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A Number of Notable Business Cards

"This week, we discovered an utterly charming card used by Isaac Asimov ('natural resource' is right) and, inspired, began hunting for more famous peoples' business cards, whether boilerplate or highly designed, staid or comical."
posted by gilrain on Jan 22, 2013 - 92 comments

Ex Libris Houdini

Ehrich Weisz may not have had much formal education, but he grew up to be Harry Houdini, self-educated stunt performer, escape artist, and owner of "one of the largest libraries in the world on psychic phenomena, Spiritualism, magic, witchcraft, demonology, evil spirits, etc., some of the material going back as far as 1489." Houdini bequeathed much of his collection to the Library of Congress, which received 3,988 volumes from his collection in 1927, including a number of magic books inscribed or annotated by well-known magicians. Archive.org has more of the Harry Houdini Collection online. He also put a great deal of research into his tricks, as seen in his letter to Dr. W. J. McConnell, a physiologist at the U.S. Bureau of Mines, written up after Houdini's watery grave stunt in 1926.
posted by filthy light thief on Dec 3, 2012 - 5 comments

Baby Escape Artists

Cute babies escaping from safety gates. (MLYT) [more inside]
posted by Deathalicious on Sep 8, 2011 - 60 comments

Fun with old knowledge

Pliny's Natural History, the first encyclopedia. Featuring chapters like "Other wonderful things related to dolphins" and one mentioning the lynx and the sphinx in a single passage. Obviously he got a lot very wrong, but it launched a tradition of authoritative encyclopedias. More recently, you hopefully know that the forty-four million word eleventh (1911) edition of Encyclopedia Britannica is online, later volumes are not, but you can still find elsewhere Trotsky's article on Lenin, Freud's on psychoanalysis, Houdini on conjuring, or Lawrence of Arabia on guerillas. Britannica also offers a series of articles from its archives showing how views on Mars or the debate in 1768 over whether California was an island. Other fascinating encyclopedias online include the 1906 Jewish Encyclopedia and the 1908 Catholic Encyclopedia, and the Encyclopedia Mythica.
posted by blahblahblah on Jul 5, 2005 - 16 comments

How Houdini's escape trick worked

The secret of Harry Houdini's signature "Metamorphosis" escape trick is out of the bag. Do not visit that page if you don't want to know how he did it.
posted by riffola on Jun 6, 2004 - 25 comments

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