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The Annals of Exhibitionism, Vol. 12: Specialization…

Museums preserve and celebrate the extraordinary scope of human experience and accomplishment; they educate and entertain; they are, at once, a culture’s treasure chests and its hope chests.

And thus, museums come in an equally-extraordinary ranges of sizes, shapes, and foci.  While the best-known tend to be either broad in the purview (e.g., The Museum of Natural History) or focused on something central to the zeitgeist (The Air and Space Museum), there are thousands of others, devoted to more…  well, more particular corners of the human experience.

Consider for example, The Vent Haven Museum of Ventriloquism

So, what do you get when you combine the loneliness of a pet cemetery with the creepy flair of vaudeville? The Vent Haven Ventriloquist Museum, of course—where dummies go to die. The Fort Mitchell, Kentucky, museum was the brainchild of the late William Shakespeare Berger, who founded the site as a home for retired wooden puppets. In fact, he collected figures from some of the country’s most famous ventriloquist acts. And with more than 700 dummies stacked from floor to ceiling, you’re bound to feel like you’re stuck inside a 1970s horror flick—albeit a really good one. But sadly, when Berger gave the tour, you could totally tell his mouth was moving. [Image courtesy of Vic.]

Or The Burlingame Museum of Pez Memorabilia

…did you know that PEZ was originally marketed as an adult mint for people trying to quit smoking?

Or The Museum of Bad Art

Founded in 1993, The Museum of Bad Art (MOBA) in Boston is “a community-based, private institution dedicated to the collection, preservation, exhibition and celebration of bad art in all its forms and in all its glory.” The art featured on the site is not of the middle-school drivel variety; rather, the pieces seem to be the product of people who think that if they light candles and play Mozart loudly, the talent will come. It doesn’t, but the results are fun.

Thanks to the good folks at Mental Floss, readers can discover nine other rare gems at “12 Oddly Specific Museums Preserving Our History.”

As we celebrate enthusiasms for their own sakes, we might recall that it was on this date in 1965, at 11:00 pm, that Dale Cummings did the first sit-up in the set that would, almost exactly twelve hours later, result in his having set a new world record– 14,118 sit-ups.

click here to see enlargement at source


When life– or the S.F. City Attorney– hands you lemons…

SFoodie is among the throng regretting SF City Attorney Dennis Herrera’s successful effort to pressure Coors into removing essentially all of the active ingredients (caffeine, taurine, guarana, and ginseng) from their energy drink Sparks.

When Herrera, an attorney emboldened by success, enlisted other government lawyers to pursue purveyors of energy drinks both with and without alcohol, SFoodie responded as Americans traditionally have to Prohibitions past– he retreated to his bath-tub, and brewed up a batch of home-made Sparks:

The [resulting] drink was reverse-engineered from a vintage can of caffeinated Sparks and rigorously tested via blind taste-test by SFoodie and four people who agreed to come over to the author’s house and drink this stuff, plus two random guys on the street who should be applauded for their daring and general zest for life.

The results? It’s virtually impossible to tell the difference between Bathtub Sparks (or Not Sparks, or Moonshine Sparks) and real Sparks. Between tastings, palates were cleansed with beer.

A side-by-side comparison. The one that looks more like urine is the actual Sparks.

Actual testimony:

“God, that’s so f**king gross.”

“This is actually hurting my stomach.”

“I’m buzzed, I’ve got so much caffeine in my body.”

“This is the best day of my life.”

In other words, it tasted just like Sparks.

Bathtub Sparks

2 pieces Pez candy, one yellow, one pink
1 can King Cobra
1 can Red Bull

Crush the Pez until reduced to a fine powder. Transfer the powder to the bottom of an empty glass. Pour in equal parts King Cobra and Red Bull. Don’t be alarmed when the foaming begins; it will subside. Adjust for flavor.

More at SFoodie.

As we reach for the rush, we might raise it in a toast, as it was on this date in 1582 that the Pantheonic William Shakespeare, then 18, posted a £40 bond in Stratford-Upon-Avon for his license to marry Anne Hathaway (then 26)… Their first chid, Susanna, came quickly (six months later:  What, Egg!  Young fry of treachery! :-), followed in two years by twins.

Mrs. Shakespeare


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