Friday, December 6, 2013

Natural History Museum

Sebby is SO HAPPY about this huge quartz crystal!

We went to the Natural History museum especially for their "special exhibit" on Natural Disasters, since we were about to start our Natural Disasters Unit. I'll try not to dwell with too much bitterness on the fact that the museum closed a half-hour before I thought they closed, so we got kicked out of the exhibit just as we were starting it by a zealous docent (although, as I pointed out to her, there were still 5 minutes left---"But we need everyone OUT by closing time," she replied implacably). As I said to Sam later, I've been kicked out of museums at closing time all over the world, so you think I'd be used to it by now, but I still get annoyed by that smug, not-my-problem attitude the docents always show as they sweep you toward the exit. It WAS my own fault for mis-remembering the closing time, as I thought I'd allotted plenty of time for the last exhibit. Still . . . what if a restaurant served you a lovely meal, then whisked it away mid-bite as the clock struck closing time? It was maddening.

Luckily (or not, I guess), the natural disasters exhibit wasn't that great anyway, as we saw while we were herded madly along through it to the exit. It was only a couple rooms, and had just a few rather basic "interactive" areas ("Feel this pumice!" "This slinky makes P-waves!") along with the usual tired Climate Change canards. So, no great loss.

The rest of the museum, which I had wisely (ahem) allotted most of our afternoon to, was great. We especially loved the minerals section, which had a great variety of specimens, many from Utah.
Erosion Table, always fun

Daisy making waves on the seismometer

Earthquake simulator (this "building" has cross-bracing and a tuned-mass damper on top to help stabilize it)

Beautiful topaz! We wish we'd found this!

Outside the museum

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