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This is not normal for the Museum of English Rural Life twitter account. But the exchange is just the latest internet sensation to come out of MERL's account. The Museum of English Rural Life/University of Reading It accompanied a black and white photo of an Exmoor Horn aged ram found in the archives of the museum, located on the University of Reading’s London Road … In a most unlikely internet pairing, a British museum and Elon Musk, the billionaire founder of electric car giant Tesla, have caused a viral sensation on social media. But the more unusual pictures and paintings from the museum were seen as having incredible potential for internet stardom by museum staff member Adam Koszary. All it takes is some wit, control over an obscure museum’s social-media feed, and a picture of a really, really big ram. The museum is run by the University of Reading, growing out of the university's long academic connections with agriculture. — The Museum of English Rural Life (@TheMERL) May 9, 2018 . The Museum of Rural English Life was established in 1951 and is dedicated to collecting artworks that represent the lifestyle and culture of rural England. The MERL has shown how social media can be used to promote distinctly un-digital interests - and ignite a new interest in history among the even the most online internet users. “We've always had a collection of livestock portraiture at the MERL (often referred to fondly as fat cow paintings),” Koszary, programme manager and digital lead for the museum, explained last year. F. Thorne’s 400-ewe flock, not of hisown breeding but bought from a nephew at aSociety Show & Sale last year for some90gs. The Museum of English Rural Life is intentionally calming, if not boring — the opposite of Britain’s embarrassing political situation. We’ve been doing some archive detective work on our absolute unit. The tone and language we used in the wake of our absolute unit tweet was … Add View. Koszary was previously earning £24,000 a year at Reading's Museum of English Rural Life. Check out this absolute unit. — The Museum of English Rural Life (@TheMERL) April 9, 2018 And to acknowledge the "absolute unit" that landed them the attention of the internet in … look at this absolute unit. The MERL didn’t stop at just sharing the picture and changing its Twitter display name; it went into the whole history of this particular unit. He later changed his profile picture to the stocky ram prompting MERL to join the fun and change its profile image to Elon Musk. “Our galleries are a mud-free zone,” proclaimed the sign at the entrance of the The Museum of English Rural Life. Our tweet from the Museum of Rural English Life account was a simple enough command. This was one from Mr.G. Whether on your own or with friends and family, discover our new immersive galleries, research our collections, refresh in our café and relax in our garden.. We are a part of the University of Reading and work with Reading Museum as the Arts Council England-funded Museums Partnership Reading. MERL's account was quick to respond to Musk's sudden interest, changing its name to The Muskeum of Elongish Rural Life. As programme manager and digital lead for Museums Partnership Reading, he catapulted the Museum of English Rural Life (The MERL) to viral fame with a photograph of a sheep dubbed “absolute unit”. This ‘my parents at age’ meme roasts modern adult life, Oregon nurse placed on leave after posting anti-mask TikTok, In Instagram video, Laverne Cox details transphobic attack in park, The Museum of English Rural Life/University of Reading, #LuckyWeHaveTheEntireRunOfTheFarmerAndStockbreederJournalBecauseWeAreTheMuseumOfEnglishRuralLife. The Museum of English Rural Life said in it's annual report that the 'absolute unit' tweet lead to its social media accounts getting 34,000 new followers in one month. Tesla hires Reading museum social media manager behind 'absolute unit… Koszary says the museum intends to keep that tone consistent moving forward, though he is cautious to ensure it is always in service of drawing users back into the museum or a broader discussion of rural life in England. The post became a sensation - spawning news stories and copycats across the internet. So many they need their own key, and there is one called ‘Black Welsh Mountain’. pic.twitter.com/LzcQ4x0q38. The MERL has built a bit of a reputation for themselves on Twitter — last year the account started a war with other local museums to see who had the best duck photograph. Other internet hijinks have included adopting a bat found by museum staff, issuing it a library card and naming him MERLin. On Thursday, the 47-year-old South African changed his Twitter profile picture to a snap of an Exmoor Horn Ram that became a viral hit last year after the Museum of English Rural Life featured it in a tweet calling the sheep 'an absolute unit.' Who is Grand Admiral Thrawn and how does he tie into ‘The Mandalorian’? (“Absolute unit” is, itself, a meme, based on a picture of a huge guy.) ... ‘Please Keep One Absolute Unit Apart’ tea towel. Last year the image became an internet hit after the Museum of … @TheMERL/Twitter, Turns out the Museum of English Rural Life is even more fun than it sounds. The account has since adopted a witty, wry, internet culture-savvy persona. The tweet sent from The MERL account that went viral. David Britton is a writer and comedian based in Rhinebeck, New York who focuses on internet culture, memes, and viral news stories. (We found our boi on this tasteful salmon pink card) pic.twitter.com/DMj64LET9b, — The Museum of English Rural Life (@TheMERL) April 10, 2018, We also dug out the original print of the photograph, and the information on the back pointed us in the direction of 22 May 1962 in the Farmer and Stockbreeder journal.. pic.twitter.com/1s6xq55giI. look at this absolute unit. “People love an absolute unit, and are in awe at the size of this lad.”. The Museum of English Rural Life doesn’t immediately conjure up images of a digital world. The museum even has a guide to drawing your own units, if you are so inclined. The collection holds around 25,000 artefacts which record England's rural life since 1750. The sudden interest of Musk, who is known for his love of internet culture and memes, may be something of a swansong for Koszary's rein at MERL. The original tweet now has almost 27,000 retweets and almost 100,000 likes. Turns out the English countryside is full of “absolute units,” and if you want to know why you can read this article the MERL put out in response to their viral tweet. Add View. Many of the visitors are Americans who credit their visits to following the museum on social media. The collections held by The Museum of English Rural Life have become famous across the world. Jessica Furseth May—09—2019 12:00PM EST. The Museum of English Rural Lifewebsite states that the museum “uses its diverse collections to explore how the skills and experiences of rural people, past and present, help shape our lives.”. The museum even changed its Twitter display name, no doubt temporarily, to the Museum of English Rural Units, showing total commitment to the joke. “People look at us as this nice quaint place but with this dark edge. Someone over there decided to tweet out a picture of this rather impressive-looking sheep and label him an “absolute unit.”, look at this absolute unit. He would have been looking for a chosen few male lambs to raise into breeding rams. “There is one thing we've definitely learned at the end of this though,” Koszary signed off on his blog last year. It was then selected by an Exmoor Horn expert (the uncle of the original breeder), George Thorne. Elon Musk is a sheep, channeling Museum of English Rural Life's 'absolute unit' - CNET A Musk in sheep's clothing. “The style and tone were set when we first tweeted the absolute unit," he says. To date, the post from what would otherwise be a sleepy museum, has 31,000 retweets and 112,000 likes on social media. Koszary said in the wake of its first success “we of course plan on milking this meme for as long as we can”, but it has since followed it with other bizarre trends. The Museum of English Rural Life is one of the best things to do in Reading. The picture in question was from a bizarre, self-aware social media account for MERL. The ram picture went viral last April, gaining more than 100,000 likes and earning the museum, part of the University of Reading, a place in the pantheon of online shenanigans. First off, we have shelves of units. A Musk in sheep's clothing. The 28-year-old posted a picture of a huge sheep from the 1960s, dubbing it an "absolute unit… — The Museum of English Rural Life (@TheMERL) April 10, 2018 Turns out the English countryside is full of “absolute units,” and if you want to know why you can read this article the … “And it doesn't take a social media genius to recognise they have social media potential.”. Musk changed his Twitter avatar on Wednesday after responding to an MIT tweet evoking the ‘absolute unit’ tweet by the Museum of English Rural Life tweet last year. ... look at this absolute unit. Keen followers on digital culture may recognise it as the “absolute unit” made famous by the Museum of English Rural Life, from whose collection it comes, in a tweet last year. It started out with this tweet about British hotelier David Morgan-Hewitt seen here with Queen Elizabeth. The Museum of English Rural Life is already internet-famous because of its animal tweets.The thicc ram has nothing on a live bat, however. Merchandise ‘The Absolute Unit’ mug and coaster – blue. £3.00. On 9 April 2019 The Museum of English Rural Life tweeted a photo of a large ram, and nothing was ever quite the same again. “Universe is big, but rendering complexity is not,” Musk said to his 25 million followers, followed by his new picture, “but I'm just a simple sheep/ram.”, Switched souls with The Museum of English Rural Lofe https://t.co/X41ZWc9sip. We rely on advertising to help fund our award-winning journalism. He is due to join the Royal Academy this summer to run the London gallery's social media accounts. The ‘absolute unit’ ram from the Museum of English Rural Life (The Museum of English Rural Life, University of Reading) By Alistair Mason, Press Association April 17 2019 10:17 PM Expand Close What an absolute unit. He also writes for the Hard Times and is the creator of StoriesAboutWizards.com. These have included calling on the museums of the world to “give us your best duck” - leading to a stream of duck posts from around the world in reply. It has also translated to real-world success for the museum, which increased its footfall in 2018 by 47pc. First settled in the 1850s, Ballard grew quickly through the last half of the 19th century. This particular ram was born into a pedigree flock. 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In that sense we are in that same vein as Python and the rest.”, Koszary tells The Telegraph he “fell into social media” after ending up running the museum's account. This absolute unit helped me forget about Brexit. On Thursday, Musk changed his Twitter picture to an image of a huge black and white ram. Museum of English Rural Life Tweet On April 9th, 2018, The Museum of English Rural Life Twitter feed posted a photograph of a ram along with the caption "Look at this absolute unit" (shown below). In other words, it was the full package or, as our social media folks put it so eloquently, ‘an absolute unit’. It was founded to document the changes to the English countryside after WWII. Social media expert who propelled The Museum of English Rural Life to global fame is snapped up by Tesla. https://twitter.com/mrreptoid/status/941086402787397632, But now the term can refer to anything from a large train…, In awe at the size of this lad, absolute unit pic.twitter.com/pZmiY73LXa, — Sir Fowler (on a kinda hiatus) (@Sir_Fowler) April 11, 2018, I am in awe at the size of this lad. Adam Koszary, who runs social media for the Museum of Rural English Life, tweeted that he will join Tesla in July. This unit in particular was an Exmoor Horn aged ram, owned by G.F. Thorne, The Barton, Simonsbath, Minehead, Somerset. The account's humour has struck a chord with Twitter users, that Black Country-raised Koszary puts down to a Monty Python-esque style. Ram was born into a pedigree flock news stories and copycats across the world Museum,... Out more, the Telegraph values your comments but kindly requests all posts are on topic, and... 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