Brain Pickings

Reads tagged with “just weird”

Maphead: Exploring the Mystery of Why Maps Sing to Us
Maphead: Exploring the Mystery of Why Maps Sing to Us

What Lake Michigan has to do with Sweden, or why James Joyce was bored in geography class.

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Asylum: Inside the Haunting World of 19th-Century Mental Hospitals
Asylum: Inside the Haunting World of 19th-Century Mental Hospitals

What straitjackets have to do with Eames chairs and the mutations of policy ideals.

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Arnold Schoenberg’s Music Notation Based on Tennis: A Tribute to George Gershwin
Arnold Schoenberg’s Music Notation Based on Tennis: A Tribute to George Gershwin

What the U.S. Open has to do with atonality and one of the great losses of twentieth-century music.

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Illegal Drugs, Explained in LEGO: A 1970s PSA
Illegal Drugs, Explained in LEGO: A 1970s PSA

The architecture of addiction, or why mixed metaphors might be more harmful than marijuana.

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Highlights from TED Global 2011, The Stuff of Life: Day Two
Highlights from TED Global 2011, The Stuff of Life: Day Two

How to get eaten by mushrooms, why we’re all African, and what language has to do with genetics.

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A Brief Visual History of Robots in a Matrix of Creepiness & Intelligence
A Brief Visual History of Robots in a Matrix of Creepiness & Intelligence

What Louis XV has to do with H.G. Wells and the hazards of mechanical animation.

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Made in Russia: Vintage Curiosities of Soviet Design
Made in Russia: Vintage Curiosities of Soviet Design

What the 1980 Olympics have to do with IKEA and medieval helmets for modern role-playing games.

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19th-Century Anthropomorphic Animals from the NYPL Archives
19th-Century Anthropomorphic Animals from the NYPL Archives

What kimono-wearing rabbits and ice-skating camels have to do with solving information overload.

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Kooky Cookery: Retro Recipes for Culinary Frankensteining
Kooky Cookery: Retro Recipes for Culinary Frankensteining

Betty Draper’s favorite tomato aspic, or what boiled bologna has to do with marshmallows.

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Albertus Seba’s Amazing Cabinet of Natural Curiosities
Albertus Seba’s Amazing Cabinet of Natural Curiosities

Getting a private viewing of the King Bird of Paradise, or how to set the exchange rate for flying squid.

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