European Exhibition Features Parthenon Replica Built From Banned Books

Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images
Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images

Kassel, Germany is now home to a Greek temple-inspired artwork that pays homage to free speech instead of the gods: As The Local Germany reports, the installation by conceptual artist Marta Minujín is built from 100,000 banned books, and is intended to challenge censorship both past and present.

Every five years, the city of Kassel, Germany becomes an art world hotspot when documenta—the international arts exhibition created by German artist and professor Arnold Bode in 1955—comes to town. Originally, documenta featured artworks banned by the Nazis, but over the years, it’s evolved into one of the world’s most important exhibitions for modern and contemporary art.

Now, in its 14th iteration, documenta is back and open until Sunday, September 17. As we previously reported, the two-part show kicked off in Athens on April 8 to mark this year’s theme, “Learning from Athens,” and premiered in Kassel on June 10. One of its most visible—and political—artworks is Minujín’s “Parthenon of Books,” which stands in the public square where Nazis once burned thousands of “un-German” books during the Aktion wider den undeutschen Geist (Campaign against the Un-German Spirit).

Built in the exact same dimensions as the real-life Parthenon, the structure's metal grill columns contains hundreds of titles, including the Bible, Salman Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses (1988), and Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876), each one wrapped in plastic to protect their pages from the elements. Lodged into place by volunteers on cranes, the works will be distributed to visitors once the artwork is dismantled.

Check out some pictures of Minujín’s Parthenon of Books below.

Marta Minujin's "The Parthenon of Books" on display in Kassel, Germany
Marta Minujin's "The Parthenon of Books" is built from donated books and displayed at documenta: 14, the international art show in Kassel, Germany.
Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images

Marta Minujin's "The Parthenon of Books" is built from donated books and displayed at documenta: 14, the international art show in Kassel, Germany.
BORIS ROESSLER/AFP/Getty Images

Marta Minujin's "The Parthenon of Books" is built from donated books and displayed at documenta: 14, the international art show in Kassel, Germany.
BORIS ROESSLER/AFP/Getty Images

Marta Minujin's "The Parthenon of Books" is built from donated books and displayed at documenta: 14, the international art show in Kassel, Germany.
Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images

Marta Minujin's "The Parthenon of Books" is built from donated books and displayed at documenta: 14, the international art show in Kassel, Germany.
Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images

[h/t The Local Germany]

7 Top-Rated Portable Air Conditioners You Can Buy Right Now

Black + Decker/Amazon
Black + Decker/Amazon

The warmest months of the year are just around the corner (in the Northern Hemisphere, anyway), and things are about to get hot. To make indoor life feel a little more bearable, we’ve rounded up a list of some of the top-rated portable air conditioners you can buy online right now.

1. SereneLife 3-in-1 Portable Air Conditioner; $290

SereneLife air conditioner on Amazon.
SereneLife/Amazon

This device—currently the best-selling portable air conditioner on Amazon—is multifunctional, cooling the air while also working as a dehumidifier. Reviewers on Amazon praised this model for how easy it is to set up, but cautioned that it's not meant for large spaces. According to the manufacturer, it's designed to cool down rooms up to 225 square feet, and the most positive reviews came from people using it in their bedroom.

Buy it: Amazon

2. Black + Decker 14,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner and Heater; $417

Black + Decker portable air conditioner
Black+Decker/Amazon

Black + Decker estimates that this combination portable air conditioner and heater can accommodate rooms up to 350 square feet, and it even comes with a convenient timer so you never have to worry about forgetting to turn it off before you leave the house. The setup is easy—the attached exhaust hose fits into most standard windows, and everything you need for installation is included. This model sits around four stars on Amazon, and it was also picked by Wirecutter as one of the best values on the market.

Buy it: Amazon

3. Mikikin Portable Air Conditioner Fan; $45

Desk air conditioner on Amazon
Mikikin/Amazon

This miniature portable conditioner, which is Amazon's top-selling new portable air conditioner release, is perfect to put on a desk or end table as you work or watch TV during those sweltering dog days. It's currently at a four-star rating on Amazon, and reviewers recommend filling the water tank with a combination of cool water and ice cubes for the best experience.

Buy it: Amazon

4. Juscool Portable Air Conditioner Fan; $56

Juscool portable air conditioner.
Juscool/Amazon

This tiny air conditioner fan, which touts a 4.6-star rating, is unique because it plugs in with a USB cable, so you can hook it up to a laptop or a wall outlet converter to try out any of its three fan speeds. This won't chill a living room, but it does fit on a nightstand or desk to help cool you down in stuffy rooms or makeshift home offices that weren't designed with summer in mind.

Buy it: Amazon

5. SHINCO 8000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner; $320

Shinco portable air conditioner
SHINCO/Amazon

This four-star-rated portable air conditioner is meant for rooms of up to 200 square feet, so think of it for a home office or bedroom. It has two fan speeds, and the included air filter can be rinsed out quickly underneath a faucet. There's also a remote control that lets you adjust the temperature from across the room. This is another one where you'll need a window nearby, but the installation kit and instructions are all included so you won't have to sweat too much over setting it up.

Buy it: Amazon

6. Honeywell MN Series Portable Air Conditioner and Dehumidifier; $400

Honeywell air conditioner on Walmart.
Honeywell/Walmart

Like the other units on this list, Honeywell's portable air conditioner also acts as a dehumidifier or a standard fan when you just want some air to circulate. You can cool a 350-square-foot room with this four-star model, and there are four wheels at the bottom that make moving it from place to place even easier. This one is available on Amazon, too, but Walmart has the lowest price right now.

Buy it: Walmart

7. LG 14,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner; $699

LG Portable Air Conditioner.
LG/Home Depot

This one won't come cheap, but it packs the acclaim to back it up. It topped Wirecutter's list of best portable air conditioners and currently has a 4.5-star rating on Home Depot's website, with many of the reviews praising how quiet it is while it's running. It's one of the only models you'll find compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant, and it can cool rooms up to 500 square feet. There's also the built-in timer, so you can program it to go on and off whenever you want.

Buy it: Home Depot

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

The Worst Drivers In America Live in These 15 States

Life of Pix, Pexels
Life of Pix, Pexels

No matter how many times you've been cut off on a road trip, anecdotal evidence alone can't prove that a certain state's drivers are worse than yours. For that, you need statistics. The personal finance company SmartAsset compiled data related to bad driving behaviors to create this list of the 15 states in America with the worst drivers.

This ranking is based on four metrics: the number of fatalities per 100 million miles driven in each state, DUI arrests per 1000 drivers, the percentage of uninsured drivers, and how often residents Google the terms “speeding ticket” or “traffic ticket.”

Mississippi ranks worst overall, with the second-highest number of fatalities and the second lowest percentage of insured drivers. This marked the third year in a row Mississippi claimed the bottom slot in SmartAsset's worst driver's list. This year, it's followed by Nevada in second place and Tennessee in third. You can check out the worst offenders in the country in the list below.

Some motorists may be more interested in avoiding the cities plagued by bad driving than the states. These two categories don't always align: Oregon, which didn't crack the top 10 states with the worst drivers, is home to Portland, the city with the worst drivers according to one quote comparison site. After reading through the list of states, compare it to the cities with the worst drivers in America here.

  1. Mississippi
  1. Nevada
  1. Tennessee
  1. Florida
  1. California
  1. Arizona
  1. South Carolina (Tie)
  1. Texas (Tie)
  1. New Mexico
  1. Alaska
  1. Louisiana
  1. Alabama
  1. Oregon
  1. Arkansas
  1. Colorado