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Thursday, August 14, 2014

The "A Visit To Inner Harbor, Baltimore, MD: Ripley's Believe It Or Not" Story

Inner Harbor's Ripley It Or Not Odditorium.
It was an ordinary day.  Just finished looking at a half hour of shrunken heads, matchstick buildings, three-legged people and chart after chart of unusual facts about just about anything you can ever dream about.  Ripley's Believe It Or Not Odditorium, located along the water at Baltimore's Inner Harbor is 8,000 square feet of exhibits and artifacts that are both amazing as well as entertaining.  
LDub stands next to the tallest man ever.
As soon as we paid our entrance fee and walked through the door, we were greeted by Mr. Wadlow, the world's tallest man who stood 8 feet, 11 inches.  His feet were more than double the size of mine.  On all the walls of the place are facts, pictures, and displays telling you something that will astonish or freak you out.  All these items are part of a display that was developed and presented by Mr. Robert Ripley.  Oh yeah, a statue of him stands nearby dressed in his tan overcoat, accompanied by his two suitcases covered by stickers from many of the places that he has been in his life.  Mr. Ripley was an American cartoonist, entrepreneur and amateur anthropologist who created a newspaper cartoon panel series that featured odd facts from around the world.  
Mr. Robert Ripley with his suitcases.
He also had a radio show and television show that did the same.  Ripley's Odditoriums can be found in more than a dozen US cities as well as quite a few foreign countries.  Well, we have just rounded another corner and there stands a huge copper penny that was created from thousands of honest to goodness pennies.  Probably be best if I show you some of my favorite displays so you can get an idea of the magnitude of crazy and astounding things that my granddaughters, wife and I found in the Odditorium.  It was another extraordinary day in the life of an ordinary guy.

This is the Penny Sculpture created by Wanda Martich of Grand Rapids Michigan.  It was created from more than 84,000 pennies.  The sculpture weighs over a ton.

This piece of art was created using wooden dowel rods.  Created by Matthew Bilfield of  California and is called Scream.  Hundreds of small colored wooden dowel pegs of different colors.  They are all the same size and shape.  

This is a ticket from one of Mr. Ripley's visits.  He actually went to Hell during his visits to over 200 countries.  He said that it was rather cold when he visited, debunking the notion that it is hotter than Hell.  The town is in northern Norway.

This artwork is made of dots and portrays a moment of true love.  Created by Kate Askegaard from Dixon, Illinois, it features Michelangelo's famous sculpture, the Pieta.  There are millions of pin-sized dots in the work which took over six months to complete, working on the average of  70 hours a week.  She made a grid of over 10,000 squares drawn on nine sheets of paper using a photo of the Pieta that was a foot square.  This artwork measures 5 feet square.
This is made from matchbook matches.  Can't imagine how many were used, but it is a remarkable piece of art.

This is titled Optical Illusion Knitting.  It is a portraiture made as a shawl that depends on standing at the correct angle to see the face.  This shawl features Hagrid from the Harry Potter books and movies.  Bottom photo is directly in front of the piece while the top photo is a side view.
I thought this was a rather unique addition of the collection.  This is a brick from the early 1900's.  It was believed that public spitting spread tuberculosis so the state of Kansas had sidewalks paved in 1901 with bricks that warned "Don't Spit On Sidewalk."  Just when you thought you heard of everything, right?

This entire town is made of toothpicks.  Truly unbelievable.  Stood about ten feet high.

The final two photos deal with me!  The top photo I took while viewing a screen showing multi-imaging.  I am holding my camera.  My head, camera and hands are in the red circle at the center-top.  The bottom photo shows what my name would be in hieroglyphics.  Just in case you were wondering!!

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