Monthly Archives: June 2016

12 Weird and Wacky Museums

For some reason, the human race is hell bent on paying homage to weird and wacky things. Creative minds have turned trash into treasure and have collected, gathered, and displayed some bizarre oddities, including hair, bananas, toys, trash, and yes, even some certain male reproductive organs…

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If touring the country for The World’s Largest Things isn’t your bag, perhaps a trip to the Banana Museum is more up your alley…or if you’re feeling adventurous, perhaps a trip to the Mutter Museum to see some weird and wacky medical wonders is for you…

From the east to the west, the coast to the coast, here are 12 of the weirdest, wackiest, and best museums in the US!

 

The Hammer Museum
Haines, Alaska
Dedicated to the history of man’s first tool, the Hammer Museum houses roughly 1,500 hammers, dating back to the cave man days.

Hammer-Museum

The Museum of Miniatures
Tucson, Arizona
The Museum of Miniatures features 300 miniature houses and room boxes, as well as other collectables. This museum also houses the country’s oldest mini house, created in 1775.

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Devil’s Rope Barbed Wire Museum
McLean, Texas
Featuring 2,000 variations of wire, this museum gives visitors an inside look at fencing, wire tools, and historical memorabilia. And with two giant spheres of barbed wire greeting visitors on the way in, this is one museum where you want to tread carefully.

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International Banana Museum
Mecca, California
Yup, it’s just what it sounds like. Salt n’ pepper shakers, hangers, ties, staplers, candles, toys, harmonicas, cookie jars, ash trays, squirt guns, videos and so much more…all banana themed! There are so many things in this museum that you’re sure to find something new each time you’re there.

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Morbid Anatomy Museum
Brooklyn, New York
There is a certain beauty in death, and the Morbid Anatomy Museum prides itself on finding it. Medical journals, embryological models, natural history specimens, and more are housed here, and a variety of exhibits keep the morbidly minded coming back time and again.

morbid-anatomy

The Vacuum Cleaner Museum
St. James, Missouri
Clean freaks rejoice! The Vacuum Museum is home to more than 600 vacuums, all in working condition. Starting in the early 1900s and working up to today, this museum even houses some celebrity vacuums, too!

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The Mutter Museum
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Crowned America’s finest museum of medical history, the Mutter Museum contains preserved collections of anatomical specimens, medical instruments, and medical oddities. Popular artifacts include Dr. Joseph Hyrtl’s human skull collection, jaw tumor of President Grover Cleveland, and Einstein’s brain.

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The Circus World Museum
Baraboo, Wisconsin
I’m not a huge circus person, but this museum is awesome! Located on the site of the original Ringling Bros. Circus, this museum features wagons and vehicles from international circuses and also puts on a show here and there for the kids.

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The Kazoo Museum
Beaufort, South Carolina
One of America’s only homegrown instruments, the kazoo has a history beginning in the 1800s. With nearly 200 kazoos on display, the Kazoo Museum is a fascinating adventure for kids and adults alike.

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National Museum of Funeral History
Houston, Texas
One of man’s oldest traditions is celebrated at the National Museum of Funeral History. Discover what funerals are like for Popes, explore the amazing cultural traditions of De Los Muertos, learn about various embalming techniques, visit Presidential funerals, and check out the amazing collections of coffins, caskets, and hearses.

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The National Mustard Museum
Middleton, Wisconsin
Wisconsinites know their mustard. With more than 5,600 mustards from all 50 states and more than 70 countries, this one-of-a-kind museum is truly the king of condiments.

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Leila’s Hair Museum
Independence, Missouri
Founded by a former hair dresser, Leila’s Hair Museum features an impressive collection of part pieces made entirely from human hair. Jewelry, wreaths, and brooches make up the majority of the collection, and visitors can also see rare collectables with locks of celebrities’ hair.

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BONUS! If you think the US has weird public displays of collections, you should see what the world has to offer:

The Dog Collar Museum
Kent, United Kingdom
Featuring 130 historic pieces, the Dog Collar Museum has artifacts dating back to the late 15th century.

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The Hair Museum
Avanos, Turkey
Thousands of strands of hair lines the walls of this museum…most accompanied by notes and images. In fact, visitors are encouraged to add a few strands of their own hair to the expansive collection before leaving.

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Sulabh International Museum of Toilets
Delhi, India
With models dating back to 25,000 B.C.E., the Sulabh International Museum of Toilets is truly a wonder to behold. Just make sure you know which ones work!

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Museum of Medieval Torture Instruments
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Explore once-used torture devices on display at the Museum of Medieval Torture Instruments, accompanied by historical engravings of real-life events.

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Icelandic Phallological Museum
Reykjavik, Iceland
This museum is dedicated to all things penile. With more than 215 members standing erect, this museum is truly one-of-a-kind.

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The Museum of Broken Relationships
Zagreb, Croatia
Revolving around the concept of failed relationships and their ruins, this museum houses rings, clothing, Valentine’s Day gifts, and many more.

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Sometimes you just need a little fun in your life! Check back every week for a new “Just Bee-cause” post, where I discuss everything from celebrity news to favorite videos and websites!

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Crocheted Shark Lap Blanket

I’m still celebrating the release of Jaws this week with this freaking amazing Crocheted Shark Lap Blanket. Cozy and snuggly, this blanket is seriously one of my favorite crochet projects to date!

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This pattern is actually quite easy to master, but it does take some serious commitment. You’ll have to watch Jaws at least 2 or 3 times, and maybe a few Shark Week episodes…and perhaps Jaws 2…and, why not, a little of Finding Nemo should help you finish it off.

But when you’re done and you can bask in the glory of your epic creation, you will know all that time will be worth it. I followed the pattern for the large blanket, which obviously had no trouble fitting my 5’2 self…but there are directions in the designers video for making the pattern bigger or smaller, should you need it.

This pattern is available for free at YARNutopia.

For my blanket, I decided to use Vanna’s Choice yarn in Silver Heather, as it’s much softer than Red Heart Yarn. It took about 8 or 9 skeins to make my shark, though this will depend on how long and wide you want your blanket to be.

While we’re on the subject of sharks, have ya’ll seen the preview for the new Blake Lively movie, The Shallows? HOW HORRIBLY AWESOME DOES THIS LOOK?!

Celebrate creativity every Wednesday with a “Creativi-bee” post, where I share easy craft tutorials, project ideas, and craft collections.

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Take Pride in Your Pain

Take-pride-in-your-pain

Come back every Tuesday for “The Bees Knees”, where I post the best quotes from my favorite movies, TV shows, songs, and books.

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Patriotic Sangria

A refreshing, fizzy, light, and delicious drink is the perfect way to cool down and relax this Memorial Day (or 4th of July!). Made with dry white wine, champagne, and fresh fruit, this sparkling Patriotic Sangria is just as delicious as it is beautiful!

red-white-and-blue-sangria

Ingredients:

  • 1 bottle chardonnay
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries
  • 1 cup fresh raspberries
  • 1 cup apple juice
  • 1 pound fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • 1 bottle champagne
  • 3 Granny Smith apples
  • Ice

 

Directions:

  1. Stir together chardonnay, blueberries, raspberries, apple juice, and strawberries together in a pitcher. Cover and chill for 2 to 4 hours.
  2. When you’re ready to serve, slice Granny Smith apples and cut out stars using a small star cutter. Add champagne, apple stars, and ice to pitcher. Serve immediately.

Every Monday is a “Reci-bee” post, where I share my favorite recipes, recipe collections, and cooking and baking hints and tips. 

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A Sand County Almanac Book Review

Sand_County_AlmanacA few weeks ago, I did a book review for My Ideal Bookshelf, a fabulous coffee table book filled with book recommendations from today’s most popular writers, musicians, and artists. I got a ton of amazing book recommendations from that publication, A Sand County Almanac being one of them.

Recommended by chef Dan Barber, A Sand County Almanac combines some of the finest nature writing with an outspoken and highly ethical regard for America’s relationship to the land.

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With amazing illustrations scattered throughout the book, A Sand County Almanac takes readers on a journey through the woodlands of Wisconsin, Iowa, Arizona, Sonora, Oregon, Manitoba, and elsewhere…giving readers a first-glance look at what happens in the sky, under the brush, and in our own backyards.

IMGP3510Beginning with a section documenting the monthly changes of the Wisconsin countryside and including other informal pieces author Aldo Leopold wrote over a 40-year period, this beautifully-written book makes you feel like you’re right there with Leopold, sitting on his porch, watching the world go about its business right in front of you.

Though it was written nearly 70 years ago, many of the themes in A Sand County Almanac remain the same today. A love, understanding, and appreciation of nature is at its heart and readers are sure to walk away feeling a deeper appreciation for everything the world has to offer, from the humble goose to the glorious prairies of the golden plains.

Looking for a new book to read? Check in every Friday for a “Bee Happy” post, where I share reviews of books I’ve read or other book-themed lists.

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14 Fun Facts About Tim Burton’s Batman

Hard to believe Tim Burton’s Batman hit theaters 27 years ago today! Starring Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson, Batman was the highest-grossing superhero movie of all time, until it was beat by its big brother, The Dark Knight.

You may not know it, but there was a lot of drama surrounding the production and release of Batman. Though it celebrates enormous success today and is thought by some to be one of the best Batman movies yet (me included!), the making of the movie was difficult, and casting proved to be more of a challenge than what was originally expected.

For your enjoyment, here are 14 more fun facts about Tim Burton’s Batman! But before we start, just for funzies, here is Leonardo DiCaprio making Jack Nicholson eyebrows:

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OK now down to business…

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Batman won an Oscar for Best Art Direction/Set Decoration, a Grammy for Best Instrumental Composition (for “Batman Theme”), a People’s Choice Award for Favorite Motion Picture, and received several other nominations for other awards for director Tim Burton and composer Danny Elfman.

Warner Bros. offered Tim Burton the chance to direct Batman after the surprising financial success of Pee-wee’s Big Adventure.

Jack Nicholson hesitated in accepting the role of The Joker. Producers then offered it to Robin Williams, who accepted the part. When Nicholson heard about Williams joining the cast, Nicholson decided to take the role and Williams was released. Williams was so hurt by the bait-and-switch that he turned down the role of The Riddler in Batman Forever and refused to be involved in any Warner Bros. productions until they offered an apology. Ironically, Jack Nicholson would go on to say that The Joker was one of his favorite roles he played in his career.
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Other considerations for The Joker included: Willem Dafoe (the frontrunner), David Bowie, John Lithgow, Tim Curry, Brad Dourif, and James Woods.

Other considerations for Batman included: Alec Baldwin, Jeff Bridges, Kevin Costner, Matthew Broderick (um..what?), Tom Cruise, Harrison Ford, Robert Downey Jr., Patrick Swayze, Mel Gibson, Bill Murray, Daniel Day-Lewis, Tom Hanks, and Bruce Willis, among many others.

Batman made $411 million at the box office, but the real success was in merchandizing. Over $750 worth of merchandise was sold in the months leading up to the movie’s release.
commercial batman

Until The Dark Knight, Batman was the most successful superhero movie of all time.

The casting of Michael Keaton as Batman/Bruce Wayne caused a controversy among comic book fans, with 50,000 protest letters sent to Warner Bros. offices. In the comic books, Bruce Wayne is described as a man with “muscles on top of muscles and scarred from nightly combat”. Apparently Keaton didn’t fit the bill.
batman crazy bruce wayne jack nicholson the joker

Warner Bros. was taking a lot of heat during the production of Batman and for the casting of Michael Keaton that they released a teaser trailer to be shown in a few L.A. theaters. The trailer became SO popular that people were buying full-price movie tickets just to watch it (oh, the days before YouTube!).

The now famous “I’m Batman” line spoken by Michael Keaton (and attached to him for all eternity) was actually improvised by Keaton. The line in the script was, “I am the (k)night.”
michael keaton batman

Jack Nicholson’s transition into The Joker took about 2 hours to complete.
Jack Nicholson's makeup transformation to become the Joker for BATMAN (1989) was a two hour process done with 355 silicone adhesive since Nicholson is allergic to spirit gum. The hardest part was arriving at a 'white' that worked on a dark set next to a g

As part of his contract, Jack Nicholson received a percentage of the film’s gross, and due to its massive box office success, he took home an estimated $60 million.
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If Batman’s “Batwing” had been built to size, it would have a 35 ft. wingspan.
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Warner Bros. first contacted Michael Jackson about writing a few songs for the movie, but he had to refuse because of his touring schedule. The studio decided to bring in Prince who was supposed to write only two songs, but was so inspired by Burton’s work that he cut an entire album. There are now two soundtracks to the Batman movie, one with Danny Elfman’s music, the other with the songs Prince wrote.
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Sometimes you just need a little fun in your life! Check back every week for a new “Just Bee-cause” post, where I discuss everything from celebrity news to favorite videos and websites!

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6 True to Life George Carlin Printables

everybodyHe was one of the greats. He was the one who influenced and paved the way for some of today’s best comedians. His large body of work and ability to speak truthfully about everything from religion to politics put him at the top of the entertainment ladder. Comedians like Louis C.K., Jon Stewart, Bill Maher, Lewis Black, and many others have been very open about how the late and great George Carlin influenced their comedy and the industry as a whole…and it was a sad, sad day when the world lost this beloved curmudgeon eight years ago today.

Some may know ol’ Georgie from SNL (he was the lucky bastard who hosted the very first episode!), some may know him from his countless performances, others from his collection of publications…still others might even know him as Mr. Conductor from Shining Time Station. With an impressive collection of recordings, performances, guest appearances, books, TV shows and specials, and even movie roles, George Carlin has put his mark on nearly every entertainment medium. His persona was rough and honest, and he never hesitated to share his feelings on several controversial subjects, including race, abortion, women’s rights, and homosexuality. But for as tough and gritty as he was on stage, who he was at home was completely different.

George met his first wife, Brenda, in 1960. They had one child together and remained happy until Brenda’s passing in 1997. Six months later, George met a writer named Sally Wade and married her the following year. They remained faithful to each other until George’s death in 2008, two days before their 10th anniversary. George described his meeting with Sally as “love at first site”, and their relationship was nothing short of ooey gooey lovey dovey sweetness. Hard to believe, right? But a short glance at The George Carlin Letters, a book written by Sally Wade, shows a different story. Throughout their 10-year courtship, George and Sally shared a whole magical world all their own. Love letters, dreams of lands in far off planets, and sweet notes back and forth fill the pages of this book, showing a hidden side of a man we all thought to be so open and honest. This book will make you laugh, make you cry (for SURE!), and will have you falling in love with George all over again.

Often hidden in his crude and truthful comedy are little gems of life advice that we should all keep in mind. As a tribute to this trailblazer on the anniversary of his passing, I’ve collected some of them for you here. Save ‘em…print ‘em…live by ‘em.

 

The Wisdom of George Carlin

Download these George Carlin printables here: George Carlin Printables

Celebrate creativity every Wednesday with a “Creativi-bee” post, where I share easy craft tutorials, project ideas, and craft collections.

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