What I’m Reading

Photo by John Morgan via Flickr.

Photo by John Morgan via Flickr.

1. Many people squealed with delight over recent pop-up cat cafes, but the London Dungeon has put a spin on the concept with hopes of eliciting squeals of a different type. On June 24, the major tourist draw launched its very own pop-up Rat Cafe, featuring such menu items as Black Forest Rateau and Rattuccino. When the food is finished, the rats come out to play. Handwashing cumpulsory.

2. If rats don’t scare you, perhaps ventriloquism does? If so, you probably don’t want to add the Vent Haven Museum to your list of must-see cultural attractions. However, this Kentucky institution, which proudly states that it is the “only museum in the world dedicated to the art of ventriloquism,” might just be the weird and wonderful activity you’ve been waiting for.

3. One thing I haven’t been waiting for: Google Glass. And yesterday’s announcement that Google Glass Guides may soon be coming to a museum near you did little to change my opinion. Sure, sometimes you want to know more about a painting you’re seeing in a gallery or you would like to dig deeper into the history of a culture whose artifacts are on display before you, but those can be done later as part of continuing the museum experience long after you’ve left its walls. Or, while there may be an advantage to having a map directly attached to your eyeball, isn’t getting lost in a museum sometimes the point?

4. For those more interested in the external architecture of a museum than the collections within, Jersey City has just the thing. The Richard Meier Model Museum houses 400 works, including scale models of the renowned minimalist architect’s Getty Museum and the Arp Museum, that will please any museum architecture buff.

5. Have you ever looked at a painting and thought: “That looks beautiful, but I wonder how it tastes?” Well, 60 diners recently got a chance to sink their teeth into a Kandinsky, and they thought it was pretty tasty. Thankfully, no actually paintings were harmed as part of this University of Oxford study, which attempted to see whether the same ingredients would taste better if presented plainly or as a composition based on Kandinsky’s “Painting no. 201.”

6. And, finally, a more natural way of looking at the origins of World War One. Berlin-based Ian Orti tackles a botanical reenactment of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand.

Botanical Reenactment