viα atlasobscura: Xylotheks: Wondrous Wooden Books That Hold Wooden Collections
A xylothek (from the Greek for tree, xylon, and storing place, theke) is an object where the container is a fundamental component of the contents. The term usually refers to books that are both made of wood and filled with wood specimens. Xylotheks (also spelled xylotheques) first began appearing at the end of the 17th century in cabinets of curiosity. As time progressed, they grew larger and more systematic, with hundreds of individual volumes in a single collection, and are now consulted by those working in forestry, botany, forensics, art restoration, and other fields.
Xylotheks were particularly popular in late 18th century and early 19th century Germany. In these constructions, each book in the xylothek was made out of a particular type of wood, the spine covered with the corresponding bark and decorated with associated moss and lichens. Once opened, the book would reveal samples of dried leaves, flowers, seedlings, roots, and branches, with a special compartment in the spine holding a written description of the species’ biology and use. The Special Collections department of the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences library in Alnarp, Sweden, contains a beautiful example of this type of xylothek, made in Nürnberg, Germany, at the start of the 19th century. Similar xylotheks are also found in France, Austria, Italy, and the Czech Republic. For even more on the rich history of Xylotheks, keep reading on Atlas Obscura…
Once again, President Obama is looking to use his executive powers to modify ObamaCare, going around Congress. This time, it’s a proposed rule that would expand insurance through the Affordable Care Act to temporary and seasonal government workers.
The law, as it was passed, prohibits extending coverage to temporary employees. The move comes as House Speaker John Boehner pursues a lawsuit against the president for using executive orders instead of seeking changes to laws through Congress.
Judge Andrew Napolitano said this that this is “yet another violation of the Constitution” because once again the president is moving to spend money that was not authorized by Congress.
E.T. (Atari 2600)
New Mexico EPA takes a cautious stance to minimize extraterrestrial contamination in Alamogordo landfill dig. Resolving the Atari landfill legend sounds like an episode of Myth Busters. Adam & Jamie shovel up a small pile of dirt, see black plastic shards, compare them to existing Atari cartridges and BAM… mystery solved. Who signs your permission slip when you want to dig up a defunct landfill? Read more: http://ift.tt/1h4tYIw
“I’m not used to going places where people know who I am when I walk up, so thank you for that,” Wyllie, Florida’s rising third-party candidate for governor, said when he took the stage at a “Patriots United” rally held by the conservative, grassroots Liberty Belles of Florida.
A few days after Quinnipiac University’s latest polling put Wyllie at about 9 percent in the governor’s race, the relatively unknown Dunedin Libertarian was projecting confidence.
“I know there’s some Republicans in the crowd here today, and there’s probably a few people who were thinking about voting for Rick Scott,” Wyllie said. “They’re probably thinking: Hey, (Wyllie) sounds pretty good, but does he have a chance to win? Folks, I do have a chance to win… This race is a three-way race.”
The stump speech that followed was equally scathing toward Gov. Scott (who polled at 37 percent in that Quinnipiac poll) and his Democratic challenger Charlie Crist (who led with 39). Without Wyllie in the race, the poll showed Crist leading 45 to 40.
To a hammer, everything resembles a nail. SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics) teams were once used only in emergencies such as riots or robberies where hostages were taken. But today there are more than 50,000 “no-knock raids” a year.
It’s not because crime got worse. There is less crime today. Crime peaked around 1990 and is now at a 40-year low. But as politicians keep passing new criminal laws, police find new reasons to deploy their heavy equipment.
Washington Post reporter Radley Balko points out that they’ve used SWAT teams to raid such threatening haunts as truck stops with video poker machines, unlicensed barber shops and a frat house where underage drinking was reported.
In New York City, these men in black raided standup comedian Joe Lipari’s apartment.
“I had bad customer service at the Apple Store,” Lipari told me in an interview for my upcoming TV special “Policing America.” “So I bitched about it on Facebook. I thought I was funny. I quoted ‘Fight Club,’” the 1999 movie about bored yuppies who attack parts of consumer culture they hate.
“People (on Facebook) were immediately responding that it was obviously from ‘Fight Club,’” says Lipari. “It was a good time, until 90 minutes later, a SWAT team knocked on my door. Everyone’s got their guns drawn.”
It took only that long for authorities to deem Lipari a threat and authorize a raid by a dozen armed men. Yet, says Lipari, “if they took 90 seconds to Google me, they would have seen I’m teaching a yoga class in an hour, that I had a comedy show.”
Lipari has no police record. If he is a threat, so are you.