or depository in a Jewish synagogue or cemetery specifically meant to hold worn-out books and documents in Hebrew before they are properly bu
Published on 2011-05-26 02:01:00
Inside shots of the Shell Grotto, courtesy of Colin Bowling.
Mr. James Newlove was digging on his property to make a duck pond in Margate, England in 1835. When a hole appeared, he lowered his young son into it. His son described tunnels
Published on 2011-05-25 02:01:00
Caged Memories art installation by Luzinterruptus.
When I was an art history student at UCLA, the art department shared the same building. Installations seemed to be the ticket for art students in those days, and we art history students n
Published on 2011-05-24 02:01:00
The Basket of Wildflowers egg, 1901.
"Fabergé" - the name connotes high standards of art, quality, and craftsmanship. As a brand, the name has great marketing power. So much so that the name has been sold many times since the 1917 Russian Rev
Published on 2011-05-23 02:01:00
"...and when eight days were accomplished for the circumcisingof the child, his name was called JESUS, which was so named ofthe angel before he was conceived in the womb."Luke 2:21 (KJV)
The Circumcision of Christ, Preobrazhenski Monaste
Published on 2011-05-20 02:01:00
Raven and First Immigrant, 2009.
Photo courtesy of Wayne Leidenfrost/Vancouver Sun.
Nicholas Galanin is most recently famous for the art work he did this past March for Boekenweek, the annual Dutch literature event. But the artist is well-kno
Published on 2011-05-19 02:01:00
An Oncorhynchus Mykiss, or Rainbow Trout
Image courtesy of Jonathunder/Wikipedia.
The ancient Greeks did it; there is reference to it in the Halieutica, considered the greatest work from antiquity on angling. Aelina, another Greek from 230 C.E
Published on 2011-05-18 02:01:00
Hürrem aka Roxolana and the Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent
by Anton Hickel, 1780, courtesy of the Landesmuseum Mainz.
When my mother was a girl growing up in Athens, Greece, in the 1930s/early 1940s she and her friends were often warned to be ver
Published on 2011-05-17 02:01:00
Quernado Mountain in San Luis Potosi, Mexico.
Image courtesy Anaroza/Wikipedia.
The Huichol peoples of western Mexico are well-known for their folk art. When the Spanish conquistadores came across them they adopted one of their crafts, which t
Published on 2011-05-16 02:01:00
Dey House, home of the University of Iowa's Writers' Workshop.
Photo courtesy of tjilafave, 2008.
What do Flannery O'Connor, John Irving, Jane Smiley, and W.P. Kinsella have in common? They are all graduates of the University of Iowa Writers'
Published on 2011-05-13 12:02:00
Giuliano Mauri was a unique artist. An advocate of natural architecture, he constructed large-scale outdoor works of environmental art. Because he used organic materials, these structures were temporary. He loved outdoor spaces, whe
Published on 2011-05-11 16:55:00
Spring, 1894, depicts the servants of the Temple of Flora
celebrating the Roman festival of Cerealia. This
painting took four years to complete, and features
members of his family, friends, and fellow artists.
Published on 2011-05-11 02:01:00
Mary Wollstonecraft, circa 1797 by John Opie.
Oil on canvas, image courtesy the National Portrait Gallery, London.
Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797) is one of those women whose personal life vastly overshadowed, in fact practically buried, her work, a
Published on 2011-05-10 02:01:00
"People have no idea of the sources for my work. I didn't invent anything; it's all there in the culture; it's not a big mystery. I just combine my personalexperience with classic cartoon stereotypes." &nb
Published on 2011-05-09 02:01:00
An adult male Baltimore oriole. Image courtesy Wikipedia.
Mornings usually find me in the hot tub, unkinking and preparing to carry on with life. The other day I was soaking and heard an oriole sing. It was a trill of many notes, a
Published on 2011-05-06 02:01:00
One of the history of religion courses I took at UCLA was on early Christianity. When my professor was going over the syllabus on the first day, he called attention to the fact that we would need to bring bibles to class each session. Recently I had
Published on 2011-05-05 02:01:00
United State Post Office issue in 1998.
My Mexican friends have always reacted angrily when the fifth of May is referred to as Mexican Independence Day (which is actually September 16th). For good reason - Cinco de Mayo is an American Civil Wa
Published on 2011-05-04 02:01:00
A common purple lilac expresses the "first
emotions of love" in the language of flowers.
In the Victorian era, when social interactions were closely watched and regulated, flowers and floral arrangements were cleverly used to communicate. &nb
Published on 2011-05-03 02:01:00
Junior Fritz Jacquet creates sculptures of paper. The Haitian-born Parisian works in all kinds of paper creating abstract sculptures and human figures, including masks. His interest began at age 14 when he first learned about origami. &nb
Published on 2011-05-02 02:01:00
Modern-day children reading Dr. Seuss.
Image courtesy of scbailey/Wikipedia.
A picture book combines a narrative with pictures. In the late Victorian era, a number of illustrators became famous for their work in children's picture books.
Published on 2011-04-29 02:01:00
The King and Queen of Tunis, by Václav Hollar aka Wenceslaus Hollar (1607-1677),
a Bohemian etcher, of unknown date. Image courtesy of University of Toronto
"Cariacatures and deformities after Leonardo".
Much of history is written with
Published on 2011-04-28 02:01:00
Centerpiece of a book by Thomas Chamberlayne,
1656, Compleat Midwifes Practice, with image of Boursier.
Image courtesy of the Folger Shakespeare Library, Wash. D.C.
Perhaps you have read the book Diverse Observations on Sterility; Loss of the Ovum a
Published on 2011-04-27 02:01:00
"Wherever ya are, and whatever ya doin', I wancha ta lay
ya hands on da raydeeooo, lay back wid me, and squeeze ma knobs. We gonna feeel it ta-night!"
Wolfman Jack, image courtesy of Britannica.com.
I don't know what got me s
Published on 2011-04-26 02:01:00
Green bottle by Martin Demaine.
Martin Demaine is an artist and mathematician who is currently an artist in residence at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology). After graduating from high school in Massachusetts, he went to England to stud
Published on 2011-04-25 02:01:00
A poster of Joan of Arc turned into a tshirt for the Tea Party, the Hezbollah-like
faction of the Republican Party who resents government involvement in
economics but seeks it to impose their social and lifestyle choices. Even their
Published on 2011-04-22 02:01:00
Pace eggs, image courtesy of Wikipedia.
The world "pace" comes from the old English word "pasch" for Easter. In the north of England people make pace eggs, boiling them with onion skins, sometimes tying colored wool yarn around them. The
Published on 2011-04-21 02:01:00
Pope Gregory I by Francisco de Zurbarán, 1626-1627.
Oil on canvas, courtesy of the Museo Provincial
de Bellas Artes, Seville, Spain.
Pope Gregory I (circa 540 - 604 CE) is famous for, among other things, sending out a mission - the Gregorian missio
Published on 2011-04-20 02:01:00
Decorated eggs from the U.S.
Colored eggs have been associated with Vernal festivals since ancient times. Ancient Greeks and Romans used eggs as symbols of fertility, rebirth, and abundance. This pagan symbol of the rebirth of the earth in cel
Published on 2011-04-19 02:01:00
"A Young Hare" by Albrecht Dürer, 1502. Image courtesy of Wikipedia.
First of all, why a rabbit? Most likely the animal selected to represent Easter was a hare, not a rabbit. Hares are generally larger than rabbits, have longer ea
Published on 2011-04-18 02:01:00
"It's hard to enjoy a party when you're being chased by wacky waiters, dizzy drinkers, and crazy dancers! Now you have to find Gatsby, the mysterious man you saw disappear on the hillside...or did he?"
Published on 2011-04-15 02:01:00
Artist Nancy Diessner is a dog lover. She has worked at the Save a Dog Shelter and learned there "that the bond that grew between often-abandoned or abused dogs and the people who adopted them was direct but not simple". She got to know b
Published on 2011-04-14 02:01:00
Photo courtesy of Zé Eduardo.
Piñatas are popular the world over, especially as part of children's birthday celebrations. But they have a long history, and in Mexico and Spain they are associated with religious celebrations - Lent and Ch
Published on 2011-04-13 02:01:00
A diacritical mark is a glyph added to a letter or a basic glyph. It comes from a Greek word for "distinguishing". The tilde is a diacritical mark most often seen over the "n" in Spanish, to signify a palatal nasal sound like an "ny". &nb
Published on 2011-04-12 02:01:00
Orange blossoms and fruit. Image courtesy of Ellen Levy Finch/Wikipedia.
When I was three my parents bought their first house. We moved to the new city of Granada Hills in the northern San Fernando Valley. Right across from us was
Published on 2011-04-11 02:01:00
Contemporary Chinese example (for Year of the Dog) in a style that is
like the 6th century form. Image courtesy of Fanghong/Wikipedia.
Papercutting is the art of cutting out paper designs. Cultures all over the world have their own
Published on 2011-04-08 02:01:00
The most common meaning of the word "ring" is a circular band worn as ornamental jewelry around a finger. A ring can be made out of almost any material, and is worn by both men and women. The custom of giving a ring has been around for al
Published on 2011-04-07 02:01:00
Image courtesy of arcspace.com.
It was the Viipuri Library. Then it was the Nadezhda Krupskaya Municipal Library. Now it is the Central City Alvar Aalto Library. Whichever name you prefer, its architecture is unique and its design
Published on 2011-04-06 02:01:00
He had tried a number of jobs without success but, unlike Dubya, these jobs were undistinguished so failure only hurt himself. His last job was clerking in his brother's dry goods store. But the call of the hunt was too much for him. &nbs
Published on 2011-04-05 02:01:00
Bonvicini's London installation. Image courtesy of Jennifer Carlile/MSNBC.com
Eight years ago one of the most influential artists in recent years displayed an installation that is still causing waves. It is going viral AGAIN in emails, a
Published on 2011-04-04 02:01:00
Image courtesy of Señor Codo/Wikipedia.
Mariachi is music native to Mexico, mainly associated with Jalisco, but also the western states of Nayarit, Zacatecas, Aguacalientes, Guanajuato, Michoacán, and Colima. Its exact birthplace is
Published on 2011-04-01 02:01:00
Dans le train
Anastassia Elias is an artist and illustrator who lives in Paris. Her preferred medium is paper collages and paintings. She has illustrated two children's books, and has exhibited her paintings. She is self-taught, an
Published on 2011-03-31 02:01:00
The Kuthodaw Pagoda viewed from the southeast.
Last November I wrote about the world’s largest book – Bhutan: A Visual Odyssey Across the Last Himalayan Kingdom – which holds the Guinness World Record. However, there is an older
Published on 2011-03-30 02:01:00
Photo courtesy of Ji-Elle/Wikipedia.
The Chêne chapelle, or chapel oak in English, is a unique oak tree in Allouville-Bellefosse. This is the oldest known tree in France. Allouville-Bellefosse is a small farming village. Accordin
Published on 2011-03-29 02:01:00
Salar De Uyuni, Bolivia. Image courtesy of Ezequiel Cabrere/Wikipedia.
Bolivia is the poorest country in South America. Gold, silver, tin, gas and oil have all been exported from the country, but those exports made others rich, not Boliv
Published on 2011-03-28 02:01:00
"Some people, when they think of Southern California, think of nuts. Not the kind that grow in trees, but the kind that swing in trees—the bearded, mop-haired, half-naked vegetarians who wander around in the hills and occasionally ro
Published on 2011-03-25 02:01:00
"The subjects are bit players who, for a brief time, found fameprinted on the glassy surface of dime novels. My mitts and an a xacto knife work together to persuade skirts and skinflintsto return to the stage for one
Published on 2011-03-24 02:01:00
Poster by Kees Kelfkens, 1958, for CPNB.
Each year the CPNB or Collectieve Propaganda van het Nederlandse Boek (the Collective Promotion for the Dutch Book) organizes a book week to promote Dutch literature. The CPNB was founded by profess
Published on 2011-03-23 02:01:00
A worker at a carbon black plant, Sunray, Texas, 1942.
Photo by John Vachon.
Part of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Deal in the United States was to create the Resettlement Administration (RA) in 1935 to deal with rural poverty. Two years lat
Published on 2011-03-22 02:01:00
The March Hare from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by
Lewis Carroll. Illustration by Sir John Tenniel. The Hare
wears straw on its head, a sign of madness in Victorian times.
The saying "mad as a march hare" is an old one, and refers t
Published on 2011-03-21 02:01:00
When I think of a monastery I picture a very austere place, bare, somewhat dank, with tiny little rooms with cots for the monks, a large church, and gardens, a brewery and a winery, and bees. If I'm in a romantic mood and
Published on 2011-03-18 02:01:00
Eric "Badlands" Booker
Sonya "The Black Widow" Thomas, Crazy Legs Conti, Eric "Badlands" Booker, Elizabeth "Rubber Gut" Canady, Ivan "The Invader" Hickman, Joey Chestnut, Gentleman Joe Menchetti - sound like a Mafia family to you? Well, they a
Published on 2011-03-17 02:01:00
The Western Wall in Jerusalem.
In March 2000, eleven years ago, Pope John Paul II visited Yad Vashem, the national Holocaust memorial in Israel. He also made history by going to the Western Wall in Jerusalem, where he left the following note:
Published on 2011-03-16 02:01:00
Alice Cooper, Neil Diamond, Dr. John, Darlene Love, Tom Waits...
...and Leon Russell.
"This is supposed to be a hall of fame...if they renamed the place 'Rock and Roll Hall of Artists You Should Have Liked More Than the Ones You Actually Did'
Published on 2011-03-15 02:01:00
Aysashōrū Akinori at the January 2008 tournament.
This Mongolian champion is 30 years old, weighs 330 lbs. and is 6' tall.
Photo by Eckhard Pecher via Wikipedia.
The guy above is a rock star. Sort of. In Japan, he was one of the top su
Published on 2011-03-14 02:01:00
Assortment of bookguns from the 90s by Robert The.
"Obsession with the semiotic erosion of meaning and reality led me to create objects that evangelize their own relevance by a direct fusion of word and form. Books (many culled from
Published on 2011-03-11 02:01:00
Six hundred years ago, a rebel leader named Lê Lợi used a magical sword to drive out the Chinese from his country. He had gotten the blade from a fisherman who found it in his nets. The blade had no handle but was engraved wi
Published on 2011-03-10 02:01:00
Published on 2011-03-09 02:01:00
Snice. Image courtesy of Wikipedia.
The love child of snow and ice, "snice" is what holds together an amazing concept in hostelry - the ice hotel. The destination hotels for spunky travelers looking for only the coolest places, the walls
Published on 2011-03-08 02:01:00
Courtesy of Andrew Barr for the National Post.
It's the number sign. It's the pound sign. It's the hashmark, hash mark, hash tag, hashtag, or hash key. It's the octothorp, octothorpe, octathorp, or octatherp. It's a tic-tac-t
Published on 2011-03-07 02:01:00
"For Stuart Callan, 1962 - 2005", 2005, paper and screws, approx. 11.5' x 12.75' x 1.3'
Courtesy of The Mattress Factory, Pittsburg
Close up of above work.
Well, that's what Jonathan Callan does. The internationally famous artist uses
Published on 2011-03-04 02:01:00
A trade card for Christopher Gibson's upholstery shop in St. Paul's Churchyard, London,
1739-1742. Ink on paper, approx. 6-3/4" x 8-1/4", courtesy of Victoria & Albert Museum.
Before there were business cards, there were trade cards.
Published on 2011-03-03 02:01:00
Painting by Marion Rose Fine Art.
I've written before about ravens - those cocky, raucous, smart-ass birds. But apparently I'm not the only one with an affinity for them. Seems a couple of well-known writers had an affinity for them, too
Published on 2011-03-02 02:01:00
"I ain't got no quarrel with the Vietcong. No Vietcong ever called me Nigger."
The Greatest. The Champ. The Louisville Lip.
Photo by Ira Rosenberg, World Journal Tribune, 1967.
My mild-mannered, quiet and shy, Walter Mittyish dad
Published on 2011-03-01 02:01:00
The extant fragments of the Antikythera Mechanism.
Over 2,000 years ago, a Roman merchant vessel weighing probably 300 tons made a wrong turn and the ship crashed into coastal cliffs off the island of Antikythera near Crete. The ship was carry
Published on 2011-02-28 02:01:00
Gian Francesco Poggio Bracciolini (1380-1459)
Image courtesy of Wikipedia.
At a time when the production of manuscripts was accomplished by hand-copying them, Poggio Bracciolini was an Italian master. An important personage in the early Renais
Published on 2011-02-25 02:01:00
Thalia, named "Princess" the night before, waits for a parade to start.
The United States is known as the "Land of the Free", but many who live here would debate that. In many states gays and lesbians are not allowed to marry or share the priv
Published on 2011-02-24 02:01:00
"No important books have been injured during the making of these photographs."Cara Barer
Book lovers are very protective of their books. Dog-earred pages are definite no-nos. So is cracking the spines. Nev
Published on 2011-02-23 02:01:00
Museums are the direct descendants of the cabinets of curiosities that became popular in Renaissance Europe. In the 19th century as countries emerged as nation-states they exhibited a need to establish a paternity. A collecti
Published on 2011-02-22 02:01:00
Hold it! Calm down, and read it again slowly. I said "Funk U", as in the online university that educates students about funk music. Begun last July by William Earl "Bootsy" Collins, the online bass guitar school hopes to eventually
Published on 2011-02-21 02:01:00
Age appears to be best in four things: old wood to burn,old wine to drink, old friends to trust, and old authors to read.
Francis Bacon (paraphrasing Athenaeus)
Close-up of paper made from spruce, poplar, pine, and fir trees.
Image courtesy o
Published on 2011-02-18 02:01:00
Paris 1940 and 2010: German cavalry on the Avenue Foch by Sergey Larenkov.
Rephotography is an attempt by a photographer to retake a photo at a different time but from the same viewpoint. The comparison of resulting photographs can be no
Published on 2011-02-17 02:01:00
Nymphenburg Palace photo by Wilfried Hösl /Presseamt München.
Long before Hugh Hefner created the Playboy Mansion, King Ludwig I of Bavaria created the Schönheitengalarie (Gallery of Beauties), in the former small dining room in the sou
Published on 2011-02-16 02:01:03
This winter has been harsh all across the U.S. People are dreaming of summer, which brings up the subject of summer vacation. How to combine fun in the water, being at the seashore, and music into one unique experience requires thoughtful
Published on 2011-02-15 02:01:00
The strange Voynich manuscript boinks cerebral scholars.
The University of Arizona has recently redated a puzzling manuscript known as the Voynich Manuscript. Most scholars, who have been unable to decipher its script or make sense of its draw
Published on 2011-02-14 02:01:00
Ah, Valentine's Day! Roses, chocolate, a nice dinner out... the usual - blah, blah, blah. How about mixing it up a little this year?
First of all, heart-shaped desserts are de rigueur. But why not be anatomically correct and go wit
Published on 2011-02-11 02:01:00
Rainbow Bridge Cat ATC cards by graphic designer Tally Yee.
ATC is the acronym for Artist Trading Cards. They are miniature works of art meant for trading and are about the size of a baseball trading card so they can fit in the standard card-c
Published on 2011-02-10 02:01:00
Letter frequency in English, sorted by frequency.
Letter frequency analysis is common in cryptography, and has a marked effect on keyboard layouts. It also plays a fundamental role in games including Scrabble, hangman, and cryptograms, among
Published on 2011-02-09 02:01:00
Sheet music from 1899 for The Coster's Mansion
featuring Coster comedian Gus Elen.
Image courtesy of Wikipedia.
London in the 19th century was an interesting place. The streets were as dirty as any large city, and because of diseases like
Published on 2011-02-08 02:01:00
Image courtesy of Wikipedia.
What is now a billion dollar industry has a sketchy beginning. Legend has it that Chef George "Speck" Crum was frustrated by a customer who kept sending his fried potatoes back to the kitchen complaining that they
Published on 2011-02-07 02:01:00
Jizo statue by Robin Noll.
Abortion has been legal in Japan since 1948. Despite years of hounding by Western countries, especially the U.S., it has kept abortion legal. Prior to 1948 it was illegal primarily to boost the population durin
Published on 2011-02-04 02:01:00
Who says women can’t keep a secret?
Long, long ago, in a country far, far away, women were not allowed to be literate. So what, you say. That could be anywhere in the world if it was long, long ago. True, but the pl
Published on 2011-02-03 02:01:00
In English, that is equivalent to "Happy New Year!"
Image courtesy of www.koreanpress.com.
Today is the first day of the Chinese New Year (the Year of the Rabbit), also known as the Spring Festival. It begins on the first day of the first mo
Published on 2011-02-02 02:01:00
Punxsutawney Phil from Gobbler's Knob.
Image courtesy of Groundhog Org.
Today is Groundhog Day. It is customary in the U.S. to wait for and watch a groundhog poke its head out of its burrow to check out the weather. If he sees his shadow
Published on 2011-02-01 02:01:00
Image courtesy of www.flickr.com
"My goal is to live the truly religious life, and express it in my music.If you live it, when you play there's no problem because the music ispart of the whole thing. To be a musician is really s
Published on 2011-01-31 02:01:00
This book advocates rebelling against authority, and
has been referred to as reflecting the "yippie zeitgeist".
Bibliokleptomania has existed for as long as there have been biblios to klept. Of course, it’s a lot easier to sneak a