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September 21, 2007

 

Professor Randy Pausch makes his last lecture one to remember. The 46-year-old father of three has terminal pancreatic cancer, but his message is one of encouragement and hope.

October 8, 1871: The deadliest fire in the history of the United States occurred, but NOT in Chicago. 1,200 people died in Peshtigo, Wisconsin the same day as the start of the Great Chicago Fire, so the deadlier fire got hardly any press.

Your odds of winning the Powerball, illustrated with M&Ms. No wonder they call the lottery "a tax on people who are bad at math."

Velociraptor, the terrifying predator made famous in the movie "Jurassic Park," appears to have had feathers in real life. This brings to mind the image of the 6-Foot Man Eating Chicken you've seen at carnivals.

Darth Vader Blues. C'mon, admit it -you've thought about this one before.

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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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