The Distasteful Wall Murals of Pawnee, Indiana

Fans of the Parks & Recreation – Amy Poehler's sitcom about small town government in the tiny fictional burgh of Pawnee, Indiana – have been anxiously awaiting the show’s return to TV this week.

In anticipation of this event, Details caught up with one of the show’s writers and got the inside story on one of the series’ running jokes – a collection of wall murals adorning the halls of the Pawnee city hall that depict the decidedly non-PC history of the city.

Here is a sampling of a few of them and the idea behind their creation:

Sunday Boxing
"The idea of women getting really into boxing men just seemed funny to us, and everyone was behind it. What I love about the mural is that everybody watching seems really happy and into it. The woman's really going for it—she's pulling his hair."

Trading Post
"Of all the murals, this was the one where the writers were not sure what we thought the joke was either. I still don't know what is going on. I think we thought that maybe the Indians took the baby and they're buying it back. We decided that leaving it ambiguous seemed funny."

You can check out the rest (and see larger versions) over at

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Some of the oldest chamber pots found by archeologists have been discovered in ancient Greece, but portable toilets have come a long way since then. Whether referred to as "the Jordan" (possibly a reference to the river), "Oliver's Skull" (maybe a nod to Oliver Cromwell's perambulating cranium), or "the Looking Glass" (because doctors would examine urine for diagnosis), they were an essential fact of life in houses and on the road for centuries. In this video from the Wellcome Collection, Visitor Experience Assistant Rob Bidder discusses two 19th century chamber pots in the museum while offering a brief survey of the use of chamber pots in Britain (including why they were particularly useful in wartime).

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