Sunday, July 15, 2018

Salt Mine Tours


Taking a tour of a salt mine? On the surface, it seems like a strange way to spend a day. What could be so interesting about seeing miners dig salt out of the ground? After all, it's not like taking a tour of a location steeped in history such as the Alamo or the Tower of London. Or a famous government building such as the White House. Or a tour of an interesting city such as San Francisco.

But a salt mine? You'll be surprised…

WIELICZKA SALT MINE IN KRAKOW, POLAND.  I saw a segment on the Travel Channel about this unusual tourist attraction. The mine consists of a lot more than just the tunnels and pits where they have been extracting salt for approximately 700 years (one of Europe's oldest salt mines). It was opened in the 13th century with commercial mining discontinued in 1996 but it continued to produce table salt until 2007. This is a unique tourist attraction and is listed on the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage list.
The tour is spread out over the three upper levels of the mine complex, ranging from 64 to 135 meters (208 to 439 feet) below ground. You'll need to take nearly 400 steps down to the mine but there is an elevator that returns visitors to the surface. Tourists can walk the 3 kilometers (1.8 mile) trail through a collection of objects related to the mine and mining industry over the centuries. You'll see underground lakes. But perhaps the most surprising and fascinating feature of this salt mine is all the works of art made by the miners themselves over the centuries, hand hewn entirely of solid salt—statues, frescos, beautifully adorned chapels including one very large chapel with chandeliers and staircases made entirely of salt along with other hidden treasures. In addition to the spectacular works of art, the complex has a reception room used for private functions including weddings.
(EVERYTHING in this picture, except the people, is made of salt) 
The salt mine reaches a depth of 327 meters (1065 feet) and is over 287 kilometers long (172 miles) with the tour covering only a small portion of this total area.

STRATACA IN HUTCHINSON, KANSAS, USA.  Interactive dinner theater below ground in a salt mine? Scout campouts below ground in a salt mine? A large Hollywood film storage/vault facility underground in a salt mine? An event center underground in a salt mine? Yes to all of these…and more.

This salt deposit was formed approximately 275 million years ago when the Permian Sea dried up. This is one of the largest salt deposits in the world covering 27,000 square miles in central and south central Kansas. Adjacent salt deposits extend the entire area to include parts of Oklahoma, the Texas Panhandle and south eastern New Mexico for a total overall of 100,000 square miles. The purest portion of the main salt vein is 650 feet underground and is still being mined. Strataca (when first opened for tours was called the Kansas Underground Salt Museum) has access to about 300,000 square feet of the mined out area.
Salt was discovered southwest of Hutchinson in 1887 by a land developer who was drilling for oil as a means of increasing land sales. Instead of oil, he struck salt. Strataca is located in the original Carey rock salt mine.

Even though the mine tour existed earlier and a large storage facility had been there since the 1940s, in 1999 the Reno County Historical Society recognized the importance of preserving and presenting to the public the Hutchinson salt story. Today's museum is the result of a collaboration of the Historical Society and two businesses that already existed in the mine—the Hutchinson Salt Company and the Underground Vaults and Storage. In addition to storing a vast number of original Hollywood movies (such as the master prints of Gone With The Wind and The Wizard Of Oz), it also stores millions of documents and items from around the world in a secure and environmentally conducive atmosphere.
The newly revamped and renamed Strataca was opened to the general public May 1, 2007. Their first Murder In The Mine interactive dinner theater was held in 2007 as was their first underground scout campout. The Visitor Center opened in July 2008. And in 2013, they launched The Salt Safari Adventure Hike.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

It's Friday the 13th —Does it make you stop and think?


Triskaidekaphobia:  Fear of the number thirteen.

Paraskevidekatriaphobia:  Fear of Friday the 13th.

An obviously irrational concept that a mere number can bring bad luck to someone.  Or that a specific day of the week can be unlucky.  But that doesn't stop us from dwelling on the possibility.

This week gives us Friday the 13th.  The tradition of Friday being a day of bad luck dates back centuries with some of the more common theories linking it to significant events in the Bible believed to have taken place on Friday such as the Crucifixion of Christ, Eve offering Adam the apple in the Garden of Eden, the beginning of the great flood.

Many sources for the superstition surrounding the number thirteen and its association with bad luck also derive from Christianity with the Last Supper being cited as the origin.  Judas was the thirteenth person to be seated at the table.

And when you put the two bad luck symbols together you get Friday the 13th…the day associated with misfortune.

One legend of the origin of Friday the 13th as unlucky comes from the persecution of the Knights Templar. Philip IV of France borrowed enormous sums of money from the very wealthy Templars to finance a war with England. An ineffectual king and an even worse military commander, Philip was easily defeated. He saw a way of both currying favor with the Pope and eliminating his huge debt. On that fateful day of Friday, October 13, 1307 he ordered all Templars arrested and their property seized. The Grandmaster of the order, Jacques DeMolay was thrown in prison along with several other high-ranking members of the order. The Knights Templar, which had dominated medieval life for two centuries, was no more. Unfortunately for Philip, the Templars had learned of his planned treachery before hand. Many of them escaped and their vast stores of treasure were hidden from the King’s soldiers. Jacques DeMolay was burned alive after being tortured when he refused to admit to any wrongdoing. Another legend that has also persisted is that Jacques DeMolay cursed both Philip IV and Pope Clement V, as he died. Philip and Clement died within months of DeMolay’s death.

Superstition is a belief or notion not based on reason or knowledge.  An irrational belief.  Lots of superstitions came into being during the Dark Ages, a time when living conditions were so severe that people reached out to anything that might bring them help and solace with the results being explanations for what seemed unexplainable at the time.  Religious beliefs and lack of scientific knowledge helped to spawn many superstitions.

Superstitions differ from culture to culture, but we all have them even if it's only paying surface homage to the concept.  We don't believe in the good luck vs. bad luck of chain letters, yet it often comes down to saying what's the harm, then sending the letter on to avoid breaking the chain.

We often follow the tradition of the superstition without really knowing why it's the traditional thing to do.  If we blow out all the candles on our birthday cake with one breath while making a silent wish, then the wish will come true.  When expressing a desire for good luck (we'll be able to go on the picnic if it doesn't rain), we grin, then we knock on wood as we emit an embarrassed chuckle.

In Western folklore, many superstitions are associated with bad luck.  In addition to Friday the 13th there's walking under a ladder, having a black cat cross your path, spilling salt, stepping on a crack, and breaking a mirror among others.

In addition to cultural superstitions, there's also certain occupations that evoke various rituals to bring on good luck.  It seems to me that gamblers and sports figures have the most superstitions and rituals to insure good luck.

Do you have any superstitions that you hold dear?  Are they more of a traditional situation handed down through your family or are they superstitions that have come down through history?

And I'm sure there won't be any unpleasantries or bizarre accidents this Friday (knock on wood).

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Sexy Men Of The Zodiac


Why are we drawn to one man over another? Could it have anything to do with his astrological sign? What are the seductive qualities of each man of the Zodiac? I recently read an article exploring this concept. What is so appealing about the men of the various signs?

Aries (March 21 – April 19)
The Aries Ram is youthful, no matter what his age is. He is ruled by action-oriented Mars. His passion for life is legendary. He often tends to live on the edge which can be exciting, but dangerous. He's not known for his discretion or fidelity in his youth, however later in life he learns to settle down.

Taurus (April 20 – May 20)
The Taurus Bull has an earthy charm and a confidence that makes him sexy, even if he's not classically handsome. He's fun and flirtatious, but when it comes to commitment he moves slowly. He's likely to stay single until someone really special comes along, but when that happens he'll take his time and wait until that special woman comes around.

Gemini (May 21 – June 20)
The Gemini Twin has a twinkle in his eye and a wiggle of his cute ass. He's a real delight with his quick repartee and sexy comebacks. Nobody speaks the language of seduction better. His Twin aspect shows he has a strong feminine as well as masculine side which says he understands the way both sexes think, something that melts your defenses.

Cancer (June 21 – July 22)
The Cancer Crab is a sweetheart who'll win you over with his sexy smile and unassuming manner. He'll do just about anything for those he loves. Whether he's protecting you or relaxing in your warm embrace, he's a family man through and through who's definitely in it for the long haul.

Leo (July 23 – August 22)
The Leo Lion is a natural showman and has a sexy, devil-may-care wit. Like his ruler, the Sun, he radiates manly confidence despite his insecurities and won't back down from a fight. In essence, he's a hero and his strength is his most appealing quality. Even the quieter Leo has a thrilling sense of masculinity about him.

Virgo (August 23 – September 22)
The Virgo man is intelligent and thoughtful. He remembers your birthday and your favorite perfume. Being ruled by lightning-quick Mercury has his mind going a mile a minute. He tends to be overly analytical and sometimes critical. And just when he's about to drive you crazy with his fussiness, he'll give you a sexy, sheepish grin and melt your heart. His intelligence is his sexiest quality.

Libra (September 23 – October 22)
The Libra man understands and adores his lovers which is a very attractive quality. He's ruled by Venus, the planet of love, and knows how to treat a woman. Candlelight dinners and romantic walks on the beach appeal to him, but he's also the thinking person's turn-on. With his quick mind and way with words, he's always up for a discussion about relationships or culture, and is a champion of fidelity and civil rights.

Scorpio (October 23 – November 21)
The Scorpio man has a quiet intensity that will reel you in. With smoldering eyes and a sultry voice, the guy can literally mesmerize you which is why Scorpios make magicians and hypnotists. His sexual magnetism comes from deep inside and its power formidable. He's not a good match for the woman who wants to stay on the surface of things.

Sagittarius (November 22 – December 21)
The Sagittarius Archer's attraction is the call of the wild in his soul and that far-off look in his eye. "Don't fence me in" is his motto. Like his signature animal the horse, he responds to gentle caresses and soothing words.

Capricorn (December 22 – January 19)
The Capricorn Goat has it together, or at least projects the image of being in control. He's ruled by the ambitious Saturn and is a master of the material world and has a seductive attractiveness that goes with that kind of worldly power. He always aims for the top. You can't keep this guy down for long.

Aquarius (January 20 – February 18)
The Aquarius man doesn't fit the mold. He's a true free spirit who follows his own drummer. He's the type who is usually ahead of his time whose quirkiness is part of his genius. As ruled by the inventive Uranus, he'll dazzle you with utopian ideas and turn you on to worlds you never knew existed. He'll keep you guessing and take you to the edge sexually however emotionally he tends to be reticent and doesn't like to talk about feelings.

Pisces (February 19 – March 20)
The sensitive and caring Pisces Fish fills you with tingly feelings as he swims straight into your heart. Pisces loves to touch and be touched and often communicates best non-verbally. Sex and spirit are one in the same to the guy which makes your lovemaking ecstatic.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Those Lusty Gods Of Mythology And Their Sexy Pursuits


Whether Deity or Demon, the supernatural entities of the ancient world had one thing in common.  More often than not, they used their magical skills for the pursuit of sex…lots of it.

In today's world, someone with the powers attributed to the gods and monsters of ancient mythology might ideally use those abilities to banish ignorance, intolerance, and hate to make the world a better place for everyone.  But in the ancient world, the rulers of mythology used their special powers for a far more down-to-earth human type pursuit—that of participating in hot sex as often as possible.

Here are six such immortals from the ancient world who seem to be in a perpetual state of heat, always chasing after the pleasures derived from seducing mortals.

6)  Zeus:  The ancient Greeks didn't have reality television and the internet, but they did have the exploits of Zeus, king of the gods, to keep them entertained.  Zeus wasn't at all picky.  He engaged in sex with goddesses, nymphs, and mortals and did whatever it took to get what he wanted.  Kinky, freaky, voracious.  It all described his sexual appetite.  On one occasion he even took on the physical appearance of the husband of a human woman named Alcmene and they had a son named Heracles (Hercules in Roman mythology).  But even the king of the gods ended up in trouble on the home front.  High up on Mt. Olympus, his wife, Hera, was a woman of earth-shattering powers and didn't hesitate to use them.

5)  The Incubus/Succubus:  Today wet dreams are easily explained.  In medieval times, however, they were believed to be the result of demonic forces.  Folklore from centuries ago says there was a demonic creature whose sole purpose was to have sex with people during their sleep.  The incubus put a spell on a woman to make her compliant then proceeded to have his way with her.  The succubus was the female version of this demon who seduced men in their sleep.  Sex with an incubus or succubus was considered dangerous for the mortal, but not always lethal.  A one time only encounter said the mortal would most likely survive.  But continued encounters with the same mortal were definitely bad for the mortal's health.

4)  Odin:  King of the Norse gods, Odin only had one eye.  He traded the other one for infinite wisdom.  And what knowledge did this infinite wisdom impart to him?  It said hot sex was a lot of fun.  One time he found himself really turned on by a female giant named Jord.  He refused to allow the fact that his non-giant manhood was dwarfed by her giant body to stand in his way.  He figured out a physical means for them to have sex.  Nine months later Thor was born.

3)  Krishna:  The Hindu god Krishna wasn't only about hot sex and good times.  When his good-for-nothing uncle, Kamsa, crossed that hypothetical line in the sand one too many times, Krishna put him six feet under the sand without giving it a second thought.  Krishna loved to get freaky with the ladies.  He had a flute and when he played it women would flock to him.

2)  Pan:  The Greek god, Pan, had a goat-like appearance.  He would have fit in perfectly with one of today's college frat houses—he was all about partying.  He liked to drink and was cursed (or blessed, depending on how you look at it) with an intense sex drive.  He often ran around with his bare erection visible for all to see.  Like Krishna, he used his magic flute to draw in the ladies.  He seduced Selene, the moon goddess, and convinced her that having sex with him was a great idea.

1)  The Meek-Moos-Ak:  The Native American tribe known as the Abenaki believed in these short twin creatures called the Meek-moos-ak.  They ran around drunk, killing hunters and having sex with women.  Their legend said that once a woman had sex with them, she was cursed to never desire marriage.

So, the moral of this story is that should you find yourself covered in a strange substance and it gives you the power to shape-shift or play a mean flute, use it for sex.  After all, everyone else did.  :)

Sunday, June 17, 2018

One Weird Fact About Your State—Part 5 of 5, South Dakota through Wyoming with an added bonus


This is the fifth and final of my five-part blog series of weird state facts.

Everyone's home state has special…and weird…claims to fame, maybe even weirder than you realize.  For every proud historical landmark, event and hero your state has produced, there are countless bizarre ones it can claim.  I hope you enjoy these random pieces of trivia about the states.

South Dakota—The world's fastest recorded change in temperature.
On January 22, 1943, the temperature in Spearfish changed from 4 degrees below zero Fahrenheit to 45 degrees above zero in two minutes, a difference of 49 degrees, making it the world record holder for fastest temperature change. Later in the day, after the town heated up a bit more, the temperature dropped back to 4 degrees below zero, causing windows to crack.

Tennessee—The band PARAMORE broke a decades long Nashville Curse...but were then accused of being a fake band.
The Nashville Curse began in the early 1980s and plagued rock bands from Music City for more than two decades. The legend claims that a band called JASON & THE NASHVILLE SCORCHERS agreed to take the word Nashville out of their name to secure a record deal. This supposedly cast a curse that prevented them from reaching mainstream success.  The curse followed around other rock bands who never surpassed local fame. It was finally declared broken by the band PARAMORE in 2008, but in 2010 two of the original co-founders claimed they were a fake band created by their record label. Lead singer Haley Williams has denied this. The Nashville band KINGS OF LEON has gone platinum since.

Texas—The state legislature once honored the Boston Strangler.
On April 1, 1971, Texas state Rep. Tom Moore proposed a bill to honor Albert DeSalvo, the self-confessed Boston Strangler who allegedly murdered 13 women. Moore's point was to show that his colleagues didn't read the bills they were voting on, a point that was proven correct when the state House approved the bill. Moore retracted the bill after its passage.

Utah—NASA measures space sickness using the name of a U.S. senator from the state.
NASA's unofficial scale for measuring motion sickness in space is called the Garn Scale. Jake Garn was formerly a U.S. senator from Utah and was an astronaut on the Discovery mission, where his job was to purposefully get sick for research. Garn claims he never actually threw up.

Vermont—A giant dome was almost built over a city just north of Burlington.
The town of Winooski was almost covered in a giant dome when city planners decided it might be a good way to address the town's winter energy conservation problem. This idea apparently came about after a few glasses of wine, but ended up going far enough to attract political support and worldwide media attention. In the end, the town couldn't secure the funds, meaning that Winooski remains domeless. [Hmmm…not to be confused with Stephen King's UNDER THE DOME]

Virginia—The residents of a small fishing island still talk in a dialect closely resembling Restoration English.
Tangier Island has retained a dialect that's been determined to closely resemble the language used during Restoration England, a period just slightly after Shakespeare's time. Even though the recent proliferation of television programs and other mass communication devices has deteriorated the accent, for generations the inhabitants spoke like early English settlers and are featured in the documentary, AMERICAN TONGUES.

Washington—There's a mystery soda machine here that is somehow always filled, but no one knows by whom.
According to legend, nobody knows who stocks or owns the Mystery Coke Machine in Seattle, but it never runs out of soda. The machine appears to be from the 1970s and features a Mystery Button that, when chosen, spits out a random soda that isn't one of the other choices. The machine has a Facebook fan page that claims the machine is always open for business.

West Virginia—According to legend, this state is home to Mothman, a tall satanic figure with wings.
In the late 1960s, a couple in the town of Point Pleasant claimed they had seen a man-bird hybrid with glowing red eyes—and so the legend of Mothman was born. Mothman has apparently shown up more and more over the years, so the town immortalized the beast with a statue, festivals and a museum. Mothman was also featured in the 2002 film, THE MOTHMAN PROPHECIES.

Wisconsin—There's an upside down replica of the White House that makes absolutely no sense.
Top Secret in Wisconsin Dells is an upside down White House that also has upside down furniture and a fun house attraction inside. However, that's not the truly weird part. It has received a poor 1.5 rating on both TripAdvisor and Yelp, where people have said that despite the high ticket price tour guides are often nowhere to be found, the heat isn't turned on in the winter, all that's inside is a "shot of air from an air compressor" and the place is just really dusty in general. One reviewer seemed to perfectly sum it up as, "we weren't even sure what the whole point was." That said, although it doesn't seem to be all that fun inside, the reviewers do agree the outside is still pretty cool. There's actually a chain of upside down White Houses called Wonderworks in 4 other states, but they don't nearly compare to the bizarreness of Dells' Top Secret and seem to be respected establishments.

Wyoming—A whole town was built on top of an abandoned airport, with the old runways serving as main roads.
The town of Bar Nunn was established in 1982 atop the old Wardwell Field airport. The original runways were used as the town's first streets. Over 2,000 people now live in the community.

BONUS: Washington D.C.—There's a Darth Vader gargoyle on the National Cathedral.
To raise money for construction on the National Cathedral's west towers during the 1980s, a contest was held for children to submit gargoyle designs to add to the construction plans. Christopher Rader won third place with his Darth Vader design, and the Sith Lord was added to the building.

And there you have it…one weird fact about each of the fifty states plus Washington, D.C.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

One Weird Fact About Your State—Part 4 of 5, New Mexico to South Carolina


This is the fourth of my five part blog, each week dealing with ten states listed alphabetically.

Everyone's home state has special…and weird…claims to fame, maybe even weirder than you realize.  For every proud historical landmark, event and hero your state has produced, there are countless bizarre ones it can claim.  I hope you enjoy these random pieces of trivia about the states.

New Mexico—Psychologists and psychiatrists were nearly legally required to dress up as wizards when testifying in court.
In 1995, the state Senate unanimously passed a bill to require psychologists and psychiatrists to wear the appropriate costume and wave a wand when testifying in court because the senators were annoyed with how often their expert testimony was relied upon. The bailiff would also be required to dim the lights and ring a gong. Needless to say, the bill didn't pass the state House. [and if it had passed, I'm sure the state Supreme Court would have struck it down as unconstitutional]

New York—Referring to the city as Gotham was originally supposed to be an insult.
Washington Irving, the author of RIP VAN WINKLE and THE LEGEND OF SLEEPY HALLOW, was the first to call New York City Gotham. The intended reference was to a medieval English story of a town named Gotham which meant Goat’s Town and was populated by "simple-minded fools." Irving was also the first to associate the term knickerbocker with New Yorkers.

North Carolina—Two nuclear bombs were accidentally dropped on the state.
One of them almost detonated. In 1961, two nuclear bombs 260 times more powerful than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima were accidentally dropped over Goldsboro, North Carolina. One of the bombs even activated, but was defused by an emergency kill switch that was known to be regularly faulty.

North Dakota—"Where in North Dakota is Carmen Sandiego?"
This is the only state-themed game in the WHERE IN THE WORLD IS CARMEN SANDIEGO series. North Dakota was the only state to complete a state-specific version of the classic "Carmen Sandiego" games, even though 20 different states were also given the same opportunity. The game was played in North Dakota school classrooms in the 1990s, but surviving copies are difficult to find.

Ohio—The state wasn't officially admitted into the Union until 1953 because of a technicality.
The United States Congress failed to go through all the proper procedures of recognizing Ohio as an official state when it was first designated as such in 1803. Congress corrected the error in 1953 after it was discovered, but decided to retroactively make the official founding date reflect the original year.

Oklahoma—A resident of this state is the only known person to be hit by space junk.
In 1997, a woman was hit by debris from a U.S. Delta II rocket, launched the year before. The woman wasn't injured by the piece of rocket, but did become the only person ever to be hit by falling space junk, according to the Aerospace Corporation.

Oregon—The town of Boring, Oregon, has become official partners with the Scotland town of Dull.
The two sleep-inducing towns joined forces in 2013 in an attempt to increase tourism. Oregonians declared a new state holiday called Boring and Dull Day to celebrate the occasion, while Scotland invited a bagpipe player to provide some tunes.

Pennsylvania—A Norwegian musician once tried to build a New Norway in this state.
For a short time in 1852, Norwegian musician Ole Bull attempted to establish a New Norway colony in Pennsylvania, which is now commonly referred to as the Ole Bull Colony. The project failed when there wasn't enough land to till, and Bull ended up going back to performing concerts.

Rhode Island—The White Horse Tavern is the oldest operating tavern remaining in its original building.
The White Horse Tavern in Newport has been in operation since 1673 and still resides in the original building, built in 1652 as a residence. The structure's survival over three and a half centuries makes it the oldest surviving tavern building in the U.S.

South Carolina—There's an island full of wild monkeys off the coast.
Morgan Island is one of many sea islands in Beaufort County and is home to a population of rhesus monkeys. The monkeys were originally moved to the island in 1979 for research purposes and are owned by the National Institute of Health.

Next week is the last blog of my 5 part series covering South Dakota through Wyoming with a bonus fact about Washington, D.C. thrown in.  Be sure to stop by for the finale.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

One Weird Fact About Your State—Part 3 of 5, Massachusetts to New Jersey


This the third of my five part blog, each week dealing with ten states listed alphabetically.

Everyone's home state has special…and weird…claims to fame, maybe even weirder than you realize.  For every proud historical landmark, event and hero your state has produced, there are countless bizarre ones it can claim.  I hope you enjoy these random pieces of trivia about the states.

Massachusetts—Lobster was once so abundant in this state that it was given to slaves and prisoners.
The state used to have so many lobsters that they'd regularly feed the lobsters to prisoners, slaves and other groups who usually ended up on the short end when it came to food. Some professional servants even inserted a clause in their contracts that they would only be given lobster twice a week, not wanting to eat lobster all day, every day.

Michigan—a university in the state offers a license to hunt unicorns.
Even though the Unicorn Hunters of Lake Superior State University haven't officially existed since 1987, the unicorn hunting license can still be obtained from the website. Created partially as a PR stunt in 1971, the Unicorn Hunters engaged in other whimsical activities such as burning a snowman on the first day of Spring and holding an annual International Stone Skipping Tournament.

Minnesota—a Minnesota father would only speak to his son in the Star Trek language of Klingon for the first three years of the child's life.
For the first years of his son's life, d'Armond Spears only spoke Klingon to the young child as a sort of linguistic experiment. In the beginning, his son would talk back in Klingon occasionally, but because Spears' wife and others would still speak English, the language didn't stick. As the boy grew up he didn't want to speak Klingon, so he claimed he hadn't retained the language.

Mississippi—a Phantom Barber once broke into people's homes and cut their hair while they were sleeping.
During WWII, the town of Pascagoula was plagued by a series of mysterious nighttime haircuts. A panic erupted when girls, particularly blondes, would wake up to find part of their hair had been cut and in some cases their whole heads had been shaved. The Phantom Barber was never caught, so not too much is known beyond a few scattered clues, including a man's footprint found in a victim's room.

Missouri—The town of Tightwad is home to the Tightwad Bank, which draws customers from across the country.
Tightwad Bank is a legitimate bank in the town of Tightwad, and the owners are aware of the humor behind the name, as many customers around the country choose the bank just for the joke. Various merchandising items such as shirts can be bought from the bank's website.

Montana—Montana has a replica of the shire from LORD OF THE RINGS.
The Hobbit House is a replica of J.R.R. Tolkien's shire and has been located in the Cabinet Mountains since 2008. It's a no children and no pets house with full kitchen, one king-size bedroom and a second small bedroom with single bed. The current rate is $345/night for 2 people with a minimum 2 night stay and a 3rd person for an additional $50/night.

Nebraska—The landlocked state has a navy, and anyone can receive the state's highest honor of "Nebraska Admiral."
Despite not having access to large bodies of water, the state's highest honor is to become a Nebraska Admiral. Anyone can receive a nomination, which is then sent to the governor to decide whether a Cornhusker is worthy. The honorary certificate reads:  "And I [the Governor of Nebraska] do strictly charge and require all officers, seamen, tadpoles and goldfish under your command to be obedient to your orders as Admiral—and you are to observe and follow, from time to time, such directions you shall receive, according to the rules and discipline of the Great Navy of the State of Nebraska."

Nevada—There's an Area 51-themed brothel here.
The Alien Cathouse, an Area 51-themed brothel 85 miles from Las Vegas, is meant for those with sci-fi fantasies. It was built by brothel mogul Dennis Hof [owner of the Moonlite Bunny Ranch 6 miles outside Carson City, Nevada] and has been running since 2012.

New Hampshire—A group of Robin Hooders once paid expired parking meters before tickets could be handed out.
A six-person group going by the name of Robin Hood and his Merry Men were sued in 2013 by the city of Keene for putting money in random people's expired parking meters and filming ticketing officers. In December, a judge dropped all chargers against the Robin Hooders.

New Jersey—Napoleon's penis allegedly resides in this state.
Professor John Lattimer kept what is allegedly Napoleon's penis in his Englewood bedroom until his death in 2013. Reporters were allowed to film the penis after Lattimer's death and found that Napoleon's complex might not have been caused by his height.

Next week is part 4 of 5 covering New Mexico through South Carolina.  Stop by and see what these states have to offer.