The Liberty Inn, the last hourly rate hotel in Manhattan’s meatpacking district, bills its rooms as the “most sexiest” in the city, and according to the New York Times, for nearly 50 years it has "provided sanctuary for bouts of afternoon passion, clandestine affairs and lunchtime quickies." So when it was reported that it had been put on the market with hopes of fetching about $25 million, Alex Vadukul decided to check in, to bear witness to a kinky vestige of old New York before it was gone.
The Reluctant Prophet of Effective Altruism
"Effective altruism," which used to be a loose, Internet-enabled affiliation of the like-minded, is now a broadly influential faction, especially in Silicon Valley, and controls philanthropic resources worth about $30 billion. Though William MacAskill is only one of the movement’s principal leaders, "his conspicuous integrity and easygoing charisma have made him a natural candidate for head boy," says the New Yorker.
The Spanish town whose residents are descended from Japanese samurai
Approximately 650 residents of Coria del Rio, a small Spanish town near Seville, use the surname Japón (originally Hasekura de Japón), because they are descendants of six samurai who visited the region as part of the first official Japanese delegation to Spain, in the 1600s. Hasekura Tsunenaga, whose statue sits in the town square, led the delegation as they visited the Spanish court of King Philip III and the Vatican, and then established an embassy. The name Hasekura de Japón first appeared on an official document in 1646.
QAnon Conspiracy Theorists Have a New Cure-All: $120,000 TVs
For right-wing conspiracy theorists, few devices are more prized than a “med bed,” a mythical tanning bed-shaped appliance that promises to cure everything from cancer and Alzheimer’s to old age itself. According to the Daily Beast, "someday soon, they think Donald Trump will defeat the cabal that controls the world and release med beds to the public, bringing on a new era free of illness."
How a Phoenix record store owner set the audiophile world on fire
Mike Esposito still won’t say who gave him the tip about the records. But on July 14, he went public with an explosive claim. In a video posted to YouTube, Esposito said that “pretty reliable sources” told him that MoFi, a company that has prided itself on using original master tapes for its pricey reissues, had actually been using digital files inits production chain. In the world of audiophiles, the Washington Post says, "digital is considered almost unholy. And using digital while claiming not to is the gravest sin."
The World’s Longest-Running Experiment Is Buried in a Secret Spot in Michigan
In the fall of 1879, Dr. William James Beal walked to a secret spot on Michigan State University’s campus and planted a strange crop: 20 narrow-necked glass bottles, each filled with a mixture of moist sand and seeds. In the spring of 2000, current WJ Beal Botanical Garden curator Dr. Frank Telewski and his colleague Dr. Jan Zeevaart crept out in the dark of night and dug up the sixth-to-last seed bottle—completing the latest act in what Atlas Obscura calls the world’s longest continually monitored scientific study.