Stephen Levy toured the personal library of Priceline founder Jay Walker and discovered nerdvana: a wunderkammer piled to the rafters with the most pricelessly awesome nerd artifacts of all time -- an original Sputnik, the Thing hand from the Addams Family, a globe of the moon signed by every astronaut who's walked on it, an original of Robert Hooke's Micrographia, an Enigma machine, etc. You know, I've often turned my nose up at the absurd excesses of wealth, but this is one guy who knows how to spend several million on really rad junk.
Nothing quite prepares you for the culture shock of Jay Walker's library. You exit the austere parlor of his New England home and pass through a hallway into the bibliographic equivalent of a Disney ride. Stuffed with landmark tomes and eye-grabbing historical objects–on the walls, on tables, standing on the floor–the room occupies about 3,600 square feet on three mazelike levels. Is that a Sputnik? (Yes.) Hey, those books appear to be bound in rubies. (They are.) That edition of Chaucer ... is it a Kelmscott? (Natch.) Gee, that chandelier looks like the one in the James Bond flick Die Another Day. (Because it is.) No matter where you turn in this ziggurat, another treasure beckons you–a 1665 Bills of Mortality chronicle of London (you can track plague fatalities by week), the instruction manual for the Saturn V rocket (which launched the Apollo 11 capsule to the moon), a framed napkin from 1943 on which Franklin D. Roosevelt outlined his plan to win World War II. In no time, your mind is stretched like hot taffy.
Browse the Artifacts of Geek History in Jay Walker's Library
Who wouldn’t want to buy a telescreen from Facebook, the least-trusted privacy merchant on Earth, so that they may be placed around the house? The obviously despised Facebook Portal will now be half-price, reports Matt Navarra. Details: No, you’re not misremembering the details from that young adult dystopian fiction you’re reading — Facebook really does […]
Time 4 Machine is a Ukrainian design shop led by Denis Okhrimenko; their latest project is "The most beautiful construction set in the world", a set of thin steel parts that you bend together to make (yes) beautiful mechanical models: a business-card case, a tractor, a working clockwork timer, a vintage sportscar, a springpowered cabriolet, […]
These magnetic balls look fun as heck. Keep them out of the way of small kids and pets, please.
Are you super organized? You’re going to love the Genius Pack G4 and its seemingly limitless, well-placed compartments. Not that organized? You’re still going to love this piece of luggage because it’s so well thought out that it practically does the packing for you. We’ve all tried to stuff a piece of carry-on so full […]
If you’re an entrepreneur, you’re not just hungry for success. You’re hungry for knowledge, the insights that can lead to bigger and better ideas and ways to implement them. That knowledge is out there in the bestselling biz books that have changed the game over the years. There’s just one problem: In a fast-paced lifestyle, […]
Countless research studies have proven what is incredibly obvious to anyone who has a favorite song: Music can have a profound effect on our mood. So why not put that science to work for more than just de-stressing your commute? That’s the idea behind the Humm.ly Music Therapy App, a new tool that aims to […]