You have a few options. Pet stores sell bitter sprays that keep pets from chewing. You could also try putting hot sauce, vinegar or even liquid soap on the cords. All of these are non-toxic, so they won't hurt your pets.
If you don't want a gross cord, you could run your cords through some PVC tubing. It's relatively cheap and you can slide your cables right into it. Any other industrial tubing that pets can't fit into their mouth should work, as well. For more ways to keep your pets from destroying your gear, check out this must-read tip.
Art is everywhere. There are probably several museums or galleries near you. But you don't even need to go that far.
Cities will gather the community together to create mosaics, statues or commemorate buildings. Interesting public art could be just a short walk away.
What you don't always see when looking at public art is the story behind it. Today's cool site has catalogued thousands of public pieces and the stories behind them.