“Several kinds of hairy mouldy spots”

The book had a sheepskin cover, and mold was growing on the sheepskin. Robert Hooke, a pioneering microbiologist, slid the cover under one of the world’s first microscopes. Mold, he discovered, consists of “nothing else but several kinds of small and variously figur’d Mushroms.” He described the mushrooms in his … Continue reading

Birthday of a Genius

This weekend, Shakespeare lovers from all over the world will descend on the playwright’s birthplace of Stratford-upon-Avon to celebrate the Bard’s 450th birthday with performances, processions, pageants, readings, and parties. (Shakespeare was baptized April 26, 1564, and scholars have long believed he was born on April 23.) Closer to home, … Continue reading

EXHIBITIONS | Some Reassembly Required

Most people know the Rubik’s Cube, that colorful handful of plastic that has fascinated and frustrated many a puzzle aficionado over the past 40 years. But have you heard of the stomachion? It’s a puzzle attributed to the Greek mathematician Archimedes, and it poses this question: How many different ways … Continue reading

EXHIBITIONS | An Exhibition of Two Cities

Two wall-sized cityscapes neatly divide sections of “Face to Face: Flanders, Florence, and Renaissance Painting,” the exhibition on view in The Huntington’s Boone Gallery through Jan. 13. One cityscape is of Florence with its unmistakable Duomo sitting like an empress among the tile roofs. The other is a view of … Continue reading