📰 Noteworthy stories for today #13
A lick of paint, a house tells a love story, how easy is it to disappear? & a slippery book thief.
Another irregular, adventurous, irresistible assortment of information.
As a kid of the 90’s I find any life before 1960 difficult to visualise. It seems like a civilisation ago, an era on Earth that feels old enough be taught in a history class. A population of people that seem so far removed from anything I’ve ever known or will know and yet this story from Atavist about two childhood sweet hearts writing letters to each other from across the world as they live their lives hoping to re-unite is totally compelling. Told through diary extracts, paintings and letters found hidden in the basement of a house built by the sender grounds this story in a not so distant past as opposed to a past I can’t imagine.
This is one from quite a way back (2009) which, considering how big this story became, I somehow missed, chronicles Wired writer Evan Ratliff as he challenged himself to disappear off the face of the Earth and challenged the readers to track him down for a bounty. How long would he last in today’s social landscape, I wonder.
*FYI the links for some of the Twitter posts have dated badly, which is the string of confusing text and names you’ll see at the beginning of each section.
For decades a slippery man has been slicing maps out of books in Germany in broad daylight in the middle of libraries. My new favourite for odd cultural stories, Atlas Obscura, details the investigation of a handful of librarians to catch this map mugger, atlas assassin in action and recover as many pages as they can. As one investigator put it “Who would bother with this? Can you even make money with it?” but apparently there’s a pretty big market for it.