Monday, April 25, 2016

4/24/16 Afternoon at the Planetarium and HMNS


snapped inside the Plantetarium before the show, "Dark Universe" (and before they announced "no photos"...). The recently upgraded projection cameras are incredible. You really feel as though you are floating. 

these guys are "floating" where the Apatasaurous (aka Brontosaurus in my day) once stood. 

Now, all the dinosaurs are back in their own wing, because HMNS has acquired a staggering number of them.  



  


  

there he is, re-positioned and disappearing into the blackness




The taxidermy section has also moved. And the long worn pieces of fur and pelts you could once pet are all gone. Everyone is now behind glass.


The minerals are still in their same spot! But there are scads more of those acquisitions, too. 

My favorites:

Cavansite, from Maharashtra India

Quartz and Amethyst from southern Brazil 

Elbaite and Quartz from San Diego, CA

Opal from New South Wales, AU

these last two were in process, with no name plates available:



They've also expanded their Ancient Egypt section. 




loved the hawk detail along her shoulder

And for some reason, the feet casing artwork was catching my attention on most of the sarcophagi



  




another shoulder bird of prey

tell me that doesn't look like some bizarre smiley face from this distance





The last thing I insisted on tracking down was my #2 obsession when I was a kid, which were the shrunken heads.  One of them has gone missing, but I found the long haired woman! I remember trying to work out how a skull could get boiled down to that size, never quite having understood the process of the ability to remove the skull and retain the skin and hair worked. Of course, our lady is very likely not authentic to the only Amazonian tribe who engaged in the practice as religious ritual:

 . . . encouraged by this trade, people in Colombia and Panama unconnected to the Jívaros began to make counterfeit tsantsas. They used corpses from morgues, or the heads of monkeys or sloths. Some even used goatskin. Kate Duncan wrote in 2001 that "It has been estimated that about 80 percent of the tsantsas in private and museum hands are fraudulent," including almost all that are female . . .



looking down at Foucalt's Pendulum in the later afternoon, with well over three quarters of the pegs toppled for the day.

And, one of only four in the world, and the only one commissioned from scratch, was the chronophage:



there's the four of us reflected in the pendulum

Every hour, she stretches her titanium body, her glass eyes light up, and she warbles the Westminster Chimes, voiced by Scottish Opera singer Kate Valentine. From outer to inner, the rings light up to count seconds, minutes, and hours. 

As you can see by the lights, we came across her at 3:12, and had missed her singing at the top of the hour.


video

right next to the parking garage elevator is this beauty. I loved that the reflection made it appear like a path was disappearing inside the rock.


We were glad to have parked in the garage, as it was pouring while we exited. 

Back in Pearland, from Steph's backyard: 



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