Saturday, November 27, 2010

A Giant Sequoia near Yosemite National Park

Public Domain Photo: A Giant Sequoia tree found near the Sequoia National Park in the southern Sierra Nevada, east of Visalia, California, USA.

Sequoiadendron giganteum (generally known as giant sequoia, Sierra redwood, Sierran redwood, or Wellingtonia) is the sole living species in the genus Sequoiadendron, and one of three species of coniferous trees known as redwoods. The other two are Sequoia sempervirens (Coast Redwood) and Metasequoia glyptostroboides (Dawn Redwood). When only referred to as ‘sequoia’, it means Sequoiadendron giganteum, which grow naturally only in the groves on the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California, United States.

Samuel Daniell: Khoisan busy barbecuing grasshoppers

Public Domain Image: Khoisan busy barbecuing grasshoppers (1805), aqua tint by English painter Samuel Daniell (1775-1811), scan from Suid-Afrikaanse Geskiedenis in Beeld (1989) by Anthony Preston, Bion Books, printed in South Africa.

The aqua tint shows a Khoisan (Khoesaan, Khoesan or Khoe-San) family with the man busy barbecuing grasshoppers while his wife is looking on. The name Khoisan is for two ethnic groups of Southern Africa, who share physical and linguistic characteristics distinct from the Bantu majority of the region. Culturally the Khoisan people are divided into the pastoral Khoi and the foraging San.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

William Holmes Sullivan: Lady Godiva

Public Domain Image: Lady Godiva (1877), oil on cardboard painting by British painter William Holmes Sullivan, dimension 40 cm x 30 cm

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

African Red Devil pepper - Capsicum frutescens

Public Domain Photo: African red devil pepper with ripe and unripe fruits

African Red Devil pepper (other names: Piri Piri, Pili Pili, Bird's Eye Chili, African Devil) is a cultivar of Capsicum frutescens that grows both in the wild and as a cultivated crop. The plants grow 45 to 120 cm tall, and the fruits measure up to 8 to 10 cm. Thai Chili peppers (aka phrik khi nu, siling labuyo, etc.) of the subspecies Capsicum frutescens L. are a similar and related variety commonly found in Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Singapore. It can also be found in India (mainly in Kerala, known as Kanthari Mulagu) and rural Sri Lanka (known as Kochchi in Sinhalese).The name Bird's Eye Chili is also used for the North American Chiltepin pepper.

It is an extremely spicy member of the Capsicum genus, with its ‘heat’ measure up to 175,000 SHU (Scoville Heat Units), while Bell Peppers rank at 0 SHU, New Mexico green chilies at about 1,500 SHU and Habaneros at 300,000 SHU. The record for the hottest chili pepper was assigned by Guinness World Records to the Naga Jolokia from India (also known as Bhut Jolokia, Ghost Chili, Nai Mirris, Cobra Chilli, etc), measuring over 1,000,000 SHU, while pure capsaicin (the substance that make chili peppers hot), measures only 16,000,000 SHU.

Photos of similar varieties are below:

Public Domain Photos: Peppers of the subspecies Capsicum frutescens L. variously known as Thai chili peppers, phrik khi nu, siling labuyo, Kanthari Mulagu, Kochchi, etc.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Lotus Temple, the Bahá'í House of Worship in New Delhi

The Bahá'í House of Worship in New Delhi, India, popularly known as the Lotus Temple, was completed in 1986. It is constructed in the shape of a nine-sided lotus flower having 27 free-standing marble clad "petals". It has become one of the most visited buildings in India, attracting about 4.5 million visitors a year. The Lotus Temple is open to all persons regardless of their religion or any other distinctions.

The nine doors of the Lotus Temple open onto a central hall capable of housing up to 2,500 people. The hall is slightly more than 40 meters tall and its surface is made of white marble from Penteli mountain in Greece. The Lotus Temple, along with the nine surrounding ponds and the gardens around it comprise 26 acres (105,000 squire meters).

Public Domain photos of Lotus Temple: Click on the photos to download or view the large/ full resolution photos.

John Collier: The Sleeping Beauty

Public Domain Photo: The Sleeping Beauty(1921), oil on canvas painting by the pre-Raphaelite English writer and painter John Maler Collier (1850-1934), dimension 91 cm x 112 cm.

Paul Gauguin: In the Waves

PD Image: In the Waves (1889, aka ‘Dans les vagues, ou Ondine’, ‘En les onades, o Ondina’, and ‘Undine’), oil on canvas painting by French painter and writer Paul Gauguin (1848-1903), dimensions 92 x 72 cm (36.22 in x 28.35 in), located at The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH.

Paul Cézanne: Bathsheba 2

Public Domain Image: Bathsheba 2, oil painting on canvas painting by French artist and Post-Impressionist painter Paul Cézanne (1839-1906)

US$500 Bill Portraying William McKinley

US$500 bill (not in use now), series: 1928 & 1934, with the portrait of William McKinley, the 25th President of the United States, and the last veteran of the American Civil War to be elected to that office in 1896. McKinley was reelected in the 1900 presidential election, but was assassinated by an anarchist Leon F. Czolgosz in 1901.

Assassination of President William McKinley

“Delivering the address - President's Day" depicts an address by United States President William McKinley at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo on the day before his assassination. McKinley stands hatless, wearing a tuxedo, holding speech notes in his left hand. Source: The United States Library of Congress's Prints and Photographs division.

The LAST PHOTOGRAPH of the late President William McKinley, taken as he was ascending the steps of the Temple of Music on September 6, 1901. Source: E. Benjamin Andrews’s ‘History of the United States’, volume V, Charles Scribner's Sons, New York, 1912.

Assassination of 25th President of the United States William McKinley, Jr. (January 29, 1843 -September 14, 1901) - Leon F. Czolgosz shoots McKinley with a concealed revolver at the Pan-American Exposition (in Buffalo, New York) reception on September 6, 1901 (photography of wash drawing by T Dart Walker published in 1905). Source: The United States Library of Congress's Prints and Photographs division.

Photo of Leon F. Czolgosz found among his personal effects, photography (1900) by an unknown photographer. Born on May 5, 1873 in Alpena, Michigan, USA, Czolgosz was Steel worker and an Anarchist who was charged with First-Degree Murder, convicted for Death Penalty and executed by electric chair on October 29, 1901 at the aged of 28.

Reproduction of the first photograph of Leon F. Czolgosz in jail, illustrated in Frank Leslie's weekly, McKinley extra, 1901 September 9, cover. Source: The United States Library of Congress's Prints and Photographs division.

The above photos/ images are in the Public Domain. There are no copyright restrictions. You can use the photos for publication in your websites, blogs, on printed publications or wherever you want to use them in the right context. Click on the photos for the original dimensions/ sizes and download them.

Peter Paul Rubens: Venus and Adonis

Public Domain Image: Venus and Adonis, oil on canvas painting by Flemish Baroque painter Sir Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640), dimensions 194 cm x 236 cm, located at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Image dimensions: 2536×2030 pixels, size: 582 KB

Monday, November 22, 2010

Peperoni pizza

Public Domain Photo: Photo of Peperoni pizza or pizza with peppers - photo dimension: 1024×768 pixels, size: 129 KB

The Great Mosque of Touba, Senegal

Public Domain Photo: The Great Mosque of Touba, Senegal

The Great Mosque of Touba is located at the heart of the Mouride holy city of Touba in central Senegal. The Great Mosque, the place where Aamadu Bàmba Mbàkke, the founder of the Mouride Brotherhood, lies buried, is purported to be one of the largest in Africa. The Mouride Brotherhood is a large Islamic Sufi order most prominent in Senegal and The Gambia, with headquarters in the holy city of Touba.

Completed in 1963, the mosque has five minarets and three large domes. The mosque's 87-metre (285 ft) high central minaret, called Lamp Fall, is one of Senegal's most famous monuments. The name Lamp Fall is in reference to Sheikh Ibrahima Fall, one of Bamba's most influential disciples. The Mosque is open only to Muslims.

Al-Masjid al-Ḥaram, The Sacred Mosque in Mecca

Public Domain Photo: Modern buildings rise over Al-Masjid al-Ḥaram, photo by Meshal Obeidallah, Al Qassim Province, Saudi Arabia, taken on May 23, 2006, photo dimension: 1600x1200 pixels, size 366 KB.

Al-Masjid al-Ḥaram (The Sacred Mosque), located in the city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia, is Islam's holiest place and the largest mosque in the world. The mosque surrounds the Kaaba, the place which Muslims worldwide turn towards while offering their daily prayers. Also known as the Grand Mosque, it can accommodate up to four million Muslim worshipers during the Hajj period, one of the largest annual gatherings of people in the world.

Stuffed Snakehead Fish: a popular Thai cuisine

Public Domain Photo: Snakehead fish stuffed with herbs (mainly lemon grass and lime leaves) on banana leaves, ready for steaming – a popular cuisine in Thailand. Photo dimension: 2816×2112 pixels, size: 2359 KB

Public Domain Photo: Snakehead fish or mudfish (Channa striata). Photo dimension: 489×142 pixels, size: 21 KB

The striped snakehead fish or mudfish (Channa striata, in Thai language: Pla Chon) is very popular in Thai cuisine. Pla ra, a fermented fish sauce, popular in Northeastern Thai cuisine is made by pickling snakehead fish. A Chinese sausage is also prepared with striped snakehead flesh in Thailand. In Indonesia the snakehead fish called gabus is a popular salted fish in Indonesian cuisine.

The snakehead fish (also known as chevron snakehead, aruan or haruan) has also been classified under the binomial names Ophiocephalus striatus Bloch and Ophiocephalus vagus Peters. It can grow to a length of 1 meter in the wild. It can be found in southern China, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka, and in most of Southeast Asian countries. It has recently been introduced to Indonesia, Philippines, Mauritius, and into the wild in Hawaii (in the island of Oahu).

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Pickled peperoncini - Capsicum annuum

Public Domain Photo 1: Pickled Peperoncini

Public Domain Photo 2: Pickled Peperoncini (or fefferoni) in a Swedish restaurant

Peperoncini (or pepperoncini), a variety of Capsicum annuum, like bell peppers and chili peppers, are also known as Tuscan peppers, sweet Italian peppers and golden Greek peppers. In Italy these mild peppers are called friggitello (plural friggitelli) or generally peperone (plural peperoni) like other sweet varieties of peppers. Peperoncini are commonly pickled and sold packaged in jars.

Porcelain Vase at China Sex Museum in Tongli, China

Public Domain Photo: Porcelain Vase located at China Sex Museum, in Tongli (or Tong-Li), a town in Wujiang county on the outskirts of Suzhou, China.

Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux: La jeune fille à la coquille (The girl in the shell)

Photo dimension: 2000×3000 pixels, size 1555 KB

Photo dimension: 2000×3000 pixels, size 1806 KB

Public Domain Photos (two views): La jeune fille à la coquille (The girl in the shell), bronze sculpture by French sculptor and painter Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux (1827-1875) located at Musée de Cambrai (Museum of Fine Arts of Cambrai at 15, rue de l'Épée, 59400 Cambrai, France).

Valentino Castle (Castello del Valentino), Turin, Italy

Public Domain Photo: Castle of Valentino (Castello del Valentino), in the Valentino Park, Turin, Italy

The Castle of Valentino (Castello del Valentino), a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Valentino Park in the north-west Italian city of Turin, is the seat of the Architecture Faculty of the Polytechnic University of Turin.

The Valentino Castle is believed to derive its name from Saint Valentine whose relics were venerated in a church nearby. The castle has a horseshoe shape with four round towers at each angle, and a wide inner court with a marble pavement.