The 12 Days of Quizzes

Three years ago, Kara and I ran a "Twelve Days of Christmas" quiz series on from December 25 until January 5. And while we're taking this week off, we realized that some of you might have forgotten those quizzes (and others never taken them at all), so we thought we'd bring them back to entertain you a bit while you're waiting for 2007 to come around and put an end to all this holiday madness.

Day 1: In a Pear Tree
Day 2: Turtle Doves
Day 3: French Hens
Day 4: Calling Birds
Day 5: Golden Rings
Day 6: Geese A-Laying
Day 7: Swans A-Swimming
Day 8: Maids A-Milking
Day 9: Ladies Dancing
Day 10: Lords A-Leaping
Day 11: Pipers Piping
Day 12: Drummers Drumming

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).

A Tour of the New York Academy of Medicine's Rare Book Room

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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