Category Archives: Rarities

Special Collections and Monkeys

You’ve got to give it to Buzzfeed—they do the lowest common denominator like nobody else. Even when they’re unpacking the quality stuff, you still have to pay attention to figure out which level of brow they’re aiming at. I know, I’m saying that like it’s a bad thing. It’s not—it’s what they do—but the sheer […]

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When in Doubt, Ask the Past

Everybody needs advice sometimes. Whether everybody wants it is another matter, but there’s a reason so many people love Cary Tennis, Dan Savage, and Dear Prudence (although I do NOT like the videos, Prudence—such a lack of intimacy). In my day, kids, we had the choice of Ann Landers and Dear Abby, and god forbid […]

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The Copiale Cipher Deciphered

There’s nothing like a secret code to get the blood racing. From the Rosetta Stone to the Enigma Machine, cryptography is one of those pursuits with the “a-ha” moment built right  in. We all want to be Encyclopedia Brown, and even the easy cryptograms in the back of the paper hold a whole lot more […]

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Magical Mystery Tour: The Conjuring Arts Research Center

OK, are we all a little Harry Pottered-out by now? I know, I know—for many of our bookish friends there is no such thing as too much Harry Potter, and who am I to say otherwise? But I don’t think anyone, not even the most curmudgeonly muggles among us, would argue about the extreme coolness […]

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