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Wikipedia's List of "Lost Work"

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Having a pleasant Wednesday afternoon? Prepare to get sad! Wikipedia has an excellent article on lost work, explained thusly: "a document or literary work produced some time in the past of which no surviving copies are known to exist. Works may be lost to history either through the destruction of the original manuscript, or through the non-survival of any copies of the work." It's a staggering list, but for your reading convenience I've gone ahead and collected some of the most depressing items here:

Lost plays of Aeschylus. He is believed to have written some 90 plays of which 6 plays survive. A seventh play is attributed to him. Fragments of his play Achilles were discovered in the wrappings of a mummy in the 1990s. [Higgins: Aeschylus is pictured at right.]

Ur-Hamlet - an earlier version of the play Hamlet predating William Shakespeare's version, author believed to be Thomas Kyd.

Love's Labour's Won, lost play by William Shakespeare.

Maya codices ceremonially destroyed by Diego de Landa (1524-1579), bishop of Yucatán, on 12 July 1562. At least 27 codices and approximately 5,000 Mayan "idols" were burnt.

Memoirs of Lord Byron - destroyed by his literary executors led by John Murray on 17 May 1824. The decision was made to destroy Byron's manuscript journals in order to protect his reputation. Opposed only by Thomas Moore, the two volumes of memoirs were dismembered and burnt in the fireplace at Murray's office.

At least four complete volumes and around seven pages of text are missing from Lewis Carroll's 13 diaries, destroyed by his family for reasons frequently debated.

James Joyce's play "A Brilliant Career" (which he burned) and the first half of his novel "Stephen Hero" (which may yet turn up)

In 1922, a suitcase with almost all of Ernest Hemingway's work to date was stolen in Paris from his wife. It included a partial WWI novel.

The manuscript for Sylvia Plath's unfinished second novel, provisionally titled Double Exposure, or Double Take, written 1962-63, disappeared some time before 1970.

If that's not enough, there's plenty more at Wikipedia. (Particularly impressive: lost Biblical texts.)

(Via Anarchaia.)

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iStock
China Launches Crowdfunding Campaign to Restore the Great Wall
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iStock

The Great Wall of China has been standing proudly for thousands of years—but now, it needs your help. CNN reports that the wall has fallen into disrepair and the China Foundation for Cultural Heritage Conservation has launched an online crowdfunding campaign to raise money for restorations.

Stretching 13,000 miles across northern China, the Great Wall was built in stages starting from the third century BCE and reaching completion in the 16th century. To some degree, though, it’s always been under construction. For centuries, individuals and organizations have periodically repaired and rebuilt damaged sections. However, the crowdfunding campaign marks the first time the internet has gotten involved in the preservation of the ancient icon. The China Foundation for Cultural Heritage Conservation is trying to raise $1.6 million (11 million yuan) to restore the wall, and has so far raised $45,000 (or 300,000 yuan).

Fundraising coordinator Dong Yaohui tells the BBC that, although the Chinese government provides some funds for wall repairs, it’s not enough to fix all of the damage: "By pooling the contribution of every single individual, however small it is, we will be able to form a great wall to protect the Great Wall," he said.

[h/t CNN]

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YouTube // Deep Look
These Glowing Worms Mimic Shining Stars
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YouTube // Deep Look

The glow worms of New Zealand's Waitomo caves produce light, mimicking the starry night sky. Using sticky goop, they catch moths and other flying creatures unfortunate enough to flutter into the "starry" cavern. Beautiful and icky in equal parts, this Deep Look video takes you inside the cave, and up close with these worms. Enjoy:

There's also a nice write-up with animated GIFs if you're not in the mood for video. Want more glow worms? Check out this beautiful timelapse in a similar cave, or our list of 19 Places You Won't Believe Exist topped by—you guessed it—New Zealand's Glowworm Caves!

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