Rattan, the Mai Tai, and Blue Hawaii: A History in “Exotic” Escapism

Polynesian pop and Tiki culture have always been about escapism.... The trend got its beginnings in the 20s, though social and artistic obsessions with tropical climes have existed for as long as Europeans and Americans have been around to "discover" them. Escapism, however, is not a uniquely "Western" obsession; most everyone finds joy in a …

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On the Radar: Gerhard Richter’s Emotional Photo-Painting of His Aunt

For those familiar with Gerhard Richter, he is often associated with his abstract, colorful "squeegee" works. A large portion of his artistic production, however, consists of photo paintings that include his trademark "blur." In this particular painting--one of his early works--Richter copied a photo of his Aunt Marianne holding Richter as an infant. His Aunt …

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On the Radar: The “Acoustic Mirrors” of Denge–a Pre-Radar Warning System

Located along British coastlines, parabolic concrete structures such as these once served as interwar, pre-radar warning systems. They focused and concentrated sounds from the Channel, with the goal of detecting the approach of enemy planes. Image: Wikipedia. Read more here: Acoustic Mirror - Wikipedia, and the succeeding radar system: Chain Home - Wikipedia

Why (Almost) Every State Has a Train Car From the French

In February of 1949, four years following the end of World War II, an exciting shipment arrived in New York City's harbor. A ship bearing the words, "MERCI AMERICA," came to port where thousands of on-lookers gathered to see the freighter's cargo. The Magellan carried 49 boxcars filled to the brim with gifts of gratitude …

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