Wednesday, February 07, 2007
Butterflies & Bones & Barfi
Anyone will tell you that a day begun with Columbian pastries must end with Indian sweets. That, says our friend Arvid, is Queens! We've been staying the past few days with Arvid -- whose comic book series Rex Mundi has recently been optioned by Johnny Depp -- and his girlfriend Robyn -- who ran for city council in NY last year for the Green Party (and who can rock out on the fake guitar). Two wacky fun smart kids.
We went to the Museum of Natural History yesterday with Arvid and it is AWESOME, from the first glimpse of the dinosaurs and murals in the lobby, to the huge blue whale, to the tiniest tree shrew, and everything in between. It's a place that unhinges your jaw and makes you gulp with wonder at this magnificent planet that we are destroying as fast as we can. We didn't begin to see everything, but some highlights were the Butterfly Pavilion, with 500-600 fluttering gems whizzing by your head; the Hall of Biodiversity that juxtaposes species of everything against each other in a dazzling display of Wow! This planet is SO COOL! Then there were the minerals, which I never really thought were that interesting before but they ARE. And there's Ahnighito, found in Greenland: the biggest meteorite in any museum in the world. It's not that big, but it's 34 tons of solid iron, which is so heavy the support beams go down all the way into the bedrock of Manhattan. (Interesting to note, however, if it was made of gold, it would be twice as heavy. Did you know gold is twice as heavy as lead? I did not.
Other cool (and sad) facts about gold:
- Only 5 out of a billion atoms of rock in the earth's crust are gold.
- the total amount of gold ever mined in all of human history would fill only 60 tractor trailers. Can you believe that?
And here's something to blow your mind:
- The leading theory of the origin of the moon is that it was created by a glancing collision between the young Earth and an object the size of Mars. WOW! Something the side of Mars hit Earth!
Last time Jim and I came to NY we went to the Met, which was cool, but this was cooler and more memorable. I don't think we'll have time on this trip to see any more museums, but this was a perfect choice. After, we came back to Queens and had Indian food for dinner, and then went to a little Indian sweet shop for "barfi." I have no idea what food substance this was made of, but it was very interesting, in a good way.
And today we are shifting ourselves and our luggage over the Manhattan, going to the Penguin offices, and who knows what else. Have a fabulous day, all!
Posted by Laini Taylor at 7:43 PM