Showing posts from September, 2011

A Day at the Museum

I took advantage of a short trip to New York to visit the American Museum of Natural History. Now, before you yawn, this is the same museum that was featured in the comedy film Night at the Museum, starring Ben Stiller, a few years back. He is hired as the night watchman, not knowing that, due to a spell, all of the animals, statues, and dioramas come alive at night. “Where history comes alive” is the tagline of the movie.

Luckily, I was in the company of an astrophysicist and a meteorologist, so I was looking forward to an enlightening visit. We entered the loggia where an introductory inscription quoting Theodore Roosevelt is displayed and then proceeded to the Asian mammals hall. The astrophysicist said he lived too much with dioramas and requested that we go immediately to the Ross Hall of Meteorites in the basement. Arriving at the first floor, we walked through the Spitzer Hall of Human Origins, with its skulls and jawbones, to the meteorites.

I marveled at the meteorites and …
New York City, you rejuvenate me so much. I am in your thrall. I watched with awe your joie de vivre that buoyed you up when September 11 hit so hard. This past weekend, I visited Faces at Ground Zero, Aftermath, the Crown of the Statue of Liberty, the subway bowels, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Tornado Alley, the Birth of the Galaxy, and the Big Bang. The shared theme in all these performances was to search for, struggle for, nurture, celebrate, and honor Life. Everything is living, be it half primate and half humanoid, a gemstone, a crystal, a bacteria, a galaxy, or a tornado.

19th Century Writers and Today's: Parallels

Please have a look at my newly created pages on turn-of-the-century writers if you are interested in authors such as Stevenson, Wilde, and Doyle. Owen Wister will be discussed as well, and you are welcome to bring up others. I'm suddenly interested in fin de siecle writings because I can see many parallels between the late nineteenth century and now. Late Victorian writers were often labeled "decadent" because, I suppose, they questioned the strict morals of the time and called for more natural relations, sometimes veering into the hedonistic. Another influence was the growth of science which presented ethical questions, just as it does today. I will compare works of the late 1800s to 21st century writings and movies, such as Duncan Jones's Moon and Source Code.