Kafka on Reading & the Soul.

by Maria Popova How to melt “the frozen sea within us.” In a November 1903 letter, found in the altogether enchanting compendium Letters to Friends, Family and Editors (public library), 20-year-old Franz Kafka writes to his childhood friend, the art historian Oskar Pollak: Some books seem like a key to unfamiliar rooms in one’s own […]

‘PEEFACE’ and other Typos.

Having worked in the printing industry you do see some very weird things from time to time. In the days of hot metal at least it was some fun. I can remember a bloke who had been at the pub for his dinner break. He went back to work pissed and then decided to throw […]

Havana’s Oldest Printmaking Studio.

Ian Marcos Gutiérrez, a 23-year-old printer at the Taller Experimental de Gráfica, in Havana, helps the author prepare a block of lithographic limestone for printing. (Arien Chang Castán) by Mimi Dwyer; Photographs by Arien Chang Castán Lithography arrived in Cuba before anywhere else in the Americas, as a way to protect the sanctity and integrity […]

History of The Silent Darien, Panama.

Stretching from Alaska to the pencil tip of Argentina, the 48,000km-long Pan-American Highway holds the record for the world’s longest motorable road. But there is a gap – an expanse of wild tropical forest – that has defeated travellers for centuries. Explorers have always been drawn to the Darien Gap, but the results have mostly […]

The ‘Billy’ in Australian Culture

The term billy or billycan is particularly associated with Australian usage, but is also used in the United Kingdom and Ireland. It is widely accepted that the term “billycan” is derived from the large cans used for transporting bouilli or bully beef on Australia-bound ships or during exploration of the outback, which after use were […]

Divers get first look inside Arctic Shipwreck of ‘HMS Terror.’

Marine archaeologists explore the HMS Terror on the seafloor of the Arctic Ocean. To get a look inside the ship, divers deployed a remotely operated vehicle, or ROV. (Parks Canada, Underwater Archaeology Team) By Megan Gannon smithsonian.com Below deck, glass bottles sit upright in storage rooms, and stacks of intact ceramic plates are neatly arranged […]

‘Stranded’ by Fang Peng-Gang.

‘Stranded’ This photograph was taken off the Taiwanese coastal city of Kaohsiung by photographer Fang Peng-Gang/2019 Weather Photographer of the Year. More than 5,700 images were submitted overall in this competition. Source: 2019 weather photographer of the year winners | Environment | The Guardian

The Story of the Universal Classic Monsters.

The Inner Sanctum Mysteries of radio were adapted to film in the 1940s The Inner Sanctum was a popular radio program which portrayed mysteries, often in a camp production, and was often hosted by a horror movie star. Many of the actors famous for portraying Universal’s Classic Monsters appeared on the program, as hosts and […]

Ngiyaapaa girl prepares for Corroboree in Wilcannia.

Wilcannia, Australia Ngiyaampaa girl Punta Williams poses for photographs on the dry river bed of the Darling River before performing at the Yaama Ngunna Baaka Corroboree festival in Wilcannia, New South Wales. Aboriginal communities have recently held special festivals along the river ‘to heal the Barka’. Ochre-painted dancers performed around fires at dusk, revering the […]

The First Edition of Fahrenheit 451 was a Killer.

The Special Edition of Fahrenheit 451 was bound in fire-proof asbestos (the slow and silent killer). Ray Bradbury’s iconic dystopian novel focused on a future American society where books are outlawed and firemen hunt down and burn books rather than put out house fires. Shortly after the book was published in 1953, a run of […]