Few arrive at their destinations with anything but the necessities of life. The International Rescue Committeeasked a mother, a child, a teenager, a pharmacist, an artist, and a family of 31 to share the contents of their bags and show us what they managed to hold on to from their homes. Their possessions tell stories about their past and their hopes for the future.
A gift given to England’s Charles II in 1660, The Klencke Atlas featured state-of-the-art maps of the continents and various European states. It was also notable for its size. Standing six feet tall and six feet wide (when opened), the volume remains 355 years later the largest atlas in the world.
“We collect it in bags, and then the crew hauls it over to the U.S. side,” Layne Carter, who manages the ISS water system for NASA, told Bloomberg. “We don’t do 100 percent of the Russian urine. It depends on our time availability.”
“Pi is an infinite, nonrepeating decimal – meaning that every possible number combination exists somewhere in pi. Converted into ASCII text, somewhere in that infinite string of digits is the name of every person you will ever love, the date, time, and manner of your death, and the answers to all the great questions of the universe. Converted into a bitmap, somewhere in that infinite string of digits is a pixel-perfect representation of the first thing you saw on this earth, the last thing you will see before your life leaves you, and all the moments, momentous and mundane, that will occur between those two points.
Silk is usually made from the cocoons spun by silkworms – but there is another, much rarer, cloth known as sea silk or byssus, which comes from a clam. Chiara Vigo is thought to be the only person left who can harvest it, spin it and make it shine like gold.