matthewtaub's User Profile - Atlas Obscura
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activism

For Sale: Papers From the Planning of the 1963 March on Washington

They tell a ground-level story of how peaceful movements lead to social change, and how much remains to be done.
January 13, 2021
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empire

This Miniature Quran Bears Witness to an Immense History

It is an artifact of devotion, wealth, and empire.
January 6, 2021
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art outside

Trying to Make Sense of the Mystery Monolith Craze of 2020

An expert on Kubrick finds them "fascinating," if "derivative," but they may be this strange year's physical embodiment.
December 16, 2020
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theremin

Happy 100th Birthday to the Theremin, Instrument of the Future

The theremin's mystery endures, and virtuosos are still fighting for its recognition.
December 1, 2020
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microbes

Zooming in on the Microbiome of Some da Vinci Masterpieces

A new study found plenty of bacteria, fungi, and insect remains, but nothing to be alarmed about.
November 25, 2020
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auctions

For Sale: A Hidden Trove of Correspondence With Bob Dylan

The papers of Tony Glover, "musician's musician" and journalist, include many other luminaries as well.
November 18, 2020
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elections

The Unsettled Legacy of the Bloodiest Election in American History

An exhibit is taking a closer look at the racist Ocoee Massacre in Florida, 100 years after it took place.
November 10, 2020
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spycraft

For Sale: The Entire Spycraft Collection of New York's KGB Museum

If you ever needed a lipstick gun or a heartbeat detector, you could be in luck.
October 29, 2020
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journeys

Meet the Man Who Walked from York to Hastings in Medieval Armor

He was fighting not Normans, but the stigma of mental illness.
October 21, 2020
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gods

Found: An Old Norse 'Godhouse' Fit for Thor and Odin

The site reflects how the rise of Christianity to the south affected the worship of the Norse pantheon.
October 14, 2020
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sold

Sold: 53 Letters Deciphered by a Groundbreaking English Codebreaker

Cagey about his methods, John Wallis was a bit of a cipher himself.
October 7, 2020
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pandemic

The Holocaust-Surviving Violins That Were Quarantined Beneath a California Stage

The pandemic layover and their eventual return home is a new chapter in a long history.
October 1, 2020
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cuba

Found: The Wreck of a Ship That Carried Enslaved Maya from Mexico to Cuba

This slave trade is well known to historians, but this is the first known wreck from it.
September 23, 2020
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rare books

A Rare Day-by-Day Document of Life Aboard a Slave Ship

The logbook is written from the white perspective, and its horrors are plain to see.
September 17, 2020
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rap

For Sale: Biggie's Crown, and Other Icons of Hip-Hop History

There's lots to intrigue West Coasters, too.
September 9, 2020
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baseball

Why Jackie Robinson's Hall of Fame Plaque Had to Change

The legendary athlete wanted to be remembered as a great baseball player, regardless of race, but history has its demands.
September 2, 2020
Gastro Obscura
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crops

The Unexpected Elegance of Irrigation Systems From Above

Architect Ronald Rael is documenting this aerial perspective.
August 26, 2020
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protest

These Protest Photos Document Life in 'Resurrection City'

In 1968, thousands of protesters camped on the National Mall as part of the Poor People's Campaign.
August 18, 2020
Gastro Obscura
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window

The Coronavirus Is Bringing Back Florence's Wine Windows

This isn't the first time they've come in handy during a pandemic.
August 11, 2020
Gastro Obscura
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whiskey

For Sale: Shipwrecked Whisky That Spent Decades Underwater

Winning bidder take note: It is not safe to drink.
August 5, 2020
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ireland

For Sale: The Most Haunted Mansion in Ireland

Loftus Hall holds tales of Satan, colonialism, and getting stood up by the Queen.
July 29, 2020
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edison

Sold: An 1891 Patent by Granville T. Woods, Innovative Black Engineer

Woods was prolific, but was largely forgotten for many years after his death.
July 22, 2020
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opera

Do These Tubes Hold the Oldest Known Stereo Recordings?

In 1901, a traveling researcher recorded some Chinese opera, and accidentally made music history.
July 15, 2020
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abraham lincoln

Found: A Letter From Frederick Douglass, About the Need for Better Monuments

It was discovered "forensically," thanks to Douglass's distinctive usage of an unusual word.
July 8, 2020