The heartland's generosity

The Minnesota Twins may be a pantload of games behind Detroit in baseball's American League Central Division, but the Twin cities are number 1 when it comes to volunteering. A new federal government study says 4 out of 10 residents of Minneapolis-St. Paul volunteer for non-profits or charities—that's more than in any other of the nation's 50 biggest metropolitan areas. At the other end of the spectrum is—well-what-do-you-know"¦the-city-of-sin—Las Vegas, where only 14.4% of its residents volunteer (based on a survey of 60,000 households).

Here are the top 10 cities:

  1. Minneapolis-St. Paul 40.5%
  2. Salt Lake City 38.4%
  3. Austin, Tex. 38.1%
  4. Omaha 37.8%
  5. Seattle 36.3%
  6. Portland, Ore. 35.8%
  7. Kansas City, Mo. 34.9%
  8. Milwaukee 34.4%
  9. Charlotte, N.C. 34.3%
  10. Tulsa, Okla. 33.7%

Way to go Midwesterners! Tell us what you're volunteering for these days.

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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