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Go Inside the Haunted Museum Getting Jaded New Yorkers Excited About Holographic Art

The Hologram Center’s “Holohouse” lets visitors play with, and learn about, a uniquely modern form of artistic expression.

Castle William on Governor's Island, image via Wikicommons

New York City is huge. 8.4 million people huge to be exact, and, especially in the summer, it can feel like they are all squished directly next you on the subway. If you’re new to the city you might be unaware that just a quick boat ride from Brooklyn Bridge Park there’s a literal island of calm amongst the madness. First “discovered” in the 1600s by Dutch settlers, Governors Island was an important strategic base during the Civil War, and, later in the 20th century, home to the U.S. Coast Guard. In the 90s much of the area was turned into a national park (and occasional summer concert venue), and today those who want a taste of culture sans the lines come to the island to relax, take in the public art, and even catch a few ghosts. Yes! It’s been rumored that parts of the island are haunted—especially the historic Nolan Park area. It’s here that one of the world’s only holographic museums has set up shop for the summer, bringing ephemeral art to match the translucent specters its host destination is known for. Now in its second year, visitors to the Holocenter House will be able to see, touch, and even walk through a wide array of holograms created by some of the pioneers of the art form. A true passion project by its creators, the museum has already succeeded in both turning an otherwise overlooked NYC landmark into a fun (and spooky) summer destination, and promoting while preserving an art form many have overlooked.

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Experience Five Hundred (Virtual) Years Of New York City History In A Single Elevator Ride

Elevator rides to the observation deck at 1 World Trade Center will offer passengers an astonishing view historical

image via NYTimes.com screen capture

In just 47 seconds, riders of 1 World Trade Center’s ultra-high-tech elevator system will be able to experience over five hundred years of New York City’s shifting landscape and skyline.

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This 500-Year-Old Religious Figure Is Playmobil’s Best Selling Toy of All Time

Playmobil’s “Little Luther” sold out in a record-breaking three days.

Image via Boing Boing / Playmobil

As popular history tells it, the Protestant Reformation began when Martin Luther nailed his Ninety-Five Thesis to the door of All Saints Church in Wittenberg, Germany. Little did Luther know that in addition to launching one of the most important movements in Christianity, he would be transformed into a children’s toy—and a record-setting one at that.

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One of History’s Most Successful Female Rulers—Who No One Remembers

No-drama Hatshepsut was ancient Egypt’s longest-serving indigenous female ruler, known for enriching her people and commissioning stunning monuments.

Photo courtesy of GFDL

Most of us know about Cleopatra’s sex life, about Jezebel being thrown out of a window and eaten by dogs, and maybe even about the Chinese Empress Wu assassinating all her rivals—but few know about the successful reign of the no-drama Hatshepsut, a leader who enriched her people as Egypt’s longest-serving indigenous female ruler.

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Free Wheel: An Oral History of Bicycle Design

The bicycle isn’t just a means of getting around or a piece of sports equipment. It is also a manifestation of human creativity and clever ideas.

As a collector, cyclist and architect, my fascination with bikes lies in their simplicity—it’s the most basic translation of human energy into maximum mobility. The bike remains the most efficient method of transportation on Earth, and in times of energy efficiency and environmental compatibility, it's also one of our most sustainable products. It allows the purest experience of the landscape and the body. And that’s not all: cycling is great fun. It is also a very democratic product: unlike with cars, even reasonably priced bikes are beautiful.

But the bicycle isn’t just a means of getting around or a piece of sports equipment. It is also a manifestation of human creativity and clever ideas, and an example of wonderful handicraft and design. Although the principle of the bicycle has been in existence for more than a century—during which time it regularly underwent rapid transformation—the criteria for construction have remained unchanged. The bike is one of the most uncompromising designs that I know: it must be light, yet offer great stability. And although enormous forces are involved in cycling, most bicycles are extremely graceful and elegant constructions.

I am not a bicycle historian and also not a typical curator or collector. But today, I have collected 210 bikes, all of which are completely ready to ride, and 45 of which are currently on view in the exhibition “Free Wheel” at Design Museum Holon. I love bicycles because I find the product appealing. When I began to collect professionally, I was like a lot of other collectors: whenever a bike of mine was stolen I bought a new one. As the thefts became more frequent, I bought only used ones. With every new acquisition I began to realize how many different bicycle constructions and technical details are actually involved in bike design.

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