July 12th, 2010

get critical

Poem for Monday and Ancient History

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We went downtown again on Sunday, this time to the National Geographic Explorers Hall and the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History. The wonderful Da Vinci: The Genius exhibit that I saw twice in Baltimore is at National Geographic, this time for free, and they're showing the Mark Rylance movie in a real theater -- plus they permit photos! We took my parents since they hadn't seen the exhibit in Baltimore. The long, illustrated timeline that opened the exhibit there is absent now, and not all the working machines that people get to touch are on display, plus they don't have large-size prints of the Mona Lisa using different photographic techniques, but it was less crowded so I didn't mind the omissions.

By contrast, Natural History was absolutely mobbed. It's near the end of the exhibit of the Hope Diamond outside of its familiar setting, and the mob at Gems and Minerals was so bad that I didn't even try to get close. Oddly, the new display on human evolution wasn't nearly as crowded, so we got to see the big wall of skull casts from a variety of evolutionary offshoots, the most complete set of bones from a Neanderthal skeleton in the world, the nearly intact French-owned Neanderthal and Cro-Magnon skulls, and the game room in which visitors get to play leader of a country and make decisions about how best to develop the public health, economics, social values, and environment (I had clean air and water and very healthy people, but the economy tanked and I was deposed, heh).

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We had dinner with my parents, then finished out the weekend with Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End. My love for that movie only grows every time I see it. I am wary of the impending fourth film because these movies are about Elizabeth Swann for me, and I'm not sure I really want to see a POTC movie she isn't in, with or without Penelope Cruz.