It is a nonpartisan collection of stories and artifacts on all 47 vice presidents – the only museum in the land devoted to the nation’s second-highest office. This neglect might seem surprising, until you tour the museum and learn just how ignored and reviled the vice presidency has been for most of its history. John Nance Garner, for one, said the job wasn’t worth a bucket of warm spit.
Humor is laced throughout the piece, but not because of the author – because Vice Presidents have been so ridiculed. Some deservedly so – like the drunken gambler who had congress dock his pay – and some not so, like the small-town lawyer who was nearly president during World War I, when Woodrow Wilson had a series of strokes.
Though that same lawyer quipped, “one ran away to sea, the other was elected vice president, and nothing was ever heard of either of them again.”
The site archives a few sounds that might have you nostalgically playing them over and over again. There’s everything from the sound of dialing a rotary telephone to the sound of a floppy drive chugging away. If nothing else, listening to the sound of a screeching modem kicking into high gear will make you eternally grateful for your 24 hour broadband connection.
Indiana Jones and the Adventure of Archaeology, presented by the National Geographic Society, immerses you in the science and history of field archaeology. Walk in the footsteps of beloved film hero Indiana Jones as you embark on this interactive museum adventure.
This unique exhibition features :
A vast and exclusive collection of Indiana Jones film props, models, concept art, and set designs from the Lucasfilm Archives
An interactive tour of legendary sites that sheds light on historical myths such as the Ark of the Covenant and the Holy Grail
A rare chance to see some of the world’s most impressive material remains and real-world artefacts from ancient societies from the collections of the world-renowned Penn Museum and the National Geographic Society archives
A handheld multimedia guide that lets you personalize your exhibit experience
An interactive quest game that let’s children of all ages test their skills and explore the exhibit content in a fun, innovative way
Currently, in Spain but coming to Southern California in October 2012.
Here are 11 new and new-ish documentaries now streaming that offer interesting, frustrating and downright sad stories about cities.
Bill Cunningham New York
2010, 84 minutes
Directed by Richard Press
A film about octogenarian and New York Times fashion photographer Bill Cunningham, who rides his bike around New York City taking pictures of clothes and the people – both ordinary and extraordinary – who wear them. A unique look at the changing fashions of one of the world’s centers of culture.
Philadelphia, the city that gave us Poor Richard, cheese-steak sandwiches and the American Constitution, just opened a new treasure: the Barnes Foundation, one of the premier privately assembled collections of painting in the U.S. with more dreamy Renoirs and searching Cézannes than in the whole of France.
Its arrival in May halfway between the landmark City Hall and Museum of Art on Benjamin Franklin Parkway — Philly’s Champs Élysées — gives visitors a chance to see what was once an almost secret stash of great art.
The catalog is astounding, even apart from Renoirs and Cézannes.
…all previously hard to access, thanks in part to the collection’s former home in Merion, PA, a 45-minute bus ride from downtown. The foundation rarely lent works to other museums, prohibited reproductions and restricted visitation.
Curmudgeonly founder Albert C. Barnes, a medical doctor, chemist and self-made millionaire with a boulder-size chip on his shoulder, once called Philadelphia “a depressing intellectual slum.” He started buying art in the early part of the 20th century and conceived of his collection as an educational institution, not a gathering place for high-society “Sunday” dabblers in art.
It took more than 50 years to give the collection a new home that is open to the public. Not everyone loves it.
For a look at the future of digital museums, check out the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory’s new digital archive composed of thousands of scanned documents from the African leader’s life.
With the help of a $1.25 million grant from Google, the center digitized thousands of documents and images that illustrate the life and times of South Africa’s first black president. But instead of scanning them and dumping them online for scholars to peruse, the center, with Google’s support, created a virtual museum experience — highlighting certain pieces from the archives, putting them in the context of Mandela’s life and then enabling a visitor to the site to go deeper if they’d like.
The exhibit is organized by different phases of Mandela’s life, such as “Early Life,” “Prison Years,” “Presidential Years” and “Retirement.” As you move through the different sections, you’ll find the earliest known photograph of Mandela, scans of the desk calendars where he scribbled notes during his 27 years in prison, and handwritten notes he sent his daughters — including one written shortly after the arrest of their mother.
At the Shuttle Landing Facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, initial mating of space shuttle Discovery and the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft is complete in the mate-demate device. The device, known as the MDD, is a large gantry-like steel structure used to hoist a shuttle off the ground and position it onto the back of the aircraft, or SCA.
The SCA is a Boeing 747 jet, originally manufactured for commercial use, which was modified by NASA to transport the shuttles between destinations on Earth. This SCA, designated NASA 905, is assigned to the remaining ferry missions, delivering the shuttles to their permanent public display sites.
NASA 905 is scheduled to ferry Discovery to the Washington Dulles International Airport in Virginia on April 17, after which the shuttle will be placed on display in the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center
Following delivery of Discovery, NASA 905 will ferry Enterprise from Udvar-Hazy to the Intrepid Museum in New York City. Endeavour is scheduled to be similarly moved to the California Science Center in Los Angeles later this year.
Doubtless, the dour Victorian author would have wanted us to celebrate the day exploring the city he loved and hated, London.
Dickens’ London was a magnificent and horrendous place. At the height of the British Empire, London was the envy of the world, by far the most majestic city anywhere. Unimaginable wealth passed through its gates every day.
The Charles Dickens Museum is in Bloomsbury, right in central London, and is housed in an actual Dickens residence. Visiting it gives you a sense of exactly what it was like to live in Dickens’ house – if that house were stuffed with hundreds of thousands of artifacts, manuscripts, and other historical objects.
With roots going back to the Middle Ages, this pub is tucked away from Fleet Street up a narrow alley. Fans of the pub tout its mention in A Tale of Two Cities, although Dickens never mentions the pub by name. Apparently, though, it’s a great place to grab a pint or two after you’ve been acquitted of treason.
You won’t find this cathedral mentioned anywhere in Dickens’ works. That’s because in his time, it was just a plain ol’ church (named “St Saviour’s”).
The cathedral – one of the oldest churches in London – appears in a classically Dickensian sentence from Oliver Twist: “The tower of old Saint Saviour’s Church, and the spire of Saint Magnus, so long the giant-warders of the ancient bridge, were visible in the gloom.”