I became insane with long intervals of horrible sanity.
Edgar Allen Poe

The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.
- H. L. Mencken

Many people would sooner die than think; In fact, they do so
-Bertrand Russell

What I have been telling you, from alpha to omega, what is the one great thing the sigil taught me — that everything in life is miraculous. For the sigil taught me that it rests within the power of each of us to awaken at will from a dragging nightmare of life made up of unimportant tasks and tedious useless little habits, to see life as it really is, and to rejoice in its exquisite wonderfulness. If the sigil were proved to be the top of a tomato-can, it would not alter that big fact, nor my fixed faith. No Harrowby, the common names we call things by do not matter — except to show how very dull we are ...
-James Branch Cabell

July 19, 2012 - 1:07 p.m.

A Day a the Museum

It's my birthday can I use that as an excuse for getting a slow start to my day? I'll give myself a birthday present and say "yes."

As I am starting late I of course have a lot to write about. I actually did stuff yesterday. The temperature yesterday was 100 Billion Kelvins (if you don't know what a Kelvin is look it up), approximately the same as the core of a supernova, but a supernova is dry heat and Brooklyn is humid. I only have AC in my bedroom so I went out in search of something to do indoors in a place that has it. I finally did what I always want to do but are usually too lazy for. I went to the American Museum of Natural History I gave myself a birthday present and became a member. That meant not having to wait online to get in. Yes there were lines. The museum was packed. Apparently everyone had the same idea that I did. When I was a kid the museum wasn't air conditioned. You had to be a true fan to go there in the summer. I did.

I love the museum. I's one of my homes away from home. I haven't been there in over a year and that's too long. If you asked me if I wanted to go with you tomorrow, I'd say yes. I was there almost four hours and saw less than half the museum. I soak it in. With my membership I get four of the things you pay extra for, for free. I used one of them to see the IMAX film on Pterosaurs. That was my first stop. It was close to show time when I got in so did not sit in the perfect seat, I was a bit too close but not much and I was dead center. That's the important thing.

Normally I start my trip to the museum on the top floor and work my way down. Yesterday I did the first floor first because I started with the film. After that I went to the Hall of Human Evolution. They've added new exhibits to it since I was last there. There are too many bells and whistles and not enough real fossils but overall the Hall is great. It simultaneously educates and entertains. It's something anyone that wants to consider him or herself informed should see.

I then moved on to parts of the museum that have been favorites since I was a kid, the hall of meteorites then gems and minerals. I ended up not going to the entire gems and minerals collection because I saw that if I did I might not get to see the dinosaurs. So my next stop was of course the fourth floor to see them.

When they changed the arrangement of the dinosaur exhibits to follow cladistics instead of geologic era I was unhappy about. Cladistics is a method of classifying species in a way that reflects evolutionary history. It is somewhat controversial. I wanted the old exhibit where you see the Allosaurus skeleton attacking the stegosaurus. But now with time I think the new approach is better because it focuses on evolution, the grand organizing principle of biology. You get to see how each line of dinosaur changed with time. It promotes evolution without saying a word. You can see it with your own eyes.

It brings on visions of one of the most fascinating facts. Man walked out of Africa and continued to walk till we reached the ends of the earth. As soon as a path opened to the new world we walked there. Wanderlust is a huge part of our history and our present. We want to go to the depths of the ocean, to the tops of the highest mountains, and into space.

The one criticism that I still hold is that there is no place to get a great view of the Apatosaurus. You are always too close to it. You can only see it head or tail on from a distance. But that's balanced by the fact that you can now get a view of it from its shoulder height.

I spent the rest of my time on the fourth floor and didn't get to see much of that. I just raced through the mammals sections. I did get a photo of the ancestor of Perry the Platypus.

As you can tell I like dinosaurs. I bet you do too. In fact I'm going to use confidently use we instead of I when talking about feelings about them.

We love dinosaurs, especially kids. What kid can look at Apatosaurus and not have his or her eyes wide open? We never get over that. We feel that we've been somehow cheated that they died out before there were people. They are big, they are strange, and we want to see them in the flesh. A world with dinosaurs is a better world. We don't want to be in a room with T-Rex but we want them somewhere roaming free and fighting Tricerotops. We went giant lizards flying in the air. We want real life sea monsters, the plesiosaurs. I want to live on the fourth floor of the museum.

Right before I left home I decided that I wanted to have dinner with Carey and Barbara and gave Carey a call. I wanted to eat at the Popover Caf which isn't far from the museum and close to where Barbara lives. That worked out great. He said he could make it there by six which is just when I could if I stayed to the museum closed. I only had to wait a few minutes for them to show up. I had one of my favorite restaurant meals, their kobe beef burger with bacon and cheese served IN not on, a popover. It is heavenly. They also have the best roasted potatoes, even better than my own!

Most importantly I hung out with Carey. I haven't done that in ages. My anxiety issues stopped me from calling him. I'm glad that's over.

After dinner I went to Trader Joe's to get eggs and a few other things I needed. This morning I realized that I forgot to get the eggs. You know why? I'm an idiot.

I went from being afraid that nobody would celebrate my birthday with me to celebrating with friends three days in a row. Well that will help make up for all the years I did spend my birthday alone.

Now I'm going to make myself a pancake breakfast.

Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
Late to Bed and Late to Rise - September 30, 2017
On Your Feet or On Your Knees - September 29, 2017
Why Life Doesn't End on Closing Day - September 28, 2017
Anna and King of I Am - September 27, 2017

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Horvendile July 19, 2012
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