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The Heavily Judged Female Entertainers Who Crushed Stereotypes In the Old West

Lucille Mullhall, American cowgirl and Wild West performer, standing on back of seated horse, 1909. (Photo: Library of Congress)Tales of domestic drudgery, rigid dress codes, and a regimented daily...

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Fleeting Wonders: 400 Glow-in-the-Dark Reindeer

A Finnish reindeer browses reflectively. (Photo: Reindeer Herder's Association)If you're on the lookout for magical reindeer this year, don't bother gazing skyward—turn your attention to Finland, where...

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FOUND: The Remains of a 1,500-Year-Old Viking Settlement

A glass bead found at the settlement site (Photo: Åge Hojem/NTNU University Museum)On the coast of Norway, about 300 miles north of Oslo, an airport renovation has revealed the remains of a significant...

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The Subversive Design of America's Suburban Churches

The prow of the First Unitarian Society Meeting House in Madison WI, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.  (Nomadseifer / Wikimedia Commons) “You Belong in PARK FOREST!” claims a 1952 advertisement for a...

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Relive the Glory Days of '80s Subway Graffiti With These Captivating Photos

Bearded character with kids, by unidentified artist, 1981. (Photo: © Martha Cooper) In 1984, the book Subway Art, by Martha Cooper and Henry Chalfant, was released. It documented New York’s early 1980s...

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The Hidden History of the Housewarming Pineapple

One of the grander uses of a pineapple motif, at Dunmore House in Scotland. (Photo: Otter/WikiCommons CC BY-SA 3.0) If you were rich 1700s nobleman, had a dinner table, and wanted to impress your...

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FOUND: A Cedar Log Road That Dates Back to the Civil War

The road (Photo: Fairfax County Parks Authority)In Fairfax County, Virginia, county employees were digging into the ground to build a road shoulder, when they found a layer of macadam–an older sort of...

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Fleeting Wonders: A Belgian Peninsula Goes Dutch

The shore-jumping peninsula Belgium is happy to get rid of. (Google Maps)In this season of outrageous geopolitical gifts (Norway wants to give a volcano to Finland!) the ever-pragmatic Netherlands and...

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The Indestructible Appeal of the Wrecking Ball

 Great job, old friend. (Photo: Paul Goyette/Wikipedia)When one thinks of demolishing a building, the image of a massive wrecking ball smashing through the structure is usually the first thing that...

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Fleeting Wonders: The Incredible Da Vinci Ice Bridge in Finland

A rendering of the Bridge in Ice, coming soon to Finland. (Image: MNN/Bridge in Ice)Sure, ice sculptures are impressive, but when you live on a wintery tundra, your average frozen swan just won't cut...

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From Portrait Painters To College Applicants, Squirrel Obsessives Through the...

Squirrel ornaments. (Photo: kloniwotski/flickr)“As I look around now, I don’t see much except for squirrels,” says Janet George as she surveys the interior of her Pennsylvania home. If there’s a...

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The NYPL Just Released More Than 180,000 Images. We Picked the Best of Old...

The NYPL Bookmobile in the Bronx, 1950s. (All photos: Public Domain/From the New York Public Library)In a boon for history lovers everywhere, the New York Public Library has made over 180,000 public...

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The Incredible World of Period Underwear Patents

(All images courtesy of U.S. Patent Office.)This post first appeared at The Last Word on Nothing.This past year, there has been alot of activity in an unexpected market—period underwear. These work by...

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Finding Brooklyn's Ghost Streams, With Old Maps and New Technology

An illustration of Vechte's house, with the brook highlighted (Image: Courtesy of Eymund Diegel) On a chilly Sunday morning, Eymund Diegel stands at the intersection of 5th Avenue and 2nd Street in...

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FOUND: Voices Recorded On Tiny Cassettes

A compact audio cassette next to a microcassette. (Image: Malcolm Tyrrell/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 3.0)Chicago composer Olivia Block has a thing for micro cassettes, those tiny tapes that used to go...

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Fleeting Wonders: A Floating Forest in New York City

Some trees hang in Queens. (Photo: Michael Neff/Suspended Forest) Always trying to go to a park when your friends want to check out museums (or vice versa)? Finally, an answer. This weekend and through...

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The Pair of American Politicians Who Fought the 19th Century's Silliest Duel

Henry Clay, left, and John Randolph of Roanoke, both deeply unimpressed. (Photos: Clay, Library of Congress; Randolph, Library of Congress)In 2006 Vice President Cheney shot his friend Harry...

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How Intermarriage Created One of the World's Most Delicious Foods

Laksa is said to get its name from the Sanskrit word "lakh," which means 100,000. (Photo: InterContinental Hong Kong/Flickr)A few things are definitive of an afternoon on the coasts of Southeast Asia:...

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State of the Union Speeches are a Global, and Sometimes Strange, Tradition

This 1523 illustration of the opening of British Parliament is the earliest rendering of a Speech from the Throne. (Image: Royal Collection/WikiCommons Public Domain)At 9 p.m. on January 12th,...

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Why the People of Alberta, Canada, Name Everything After Winston Churchill

Churchill Square in Edmonton, Canada. (Photo: Traveler100/WikiCommons CC BY 3.0)Smack dab in the middle of Edmonton, Alberta, is a large, concrete public plaza named Sir Winston Churchill Square. Kitty...

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