Saturday, January 23, 2010

Weird, Wild, Wonderful 4 - Jan 17-23

My favourites from last week.

Shining History:Medieval Islamic Civilization is a blog of far-ranging information, about architecture, mathematics, philosophy, and more, all about the multitude of contributions, discoveries, and firsts by thinkers and inventors from the medieval Muslim world. Advancements in science and preservation of knowledge in Islamic culture paved the way for the Western European Renaissance and raised the level of civilization between the 5th and 12th centuries. Although scholars have found that the Dark Ages in Catholic Europe may not have been nearly as dark as once thought, there is no question that Europeans were surpassed in sophistication and learning by the Muslim world. This blog is rich in information about the achievements of Islamic civilization.

The poet John Keats is in the news nearly two hundred years after his death with the recent release of the movie Bright Star, the story of the ill-fated love between Keats and Fanny Brawne. There is a comprehensive website dedicated to the life and work of the poet, complete with a newsletter, biographies, and facsimiles of some of the maunscripts of letters and poems. The facsimile of the "Bright Star" sonnet pictured here is from the site.

Allen Ginsberg. "Spiritual seeker, founding member of a major literary movement, champion of human and civil rights, photographer and songwriter, political gadfly, teacher and co-founder of a poetics school, Allen Ginsberg (1926 - 1997) defied simple classification." This site has photos, published and un-published work by the poet, hand-written materials, and then some. A great site for Beat and Ginsberg fans.

Medecins sans frontieres (Doctors Without Borders) has a blog "Haiti Earthquake" and blogs about work on other fronts, plus a photo blog. There aren't many entries (busy saving lives instead of blogging!), but this one is worth a look.


lifeshighway said...

Off to read about the ill fated loved between Keats and Fanny Brawne. I am a sucker for a tragic love story.

ChrisJ said...

You'll love it, then - it really was tragic.