16th Century ‘Prayer Nuts’ Hide Miniature Carvings

If you were wealthy and devout in 16th century Europe, one of the ultimate possessions was a prayer nut. These tiny wooden spheres were intricately carved boxes filled with religious scenes like the Crucifixion. Worn around the neck attached to a rosary or on the owners belt, it has been theorized that the outer carvings were inserted with aromatic plants and oils to add to the experience of owning one.

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What Is The Most Common Job in Every US State?

NPR has just released a fascinating interactive map which reveals the most common job in each US state. While you might think clerks would be topping this list, the whole country seems to be dominated my one job – truck drivers. How could this be?

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Black and White Photos Wiped into Color

There’s probably no better way to see the power of the colorizing technique than with these animated GIFs from the Dutch design website NSMBL. Taking iconic images from around the web, they’ve overlaid colorized versions of the same image that is slowly revealed with a animated series of wipes. It’s like seeing each photograph wiped into reality.

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Movie Theaters Had Very Different Rules in 1912

You’ve seen it many times. You’re sitting there waiting for your movie to start, but first this message plays across the screen: “For the comfort of those around you, please silence your cell phone.” While you may think that this is simply an aspect of our modern era, it’s actually been a practice since the very start of film.

These fantastic movie theater etiquette slides from 1912 show many of the same rules as today (like keeping quiet and not standing up) and plenty that we wouldn’t even consider being a problem – like wearing really huge hats.

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What to Wear in 1906: A Street Fashion Photographer From Edwardian Engand

Over a century before The Sartorialist was stopping fashionable people to capture their unique sense of style, photographer Edward Linley Sambourne (1844-1910) was documenting the street fashion of Edwardian England. Sambourne worked as chief cartoonist for the English magazine Punch, and as an illustrator. When he first picked up photography, it was to use as reference to improve upon his other arts, but soon it turned into an obsession.

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A Secret Underwater Ballroom, Built For a Notorious Victorian Swindler

Whitley Estate Secret Ballroom 2

Walk far into the woods near the village of Witley in Surrey, England and you’ll find a hidden treasure. The directions go like this: Walk a mile and a quarter west, into the long neglected woods. Find the stone wall surrounding a kitchen garden. There you’ll find a small building with an arched doorway. Go inside, down the spiral staircase, and walk down the long teardrop-shaped tunnel to the end. There’s no “X” marking this treasure, but you’ll know you’ve found it. You’re now in a domed, glass ceilinged room, yellow light gently flickering through the water above. Welcome to Whitaker Wright’s hidden ballroom, submerged deep beneath a murky lake.

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It Doesn’t Get Cooler than Motorcycle Chariots

Motorcycles have been called “Iron Steeds” for a long time, but the forgotten sport of motorcycle chariot racing really took that horse thing literally.

Yes. Motorcycle. Chariot. Racing. And it looks just as tough as it sounds.

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12 Streamlined Rides from the Age of Art Deco

From the ’20s to the ’50s a streamlining craze swept the world. Inspired by the rise of the airplane and driven by the need for more efficient vehicles, automakers and dreamers around the globe began sculpting cars into aerodynamic forms with beautifully sweeping lines. Here, we’ve rounded up 12 of our favorite designs from the golden age of streamlining.

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4 Lessons From the Life of Orson Welles

Orson Welles has a varied reputation depending on who you ask. He lived many lives. Some cite his egotism and success as a Broadway theater director during the Depression. Others mention his War of the Worlds broadcast which, according to legend, scared the living daylights out of the American people and convinced many that they were truly being attacked by aliens. Some cite his genius directorship of the ‘greatest movie ever made,’ Citizen Kane. Finally, others mention his uneven and difficult later years; his battles with studios, his ads for California wine and weight gain, and his lack of finished projects.

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How Have We Changed? The Same Locations Filmed 100-Years-Later

A lot of the world has changed in the past 100 years, but a lot has stayed the same too. Dutch photographer Frits de Beer has re-shot the locations of a vintage film featuring his home city, Alkmaar as it appeared a century ago in 1914. This simultaneous glimpse at the past and present reveals just how much things have remained the same for certain places in the world – especially when it comes to architecture.

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