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But Mainely, the folks there won't kill you

CNN published two stories today about small towns in Maine -- one a travel story about a "New England classic" village, the other a horrific story of a quadruple murder at a bed & breakfast. Which story do you think this opening sentence goes with?

No one strays into Castine. It's not on the way to anyplace, and it contains only a handful of shops. But in this almost-too-perfect New England town... [a] church bell tolls in the distance.

Here are both stories, if you want to check your guess. My husband says if you mash them up, you'll get a Stephen King novel.

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History
A Very Brief History of Chamber Pots

Some of the oldest chamber pots found by archeologists have been discovered in ancient Greece, but portable toilets have come a long way since then. Whether referred to as "the Jordan" (possibly a reference to the river), "Oliver's Skull" (maybe a nod to Oliver Cromwell's perambulating cranium), or "the Looking Glass" (because doctors would examine urine for diagnosis), they were an essential fact of life in houses and on the road for centuries. In this video from the Wellcome Collection, Visitor Experience Assistant Rob Bidder discusses two 19th century chamber pots in the museum while offering a brief survey of the use of chamber pots in Britain (including why they were particularly useful in wartime).

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A Tour of the New York Academy of Medicine's Rare Book Room
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The Rare Book Room at the New York Academy of Medicine documents the evolution of our medical knowledge. Its books and artifacts are as bizarre as they are fascinating. Read more here.

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