jeweled platypus


saturday, january 05, 2008
Peruvian art and some tentacles

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”:

a side view

a close-up of the three earspools

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:

it says 'do not want' and is labeled 'ceramic bottle modeled in form of a standing feline, decorated with resist-painted motif, gallinaro style, peru'


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sunday, august 26, 2007
The scientific odd is another market niche

Paxton Gate is next to the pirate store at 826 Valencia, and it sells supplies for your garden and your cabinet of curiosities. So it has a lot of things I like:

two little bonsai trees, with price tags

a mirror picture of me wearing a shirt with a snake skeleton on it

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.

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saturday, august 26, 2006
Real frogs and turtles for a day

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.

pretty poison

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.

cute and wrinkly

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.

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I’m Britta Gustafson.

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