Web LOL: Library Of Links Impractical Proposals


The Big Picture offers, well, really big pictures

The Big Picture section of the Boston Globe's offers truly awesome high resolution photographs from the news, mostly drawn from the Associated Press. This photo of a solar flare was released by Nasa Earth Observatory on June 7, 2011 and taken from Nasa's Solar Dynamics Observatory.
Solar flare by Nasa Earth Observatory

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Music: The National Jukebox

The Library of Congress' National Jukebox makes historical sound recordings available to the public free of charge. As it began operations, the "jukebox" already listed more than 10,000 78rpm disc sides issued by the Victor Talking Machine Company between 1900 and 1925. The playlist includes popular recorded selections of the beginning of the 20th century years—band music, novelty tunes, humorous monologues, hits from the season's new musical theater productions, the latest dance rhythms, and opera arias. As of this posting, upcoming releases include early Victor discs from National Jukebox partners David Giovannoni and Mark Lynch, many more selections from the 1919 edition of the Victor Book of the Opera, and thousands more Victrola 78s from the collections of the University of California Santa Barbara. Later this year, the library will begin digitizing recordings from additional record labels, including Columbia and Okeh, along with selected master recordings from the Library of Congress Universal Music Group Collection. -- adapted from the website.

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Modeling: New York City in Miniature

NYC Panorama
The Panorama of the City of New York is the jewel in the crown of the collection of the Queens Museum of Art. Built by Robert Moses for the 1964 World’s Fair, in part as a celebration of the City’s municipal infrastructure, this 9,335 square foot architectural model includes every single building constructed before 1992 in all five boroughs; that is a total of 895,000 individual structures.

The Panorama was built by a team of 100 people working for the great architectural model makers Raymond Lester Associates in the three years before the opening of the 1964 World’s Fair. In planning the model, Lester Associates referred to aerial photographs, insurance maps, and a range of other City material; the Panorama had to be accurate, indeed the initial contract demanded less than one percent margin of error between reality and the model. Until 1970 all of the changes in the City were accurately recreated in the model by Lester’s team. After 1970 very few changes were made until 1992, when again Lester Associates changed over 60,000 structures to bring it up-to-date. In 2006 an up-grade of the lighting system - the first change to the model since 1992 - allowed for the Panorama to be displayed in different light conditions; highlight different buildings or areas of the City; and even recreate the sounds of the city. -- from the website.

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Art: The Johnny Cash Project

The Johnny Cash Project is a global collective art project. Working with a single image as a template, and using a custom drawing tool, visitors to the site create an individual, personal portrait of the late singer. The new drawing is then combined with art from participants around the world, and integrated into a collective whole: a music video for "Ain’t No Grave", from the country star's last album.

Strung together and played in sequence over the song, the portraits create a moving, ever evolving homage to the beloved musical icon. What’s more, as new people discover and contribute to the project, this living portrait will continue to transform and grow, so it’s virtually never the same video twice.

The Johnny Cash Project

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Möbius Story: "Wind and Mr. Ug" by Vi Hart


Transportation: New York City Subway


Nature: Portrait of John Muir as a Young Man

John Muir (1838-1914) was America's most famous and influential naturalist and conservationist, and founder of the Sierra Club. The John Muir Exhibit features his life and contributions.
Visit the John Muir Exhibit.

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Museums: Going Postal

The National Philatelic Collection was established at the Smithsonian in 1886 with the donation of a sheet of 10-cent Confederate postage stamps. Generous gifts from individuals and foreign governments, transfers from government agencies and occasional purchases have increased the collection to today's total of more than 5.9 million items.

From 1908 until 1963, the collection was housed in the Smithsonian's Arts and Industries Building on the National Mall. In 1964, the collection was moved to the museum that is now known as the National Museum of American History. There, the collection expanded to include postal history and stamp production. The collection was then moved to its present location and the National Postal Museum opened on July 30, 1993.

In addition to one of the world's largest collections of stamps and philatelic materials, the National Postal Museum has postal history material that pre-dates stamps, vehicles used to transport the mail, mailboxes and mailbags, postal uniforms and equipment. -- from the website.

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Transportation: The Subway Page

Maps, maps & more maps: Links to World Subway and Other Transportation Information Resources.

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Stories: Larry King shows you how it's done


Astronomy: It's all relative

This is from Bob Cesca's Awesome Blog:

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Anthems: Is Lin Yu Chun the next Susan Boyle?



The Arts: blog-based archive of fascinating missives

Letters of Note: Correspondence deserving a wider audience "is an attempt to gather and sort fascinating letters, postcards, telegrams, faxes, and memos" presented both as facsimiles, such as this one of a letter scribbled by Jack Kerouac about William Burroughs, and as transcriptions. The writers range from Mary Queen of Scots to Kurt Vonnegut. An endlessly fascinating site.

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Design: Reinventing the Automobile

Three experts believe we need to update the way we think about modern transportation -- particularly the automobile. William Mitchell, Christopher E. Borroni-Bird, and Lawrence D. Burns have created blueprints for transforming the current automobile landscape into one that's more appropriate for our social, city-based, interactive society. Their book Reinventing the Automobile: Personal Urban Mobility for the 21st Century sees a future of cities filled with smart cars driven by electricity instead of mechanics, and features that emphasize interconnectivity and more efficient mobility.

The rest of the story: Reinventing the Automobile by Sheryl Sulistiawan (Fast Company 2010-03-26)

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Science & Technology: Thinking Outside of the Toy Box

Four Children's Gizmos That Inspired Scientific Breakthroughs (Scientific American 2010-03-24)

Advances in science and technology can launch from unassuming springboards.Lego in the Lab In 1609 Galileo tweaked a toylike spyglass, pointed it at the moon and Jupiter (not the neighbors), and astronomy took a quantum leap. About 150 years later, Benjamin Franklin reportedly used a kite to experiment with one of the earliest-known electrical capacitors. Continuing that tradition, researchers reach back to childhood -- to Etch A Sketch, Lego, Shrinky Dink and Balloon within a Balloon -- to help them develop tiny transistors, study particle separation, make microfluidics devices, and fight cancer.

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The Arts: Getty Museum, Los Angeles

If you're in L.A., take any opportunity to visit the Getty.

Getty from Bill Petropoulos on Vimeo.

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Music: OK Go's "This Too Shall Pass"

Is this the greatest video ever?



The Holocaust: The Auschwitz Album

Visual Evidence of Mass Murder at Auschwitz-Birkenau:

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Nature: A universe in one cubic

How much life can you find in one cubic foot?

That's a hunk of ecosystem small enough to fit in your lap. To answer the question, photographer David Liittschwager took a green metal frame, a 12-inch cube, to disparate environments -- land and water, tropical and temperate. At each locale he set down the cube and started watching, counting, and photographing with the help of his assistant and many biologists.

The goal: to represent the creatures that lived in or moved through that space.

The team then sorted through their habitat cubes, coaxing out every inhabitant, down to a size of about a millimeter. Accomplishing that took an average of three weeks at each site. In all, more than a thousand individual organisms were photographed, their diversity represented in this gallery.

"It was like finding little gems," Liittschwager says.

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Art & Design: 1975 Artists' Soapbox Derby


Astronomy: The Known Universe Scientifically Rendered by the American Museum of Natural History

After hovering over Mount Everest and the gorges that plunge to the Ganges, you are pulled through the Earth’s atmosphere to glimpse the inky black of space over Tibet’s high desert. So begins The Known Universe, a new film produced by the American Museum of Natural History that is part of a new exhibition, Visions of the Cosmos: From the Milky Ocean to an Evolving Universe, at the Rubin Museum of Art in New York City.

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The Obameter: Tracking Obama's Campaign Promises

PolitiFact has compiled more than 500 promises that Barack Obama made during the campaign and is tracking their progress on the Obameter. Statuses are rated as No Action, In the Works or Stalled. Once an action is found to be completed, it is rated a Promise Kept, a Compromise or a Promise Broken. The report card at right provides an up-to-the-minute tally of all the promises.

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Iconoclasts: Harry Smith

"Artist, alchemical filmmaker, musical archeologist and avant garde shaman, Harry Smith’s obsessive interests made him an influential, yet not widely known, figure of 20th century Beat culture and beyond. If Smith was only responsible for preserving the folk and blues musical traditions of early America in his Anthology of American Folk Music set from 1952, we would have him to thank for providing a way forward for a young Bob Dylan and the whole of the 60s/70s folk scene." - from Harry Smith: American Magus.

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Nadine Jarvin is a product designer. One of her projects involves rethinking how we approach death.

In Carbon Copies, for example, pencils are made from the carbon of human cremains. 240 pencils can be made from an average body of ash - a lifetime supply of pencils for those left behind.

Each pencil is foil stamped with the name of the person. Only one pencil can be removed at a time, it is then sharpened back into the box causing the sharpenings to occupy the space of the used pencils. Over time the pencil box fills with sharpenings - a new ash, transforming it into an urn. The window acts as a timeline, showing you the amount of pencils left as time goes by.

This work forms part of a larger research project into post mortem.

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Environment: Alarming time-lapse video of the Alaskan coastline

Erodes at the rate of 45 feet a year
Jaymi Heimbuch writes on Treehugger:
With less ice cover during the summers to protect the shore from the ocean, and warmer ocean waters almost guaranteed, the erosion seems unstoppable. In fact, the scientists working on the study say as much. There is little evidence that this erosion has an end point. As the shoreline is made up of blocks of permafrost, the conditions basically ensure that large chunks are taken off at a time during stormy weather.
From Dangerous Minds

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Science & Technology: Elements of Humanity

On Elements of Humanity, the editors of Make magazine present interviews with great minds working in science and technology that ask what intrigues them and try to learn more about what they do.
Lynn Rothschild is "Fascinated with Microbes."

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Science: Kary Mullis talks about the next-gen cure for killer infections, but it's the enthsiasm that's contagious

Drug-resistant bacteria kills, even in top hospitals. But now tough infections like staph and anthrax may be in for a surprise. Nobel-winning chemist Kary Mullis, who watched a friend die when powerful antibiotics failed, unveils a radical new cure that shows extraordinary promise.

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Writers: Mark Twain

A fine source of Twainiana: Quotations, newspaper archives and related resources, collected by Barbara Schmidt, featuring graphics and photographs from the Dave Thomson collection. Included are a "Chronology of Known Mark Twain Speeches, Public Readings and Lectures" and a list of publications with Mark Twain/Samuel Clemens interviews, many with links. A great place to hang around for a few hours.

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Cartography: Strange Maps

McDonald's restaurant location map
The ultimate site for cartography geeks, Strange Maps has a seemingly endless collection of historical, speculative, analytical and informational maps, such as the one above depicting the location of McDonald's restaurants. A book version, Strange Maps: An Atlas of Cartographic Curiosities by Frank Jacobs, is also available.

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Passion: Heads in the Clouds

At The Cloud Appreciation Society, they love clouds, and they’re not embarrassed to admit it. Read their manifesto and see how they're fighting the banality of "blue-sky thinking." For a minimal postage and administration fee, you can join the society and receive your very own official membership certificate and badge.

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Online Documentaries: SnagFilms

SnagFilms offers a wide variety of documentaries online, well-known documentaries like Super Size Me and lesser- known but interesting fare like The Times of Harvey Milk, about the assassination of San Fransisco's first openly gay elected official, and Hell on Wheels, about the origins of modern women-only roller derbies. The films are almost all full length and of a high quality. Watching the videos is free and requires no login, but there are brief 10-15 second ads every once in a while.


Science: Rensselaer Researchers to Create Semantic Web Platforms for Massive Scientific Collaboration

Web scientists at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute will use the World Wide Web to compile and share scientific data on an unprecedented scale. Their goal is to hasten scientific discovery and innovation by enabling rapid and easy collaboration between scientists, educators, students, policy makers, and even “citizen scientists” around the world via the Web.
Funded by $1.1 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF), the research seeks to break science out of the hallowed halls of the laboratory and place it in the hands of the people. -- from the press release, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

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Talk: Optical illusions show how we see -- Beau Lotto

Beau Lotto's color games puzzle your vision, but they also spotlight what you can't normally see: how your brain works. This fun, first-hand look at your own versatile sense of sight reveals how evolution tints your perception of what's really out there.
Go to Optical illusions show how we see at TED.



Resource: Holocaust documents on line

Hundreds of thousands of Holocaust-related documents are now searchable online through an agreement between the National Archives and Records Administration and

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Talk: Search for the Chimera by James "The Amazing" Randi

Presented at The Center for Inquiry / Transnational in Amherst, NY (2008-09-12):
Search for the Chimera, A Lecture by James "The Amazing" Randi.

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Good Eatin': Everything you wanted to know about chile peppers but were afraid to ask

Here's a hot documentary on chile peppers and fiery foods from New Mexico State University, written, co-produced, and hosted by Dave DeWitt, The Pope of Peppers. Shot on location in Mexico, Guatemala, The Bahamas, Jamaica, Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico, and Florida, the movie covers all aspects of the passion for peppers.
Heat up Your Life - Peppers and People (YouTube)

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Nostalgia: Scopitone -- Threat or Menace?

How many hangovers were aggravated by Scopitone?

And where are Bobby Vee and Joey Dee when you need them?

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Photography: California Coastline

A man, a helicopter and a digital camera = the California Coastal Records Project, a 10,000 image aerial photographic survey of the entire 1,000-mile-long California coast, from Barbra Streisand's Malibu backyard to the best secret surf spots the state has to offer.

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Humor: Bob Newhart, Unscripted


Space Program: High Resolution Image Downloads from NASA

High resolution files are available for download directly from the website.

The improved download features offer a choice of high or low resolution files for still images, allowing users to select the version best suited for their needs. Many images on the site have a dimension of 3000 pixels or higher, making them suitable for printing at up to 11 x 17 inches on most printers. The website still maintains NASA’s file naming conventions for easy organization....

Internet Archive’s offers the first comprehensive collection of NASA imagery in a single, searchable on-line location, providing enthusiasts, researchers, news media and the general public easy, no-cost access to NASA’s vast collection of still and video imagery. -- from press release.

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Nutrition: Labels

How to Understand and Use the Nutrition Facts Label

The Nutrition Facts Panel - An Overview
The Serving Size
Calories (and Calories from Fat)
The Nutrients: How Much?
Understanding the Footnote
How the Daily Values (DV) Relate to the %DVs
The Percent Daily Value (%DV)
Quick Guide to %DV
Nutrients With a %DV but No Weight Listed - Spotlight on Calcium
Nutrients Without a %DV: Trans Fats, Protein, and Sugars
    People look at food labels for different reasons. But whatever the reason, many consumers would like to know how to use this information more effectively and easily. The following label-building skills are intended to make it easier for you to use nutrition labels to make quick, informed food choices that contribute to a healthy diet. -- from the website.

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    Resources: Hubble Space Telescope Heritage Image Gallery

    The Hubble Space Telescope is a research tool dedicated to scientific studies of nature. Enroute to illuminating the forces shaping our cosmos, HST has accumulated a cosmic zoo. The Hubble Heritage Project sees this instrument also as a tool for extending human vision, one that is capable of building a bridge between the endeavors of scientists and the public. By emphasizing compelling HST images distilled from scientific data, we hope to pique curiosity about our astrophysical understanding of the universe we all inhabit. -- from the website.

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    Museums: Hidden Histories - Women and the Renaissance

    "The medieval and Renaissance collections at the [Victoria and Albert Museum] have many objects that reveal the lives of women. Ranging from jewellery to ceramics, most are precious items that would have belonged to the wealthy. This reflects what has survived but also what was collected by the Museum. Most of objects that will be examined here are from Italy, and date from the 15th and 16th centuries." -- from the website.

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    Documentary: Paperland -- The Bureaucrat Observed

    A near-universal plaint concerns the sufferings inflicted on humanity by bureaucracies. Seemingly, all civilized peoples in all times have been shaped by their warrens of rule makers and record keepers. But few have tried to explain why bureaucrats behave as they do. Director Donald Brittain has traveled from Canada, Austria and Hungary to the Vatican and the Virgin Islands in an effort to understand the functioning of the public service mind. This is "The Office" made real.

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    Robotics: "Einstein" mimics human expressions

    Scientists at UC San Diego's California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology have equipped a robot modeled after the famed theoretical physicist Albert Einstein with specialized software that allows it to interact with humans in a relatively natural, conversational way. The so-called "Einstein Robot," which was designed by Hanson Robotics of Dallas, Texas, recognizes a number of human facial expressions and can respond accordingly, making it an unparalleled tool for understanding how both robots and humans perceive emotion, as well as a potential platform for teaching, entertainment, fine arts and even cognitive therapy.



    Advertising: Classic Ads from the Golden Age of Television

    From the website: AdViews is a digital archive of thousands of vintage television commercials dating from the 1950s to the 1980s. These commercials were created or collected by the ad agency Benton & Bowles or its successor, D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles (DMB&B). AdViewsFounded in 1929, Benton & Bowles was a New York advertising agency that merged with D'Arcy Masius McManus in 1985 to form DMB&B. Major clients included are Procter & Gamble, Kraft, Schick, Vicks, and Post, among others. Commercials will be added in phased batches over several months in 2009. The commercials are a part of the D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles Archives found at the John W. Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising & Marketing History in Duke University's Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library.

    AdViews: Thousands of television commercials created or collected by the D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles advertising agency, dated 1950s - 1980s. John W. Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising & Marketing History

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    Search: worldwide virtual library catalogue

    WorldCat call itself the world's largest network of library content and services. Linked to libraries that are committed to providing access to their resources on line, enables searching of the collections of book repositories around the world:
    * Search many libraries at once for an item and then locate it in a library nearby to borrow it
    * Find books, music, and videos to check out
    * Find research articles and digital items (like audiobooks) that can be directly viewed or downloaded
    * Link to "Ask a Librarian" and other library services
    * Post your review of an item, or contribute factual information about it
    You may need to have an active offline membership with some libraries to view/download content or check out materials by downloading.

    Illustration: Click on WorldCat icons to search for books, music CDs and videos -- all of the physical items you're used to getting from libraries. You can also discover many new kinds of digital content, such as downloadable audiobooks. You may also find article citations with links to their full text; authoritative research materials, such as documents and photos of local or historic significance; and digital versions of rare items that aren't physically available to the public. Resources are available in many languages.

    Go. Read. WorldCat.Org

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    Why We Love the Internet (still): Tay Zonday's “Chocolate Rain”

    Lest we forget:

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    Art and Society: 100 Years of Design Manifestos

    "Since the days of radical printer-pamphleteers, design and designers have a long history of fighting for what’s right and working to transform society. The rise of the literary form of the manifesto also parallels the rise of modernity and the spread of letterpress printing.

    "This largely drawn from Mario Piazza’s presentation at the Più Design Può conference in Florence, though [the blog Social Design Notes edited and added to it." -- from the website.

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    Transportation: The World's Fastest Amphibious Vehicle


    Talk: Al Seckel says our brains are mis-wired

    Al Seckel, a cognitive neuroscientist, explores the perceptual illusions that fool our brains. Loads of eye tricks help him prove that not only are we easily fooled, we kind of like it.
    Go to Al Seckel says our brains are mis-wired at TED.



    Music: Jacques Brel sings "Mathilde"


    Why we love the Internet #3,244,693: The Evolution of Dance by Judson Laipply

    Still wildly popular and very funny:

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    Design: Rocking Chairs, a History

    This illustrated history of rocking chairs from Designboom LeCorbusier rockercovers origins ("We all know that the rocking chair is a distinctly American passion; its origins, however, are less clear"), precursors (such as the Swedish gungstol and the British Windsor rocker), and modern and contemporary chairs (such as Thonet bentwood rockers, Eames rockers, or an Italian rocking stool), and includes images of rocking chairs from a 2002 design competition. Designboom.

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    Design: Perspectives on Architecture and Urbanism From Around the Globe

    The material collected by The Architectural League of New York about architecture and urban development for five cities around the world, including Beirut, Lebanon, and Caracas, Venezuela, has maps, statistics, timelines, background about architects, and illustrated essays and interviews on topics such as the San Diego/Tijuana border wall, women at work in Dhaka, and population density in Oslo. <>

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    The Brain: Cognitive Daily News

    "Cognitive Daily reports nearly every day on fascinating peer-reviewed developments in cognition from the most respected scientists in the field....The research isn't dumbed down, but it's explained in language that everyone can understand, with clear illustrations and references to the original research." -- from the website. <>

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    Californio: Los Angeles Historic Resources Survey

    SurveyLA from the L.A. Department of City Planning's Office of Historic Preservation, "Los Angeles' first-ever comprehensive program to identify significant historic resources" for historic preservation purposes, identifies and evaluates historic properties and districts and offers a guide to using the Zoning Information and Map Access System to find historic preservation information, preservation resources, and related material. <>

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    Design: Eye Project

    Eye Project, a branding site for KDDI, the Japanese telcom, uses a new server-side video generating system to create original ideas for digital visual presentations.
    A very different clock: <>
    Be sure to explore the site: <>

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    "This web site deals with any and all aspects of the general topic "animals in the Middle Ages", though there is an emphasis on the manuscript tradition, particularly of the bestiaries, and mostly in western Europe. The subject is vast, so this a large site, with well over 3000 pages, and perhaps the best way to explore it is to just wander around." - from the website. <>

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    Tools: Check your symptoms

    Except for hypochondriacs, who might be prone to abuse it, WebMD's Symptom Checker is a useful tool: "Need information as you determine what to do about your symptoms? Get help figuring them out by answering a series of questions. To get started, click on male or female, regardless of age, then the part of the body that is troubling you. Use the Symptom Checker to select parts of the body where you are experiencing symptoms." Why pay a doctor to misdiagnose you, when you can do it yourself? <>

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    Why We Love the Internet # 3,443,222: Internet Pinball Database

    The Internet Pinball Machine Database, also known as the IPD or IPDB and originally compiled as part of the Pinball Pasture site in the mid-1990s, "is a comprehensive, searchable listing of virtually every pinball machine ever commercially made. It is an ad free, popup free, registration free resource.....The database is constantly expanding, but currently includes 35,533 images of 4,981 games and 2,964 other game related files, as well as links to other pinball websites, all arranged by machine. The database also includes pitch & bat baseball games, cocktail table machines, bingos, and payout machines, when they have a pinball theme. It may also include information on some obscure games that are not pinball machines but sometimes are confused as them.

    "The data in this database has been laboriously gathered by the Editors, over many years, from books, photographs, flyers, web sites, pinball manufacturers, collectors' personal records, and of course the pinball machines themselves. Most of the actual photographs in the database came from various collectors — over 1,172 different contributors to date." <>

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    Communication: Free Online Radio

    A company in New Jersey will house your online radio show for free, making it available live and as podcasts. Just phone it in. "BlogTalkRadio is revolutionizing both social media networking and radio broadcasting. For the first time in history, anyone from anywhere in the world - as long as they have access to a phone and internet connection - can broadcast their voices internationally." <>

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    Books: New Online Talk Show

    Former Random House editor Daniel Menaker is the host of Titlepage.TV, a new online talk show about books and writers. In the first episode, You Always Remember The First Time, four first-time authors -- two novelists and two memoirists -- talk about their maiden voyages and the decision to write fact or fiction. <>

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    Outdoors: Glen Canyon National Recreation Area

    The website for Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, the national park that "stretches for hundreds of miles from Lees Ferry in Arizona to the Orange Cliffs of southern Utah, encompassing scenic vistas, geologic wonders, and a vast panorama of human history" features material for planning a visit, photos and webcams, plus news, background about history and culture, and nature and science info. <>

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    Tools: Mosio Explains It All for You

    I previously recommended Jott in conjunction with Xpenser, but Mosio, when integrated with Jott, brings you just a little bit closer to that internet implant for which you long (it also powers Twitter Answers). Call Jott and say "what day is Bastille Day" and, lo, you'll get back a text message with the answer. If you ask something more complicated, like "If I'm on the corner of Fifth Avenue and 23rd Street, where is the nearest Starbuck's?" you'll get that answer, too. Of course, you can text Google at 46645 with the same questions, but its quicker and easier and more fun just to hit Jott on speed dial and ask Mosio. Mose. The Mosester.
    Jott: <> Mosio: <>



    Health and Exercise: Early Cycling Books at the Lilly Library

    The World Awheel, from the Lilly
    Library, Indiana University
    Bloomington Libraries, of
    images of cycling-themed books,
    features cycling in fiction and
    titles about early bicycles,
    bicycle touring, women and
    cycling, and cycling music,
    with brief historical essays.


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    Do It Yourself:

    " is a community-fueled search engine and directory for Free How-To Video. With an index of more than 100,000 videos (March 2008), we provide the largest, most contemporary, and most diverse resource in this increasingly vibrant space." - from the website. <>

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    Animation: The History of Evil (YouTube)

    The animated history of evil in western civilization from Ancient Greece the to present day:

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    Health: Walkit for exercise

    Walkit is a website that promotes the power of walking as a healthy way to get around urban areas. The UK-based site helps people make more informed decisions about whether travel by foot is a viable choice in particular situations. So far, the site has walking routes for London, Birmingham, Edinburgh and Newcastle/Gateshead, and plans to cover all the UK's big towns by the end of this year. Plans are afoot to add US cities soon, with Boston projected as the port of entry. A user enters starting location and desired destination just as it would be done to return driving instructions at a site like Yahoo! Maps, along with such refinements as the route that is the most direct route or the least busy; there's an option to request a route that passes through another location on the way; and thanks to a feature just added, users going through inner London can request the trail with the lowest amount of pollution. Walkit returns a detailed map and written directions, plus travel time, calories burned, and carbon dioxide avoided by choosing walking over riding in a car, taxi or bus. <>

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    Modern Warfare: Food Fight!


    Blogging: Interior Decorating

    Tchochkes by Shira Abel Shvo is a showcase for ideas about "interior design - furniture construction, fabrics, hinges, handles, flooring, colors, all of it...," with an emphasis on Israeli designers and retailers, "[b]ecause a little decoration is such a nice thing." <>



    Super Heroes: Who's the Best?


    The rules: Artist 1 draws a character with a power. Artist 2 then draws a character whose power cancels the power of that previous character.

    The earliest are at the bottom. Start there and follow the progress up. Or work back from the current superest winner by placing your cursor over the "Vanquished" button and clicking your way down.




    Good Eatin': On a tight budget

    Here's a site that may be a sign of the times:

    Hillbilly Housewife features "low-cost, home-cooking from scratch. The recipes are all tested in a real kitchen with hungry children, stalking cats, begging puppies and a playful husband underfoot. The ingredients are affordable and readily available in most areas.

    "Many of us are feeling the squeeze at the supermarket these day, and all of us are feeling it at the gas pump. The government continues to deny inflation, but I see the results of it in my grocery bill and my gas tank. The official USDA cost of food has risen to $500 a month for a family of 4 on the Thrifty Plan! As most of us tighten our belts, we may be wondering how to juggle expenses that only seem to rise.

    "...We teach you the best foods to buy on a budget and how to cook them so the family will be better fed than they've been in years. You'll find tips and techniques here that you won't find anywhere else on the web. Everything here is free, provided by God's grace. If the information you find here helps you and your circumstances, then please share what you have learned with others, so they too can benefit from your new knowledge." -- from the website.


    The site outlines in detail how to feed a family of four+ and maintain nutritional requirements on a budget of $45.00/wk. The Hillbilly Housewife has great tips on living and eating inexpensively without sacrificing your well being.

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    Reading: LitLovers

    "LitLovers...An online community dedicated to books and book clubs -- because both enrich our lives. We've got great resources to enhance your book club experience. Whether you're selecting books, or thinking & talking about them, LitLovers is the place to come....What can you do on LitLovers? What can't you do! Find a book. Find a review. Find a discussion guide. Take a course. Whip up a recipe (to match your book, of course)! Buy a gift for your one for yourself. There's so much to do -- and so much fun -- you won't want to leave." - from the website. <>

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    The Arts: Don't move

    Absolutely brilliant -- and funny -- performance piece:

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    American History: From Revolution to Republic in Prints and Drawings

    View of Long Island, toward Red HookThis exhibition about the American Revolution is drawn from "the deep and diverse holdings of early American prints and drawings in The New York Public Library," with brief historical essays accompanying the images. <>

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    ZenCam (something happens...or not): Old Faithful Geyser - Live!

    "This full-motion, live-streaming webcam is located near Old Faithful Geyser and brings online visitors views of several other geysers in the area. When geysers such as Beehive, Lion, or Giantess are erupting, the camera will be aimed at them and zoomed in for optimal viewing enjoyment. When bison, elk, coyotes, or the occasional bear wander into the camera’s view, live video images will be transmitted." -- from the website.

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    Advertising: Japander

    Japander is the place to go to see what American celebrities will stoop to (the Kiefer Sutherland videos alone are worth the trip) when they think no one here is looking:
    Pander: n., & v.t. 1. go-between in clandestine amours, procurer; one who ministers to evil designs. 2 v.i. minister (to base passions or evil designs, or person having these)
    Japander: n.,& v.t. 1. a western star who uses his or her fame to make large sums of money in a short time by advertising products in Japan that they would probably never use. ~er (see synecure, prostitute) 2. to make an ass of oneself in Japanese media.

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    Video: "Secret Space"

    "A masterful documentary it cracks on at a tremendous pace. A subject that at first seems too ridiculous to contemplate leaves you nodding in agreement....I always thought there was something suspicious about NASA's attitude to UFOs. Now I know why.' - Jason Cooney, K-Drive Radio, Los Angeles.

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    Exhibitions: Get Lost - Artists Map Downtown New York:

    Created by the New Museum, New York, NY, "Get Lost is a collective portrait of downtown New York. Twenty-one international artists were invited to create a personal view of the city and draw a map of downtown New York, uncovering a territory that is both real and imaginary....Get Lost brings together fictional landscapes, utopian visions, private memories, and obsessive instructions to explore Manhattan, its past, present, and future." <>

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    Design: Emory Douglas at MOCA (Los Angeles)

    Black Panther: The Revolutionary Art of Emory Douglas, an exhibition "traces the graphic art made by Emory Douglas while he worked as minister of culture for the Black Panther Party from 1967 until its discontinuation in the early 1980s," includes examples of his work in posters, pamphlets, and newspapers. The Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art website also includes a gallery guide, audio of a talk with Douglas, and suggestions for further reading. <>

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    Pencil Sharpening: Who's doing what to Wikipedia when

    There may be no practical purpose for this app showing you -- on a world map and in almost real time -- who is editing what Wikipedia entries where, but it's fascinating anyhow: <>

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    Music: A Short History of Guitar Riffs

    Bill Kirchen is the former lead guitarist of Commander Cody and his Lost Planet Airmen, best known for Hot Rod Lincoln and Down to Seeds and Stems. This is a live version of H.R.L., with a twist.

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    Jazz: Django

    From Jerry Jazz Musician, "a website devoted to jazz and American civilization," comes this 2005 interview with Michael Dregni, author of Django: The Life and Music of a Gypsy Legend, a book about French jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt, who was "born in a gypsy caravan at a crossroads in Belgium...[and] almost killed in a freak fire that burned half of his body and left his left hand twisted into a claw."

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    Audio: Earideas

    "Earideas is a collection of the best thoughtful audio available on the web...shows from public and other broadcasters, magazines, newspapers, museums, as well as individuals. You can find it all here (to subscribe, download, or listen on our site), updated daily with the latest shows, organized by category." -- from the site. <>

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    Pencil Sharpening: Darth Vader Has a Nervous Breakdown

    Star Wars re-edited using James Earl Jones' voice from other movies:

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    Good Eatin': Salt + Artistry = Saltistry

    Artisan Flavored Sea Salts

    "By itself, salt is one of the oldest and most crucial minerals to human life. At Saltistry, salt is elevated to an exquisite art. Sourcing the finest sea salts from around the world, salt artist and chef Joni Fay Hill infuses salts with blends of fruits, herbs and spices, creating a complex marriage of flavors and aromas.

    "As a former chef, Joni approaches artisanal salt from a cook’s perspective, meticulously handcrafting her salt infusions in small batches to create a depth of flavor while preserving the texture and integrity of each grain. The unique collection of finishing salts season all types of dishes, both sweet and savory, and add a brilliant flavor dimension to anything and everything edible." -- from the website. <>

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    The Popular Arts: The Cultural Gutter

    The Cultural Gutter "is updated Thursday at noon with a new article about an artistic pursuit generally considered to be beneath consideration. James Schellenberg probes science-fiction, Carol Borden draws out the best in comics, Chris Szego dallies with romance, and each month we feature a Guest Star writer on a gutter subject of their choosing. While the writers have considerable enthusiasm for their subjects, they don't let it numb their critical faculties. Tossing away the shield of journalistic objectivity and refusing the shovel of fannish boosterism, they write in the hopes of starting honest and intelligent discussions about these oft-enjoyed but rarely examined artforms...." <>

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    Resources: Intute Research Portal

    I think too many of us, me included, are lazily coming to depend too much on Wikipedia, even though there are other, as easy to use, but much more scholarly sources of information on the www. One such is Intute, a free service that provides "access to the very best web resources for education and research. The service is created by a network of UK universities and partners. Subject specialists select and evaluate the websites in our database and write high quality descriptions of the resources. The database contains 120536 records." <>



    Good Eatin': Soup, The Ultimate Comfort Food

    "There's something extremely satisfying about a hot, bubbling pot of soup on the stove on a cold winter's night," says Simply Soups: The Ultimate Comfort Food, a handsome site with dozens of recipes for broths and stocks, chilis, chowders, cream and cheese soups, onion soups, vegetable and meat soups, dessert soups, fruit soups, and cold soups. <>

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    Resources: Business Data Portal

    globalEdge, a business information portal designed by MSU, provides links to news, industry profiles, and diagnostic tools to aid business research. <>

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    Artists: Edvard Munch Museet

    When he died in 1944, Norwegian Expressionist artist Edvard Munch bequeathed the works still in his possession to Munch Museet in Oslo, Norway. The institution's site has a Munch biography and timeline, illustrated essays about his paintings and other graphics, details about specific works such as "The Scream," online exhibits on such topics as "The Frieze of Life" and the artist's palette, conservation information, images of paintings stored on rolls, and munch else. <>

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    Wellness: Brain Fitness Center

    Sharpbrains -- "our mission is to provide individuals, companies and institutions with the best science-based information and guidance for Brain Health and Fitness" -- has links to articles on such topics as mental exercise, stress management, improving memory, nutrition, and workforce training and leadership, a blog, newsletter and glossary, plus puzzles to help keep you mentally agile. <>

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    Music Videos: Sharon Jones and the Dab-Kings

    I know I've touted Sharon Jones before

    but I plan to keep it up until her name is as familiar as Aretha's or Madonna's. Sha-ron. Sha-ron. Sha-ron....

    More Sharon Jones and the Dab-Kings live:

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    Maps: Mormon Expansion

    And here is a swell map from the Church of Latter Day Saints depicting the organization's growth since 1830: Google Video

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    Resource: Assistants, Do My Stuff

    Darren Berkovitz and his partners were experiencing a familiar problem: too much to do and not enough time to do it. Somehow, though, they found the time to create a solution: is an online community where busy people can quickly find assistants to handle their errands and tasks. People who need help — called "buyers" — post a task they need completed, anything from mowing the lawn to chartering a private jet, no job too big or too small. Individuals or businesses bid on tasks by providing such information as how much they’ll charge, how the task will be accomplished, and when it will be done. Buyers review bids and choose the best assistant for the job. The site is free to buyers; keeps a percentage of the assistant’s winning bid. <>

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    Creativity: WantsForSale.Com

    Along the lines of Million Dollar Homepage in the “are you kidding me?” department, Wants For Sale illustrators Justin and Christine create pictures of stuff they want and then sell them for the retail price of the item depicted. Portrait of Christine and Justin by Phil RyndaTheir desiderata range from an order of buffalo wings ($12.70) to a month’s rent ($1,056.07). So far they've "bought," among other things, food, clothes, video games, a Nintendo Wii, a gym membership, and sushi at the trendy New York eatery Nobu. They’re still waiting for someone to fund the iPhone they covet and to pony up $1 million for “financial security.” They also do commissions off other people's wish lists. Wants for Sale has been successful enough to inspire a spin-off, Needs for Sale, using the same basic premise to benefit charities. <>

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    Community: Islamic Law in Today's World

    A crucial new addition to our political dialogue: Islamic Law In Our Times - A Realistic Assessment of Islamic Law in Today's World by Asst. Prof. Haider Ala Hamoudi of U.of Pittsburgh School of Law: <>

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    Graphics: Grim Natwick

    A really cool exhibit at the ASIFA-Hollywood Animation Archive:

    You may not know his name, but you've seen his work....Woody Woodpecker, Snow White, Betty Boop, Mr. Magoo and Mickey Mouse were all brought to life by the same remarkable man -- Grim Natwick.

    Grim was mentor to Chuck Jones, Walter Lantz, Marc Davis and Richard Williams; and no other animator had a greater impact on the artform. Grim's first animation was for William Randolph Hearst's Krazy Kat Studio in 1917. His last credit was on Richard Williams' "The Thief & the Cobbler" in 1995. Natwick's career spanned the entire 20th century, and it defined the whole history of animation.

    The ASIFA-Hollywood Animation Archive has mounted an exhibit of artwork from Natwick's personal collection. Included are gag drawings depicting life around the cartoon studio, caricatures of co-workers, and the preliminary sketches that give us a peek behind the creation of some of the greatest cartoons ever made.

    The online exhibit catalog consists of five articles:
    Introduction: Grim Natwick's Scrapbook
    Part One: Early Years In New York (Hearst, Fleischer)
    Part Two: The Golden Age of Animation (Iwerks, Disney, Lantz)
    Part Three: The Modern Era (UPA and beyond)
    Part Four: The Greatest Animator Who Ever Lived (Studio Gag Drawings)

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    Resources: A website for balloon professionals

    With the arrival of the Balloon Resource Center, "a new window to the industry for all Balloon Professionals...[to] stay up to date with products, design ideas, activities and industry issues," can licensing, regulation, correspondence courses and professional associations be far behind? I hope so, before someone really gets hurt. <>

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    Pablo Picasso, the Official Web Site

    Fitting that there is something called the Pablo Picasso: Official Web Site. The artist, known for his style-a-minute development of cubism, blue and pink period works, "Guernica," et al, was the Bob Dylan of 20th Century Art (the Mick Jagger, too, but that was on another field of play). The site has an illustrated timeline, a genealogy (showing his many amours), material about his studios (in France, Spain, and elsewhere), illustrated essays on selected works, and a list of exhibitions around the world. In English, Spanish, and French, natch. <>

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    Good Eatin': Mmmmm, Bugs!

    Sooner or later, global warming and overpopulation will force even faint-hearted Americans to turn to entomophagy, that is, to eating bugs as a source of nutrition and, yes, pleasure, as people in so many other parts of the world already do. You might as well get prepared, and a place to go for some examples of edibles that are already table-ready, such as spicy crushed giant waterbug paste from Thailand Unique or chocolate-covered scorpions from Lazybone, is the list of 32 Edible Insect Foods You Can Buy Online from SenseList. For practical information about bugs in your kitchen, including recipes and shopping advice, visit the Manataka American Indian Council, Food Insects Newsletter, Sunrise Land Shrimp or Iowa State University. To learn more about the history of the phenomenon, visit the University of Kentucky Department of Entomology or download Why Not Bugs? (pdf) from The Southern Herbalist's Stalking the Wild. You can see pictures of your future meals at the Thai Bugs site, Zack’s Bug-Feasting Page, and the USDA Agricultural Research Service. Cookbooks that provide recipes for cooking insects include Creepy Crawly Cuisine: The Gourmet Guide to Edible Insects, the Eat-A-Bug Cookbook, Man Eating Bugs: The Art and Science of Eating Insects, and Bugs for Lunch. And pay careful attention the next time you dine at that fine Asian-Fusion restaurant you like so much. Bon appetit.

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    American Civilization: Benjamin Banneker, 1731-1806

    These sites about Benjamin Banneker, born on November 9, 1731, in Ellicott's Mills, Maryland, a largely self-taught African American "author, scientist, mathematician, farmer, astronomer, publisher and urban planner [who] was descended from enslaved Africans, an indentured English servant, and free men and women of color," discuss accomplishments and key events in his life, and include between them an essay on Banneker's "Almanac," letters to and from Banneker and Thomas Jefferson, links to exhibitions, digitized documents, and other images and writings.

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    The Museums: National Farm Toys Museum

    The National Farm Toy Museum in Dyersville, Iowa "features thousands of toys and exhibits....Tractors, implements, trucks, miniature farm dioramas, toy manufacturing information, and pedal tractors are on display around the museum. Also displayed are two Doug Schlesier sculptures, plaques honoring inductees into the National Farm Toy Hall of Fame, and a plaque honoring the founders of the world’s largest farm toy manufacturer headquartered in Dyersville, the Ertl Company."

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    Nature: Natural Disasters

    The Guardian, the British newspaper, collects news articles about recent natural disasters around the world on its website. Highlights include the November floods in Tabasco, Mexico, the wildfires in Southern California, and an earthquake in Manchester, England last August. The site also has links to interactive guides on earthquakes, volcanoes, hurricanes, and Mount Etna. The Guardian UK

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    Pencil Sharpening: Frank Sinatra sings "MySpace"


    Labor: Working Class Studies Association Website

    "The Working Class Studies Association aims to develop and promote multiple forms of scholarship, teaching, and activism related to working class life and cultures.

    "Association Goals:
    • Promote awareness, growth, and legitimacy of working-class studies internationally
    • Promote models of working-class studies that actively involve and serve the interests of working-class people
    • Promote critical discussions of the relationships among class, race, gender, sexuality, nationality, and other structures of inequality
    • Promote interdisciplinary, multi-disciplinary, and disciplinary approaches to studying and teaching about the lived experience of working-class people
    • Provide opportunities for academics, artists, activists, workers, independent scholars, students, and others to share their work, make connections with colleagues and professional organizations, and learn about resources
    • Facilitate conversations and critical debate engaging diverse intellectual and political approaches to scholarship, teaching, and outreach in working-class studies
    • Create partnerships that link scholarship with activism in labor, community, and other working-class social justice organizations" -- from the website.

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    Californio: Tejon Ranch

    The next time you make the mind-numbing run between and L.A. and the Bay Area on the I-5, the information on this website for Tejon Ranch, "the largest contiguous expanse of land under single ownership in California," will give you something to talk about. The site has a historical timeline of the expanse (established by a Mexican land grant in 1842), details about conservation and wildlife (condors, wildflowers, oak trees...), background on ranching and farming and on a controversial planned development (an industrial complex and a residential community), maps, photos, and a list of movies filmed on location. <>

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    Mathematics: Dangerous Knowledge (BBC documentary)

    In this BBC documentary, David Malone profiles four mathematicians -- Georg Cantor, Ludwig Boltzmann, Kurt Gödel and Alan Turing -- whose genius profoundly informs us, but which tragically drove them mad and eventually led each of them to commit suicide. The film talks to contemporary thinkers, including Greg Chaitin and Roger Penrose, who continue to pursue the question of whether there are things that mathematics and the human mind cannot know.

    Cantor, whose work proved to be the foundation for much of 20th-century mathematics, believed he was God's messenger and was made insane by trying to prove his theories of infinity. Boltzmann's struggle to prove the existence of atoms and probability eventually drove him to suicide. Gödel, the introverted confidant of Albert Einstein, proved that there are problems that will always lie outside human logic; his life ended in a sanatorium where he starved himself to death. And Turing, the great Bletchley Park code breaker and the father of computer science, died trying to prove that some things are fundamentally unprovable.

    Dangerous Knowledge outlines some of the profound questions about the true nature of reality that mathematical thinkers are still struggling to answer. Google Video, 1 hr 29 min.

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    Backyards: Your Friend, Moss

    Living With Mosses, by students and faculty at Oregon State, has the worthy goal of enhancing "public awareness of the effects and benefits of mosses in our everyday environment." In addition to basic moss biology, the site discusses moss on sidewalks and rooftops, pros and cons of mosses in lawns and gardens, physical and chemical moss control methods, and moss encouragement.
    Mad About Moss: The Simple Art of Moss Gardening, from the newsletter of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, recounts one gardener's bold experience of replacing a lawn with a carpet of moss, lays out the conditions for moss growth, describes how to start and maintain a moss garden, and oh so very much more. Living with Mosses and Mad About Moss.



    Ancient History: The Psychedelic '60s - Literary Tradition and Social Change

    The tireless folks in the special collections department of the University of Virginia Library have assembled an exhibit of materials about the social movements of The 1960s in the United States, emphasizing the literature of the period, featuring articles and images on the Beats, Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters, Timothy Leary, the Black Mountain Poets, hippies, Woodstock, illicit drugs, political protests, et cetera, plus handbills, posters, and other memorabilia from those bygone and nearly forgotten days.


    The Lit'ry Life: The Gore Vidal Index

    This unofficial fanzine about essayist and novelist Gore Vidal, by a journalism instructor at the University of Pittsburgh, has a brief biography, thumbnail reviews of the writer's books, images of the covers of editions in translation, the transcript of a 1991 interview, and links to related material and sites. <\>

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    Resources: Real answers from real people

    At Amazon's free satellite site, Askville, you can ask any question on any topic and get real answers from real people who apparently have a huge amount of time on their hands. What's in it for Amazon? They take the opportunity to offer products related to the topic of the question. <>

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    Shopping: Sales On Line

    For current deals on a variety of products, go to SalesCircular, select your state, then pick a category of interest. Best to review this late Saturday or Sunday morning because Best Buy and Circuit City sales start then -- go to their web sites directly, too. <>

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    Astronomy: Fantastic Pictures from NASA

    George Lucas,
    eat your heart out:

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    DIY: Free Personalize Ring Tones

    If you're tired of digging out your phone whenever someone else's cell rings, you could buy a couple of commercially available "customized" rings. But if you really want to personalize your phone, why not create your own at Creating a ringtone is as simple as uploading a favorite sound file, selecting the part of the file that you want answering your phone, and downloading your mini-masterpiece to your cell through the service. Other Phonezoo users have already created some terrific (and some truly awful) ringtones, and you can also use them on your phone to save time and effort. <>

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    Creativity: 10 Most Brilliant Gadgets of 2007

    "Big Ideas for a Better World....For [Popular Mechanics] third annual innovation celebration, we honor...10 cutting-edge products." -- from the Popular Mechanics website.

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    Good Eatin': How to Consume a Kiwano

    The Kiwano (aka, the Horned Melon, melano, African horned cucumber, jelly melon, hedged gourd, or English tomato) is a fruit native to a region of the Kalahari Desert. When picked green and allowed to ripen, the fruit tastes like a mix of cucumber and kiwifruit. When it's picked fully ripe, it has a banana-like taste. Here's some help from wikiHow.

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    Transportation: NYC Subway Sites

    Here's a cool animated time-lapse map of the NYC subway system showing the order in which the lines were built. If you're a real train nut, you will also want to look at the history of the NYC subway, photos of the IRT's first stations, and -- though be warned that you'll probably get hooked -- a treasure trove of historical NYC subway maps.

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