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A Museum of Nightmares in the Shadow of the Eiffel Tower Offbeat Museums The Occult 

A Museum of Nightmares in the Shadow of the Eiffel Tower

I don’t think about hair. I mean, sure I’m losing mine. And sure, the musical is one of the greatest things of all time. But really… is hirsituity that big a deal? Big enough for the Musée de Quai Branly to brazenly devote an entire exhibit to it? Lord no! And Lord YES! (Adapting my professorial voice here, and pushing my glasses up my nose ever so slightly.) You see, hair is a symbol of sensuality, sexuality, virility. And that’s clearly why this exhibit features a score — yes, A…

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The Ossuaries of Paris… Historical Wonders Offbeat Museums The Occult 

The Ossuaries of Paris…

This was like the trip to Disneyworld I’ve never taken. My golden ticket to Willy Wonka’s factory. Our trip to North Korea. I know you’ve already been. Many times. But walking these two kilometers, I realized why this was one of my mom’s favorite places in Paris. Two kilometers of stacked-up bones, all to us. Entirely alone. So damned romantic.

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Phnom Penh Insider Investigates AsiaObscura Shameless Promotion The Occult 

Phnom Penh Insider Investigates AsiaObscura

A few months ago, we ran a rather scandalous report on the insane ting mong scarecrows we’d spotted in the jungles of Cambodia. They were terrifying, but we knew almost nothing about them. Our driver was vague, the hotel receptionist insisted she’d never seen them before. So we slapped up the photos, told our story, read the Chinese blogger’s translations of it, and that was the end of it. Or was it?

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The Modern Afterlife Holy Curiosities The Occult 

The Modern Afterlife

With Melaka being a culture mix of Indian, Malay, Chinese, Dutch and Portuguese, amongst others, local customs are very much honored and preserved. Buddhists, keeping up with modern times, offer their ancestors the very best in the afterlife. Apart from the expected cash to spend and incense to purify and keep them from harm, the modern dead are blessed with all of life’s daily amenities and enjoyments including cigarettes, a complete wardrobe, soda pop and beer, as well as lingerie and extra set of dentures, and the latest iPhone! “I’m…

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Lucky Fruit (and Ain’t So Lucky Fish) Extraordinary Eats The Occult 

Lucky Fruit (and Ain’t So Lucky Fish)

Yesterday, these little nectarines showed up at the market. Dyed (branded? scalded? waxed? greased up with dirty stinking chemicals?) with Chinese characters, they read tall (高), shining (照), a thing (事) and happiness (喜). “No, no, no,” said Echo, a good friend. “You’ve bought the wrong ones, and got them in the wrong order. They should read ‘吉星高照,’ which means ‘good luck.’ It’s an idiom.” (The ones I ended up with, ordered as below, read something like “tall photograph of a happy thing.”) “Or maybe they’re trying to say ‘喜事高照,’”…

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Fake Graveyards outside Beijing Modern Ruins The Occult 

Fake Graveyards outside Beijing

The Beijing suburbs are expanding like mad. We spent the last ten days living in a small Tongzhou village, an hour east of Beijing, and construction was non-stop. Every day we were there, a ramshackle house was torn down and replaced by a building site. New walls would go up in hours. Bricks and dust were everywhere. Often, a 4′ pile of sand would block our driveway. If we wanted to drive anywhere, the six of us would have to pick up shovels and move it ourselves. (The builders would…

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