Fascinating colour photographs taken by Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii between 1905 and 1915. See Laputan Logic for more.

Zlatoust, usine et église des Trois Saints

Pour nous, les enfants de la deuxième moitié ou du troisième tiers du vingtième siècle, le passé, celui d’avant notre naissance, est en noir et blanc. La première guerre mondiale, les premières grandes usines, les mineurs dickensiens … et donc par extension les rues (boueuses), bâtiments, et même les champs et paysages. Finalement, la photographie en noir et blanc résonne très bien avec une idée d’un monde dépassé, nécessairement rétrograde, loin des progrès technologiques de notre ère. Comment aurait-il pu avoir un visage comparable à la notre ?

La photo en haut à gauche a été prise en 1910. Il montre un bout de la ville industrielle à l’époque apellée Zlatoust, dans l’Oural. C’est une ville célèbre pour ses industries de l’armement (y compris des armes nucléaires, plus tard) et pour être la ville natale de Anatoly Karpov. Ce n’est pas une photo en noir et blanc coloriée, mais une vraie photo couleur, certes restaurée à l’aide des outils numériques. Le photographe est Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863-1944), qui parcoura l’empire du Tzar afin de mener à bien son vaste projet de documentation photographique.

C’est le site (en anglais, fascinant) Laputan Logic qui raconte cette histoire extraordinaire et donne accès vers des collections époustouflantes. Fuyant les révolutionnaires russes, Prokudin-Gorskii s’est exilé aux États-Unis (sans les plus politiques des ses photos, malheureusement, mais avec 2000 paquets de triples plaques en verre). En 1948, la bibilothèque du Congrès américain a acheté ses archives. Depuis 2001 et son exposition virtuelle remarquable et remarquée, ils les ont mis en ligne. Et une flopée d’internautes et infographes s’essaye à leur restauration.

Mineuses dans la mine Bakalskii, Oural

Crédits photos/ réstauration : Alex Gridenko (haut), Library of Congress (bas)

Related posts: Saturn's rings, Petition: Imprimerie nationale

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  • 2004-11-14
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Arvo Pärt’s music is very soothing, in particular Fratres, version for eight cellos.

Nice crop of downloadable online media. The political first: Ifilm has Theo van Gogh and Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s film Submission as an Apple Quicktime (.mov) file. Via Viewropa.

Still on Viewropa, I found this collection of mp3 Rock/Pop songs that are available for download. As a fan of Beth Gibbons, I was particularly taken with Masha Qrella, who I’d never heard of before.

Edit: This has become a weekly feature by dodgygeezer at Viewropa, under the title Sunday Choir

And this I should have found much earlier. It was a fruit of what I’m calling lateral browsing, ie using the Firefox “SearchStatus” plugin’s “related links” menu. (You can get the same result by typing “related:” plus an URL into Google and a number of other search engines). ARTE Radio has 477 audio clips, which range between one and about 25 minutes and cover a large variety of styles and topics. ARTE Radio is a web-based radio-on-demand project that belongs to the French “pole” of the French/German public TV network ARTE. ARTE has long been my favourite TV station by far, and not only because they do bilingual broadcasting. I just wish they would show even more films with subtitles instead of dubbed versions (they usually repeat dubbed foreign films late at night in a version with subtitles, though), and systematically use closed captioning instead of voice-overs in the (many, and often excellent) documentaries they commission. (Given how hopeless all the other French TV stations are about multilingualism, ARTE is the postive exception, though.)

ARTE Radio is a French site. This is because German law doesn’t allow ARTE Germany to compete with the other German public radio networks. (Grr.) Still, there are German and English introductory pages, and quite a few clips in these two language, plus a lot mulitlingual or experimental/artistic ones that are fit for those who don’t speak French. The Flash interface is quite pretty, but every clip can be accessed through the HTML side of the site as well, and is available as both high- and low-quality mp3, plus Real Media.

Now for the icing on the cake: The clips are provided under a “attribution, non-commercial, share-alike” Creative Commons license! That’s the way to go for a public broadcaster. Hello, BBC, ARD, ZDF, France 2/3/5, are you listening? [Deafening silence…]

So I can legally offer you a few samples:

  • The funny: Assimix, or How to learn any European language in four minutes. Avoid if cultural stereotyes make you physically ill. (Credits: Christophe Rault, David Christoffel)
  • The sensual: Molly Bloom’s monologue in French + a few other languages. Not the only, er, interesting clip either. Search for masturbation, zizi or Ile coquine. (Credits: Christophe Rault)
  • The funny plus political: Allo US, poking fun at one particularly weird (as viewed from over here) feature of the US electoral process; and a rather uncommon Marseillaise (background: disrespecting the French flag and anthem has been outlawed last year. A fine or even a prison sentence could be the consequence. “Ça tombe bien, on a besoin de vacances,” says ARTE Radio.)

I didn’t like the banners and logos they offer for download, so I made my button. Now what is the singlar of “Steal These Buttons” (used as a noun phrase, of course, as in “I made a number of Steal These Buttons”). A “Steal This Button”? Anyway, here is it: ARTE Radio.

Creative Commons licensed, too, or rather made to promote Creative Commons licenses in the first place, is the Wired CD. All the tracks are now available in a lossless format as well. Via le Creative Commons Blog.


Le meurtre de Theo van Gogh est suivi par une série d’actes de violence contre des institutions musulmanes. Cet article refléchit à la situation. J’ai aussi établi un tableau détaillant les actes de violence contre des personnes de la vie publique ou politique en Europe. Contient deux liens vers des articles en français.

This happened on Monday the 8th in Eindhoven: Dutch Muslim school hit by bomb (ici un lien vers un article en français). And today, another Muslim primary school in Ude was set on fire (in Dutch). The article says that graffiti saying “Theo R.I.P” and drawings of the “white power” sign were found […]

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  • 2004-11-09
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Today is the 15th anniversary of the “fall” of the Berlin Wall. I am using quotes because “fall”, except if you understand it in the sense of the end of a siege, sounds a bit accidental. I’d prefer breakdown; the German press tends to write Maueröffnung (as well as Mauerfall, ie the (act of) opening […]

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Viewropa ist en neues, mehrsprachiges, europäisches Kollektivblog.

  • 2004-11-09
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A new group blog, a “Community Euroblog”, as they call it: Viewropa. It is beautifully designed, multilingual (English posts dominate, but when you register, you can set your preferred interface language), and pursues a worthy goal: … to provide a space for informed, intelligent presentation and civilised discussion of European issues, news and events Via […]

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Bitte nicht!

Deutschland: erstes teilprivatisiertes Gefängnis kommt in Hessen.

  • 2004-11-08
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And I had hoped that this sort of, er, innovation would remain a UK-only phenomenon, as far as Europe is concerned. But no, the British are exporting their services to the German land (federal state) of Hesse, which is getting Germany’s first partially privatised prison. It’s not as if north of the Channel some people […]

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Transcribing another unknown language

Un autre quiz sur Language Log. On les adore.

Mark Liberman at Language Log has posted a second transcribe-and-guess-the-language quiz. I believe most readers of this blog interested in this sort of question, so you probably know this already. As one of those who got the first one right, I couldn’t resist of course. (More seriously, though, it’s an excellent exercise.) I have followed my […]

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US elections provide us with our four-yearly dose of US geography. Some sites have published maps that are more interesting and illuminating than the standard state-by-state red-and-blue ones. Kieran Healy at Crooked Timber has posted a county-by-county map that comes from (Associated Press via) USA Today . His post is a bit terse because the […]

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Electoral scribblings (the aftermath)

Ont voté. Suivez les liens pour des petites réactions anti-chagrin. Je suis trop lessivée pour gribouiller en français.

  • 2004-11-03
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Well, the fat lady hasn’t sung yet, officially. A friend on irc, on the other hand, says she’s singing right as I type this. Or he? What’s the appropriate pronoun gender for a fat lady who is neither fat nor a lady? Be that as it may, even though there’s no much doubt that, barring […]

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