TIME society

These Are the 25 Best Museums in the World

The Art Institute of Chicago Charles Cook—Getty Images

Chicago's Art Institute tops this list by Trip Advisor, with Mexico City's National Museum of Anthropology close behind

If you’re booking vacations for the holidays, take note: TripAdvisor has released a list of the 25 best museums in the world.

The rankings — part of TripAdvisor’s Travelers’ Choice awards — are based on millions of reviews from travelers across the globe over the past 12 months.

Coming in at number one is the renowned Art Institute of Chicago. Founded in 1879, the popular Windy City destination houses more than 300,000 pieces of art, including famous works like Grant Wood’s American Gothic, Claude Monet’s Stack of Wheat and Georges Seurat’s A Sunday on La Grande Jatte. (You’ll also remember this museum from that awesome scene in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.)

Other top museums on the list include the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City, the State Hermitage Museum and Winter Palace in St. Petersburg, the Getty Center in Los Angeles and the Musee d’Orsay in Paris. The full list is here.

Oh, and if these museums seem a bit too quotidian for you, check out our list of the 10 weirdest museums in the world. You know, for some variety.


TIME society

These Are The 40 Colleges That Listen to The Most Music

According to Spotify data

Spotify released its list of the 40 American universities that listen to the most music on the streaming service—and what the schools’ music habits reveal about their campus cultures.

The 40 universities, which aren’t ranked, include The Ohio State University, Cornell, Brigham Young University, the University of Alabama, UCLA, NYU and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Here’s the full list.

Spotify analyzed listening patterns to determine which college has the earliest risers, which campus love country music, which school is the most stressed, and more. Here are some of the insights:

  • Cornell students are some of the earliest risers, with spikes in listening around 6 a.m. and 7 a.m.
  • The Ohio State University listens to the most classical music
  • The University of Colorado Boulder may have some of the most stressed (or relaxed) students around: they stream Spotify’s Relax playlist the most
  • Brigham Young University students wake up and sleep the earliest, maybe because of their midnight visitor curfew
  • NYU students sleep one hour less than other students, based on listening patterns—and they’re also more likely to listen to slowcore playlists
  • TIME society

    Turns Out New Yorkers Aren’t the Rudest Drivers After All

    Stuck in Traffic
    Artur Debat—Moment Editorial/Getty Images

    "Massholes" are the fifth rudest drivers in the U.S., according to a new survey

    Everyone knows the archetypal angry motorist is the schmo who steps out of his car and yells in Brooklynese, but according to a recent survey, New Yorkers aren’t the rudest drivers on the road: It’s Idahoans.

    A survey by Insure.com asked 2,000 drivers nationwide about driving habits, and Idaho was acknowledged as the home of the most ornery automotive drivers. Idaho drivers complained of motorists who are either much too slow, or much too aggressive, which apparently creates tension between the go-getters and the slow-getters.

    “If you’ve driven [it] hundreds of times, you know [the road] and pick up your speed,” Idaho resident Eric Leins said in the survey “So those driving them for the first time may have the experienced drivers honking their horns and flipping them the bird.”

    New Yorkers ranked as the third-rudest drivers, and indeed, it’s common knowledge that in the bustle of the New York metropolitan area streets, discourtesy reigns. “I’m trying to figure out if that woman talking on her cell and smoking a cigarette is going to run a stop sign,” Steven Lowell, a Staten Island resident said. “Good thing she did 75 miles an hour up to the stop sign and then flipped me off for not letting her go.”

    Massachusetts “Massholes,” meanwhile, came in fifth among the nation’s bad drivers.


    TIME U.S.

    These Are Playboy’s Top 10 Party Schools

    An Ivy League school tops the list

    The University of Pennsylvania’s “work hard, play hard” mentality is paying off. Working hard has made the Ivy League school the 8th best school in the nation, according to U.S. News, but playing hard has secured it the number 1 spot on Playboy‘s ninth annual Top 10 Party Schools.

    The Quakers are known for their notorious underground frat scene, off-campus parties, Spring Fling and Philadelphia’s big bar scene, according to Playboy. Meanwhile, the runner-up, the University of Wisconsin in Madison, earned its spot thanks to its many tailgates, city-wide celebrations and students’ “ability to drink away the freeze.”

    Here’s the full list:

    1. University of Pennsylvania

    2. University of Wisconsin

    3. West Virginia University

    4. University of Arizona

    5. University of Iowa

    6. University of California, Santa Cruz

    7. University of Miami

    8. Colorado State University

    9. University of Texas

    10. Syracuse University

    TIME society

    ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Donations Just Topped $100 Million

    More than 3 million people have donated

    Donations from the Ice Bucket Challenge broke the $100 million mark Friday as people around world continue to dump ice on their heads and donate to the ALS Association to help combat Lou Gehrig’s disease.

    “The word gratitude doesn’t do enough to express what we are feeling right now,” ALS President and CEO Barbara Newhouse said in a statement.

    The $100 million in donations came from more than 3 million donors who have contributed since the challenge went viral in late July. The ALS Association raised only $2.8 million in the same period last year.

    The Ice Bucket Challenge has been a social media phenomenon, grabbing the attention of millions of Americans including many celebrities and political figures. Some have speculated that it might forever change the way charities approach fundraising.

    TIME society

    Artist Hid $16,000 Worth of Gold on a Beach, and You Have to Find It

    Single gold ingot.
    Single gold ingot. Anthony Bradshaw—Getty Images

    Starting today, it's finders-keepers.

    There is about £10,000 ($16,000) worth of gold bullion buried in the sand on a beach in England as part of an innovative public art installation. Oh, and starting today it’s finders-keepers.

    German artist Michael Sailstorfer buried the bars in the sand of Outer Harbour beach in Folkestone, England as part of the Folkestone Triennial, a public art project. The mad dash to uncover the buried treasure will begin this afternoon when the tide goes out, and if you find one of the gold bars, it’s yours.

    But how, some might ask, is giving away free gold a work of art?

    Lewis Biggs, the Triennial curator, told The Guardian that the art piece is about what the lucky few will do with the gold, rather than about the precious metal itself: “Do you take it to the pawnbrokers or do you take it to Sotheby’s? Or do you keep it on the mantlepiece because you think it is going to be worth more later?”

    Claire Doherty, the director of the group who commissioned Sailstorfer’s piece, told The Guardian that the beauty of the project is that it will endure even after all the gold is found, sold or displayed: “A lot of people won’t admit to having found one even if they have. Would you?”


    TIME Laws

    Why It’s Legal for a 9-Year-Old to Fire an Uzi

    Gun Show Held At Pima County Fairgrounds
    People shoot their guns at the Southwest Regional Park shooting range near the Crossroads of the West Gun Show at the Pima County Fairgrounds in Tucson, Ariz. Kevork Djansezian—Getty Images

    Questions after the death of a shooting instructor

    The deadly shooting in which a nine-year-old girl accidentally killed her firing range instructor with an Uzi on Monday is the kind of incident that seems almost inconceivable. How can someone so young be allowed to fire such a high-powered weapon? The answer: Because she was accompanied by an adult.

    “I think you’ll find that state laws provide for those under a certain age, usually 18, to shoot when under adult supervision or instruction,” says Michael Bazinet, a spokesperson for the National Shooting Sports Foundation. “Youth shooting sports are generally extremely safe activities, enjoyed by millions of Americans.”

    Bazinet says he knows of no federal legislation that restricts minors from shooting range activities, leaving it up to the states and the ranges themselves to determine who’s too young to shoot.

    Bullets and Burgers, a shooting range in the Arizona’s Mojave Desert where the incident took place Monday morning, allows children as young as eight to shoot as long as they’re accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. Under Arizona law, minors as young as 14 can shoot at a range without adult supervision.

    The fatal shooting occurred about 10 a.m. Monday morning when Charles Vacca, a 39-year-old firearms instructor, was demonstrating how to fire the gun. The nine-year-old, whose name hasn’t been released but was accompanied by her parents, can be seen taking an initial shot in a video released by authorities. Vacca then appears to switch the gun to automatic. The video shows the gun recoiling as it points toward Vacca, who was shot in the head according to the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office. (That portion is not seen in the video.)

    Vacca was pronounced dead Monday evening.

    Below is the video released by police, and while it does not depict the moment of the shooting, it may still be disturbing to some viewers; caution is advised.

    TIME society

    Portland Plans Tiny Houses for the Homeless

    Homeless in the Pearl
    A person walks by the Right 2 Dream Too homeless camp in Portland, Ore. on Oct. 4, 2013. Don Ryan—AP

    Designed to give residents greater privacy and independence than traditional shelters, the micro homes may persuade people who currently live in Portland's "tent cities" to relocate to the sturdier structures

    With an estimated 2,000 of its residents sleeping under bridges, on streets and in empty lots in a variety of makeshift shelters, the city of Portland, Oregon, is on a quest to provide more safe housing for those without a permanent address. Thinking beyond typical dorm-style shelters, it has launched a task force that will meet September 4th “to assess the viability of using tiny homes as a potential for housing houseless people,” says Josh Alpert, Director of Strategic Initiatives for Mayor Charlie Hales. Alpert hopes the first batch of homes will be ready for occupancy by late February 2015.

    The mayor’s office began looking into the idea of micro homes in June after housing advocate Michael Withey presented an idea to the city council based on designs by architecture firm TechDwell. Alpert says he envisions a pilot program in which up to ten structures are erected on four separate city-owned lots. The idea is to establish the micro communities in various neighborhoods “so that no one area is feeling overburdened,” Alpert adds.


    The tiny houses will be selected through a request-for-proposals process and will hinge on two key factors: cost and the ability to meet city and county building codes. Tim Cornell of TechDwell, who has already met with Alpert to discuss his prototype, says he can deliver micro homes that sleep two people and have bathrooms and kitchens built-in for $20,000 each. His FlexDwell prototype (shown at right) measures 16 feet wide and 12 feet deep and features a sloped ceiling that is 12-ft. high in front. Made of prefab materials available at Home Depot and Lowe’s, it includes two sleeping pods joined by a kitchen, bathroom and eating area. To save space, the bathroom shares a sink with the kitchen. “We could have them built on-site in 45 days” after an order is placed, Cornell says.

    Because the tiny houses offer dwellers more privacy than big shelters, they may appeal to people who are reluctant to give up the sense of independence that comes from living on the street. The micro homes could also be cheaper than temporary emergency shelters, which cost up to $16,000 a year and lack plumbing.

    “If there is a potential to get even one person off the streets, it’s worth trying,” says Alpert. “Simply having a roof over their head may enable them to springboard into finding a job.”

    TIME society

    Hundreds of Strangers at This Starbucks Paid for Each Others’ Coffee for a Day

    Chai tea from Oprah Winfrey is available in hot and cold servings at Starbucks. Chicago Tribune—MCT via Getty Images

    Remember that ho-hum movie with Kevin Spacey, Pay It Forward? Well it sort of happened in real life in Florida

    A Florida woman started what became a chain of goodwill Wednesday. Around 7 a.m. she ordered an iced coffee at a drive-through Starbucks in St. Petersburg and offered to pay for a caramel macchiato for the stranger behind her. He, in turn, paid for the person in the car behind him.

    And so it went.

    378 people participated in the “pay it forward” chain until around 6 p.m., when customer 379 declined to participate in the experiment. The barista, Vu Nguyen, believes the last customer didn’t understand the concept, according to the Associated Press.

    Way to be a downer, Stranger No. 379.


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