Sunday, May 24, 2009

Google maps views of medieval castles

Google Maps of Castles, Cathedrals and Abbeys

Imagine all the people in the past who would have been thrilled with this technology. It's pretty thrilling now, but think back to all the scholars, geographers, historians, kings and generals whose lives would have been different had such images existed in past centuries.

2024 NOTE:

Those links quit working; I'm sad.

The wayback machine has some, but searching google maps or google earth for a castle might be better, all these years later.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Alphabetical Food

Apple, Banana, Cookies, Dumplings, Eggs, Fish, Goat cheese, Hummus, Ice cream, Jelly, Ketchup..... but not like that, like this!

I got it here: Crooked Brains, and they got it here: Gugazine (or maybe here: Doise Dois). It's by Luiza Prado, an artist in Brazil, and is called "Eatphabet."

On her page you can see closeups of the various letters, too!

It certainly does remind me of Monkey Platters, which reminds me that this fall (maybe in November, date to be announced when I know it) there will be a three day happening for unschoolers with young children in Albuquerque (local/regional, not "big conference" at all) called The Monkeyplatter Festival.

And that reminds me of the January symposium in Santa Fe called SUSS.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Websites that are like Museums

More at

I love these public collections! Please leave links to your favorites in the comments, and if you want to make them "clickable," the code is here:

Friday, May 8, 2009

Corn Bags and Kirschsteinkissen

About fifteen years ago, our friend Bela gave us two lumpy flannel pillows. Turns out they were "corn bags." They were like big bean bags filled with seed corn (whole corn), intended for heating in the microwave and using as hand warmers or footwarmers, sitting around on a winter's evening, or putting in the bed to warm it up. When those wore out, I made more, using terrycloth from towels. They're wonderful.

These are about 10" a side, and are based on the size of the piece of terrycloth, and not being too big to hold or to put in the microwave easily. If you want to make one, buy seed corn and put in enough for it to be a solid layer of corn when the bag's on its side, and to fill the bag half or less when it's held by the corner.

This morning, Keith sent me a link to a blog entry on medieval bed-warming techniques, and one of the things was a bag of cherry pits heated in a low oven. Bed warmers puzzle & answers

That led me to an image search, because it said the cherry-pit bags are becoming popular again:

Once when we were in Minneapolis (Keith was working on a contract, and living in an apartment) Holly was cold, and we hadn't brought a corn bag. I put rice into one of Keith's white cotton socks and put an overhand knot in the top. That worked, and so Keith kept it for future visits. We still have it, somewhere. Corn stays warm longer, though, and when the corn is new there's humidity with it too. I suppose cherry pits were good because the heat would last a while and heat up without destroying the seed (in those pre-microwave days of yore).

The blog is worth saving and exploring.
Old & Interesting, history of domestic paraphernalia, household antiques in use.
Antique household equipment, furnishings, utensils - housekeeping as part of social history. Domestic life, household management - how people organised their homes and did the daily chores. Yesterday's everyday objects are today's antiques or museum pieces, and we may view them with nostalgia or curiosity about past ways of life. Old & Interesting takes a look at how these everyday things were actually used, how people managed their home life - and more. Alongside articles illustrated by excerpts from advice manuals, period novels and other literature, this page is updated every couple of weeks. RSS feed or email will let you know about new articles.