Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Museums are a trip !

     Last Saturday I went on a little foray to The Denver Museum of Nature and Science as a little break from my usual of working on a day that everyone else on this planet takes off. It was well worth the trip. It has been so long since the last time I visited- probably to see a show at IMAX. This complex encompasses IMAX and our Gates Planetarium, also, so it's always worth it to go! I spent the entire time in the gift shop which is often as fascinating as the museum itself because there are many interactive displays along with gifts and specimens you can buy. I found lots of stuff without breaking the bank, too!
     As a child I remember that, among much smaller dinosaur fossils, this huge T-Rex fossil which dominates the big room and reaches all the way to the ceiling. Even as an adult it can make you feel so small and insignificant. Most of the fossils exhibited were found in Colorado which is one of the most fossil-rich areas in the world. They have thousands of fossils dating back at least as far as 500 million years, according to their claim. Even if I don't believe they're that old it's still an awesome sight to see these bones put together to form the skeletal remains of an animal I'll never actually see. Most of the important part of the collection, Prehistoric Journey, is on Level 3 and the exhibition is well tagged along with explanations of how Earth evolved. What does it matter how long I think it took as compared with their time line which is more years than I believe the earth has even existed ? It's all there and worth contemplating. There is an adjacent lab where you can watch researchers at work- cleaning and preparing fossils for study and to place on exhibit.
     Even though castles are not and never were a living, breathing entity I feel the same way about these edifices as people feel about paleontology and all its variables. There are many aspects of these fabulous monsters that we may never know. In the case of castles, it is how mere men were capable of moving and placing stones without any of the equipment we use today in the form of earth movers, cranes, tractors, mobile shovel loaders, scraper loaders or by making use of straight-line link mechanisms in the case of siege engines. Obviously they are every bit as fascinating if you take the time to really study them in the proper context.  
     Most medieval castles today are museums and are a way of tracing more than human life. Forming and reforming our current mode of existence, castles are a real study in the survival of the human species. I will be writing more on this subject in an upcoming entry on my Live Space blog in August, so keep checking in @ http://castlelady.spaces.live.com to find out more than maybe you ever wanted to know about castles. As for myself...
love castles, The Castle Lady !

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