150 Year Old Portraits Show Victorians Looking Seriously Fashionable

Julia Margaret Cameron received her first camera as a gift at the age of forty-eight. It was 1863 and she was the mother of six children, but that didn’t stop her from pursuing a new found love for photography. It was a passion that is still influencing photographers today.

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Watch this Gentleman Enjoy the Five Stages of Inebriation

Seriously, how great are vintage photographs when people aren’t acting stiff and formal?! Sometime between 1863 and 1868 Sydney photographer Charles Percy Pickering took these absolutely informal images of drunkenness in five stages, played by one convincing fellow in his studio. It looks like someone won’t be remembering Friday night!

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After English and Spanish, What’s the Most Common Language in Your State?

Did you know German is the third most spoken language in Colorado, or that it’s Hmong in Minnesota? What’s the third most spoken language in your state?

This map is too interesting. Yes, most people in the US speak English in daily life, followed down the list by Spanish in all but seven states… but what comes third? This map from Slate details some surprising results and points to drastically different histories of immigration across the US.

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How Dog Breeds Have Changed in Just 100 Years

When we hear old stories of giant St. Bernards racing over the snowy alps to rescue some lost soul with the famous brandy barrel around their neck, it’s easy to imagine they looked just like St. Bernards today… but we’d be wrong. In fact, it’s a common misconception that dog breeds look the same as they did even 100 years ago. Doctor Caen Elegans has compiled a side-by-side comparison of some famous breeds with older images from a 1915 book, Breeds of All Nations by W.E. Mason. They show how breeders have been further changing the appearance of these dogs, and as Elegans’ points out – unintentionally introduced a number of defects and maladies.

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Completed in 1878, This Isolated Sea Fort is Now a Luxury Hotel

When it was completed in 1878, the soldiers who occupied Spitbank Fort had no idea it would one day be a luxury hotel. The isolated sea fort is located in the Solent, near Portsmouth, England, and originally intended as a line of defense against ships that made it past the larger forts further out. As always, Spitbank Fort is only accessible by boat – a level of isolation rarely available in our highly connected world. Now, billed as “the UKs most exclusive private island” it features 8 luxury rooms and a rooftop spa with unrivaled views. It’s also one of the few hotels that can boast about having armor plating on its seaward side.

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The Many Faces of Bill Murray: How Many Do You Know?

As far as actors go, you won’t find many more universally loved than Bill Murray. Whether he’s hilariously trying to blow up gophers in Caddyshack or wowing us with subtlety in Lost in Translation, his appearances are almost always memorable – even if they’re just momentary cameos. Now Steve Murray (no relation) has created an fantastic visual compilation for the National Post, capturing The Many Faces of Bill Murray over the years. It starts with The Rutles in 1978, finishes with his recent appearance in The Grand Budapest Hotel, and misses very few acts in between (only two early bits of voice work). Can you remember them all?

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Essential Reading: Mason Currey on the Importance of “Daily Rituals”

Recently, I decided to revisit one of the books that made me want to write about creativity, Daily Rituals: How Artists Work by Mason Currey. I wasn’t disappointed.

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In Alabama it’s Illegal to Carry an Ice Cream Cone in Your Back Pocket (and other Bizarre Laws Visualized)

There are some seriously weird laws on the books of many US states… but Olivia Locher is breaking them all. This New York-based photographer’s series I Fought The Law brings some of the best examples to life, begging the question: how the heck did these become laws?

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History’s Creative Thinkers in Humorous GIFs and Smart T-Shirts

The Strange Company GIFs 2

If you’re anything like me, you’re completely obsessed with the creative figures in history. You might find yourself thumbing through Da Vinci sketches late into the night, pondering how he imagined so many world changing ideas before they could even be realized. You might lose yourself for hours down a rabbit hole of Wikipedia exploration initiated by Isaac Asimov’s affinity for small spaces. That’s why I think this series of animated GIFs will not fail to amuse… nor will the exquisite series of T-shirts that inspired them.

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The Softer Side of Infamous Leaders

There’s nothing more powerful than standing tall, reaching out your arms, and grabbing a teddy bear. I’m pretty sure I heard that somewhere…

Beijing artist Chunlong Sun has taken the likenesses of 5 often-infamous world leaders and put stuffed animals in their world influencing hands. It’s an absolutely bizarre combo that strikes an unlikely balance between making each figure appear far more friendly and sinister at the very same time. What are these? Villains from a James Bond spoof?

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