This Belongs in a Museum

Once called the "Stephen Fry of Museum Blogging," this tumblog, written by a frustrated museologist, is dedicated to the small, random museums and weird attractions of the world. Always informative, usually funny, sometimes offensive.

Bringing you museum-approved grammatical errors and typos since 2010.

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October has finally arrived, which means I can officially begin my annual tradition of telling you about creepy museums and attractions. I made a miserable attempt last year, but I am determined to post more than a few things, like, I might blog every single day. Shocking, I know! I even got an early start with my recent posts on the abandoned Jewish cemetery in Chicago and Jame Dean’s grave. Expect more cemetery-related posts because I have a backlog when it comes to that topic. Anyway, here’s an old post from the blog’s early days, which you may or may not find disturbing:

Florence’s Museo Galileo (formerly known as the Institute and Museum of the History of Science) is a must-see for science nerds. There are over a thousand objects, including globes, barometers and microscopes, from the last five centuries. But that’s not the eerie part of the museum; it’s Galileo himself. Although he died in 1642, he was reburied in 1737 after a monument had been erected in his honour. During the exhumation, three fingers and a tooth were removed from his remains and believed to have been lost to history. But in 2009, the body parts ended up for sale in an auction. Now Galileo’s mummified middle finger from his right hand is now on display in a gold and glass reliquary at the museum for all eyes to see.
In case you didn’t know, Galileo is most famous for saying Earth revolved the sun, which was condemned by the Vatican. Church teaching at the time held Earth as the center of the universe. He had been condemned for “vehement suspicion of heresy”. It wasn’t until the 1990s that the church recognized its mistake over the Galileo incident. In my opinion, Galileo has the final say by raising his middle finger to the whole freakin’ thing. 
(Image Source)

October has finally arrived, which means I can officially begin my annual tradition of telling you about creepy museums and attractions. I made a miserable attempt last year, but I am determined to post more than a few things, like, I might blog every single day. Shocking, I know! I even got an early start with my recent posts on the abandoned Jewish cemetery in Chicago and Jame Dean’s grave. Expect more cemetery-related posts because I have a backlog when it comes to that topic. Anyway, here’s an old post from the blog’s early days, which you may or may not find disturbing:

Florence’s Museo Galileo (formerly known as the Institute and Museum of the History of Science) is a must-see for science nerds. There are over a thousand objects, including globes, barometers and microscopes, from the last five centuries. But that’s not the eerie part of the museum; it’s Galileo himself. Although he died in 1642, he was reburied in 1737 after a monument had been erected in his honour. During the exhumation, three fingers and a tooth were removed from his remains and believed to have been lost to history. But in 2009, the body parts ended up for sale in an auction. Now Galileo’s mummified middle finger from his right hand is now on display in a gold and glass reliquary at the museum for all eyes to see.

In case you didn’t know, Galileo is most famous for saying Earth revolved the sun, which was condemned by the Vatican. Church teaching at the time held Earth as the center of the universe. He had been condemned for “vehement suspicion of heresy”. It wasn’t until the 1990s that the church recognized its mistake over the Galileo incident. In my opinion, Galileo has the final say by raising his middle finger to the whole freakin’ thing. 

(Image Source)

Happy (Inter?) National Coffee Day! Today you’re supposed to celebrate everybody’s favourite “wake me the hell up!” beverage with visits to coffee shops and posts on social media. But what about a coffee-related museum object? Well, thankfully the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History has Abraham Lincoln’s coffee cup. Here’s the story:

"Richmond had fallen. Lee had surrendered. The war was finally coming to an end. It was time to celebrate the victory, unify the American people and rebuild the nation.
On the evening of Good Friday, April 14, 1865, President Abraham Lincoln decided to spend a relaxing evening at Ford’s Theatre. He would never return to the White House.
Years later, in 1887, Capt. D.W. Taylor presented this cup to Robert Todd Lincoln, the oldest of Abraham and Mary Lincoln’s four sons. He explained that a White House servant had seen the President leave the cup behind on a windowsill just before departing for the theater and had preserved it as a relic of that tragic night.”

Happy (Inter?) National Coffee Day! Today you’re supposed to celebrate everybody’s favourite “wake me the hell up!” beverage with visits to coffee shops and posts on social media. But what about a coffee-related museum object? Well, thankfully the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History has Abraham Lincoln’s coffee cup. Here’s the story:

"Richmond had fallen. Lee had surrendered. The war was finally coming to an end. It was time to celebrate the victory, unify the American people and rebuild the nation.

On the evening of Good Friday, April 14, 1865, President Abraham Lincoln decided to spend a relaxing evening at Ford’s Theatre. He would never return to the White House.

Years later, in 1887, Capt. D.W. Taylor presented this cup to Robert Todd Lincoln, the oldest of Abraham and Mary Lincoln’s four sons. He explained that a White House servant had seen the President leave the cup behind on a windowsill just before departing for the theater and had preserved it as a relic of that tragic night.”

Apparently the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus hit shelves today, giving purpose to the lives of people who have enough free time to sleep outside an Apple store. I love Apple products, like I would die for my still-functioning 6-year-old iMac, but when it comes to phones I’m more of a “wait until [insert your favourite provider of mobile telephones] offers it for 99 cents with a 2-year contract” type of purchaser. Speaking of technology, are you aware of the Antikythera Mechanism? It is sometimes called the world’s first analog computer with the oldest known complex gear mechanism ever found. It’s more ancient than the iPhone 5. It was on a Roman ship that sank near the remote island of Antikythera around 60 BC. The wreck was found in April 1900, when a group of Greek sponge divers retrieved a number of artifacts, including bronze and marble statues, pottery, unique glassware, jewelry, coins, and 82 fragments of the mechanism itself. The items were transferred to the National Museum of Archaeology in Athens for storage and analysis. The mechanism itself went unnoticed for two years until an archaeologist recognised its significance. Designed around 100-150 BC, the complexity of the mechanism’s technology did not appear again until the 14th century, when mechanical astronomical clocks began to be built in Western Europe. Today a reconstruction of the Antikythera Mechanism is on display at the museum.

(Image Source)