Otherworldly and Abandoned Soviet Monuments

These sculptures and old buildings before the end of the Cold War era look futuristic and strange. Some structures demonstrate the military might of Russia. While others are scintillating, harshly modern, and located in beautiful forested landscapes. These monuments are artistic and architectural wonders. Could these lost and forgotten objects ever be revived and resurrected, albeitContinue reading “Otherworldly and Abandoned Soviet Monuments”

Beautiful maps & beautiful Welsh tales: The Mabinogion

The Mabinogion is a magical and mythical Celtic classic from the  thirteenth century or earlier. It’s thoroughly Welsh and is considered a masterpiece of medieval literature. Although written down during the middle ages, experts think these stories may date from the dawn of Celtic civilisation in Britain. The Mabinogion has given rise to all ofContinue reading “Beautiful maps & beautiful Welsh tales: The Mabinogion”

Japan’s 72 gossamer-light and poetic microseasons

The traditional seasons in Japan are marked out by impercetibly small changes in nature across 72 miniature seasons in a year, each lasting 5 days and reflecting the fleeting, impermanent and diaphanous beauty of nature and all of its wonders. There are 24 divisions or sekki in the calendar that are split into 72 kōContinue reading “Japan’s 72 gossamer-light and poetic microseasons”

History: You are what you do – olden times  tradespeople and their tools

Hieroglyphics, circa 1800 This delightful print entitled Hieroglyphics dates from circa 1800 and was created by the London-based publisher Samuel William Fores in the aquatint style. We can see the composite portraits of four professions: a florist, writer, musician, and barber — their features made up entirely from the tools of their trades. Such compositeContinue reading “History: You are what you do – olden times  tradespeople and their tools”

The art of Kulning: Night-scented stock are called in for the long summer evening

Kulning is an ancient, sweet and sorrowful form of Scandinavian music used to herd cows and goats back down from their high mountain pastures in parts of Norway and in certain provinces of Sweden, Jämtland and Härjedalen. In practical use since medieval times, the mysterious tones were also thought to be a deterrent to potential predators like wolvesContinue reading “The art of Kulning: Night-scented stock are called in for the long summer evening”

Captain Seeks a Sea-Going Cat to Sign on for a Trip Around the World, New York Times (1922)

Captain Edwin Dyason, master of the freighter Woodfield will welcome any ablebodied seafaring cat wishing to join the crew of his vessel, sailing today for Manila and China. “We missed the ship’s cat shortly after we put into port here,” said the Captain. “Her name was Cleopatra. She joined on in Fremantle, Australia and didContinue reading “Captain Seeks a Sea-Going Cat to Sign on for a Trip Around the World, New York Times (1922)”

A Compendium of New Zealand Woo, Cults and New Age Claptrap

New Zealand is no stranger to woo, religious cults and strange pseudoscientific ‘cures’ for various ailments. Have a look closely at this vintage 1932 poster from the New Zealand Railways, advertising Rotorua as a ‘health spa destination’ and peddling all sorts of odd ‘miraculous’ treatments! Then learn more about the unusual cults that are tuckedContinue reading “A Compendium of New Zealand Woo, Cults and New Age Claptrap”

How real women dressed over the ages

A lot of fuss and attention is given to how wealthy women dressed in ancient times. Yet for every affluent woman there would be 10 other women of more humble origins, toiling and working in low paid and thankless jobs. Here are some really incredible videos that showcase how these women dressed over time. WomenContinue reading “How real women dressed over the ages”

Hanako the 226 year old koi

Hanako means flower girl in Japanese. Hanako lived the majority of her life in the pure spring waters of a pond at the foot of Mt Ontake near Oppara. It’s believed that the purity and relative isolation of the pond contributed to her longevity. Hanako lived through the English conquering of both Australia and NewContinue reading “Hanako the 226 year old koi”