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Our 10 Most Popular Stories in February

In case you weren't obsessively refreshing mentalfloss.com all February, here's what you missed.

1. 18 Complicated Scientific Ideas Explained Simply, by Arika Okrent

2. 9 Very Specific Rules From Real Libraries, by John Brandon

3. 9 Little Translation Mistakes That Caused Big Problems, by Arika Okrent

4. 7 Words That Came About From People Getting Them Wrong, by Arika Okrent

5. 9 Houses Built Just for Spite, by Virginia C. McGuire

6. Star Wars Bloopers, by Chris Higgins

7. 6 Non-Existent People Who Were Nominated for Oscars, by Stacy Conradt

8. 8 People Who Owe Everything to a Breakup, by Amanda Green

9. 11 Controversial Vanity License Plates, by Stacy Conradt

10. 6 Inventors Killed by Their Own Inventions, by Erin McCarthy

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History
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).

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A Tour of the New York Academy of Medicine's Rare Book Room
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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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