Saturday, September 4, 2010

Saturday Sharing (My Finds Are Yours)

Today's edition of Saturday Sharing ranges from the fascinating to the random.

✭ Shaun Usher edits Letters of Note, described as "an attempt to gather and sort fascinating letters, postcards, telegrams, faxes, and memos". Usher's "correspondence deserving of a wide audience" includes images and transcripts, even translations. Categories range from war to humor, to art, cinema, science, complaint, religion, love, and everything in-between. It's fun just clicking on a category and browsing. (My thanks to Susan Rich at The Alchemist's Kitchen, who brought this site to her readers' attention.)

✭ We still have a few days to go before Halloween; still, some ghosts will not bide their time! At Edith Wharton's home The Mount, in Lenox, Massachusetts, Friday nights through October are given over to discovery of "dark undefinable menace", the source for creaking floors and slamming doors and voices down below. If you're game for the ghoulish pleasures in the dark hills of the Berkshires, go along on Fright Night and see with your very own eyes who goes there. The goings-on in servants' quarters, stables, and formal rooms in the mansion promise to send shivers down your spine.

✭ Perhaps ghosts just leave you cold. Would you be up for locating famous graves? Here's just the place for you: Find a Grave. You may, ahem, browse by location or claim to fame, or search by name, birth date, or date of death.

Here you'll find listings for interesting epitaphs and monuments, recent obituaries, "posthumous reunions", yearly necrologies, and various and sundry grave records (perhaps a place to start before undertaking that family tree project). The creator of Find A Grave, Jim Tipton, says the site has more than 500,000 contributors.

✭ Ever wonder how individuals holding blog giveaways manage to generate random winners? Go here for a True Random Number Generator. You'll also find on the site a considerable selection of annotated resources, from quotations about randomness, to Samuel Beckett's randomly generated short prose, to a password generator, to practice scales for jazz guitar enthusiasts.

✭ Have too many books? Want to give some away? Try Bookmooch.

✭ You'll find a trove of wonderful interviews with the likes of John Ashbery, A.J. Liebling, Joyce Carol Oates, Joan Dideon, Tess Gallagher, and many others in The Library of America archive.

✭ Images (with annotations) and information relating to Leonardo da Vinci are gathered into the four wings of this virtual Leonardo Da Vinci Museum. Check out oil paintings, engineering and futuristic designs (devices and machines, weapons and warfare, flying machines), drawings and sketches, and da Vinci's life and times.

✭ The artist Sam Gilliam, a deservedly acclaimed Washington, D.C.-based painter, shares in this three-minute video for the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities his views about the importance and value of youth engaging in and making art. In the presence of art, Gilliam says, "one travels further on [the] insides."


M.L. Gallagher said...

The Letters are enthralling!

And I love the Gilliam video -- the same could be true for all of us, no matter our age.

Hugs -- thanks for the Saturday uplift!

Hannah Stephenson said...

Yeah, I love the Letters of Note site. :) The Find a Grave one is CRAZY--thanks for sharing!

Happy weekending.

S. Etole said...

Love the children in the video and their enthusiasm.

A. Jay Adler said...

Speak of finding a grave, it is surprising the kind of insights grave sites provide. The Find a Grave site confirms what I discovered first hand. Oscar Wilde's restored stone is decorated (not clearly detectable in the photo) by scores of lipstick lips, and Jean Paul Sartre and Simone De Beauvoir, who maintained separate apartments in the same building in life, share a grave and a headstone.

Martha Marshall said...

Loved this little moment listening to Sam Gilliam. And kids and their art are always so inspiring!