Why Catholics Built Secret Astronomical Features Into Churches to Help Save Souls | Atlas Obscura

 

“A Disc of light moves across the cathedral floor. The marble in its path lights up, revealing deeply colored swirls, rich with hues of burgundy, plum, caramel, and ochre. It is ancient rock, stained by terrestrial chemistry and by the infernal pressures of the inner Earth. Its surface is smooth and nearly reflective, testament to extraordinary craftsmanship but also to the effects of hundreds of years’ worth of penitent feet processing through the looming shadows of the church interior. The air smells of smoke and candle wax, and the occasional perfume of a passing tourist.

The source of this light is a hole punched through the roof of the church high above, elaborately accentuated by a brilliant halo of golden rays, painted to resemble the sun. The hole acts like a film projector. Daylight streams through, creating a narrow beam of illumination visible only in the presence of smoke or dust, as if something otherworldly has been forced into material form….”

Read more at the Source: Why Catholics Built Secret Astronomical Features Into Churches to Help Save Souls | Atlas Obscura

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A More Accurate World Map Wins Prestigious Japanese Design Award – StumbleUpon

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“To design a map of the world is no easy task. Because maps represent the spherical Earth in 2D form, they cannot help but be distorted, which is why Greenland and Antarctica usually look far more gigantic than they really are, while Africa appears vastly smaller than its true size. The AuthaGraph World Map tries to correct these issues, showing the world closer to how it actually is in all its spherical glory.

Created by Hajime Narukawa at Keio University’s Graduate School of Media and Governance in Tokyo, the design…”

 

Read more at the Source: A More Accurate World Map Wins Prestigious Japanese Design Award – StumbleUpon

Exploring Mexico’s Zone of Silence, Where Radio Signals Fail and Meteorites Crash | Atlas Obscura

“There’s an area in the Chihuahuan desert in northern Mexico where radio signals don’t work, and compasses spin out of control when placed near stones on the ground. It’s called the Zone of Silence. It measures only 50 kilometers across, and it is located in the Mapimí Biosphere Reserve, a huge, mostly uninhabited expanse of almost 400,000 hectares, where the flat and desolate terrain is interspersed with lonely mountain outcrops…”

Read more at the Source: Exploring Mexico’s Zone of Silence, Where Radio Signals Fail and Meteorites Crash | Atlas Obscura

Abraham Lincoln’s Words, Maybe – The New Yorker

“The tendency to obsess over single words and phrases reflects, in part, the semi-divine status of Lincoln in American history. But it also reflects a desire to show that rhetoric and writing were as essential to his career as acts and orders and elections. In the past twenty-five years, and particularly since the publication of Garry Wills’s “Lincoln at Gettysburg” (1992), language and its uses has become a central Lincoln subject. Two prominent strains of rhetoric run through the period—the Biblical and the classical—and political ideas tend to get tinted by whichever of them the speaker uses.”

Read the entire article at the Source: Abraham Lincoln’s Words, Maybe – The New Yorker

What’s A Woggin? A Bird, a Word, and a Linguistic Mystery | Atlas Obscura

New species are discovered all the time. Unknown old species—extinct ones, found as fossils and then plugged into our historical understanding of the world—turn up a lot, too. But every once in a while, all we have to go on is a word. New or old, known or unknown, no one knew what a woggin was until Judith Lund, whaling historian, decided to find out…”

Read more at the Source: What’s A Woggin? A Bird, a Word, and a Linguistic Mystery | Atlas Obscura

Jigokudani (Hell Valley) – Noboribetsu-shi, Japan | Atlas Obscura

“Some hot springs are in picturesque mountain valleys, or in mystical high desert plateaus. The springs the feed the thermal baths in Hokkaido’s most popular spa town, however, flow from a blasted primordial caldera so infernal and reeking of sulfur, it was traditionally known as a gateway to hell…”

Read more at the Source: Jigokudani (Hell Valley) – Noboribetsu-shi, Japan | Atlas Obscura

The ‘Killer Women’ Writers Collective Is Turning the Page on Sexist Crime Novels | Broadly

“In a lot of crime drama on TV and in a lot of books, women are just there as a token victim,” says McBeth. She says that while killing off women is sometimes unavoidable as a plot device, it’s important that the victims are given a voice, otherwise readers become numb to violence. “The women are often just a foil to some psychopathic man who’s on the rampage. You see that a lot in television dramas and I just think, ‘Do they all sit around and think of ways to kill women in more and more violent methods?'”

When she included a murder in her latest book, McBeth wanted to avoid adding to the stream of nameless victims. She says she actively gave the character a meaningful backstory that led to her, in some ways, “solving the crime.” It’s also one of the reasons Killer Women decided to pick Shoreditch Town Hall as the venue for their festival.”

Read more at the Source: The ‘Killer Women’ Writers Collective Is Turning the Page on Sexist Crime Novels | Broadly