Sunday, February 20, 2011

Touring Mexico, One Funny Jesus at a Time

A few years back I went traveling through Mexico, touring old colonial cities, eating amazing food, and visiting quirky museums (naturally). And no matter where I went, from rural villages to giant cities, from the desert to the tropics, two themes kept popping up: creepy babies and funny Jesuses. Do you know what Zacatecans like to see in their museums? Creepy babies and funny Jesuses. Do you know what Oaxacans fill their churches with? Creepy babies and funny Jesuses. Do you know what tourists will flock to Mexico City by the millions to view? Creepy babies and funny Jesuses.

So if you're avoiding a trip to Mexico because you don't want to get caught up in a war fueled by Americans' insatiable appetite for drugs and guns, just sit back and relax because I bring you The Best of Mexico: Creepy Babies and Funny Jesuses Edition.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Use of safety restraints is recommended: A visit to the Mustard Museum

"If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you."  --Jesus

There is nothing finer than a museum about food. And there is no finer food than a great condiment. And there is no finer condiment than mustard. By that logic, the Mustard Museum may be the finest museum in existence.

Founded in 1986 in the quaint Wisconsin town of Mt. Horeb, the Mustard Museum has grown into the world's foremost condiment museum. Although now headquartered in Middleton, WI, and known as the National Mustard Museum (a bit pretentious if you ask me), I'd like to take my readers back to a simpler time. A time when a man wouldn't be caught dead with foie gras or bleu cheese on his hot dog. A time when that spicy golden ambrosia practically flowed through the sleepy streets Mt. Horeb. A time known as 2008.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Denim hats: Brought to you by America's mining companies

Aside from the stack of postcards of open pit mines around the state, there are two things I took away from the Arizona Mining and Mineral Museum: 1) rocks are cool, and 2) mining is great.

Located in a stately historic building just blocks from the capitol building, the Mining and Mineral Museum has always been high on my list of local Phoenix museums to visit. Add to that the fact that I had a pretty sweet rock collection as a kid, and you've got the makings of a great field trip. So on a whim, a couple friends and I set out to explore the wonders of Arizona's mines and minerals.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Charles Darwin: Putting the "evil" in evolution since 1859

(Editor's note: I apologize for the poor quality of the pictures in this post. I had a crappy camera back then, and apparently the majority of this museum's budget went towards placards, not lighting.)

Some museums are so astounding, so terrifying in their grandeur, that to visit them is like unto a religious experience. The Museum of Creation and Earth History is one such place. And like all great shrines, this Kaaba of museumdom required unparalleled travails to reach its hallowed gates.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

So two vegetarians walk into the SPAM Museum...

The Museumologist outside the SPAM Museum
I was recently in Minneapolis to visit a friend, and I got the opportunity to pay homage to America's favorite canned meat, SPAM. The SPAM Museum is located in beautiful Austin, Minnesota (affectionately known as Spamtown, USA), home of Hormel Foods.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Welcome to The Museumologist

If you're like most people, lately you've been wondering, "What is this Museumologist thing I've been hearing so much about?" Well, friend, you've come to the right place. Because THIS is The Museumologist.

Ashmolean Museum
by Merlin Cooper
Now you're probably asking yourself, "What can I expect from The Museumologist in the coming weeks and months?"

Oh boy, are you in for a treat! This blog is the world's only* virtual tour of the finest quirky museums on the planet.

"That sounds great. But what sorts of quirky museums can I expect to visit while on this tour?" you ask.

Well, do you like mustard? There's a museum for that. Have you always wondered about the history of hammers and other pounding tools? There's a museum for that. Do you lie awake at night wishing there was a place you could visit to learn more about funeral customs through the ages? There was a museum for that, but sadly it passed away. Which means The Museumologist is your only option. Yeah, now you get it.

"Okay," you agree, "I'll buy it. When I want to see an entire wall made of cans of SPAM or read cleverly worded descriptions of books made from human leather, I'll turn to The Museumologist. But what, exactly, are The Museumologist's criteria for inclusion in the pantheon of quirky museums?"

In a word: none. Expect to see museums that span the range of museumicity, from mainstream natural history museums with dioramas of extinct animals to "creation science" museums featuring scale models of Noah's Ark. From fine art to farm implements. From creepy dolls to cops. The Museumologist has it all. And sometimes, the posts won't even be about museums in the traditional sense. Maybe it will be a botanical garden with a great cactus collection. Maybe it will be a sanctuary that takes in abused farm animals. Maybe it will just be a glimpse into the life of The Museumologist....

Enjoy the tour. The gift shop has a great selection of keychains.

*This statement has not been verified.