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THE WIG MALL
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Beware of the Balkan Beast
As an antiquarian book dealer, I find few things more interesting than my collection of bound volumes of Punch from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Too often, the history books of today put a spin on the past, and gloss over some of the unsavory sentiments expressed by many of our fore-
bears. In such situations, it is good to be able refer to contemporaneous cartoons – in which prejudices stand naked. To view some cartoons about Bulgaria in WWI, click here.
Exhibit your art at kiwicrafts.com
One of my retirement projects is an online gallery for artists. So far, I have only three: Judith Hallums, an old school friend; Ray Watchman, a former colleague at the Manawatu Standard in Palmerston North; and Robert Ireland, one of my younger brothers. Anyone who would like to exhibit their work here is invited to contact me through my feedback form. There is no charge for this service, which also includes "framing" of submitted works. I would, however, appreciate any efforts to publicize my sites at adilbookz.com and kiwicrafts.com. To view the gallery at kiwicrafts, click here.
Sheep station on the Canterbury Plain, New Zealand, 1899
This early photograph, showing some small wooden buildings that are typical
of those constructed during the colonial period, is from an article entitled
New Zealand: Town and Country, by Godfrey Bosvile, in The Ludgate ma-
gazine of 1899. To read the complete article, click here.
Holiday at Stonehenge Aotearoa
Before I went to Stonehenge Aotearoa, near Masterton in the North Island of New Zealand, I assumed it was a gimmick. So I was surprised to learn it was constructed by astronomers, and is used to conduct observations. Click on the numbers to see my series of photographs: 1 2 3 4 5 6
A word about the name 'adilbookz'
An explanation of the name "adilbookz": The first part of it – "adil" – is a Muslim name that incorporates the concept of justice. It's a name I unofficially acquired in late 1985 or early 1986, when a friend at the local Islamic Center suggested I adopt a name I could be known by when I visited the center. I said, "Find me a name that expresses my concern about Palestine," and a few days later he came back with "Adil", which I accepted without hesitation. It was the name I went to Makkah under in 1990, and is the name that Muslims have always known me by – except when I flew from Jeddah to Madinah. On looking at my boarding pass, I noticed that I had mysteriously become a Mr F. Ahmed for a couple of days. The "bookz" part of the name came in 2000, shortly after I bought a computer and went online. To log into the discussion forum at arabia.com, I had to have a username. "Adil," I found, had already been taken, so I tacked on "bookz" to reflect my intention to enter the secondhand book business – and also to convey an impression of profound erudition in my debates with a particularly unpleasant character who went by the name of Big Mouth, who was possibly an agent provocateur. One thing led to another, and within a matter of months "adilbookz" had become my internet identity, a nom de guerre for cyberspace. When I last checked Google, it had 2160 results for a search for the name. – Alan Ireland, PO Box 2052, Palmerston North 4440, New Zealand. January 10, 2010