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A Very Tiny Dollhouse with Very Big Treasures

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I hate dolls. They just creep me out. But, as I’ve mentioned before on the _floss, I have a bizarre fascination with dollhouses.

I’m in good company, though. Included amongst the millions of people interested in miniatures was Colleen Moore, a silent film star whose career fizzled a bit when the talkies came out. But movies weren’t her only passion: a love of miniatures was passed down to her from her father, and in 1928, she enlisted the help of a set designer friend to make a remarkably detailed eight-foot miniature “fairy castle.”

This is not your average dollhouse, folks. Here’s a small sampling of the massive treasures contained inside:

  • A mural of Cinderella painted by Walt Disney himself. You can see it in the first color photo above.
  • An interior constructed by famed designer Harold Grieve.
  • Tiny books with signatures and inscriptions from authors and composers including F. Scott Fitzgerald, Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim, William Randolph Hearst and Edward Albee.
  • Chandeliers dripping with real diamonds, emeralds and pearls.
  • A set of Royal Doulton china. Only two copies of this set were made; the other set resides in Queen Mary’s dollhouse.
  • Suits of armor made of real silver, given to Colleen by Rudolph Valentino.
  • A sliver of the True Cross. Colleen received this from her friend Clare Booth Luce, the Ambassador to Italy, who received the relic from the Pope.
  • The smallest Bible in the world, printed in 1840.
  • Moore's mother's engagement ring, left to Moore by her mother to be repurposed as a vigil light in the chapel of the dollhouse.
  • Needless to say, though it cost about $500,000 to construct, it’s a priceless treasure. During the Great Depression, Moore’s dollhouse toured the country to raise money for children’s charities. Stops in most major U.S. cities raised nearly $700,000 between 1935 and 1939. You might wonder how an 8’7” x 8’2” x 7’7” foot palace could travel so easily, but Moore had that covered: she had the fairy castle designed to be broken down into 200 pieces. Each of the rooms have a drawer in specially-designed shipping crates.

    Though the tiny palace no longer tours, you can see the castle at its permanent home in the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago.

    Photos from the Museum of Science and Industry

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    Opening Ceremony
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    These $425 Jeans Can Turn Into Jorts
    May 19, 2017
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    Opening Ceremony

    Modular clothing used to consist of something simple, like a reversible jacket. Today, it’s a $425 pair of detachable jeans.

    Apparel retailer Opening Ceremony recently debuted a pair of “2 in 1 Y/Project” trousers that look fairly peculiar. The legs are held to the crotch by a pair of loops, creating a disjointed C-3PO effect. Undo the loops and you can now remove the legs entirely, leaving a pair of jean shorts in their wake. The result goes from this:

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    Opening Ceremony

    To this:

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    Opening Ceremony

    The company also offers a slightly different cut with button tabs in black for $460. If these aren’t audacious enough for you, the Y/Project line includes jumpsuits with removable legs and garter-equipped jeans.

    [h/t Mashable]

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    This First-Grade Math Problem Is Stumping the Internet
    May 17, 2017
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    If you’ve ever fantasized about how much easier life would be if you could go back to elementary school, this math problem may give you second thoughts. The question first appeared on a web forum, Mashable reports, and after recently resurfacing, it’s been perplexing adults across social media.

    According to the original poster AlmondShell, the bonus question was given to primary one, or first grade students, in Singapore. It instructs readers to “study the number pattern” and “fill in the missing numbers.” The puzzle, which comprises five numbers and four empty circles waiting to be filled in, comes with no further explanation.

    Some forum members commented with their best guesses, while others expressed disbelief that this was a question on a kid’s exam. Commenter karrotguy illustrates one possible answer: Instead of looking for complex math equations, they saw that the figure in the middle circle (three) equals the amount of double-digit numbers in the surrounding quadrants (18, 10, 12). They filled out the puzzle accordingly.

    A similar problem can be found on the blog of math enthusiast G.R. Burgin. His solution, which uses simple algebra, gets a little more complicated.

    The math tests given to 6- and 7-year-olds in other parts of the world aren’t much easier. If your brain isn’t too worn out after the last one, check out this maddening problem involving trains assigned to students in the UK.

    [h/t Mashable]

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