1. Pan Am’s First Office, now a bar owned by the actress from Top Gun
The birthplace of American international flight service has been turned into a celebrity’s microbrewery in Key West Florida. Find out more about it on Atlas Obscura.
2. A Femme Fatale’s Ring Gun
In the early 1800s saw the height of the Industrial Revolution and personal protection guns were all the rage. Large enough to be worn on most any finger, the revolver had to be manually rotated through each cylinder.
The 2mm guns were typically marked ‘Femme Fatal’, and sold in small oval shaped jewelry boxes. For a time the French company sold them as a matching set, his and hers. These sets were dubbed the Les Companions.
These pipsqueak rounds, 2mm and 4mm, were smaller than today’s .22 rimfire CB. They sound comparable when they fire, but with just 2-5 grains lead flying at less than 500-fps from a cylinder with no barrel propelled by a tiny charge of blackpowder, the weapon only generates less than 2 ft. lbs of force. This is less than most pellet guns today, and is about enough to penetrate an inch of ballistics gel, or one side of a tin can.
You could certainly gain attention at a dinner party, ball, or gambling establishment with one of these rings hanging from your mitts. It also provided a certain state of perceived security for those traveling alone and, at the end of the day, the round would do some damage at extremely close ranges.
These guns were never made in great quantity and are such a novel item that they appeal to any collector of odd firearms as well as vintage gun guys.
The finely crafted curiosa German silver ring revolver, the band engraved with herringbone borders and legend: Femme Fatale. Top mounted with 7-shot brown-finished cylinder with fold-down fire-blued trigger and outer spring band. Contained with accompanying seven cartridges and tiny screwdriver in green velvet-lined, dark red leather-covered ring case with silver button escutcheon reading: “Femme Fatale.” Case lid with gold line borders and push-button closure. Size of case: 2 1/4-inches X 2 3/4-inches. Estimated worth: $2500 – $4500
3. Underground Dwellings in North Africa
A troglodyte cave house in Gharyan, Libya Photo credit: Mike Gadd, found on Flickr
This house was dug out in 1666 and generations of families have lived here … Gharyan, some 100 kms (62 miles) south of the capital Tripoli, used to have hundreds such homes scattered among its rocky mountains… The houses are now unoccupied as the families moved out in 1985. Al-Arabi Belhaj and his family maintained theirs and opened it up to tourists several years ago. Before Libya’s 2011 war, foreign visitors would sleep in the rooms and eat home-cooked meals – usually couscous – for 100 Libyan dinars ($77). They now plan to open a hotel next year, excavating more rooms within the caves, in the hope that foreign holiday makers will eventually come back to Libya provided security in the North African country improves.
More info about Libya’s cave dwellings on Reuters
4. A Carpet made of Vintage Jeans Labels
5. A Competition for Decorated Trams, 1908
More to be found on the Retronaut
6. This Frida Kahlo Backpack
7. A photograph of real houses in Mexico, not a screen still from the Sim City video game.
A few years ago when I was working as a helicopter pilot for a local radio station, we were required to fly around all of Mexico City chasing news and traffic. I remember flying up to the highway that connects Mexico City with the neighboring state of Puebla, and on my way back this housing complex that seemed to go on forever caught my attention. I decided to circle around to observe from up close what I later found out was the recently built San Buenaventura complex, which is located in Ixtapaluca, on the eastern outskirts of Mexico City.
The exceptional afternoon sun reflecting those thousands of recently painted small homes just looked so beautiful, and the lower I flew the better the angle, so I just got out my camera, opened the sliding window on my Bell helicopter, and snapped a couple of shots.
8. A 30-foot-long, hand-stitched tapestry of the entire Star Wars saga for Sale
A hand-stitched cotton thread on 30 feet of continuous length, 7 stitch per inch Klostern fabric Aled Lewis. Stiffened with a thin batting and hemmed with a custom-made printed pixel star fabric on rear. This cross-stitch tapestry depicts the Star Wars saga (so far) from Episode 1 through Episode 6. Quotes from each movie are written in Aurebesh on the surrounding border. Channeling the Bayeux Tapestry at 30 feet x 13 inches. Yours for $20,000.
9. A Bacon-scented iPhone Alarm
A gadget that attaches to the bottom of your iPhone, still in beta testing, but you can sign up to become a tester or be notified when it’s available. Not surprisingly brought to you by Oscar Mayer.
10. Before he was famous, Andy Warhol made artwork for jazz albums…
In the 1950s, Warhol made a living as a graphic designer. See more on Dangerous Minds
11. The Fort Union Drive-in, Las Vegas
12. DIY Cactus Cupcakes
13. Brigitte Bardot and a Machine Gun
Actresses Brigitte Bardot (R) and Jeanne Moreau in a scene of motion picutre “Viva Maria”, found in the LIFE Archives.