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10 Most Interesting, Weird Museums That You Should Visit

10 Most Interesting, Weird Museums That You Should Visit

Museum of Death, Hollywood

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    The Museum of Death doesn’t mince its words, and while it has no age restriction on visitors, “because WE ALL DIE,” it makes no bones about the fact that its exhibits are not for the faint-hearted. The founders claim to have created the museum to fill the ‘void in death education’, but you’d be forgiven for feeling that the museum is more a of a lip-licking horror freak show. It boasts the largest collection of Serial Killer artwork and grisly photos from several murder scenes, including Charles Manson and Black Dahlia – a gruesome mutilation that is one of the oldest unsolved murder cases in Los Angeles history.

    Cancun Underwater Museum, Cancun

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      With over 470 underwater statues, the Cancun Underwater Museum hopes to draw large numbers of people away from the delicate and vulnerable reefs nearby and create a new artificial area where more marine life can thrive. You don’t have to be a scuba diver to explore the eerie, serene underwater world – there are options for snorkelling and even glass bottomed boats.

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      The Mutter Museum, Philadelphia

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        The Mutter Museum claims to be ‘America’s finest museum of medical history’, and it certainly exudes an air of luxuriance with its polished darkwood cabinets and nineteenth century portraits lining the walls. The only thing stopping you from settling down with a pipe and a nice tumbler of whiskey is the fact that the cabinets are filled with skulls and slices of human faces. The Mutter Museum is a rich combination of history, science and art, with permanent exhibitions that include slices of Albert Einstein’s brain and a large collection of conjoined fetal specimens.

        Le Musee des Vampires, Les Lilas, France

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          Not an easy drop in if you don’t speak French as you must make an appointment to visit, but if you’re interested in all things blood-sucking then this Museum of Vampires is the treasure trove for you. As well as being stacked full of every type of vampire related paraphernalia you can imagine – from books, to fine art, to traditional looking props to a mummified cat, it boasts an impressive collection of the autographs of every actor who has ever played Dracula in a Hollywood movie.

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          National Museum of Funeral History, Houston

            Unlike the Museum of Death, the National Museum of Funeral History deals with the subject of death with a little more compassion and decorum. It explores the history of how humans have dealt with death and the dead, from Ancient Egypt to Modern times. Whether you’re interested in the practicalities of embalming of the more emotional aspects of 19th century mourning customs, this museum is both broad and deep.

            Glore Psychiatric Museum, Missouri

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              Winner of the tripadvisor Certificate of Excellence, The Glore Psychiatric Museum chronicles centuries of mental health treatment. If the subject matter weren’t disturbing enough, the creepy mannequins employed to demonstrate some of the treatments will creep you out. As well as displaying surgical tools, the museum boasts a collection of genuine artwork by mental illness sufferers, including the stitched needlework of a mute schizophrenic.

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              Sulabh International Toilet Museum, New Delhi

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                “Sanitation is more important than independence” — bet you didn’t know Gandhi said that! And since you know how strongly he felt about independence, that should give you some inkling as to how he felt about sanitation. In a country famous for its sanitation struggles, this museum is no place for toilet humour. The founder has grand ideals of reforming contemporary India and bringing dignity and health to the ‘untouchables’. The museum details the historic evolution of toilets from 2500BC to the modern day, including technology, customs and etiquettes.

                Salem Witch Museum

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                  As well as chronicling the Salem Witch Trials through thirteen unsettling life size stage sets, the museum takes it upon itself to detail the changing interpretations of witches over time, all the way up to witchcraft practice today. The museum invites you to experience the dark drama of the time with theatrical presentations and ‘stirring narration’ then make up your own mind about whether the Trials were only hearsay, innuendo and gossip.

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                  Roswell UFO Museum

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                    Perhaps a visit to this museum will make a believer out of doubters, with its photos, newspaper clippings and lifesize models of the little grey men with giant black eyes. Visitors are split between die hard conspiracy theorists who insist the museum proves the government cover up and those who just like the fact that a fake spaceship with alient models revs up every half an hour – and of course the gift shop.

                    Iceland Phallological Museum, Husavik

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                      Penises in jars. Lots and lots of penises in jars. Ever wonder what the penis of a polar bear looks like? Then this is the museum for you. The museum claims to have specimens from every mammal in the country – including homo sapiens. The founder of the museum’s fascination with phalluses was born when as a child he was given a bull’s penis for ‘whipping the animals’, and later when his colleagues would bring him whale penises to ‘tease’ him. Some people might foster some kind of trauma, but this guy started a museum.

                      Featured photo credit: mal a la gorge/istolethetv via flickr.com

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                      10 Most Interesting, Weird Museums That You Should Visit

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                      Last Updated on September 28, 2020

                      The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

                      The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

                      At the start of the year, if you had asked anyone if they could do their work from home, many would have said no. They would have cited the need for team meetings, a place to be able to sit down and get on with their work, the camaraderie of the office, and being able to meet customers and clients face to face.

                      Almost ten months later, most of us have learned that we can do our work from home and in many ways, we have discovered working from home is a lot better than doing our work in a busy, bustling office environment where we are inundated with distractions and noise.

                      One of the things the 2020 pandemic has reminded us is we humans are incredibly adaptable. It is one of the strengths of our kind. Yet we have been unknowingly practicing this for years. When we move house we go through enormous upheaval.

                      When we change jobs, we not only change our work environment but we also change the surrounding people. Humans are adaptable and this adaptability gives us strength.

                      So, what are the pros and cons of working from home? Below I will share some things I have discovered since I made the change to being predominantly a person who works from home.

                      Pro #1: A More Relaxed Start to the Day

                      This one I love. When I had to be at a place of work in the past, I would always set my alarm to give me just enough time to make coffee, take a shower, and change. Mornings always felt like a rush.

                      Now, I can wake up a little later, make coffee and instead of rushing to get out of the door at a specific time, I can spend ten minutes writing in my journal, reviewing my plan for the day, and start the day in a more relaxed frame of mind.

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                      When you start the day in a relaxed state, you begin more positively. You find you have more clarity and more focus and you are not wasting energy worrying about whether you will be late.

                      Pro #2: More Quiet, Focused Time = Increased Productivity

                      One of the biggest difficulties of working in an office is the noise and distractions. If a colleague or boss can see you sat at your desk, you are more approachable. It is easier for them to ask you questions or engage you in meaningless conversations.

                      Working from home allows you to shut the door and get on with an hour or two of quiet focused work. If you close down your Slack and Email, you avoid the risk of being disturbed and it is amazing how much work you can get done.

                      An experiment conducted in 2012 found that working from home increased a person’s productivity by 13%, and more recent studies also find significant increases in productivity.[1]

                      When our productivity increases, the amount of time we need to perform our work decreases, and this means we can spend more time on activities that can bring us closer to our family and friends as well as improve our mental health.

                      Pro #3: More Control Over Your Day

                      Without bosses and colleagues watching over us all day, we have a lot more control over what we do. While some work will inevitably be more urgent than others, we still get a lot more choice about what we work on.

                      We also get more control over where we work. I remember when working in an office, we were given a fixed workstation. Some of these workstations were pleasant with a lot of natural sunlight, but other areas were less pleasant. It was often the luck of the draw whether we find ourselves in a good place to work or not.

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                      By working from home we can choose what work to work on and whether we want to face a window or not. We can get up and move to another place, and we can move from room to room. And if you have a garden, on nice days you could spend a few hours working outside.

                      Pro #4: You Get to Choose Your Office Environment

                      While many companies will provide you with a laptop or other equipment to do your work, others will give you an allowance to purchase your equipment. But with furniture such as your chair and desk, you have a lot of freedom.

                      I have seen a lot of amazing home working spaces with wonderful sets up—better chairs, laptop stands that make working from a laptop much more ergonomic and therefore, better for your neck.

                      You can also choose your wall art and the little nick-nacks on your desk or table. With all this freedom, you can create a very personal and excellent working environment that is a pleasure to work in. When you are happy doing your work, you will inevitably do better work.

                      Con #1: We Move a Lot Less

                      When we commute to a place of work, there is movement involved. Many people commute using public transport, which means walking to the bus stop or train station. Then, there is the movement at lunchtime when we go out to buy our lunch. Working in a place of work requires us to move more.

                      Unfortunately, working from home naturally causes us to move less and this means we are not burning as many calories as we need to.

                      Moving is essential to our health and if you are working from home you need to become much more aware of your movement. To ensure you are moving enough, make sure you take your lunch breaks. Get up from your desk and move. Go outside, if you can, and take a walk. And, of course, refrain from regular trips to the refrigerator.

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                      Con #2: Less Human Interaction

                      One of the nicest things about bringing a group of people together to work is the camaraderie and relationships that are built over time. Working from home takes us away from that human interaction and for many, this can cause a feeling of loss.

                      Humans are a social species—we need to be with other people. Without that connection, we start to feel lonely and that can lead to mental health issues.

                      Zoom and Microsoft Teams meeting cannot replace that interaction. Often, the interactions we get at our workplaces are spontaneous. But with video calls, there is nothing spontaneous—most of these calls are prearranged and that’s not spontaneous.

                      This lack of spontaneous interaction can also reduce a team’s ability to develop creative solutions—there’s just something about a group of incredibly creative people coming together in a room to thrash out ideas together that lends itself to creativity.

                      While video calls can be useful, they don’t match the connection between a group of people working on a solution together.

                      Con #3: The Cost of Buying Home Office Equipment

                      Not all companies are going to provide you with a nice allowance to buy expensive home office equipment. 100% remote companies such as Doist (the creators of Todoist and Twist) provide a $2,000 allowance to all their staff every two years to buy office equipment. Others are not so generous.

                      This can prove to be expensive for many people to create their ideal work-from-home workspace. Many people must make do with what they already have, and that could mean unsuitable chairs that damage backs and necks.

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                      For a future that will likely involve more flexible working arrangements, companies will need to support their staff in ways that will add additional costs to an already reduced bottom line.

                      Con #4: Unique Distractions

                      Not all people have the benefit of being able to afford childcare for young children, and this means they need to balance working and taking care of their kids.

                      For many parents, being able to go to a workplace gives them time away from the noise and demands of a young family, so they could get on with their work. Working from home removes this and can make doing video calls almost impossible.

                      To overcome this, where possible, you need to set some boundaries. I know this is not always possible, but it is something you need to try. You should do whatever you can to make sure you have some boundaries between your work life and home life.

                      Final Thoughts

                      Working from home can be hugely beneficial for many people, but it can also bring serious challenges to others.

                      We are moving towards a new way of working. Therefore, companies need to look at both the pros and cons of working from home and be prepared to support their staff in making this transition. It will not be impossible, but a lot of thought will need to go into it.

                      More About Working From Home

                      Featured photo credit: Standsome Worklifestyle via unsplash.com

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