January 26, 2003


Kaliningrad is the name of the little dot between Poland and Lithuania which lights up when you select "Russia" in the Axis Applet. It turns out to be a Special Economic Zone entirely surrounded by newly-minted EU members.

But before it was gobbled up by Russia in the wake of World War II, it was named Konigsberg. Founded in 1255 by Ottocar II (Not related to the Ottokars of Syldavia) of Bohemia, Konigsberg was the inspiration for the problem of the 7 Bridges and the name of two famous warships.
posted by hob at 10:33 PM PST - 24 comments


"Exploring The Waste Land" is one of those sites that defines for me what the Internet should be. It utilizes the medium of the webpage to produce a result - an incredibly useful annotation of T. S. Eliot's masterpiece The Waste Land - that wouldn't work well at all on the printed page. [more inside]
posted by UKnowForKids at 6:56 PM PST - 35 comments


China is drying up and blowing to California. Right now, tonight. Sorry, no 2008 Beijing Olympics, east Asia n'exist plus. Here's satellite pix of some of the 20 Chinese megastorms that have already occurred this baby century from NASA and NOAA and NASA again and a Google search returning zillions of other links, for fellow regressives who wouldn't ordinarily hang out at CommonDreams.org. (initial link from robotwisdom)
posted by jfuller at 3:53 PM PST - 21 comments

Ode to Ode

From one of the most underrated performers on the 1960's came one of the most mysterious records of all time, which inspired not only a movie but an answer record from none other than Bob Dylan. Greil Marcus devotes a chunk of a book(ostensibly about Dylan) to "Ode," where he makes connections between it and Bonnie & Clyde, released around the same time. Someone once said that "Ode To Billy Joe" sounded ancient the day it came out and that may be some part of it's appeal. I remeber hearing the song on oldies stations as a kid and even then being drawn into the mystery of it. I listened to it as I typed this post and I'm still plumbing it's depths today.
posted by jonmc at 3:46 PM PST - 38 comments

The 2nd Civil War

The Battle of Blair Mountain. Do you know the origin of the phrase "Redneck? In 1921, in West Virginia, after brutally corrupt regional law had employed thug tactics including false imprisonment, seizure of property, and murder (or simply "disappearance") upon the local mine workers to discourage labour Unions from forming, an army of nearly 13,000 workers took to the streets, meeting up with the forces of the murderous sherrif at an area known as Blair Mountain. [More Inside]
posted by jonson at 2:49 PM PST - 19 comments

Schroedingers's lunchbox

Schroedinger's Lunchbox Quantom physics on an empty stomach is probably a mistake.
posted by konolia at 1:41 PM PST - 16 comments

orion carving on mammoth tooth

A 32,000 year old etching on an ivory mammoth tusk is linked to the constellation Orion which may have been used as a primitive "pregnancy calendar" designed to estimate when a pregnant woman will give birth. The oldest known drawing of a star pattern, it was created by the mysterious Aurignacian people about whom we know next to nothing save that they moved into Europe from the east supplanting the indigenous Neanderthals.
posted by stbalbach at 11:09 AM PST - 17 comments

Big Championship

Today's Big Championship -- Oh...was there some game or something in San Diego.
posted by fpatrick at 10:19 AM PST - 17 comments

SimCity 5: ReDevelopment

Why we are all Venetians now Witold Rybczynski talks about the changing functions of cities, urban planning and reuse, and the tourism industry where "the urban experience has become a new product of cities."
posted by kliuless at 9:28 AM PST - 12 comments

With the beetles!

Some of them look like the spawn of Devil; others, however, resemble fruit-shaped fridge magnets or a beautiful jewel from Ancient Egypt, and some are so bizarre they simply defy any description. You can also think of them as natural Rorschach inkblots (consider this, this, this and this) or even Moore/Gibbons' Rorschach (compare). Those are some of Poul Beckmann's 128 hi-res, magnified, close-up studio pics of beetles, complete with binomial nomenclature and the critters' origins. via Clifford Pickover's weirdlog, RealityCarnival
posted by 111 at 12:43 AM PST - 24 comments

Everyone has a community

Museum-Security is a community site for museum professionals I recently stumbled across. I post because museums always struck me as pristine temples, and the site's matter of fact discussions and lists of property theft presented a dose of fascinating reality to an underbelly I'd never considered.
posted by rudyfink at 12:29 AM PST - 11 comments

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