New York City’s mysterious, magnificent brass boxes…

These are just magnificent.

 

From Atlas Obscura,

 

 

New York City’s Mail Chutes are Lovely, Ingenious and Almost Entirely Ignored
by Luke Spencer

 

“If you have ever worked in an old building, the chances are you will have at some point walked past a small mysterious brass box. Located about halfway up the wall, it is notable for a flat length of glass leading both into and out it, disappearing into the ceiling and the floor below. Often painted over, ignored and unused, they are a relic of the golden age of early skyscrapers called the Cutler mail chute.

 

The Cutler mail chutes flourished during the advent of the first multi-story buildings in the turn of the 20th century. The invention was fairly simple: the glass chutes would run internally the length of the building, with a mailing slot on each floor. Rather than having to make the trek downstairs to find the nearest mail box or post office, you would simply pop your letter into the chute from whichever floored you worked on, and gravity would swiftly carry your letter to a mailbox in the lobby, for daily collection from the postman. In an era when people were sending handfuls of letters each day, the convenience of the Cutler mail chute was a godsend…”

 

For the rest, click here.

 

 

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It’s Friday the 13th in October. How’s your triskaidekaphobia doing?

A Friday the 13th in October is very witchy indeed…

 

From National Geographic,

 

 

Friday the 13th Is Back. Here’s Why It Scares Us.
Find out how the date got its unlucky reputation and how even nonbelievers may be influenced by our collective triskaidekaphobia.

 

By Brian Handwerk

 

“As if October wasn’t spooky enough, this year the creepiest month also features the return of Friday the 13th.
October 13 is the second ill-fated Friday to fall in 2017. And while January the 13th wasn’t especially sinister, it seems that no matter how many such moments pass us by, the dreaded day continues to inspire unease and fears of misfortune.
There’s no logical reason to fear the occasional coincidence of any day and date. But Friday the 13th can still have noticeable impacts. Sometimes we create them in our own minds—for good and ill.

 

Jane Risen, a behavioral scientist at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, has found that superstitions can influence even nonbelievers. In one study, Risen found that people who identify as superstitious and non-superstitious both believe a bad outcome is more likely when they’ve been jinxed, such as by stating they definitely won’t get into a car accident…”

 

For the rest, click here.

 

And from HuffPost, here’s another piece that may interest you today: Friday The 13th – Why Is It Considered So Unlucky?

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A full-size Parthenon made of banned books…

Art can heal. It is the opposite of repression.

 

 

From Bored Panda,

 

Artist Uses 100,000 Banned Books To Build A Full-Size Parthenon At Historic Nazi Book Burning Site
by Rokas L

 

“Argentinian artist Marta Minujín, 74, has created a monumental replica of the Greek Parthenon from 100,000 copies of banned books. According to the artist, it symbolizes the resistance to political repression.

 

The Parthenon of Books in Kassel, Germany is part of the Documenta 14 art festival. With the help of students from Kassel University, Minujín identified over 170 titles that were or are banned in different countries around the world, and constructed the full-size replica of the iconic temple from those books, plastic sheeting, and steel.

 

But probably what is Germany’s most controversial book – Adolf Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” – will not figure on the Parthenon. And for a good reason: the Nazis were notorious censors of books. In fact, Minujín’s work stands on a historic site where the Nazis burnt some 2,000 books in 1933 as part of a very broad campaign of censorship. “Where they burn books, at the end they also burn people,” Heinrich Heine said in the 19th century…”

 

For the rest, and more photos of this incredible piece, click here.

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