Saturday, August 10, 2013

Night At The Museum

Took my new iPhone to the museum last night, as it is open until 8:30 p.m. on Fridays (every other night it closes at 5:30 p.m., don't ask me why).  Got there just in time to do the 6 p.m. "museum highlights" tour with a docent (me and about 25 other people - should have known it would be busy on a summer evening at the height of tourist season!). I hadn't done that tour in a year or two so thought it would be a fun way to get a refresher taste of the museum after being away for a couple of months.  Plus every docent focuses on a few different things, so it's never the same tour twice.

The highlights included the dinosaur in the lobby:

This totem pole from British Columbia, believed to be one of the largest ever made.

This Chinese carriage (one of only a few left on the planet, since the majority were broken up and used for firewood once the motor car arrived.  It seems no one knew they'd be historically important 200 years later!?!)

These Shogun outfits (remind you of anyone in a popular science fiction movie? George Lucas freely admits using Japanese warriors as the inspiration for Darth Vader).

I missed some of the description of these outfits because I was so appalled by the guy beside me leaning on whatever artifact this was, and I was busy trying to sneak a photo!  Geez, dude, show a little respect!

The tour continued with this mummy

but not this one.

Another dinosaur, one of only 6 in the world of this type and the only one with the full horn on its head, the use of which scientists can only speculate about (they think it was used to make loud noises, as it is connected to the dinosaur's airways).  This is actually a copy of the head in the display, the real one is in a lab somewhere within the museum as so many scientists from around the world come and study it.

We ended with a stop at this meteorite

which we all were invited to touch ("probably the oldest thing you'll ever touch in your lifetime", said the docent).  It is possible this meteor (which I think was found in the meteor impact crater in Arizona, but don't quote me until I have a chance to get back to the museum to confirm that statement) may have played a part in killing off the dinosaurs all those many years ago, when dust particles from the impact filled the earth's atmosphere and blocked out the sun, killed off plant life and eliminating the food source for all of the plant-eating varieties of dinosaurs.  When they died, the meat eating dinosaurs didn't have anything to eat any more either and that was that.  But of course, that's just one theory!

Then I had a quick walk around and looked at some other things on my own but by then I was tired of the crowds and ready for a late dinner.  I think I'll wait until the fall to visit again, when Friday nights get quiet again and it's easier to imagine things coming to life at night when all the people are gone, just like they do in the movie "Night at the Museum"!

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