Don’t “get” modern art? Apparently none of us do, because while we were off contemplating Jackson Pollack’s splatter paintings in the Museum of Modern Art, the Central Intelligence Agency was using Pollack and his pals as “weapons” during the Cold War. A new report reveals that the CIA promoted American Abstract Expressionist painting around the world in order to show that American art was more creative than art produced under Communist Russian rule.
Cue your deepest conspiracy theory rant. Keep reading »
Cornell University might have just earned itself a prominent place in my higher education fantasies, thanks to some lush new lawns they installed … in the library. Two different libraries, to be exact, plus three other locations around campus, were equipped with real patches of grass to help students get a taste of nature and relieve stress while they studied for finals. The project was dreamed up by recent graduate Gilad Meron, who based the idea on Attention Restoration Theory, “which says that direct exposure to nature, viewing nature through windows, and even viewing images of nature are restorative.” Bringing nature inside seemed like an obvious next step, and as an added bonus, it allows students to sit in the grass and read without getting beaned in the head by a dudebrah’s frisbee. Bliss! [Neatorama]
When several packages containing Christmas presents went missing from the doorsteps of a subdivision in Clermont, Florida, some of the residents decided to do something about it. Two neighbors conspired with a hidden camera and some decoy boxes and caught the culprit on camera — an 8-year-old girl. But before you feel sorry for her, you should know that she first denied stealing, then admitted that she’d done it on a dare. I might have been on her team if she was deprived of Christmas presents and that caused her to steal out of desperation, not that it’s the right thing to do. But a dare? She deserves a lump of coal from Santa this year. [UPI]
Kyle Cummings, a three-year-old boy from Queensland, Australia, was delighted to find a pile of eggs in his backyard, so he did what any toddler would do: he scooped them up and stashed them in his closet. Three days later, his mother discovered the not-so-delightful result of her son’s curiosity, when seven eastern brown snakes–the second most venomous snake in the world–came slithering out. Luckily the newborn snakes were not big enough to inflict dangerous bites (the amount of venom in one bite from an adult brown snake is enough to kill 20 people), and a wildlife group was able to capture the snakes and release them back into the wild. In the understatement of the year, Kyle’s mother, Donna Sims describes her reaction to finding a deadly snake nest in her home: ”I was pretty shocked, particularly because I don’t like snakes.” Shudder. [BBC News]
What is this stunning piece of architecture, you ask? It’s a Belgian hotel called CasAnus, which allows visitors to spend the night in a replica of a colon, complete with a giant anus. Hey, whatever floats your boat, right? With that in mind, we thought it might be a good time to round up some of the other unique hotels that caught our attention this year. Click through to check out 6 more loony lodging options!