Robert Howlett, Isambard Kingdom Brunel, builder of the Great Eastern, ca. 1857-1858. George Eastman House,

Photographer: Robert Howlett | Isambard Kingdom Brunel, builder of the Great Eastern | ca. 1857-1858 | George Eastman House,

Some stories we’ve been reading this week:

  • The Roman Pantheon hasn’t crumbled, despite the lack of structural steel support. This feat couldn’t be accomplished today, so how did the Romans pull it off? It turns out they used a special ingredient.
  • Persia conquered Egypt in 525 BCE and took away its tomb painters to work on building projects. The lack of skilled trainers led to some strange efforts by amateurs.
  • This is just a sheer joy to watch, trust us: a video of Kandinsky improvising a drawing.