Posts Tagged: atlas obscura

VISIBLE: Women Writers of Color: Tamiko Nimura

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Tamiko Nimura talks about the influence of history, memory, and silence on her work; creating a private MFA for herself; and writing a generational memoir.

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Notable NYC: 1/21–1/27

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Saturday 1/21: Women’s March on New York City. Resist. On Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, 47th St and 2nd Ave, 11 am, free. Eléna River, Ryan Collerd, and Carol Snow discuss works of poetry. Berl’s Poetry Shop, 7 p.m., free. Mahogany L Browne, Purvi Shah, and Lauren Whitehead join the Segue Series. Zinc Bar, 4:30 p.m., $5. […]

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Living in the New York Public Library

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For Atlas Obscura, Sarah Laskow delves into the secret apartments of the New York Public Library system. Most people only dream of living in a library, but for some people, this was reality. The apartments—which were in the Carnegie libraries—were branches of the New York Public Library. Unfortunately, they’re not much to look at anymore, but we […]

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Crying on Cue

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While it sounds pretty weird, this was standard practice back in the day. According to Patrick Miller in his article “Music and the Silent Film,” Hollywood director D.W. Griffith enlisted a brass band to encourage extras during the battle sequences of his 1916 three-and-a-half-hour epic, Intolerance. Fellow director King Vidor often relied on opera recordings to get […]

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Macaroni Men

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The seemingly non-sequitur first lines of “Yankee Doodle” sound like they’re about food, but Michael Waters in Atlas Obscura reveals the lyrics’ gender-bending history: The Oxford Magazine similarly described the macaroni as not belonging to the gender binary: “There is indeed a kind of animal, neither male, nor female, a thing of neuter gender, lately started up among us. […]

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Podcatcher #3: Poetry Jawns

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Emma Sanders and Alina Pleskova charm us with their affection for each other, DIY ethos, and belief on Poetry Jawns, what matters is the work.

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Beaking the Language Barrier

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Twain endorsed the book, saying “Nobody can add to the absurdity of this book, nobody can imitate it successfully, nobody can hope to produce its fellow; it is perfect.” A 19th century Portuguese-to-English phrase book, English as She Is Spoke, broke the conversational ice between two countries—as well as many funny bones. File under: you won’t […]

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Gimme Gimme JSTOR

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The question of access continues to plague the academic community—if academia is truly about knowledge and discovery, why are there still so many barriers to the unfettered sharing of information? The architects of digital “pirate libraries” around the world are trying to resolve that contradiction, violating copyright laws to bring expensive scholarly materials to the […]

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Reading Writing

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A delightful, short essay at Atlas Obscura describes how handwriting in colonial America was packed with information about the profession, or trade, and class of the penman/woman. Reading was considered spiritual, and taught separately from writing, which was highly self-conscious, revealing, and practical: Thanks to the rigorous teachings of professionals called “penmen,” merchants wrote strong, loopy […]

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Talking Heads

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Department store mannequins may be creepy, and automated customer service calls may take forever, but at least we don’t have to deal with the Euphonia these days. Inhabiting the lowest point of the uncanny valley, this machine mimicked human speech through a disembodied head, which somehow made people more uncomfortable than amazed: People liked that […]

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This Week in Indie Bookstores

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The famed Parisian English-language bookstore Shakespeare and Company is set to open a cafe. The shop is partnering with New York restauranteur Marc Grossman, the man responsible for introducing juice cleansing to Paris. The Alabama Booksmith sells only signed copies. Atlas Obscura checks in with remote bookstore that values its out of the way location. […]

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Mapping Literary Road Trips

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What is more American than the road trip? Steven Melendez has created an astonishingly detailed interactive map of the beloved institution as documented in twelve works of American literature. The books featured include Cheryl Strayed’s Wild, Jack Kerouac’s On the Road, Mark Twain’s Roughing It, John Steinbeck’s Travels with Charley, and Tom Wolfe’s The Electric Kool-Acid […]

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Exorcisms, the Devil, and Helpful Grammar Tips

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The Codex Gigas…contains the Old and New Testaments of the Bible, as well as an assortment of other texts that tackle everything from practical instructions for exorcisms to seventh-century grammar tips written by Isidore, the scholar-turned saint of Seville. Atlas Obscura examines the Codex Gigas, a strange tome weighing in at 165 pounds and better […]

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Learning to Work with Rare Books

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In 1983, Terry Belanger created a curriculum for librarians to learn how to deal with rare books at Columbia University. Nine years later, the University of Virginia hired him and the Rare Book School moved to Charlottesville. The school now has 80,000 rare volumes and runs highly competitive five-day session where students are taught the ins and […]

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Notable New York: 8/19-8/25

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The end of August is a notoriously slow time for events of all kinds in New York. Why this year, and this week, has been an exception I do not know. August is full of great, weird, thought-provoking events. Get out of the house. MONDAY 08/19: Poet Sarah Bridgins hosts “Women Writers on Mentorship,” featuring […]

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Morning Coffee

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How about some rad London street art that is not by Banksy to start your day. If you should find yourself in Oklahoma, perhaps you would like to check out the Woolaroc ranch? I certainly would. Scientific fact: smart women are alcoholics. The Canadians have uncovered a Chinese internet espionage ring. Way to go Canada! […]

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Notable New York, This Week 3/15 – 3/21

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This week in New York Keith Gessen and Elif Batuman talk, Guernica has a reading, Joanna Newsom sings and plays harp, Marcel Dzama appears, talks and signs books, The Moth has a Story Slam, Christopher Walken loses a hand and Zoe Kazan gives him one, and Atlas Obscura presents an international celebration of curious and […]

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Temple of the Cats

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I’m sure that if I ever make it to Rome, I’ll go see this, even though I can see something similar every morning when the neighborhood stray/feral cat population (and there is a difference) shows up on my deck for chow time. Well, almost the same.

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