Some stories we’ve been reading this week:
- Polka dots once signaled disease and stripes were reserved for prisoners and prostitutes. The secret history of everyday patterns.
- Not very convincing, but certainly entertaining: Deep Forger, a Twitter bot that creates images in the style of famous painters.
- China’s air is famously polluted. Here’s a slideshow of how its artists are responding.
- In 1618 the Chief Gardener of the State of Milan created The Feather Book, which consisted of 156 images made of, yes, feathers, along with a few additional bird parts. Gruesome, yes, but the pictures are not without charm.
- During the construction of a railway line in 1917, an underground passageway in Rome caved in, revealing the entrance to a mysterious, one-of-a-kind basilica built for the worship of an esoteric pagan cult. It’s finally been opened to the public.
- Archaeologists in Jerusalem recently unveiled a rare 2,800-year-old clay imprint from a royal figure in the Book of Kings. The mark of the seal is said to belong to King Hezekiah, and it’s the first mark from an Israelite or Judean king ever found during a scientific excavation.