Tag: museums

Just as much as he was fascinated by a star show, Owen Phairis was intrigued by the uniquely peculiar contraption responsible for creating it. It's a love that has resulted in the largest collection of planetarium projectors in the world.

With digital-video and laser systems replacing the somewhat alien-looking devices most of us grew up with, the classic planetarium projectors are now being discarded. Loath to see them scrapped, Owen decided to give them a home. His goal now is to acquire at least one of each model ever made.

See him show off a few of his favorites in this video, and try to resist counting how many times he says "projector."

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The guys over at Tested recently visited Las Vegas's magnificent Neon Museum and its famous boneyard, an outdoor exhibition of Sin City's discarded Googie signage.

In the resulting video, we get a glimpse at some of Vegas's most iconic bits of neon, as well as a short history of the city's signage from the museum's executive director, Danielle Kelly.

When you're done watching, be sure to head over to my own Googie-preservation project, Satelluxe.

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Richard Garriott, sometimes known as Lord British, is a successful video-game developer, avid astronomer and well-known space tourist, having paid a substantial amount of his own money in 2008 to visit the International Space Station solely to fulfill a personal dream.

He's also an enthusiastic collector of space artifacts, as well as a large number of oddities, which he houses at his estate in Austin, Texas, known as Britannia Manor.

In this short film, we get a brief glimpse of his fantastical collection, most notably of his assemblage of wonderful automata.

During a phone interview with The Arizona Republic yesterday, I discovered that the state's unusual little Bead Museum, which boasted a reportedly world-class collection of ornamental roundness, was shut down last year. And it reminded me of my own brief, and fruitless, visit to the establishment during one of my research trips for Weird Arizona.

Turns out, the museum wasn't much interested in my interest in them, but I used the opportunity to write a little something about them anyway. However, the resultant pair of articles, a spotlight piece and a personal account of my visit, which I wrote together in 2006, were never published. So, in honor of the now lost assembly of orbs, I present them here. ... Continued

On a recent trip to Oklahoma, while riffling through boxes of photos at a junk shop, I came across this terrific, and rather intriguing, postcard-size ballyhoo advertising a freak bull and a two-headed calf. It was a natural purchase.

When I got it home, I began digging for more information based on what few clues I had: a map on the back of the ad coupled with the name "W.A. Rasor." Turned out, the story behind the postcard was even more interesting than the ad made it sound.

In 1941, Ohioans and dairy farmers Wilbur and Nessie Rasor became the happy foster parents to a calf sporting twice the number of heads one is accustomed to seeing on such an animal. It didn't live long, but even after it was stuffed, the rarity proved to be a popular roadside attraction that patrons were more than willing to pay 10 cents apiece to see in person. It's said the calf was such a draw that Mr. Rasor used to buy cars with buckets of dimes. ... Continued

If you live in the vicinity of Lake Erie and you're tired of the usual holiday outing to see yards full of wireframe deer covered in Christmas lights, you might think about heading into Cleveland for a different sort of yuletide day trip. Right near the junction of interstates 90, 71 and 490 lies the house Ralphie grew up in in the seasonal hit A Christmas Story, and it's open to the public!

Ultimate fan Brian Jones bought the house off eBay in 2004, fixed it up and opened it as part of A Christmas Story House and Museum. The house was restored to its appearance in the movie, including recreations of the interiors (which were actually shot on a soundstage in Canada). The museum, located directly across the street, has been stocked with props and costumes from the film. You can even fire a genuine Red Ryder BB gun at a target range in the backyard.

Unfortunately, the much-celebrated leg lamp is not included on the tour, as all three versions that were built for the movie were destroyed during filming. You can see a replica, however, and purchase one for your very own in the gift shop. ... Continued