The Odd World of Television

I’ve compiled a list of five of my all-time favourite television shows (some of which I have discovered extremely recently)! All of these are slightly offbeat and odd, but I think that’s what makes them so special…

Oddities (2010-)-

I came across this show awhile ago, and have to say that it is absolutely amazing. Evan Michelson and Mike Zohn co-own an amazingly quirky antique shop, Obscura Antiques and Oddities, in New York. They sell and buy stuff from mummified body parts to sideshow memorabilia. The show also features buyer Ryan Matthew Cohn, who is extremely interesting (and has the most perfect suits!!). The eccentric customers who come into their shop are really what make this show special, however. They are constantly demonstrating their talents or sharing the most captivating of stories. (Science Network)

Oddities

American Stuffers (2012-)-

This show revolves around taxidermist Ted Ross. His shop, Xtreme Taxidermy in Romance, Arkansas, specializes in pet preservation. He works with three eclectic employees and his family. It’s heartbreaking to watch pet owners suffering the loss of their best friends, but it’s rewarding to see how meaningful it is for them to have their pets back with them again. I am also intrigued by the process that Ted uses to preserve these pets. Instead of traditional mounting (where the hide is mounted to a mold), he uses freeze drying technology that allows for the preservation of the actual, physical body. (Animal Planet)

American Stuffers cast members Joseph Phariss, Dixie Grammer, Daniel Ross and Fred Greer

Family Plots (2004-2006)-

Family Plots followed the family running Poway Bernardo Mortuary in Poway , California. Although the show mostly chronicled the running of the home and the relationships within the family, it also gave viewers into the “mysterious” world of the funeral business. It is extremely interesting for me, for I am considering going into the funeral business, but really is enchanting for anyone. Although this show has not run for a few years, episodes can still be found online if you try to dig them up (oh…bad joke). (A&E Network)

Mysteries at the Museum (2011-)-

This show relays the history of numerous artifacts in multiple museums. Some include shrunken heads at the Mütter Museum, the damage caused by a hydrogen bomb at the National Museum of Nuclear Science History, and even Marilyn Monroe’s Pill Box. I really enjoy the fact that with this show you get to truly understand each individual artifact, because sometimes it is burdensome and awkward to read tiny plaques in front of things. Every episode is unique and extremely interesting. (Travel Channel)

10 Things You Don’t Know About (2012-) –

Taglined as “What your textbooks never told you,” this show shares some interesting facts about history’s best known people. For example, did you know that Benjamin Franklin was a suspected serial killer, that Mormons built Las Vegas, or that Abraham Lincoln slept with men? Historian David Eisenbach shares some of history’s best kept secrets. (H2)

Looking through this list that I’ve compiled, I’m realizing that some of these shows seem rather macabre… but maybe that’s just what I’m into haha. The hipster in me is sad that these types of shows and interests are becoming more and more “mainstream”, but at the same time, I’m so happy that these topics are being opened up to a broader audience.

-C

Photo Credits:

http://www.donewyork.com/shopping/listing/obscura-antiques-oddities/

http://dsc.discovery.com/tv/oddities/bios.html

http://m.arkansasonline.com/news/2012/jan/01/arkansan-turns-taxidermy-work-starring-ro-20120101/

http://www.poptower.com/american-stuffers.htm

http://reality-tv.findthebest.com/l/444/Family-Plots

http://www.travelchannel.com/tv-shows/mysteries-at-the-museum/photos/la-raid-bioterror-automaton

http://www.historyplace.com/lincoln/

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How to Go Out in Style!

We often say that funerals are a “celebration of life”, but in most cases that phrase is just a way of dealing with our grief. Unfortunately, funerals have always been very generic in their décor and sayings. Happily, though, a trend to make funerals more personal is taking shape…

First off, let’s do a little vocabulary correction. Most people use the terms coffin and casket interchangeably, but they are not the same thing! A coffin has eight sides with the top (near the shoulders) being wider and tapering narrower and narrower toward the feet. A coffin is much simpler than a casket, and almost any box that the deceased is put in could be referred to as a coffin. A casket is not something only for burial. It is actually anything that holds something meaningful or precious. In today’s western world, most people are buried in caskets. According to An Uncommon History of Common Things, “The term [casket] became widely used among 19th-century U.S. funeral homes, in the belief that it had fewer negative connotations.”

Today, we have gone beyond finding a casket “fancy”.  Novelty caskets are becoming increasingly popular. People are being buried in cell phones, cars, and fish! With this trend, most people design their coffin before death (some many years before death) in order to make sure that it will suit their personality.

Biodegradable coffins, called ecopods, are also on the rise! These coffins are created for “green” cemeteries where decomposition is natural. They can be customized and look (generally) like a “normal” casket and will withstand all of the proceedings of a funeral.

And don’t forget the “do-it-yourself” coffin! Kits are now being made with pre-cut pieces so that you can turn making your coffin into a weekend craft! Paint it however you like (just make sure that it’s sturdy…otherwise things could end up badly…). These kits will not only save you money, but also make for a pretty interesting experience.

These coffins can be made by the most typical coffin-makers on request. If you don’t know your local coffin-maker (chances are you don’t) then order online! Just make sure that you check out the shipping first…that price might be enough to make you need the coffin sooner than you expected.

(and for everyone who would want to be remembered for their love of Doctor Who…)

-C

Many thanks for these outstanding pics:

http://en.nkfu.com/unusual-coffins-from-ghana/&docid=AbcxoQ6Rw5r8HM&imgurl=http://en.nkfu.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/coffins-ghana-6.jpg&w=650&h=425&ei=uSFpT9qCDOu_0QGyz5jvCA&zoom=1&iact=hc&vpx=415&vpy=158&dur=936&hovh=181&hovw=278&tx=133&ty=97&sig=113850343524182226749&page=4&tbnh=118&tbnw=159&start=58&ndsp=20&ved=1t:429,r:2,s:58

http://www.photoweeklyonline.com/camera-coffin/&docid=zssL1-Y7LXAPVM&imgurl=http://www.photoweeklyonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/Camera_Coffin.jpg&w=580&h=475&ei=ayFpT-jZOeLr0gHPnbCFCQ&zoom=1&iact=rc&dur=312&sig=113850343524182226749&page=2&tbnh=123&tbnw=158&start=18&ndsp=20&ved=1t:429,r:1,s:18&tx=75&ty=42

http://www.bbc.co.uk/nottingham/content/images/2005/09/27/09_coffin_bag_413x300.jpg

http://www.geekosystem.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/coffin.jpg

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