A treasure trove of old school books lovingly scanned and transcribed. The handwriting is superb and the insights fascinating.
“There are two fairy forts situated in my district. One is about a quarter of a mile from my house in a village known as Cloonarrow while the other is about three hundred yards east of my house. The fairy fort situated about a quarter of a mile is of circular shape and is surrounded by trees. Fairies are supposed to abide in it and are said to appear after twelve o’clock a.m. In front of this fort a house was situated but now the owner of the house and of the land in which the fort is situated is dead and the house has collapsed. There is no entrance hole to it. The other fort situated a very short distance from my house is a circular little hill surrounded by trees. Neither is there an entrance hole to this fort. It is said that a woman dressed in white appeared to a man at this fort and accompanied him to a place known as the “Crooked Bush” where she disappeared. Nobody ever dreams of tilling the land in which the forts are, neither do they cut the trees as it is said that anybody who touches those trees is sure to be unlucky.”
Using freely available online resources and my local knowledge I’m pretty sure this is the location of the Fairy Fort 300 yards East of the author’s home:
Fairy Forts are typically, but not exclusively circular archaeological sites. Often tumuli or hill forts, there are over 30,000 of them in Ireland.
Founded in November 2007, Low-tech Magazine questions the blind belief in technological progress, and talks about the potential of past and often forgotten knowledge and technologies when it comes to designing a sustainable society. Interesting possibilities arise when you combine old technology with new knowledge and new materials, or when you apply old concepts and traditional knowledge to modern technology.
Research shows that it’s possible to grow warmth-loving crops all year round with solar energy alone, even if it’s freezing outside. The solar greenhouse is especially successful in China, where many thousands of these structures have been built during the last decades.
“Pandorabots is an experimental software robot hosting service based… “
I love the concept and admire the hard work, but these bots have a long way to go before they can pass the Turing test.
The news section is regularly updated (monthly), with news about commercial chatbots for major players such as AOL as well as providing tools for the open source community
Update 2022: well the chatbots have evolved and nice to see that the company is still operational. They have added voice recognition which is a nice touch but I’m still waiting for one to pass that elusive Turing Test. Perhaps if they name one Wintermute?
From the site: “Can’t afford really cool toys and gadgets?
We strive to create unique and new things that the user can control at home from a standard desktop PC… control trains, drive RC cars, fire off fireworks, turn on and off lights, and control many more toys right from your computer!
We are 3 brothers who live in Michigan, USA. We build these wonderful things in our basement, which is a giant place that nothing is occupying currently.”
Great idea, but the web site has a few errors.
Update 2022: the site seems to have died sometime in 2008, it was part of a wider network web truck.org which in turn died in September 2013 it also points to a Twitter Page where there is some activity.
From the page: “Probably the best statistical graphic ever drawn, this map by Charles Joseph Minard portrays the losses suffered by Napoleon’s army in the Russian campaign of 1812.
Beginning at the Polish-Russian border, the thick band shows the size of the army at each position. The path of Napoleon’s retreat from Moscow in the bitterly cold winter is depicted by the dark lower band, which is tied to temperature and time scales.”
Banned cartoons: also racially sensitive ‘toons are reviewed
“If you squint your eyes long and hard enough, any fictional character on any animated cartoon begins to develop its own offensive, socially improper qualities. Even the dynamics inherent to seemingly innocent cartoon settings and situations can appear sinister when scrutinized by qualified armchair cynics.”
Over his life, the Dutch graphic artist M.C. Escher created over a hundred ingenious tesselations in the plane. Some were simple and geometric, used as prototypes for more complex endeavors. But in most the tiles were recognizable animal forms such as birds, fish and reptiles.
Escher was able to discover such tilings through a combination of natural ability and sheer determination.
The author of this site has developed a complex algorithm that can produce reasonable solutions to the Escherization problem.
There some very good examples which I can’t show you because they are all either exceed the maximum file size or image size for stumbleupon apart from this one which is probably the poorest example on the site:
What, dear friends, has become of our culture? Was not this once a country where jazz beatniks rubbed shoulders with aged philosophers in smoky cafeterias? Did not dapper men in horn-rimmed spectacles once explain the mysteries of the world to us via our crackling wireless sets? Were not public libraries the places where all human knowledge was to be found, at the fingertips of avuncular librarians swaddled in tweed? Where has all this gone? Replaced, we are told, by the “information superhighway”. “Information?” What sort of “information” is conveyed by religious zealots, unclothed harlots and medical charlatans?
Many thanks to
http://hat.stumbleupon.com/ for finding this excellent stumble!
When I was younger I used to travel to Europe and I hated the way the gendarmes would demand ‘Papiers, papiers!’ to intimidate and hassle foreigners. In a manner only one step removed from the Geheime Staatspolizei.
It’s incredible that the present US Administration wants to make the USA resemble France.
Incidentally, these old stumbleupon pages are often in the interesting links category which you may like to check out
From the site:
What’s Wrong With Showing ID?
What does an ID, any ID, do for security? The honest answer is ‘not much’. If anything, relyingon ID for security purposes actually makes things worse: a false sense of security fosters complacency.
Showing ID only affects honest people. If you’re dishonest, you can obtain false documents or steal the identity of an honest person.
If a 19 year-old college student can get a fake ID to drink, why couldn’t a bad person get one, too? And no matter how sophisticated the security embedded into the ID, wouldn’t a well-financed terrorist be able to falsify that, too? The answer to both questions is obviously ‘yes’.
The Fractal-Dome logo was created with a special ray-tracing program. The logo contains two times almost the same part of the mandelbrot set: the graphic on the plane and the massive parts of the dome.
Update: Visually rather old fashioned – this is how websites used to look at the end of the 20th century. A few nuggets to be found here although I’m not sure how active it is nowadays. I particularly enjoyed the pseudoscience section.
It describes itself as the Culture Jammers Encyclopaedia. Many subjects are covered from cryptozoology , Jello Biafra, Trickster Gods and Commerce Jamming.
The web site of Howard W French who is a senior writer for the New York Times. Plenty of quality journalism, with an oriental slant (French lives in Shanghai with his wife & 2 kids) mxed with the usual personal web site stuff.
Tony Blair continues to eat away at the rights of free born Englishmen. From today I have to apply to the Secretary of State for permission to marry a foreigner, this came as a shock as my fiance and I presented our documents at the registry office today.
Now I can see why the thirteen colonies rebelled against good king George all those years ago.
The girl is holding a paper which says ‘Criticize Lin Biao and Confucius most vigorously.’ The title says ‘ Criticizing Lin Biao and Confucius is the most important issue for the Party, the People’s Liberation Army and the whole Chinese people.’
Lin Biao’s death should be the subject of conspiracy sites, I mean, what really happened to him? Unless it happened in the west or concerns secret societies with ‘arcane knowledge’ hardly anybody is interested.
Apart from http://www.odu.edu/ao/instadv/quest/linbiao.html Which is well worth reading.
The Gift by Rabindranath Tagore . (This poem is from ‘The Crescent Moon’ by Tagore)
I want to give you something, my child, for we are drifting in the stream of the world. Our lives will be carried apart, and our love forgotten. But I am not so foolish as to hope that I could buy your heart with my gifts.
Young is your life, your path long, and you drink the love we bring you at one draught and turn and run away from us. You have your play and your playmates. What harm is there if you have no time or thought for us.
We, indeed, have leisure enough in old age to count the days that are past, to cherish in our hearts what our hands have lost for ever. The river runs swift with a song, breaking through all barriers. But the mountain stays and remembers, and follows her with his love.
If you live in the UK and want to stop junk mail being posted to your address then this is the site for you. It’s not 100% effective but it’s better than nothing.
“The Mailing Preference Service (MPS) is a free service set up in 1983 and funded by the direct mail industry to enable consumers to have their names and home addresses in the UK removed from lists used by the industry. It is actively supported by the Royal Mail and all directly involved trade associations and fully supported by The Information Commissioners Office (ICO).”
If you live in the UK register your phone number here and stop those annoying unsolicited phone calls. When you do get one, like I did last night you can get their details and then turn the tables on them by saying that you ARE going to report them. 9 times out of 10 they hang up, only a few are big enough to apologise
“From the site:
The Telephone Preference Service (TPS) is the UK’s only official ‘Do Not Call’ register for landlines and Mobile numbers. It allows people and businesses to opt out of unsolicited live sales and marketing calls.
It’s free and quick to register a telephone number.