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Dinner Party Download: 'Hamlet' banned, escalators and NASA haikus


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Every week we get your weekend conversation starters with Rico Gagliano and Brendan Newnam, the hosts of the Dinner Party Download podcast and radio show.

On tap this week:

A British Library Bans Hamlet Due To Violence

A scholar named MH Forsythe was working at the British Library and he was Googling "Hamlet." A message came up from the library telling him that access to the site was blocked due to "violent content." This is England and this is the British Library and this is "Hamlet," meanwhile people are searching YouTube, Facebook, all these things without any problems. He put a blog post about this and it has garnered quite a bit of attention.

History of the Escalator

This week back in 1859, a patent was granted to a guy names Nathan Ames for what is now considered to be the first escalator. Although he did not call it the escalator, he called it the revolving stairwell. It was a hand cranked device and he designed it for people to get up stairs in their homes if they were disabled or elderly. Because it was hand cranked, nobody really thought that was the greatest idea. It was 33 years before another man, Jesse Reno, manufactured a similar device that helped people get up to the pier at Coney Island.  

Selected Haikus That Will Accompany NASA Shuttle to Mars

Over 1,000 haikus are going to go to space this November. The Going To Mars competition back in May invited the public to submit poetry that would be included on Maven, a spacecraft that's going on a mission to study Mars's upper atmosphere. The most popular one is from a man named Benedict Smith from the U.K. and his haiku says: It's funny they named/Mars after the God of War/Have a look at Earth.