1. One of the last fully functioning former Woolworth’s luncheonettes
On Feb. 22, 1879, 141 years ago this weekend, F.W. Woolworth opened his first five-and-dime store, in Utica, New York. At its peak, Woolworth’s would have around 5,000 stores, and become a symbol of America, before the end came in 1997. But the chain has had a persistent afterlife — after all, the presence of thousands of stores is hard to erase, even in the generation that has passed since its demise. The ghosts are particularly active at the Woolworth Diner in Bakersfield, California, the last fully functioning former Woolworth’s luncheonette in America. It’s set inside what is now a massive antique store, in an Art Moderne building that retains all its original signage. Stepping through these doors teleports you to a lost time in American retail, when the Woolworth’s name had the cachet of Amazon today, and Mr. Woolworth had earned enough nickels and dimes to build the tallest building in the world, in lower Manhattan, in 1913. In Bakersfield, California, far from the precincts of Manhattan high finance, you’ll find Mr. Woolworth’s last stand.
Posted on Instagram by Rolando Pujol, who was since informed of another one that has been restored, in Asheville, NC, as well as a restored Woolworth’s store, now a restaurant, in Nashville.
Follow Pujol for more roadside Americana: Vintage signs, storefronts and their stories
2. This is Charlene, a Walmart Employee that poses with products for the Store’s Local Facebook Page
Charlene is amazing. Find more of Charlene at Walmart’s Facebook page.
3. Someone Found A Photo Album With A Woman Next To Hollywood Stars In A Thrift Shop
A thrift shop in Belgium has caused quite a stir on the Internet. People at Opnieuw & Co, a local establishment in Mortsel, discovered an old photo album where a woman posed next to the biggest stars in Hollywood. After they shared some of the pictures, the online community immediately started their investigation. Turns out, the ‘mysterious’ woman is actually Maria Snoeys-Lagler, a former member of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. Maybe, just maybe, there’s a secret club in Hollywood of all the celebrities who have had their picture taken with Maria Snoeys-Lagler?
Doesn’t she just look so cozy with them all?!
Found via Bored Panda from the Thrift Shop’s Facebook page.
4. A 94-year-old man built his own helicopter
Don’t miss the 4:10 mark where he really shows off!
5. CIA Animal Agents
In the 70s, the CIA created a robot Dragonfly Spy. Now we know how it works…
“Despite being a star attraction at the CIA’s museum, many details about the bug remained a secret for decades until John Greenwald, founder of the anti-secrecy website The Black Vault, put in a request for documents under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) in the summer of 2013…”
Schematics for the “insectothopter”, declassified and provided by The Black Vault.
Other CIA Animal Agents:
In 1964, project OXYGAS taught dolphins to attach a ‘payload’, a tracking device, or an explosive charge, to a boat or submarine.
The CIA developed “Charlie,” an underwater unmanned vehicle, to study the feasibility of using such a device for intelligence gathering. Charlie collected water samples near chemical and nuclear facilities.
For Project Tacana, the CIA developed a camera weighing 1 ¼ ounces that could be velcroed to a pigeon, taking 200 pictures on 8mm film at a fixed rate. The birds were then sent on a mission to get pictures of the Russian naval base in St. Petersburg—The CIA never declassified the results.
More found on Popular Mechanics.
6. The Japanese Town that Eats Wasps
Pictured above, Hebo gohei mochi (grilled sticky rice coated in a sauce made of miso, peanuts and wasp larvae) is a local delicacy.
Wasp consumption used to be practiced across Japan. Yet nowadays, the practice has largely died out, and is mainly confined to the dwindling elder generation in Gifu’s Ena District, where the village of Kushihara is located, and Nakatsugawa to its north-east.
“It was light, creamy and perfectly palatable. The hunter and I continued to chat, in between popping grubs into our mouths like sweets.”
Full article found on BBC Travel.
7. Chernobyl After HBO: Exploring the Hidden Places Tourists Don’t See
Pripyat is no longer a ghost town. Instead of an eerie silence—which was a staple of the abandoned town not that long ago—now tourists or stalkers can be seen (and heard) illegally entering the zone and committing mindless acts of vandalism.
For these reasons, the best time to visit Chernobyl is in the winter, when the harsh weather and low temperatures effectively deter (for now) the majority of post-apocalyptic sightseeing fans, and provide me with a greater feeling of comfort while working and the ability to freely search for places with an interesting backstory.
Photographer Arkadiusz Podniesiński uses atellite maps to find inconspicuous buildings hidden amongst dense trees and bushes. On his latest trip this February, he found the Chernobyl plant’s archives, the evacuation buses and in a nearby factory, the remnants of the STR-1 remote-controlled robot that cleaned the roof of the building next to the damaged reactor.
Found via Peta Pixel.
8. Lone Ranger Atom Bomb Ring, distributed by Kix Cereal in 1947
This ring was billed as a “seething scientific creation” and allow you to “…see brilliant flashes of light in the inky darkness inside the atom chamber. These frenzied vivid flashes are caused by the released energy of atoms.”
When the red base (which served as a “secret message compartment”) was taken off, and after a suitable period of time for dark adaptation, you could look through a small plastic lens at scintillations caused by polonium alpha particles striking a zinc sulfide screen.
Distributed by Kix Cereals (15 cents plus a boxtop), the instructions stated: PERFECTLY SAFE – We guarantee you can wear the KIX Atomic “Bomb” Ring with complete safety. The atomic materials inside the ring are harmless.“
Found on Heritage Auctions.
9. Kelpamalt weight gain tablets, 1930s
Found on Tumblr.
10. Footage of 1920s Construction Workers Working On The Chrysler Building (without any safety gear)
11. Torre Blancas, Madrid (for the Brutalism Appreciation Society)
12. The Man Who Turned His Home Into a ‘Mosaic Palace’
The “Mosaic House,” in Tel Avic, the work and legacy of autodidact artist Yossi Lugasi….
Yossi Lugasi spent decades making portraits of famous people out of smashed ceramics.
Over four decades, Lugasi—who left school during the 5th grade, was barely literate and never studied art formally—created no less than 1,090 mosaics.
The portraits cover the walls, doors, door frames and floors of the humble housing project apartment. They spill out onto the roof: artists and actors, prime ministers, presidents and philosophers, Holocaust martyrs, war heroes, members of failed American peace conferences
Full story found on Atlas Obscura.