Allison Meier, Mental Floss

Allison Meier

Mental Floss

New York, United States

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  • Unknown
  • Mental Floss
  • JSTOR Daily
  • CityLab
  • hyperallergic
  • Pacific Standard
  • Narratively
  • Slate

Past articles by Allison:

11 Graves in Unexpected Places

Not everyone is buried six feet under the verdant grass of a cemetery. Some choose to spend eternity at the bottom of the ocean or the top of a high rise. → Read More

11 Things Found Buried Under Parking Lots

Sometimes deliberately, often unintentionally, countless artifacts have been buried—and then rediscovered—under parking lots. → Read More

Why Do Police Use Tear Gas When It Was Banned in War?

The development of chemical warfare around the time of World War I led to the use of tear gas as a weapon by civilian police forces. → Read More

In Epidemics, the Wealthy Have Always Fled

As the COVID-19 pandemic escalated, many of the world’s wealthy have fled urban areas. Affluent East Coast city dwellers made an exodus to summer homes and short-term rentals in the Hamptons and Nantucket. The demand for remote cottages spiked in Canada. Private planes were booked to vacation homes around the world. It’s not surprising, really. The elite have a long history of leaving town… → Read More

18th-Century Lovers Exchanged Portraits of Their Eyes

The miniature paintings celebrated and commemorated love at a time when public expressions of affection were uncouth. → Read More

How the Rothko Chapel Creates Spiritual Space

Fourteen colossal black paintings by the modern artist Mark Rothko are installed in an octagonal room in Texas. Visitors say the chapel brings them peace. → Read More

How the Waterfront Mall of 1980s Manhattan Went Off Course

Mayor Ed Koch wanted a family-friendly attraction for Lower Manhattan. But this 1983 icon of yuppie-era NYC was swept off course by changing tastes. → Read More

Photographer Francesca Woodman's Haunting Dissolutions

Woodman's imagery engaged with architectural and natural landscapes that were themselves in a state of change and decay. → Read More

The 1918 Parade That Spread Death in Philadelphia

In six weeks, 12,000 were dead of influenza. → Read More

The Fear of Being Buried Alive (and How to Prevent It)

Pliny the Elder remarked: “Such is the condition of humanity, and so uncertain is men’s judgment, that they cannot determine even death itself.” → Read More

Uncovering the Seeds of a Post-Lawn Future

Two artists are on a mission to replace the monoculture of the turf lawn with “leafy green goodness” from seeds that lie dormant in the soil. → Read More

Why Are Cities Filled with Metal Men on Horseback?

The original inspiration for the now-ubiquitous equestrian statue, a classical bronze of Emperor Marcus Aurelius, was almost melted down and lost forever. → Read More

Was It Really a Mummy’s Curse?

A slew of mysterious deaths following the opening of King Tut's tomb prompted one epidemiologist to investigate. → Read More

The Controversial Backstory of London’s Most Lavish Room

James McNeill Whistler created the famous "Peacock Room" for a wealthy patron. But the patron never actually wanted it. → Read More

Ed Hardy Changed Tattooing Forever

Trained as a printmaker, this artist helped change American tattooing from a fringe behavior into an art form people use to express themselves. → Read More

How the Paris Catacombs Solved a Cemetery Crisis

One of the most popular tourist destinations in Paris—the Catacombs—was started as a solution to the intrusion of death upon daily life. → Read More

Should Museums Display Shrunken Heads?

Tsantsas, or shrunken human heads, remind us of how museums have often been founded on a violent trade in indigenous culture. → Read More

9 Facts About Vincent Van Gogh

Vincent van Gogh's paintings of night skies, sunflowers, and Provence are among the world's most recognizable artworks—but his story is a complex one. → Read More

Colonialism Created Navy Blue

The indigo dye that created the Royal Navy's signature uniform color was only possible because of imperialism and slavery. → Read More

Designing the Butterfly-Friendly City

With the population of the distinctive species in decline, cities around the U.S. are trying to add monarch-friendly spaces. → Read More