Nightmarish Dollhouses Designed by a Madman

Over at Fast Company there's a slideshow of incredible dollhouse interiors, all designed by a Santa-Claus-lookin' Frenchman who operates somewhere between the world of Franz Kafka and that of director Jean-Paul Jenet (remember The City of Lost Children and Delicatessen?).

I love how these multi-level creations have a "normal" part, where one would assume people live the bulk of their everyday lives, but as you explore the rest of the house, it becomes more and more sinister and alien-looking, almost biological in nature -- like the lower levels are meant for some nefarious purpose. I'm a fan -- but then, I love haunted houses, and I never particularly loved Barbie dolls, so maybe that's just me. To see more, check out the slideshow.

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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