what is a museum

Tomorrow on Instagram—

The Huntington will join 20 other Los Angeles–area museums in the 2nd annual #LAInstaFling (Thursday, June 29). Each of the participating museums will spend the day sharing what they love most about another museum’s permanent collections or current exhibitions. Follow #LAInstaFling and #MuseumInstaSwap on Instagram to see who is swapping with whom, and gain some fresh perspectives on the art, cultural heritage, natural history, and science collections of all your favorite museums.

Find us on Instagram: @thehuntingtonlibrary.

I like to imagine aliens that have no concept of creative expression. Aliens that design technology only for efficiency and ease of life. Them having books and movies only to convey information. Imagine how baffled they be by humans. They’d be like “what are art museums? You just go to a building and look at pictures?” “Yeah they’re pretty!” “What do they mean?” “Art means different things to different people. It depends on the person!” And they’re just so confused. Or “why are there… why does this cellular phone, as you call it, come in multiple colors?” “Because people like different colors” “but…. why? Does the rose gold phone have a different purpose?” “No they’re all the same, just different colors” “but??????” Or my personal favorite: humans trying to explain the concept of a person having a favorite color. “Why do humans have favorite colors? Do different wavelengths of light mean different things to different people?” “No they just look pretty. I like green. Green is a pretty color.” “But why??????” “Just because.” And they’re just so perplexed and frustrated

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I keep giggling at the thought of a villain mama trying to raise her daughter to be normal and placing her in a prestigious school but often have her villain side show up, and the teacher who is used to pompous parents totally don’t bat an eye to put her in her place

anonymous asked:

Any advice on how to write a heist story something like oceans Eleven?

Well, you can start by watching Ocean’s Eleven, and Ocean’s Eleven, and then Leverage, and then Burn Notice, and then The A-Team, and then Mission: Impossible, and then all the other heist stories like The Italian Job or Heat. Watch, read, uncover as many stories about criminals as you can from fiction to nonfiction to reading security analyst blogs. Read the spy memoirs, the thief memoirs, the fake ones and the real ones. Check out magicians, hypnotists, card tricks, and sleight of hand. Watch the making ofs and director’s commentaries looking for clues behind the thought process of these stories. The hows and the whys as you look into the research they did. Burn Notice, for example, is famous for using stunt props and technological rigs that work in real life. Like using cell phones to create cheap bugs on the go.

The worlds of criminal fiction and spy fiction rely on being able to present (or convincingly fake) a world which feels real. A heist is all about exploitation. So, you need a world with security structures to exploit. You’ve got to know how things work before you can craft a way to break them. Social engineering, hacking, and every other criminal skill is about breaking the systems in place. So, you’ve got to get a baseline for how law enforcement and security analysts work. What security systems are set up to look like. The ways we go about discouraging thieves. Better yet how people behave. Real, honest to god human behavior.

So, you know, pick somewhere in order to start your research. Get an idea of what you want write about stealing, then learn everything about the object, the museum, the city, the country, and its customs as you can.

If you’re setting a heist in a futuristic or fantasy setting then luck you, you get to make all of it up.

Learning the plot structure and conventions of the heist genre is the first step. This means watching lots and lots of heist movies, shows, and reading books. Over time, as you become better at critical analysis, you’ll begin to see specific story structures and character archetypes emerge.

The Heist Story is a genre. Like every other genre, it comes with its own structure, cliches, archetypes, plots, and genre conventions which necessitate the narrative. The better grasp you have of those, the better you’ll be at writing a heist.

For example, a heist story like Ocean’s Eleven relies on a collection of thieves rather than a single individual. The character types are as follows:

The Pointman - Your planner, strategist, team leader, and the Jack of All Trades. Can also be called the Mastermind. They’re the one who can take the place of anyone on the team should they fall through. They’re not as good as a specialist, but they’re very flexible. Narratively, he plans the cons and subs in where he’s needed.

The Faceman - Your experienced Grifter, here for all your social engineering needs. These guys talk their way in.

The Infiltrator - Your cat burglar or break-in artist. Basically, the conventional genre thief. Your Parker, Catwoman, Sam Fisher, or Solid Snake. The stealth bastards, they’re all about silent in, out, and playing acrobatic games with the lasers.

The Hacker - The electronics and demolitions specialist. Usually this is the guy in the van overseeing stuff remotely. Your Eye in the Sky. Their skill set can be split up and swapped around as necessary.

The Muscle - The one who is good at fighting. They’re combat focused characters, usually with mercenary and special forces backgrounds. Though, that’s optional.

The Wheelman - The one who handles the getaway. They’re your often overlooked transport specialists. It’s not just that they can drive, they’re skilled at getting lots of people around, figuring out how to move your valuables, and exiting hostile cities or countries undetected. They get the team in and they get them out.

For an example of these archetypes, I’m going to use Leverage. Nathan Ford, The Pointman (technically, he’s written like a Faceman). Sophie Devereaux , The Faceman. Parker, the Infiltrator. Hardison, the Hacker. Eliot, the Muscle. They all take turns being the Wheelman.

Other examples like Burn Notice: Michael Westen, the Pointman. Sam Axe, the Faceman. Fiona, the Muscle. They all take turns with explosives, Michael will invariably take all the roles during the course of the show.

Ocean’s Eleven has multiple variants of these archetypes, all broken down and mixed up.

You can mix and match these qualities into different individuals or break them apart like in Ocean’s Eleven, and more than one character can fill more than one role, but that’s the basic breakdown. For example, your hacker doesn’t need to be a guy in a van overlooking the whole security grid. One guy or girl with a cell phone can sit in the lobby of a building with an unsecured wireless network and crack the security. Welcome to the 21st century. The skills don’t necessarily need to take the specific expected shape.

What you do need is the basic breakdown:  You need someone to plan the con, you need someone to be your face or grifter, you need someone to break in, you need someone to watch the security/electronics, you need muscle to back you up, and someone’s got to cover the getaway.

These shift depending on your plan, but this is the expected lineup for a heist narrative. The first step of a heist narrative is not the plan because we don’t have one yet. We’ve got an idea. Pick your target. Maybe it’s a famous painting. Maybe it’s a casino. Maybe it’s a rare artifact from a private investor’s collection loaned to a museum for a short period of time. Maybe it’s art stolen by the Nazis during WWII. Whatever it is, figure it out.

The next step is simple. If you want the thing, you’ve got to find a way to get it. This is a big job, your standard thief won’t be able to pull it off alone. So, you gotta go recruiting. Get your team together. Make sure to establish the goals of the different members for joining. Who they are. Their pedigree. One might be an old flame or an old enemy. This is where we lay out some character driven subplots.

When everyone’s together, we’ve got to lay out the plan. Before we have a plan though, we need to establish where the object is and the issues in getting it. Why this has never been done before. So, what are the challenges? Invariably, an object worth a great deal of money will have a lot of security protecting it. Figure out what that security is, who the item belongs to, what sort of retribution do the thieves face beyond what they might expect. Lasers, pressure plates, cameras, security, other career criminals, mob bosses, the rich and powerful, whatever.

After that: How do you get it? Then you’ve got to plan the con, while taking everything into account.

Then, We prep the Con. There will be steps to take before the con can be put into place, your characters taking their positions in plain sight. Stealing whatever pieces you need to make it work. Casing the joint. Etc.

Then: Run the Con. This is the part with the actual stealing. Better known as the first attempt. Things go well, there may be a few mistakes, but things are going well and then we…

Encounter Resistance. While running the con, something goes wrong, pieces fall apart, the thieves come close to success but the object gets moved and they suddenly need a new plan. New information may pop up, it may be one of your artists was running a con of their own separate from the rest. If there’s a double cross in the works then this may be when and where it lands.

We’re ready now, so it’s time hit up: Steal the Thing, Round Two. Your characters put their new plan into play and get about thieving the object of their desire.

Lastly: The Get Away. This is the part where your thieves make for the hills with their stolen treasure. This can be short or long depending on the kind of story you’re telling and other double crosses may occur here. It could be the end of the story or the beginning of a new heist.

Heist stories are like mystery novels. They’re all about sleight of hand and misdirection. You’ve got to keep just enough information on the table to keep your audience on the hook, and just enough information off the table to surprise them later on the twist. Yet, when they go back to re-read the novel again, they’ll find the answer was there all along. They just didn’t see it coming.

If anything, learning how to write a well-done heist or a mystery or any kind of novel in this genre will teach you a lot about how to manage your foreshadowing and create superb plot twists. Like any good con, you need to lay out all the conflicting pieces where people can see them, let them draw their own conclusions, withhold the critical context, and then hit them with the whammy.

Like lots of audiences, new writers (and even some old ones) can get distracted by the shock and awe. They see they’re impressed by the conclusion, not the lay-up. If you want to write any kind of fiction, you need to learn to see past the curtain and pay attention to the critical pieces leading into an important moment rather than the moment itself.

Good writing isn’t modular, you can’t just strip out pieces and run with them because you’ll end up missing the crucial, sometimes innocuous pieces that ensured the scene worked. Like the Victorian Hand Touch, every moment between the two leads and most of their scenes with secondary players are working for that singular instance of eventual, gleeful catharsis.

If you’ve got a plot twist coming in your novel, every sentence from the second you start writing is working towards it. You start laying out your pieces, funneling in your tricks, and playing with misdirection. You may have multiple twists, to cover yourself, divert your audience, congratulate them for successfully guessing your ploy, and reassure their initial suspicions before catching them again on the upswing.

The clever writer is as much a con artist as their characters. The only difference is the target of their con is their audience. The tricks in their bag are narrative ones, and they work with the understanding that it doesn’t matter if someone guesses the end so long as they’re entertained by the journey. A great story stays entertaining long after the audience has figured out all the twists.

So, don’t get caught up in Red Herrings and frightened about not being able to outsmart other people. Tell a good story with conviction and heart about a bunch of crooks out to steal their heart’s desire.

That’s all there is to it.

-Michi

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Measuring the Universe, Roman Ondak

Starting as an empty white room, Roman Ondak’s Measuring the Universe at Tate St Ives has grown through the contribution of around 90,000 participants to a constellation of black marks. 

Through the simple action of measuring oneself, Ondak’s work doesn’t just expand on ideas of space and the universal but also the personal, creating a growing living artwork that questions just what a museum is for.

Instagram.com/wetheurban

Can we take a moment to appreciate what a wonderful and weird kid Rosie will be because her dads are like the most ridiculous and insane people to ever raise a kid

- she’ll know the Latin names of all species of ants and swear like a sailor by the age of five
- she’ll be so confused the first time she learns other families don’t have a mini fridge solely devoted to body parts and chemistry experiments.
- her clothes will be a mix of knits and insanely expensive toddler clothes
- her hair will never be brushed and have clips half heartedly stuck in it to try and tame it
- her school lunches will consist of a peanut butter sandwich, juice box, an apple, and cryptic codes and notes
- she’ll go to the opera for birthdays and replay them later at home
- she’ll teacher herself to play all of her dads favorite music on the violin.
- perfect grammar and a beautiful vocabulary mingled with swearing
- she can recite all of Shakespeare’s sonnets after a single afternoons reading
- temper tantrums that include detailed and perfectly logical arguments as to why they should stay in the museum.
- deducing people to get what she wants
- sitting for hours “fwinking”
- having only science themed toys and known good the life’s stories of all the famous scientists.
- snuggling with her dads and watching BBC documentaries every Thursday

Like she’s the cutest, weirdest, smartest little bean to ever grace the earth

What would your OTP do on a date...
  1. At an aquarium?
  2. At an art museum?
  3. At a coffee shop?
  4. At a book shop?
  5. In a hat shop?
  6. At the movies during a good movie?
  7. At the movies during a bad movie?
  8. At a drive-thru movie?
  9. At a local park?
  10. At a zoo?
  11. At home with parents?
  12. At home alone?
  13. At a school dance?
  14. In a forest?
  15. In a cave full of crystals?
  16. At the beach at night?
  17. At the beach during the day?
  18. At the boardwalk?
  19. During an after-school club?
  20. At an amusement park?
  21. At an orchestra concert?
  22. At a popular band concert?
  23. At a pizza parlor?
  24. At a soda fountain?
  25. At a magic show?

(Thanks for 4000+ followers, everybody!)

different headcanon questions!!

1. What are three Netflix shows that they’ve rated five stars?
2. Where do they prefer to read? On the sofa, in bed, at a table, on the porch, in a cafe?
3. Do they like to play games? What kind of games: video, card, board? What are some of their favorites?
4. What’s their food weakness? What food can they never turn down?
5. Do they prefer movies or TV shows? Why?
6. What holiday is their favorite? Which is their least favorite?
7. What’s their diet like? Are they vegetarian, vegan? Do they have any food allergies that make them have a special diet?
8. What sort of toys did they play with as a child?
9. How often do they go grocery shopping? Do they tend to do one large trip, or smaller ones throughout the week?
10. Do they eat breakfast? What’s a typical breakfast look like for them?
11. Do they like going to museums? What type of museums do they like to go to? Art, science, historical; interactive, quiet, a mix?
12. How do they organize their books? Alphabetical by author, by title? By size, color, date published? Is there any rhyme or reason?
13. Have they ever been do Disney World/Land, or any other amusement park? What do they prefer to do at them: go on the rides, play the games, eat the food?
14. How do they eat their popcorn? What do they put on it?
15. When do they pay their bills? As soon as the bill comes in? At the last moment? Or are most of their bills automatically taken out of their account?
16. What time do they normally go to bed? How many hours of sleep do they usually need to function in the morning?
17. Do they have cable, or do they rely mostly on Netflix, Hulu, and other streaming services?
18. What is their preferred weather? What would be a perfect weather day?
19. Are they more of a snacker throughout the day, or they eat three meals and call it a day?
20. Have they ever had an imaginary friend?
21. What were they a part of in high school/college, if they went? Were they a part of any clubs, did they play any sports? What clique would they have been considered a part of?
22. Do they have a favorite restaurant? How often do they go to it, and what’s their usual order?
23. How do they prefer to watch movies? In the theater, on a streaming site, from an owned DVD/digital download, rented from somewhere?
24. Do they watch any sports? What are they a fan of, and what teams do they root for? Do they watch the games/matches on TV or do they try to be there for some in person? Do they just catch the highlights on their phone later on?
25. What do they prefer to do in the summertime? Do they like going to the beach, do they prefer camping, staying in the city? Do they like to stay indoors and away from the heat?

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Getting to help stitch up a cheetah @ethicaltaxidermy is mounting for the Booth Museum! This cheetah died of abscess in her spine and jaw back in 1980, and has been sitting in a barrel in the museum ever since. Her skin is tough and brittle, as she is been in formaldehyde for 30 years - but she is looking good. So very soft too.

What I observed about nationalities working in a museum [in Vienna]

RUSSIANS (mostly older people)

-       speak German more often than English (and pretty well, too)

-       seem either cold or make jokes

-       just start speaking to you in Russian even though you don’t understand a word. Ask in Russian if you can speak Russian. The answer is always no.

-       sometimes make trouble (touch objects and such)

-       don’t always follow the rules (keep using the flash even though you’ve already asked them not to do it 3 times)

-       are the loudest and biggest groups

-      the young people explain stuff to their families

ITALIANS

-       walk in saying ‚buongiorno’ with a smile

-       behave really well

-       proud to see italian art

-       sometimes chat with you

-       are very happy if you can say even one simple word like ‚grazie’

-       even kids respect art

-       are not as loud as you’d think

FRENCH

 -       are the most low-key people ever

-       seem glad if you can respond to them in French

-       ask where to find a picture but don’t know the artist

-       never make any problems.

-       Good manners

GERMANS

-       humorous and make jokes

-        very nice

-       behave correctly

-       will laugh and say sorry when they set off the alarm

-       complain that we kick them out 10 min before we’re officially closed (‚WE STILL GOT 10 MINUTES!!’)

NORTH AMERICANS

-       literally the nicest people you’ll ever meet

-       will sometimes chat with you

-       ‚how did you know I was from the south? Where are YOU from?!’

-       smile a lot

-       apologize and say ‚thanks’ all the time

-       are cool with everything??

SPANISH SPEAKING PEOPLE

-       ‚Where is Velázquez? ;)’

-       Speak Spanish. Speak slower Spanish when they realize you don’t speak Spanish

-        Loud and friendly


AUSTRIANS

-       sometimes act as if they own the place

-       complain

-       smile

JAPANESE

-       ask for stuff in Japanese even though they don’t know yet that you speak it

-       may chat with you in Japanese

-       may insist on replying in English

-       ask if you’re really not Japanese while looking at you extremely suspiciously

-       apologize for speaking in English first even though you know Japanese and they had no way of knowing that

-       never ever make problems

-       either first to come or last to leave

-       really impressed with the art

-       try to figure out everything by themselves

CHINESE

-       out of Asian visitors the louder ones

-       speak mostly really good English

-       have really fast guided tours

-       good manners

People from wherever: you close in 20 minutes, why can’t you let us in? why are you closing so early?! Disappointed. *probably thinking Fuck Vienna*

tbc

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Holocaust denial rages on in 2017

  • In a recent article for the Atlantic, Holocaust expert Deborah Lipstadt says there are two types of Holocaust denial: “softcore” and “hardcore." 
  • According to Lipstadt, softcore Holocaust denial is more concerned with minimizing the facts, "arguing that Jews use the Holocaust to draw attention away from criticism of Israel." 
  • It also calls for the "de-Judaization” of the Holocaust.
  • In 2014, the Anti-Defamation League surveyed more than 53,000 people in over 100 countries and found staggering results. 
  • At the time, 54% of respondents had heard of the Holocaust, and 32% of them said that the number of people who died had been exaggerated. 
  • Of the 74% who had never met a Jewish person, 25% harbored anti-Semitic attitudes. A
  •  2015 update of this survey estimated that 24 million Americans still hold anti-Semitic sentiments, and 20% of those surveyed believe that Jews “still talk too much about what happened to them in the Holocaust.”
  • According to the Holocaust Museum website, the movement has gained a boost from the internet “because of the ease and speed with which such misinformation can be disseminated." 
  • Unlike Germany or France, the U.S. does not criminalize the denial of the Holocaust or the propagation of Nazi and anti-Semitic speech, the website reports. Read more
Get to know me - nerdy & artsy edition

1. What is your favourite book?
2. Who is your favourite author?
3. What is your favourite library?
4. If you could travel back in time, to what year / period would you travel?
5. If you could travel back in time, who would you like to meet?
6. Greek or Roman culture?
7. What is your favourite Harry Potter novel?
8. Science-fiction or Fantasy?
9. Lord of the Rings or Game of Thrones?
10. What is your favourite painting?
11. Do you have a favourite sculpture?
12. What is your favourite museum?
13. Paperback or hard-cover?
14. What is your favourite bookstore?
15. Who is your favourite composer?
16. Have you ever been to a classical concert?
17. Rembrandt van Rijn or Vincent van Gogh?
18. Dinosaurs or Mammoths?
19. What is your favourite Jane Austen novel?
20. What is your favourite Brontë novel?
21. What is your favourite Shakespeare play?
22. Are you more interested in WW1 or WW2?
23. What is your favourite historical era?
24. Do you read fanfiction?
25. Canon or modern Sherlock?
26. What is your favourite Disney-movie?
27. What is your favourite Friends episode?
28. Ross Geller or Ted Mosby?
29. Rome or Athens?
30. Greek or Latin?
31. Zeus or Jupiter?
32. Trojans or Greeks?
33. Do you like complete silence when reading or can you stand some background noise?
34. If you could study at any university in the world, what university would you choose?
35. What is your dream major?
36. Do you respect your teachers?
37. Do you like taking notes?
38. Italian or French?
39. Europe or the USA?
40. Moor or forest?
41. Fall or spring?
42. Are you a creative person?
43. Who is your favourite scientist?
44. Do you have a favourite philosopher?
45. What religion fascinates you most?
46. Old Testament or New Testament?
47. Are you into Yoga?
48. Do you like scented candles?
49. Would you survive in the Middle Ages?
50. Do you smell books?
51. The Iliad or the Odyssee?
52. Do you have a favourite Greek myth?
53. Do you have a favourite Greek play?
54. Chemistry or Physics?
55. Are you good at maths?
56. Could you be a teacher?
57. Were / are you a nice student?
58. Do  / did you get straight A’s?
59. What personality trait do you find most attractive?
60. Do you wear glasses?
61. Do you like to visit famous churches?
62. Do you correct people’s grammar?
63. Have you ever fallen asleep whilst reading?
64. What do you think about Romeo and Juliet?
65. Do you think the USA are uncultured?
66. What is your favourite architectural masterpiece?
67. Eiffel Tour or the Colosseum?
68. Are you into contemporary art?
69. What museum is high on your bucket list?
70. Sunset or sunrise?
71. What is your favourite quote?
72. What or who inspires you the most?
73. Is there a book or movie that changed your outlook on life?
74. Do you think YouTubers are dum?
75. Can you draw?
76. Pencil or pen?
77. Do you want to work in a museum?
78. What is your dream job?
79. If you could give 1 million dollar / euros / pounds to a charity, which charity would you choose?
80. What is your dream country to live in?
81. Big moments or small moments?
82. Did / do you enjoy being in school?
83. Do you enjoy learning new things?
84. Do you like Rory Gilmore?
85. What is your favourite palace / castle?
86. What do you think of the Pope?
87. What book is high on your to-read list?
88. Kiera Cass or Rick Riordan?
89. Have you read the Infernal Devices series?
90. Have you ever cried reading a book?
91. What fictional character is your favourite?
92. What fictional character do you identify most with?
93. What fictional character do you hate?
94. What is your favourite Hunger Games part?
95. Do you have a favourite poem?
96. Do you like Mr Darcy?
97. Can you speak French?
98. Are you a messy or a clean student?
99. Describe your dream study.
100. If you could change 1 thing in this world, what would you change?