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Museum Musing

So I'm getting ready for a week-long trip to NYC, putting together a "To Do" list and checking out what shows are happening at which museums. It's kind of curious: I lived in NYC for close to 15 years and only got to each of the big museums a handful of times. Now I'm a tourist in my old city, eager to do touristy-type things. Go figure.

Anyway, I clicked over to the Met Museum's site to discover that they now feature factoids on a different work from their Permanent Collection, daily. A couple days ago, when I first clicked, the website was featuring Dendur, the only Egyptian temple in the western hemisphere "“ a gift from the Egyptian government to the United States in 1965 (later awarded to the Met in 1967).

I found this pretty interesting because that very same day, I just happened to be doing some research on Ptolemy I Soter (don't ask"¦ okay, if you must know: it's for a new novel I'm working on) and learned that the very first museum "“ as in ever "“ was founded by him in Alexandria, Egypt during the 3rd century BC.

Apparently, Ptolemy's museum housed a strange variety of things, including surgical and astronomical instruments, animal hides, statues, and elephant tusks. More importantly, there was the Bruckion, a library that held the most important collection of manuscripts ever assembled: Homer, Hesiod, Plato, Pythagoras, Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides"¦ all under one roof.

Speaking of Greek manuscripts, did you know our word "museum" is a derivative of the Greek "mouseion", or "a temple dedicated to the Nine Muses"?

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The Origins of 36 Marvel Characters, Illustrated
Pop Chart Lab
Pop Chart Lab

No matter what their powers, every super hero has an origin story, from Spider-Man’s radioactive bite to Iron Man’s life-threatening chest shrapnel. In their latest poster, the designers at Pop Chart Lab have taken their infographic savvy to the Marvel Universe, charting the heroic origins of 36 different Marvel characters through miniature, minimalist comics.

Without using any words, they’ve managed to illustrate Bucky Barnes's plane explosion and subsequent transformation into the Winter Soldier, Jessica Jones’s car crash, the death of the Punisher’s family, and other classic stories from the major Marvel canon while paying tribute to the comic book form.

Explore the poster below, and see a zoomable version on Pop Chart Lab’s website.

A poster featuring 36 minimalist illustrations of superhero origin stories.
Pop Chart Lab

Keep your eyes open for future Marvel-Pop Chart crossovers. The Marvel Origins: A Sequential Compendium poster is “the first release of what we hope to be a marvelous partnership,” as Pop Chart Lab’s Galvin Chow puts it. Prints are available for pre-order starting at $37 and are scheduled to start shipping on March 8.

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