If you and I (in this fantasy we are best friends fulfilling our lifelong dream of visiting Paris) decided to see what The Louvre's glass pyramid looked like covered in paper, we would likely spend the majority of our trip becoming intimately acquainted with France's legal system.

I know it sounds unfair but the reality is that you (best friend) and I are not famous artists. And while the french government may not trust us to cover one of its most famous landmarks in paper, I have some excellent news: We can still see what it looks like.

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Do you remember your last trip to an art museum?

If we're talking typical art museum, you probably walked around an expansive but sterile space, looked at some pretty paintings from a respectful distance, then went to the gift shop to buy a magnet of one of those paintings for your fridge. Okay, I may be personalizing that last part a bit, but you get what I'm saying. On the whole, a day at an art museum can be lovely, but it's often not terribly memorable.

Perhaps that's one reason why museum attendance has been steadily declining across the United States since the early 2000s, especially among the younger demographic. Another might be that, since technology satisfies most of our entertainment whims in the comfort of our homes, it takes something truly extraordinary to motivate us to leave them.

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Joanna Ebenstein's grandmother confessed to her in private — not because she had a secret to tell, but because no one else wanted to hear it.

Grandma was in her 90s by then and had been with her husband for over 70 years before he passed away. She was eager to die herself and join her beloved, and she told Ebenstein as much.

"It was painful for me to hear, and it made me sad," Ebenstein says. "But at the same time, it made me think: How did we get to this point in our society where just about the most important thing you could say to another human being has become taboo? And what does that say about us?"

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