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weblog archives
eXTReMe Tracker
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
Apologies for the recent radio silence. That's what happens when you forget to renew your domain name. To make up for it, here's a very random collection, much of which will be familiar to the more regular link weblog browsers among you.

Pruned on the Hill of Crosses near Siauliai, Lithuania, an extraordinary collection of religious iconography that has totally overwhelmed the land, creating a new topography of its own / BLDG BLOG's Geoff Manaugh was on Resonance FM's curiously-named 'Slow Small Peasants' show last week: mp3 archived here. See also BLDG BLOG on Africa's ancient astronomical history, ' The eclipse is a lion with its tail around the sun' (and some eighteenth century astral diagrams). This reminded us of the Dogon people of Mali, who were a staple feature of 1970s UFO books as well as the Reader's Digest giant book of Myths and Legends (a personal favourite for many years until my mother threw it out because 'it frightened her'). The Dogon's mythology is wonderfully Lovecraftian, and tells of a mysterious race of 'ugly, amphibious beings that resembled mermen and mermaids' called the Nommo.

In the 1940s, two French anthropologists delved into Dogon mythology, and were told that the Nommo 'were inhabitants of a world circling the star Sirius', a world unfamiliar to astronomers of the day, before eventually Sirius B was discovered in 1970. This was the stuff of schlocky paperback publishers' dreams and in 1977 a book called The Sirius Mystery duly appeared (and is still available), claiming that Dogon astronomical knowledge had been handed down by none other than aliens themselves, and that there were striking parallels between alleged Nommo history and early Christian history. UFOlogists love this stuff, almost as much as sceptics like to debunk it (with James Oberg being prominent in the latter camp).

The 'ancient astronaut' argument is now so retro is has the same vintage hue as brown carpets or textured wallpaper. That famous hack and theme park owner Erich von Daniken has built a career on misinterpeting such things in a series of lurid books and while we'd love to visit Mystery Park as much as the next person, the main lesson that can be gleaned from the 'controversy' is that ideas and knowledge has always enjoyed swift cross-cultural transference. Even in the inter-war period, information was travelling around the globe and being incorporated into oral histories far faster than any anthropologist could track.

*

Other things. Olympus History, a well-presented collection. We have an OM-2 kicking about somewhere. See also the Olympus Inheritance exhibition, where name photographers use digital SLRs (thanks, Neil) / watch the Million Dollar Homepage fill up with this (enormous) animated gif (via jk) / Noah Kalina's Interiors photoblog / art by Matta / there's a new issue of AW Zine out and about / John's Nautical and Boat Links, an enormous resource. The history pages alone are worth a browse: the Falmouth Packet Archives, 1688-1850 / painstakingly long 1989 Batmobile recreation.

Adam Nicholson on Dubai, an economic powerhouse that is funding an architectural zoo: 'More than seven million containers are moved here in the course of the year, a figure that grew 23% last year, and is set to triple within the next six years, serving a market of two billion people.' / Yemen, 'architecture and landscapes' / trees taking over, a temple in Angkor, Cambodia / recent Saab posters. Interesting how the company should try to spin out a Bauhaus association for the Australian market, because in Europe that particular assocation is pretty much owned by Audi (thanks to some cunning marketing). Although any such link is rather disingenuous at best, word has it that the next few generations of German cars will increasingly hark back to the pronounced wheelarches and prominent radiator styling of pre-war cars. You can see this emerging, as if from a cultural chrysalis.

We like this rabbit incense burner, on sale at de Vera objects. Thanks to Pam, whose weblog Phantasmaphile is rich with imagery and insight. Check the post on Cabinets of Curiosities / deep end dining is a hardcore gastro blog, including an amusing tale of stunt bug eating on the set of CSI:NY / excellent me-fi post on Kevin Brownlow and Andrew Mollo's It Happened Here / Ragged Words, 'independent music views and reviews'.

Seen everywhere and fast expanding, the flickr high dynamic range group. A bit more information, via ask me-fi. The aesthetic reminds us of the blue skies, billowing clouds and verdant landscapes of aviation art / Geograph British Isles - photograph every grid square (via haddock) / the anagram pub team (via bb) / it seems timely to link this collection of cigarette pack graphics at designboom. Related: 'gaining an understanding of the role of pack design in tobacco marketing.'

Clearly not a lot to do in Yorkshire / yet more virtual sightseeing with Ogle Earth / thanks to Richard May for the link to the Lascivious Playing Card Project, a very 70s concept that's been taken up by the likes of Agent Provocateur in recent years. May has some of his own work at 4WALL, the illustration gallery within South London's Menier Chocolate Factory.

Origami architecture greetings cards / Photobooth.net (via excitement machine). Has a nice gallery and an attempt to locate all the 'old-style photobooths' still in existence / Forever Drowing is an archive of media by The Cure / Rolling windows, neat little applet / the photography of Jacques Crenn.