November 13, 2007

rts.jpgDo you long for weird science? If you are a fan of the bizarre, here is where you will find lots of oddities. New York can be an odd city in many ways, so don’t be surprised to find a really odd museum in the heart of the city. I’m not talking about the famous MOMA, Metropolitan and Guggenheim – the pride of New York for what concerns the arts – but about the Ripley’s Believe It or Not odditorium, which takes place on W 42nd street, near Times Square. Ripley’s Times Square Odditorium will house the greatest collection of unbelievable odd and unusual items ever assembled under one roof, from this world and beyond!
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When you enter Ripley’s odditorium – welcomed by the smoking dragon’s mouth – just forget the world outside and be prepared to enjoy one of the most interesting experience of your life. Ripley’s Times Square will appeal to man’s basic curiosity and desire to know more about this world and New York City. Inside the museum you will find tons of strange objects, stories and collections, like locks of hair that belonged to Elvis Presley, John Fitzgerald Kennedy and George Washington, Ripley’s collection of Olympic torches, and animal oddities including a two-headed calf, a six-legged cow, an albino giraffe, the funny black hole (don’ t miss it), and some really, really odd x-rays.
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Make sure to bring a camera with you so that you can take photos of your family, friends and yourself being tortured (cut in half, starved to death, head chopped, etc), sitting next to the freakiest mannequins. Ripley’s Believe It or Not offers fun for all ages. During viewing, I could see a lot of family visitors. Also, I could laugh one moment and gasp the next. My friend and I were amazed and wondered why. “Is it real or is it a fake?” As if I have joined for a journey from the past to the present or is it the future? Upon exiting, I thought, “seeing is believing.”

By Sae Na Park (Korea)

Here is another Review: 

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Today, I will introduce a museum which is on 42th St. between 7th & 8th Ave. in NYC. It contains over 500 uncommon artifacts, and all they were collected by the famous Robert Ripley.
One rainy day, my boss gave me two tickets and said he wanted me to go to this museum and let him know how it is. I was very excited about my first assignment as an intern. However, I soon noticed that the museum contained bizarre and unusual things, and it gave me the creeps.
When I got there, lip-sinking dolls welcomed me first. It was very funny and interesting because they kept up with the rhythm of the music even though they looked like they were moving too slow. (When you have a chance to see the dolls, you shouldn’t miss it, and you can only notice that they are funny when you look at them at least for 5 minutes!)
There was also a stuffed giraffe which was one of the first three albino giraffes in the world. I didn’t even know that a giraffe can also be an albino. Ironically, it was very beautiful and seemed like the queen of snow, but in Africa!  There was also some optical illusions next to the giraffe, and the museuum allowed me to take photos with them.  For example, there was a box, and my legs disappeared when I got into the box! It was horrible but cute.
There were many video clips playing repeatedly which were all about Robert Ripley and his travels around the world. It was very enjoyable because I could see many different cultures through them. For example, there was a real African tribe in one of the video clips who had a visitor –Robert.  He was having a party with them, doing their traditional dance and ceremonies. I have never seen anything like that before I went to the museum.
I also visited one of the most popular parts in the museum which has many shrunken heads from a tribe in South Africa. Their story is about them in a war a long time ago.  They used to cut off the enemy’s head, have them shrunken and their mouth sewn shut to prevent the victim’s curse upon them. It was gruesome but interesting because all the heads are real, and they explained how to make them; very kindly! I was excited about the fact that I got more knowledge about what people didn’t know or even get to see normally.
There aren’t only horrible things but also many bequests of rare tribes in a hidden world and truths which people are misunderstanding, but it is really something magical. They are fancy and hilarious all together.
At the end of the visit, I could accept all the bizarre collection as educational because it is a collection of natural science and history,  revealing what people hardly see in this world; but exists. Before I went the museum, I thought children would be horrified and would need parental guidance to see this exhibit. However, now I think it’s very instructional and good for increasing tolerance, especially if they haven’t seen it before.
My only question: Why did Robert Ripley begin to collect all that stuff in the first place?  However, it really doesn’t matter, because it’s all in good fun.

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-By Hyo Ryeong Kim from South Korea

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