saturday, january 05, 2008
A few days ago, my friend and I were wandering around the American Museum of Natural History when I spied a reproduction of the tomb of the Lord of Sipán, the place where archaeologists dug up the pre-Columbian earspool I call the “jeweled platypus”:
I learned and wrote a lot about the jeweled platypus last June, so this exhibit was cool to see. Some of the other nice things I saw at the museum:
sunday, august 26, 2007
- Bonsai trees, tiny succulents, fertilizer for carnivorous plants, buckets of polished glass gravel (like Vetrazzo for the ground), and a garden in the back.
- Ceramic tea cups with pretty glazes and jars of loose-leaf tea, with a little kettle and sampling cups in a corner — reminding me of the tea room at the Museum of Jurassic Technology.
- Taxidermied mice and bigger mammals, the skeletons of various creatures, and arrays of preserved beetles and butterflies.
- Trilobite fossils, sand hit by lightning (see also), railroad date nails, ammonite fossils, odd dried pods, fossilized poop, etc.
- Books about zoomorphic architecture and photography as remembrance, along with the requisite Haeckel collection.
- Shirts with snake skeletons.
The only problem with seeing a bunch of my aesthetic interests in one place is re-encountering the fact that I’m not terribly special, but I like that kind of problem. It is nice to belong to a city.
saturday, august 26, 2006
I went to the Academy of Sciences today because I like natural history museums. This one is much more kid-friendly than the Santa Barbara one, making it somewhat less Britta-friendly, but I liked it anyway. There were lots of interesting little creatures on display.
My favorite animals are the ones I remember from playing Amazon Trail II. I somehow learned a lot from that game, both while “exploring the rainforest” and “fishing” — I’m sure I could still identify pixelly macaws, termites, coral snakes, howler monkeys, taro root, etc. I learned the silhouettes of dozens of small and giant fishes as I caught them for my food. And now, I like this frog not only because it looks awesome, but because it was part of a mini-game inside an old CD-ROM I played until it got too scratched to work.
I like turtles because they’re easy to make out of clay. But looking at real ones makes me realize that my little handmade ones are very stylized, and quite lame compared to these guys. This long-necked one was amazingly cute, as was the pancake turtle next door. My picture doesn’t capture its sweet wrinkles and joints and hands, or how it darts around with this head inches away from its body, poking in and out of leaves and gravel.