Dead Drops Around NYC

Aram Bartholl wants to encourage even more information sharing in today’s insanely-connected world. To do this, the German artist isn’t creating a new social networking platform or pioneering some groundbreaking personal communication device.  No, he’s just looking for holes in the walls around New York City.

As part of his project, "Dead Drops", Bartholl has embedded standard USB flash drives into public walls and other surfaces – and is encouraging anyone that comes across one of them to hook up their laptop, iPod or other electonic device and particpate in his project by helping themselves to any of the files available on the drive and leaving behind any files they see fit – whether it's a text document, picture, music or video file or an other kind of data you’re dying to share (that is, except for viruses).

Barthroll has a list of the five current Dead Drops locations on his blog. So, if you're in NYC and you visit one, let us know what you find there, and what you leave behind.

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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