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:

  • New York Magazine‘s senior art critic Jerry Saltz loves contemporary art, and writes about it almost exclusively, so you might be surprised by what he considers the most powerful artwork he has ever seen.
  • How do you read ancient scrolls so fragile that they crumble if touched? An Italian scientist might have an answer.
  • Having trouble coming up with creative ideas? A recent study concludes that spending a few minutes pondering your various identities—student, teacher, employee, blogger (ahem)—can lead to more creative insights.