The Brightest Light in the World

Continuing in my week of Las Vegas Wedding posts, I thought I'd comment on some oddities of our hotel -- the Luxor -- which has an Ancient Egypt theme (the building is a pyramid). The most interesting item to me is at the top of the hotel: the tip of the pyramid emits the brightest beam of light in the world (according to Wikipedia, the beam's 41.5-gigacendla light is visible from 275 miles away -- I can attest that you can definitely see it while lost on the strip in Las Vegas). The people designing the guest rooms appear not to have gotten the memo, though, as the brightest light in my room is 60 watts.

Other Luxor notable (?) features: a standing engagement by Carrot Top and an appearance in the Will Smith Video Gettin' Jiggy Wit It.

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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