The Great Rock Removal

I am not a scientist or particularly handy. I get by with a little help from my in-laws.

When I asked my father-in-law about disposing of the enormous rock accumulating bacteria-laden water in my backyard, his eyes lit up. An engineer, he immediately drew up plans for destroying the boulder with a combination of extreme heat, extreme cold and a sledgehammer. This sounds fun and dangerous, and if we go this route I'll certainly break out the camcorder.

But before we go and torch the place, I wanted to throw this out to our readers. How would you de-rock your yard? Ours is enclosed by a new fence, so driving in anything larger than a ride-on lawnmower is not possible. "Carrying it" is not an option, for lack-of-strength reasons. And I don't have access to any crane-like machinery. Here's another picture:


The garbage can lid provides size perspective while blocking Bailey's access to the plague-filled liquid.

I'm looking forward to hearing your rock-removal schemes. Whether we go with the fire & ice method or a reader submission, I'll post the potentially disastrous video highlights.

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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