The Weirdest US Museums to Visit
Real Talk |  Source: N. Leeper, Shutterstock

The Weirdest US Museums to Visit

Land of the free, home of the weird

Let's face it--not everyone is into visiting museums. Museums can be boring. But these museums--some of the weirdest in the U.S.--will be sure to please even the most ardent anti-museum person.

The Museum of Broken Relationships (Los Angeles, CA)

Maybe don't visit this museum when you're in a happy relationship? The last thing you want to do it jinx it. The Museum of Broken Relationships is a treasure trove of objects and mementos donated to the museum along with the story to go along with that object.

If you have an object you'd like to donate, the museum is always taking donations. It might be therapeutic or freeing to donate something after a relationship ended.

The International Spy Museum (Washington, DC)

Listen, everyone at some point wanted to be a spy. Whether it was from watching the bomb shows Totally Spies or Kim Possible, being a spy was seen as so freaking cool. This museum tells the stories of real spies throughout history and all the objects they used. From exhibits to artifacts to interactives you can do, this museum is the end all, be all of spy museums.

The International Spy Museum is so encompassing that they're even in the process of building a new one that is double the floor space of the old one--which means way more cool spy stuff to look at.

National Mustard Museum (Middleton, Wisconsin)

This is definitely a niche museum, but even I can appreciate how weird it is that there is a National Mustard Museum. And if you like mustard, you're gonna love this museum and its collection of mustard history--with 5,676 mustards from all 50 states and more than 70 countries.

Another bonus of this museum is it has free admission, so you won't have to pay to visit the National Mustard Museum unless you want to give a donation.

Idaho Potato Museum (Blackfoot, Idaho)

Listen, everyone likes potatoes--whether they're mashed, roasted or french fried. So everyone should want to visit the Idaho Potato Museum. This museum will teach you about the history of the potato, how farmers farm potatoes and they even have a potato lab and a potato cinema.

The Idaho Potato Museum is also a holder of a Guinness World Record for the largest potato crisp ever made, so that's worth seeing in and of itself.

International Banana Museum (Mecca, California)

After visiting this museum, you won't have to rely on Gwen Stefani's Hollaback Girl to be able to spell banana. This museum is bananas about bananas (sorry, not sorry) with a collection of pretty much anything banana-related. From cookie jars to pencil sharpeners to harmonicas and a banana shaped record player, you've gotta visit this museum, even if it's just to say that you did.

Another great feature of this museum is that if you follow their Facebook page, they have their own international banana ambassador, Platty, that goes around the world.

National Museum of Funeral History (Houston, TX)

This museum is a bit morbid--yes--but it's also super fascinating, tbh. They have 14 permanent exhibits all about world funeral cultures from embalming to historical hearses and coffins and caskets of the past.

Besides its permanent exhibits, the museum also has special exhibits that serve as their rotating exhibits. The special exhibits vary, but right now they have exhibits on the making of a saint, a funeral artifact collection and the history of cremation.

Now go out and visit these weird museums!


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20 Fun Random Things to Do in Philadelphia This Summer

It's never been sunnier in Philadelphia

Planning to spend some time in the city of brotherly love in the next few months? Make sure you hit up some of these summer hot-spots.

1. BB&T Pavilion
Formerly the Susquehanna Bank Center (RIP), BB&T is home to all your concert needs. Popular for its country concerts and tailgates, this place offers both outdoor and indoor seating and is ideal for drunk kids to listen to great music.

2. The Roots Picnic
This Philadelphia-based band hosts its annual picnic on June 4th. Located on Festival Pier, this concert features Usher, Future, Migos, Leon Bridges and plenty of local talent.

3. Beer Garden Series
Every Friday after MDW, a different beer garden will host a dope happy hour. Last year these events were a huge hit.

4. Spruce Street Harbor Park
You can take a nap on a hammock, check out the great food, have drinks at the bars, or rollerblade on the outdoor rink.

5. The Oval
Located on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and opening July 16, this summer hangout spot includes a beer garden, great food options, and a super cool art exhibit.

6. The Barnes Foundation
My best friend swears by this place. It's one of the most-extensive private collections of art in the world. The building itself is also super dope.

7. The Philadelphia Museum of Art
This place is the 3rd largest art museum in the country and has some of the most famous masterpieces you'll ever see. And if you don't want to come for the art, come for the Rocky Steps and the views.

8. One Liberty Observation Deck
Less than a year old, One Liberty Observation Deck offers visitors a chance to see 360 degree views of Philadelphia from the 57th floor both during the day and night.

9. South Street & Magic Gardens
South Street has everything from great bars and restaurants to cool clothing stores and shameless sex shops (Hey Condom Kingdom!). It also features Philadelphia's Magic Gardens, which is a dope outdoor and indoor art space made of entirely recycled materials..

10. Dilworth Park at City Hall

This new public space, located at the foot of City Hall, offers visitors a delicious cafe, a computer-programmable fountain you can run through, and outdoor markets and vendors.

11. Cheesesteaks (duh, you're in Philly)
Pat's or Geno's? You can decide for yourself considering they're right across from each other. The best thing about these places is that they're open 24 hours a day. If you haven't ubered here drunk before 5am, you should consider it.

12. Eastern State Penitentiary
This historical prison offers tours of the grounds and allows visitors to explore where old criminals like Al Capone and Willie Sutton used to reside. Easily one of the creepiest places in town.

13. Philadelphia Zoo
I can sit at this place for hours. Animals are cute and cool to watch, and through the newly installed Zoo360, animals can explore the grounds from above and observe us humans. How ironic.

14. Adventure Aquarium
Talking about cute animals, the Adventure Aquarium is home to the largest collection of sharks on the East Coast. It's also the only aquarium in the world that has hippos, and features a bunch of really cool interactive exhibits.

15. Manayunk Arts Festival
This festival takes place on June 25th and 26th, drawing in thousands of ravenous art-lovers. It showcases close to 300 artists' beautiful creations that are available to purchase and also has a bunch of drink and food specials at participating restaurants nearby.

16. 4th of July Concert
Hosted on the Rocky Steps of the Art Museum, this concert is a popular destination for Philadelphians on the Fourth of July and is known for its incredible fireworks display. Oh, and it's also completely free to attend.

17. Reading Terminal Market
The nation's oldest farmers' market offers every kind of food imaginable through its 80+ vendors. Whether you're hungry for a snack, a meal, or want to pick up some groceries, Reading Terminal Market can cater to all your food needs.

18. Franklin Square

Feel like reliving your childhood days? Franklin Square is a popular park in Philly that has mini-golf, a carousel, a gorgeous fountain and a dope burger place.

19. Restaurant Week
Who doesn't love amazing food at an affordable cost? From August 2-7 and 9-14, Philadelphia's top restaurants offer a 3-course dinner menu for only $35 and lunch menu for $20. It's cheap and delicious.

20. Made in America Festival
A weekend of good music and beer hosted by Queen Bey's hubby. The lineup hasn't been released yet but it won't disappoint. This is pretty much the last big event before school starts back up.

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Real Talk |  Source: L. Smith, Shutterstock

"Send Nudes" Or "Send Art"?

San Francisco's museum has you covered with the second part.

Art geek? Casual fan? Not that interested in art but looking for something fun to fill your time? The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art has you covered.

A year ago, the museum launched a phone number that people could text and receive a picture of a piece of art from their collection. The number has since shortened from a ten-digit number to a five-digit number as it began to need to handle higher volumes of requests.

How does it work?

You send the number "Send me _______". This can be a color, subject, mood or even an emoji--yes, an emoji. In return, the museum will text back a piece of art from its collection, along with the title, artist and date.

This one's my personal fave:

Actually, I stand corrected:

This shit is sick. I am a very, very casual art fan, but getting a bunch of pieces back based on a keyword is so cool and makes me much more invested in what I'm looking at.

The San Fran MOMA has so many pieces that it can only display five percent of its collection at a time, while the bot has the entire collection at its metaphorical fingertips. You can probably do this for days and still never see all of it, tbh.

If this is the museum's plan to make more people care about art, I think it'll totally work. Getting something sent specifically to what you asked for is way more interesting than just walking past a piece and playing "art or haphazard paint splatters?".

The number is 572-51, and it's green text (ugh), so just be careful about text message charges (does anybody even worry about those anymore, though?).

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Real Talk |  Source: Sophie Lucido Johnson

New Trump Budget Wants To Cut Meals On Wheels, The Arts


President Trump released his new budget proposal which includes funding cuts to the National Endowment of the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and steep cuts to the EPA and State Department.

Trump wants to completely eliminate funding for the NEA, NEH, and the CPB which is a huge blow to the arts community. Trump also wants to eliminate the Institute of Museum and Library Services. All of these organizations support art organizations, museums, libraries and public broadcasting affiliates.

Not only cutting the arts, Trump wants to slash the EPA's budget, notably stopping funding for the Clean Power Plan, international climate change programs, climate change research and partnership programs and related climate change efforts.

The worst part of the budget proposal however, is the elimination of federal funding of Meals on Wheels programs, which provide meals to the elderly, poor, veterans, disabled and others that can't leave their homes.

Meals on Wheels uses funding from several sources so eliminating federal funding wouldn't kill it, but it certainly doesn't help.

On Twitter, #MealsonWheels and #SavetheNEA are currently trending.

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Real Talk |  Source: wsamnipat

How to Explore Boston on an Intern's Budget

It's way cheaper than NYC.

Boston is a very walkable city, and there are bike lanes on just about every major street. In addition, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) runs a subway system (called the T) and a public bus system. Rides cost about $2.

The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum offers tickets to students for $5 with their IDs, and the Museum of Fine Arts offers tickets at a $2 discount with a student ID. You can also visit the museums at many of the local colleges, including Harvard and MIT, for free or discounted rates.

The parks system in Boston is one of the best ways to spend a day in the city on the cheap. Home to the famous "Emerald Necklace" parks system, Boston's parks include public beaches, paths along the Charles River, and the famous Swan Boats in the Boston Public Garden. Use of the parks themselves is free, and the special attractions, like pools, are offered for little to no cost.

Red Sox Games
Even if you are a dreaded Yankees fan, the Boston Red Sox games are a highlight of any trip to Boston, and for students, they are a great deal too. Students can purchase $9 standing room only tickets to many home games with their student ID. All you have to do to order the tickets is enter your email on the Red Sox website, get the special code for the discount, and bring your ID with you to the game.

Food can be one of the most expensive parts about living in a big city, but in Boston, there are plenty of ways to keep costs down. Fire and Ice, which has locations in Boston and nearby Cambridge, offers unlimited food for $10.99 each Monday night with your student ID. JP Licks, with over 10 locations in the Boston area, offers a discount as well. However, at JP Licks and many other restaurants and cafes, the discounts aren't advertised, so be sure to ask if there is a discount for students.

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Real Talk |  Source: L. Smith, Shutterstock

When Fear Of Alcoholism Ruins The Party

Recognizing you have a problem ... before there's a problem.

My mom has been an alcoholic for as long as I can remember. Currently, she's sixty years old, and I'm twenty-one. Now is the most socially acceptable time for me to drink, and I'm already realizing that I have a problem.

Moderation doesn't always come easily to me. One drink turns into two, which snowballs into six. I'm a pleasant drunk, so my friends have no reason to call me out. I haven't royally fucked up by getting a DUI or anything like that, but my inability to pace myself has recently become a red flag. It's possible that alcohol and I are a bad mix.

Heavy drinking is sort of like smoking cigarettes. It looks cool when you're young and attractive, but as you age, the negative effects on your health can sully any inkling of glamour. When it comes to alcohol addiction, we often don't recognize the problem until it's too late. I don't want to wait until I destroy my liver before realizing there's a problem. Despite what movies, TV, ads, music, and college culture itself have said about people my age, I am not invincible. So what is a college student with a love of partying and a family history of alcoholism to do?

Source: CollegeMagazine

Get over the fear of socializing while sober. When you're sober and you walk into a room full of drunk people, you may feel obligated to start chugging drinks. I've convinced myself that I can't function in these settings without a few drinks, but that's just not true. If you allow those first few minutes of awkwardness to pass, letting your sober self get settled in, you may actually enjoy yourself more than if you were drunk. I've tried this out a couple times and found that sober me is just as fun as drunk me. Not to talk down alcohol, but you don't need it to have a good time around drunk people. In fact, sober you is more perceptive of your friends' debauchery, so be sure to take plenty of pics!

College life and heavy drinking seem to go hand-in-hand. But when an individual with a family history of alcoholism lives in a culture that over-normalizes drinking, there may be a problem. Just because something works for other people your age, doesn't mean it's right for you. Time will tell how I'll manage my problems with alcohol. I'm seeking counseling to get advice on how to deal with this, and I would encourage any one else in my situation to do so as well. If I learn to pace myself, that's great, but I think it's best for me to stop drinking altogether.

When it comes to any lifestyle choice, do what's right for you. Understand your risk factors before they become a problem. Have as much fun as you can while also taking care of yourself.

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