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The Codex Gigas, captured in a stereoscopic image in 1906. (Photo: National Library of Sweden)

One book at the National Library of Sweden stands out among the rest: the Codex Gigas. Bound in wood, consisting of 620 pages that are each nearly three feet long, and weighing in at 165 pounds, it is quite a hefty tome. But it's not the size of the Codex Gigas that is its most intriguing feature. It's the devil inside.

The Codex Gigas was created during the 13th century and initially stored at the Benedictine monastery of Podlažice in what is now the Czech Republic. The manuscript contains the Old and New Testaments of the Bible, as well as an assortment of other texts that tackle everything from practical instructions for exorcisms to seventh-century grammar tips written by Isidore, the scholar-turned saint of Seville.

A single scribe hand-wrote and illustrated the entire 620 pages—a colossal undertaking that, in the National Library of Sweden's estimates, would have taken between five and 30 years to complete:

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(Photo: Kris WUHS_Mom)

In 1923, William Carlos Williams wrote the lovely short poem he is best remembered for today, "The Red Wheelbarrow": 

so much depends

a red wheel

glazed with rain

beside the white

But until now, no one besides the poet himself knew who owned that wheelbarrow.


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Needlepunch embroidery, 1946. (Photo: Courtesy The Bandy Heritage Center for Northwest Georgia

This is the first installment of the Other Capitals of the World, a series where we'll look beyond the typical seats of power to examine less typical centers of industry. Have a suggestion? Let us know.

If you’re standing on a carpet in a hotel or at an airport or even in a friend’s living room, then there’s a very good chance you’re standing on a carpet manufactured in, or around, Dalton, Georgia.

More than 85 percent of the carpets sold in the United States, and around 45 percent of the residential and commercial carpets found worldwide, are made within a 65-mile radius of this small city of 32,000 souls nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

In Dalton you can find the headquarters of such global carpeting behemoths as Beaulieu, Daltonian, J & J Industries. Shaw and Tandus, companies that create some 12.2 billion square feet of floor covering each year, enough to cover the entirety of Hong Kong in a thick, rich shag. So many carpet mills cluster together in Dalton that it has been known to snow blue due to the number of dye particles in the air.

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Max Headroom himself. (Photo: Ingrid Richter/Flickr)

Hacker. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the word means “a person who secretly gains access to a computer system in order to get information, or cause damage.”

But 28 short years ago, the term hardly existed–that is, until the Max Headroom Incident. At 9:14PM on November 22, 1987, the regularly scheduled programming at WGN Chicago, a local news station in Illinois, was interrupted. The screen hissed and burped, materializing into a figure with a pallid mask bouncing around in front of a corrugated metal background.

Before the mysterious intruder could speak, however, the WGN technicians switched the signal and returned to the local news. 

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Saint Coltrane (Photo: flykr/Flickr)

Musicians have a way of leaving a mark on places that often inspire intense devotion. There are the spectacular venues that have inspired album art and when a beloved musician dies, grieving fans have a tendency to create obscure and often morbidly specific memorials to remember them by. We've put together a mixtape of death sites, statues, and remembrance walls that honor everyone from Patsy Cline to Michael Jackson along with some of their famous tunes, to get you in the mood for remembrance.


London, United Kingdom 

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