Lunch Break Reads: Mexico's Haunted Island of Dolls, Animals Predict the Super Bowl, and Cash Money Collages / by Lars Garvey Laing-Peterson

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Tucked away in Xochimilco, south of Mexico City, is "The Island of the Dolls," which, unsurprisingly, is said to be haunted.

The story goes as follows: a man named Don Julián Santana moved to the island to live away from his wife and children, and came to believe the spirit of a young girl who drowned in a nearby canal was haunting him. He found a doll floating in the canal one day and placed it in a tree, hoping to both protect himself from evil and to make the spirit of the dead girl happy. As these things often go, one doll was just not enough, and soon the entire island became filled with dolls. Santana died in 2001, so his offerings were left to decay and brave the elements alone, the results of which add yet another layer of eeriness to his former home. Don Julián's brother keeps up and gives tours of the island.

Read more at So Bad So Good.

Now that the Seattle and Denver Art Museums have put some of their work on the line in a Super Bowl wager, shit's getting pretty real in the world of sports. And if you not only care about how museums are getting in on the action, but make your sports gambling decisions based on the predictions of animals, this is the story you've been waiting for.

The Atlantic has been kind enough to compile a list of these picks:

  • Eli the ape—who hasn't been wrong since 2006—has chosen the Seattle Seahawks to win.
  • Hugh and Buffet, manatees, were split on their decision. Hugh picked the Seattle Seahawks, while Buffett sided with the Denver Broncos.
  • The puppies on Animal Planet's Puppy Cam have chosen the Denver Broncos.
  • Tyke the raccoon in Scottsbluff, Nebraska has chosen the Denver Broncos.
  • Fred the Psychic Bunny has predicted that the Seattle Seahawks will win.
  • Kiano, a black rhino from Des Moines, Iowa, has chosen the Denver Broncos.
  • Ozzy, a grizzly bear in Montana, has chosen the Denver Broncos.
  • Teddy Bear the porcupine, who correctly predicted the last two Super Bowls, has chosen the Seattle Seahawks.
  • Murphy and Diablo, both Komodo dragons, have predicted a Denver Broncos victory.
  • Princess the Camel, who accurately predicted six of the last seven championships, died on January 14, before she could make her prediction.
  • Pancakes, a pot-bellied pig at the Fort Worth Zoo, likes the Seattle Seahawks.

So, to sum up—an ape, one manatee, a psychic rabbit, a porcupine, and a pot-bellied pig have all chosen to the Seahawks, whereas the other manatee, a bunch of puppies, a raccoon, a rhino, a grizzly bear, and a pair of Komodo drags picked the Broncos. While the Broncos have the majority of the support from the animal kingdom, the quality of pick is perhaps better for the animals choosing the Seahawks—two of the animals have solid track records (Eli hasn't been wrong in eight years!), and one of them is a psychic bunny. He didn't go to psychic bunny school for nothing.

Mark Wagner does some interesting things with money, namely using one dollar bills to create collages. About this series of collages, Wagner says, "[The one dollar bill] is a ripe material: intaglio printed on sturdy linen stock, covered in decorative filigree, and steeped in symbolism and concept.”

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Read and see more over at Hi-Fructose.

And, as always, the fantastic group at Hazlitt has put together a fantastic collection of articles worthy of your attention. Today's selection includes the ten-year anniversary of Nipplegate, the blog's twentieth birthday, and the Seattle Art Museum getting into trouble over its Super Bowl wager—at first, they thought it was good idea to wager a ceremonial mask from the Nuxalk Nation, because that just sounds like a good idea, right?