Her Ladyship

Notes from the gutter.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Weird science

Earlier on this week, we drove out to Houston for an overnight trip. The Texan grew up outside of there and, oddly enough, my friend RollerDiscoMonkey and he went to the same high school. Small world, eh?

We got to drive all around The Texan's old stomping grounds, which was fun. Plus we met up with RollerDiscoMonkey and her parents, which was really nice, as I hadn't seen her since my trip to Guatemala last Thanksgiving, and her parents in a couple of years. Houston overall is so green. That's a pleasant change of pace from Hill Country, which is a rugged beauty but never could be described as "green."

Feeling the urge for a little culture, we braved the rising waters (Houston was undergoing yet another drenching spout of rain) and went to their Natural History Museum. The Texan and I had a great time playing with all the interactive science exhibits, even if we did have to elbow schoolchildren out of the way once or twice. Being an oil town, the musuem had a big exhibit on energy. One section had a crank where you could race to see how many drops of gasoline your energy would match. It was timed and had a computerized host who would yell, "Faster! Faster!" at you. I guess that was to encourage you, but it made me dissolve into fits of giggles, so I was only able to crank out 3.9 drops of gasoline, while The Texan did a whopping 4.2 drops. Boy, did I never hear the end of that.

They also had the travelling Body World (http://www.bodyworlds.com/index.html) exhibit. I'd read about it while it was in Chicago and was delighted that we'd have the chance to go check it out. Basically, this researcher created a technique called "plastination" that allows you to preserve the human body. So they have all sorts of actual cadavers there on display, which were fascinating. The Texan and I agreed that the best ones were the arterial work. Arteries are pretty!

Anyways, we managed to spend four hours in the Natural History Museum, which for me is something of a record. I usually blow through most museums pretty quickly. For example, I didn't even spend four hours at the Louvre (I was there with Grits. We'd agreed to split up and meet up again in four hours. Three hours in, I decided to call it a day and started working on postcards).

Exhausted, we drove home finally and arrived in the early evening back in beautiful parched SA. The pets' exuberant greeting made it nice to be home.


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