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Get an Up-Close Look at a Toilet Seat Art Museum

While there are plenty of museums devoted to everyday items and objects, this has got to be one of the strangest: In San Antonio, Texas, a retired master plumber has created a bizarre roadside attraction known as Barney Smith's Toilet Seat Art Museum.

As BoingBoing reports, director Wes Plate made a short film about the museum, which opened in 1992 and showcases more than 1200 toilet seats-turned-pieces of art. The toilet seats serve as the canvas for Smith’s work, which focuses on important historical and sporting events, notable celebrity tributes, general pop culture, and American patriotism. The 95-year-old Texan has been an artist for most of his life, but fell into the family business of plumbing as a full-time career. It was during one fateful trip to a local plumbing supplier that Smith found the inspiration for what would become his artistic obsession.

"I went to a plumbing supply house one time, and they had about 50 toilet seats out on the dock that they were going to throw away,” Smith told Roadside America. “And I said [to the guy] 'What are you going to do with those toilet seats. I would like to have some of these toilet seats to do some art on.' I'd been going down to the River Walk and doing a little art on canvas. He said, 'Well, you can't have 'em, unless you take the hinge off, and throw away half of 'em while you're here.' I threw the rim away and kept the lid."

Barney Smith's Toilet Seat Art Museum is located at 239 Abiso Avenue in San Antonio, Texas. It’s open to the public, and if you donate your own toilet seat, Smith will engrave your name on it as part of his artwork. (Just make sure the toilet seat is clean before you hand it over!)

You can watch Plate’s film below.

[h/t BoingBoing]

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Watch a Chain of Dominos Climb a Flight of Stairs
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Dominos are made to fall down—it's what they do. But in the hands of 19-year-old professional domino artist Lily Hevesh, known as Hevesh5 on YouTube, the tiny plastic tiles can be arranged to fall up a flight of stairs in spectacular fashion.

The video spotted by Thrillist shows the chain reaction being set off at the top a staircase. The momentum travels to the bottom of the stairs and is then carried back up through a Rube Goldberg machine of balls, cups, dominos, and other toys spanning the steps. The contraption leads back up to the platform where it began, only to end with a basketball bouncing down the steps and toppling a wall of dominos below.

The domino art seems to flow effortlessly, but it took more than a few shots to get it right. The footage below shows the 32nd attempt at having all the elements come together in one, unbroken take. (You can catch the blooper at the end of an uncooperative basketball ruining a near-perfect run.)

Hevesh’s domino chains that don't appear to defy gravity are no less impressive. Check out this ambitious rainbow domino spiral that took her 25 hours to construct.

[h/t Thrillist]

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A Secret Room Full of Michelangelo's Sketches Will Soon Open in Florence
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Claudio Giovannini/AFP/Getty Images

Parents all over the world have chastised their children for drawing on the walls. But when you're Michelangelo, you've got some leeway. According to The Local, the Medici Chapels, part of the Bargello museum in Florence, Italy, has announced that it plans to open a largely unseen room full of the artist's sketches to the public by 2020.

Roughly 40 years ago, curators of the chapels at the Basilica di San Lorenzo had a very Dan Brown moment when they discovered a trap door in a wardrobe leading to an underground room that appeared to have works from Michelangelo covering its walls. The tiny retreat is thought to be a place where the artist hid out in 1530 after upsetting the Medicis—his patrons—by joining a revolt against their control of Florence. While in self-imposed exile for several months, he apparently spent his time drawing on whatever surfaces were available.

A drawing by Michelangelo under the Medici Chapels in Florence
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Museum officials previously believed the room and the charcoal drawings were too fragile to risk visitors, but have since had a change of heart, leading to their plan to renovate the building and create new attractions. While not all of the work is thought to be attributable to the famed artist, there's enough of it in the subterranean chamber—including drawings of Jesus and even recreations of portions of the Sistine Chapel—to make a trip worthwhile.

[h/t The Local]

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