CLOSE
Original image
iStock

Museums Outnumber Starbucks and McDonalds Locations in the U.S.

Original image
iStock

If you worry that chain eateries are slowly yet insidiously taking over the United States, rest assured—we don’t live in a cultureless corporate wasteland. In fact, new data shows that our country has more museums than Starbucks and McDonalds locations combined.

According to the Institute of Museum and Library Services, there are currently 35,000 active museums in the U.S. That’s twice as many as our country is thought to have had in the mid-1990s, The Washington Post reports. If you’re skeptical of these numbers, know that while the study included big institutions like the Smithsonian museums, it also counted smaller, more obscure affairs—think family-owned exhibitions that earn under $10,000 per year.

The report yielded other surprising finds. For instance, there are currently more museums in Los Angeles than New York, Chicago, San Diego, or Washington, D.C. And even in rural areas, many counties have historical societies, history museums, and other local centers of learning. Of course, not all places are so lucky. Many counties in the Deep South didn’t have any museums at all, although it might be just that they didn't show up on tax records or otherwise slipped through the cracks, and so weren't included in the data.

To see which parts of the U.S. have the most museums on a per-capita basis, check out The Washington Post’s full analysis

[h/t The Washington Post]

  

Original image
arrow
holidays
10 Alternatives to Columbus Day Celebrated Around the Country
Original image

Columbus Day has a complicated history, and many cities have recently voted to rename the annual holiday that falls the second Monday of October as Indigenous Peoples Day, honoring the native cultures that existed in North America long before Columbus arrived in 1492 and who were decimated by European colonization. In lieu of heading to a Columbus Day parade, consider these 10 alternative celebrations taking place across the country.

Original image
iStock
arrow
entertainment
How Screen Directions Perpetuate Gender Stereotypes
Original image
iStock

It's hardly a secret that Hollywood has a sexism problem onscreen. But issues of bias and stereotyping might be just as prevalent behind the scenes, according to The Pudding’s new analysis of nearly 2000 film scripts.

Data scientist Julia Silge and her colleagues pulled screenplays for 1966 movies, most of which were less than 30 years old. They processed the text to scrape out just the screen directions, then narrowed it down further to two-word terms like “she runs” or “he sits.” Finally, the team calculated the odds that any given verb would be paired with a male or female pronoun. 

Unfortunately, the results were bleak. Female characters were overwhelmingly instructed to behave like damsels in distress, while men took (often violent) action. 

Gif showing the association between gender and certain verbs.

They also used information about the screenwriters themselves to investigate the relationship between writers’ genders and their characters’ behavior. Their results suggested that both male and female writers were likely to rely on gender stereotypes

“Relative to men,” the analysts note, “women gasp, hurry, smile, hesitate, and stir (mostly while cooking), regardless of whether the writer is a man or a woman. Men are consistently more likely to smash things, draw their weapons, grin, wink, point, talk, and speak.”

But it’s not as though the sample sizes were the same, or even close. Male screenwriters were responsible for 85 percent of all the scripts in the study.

“Should Hollywood reach gender parity,” Silge wrote, “we’d expect fewer women characters to respond, kiss, and cry. The increase in female writers would also mean women would be more likely to spy, find things, and, perhaps most remarkably, write onscreen.”

[h/t The Pudding]

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios