October 12, 2007

Nature's Great Survivors: Water Bears. I had never heard of this animal that can survive being frozen, boiled, dehydrated, and irradiated.

The 5 Most Terrifying Foods in the World. This article is not for the squeamish, the sensitive, or those about to have a meal. Seriously.

The disappearing monks of Myanmar. It's not clear whether they fled for their own safety or were arrested.

George Lucas used the film The Dam Busters as inspiration for the Star Wars final action scene. See them edited together. Now I wonder what old movies we can blame for The Phantom Menace.

Demonstration Of A Safe Ladder. By the third time he assures us how safe it is, you know what's going to happen.

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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