4 min read

beware of feuding stagehands

beware of feuding stagehands

The world of opera, currently, is lacking in sabotage, at least compared to what I expected after watching Phantom of the Opera as a teen, and watching a chandelier fall towards me. But that time may be over! In France, during performances of Tristan und Isolde, a 467 lb fake rock is supposed to stop 30 inches above Tristan's face after he dies (spoilers). However, one time it didn't, ending up mere inches from his face as the result of warring stagehands:

According to the prosecutors, the stagehand, Nicholas S. ...had long been in conflict with a rival stagehand, Richard R., who he hoped would be blamed for the error.

He's fine! But also imagining him "[throwing] it out of the way" and "roll[ing] out from underneath" when he just "died" on stage is fantastic.

I loved these portable fish tanks that help you bring your fish back home from the fish market when I saw them in May, and I am VERY stressed that their Instagram account has been completely scrubbed. God willing it will return!

I went on a strange dive into the history of the disco ball, and love that it dates back much further than I thought (the patent was in 1924 and some of the early variants are very cool looking)

NASA Perseverance decal
l to r: Sojourner, Spirit & Opportunity, Curiosity, Perseverance

Somehow I did not know that the most recent Mars rover is carrying a "family portrait" of its siblings with it! My heart. As we think about sending humans to a closer locale (the moon), one of the bigger concerns is moon dust. It's super fine, sticks to everyting, and you absolutely don't want it in your lungs. So scientists are finding ways to prevent it from sticking (based on, of all things, lotus leaves), repel it, and more.

Turning up in unexpected places: A marble gravestone was being used in a Michigan home to make fudge, and turns out the stone had been missing for 146 years. The family has no idea how it got there.

This is less unexpected because they were deliberately nicked, but a look into how  Roman ruins in Libya ended up in Surrey, England. This came about when follies were at their heyday: false ruins that you can put in your home garden (a great quote from the piece from the 18th century about making sure the follies looked authentic: "If the mosses and lychens grow unkindly on your walls … if the ivy refuses to mantle over your buttress … you may as well write over the gate, Built in the year 1772.") and when they were finally erected in the grounds of Windsor Castle, the architect "relied quite heavily on improvisation" because the pillars had all come from different buildings. But what I love about the piece is it talks about what does situating the ruins from a previous empire mean to those who are dedicated to preserving the British Empire at the time? What does it tell us about the history being created by a false ruin?

Note the archway, which is "a chipped cornice [in] a nearby road bridge so it look[s] like an arch in a city wall"

Speaking of memories, a piece on people who collect old found photographs, and this person is my new favorite for what should be obvious reasons : "Daguerreotype dealer Erin Waters keeps an assortment of handsome Civil War soldiers for herself filed under the heading 'Dead Men I’m in Love With.'"

Every sentence of this story is a rollercoaster: "Matt Mathews, one of the most sought-after boudoir photographers in the Southeast and a multiple time world-qualifying barrel racer" had his opossom Donovan taken by the state. This reminds me about one of my favorite headlines in recent memory:

I regret to inform readers that due to my previous life as a reenactor, I have a mutual friend on Facebook with the Teen

Etcetera: Thank God: the world black pudding throwing championships are back in Ramsbottom.