Thursday, August 11, 2011

Alex on the Natural History Museum

On Tuesday, we went to the natural history museum. There were more people in the line up than we expected. Duncan decided to leave the line to go back to an icecream shop while we waited. He finally came back, disappointed. It seemed they neglected him, assuming he was with some other parent, and they never asked him what he wanted. He eventually came back and found us in the line, after butting in front of tons of people to catch up with us.

Once we got inside, we took a look at a bunch of dinosaur bone castings. There were some pretty big reptiles! Some of them were from Alberta, which was pretty funny. We also checked out the Mammals exhibit. There were some massive whales, plus rhinos, hippos, bison etc. We saw this one small deer that had little fangs coming out of the side of its face, like some vampire deer.

We also checked out the action in the Theatre. There was an event called "The Great Rock Recycling Machine." It was on rocks and the birth (and rebirth) of the earth. The funny part is that it was all the things I studied in grade 7 science (except in english instead of french). It was all about rocks and volcanos and eruptions and subduction zones and stuff like that. It was pretty entertaining. For example, they had these big styrofoam cut-outs of the different plates: Pacific Plate, Northamerican Plate, Eurasian Plate and so on. They passed the ‘plates’ out into the audience. We were supposed to be the magma, with the plates floating above us (moving around on the magma). We were supposed to hold them over our heads in the audience. Then we were supposed to pass them around the auditorium like you would pass someone over your head at a concert, so that all the plates were in the right spot, while they filmed with a cameral and projected it up front so we could see. We were not quite successful (like the pacific plate was where the north pole should be), but it was pretty funny. They also forgot to give us the Juan de Fuca Plate, which sucks because that is the one we live on in Victoria, but still, it was pretty cool.

They also set off an eruption in a big volcano they had made, using vinegar and baking soda. It was like the summer where Naomi did that for her birthday, but with a volcano that was a couple of feet tall. They said it was a gentle eruption, and showed us a film of them demonstrating a more violent eruption earlier in the day, using coke and 'a secret ingredient' (Mentos, of course!). They had to do it outside because of the mess. It was pretty impressive.


  1. Hi Alex,

    Thanks for the post, and especially for the idea that the ocean is a great rock recycling machine. You have to be around for a long time to get that concept by watching it happen. So nice to have a wonderful museum where time-lapse occurs. Too bad about the ice-cream cone for Duncan. No one will have trouble knowing when you want to purchase one, as you look more like an adult. He should have taken you along for support.

  2. Alex, when you were talking about the sizes of the fossils, and mentioned that there are even some of whales, I was wondering if there was one big enough to have eaten a man ... like Jonah, and then to have regurgitated him. First of all have you read about that story in the Crumb book, or is it even there at all. I don't know if Jonah was really in the belly of the whale for three days, or if he was just there for 3 minutes but it felt like three days. Anyway ... couldn't help checking with you on the size of the whales for you have seen ones from the past that might have done the job for God -- that of scaring Jonah into submission.

  3. I always liked the gigantic tree fossil in the front hall of the museum on the second floor. The museum has marked the rings in the tree and it dates back to a ridiculously old date like 900 AD. I was stuck in the rock and crystal room for 2 hours. Love the shiny things!


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