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    77 Water Street

    A World War I fighter plane sits on the roof of 77 Water Street, NYC. When the William Kaufman Organization built the 26-story office tower in 1970, the owner wanted to adorn its roof with something more interesting than air-conditioning machinery.


    Wake Island

    Wake Island is a coral atoll having a coastline of 12 miles (19 km) in the North Pacific Ocean. Access to the island is restricted, and all current activities on the island are managed by the United States Air Force. There is also a missile facility operated by the United States Army.

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    Waldner, Jan-Ove

    The greatest table tennis player!


    Waldorf-Astoria platform

    Built in 1913, Grand Central Terminal, in New York City, is the largest train station in the world, in terms of number of platforms. Therefore, it’s only natural that there be various hidden nooks, corners and spaces, such as the network of underground tracks, storage areas and tunnels. Weaved amidst them all is an unlisted train platform, known as Track 61, with a secret entrance and passageway leading to an elevator going straight up to the world-famous Waldorf-Astoria hotel.

    Walser, Robert

    Robert Walser. Another Swiss genius.

    Walska, Ganna

    Ganna Walska was the creator of the botanical garden Lotusland. She was also married six times. Her husbands included:

    • Russian baron Arcadie d’Eingorn, a Russian officer, divorced him for drunkenness 1915
    • Dr Joseph Fraenkel, a famed New York endocrinologist, died 1920,
    • multimillionaire sportsman and carpet tycoon Alexander Smith Cochran, married 1920, divorced 1922
    • industrialist Harold Fowler McCormick, married in 1922, divorced 1931
    • English inventor of a death ray, Harry Grindell Matthews, died 1941
    • Theos Bernard, her sixth and last husband, a scholar of yoga and Tibetan Buddhism (and book-author), married 1942, divorced 1946

    Walska pursued a career as an opera singer. Her memoirs were called Always Room at the Top. Orson Welles claimed that McCormick’s lavish promotion of Walska’s opera career—despite her apparent renown as a terrible singer—was a direct influence on the screenplay for Citizen Kane, wherein the titular character does much the same for his second wife, Susan Alexander.


    Walters, Gordon

    Gordon Walters.

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    Forrest in China.


    Wang, Alexander

    A look from Alexander Wang’s pre-fall 2010 collection.


    Wasikowska, Mia


    WASP knife



    Wasp Knife is a trade name for a large knife that contains a cylinder of compressed gas in the hilt. When stabbing a subject about one cubic foot of gas (or 800 psi) is rapidly injected deep into the wound site. The injected gas causes much more damage than a single knife wound, both from the displacement of internal organs and from the freezing effect of the free expansion of the gas.

    Wegner, Hans

    Hans Wegner was a Danish furniture designer who contributed to the international popularity of mid-century Danish design.


    Weingart, Wolfgang

    Wolfgang Weingart. Swiss typographer.


    Weiss, Ernst

    Georg Letham: Physician and Murderer is a tragicomic and harrowing portrait of a morally defective mind. Written in a highly unreliable first person narrative, this unsung masterwork is an account of a crime and its aftermath: the scientist-hero (or scientist-villain) is tried, sentenced, and deported to a remote island where he is privileged to work as an epidemiologist. He seeks redemption in science, but in spite of himself he is a man of feeling. The book came out of the same fertile literary ground between the wars that produced The Man Without Qualities and The Sleepwalkers; like those modernist classics and the works of Ernst Weiss’ friend, Franz Kafka, Georg Letham: Physician and Murderer is a prescient depiction of a profoundly unsettled society.


    Weisweiller, Francine

    Francine Weisweiller, who died in France last December 18 was one of the last of a breed of rich women who came to maturity before the women’s movement who forged their identities through total patronage of the arts and especially the artist. Madame Weisweiller established herself in the historical context of the career of Jean Cocteau.



    Wet was an avant-garde Los Angeles-based magazine that revolved around the idea of “gourmet bathing”.


    Whale fall

    Whale fall is the term used for a whale carcass that has fallen to the ocean floor.

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    White Mischief

    White Mischief. In England they were the elite, but bound by rules of society. In Kenya there were no rules, only glamour, decadence…and murder.


    Whole World Catalog

    Whole World Catalog


    Wiinblad, Bjorn

    Bjorn Wiinblad was a Danish painter, designer and artist in ceramics.


    Wildt, Adolfo

    Adolfo Wildt, sick Italian sculptor.


    Williams, Olivia

    The perfect British school teacher.

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    Wilson, Charis

    Charis Wilson, most widely known as a subject of Edward Weston’s photographs, was a model and writer.


    Wilson’s Bird-of-paradise

    The controversial scientific name of this species was given by Charles Lucien Bonaparte, Napoleon’s nephew and a republican idealist, who described the bird from a badly damaged trade specimen purchased by British ornithologist Edward Wilson.


    Wing walking

    Seen in airshows and barnstorming during the 1920s, wing walking is the act of moving on the wings of an airplane during flight.

    Wirkkala, Tapio


    Wittel, Gaspar van

    Gaspar van Wittel was a Dutch landscape painter.


    In the 1940s, the Polish army bought a bear cub from a small boy, who looked after it by feeding it condensed vodka bottle. As time went on, Wojtek the bear became a mascot of, and officially a member of, the Polish Army. Wojtek died in 1963, presumably from his diet which included honey, syrup, beer and cigarettes.

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    Wood duck

    The wood duck is one of the most colourful of North American waterfowl.


    Woodlawn Vase

    The Woodlawn Vase is an American trophy given annually to the winning owner of the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore. For many years the trophy was given to the winning owner to keep for one year until the next running of the race. In 1917, the Woodlawn Vase was first awarded to the Preakness winner. In 1953 the winning owner was no longer allowed to keep it. In 1983 the trophy’s silver design was appraised by Tiffany and Company of New York (the original creator in 1860) as priceless but a figure of $1,000,000 was established for insurance purposes. The value is now believed to be worth in excess of $4,000,000.

    World passport

    The World Passport is a document issued by the World Service Authority, a non-profit organization founded by Garry Davis in 1948, citing Article 13, Section 2, of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. World Passports have reportedly been accepted on a de facto, case-by-case basis by over 150 countries, including Ecuador, Tanzania, and Togo.



    The worsleya grows in very extreme and moist environments, and is commonly found near waterfalls in rich soil situated on granite rocks.