ECCENTRIC PLACES OF CULTURE

Discover The Wonderful Weirdness These Ten Museums Have To Offer!


Published on May 11, 2024


Credit: Andrew Neel

While museums are truly elevated keepers of timeless art and superb culture, we can all probably agree that they can sometimes be a bit stuffy. We have all felt moved by a particularly majestic piece of art, but sometimes we just want to engage our wacky sides. Sometimes you walk into a museum not looking to contemplate the truth about human nature: you are just looking to have some fun.

Don’t worry, we got you covered! We have gathered ten iconic museums from around the world that showcase and study unconventional subjects, and truly find beauty in common, unusual, and downright zany items.

1

Dr. Pepper Museum

Larry D. More Credit: 4.0

In the world of soft drinks, few sodas have a history as rich and interesting as Dr. Pepper. The tale of this beverage, invented by pharmacist Charles Alderton in 1885, is filled with fun facts and details that will surely surprise you. But don’t take our word for it: if you ever find yourself in Waco, Texas, take the time to visit the Dr. Pepper Museum and learn all about one of America’s favorite drinks.

The museum is housed in the Artesian Manufacturing and Bottling Company. This 100-year building is commonly known as "The Home of Dr. Pepper", since it was the first building specifically built to bottle the soft drink. Besides numerous exhibitions detailing the history of Dr. Pepper, it also allows visitors to create and bottle their own soda.

2

Potato museums

Credit: Lars Blankers

Potatoes are truly the "jack of all trades" of vegetables. There are so many different ways to enjoy a potato : you can bake them, fry them, mash them, turn them into delicious French fries, or turn them into a nurturing and comforting potato soup. With so many ways to eat this beloved vegetable, is it any wonder that many countries around the world have decided to honor our "spudtacular" friends with various potato museums ?

Considering the number of potato museums around, we have selected a few of our favorite locations. Belgium’s Frietmuseum is entirely dedicated to French fries, and is housed in a beautiful 1399 building. The Canadian Potato Museum is home to "the Potato Hall of Fame" and proudly displays a 14-foot high fiberglass potato in its entrance. Here in the United States, you might want to visit the Idaho Potato Museum in the city of Blackfoot, which houses the largest potato chip , measuring 25 inches.

3

Museum of Bad Art

Credit: Yunsik Noh

Approximately 30 years ago, antique dealer Scott Wilson was walking down the streets of Boston when he came across a painting protruding between two trash cans. Interested only in the frame, Wilson originally intended to throw away the arguably bad painting , titled "Lucy in the Field with Flowers". However, both he and his wife found themselves captivated by the piece, and sought to acquire and exhibit other equally objectionable pieces. And thus, the Museum of Bad Art was born.

MOBA’s mission is "to celebrate the labor of artists whose work would be displayed and appreciated in no other forum", and has been doing so since 1993. Their collection includes 700 pieces of "bad" art, curated through a severely rigorous process: to be included in the museum, a piece must have serious intent, but exhibit significant flaws . Deliberately bad or kitsch art is not displayed.

4

Cup Noodle Museum

Credit: Cz XIE

Instant noodles might be the main source of nourishment for millions of college students across the world: affordable, easy to make, and easily consumable during an all-night study marathon. In case you want to pay your respects, the man to thank for this miraculous invention is Japanese businessman Momofuku Ando, who created instant noodles in 1958, and whose life is remembered by Japan’s Cup Noodles Museums.

These museums are located in Yokohama and in the city of Ikeda, Osaka, where the first instant noodles were created. Both locations heavily feature visitor interaction, encouraging tasting and having fun with different kinds of noodles. Ando’s entire life story is told in detail, including his first experiments in the 50s, and the "space ramen" he designed in 2005 to be consumed in outer space.

5

The Underwater Museum

Credit: Bibi Pace

Have you ever dived underwater to visit a museum? You definitively will have to in order to see the amazing pieces of art that the Underwater Museum has to offer. Located in Mexico, this museum features 500 sculptures exhibited deep in the ocean at the Cancun National Marine Park.

Curiously, this museum was started in an effort to preserve natural coral reefs from damage produced by tourist divers. Dr. Jaime González Cano came up with the idea of creating an artificial coral reef as a way to drive away massive diving from the reefs. This idea later evolved into the artwork the museum showcases: diverse submarine sculptures and statues, including a famous 400-piece installation called The Silent Evolution.

6

International Spy Museum

Credit: Sergiu Nista

You don’t have to wear an inconspicuous raincoat or deliver codes on a park bench to visit this museum, but it helps. Located in the heart of Washington D.C., the International Spy Museum focuses on the history of espionage, dating as back as the Ancient Greeks and the Roman Empire.

Visitors entering the International Spy Museum must first go through a "Briefing Center", on which they are assigned a mission that helps them get into the mind of an international spy. The museum proudly holds the largest collection of international spy objects , including an Enigma Machine and a coat with a button camera designed by the KGB.

7

International Cryptozoology Museum

Credit: Jon Sailer

We know that Fox Mulder from "The X-Files" would have been at the entrance of the International Cryptozoology Museum on opening day, excitedly waiting with his ticket in his hand. Located in Portland, Maine, this museum focuses on the field of cryptozoology , the study of hidden or unknown creatures and animals. It features an unparalleled collection of objects related to famous cryptids, such as Bigfoot or the Yeti.

The museum was opened in 2003 by Lore Coleman, one of the most prominent experts in cryptozoology. Its main exhibit is a 5.5-foot-long, life-size model of a coelacanth, an ancient fish first discovered in 1938.

8

Cat Museum

Credit: Pacto Visual

Are you a cat person? You are definitively not alone: cats tend to find a way to snuggle and purr into the hearts of the grumpiest of owners. If you ever happen to find yourself looking for new ways to express your love for our feline friends, you might want to pay a visit to Kattenkabinet, a museum in Amsterdam entirely dedicated to artworks depicting cats.

This museum’s collection includes artwork from big names in art history, such as Pablo Picasso and Rembrandt. It was founded by Bob Meijer in 1990, to honor the memory of his beloved tomcat John Pierpont Morgan. Fun fact: the 2004 heist film "Ocean’s 12" used the Kattenkabinet as a filming location.

9

The Museum of Broken Relationships

Credit: Kelly Sikkema

Even if they are amicable, the end of most relationships is followed by a sad time, filled with comfort food and listening to sad, romantic songs. However, most relationships end for the better, and, after a brief mournful period, people realize that the future holds great things . In the case of Croatian artists Olinka Vištica and Dražen Grubišić, what came after the end of their four-year relationship was the opening of the Museum of Broken Relationships, in the city of Zagreb.

The idea behind the museum was to showcase different breakups and heartaches: Consequently, its collection is composed of seemingly common objects that tell the stories of different couples. The museum is considered by many to be a place to heal, and to learn how to move on from failed relationships.

10

International UFO Museum and Research Center

Credit: Uninteneded Concept

If you are looking for a place to open up a UFO museum , chances are that you’ll look to open it in Roswell, New Mexico: After all, this city was the site of the most famous UFO sighting in history. However, should you visit the International UFO Museum and Research Center in downtown Roswell, you’ll find carefully curated exhibitions that delve into hundreds of UFO sightings around the world.

Founded in 1991, the museum seeks not to convince people of the existence of alien life forms, but rather to encourage them to ask questions and conduct research on their own. It showcases documentaries, pictures of encounters, and, of course, heavily features the 1947 Roswell crash that made this New Mexico city the heart of extraterrestrial enthusiasts.


COMIC RELIEF

10 Hilarious Quotes from Celebrities That Will Crack You Up


Published on May 11, 2024


Credit: Joshua Burdick

Charlie Chaplin once said that a day without laughter is a wasted day, and we couldn’t agree more. In a world where humor is often overshadowed by seriousness, people with the ability to laugh at themselves and the silliness of life are like a refreshing breeze on a hot summer day.

Here we gathered 10 moments of comedic brilliance from the mouths of celebrities, writers, and scientists.

1

Stranger Than Fiction

Credit: Gary Wayne Gilbert, CC BY-SA 2.0

"The difference between fiction and reality? Fiction has to make sense."

—Tom Clancy

A world-acclaimed writer of many espionage novels and military thrillers, Tom Clancy offers us a humorous insight into the chaotic nature of reality and the difficulties of storytelling. Certainly, reality is always stranger than fiction!

2

Open Mind

Credit: Myrmi, CC BY-SA 2.0

"The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it."

—Terry Pratchett

The late Terry Pratchett, the beloved author of the Discworld fantasy series, delivers here a witty remark typical of his irreverent writing style. An open mind is a gift, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be wary of what you let others put into it.

3

Theory of Stupidity

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"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe."

Albert Einstein

Besides being a Nobel laureate and renowned physicist, Albert Einstein was known for his characteristic dry humor and his sarcastic observations about the world. Human nature is paradoxical, we can solve the most complex problems, yet we never seem to completely free ourselves from the yoke of stupidity.

4

Blonde Jokes

Credit: Union20

"I’m not offended by blonde jokes because I know I’m not dumb…and I also know that I’m not blonde."

Dolly Parton

The iconic country music star playfully addresses stereotypes about blonde women in this witty retort. Though Parton has nothing to prove, she shows us with charm and flair that humor and self-awareness are always the best defense against insult and prejudice.

5

Getting a Loan

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"A bank is a place that will lend you money if you can prove that you don’t need it."

Bob Hope

Legendary comedian Bob Hope offers a tongue-in-cheek commentary on the absurd quirks of bank logic. And surely... what good does a loan to the already rich do?

6

Man’s Best Friend

Credit: Hometowns to Hollywood

"Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read."

Groucho Marx

Groucho Marx, the comedic genius behind the Marx Brothers, delivers here one of his hilarious yet absurd jokes. Humor can certainly be found in the most unexpected places, even inside the belly of an unsuspecting dog!

7

Fairy Tales vs. Reality

Credit: McGill Library

"Life isn't a fairytale. If you lose a shoe at midnight, you're drunk."

Darynda Jones

American novelist Darynda Jones offers a humorous twist on the classic Cinderella story by comparing it to reality. We would only like to add that if your Uber also looks like a pumpkin carriage, you might be better off just walking home.

8

Confidence

Credit: Colin Smith, CC BY-SA 2.0

"I used to be indecisive. Now I'm not quite sure."

Tommy Cooper

Tommy Cooper was a master of slapstick comedy and absurd humor, and this quote attributed to him encapsulates his personality perfectly. Jokes aside, having a good sense of humor can actually help indecisive people gain more confidence in themselves!

9

A Great Willpower

Credit: Napoleon Sarony

"I can resist everything except temptation."

Oscar Wilde

This famous quip of Oscar Wilde captures the essence of his playful yet thoughtful philosophy. Besides making you laugh, hopefully this quote can help lighten up a bit those moments when we feel like we aren’t living up to our expectations—like when you can’t help buying a ton of ice cream right after starting a new diet.

10

Growing Old

Credit: Joe Kennedy, Los Angeles Times, CC BY 4.0

"When I was a boy the Dead Sea was only sick."

—George Burns

Legendary comedian George Burns offers a humorous reflection on the passage of time with this amusing remark. Unfortunately, he might be right, as the Dead Sea is actually shrinking at a swift pace.

Looking for an extra scoop of literary fun?

Learn more with our Word of the day

quibble

/ˈkwɪb(ə)l/