The Best Things Since Sliced Gingerbread

Gingerbread houses are not a Hattikudur-family forte. Every year my mom (a pre-school teacher) insists that my sister and I build a gingerbread house for her classroom. And every year, what should look like a cookie-cutter house ends up looking like a Frank Gehry/Ray Charles collaboration. Perhaps that's why I'm so astounded by the work below. It's all pulled from a Seattle gingerbread show last year, and there's more here. Link via the excellent

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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