Saturday, April 12, 2014

Bones at the Electric Meeting

Yesterday I went with my parents, sister, and sister's fiancé to the Natural History Museum. This was for my birthday (I'm 35 now). The main attraction was an exhibition of the wreckage of a pirate ship called The Whydah, originally a slave ship. The exhibition was on two floors of the museum, beginning at the second floor with a video about the pirates who crewed her and several placards about slavery and piracy along with some mannequins lit by coloured light. They had recorded dialogue and the whole thing felt like an imitation of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland. Which is a ride I love but my affection is more for the 1950s era fantasy and the uncanny valley eeriness of the animatronics than for anything like a faithful recreation of history.

There was more of the same on the bottom floor but with thankfully some actual artefacts including some decayed muskets and a pile of eroded coins.

No photographs were allowed in the pirate exhibit but I took plenty of pictures of the fossils and casts of fossils that reside in the museum all year with no fanfare. It made for an unexpectedly natural progression of my day from learning about euprimates and early apes in my physical anthropology class. My day evolved.

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