October 31, 2002
It was on Halloween 1926 that the great magician and escape artist Harry Houdini died. Newspaper clippings here. Houdini willed his extraordinary collection of papers to the Library of Congress of the United States; those papers now form the amazing Harry Houdini Collection. Be sure to check out the LOC's extra special Today in History for October 31 for all kinds of Halloween links.
October 30, 2002
Happy Halloween! That thoughtful fellow up there is an illustration from De Humani Corporis Fabrica by the great Flemish anatomist Andreas Vesalius. Published in 1543 the work was the first anatomy to be based on the actual dissection and examination of human cadavers. (You can see an illustration of one of Vesalius's early dissections here. That's Vesalius to the left of the cadaver performing the dissection.) It is still considered to be the cornerstone of modern anatomy and many consider it to be the point at which medicine became a science. There are several sites which feature copies of the De Fabrica including some nice scans at the University of Michigan. Daniel Garrison and Malcolm Hast at Northwestern are working on an annotated translation which looks like it will be fantastic.
Today also marks the beginning of the Dia de los Muertos or Day of the Dead festivities in Mexico. During the next few days families and friends will be reunited with their departed loved ones. You can read about the meaning of Dia De Los Muertos at this site (be sure to visit the The Altar and The Cemetary). Also well worth a visit is this site which features 5th grade students drawings of the Day of the Dead.
There's some excellent Hoagy Carmichael links over at BookNotes.
October 29, 2002
The Price of Oil by Billy Bragg
October 28, 2002
Posters American Style is an awesome gallery of posters at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. There's some really great stuff in here. We'll be back later to share some of our favorites.
"When in Rome, should one actually do as the Romans do or is it all a farce?"
October 24, 2002
The people in the above photographs do not exist. I created them using an amazing webamajig at Eric Myer Photography. Myer's page allows you to mix and match the upper and lower halves of different faces, mixing race, gender, age, and just about everything else to create composite people. It's incredible how well it works and definitely drives home the point that we're all one people. So, so cool.
October 22, 2002
October 17, 2002
It appears that Deep Fritz may have current world champion Vladimir Kramnik on the ropes at the Brains In Bahrain man versus computer chess match. Even worse it seems that Kramnik may be cracking a bit under the pressure. Analysts think he may have resigned a drawn position in game 6. C'mon Vladimir! You can beat it! It's just a stupid machine!
October 16, 2002
Henry David Thoreau in the October 1862 issue of The Atlantic - from the impossibly deep well that is The Atlantic Online. (Well...I'm sure that when Portage is 140 years old we'll have some decent stuff in our archives as well.).
• The photograph above is of a pile of stones that marks the site of Thoreau's cabin on Walden Pond. I found it at the excellent The Thoreau Reader site. Full texts, criticism, commentary, photographs, and lots more, all in an elegant, spare website. Great.
Some good news on the environmental front for a change.
Well, at least we weren't #1.
It was very disturbing to learn that Portage is #3 on a Google search for encyclopedia britannica sucks. We love the Encyclopedia Britannica. In related news we have (probably due to our long, unexplained hiatus) dropped to the number 2 spot in a Google Search for portage. The pesky city of Portage, Michigan has moved to the coveted number one spot leaving Portage, Indiana to bring up the number 3 position. Don't worry we'll be back on top in no time.
Britain's Royal Society of Chemistry is set to bestow an Extraordinary Honorary Fellowship on the great Sherlock Holmes. Holmes, "the first detective to exploit chemical science as a means of detection" will be honoured for his contributions to chemistry and crimefighting.
“Our particular interest is his love of chemistry, and the way that he
October 15, 2002
Beyond the Funnies: The History of Comics in English Canada and Quebec is an awesome new site at the National Library of Canada that documents the development of the comic book form in Canada from 1849 to the present. It's from the same people who brought us last years excellent Guardians of the North: The National Superhero in Canadian Comic-Book Art.
October 09, 2002
Thanks to everyone who has written asking after the health of Portage, it's nice to know that the weblog is appreciated. There's been some major upheaval here at Portage lately, in fact here isn't even where it used to be, it's about 300 km southwest of there. Portage will return, perhaps even as early as tomorrow. - DW.