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Springfield museums
Springfield museums

First-Ever Dr. Seuss Museum Set to Open in Massachusetts

Springfield museums
Springfield museums

Behind Cindy Lou Who, the Lorax, the Cat in the Hat, and many more lovable cartoon characters from people's childhoods, there was a whimsical writer from Springfield, Massachusetts. Now, fans of Dr. Seuss will be able to explore a museum dedicated to the real-life author and the fantastical worlds of his writings when it opens in his hometown on June 3.

As Travel + Leisure reports, the Dr. Seuss museum is the first permanent museum celebrating the legacy of Theodor Geisel. The exhibits starts with a look at Geisel’s own childhood, which includes replicas of the home where he grew up, the zoo where his father worked, and the bakery his grandparents owned.

Farther into the museum, visitors will enter Readingville. This section highlights the works of Dr. Seuss through word games and murals inspired by art from the original books. The second floor of the museum showcases personal items that once belonged to the writer, including Geisel’s drawing table, childhood stuffed animal, original paintings, and his collection of hats and bowties.

Opening day kicks off with the "Cavalcade of Conveyances"—a Seuss-themed parade that will march down Mulberry Street in Springfield in the morning of June 3. Seussian events and activities will continue in the town through the month of June.

Mural in the Dr. Seuss museum.
Springfield Museums

Lorax statue in the Dr. Seuss museum.
Springfield Museums

Cat in the Hat statue in the Dr. Seuss museum.
Springfield Museums.

[h/t Travel + Leisure]

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SP Books
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literature
A Limited Edition, Handwritten Manuscript of The Great Gatsby Can Be Yours for $249
SP Books
SP Books

Fans of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic The Great Gatsby need to put this on their holiday wish list: The French manuscript publisher SP Books is releasing a deluxe, limited-edition version of Fitzgerald’s handwritten Gatsby manuscript.

A handwritten manuscript of 'The Great Gatsby' open to a page
SP Books

The 328-page, large-format edition is cloth-bound and features an ornamental, iron-gilded cover. The facsimile of Fitzgerald’s original manuscript shows how the author reworked, rewrote, and otherwise altered the book throughout his writing process, changing character’s names (Nick was named “Dud” at one point), cutting down scenes, and moving around where certain information was introduced to the plot, like where the reader finds out how Gatsby became wealthy, which in the original manuscript wasn’t revealed until the end of the book. For Fitzgerald superfans, it's also signed.

A page of the handwritten manuscript with a pen on it
SP Books

The publisher is only selling 1800 copies of the manuscript, so if you’re a lover of literary history, you’d better act fast.

It’s available from SP Books for $249.

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Pop Culture
An AI Program Wrote Harry Potter Fan Fiction—and the Results Are Hilarious
Andreas Rentz/Getty Images
Andreas Rentz/Getty Images

“The castle ground snarled with a wave of magically magnified wind.”

So begins the 13th chapter of the latest Harry Potter installment, a text called Harry Potter and the Portrait of What Looked Like a Large Pile of Ash. OK, so it’s not a J.K. Rowling original—it was written by artificial intelligence. As The Verge explains, the computer-science whizzes at Botnik Studios created this three-page work of fan fiction after training an algorithm on the text of all seven Harry Potter books.

The short chapter was made with the help of a predictive text algorithm designed to churn out phrases similar in style and content to what you’d find in one of the Harry Potter novels it "read." The story isn’t totally nonsensical, though. Twenty human editors chose which AI-generated suggestions to put into the chapter, wrangling the predictive text into a linear(ish) tale.

While magnified wind doesn’t seem so crazy for the Harry Potter universe, the text immediately takes a turn for the absurd after that first sentence. Ron starts doing a “frenzied tap dance,” and then he eats Hermione’s family. And that’s just on the first page. Harry and his friends spy on Death Eaters and tussle with Voldemort—all very spot-on Rowling plot points—but then Harry dips Hermione in hot sauce, and “several long pumpkins” fall out of Professor McGonagall.

Some parts are far more simplistic than Rowling would write them, but aren’t exactly wrong with regards to the Harry Potter universe. Like: “Magic: it was something Harry Potter thought was very good.” Indeed he does!

It ends with another bit of prose that’s not exactly Rowling’s style, but it’s certainly an accurate analysis of the main current that runs throughout all the Harry Potter books. It reads: “‘I’m Harry Potter,’ Harry began yelling. ‘The dark arts better be worried, oh boy!’”

Harry Potter isn’t the only work of fiction that Jamie Brew—a former head writer for ClickHole and the creator of Botnik’s predictive keyboard—and other Botnik writers have turned their attention to. Botnik has previously created AI-generated scripts for TV shows like The X-Files and Scrubs, among other ridiculous machine-written parodies.

To delve into all the magical fiction that Botnik users have dreamed up, follow the studio on Twitter.

[h/t The Verge]

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