Laughing Kookaburras and Preserved Fetuses

Thank god the Museum of Animal Perspectives exists to post videos of what it looks like to walk through the woods from the top of a wolf’s head. But actually, this one is pretty good: Laughing Kookaburras

Kookaburras on YouTubeIt was left out of the weirdest museums of the world, but I guess they did alright with the Burt Reynolds and Friends Museum of Florida: “The Museum: You may know him only as the star of Smokey and the Bandit, but residents of Jupiter, Florida, also know him as a generous contributor, establishing a number of theater-centric programs since purchasing a ranch here some 30 years ago. Volunteers run this not-for-profit museum, dedicated to preserving the legacy of “the Bandit.”
The Exhibits: Sure, there are keys to the 10 plus cities he’s received, notes from A-listers like Jack Lemmon and Elizabeth Taylor, and an impressive collection of sports memorabilia, but the pièce de résistance is the sleek black Firebird Trans Am the beer-smuggling Reynolds, a.k.a. Bo “Bandit” Darville, drove in the classic 1977 film, Smokey and the Bandit.”

Fetus models at Palazzo PoggiThe Poggi Palace in Bologna, Italy, stands out to me as one of the weirdest museum experiences in my life. I tragically lost my own photos of the place in a hard drive crash, but the memory of a recreated 18th century gynecologist office, with all of its tools, surrounded by models of the fetus through development, is vivid enough to sustain that loss.

The Palazzo Poggi was given to the Universita di Bologna in 1805 and became a sort of experimental laboratory of human development.  Research and experiments using technology reinvented the organization of the University’s curriculum.  These activities have been absorbed into the palace’s 15th century architecture, and as their website says, not just metaphorically, the building’s cultural activities in the 19th and 20th centuries created an irreversible ambiance.  It’s true, the eerie quality of the building contributes to the absurdity of its collection.

dancing skeletonsUnfortunately, I missed this exhibit of dancing fetuses, perhaps it is a new addition since Spring 2007.


Brainchild of U.S. librarian of congress James H. Billington, the World Digital Library launched early this week. Increased is the internet/computer having world’s access to high quality digital representations of cultural artifacts. Novelties include browse by interactive timeline scroll bar, Dewey decimal based cataloging, serious zooming function, and not crashing in its first few hours like Europeana did.

museum as retail

zorbaHere’s a new one: a revolving online collection and gallery of old paperback books, hosted via Etsy. They are for sale, of course, and as one leaves, a new book replenishes the gallery. A neat idea, by a seller named Librarycopy.

The Repetitive Pattern Paperback Book Cover pool on Flickr
So Much Pileup: Graphic Design Artifacts from the 1960s-1980s.

We stand on the shoulders of midgets

failThe Museum of Folly (MoFo) is our favorite new Fake Museum (aka Online Museum aka Blog as Museum). A droll celebration and catalogue of FAIL, they recently relocated from the basement of a civic parking garage to a starchitect-designed mega-facility, housing their collection of 2,639,934 objects. We are proud to announce that a public-private partnership funded the buildings.

Highlights from the collection:
+ Golf Ball, 2008 (Found in the rough and once struck by Andrew Giuliani)
+ Picasso, Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, 1990s (Reproduction, written up as a great work of art by an “Art Historian” seeking to quantify significance by counting text-book reproductions)

In their own words:
The Museum of Folly is widely recognized as the world’s foremost museum dedicated to educating an international audience about the contributions of clowns, jesters, oafs, and fools to the art and history of idiocacy, wrongheadedness, farce, and foolishness.

We would like to nominate our crummy webhost, lunarpages, whose servers were down for a while yesterday, for accession to the Museum. Perhaps we could donate some of the strands of hair we pulled out to the collection.

collecting what museums and libraries don’t

publicFor collectors whose collections will never see the hallowed halls of a museum but just might interest someone on the web, there’s the Public Collectors project. We’re in like with this smart, simple site, which has its share of weird and ‘why-would-you-ever’ collections.

Our favorites from the digital collections section:
Face Painting Options in Mexico City
Documentation of Childhood Graffiti From Antique Sources
Documentation of Bibles Stolen From Hotels

The Iceman Scanneth

icemanThere’s little we like more than old weird medical exhibits (as long as they don’t use the bodies of prisoners and charge $40 to get in, you know who you are). Combine that with high-res images and a nice lil’ zooming interface and you’ve got online collection gold! It’s Iceman Photoscan, and it’s on your computer, now.

Strangely, there’s little written info on the site about The Iceman himself.

Also: a 3d feature and a section devoted to the dude’s tattoos.

And: This organization must have the coolest (no pun intended) name ever, for they are THE INSTITUTE FOR MUMMIES AND THE ICEMAN.


dr_dianeThe UW Milwaukee library has a Nurse Romance Cover of the Week online archive. And there are a LOT of weeks. Oh my gosh, so many weeks, I think I may have to take my time and count them all, one at a time, full image search.

Please note how we feature a cover in which the woman in question is a Doctor, not a nurse lusting after some skeezy male Doc. Feminism lives y’all.

Found via @archivesbitch on twitter, who rightly asks, Why can’t there be an Archivists Romance Cover of the Week Archive?