WASHINGTON, D.C. — Among other things I learned during a recent trip to the Smithsonian‘s National Museum of Natural History was that the elephant in the main lobby had a name. He’s Henry!
While the origin of the name is unknown, the details of Henry were published in June 6, 1956 Sports Illustrated – The Biggest Elephant Ever Killed By Man. Big game hunter Josef Fénykövi hunted the elephant on his ranch in Angola and later donated it to the Natural History museum. It took sixteen months for Smithsonian taxidermists to prepare Henry for display (Wash. Examiner). In 1999, it was restored (Scripps Howard Foundation Wire) and given a more realistic exhibit.
By the way, the museum seems to keep a hungry 4½ year old occupied for about an hour which is fine since we’re local. The cafeteria isn’t cheap ($22 for an adult and child) but above average. We mostly went through the dinosaur exhibit and that was fairly enjoyable for the 4½ year old mentioned above. More trips are sure to follow. Archives (yellow/green) and Smithsonian (blue/orange) are the closest Metro stops.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — There is only one week left of the National Building Museum’s LEGO® Architecture: Towering Ambition exhibit. We went the previous weekend.
While the models of the Empire State Building, Sears Tower (what you talking about Willis?), Burj Khalifa and other landmarks are well done, they have a flaw — too many custom pieces. Those Lego models have been so customized that you barely recognize that they are Legos; a problem with Lego in general these days. Also, the entire exhibit isn’t the same scale either which would have added some perspective. It is still interesting, but a bit disappointing.
The highlight of the exhibit is…playing with Legos. The Building Zone has several stations with a few hundred thousand Lego bricks. Kids and adults were building away. That imagination on display was more fun that most of the models. Coming up with a design and assembling it out of the typical 2 x 4 blocks is quite a bit more challenging. I did not have much success with idea — a Washington Nationals curly W, but my wife did a pretty good job.
Now, isn’t that a lot more creative than putting a bunch of custom pieces together?
[flickr : Photos tagged with lego%C2%AEarchitecturetoweringambition/slideshow]
The Lego exhibition runs through Labor Day, September 3. The Building Zone is open until 4 p.m. Adult admission to the NBM is $8, kids $5. My advice — pick a time an hour or two after you arrive for your Lego exhibit entry and see another NBM exhibit first.
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The closest Metro stop to NBM is Judiciary Square (Red Line), but Gallery Place/Chinatown (Red, Yellow, Green Lines) is a short walk away too, so don’t bother switching to the Red Line for one stop. Street parking nearby may be limited if there is an event at Verizon Center.
Pennsylvania’s dialects are as varied as its downtowns — and dahntahns – Patriot-News
The bottom line is few kitchen tables can be as linguistically cluttered as a Pennsylvania table when the family comes to town.
Based solely upon pronunciation and grammar, researchers generally split the United States into a number of linguistic regions. Those regions come together in Pennsylvania — which makes the state kind of a crossroads of the English language.
Thanks in part to immigration patterns and relative geographic isolation, Pennsylvania is home to six — count’em six — distinct English dialects.
My Pennsylvania friends and readers may enjoy the article linked above. It would be fun to learn more about linguistics.
I’m pretty sure the greater DC dialect, if it exists, if the most homogenized in the United States. I think there used to be a distinct dialect for D.C.’s gold coast, but that is probably just about gone.
Oh and its soda, not pop. More on that sometime soon.
BOSTON — I was not that familiar with Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey, but I was informed by the Ombudman’s attorney that it “the” Boston children’s book. Since I have a son, I decided to get it, though I wound up buying it outside of Boston in the Curious George bookstore which is located on the ground floor of CarTalk Plaza.
“Make Way for Ducklings” is about Mr. and Mrs. Mallard looking for a place to raise their family. They choose the pond at the Public Garden, but decide it isn’t safe for newborn ducklings after a close call with a bicyclist. They hatch the ducklings on an island in the Charles River near the Longfellow Bridge. The island isn’t there anymore, if ever was — perhaps a little artistic license by McCloskey. Anyway, after Mr. Mallard ditches the family for some reason for a week, Mrs. Mallard leads the ducklings across Storrow Drive and down to the Public Garden where Mr. Mallard is waiting for them. A policeman helps them along the way. McCloskey’s artwork is quite good and many of the illustrations are accurate today.
The book is celebrated with a sculpture in the Public Garden, not far from the pond and pictured above.
The Calvin and Hobbes Snow Art Gallery (hosted by Anglefire, wow that still exists!) is just the thing needed for a day like today.
Hopefully, people are going to use this as an inspiration after all of this snow.
H/T Eric McErlain on Facebook
Bill Watterson, creator of beloved ‘Calvin and Hobbes’ comic strip looks back with no regret – Plain-Dealer (Cleveland)
There isn’t much insight from the creator of “Calvin & Hobbes” in the Q&A, but I’m posting it anyway. I haven’t read the comics regularly since “Calvin & Hobbes” and “The Far Side” went away. Let me know if anything is in their ballpark for brilliance.
H/T Kevin Reiss
Up until yesterday’s Q&A with We Love DC, I was unaware of 1,001 Rules for My Unborn Son. Written by D.C. resident Walker Lamond, the blog presents rules for a male to grow up and live by with a late 1950s/early 1960s white collar urban sensibility of masculinity and style. There is a lot to like and agree with in 1,001 Rules for My Unborn Son. The site features the rules as well as complementary quotations and photographs. The tagline is “Let’s get some things straight before I get old and uncool.” Rules can also be submitted via email and I have a few in mind.
A book is also coming out today and it will be on my Christmas List this year.
Lemond now has a son too.
Walker Lamond, 1,001 Rules for My Unborn Son, book, dc
COMM Blog, the official blog of the College of Communications at Penn State (my alma mater), informed me that my former ethics professor Russell Frank will a panelist at Baseball Americana on Saturday morning at 10 a.m. at teh Library of Congress
Panel One: At Home
Even those of us who love a day out at the ballgame probably spend more of our baseball time in and around our homes, with our families, friends and neighbors. This panel explores the many ways we enjoy baseball at home, from watching it on TV, to following our favorite players and their all-important statistics, to playing baseball, softball and stickball in parks and city streets.
Moderator: David Taylor, American Folklife Center
Russell Frank, folklorist
Harry Katz, former head curator of LC Prints & Photographs
When I was an undergrad, Dr. Frank and I used to talk about baseball, we’re both Yankees fans, quite a bit. I am hoping to get there tomorrow and see the panel.
I will also note that Dr. Frank has a column again, (this week he talks about his “first” Yankees jersey) now on statecollege.com. I have been meaning to mention that lately. I almost emailed him about the Key Bridge jumper saga as well.
Washington, DC, Library of Congress, Baseball Americana, Russell Frank
NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — I was not happy that “The Awakening” was moved from Hains Point, Washington D.C. to this new resort in Prince George’s County. I don’t blame the developer for buying of course, it was a shrewd move to catch the Park Service napping. I do fault the developer for the new placement though. The sculpture is placed in what can accurately be described as a sandbox. It looks like was just put there in the morning, whereas in the old Hains Point location, it had a sense of place even though it was merely covered by dirt and mulch. It felt like was coming out of the ground in dramatic fashion. Here, it just looks like it was put there without much consideration to its environment.
[flickr : The Awakening set/slideshow]
From 02.19.2008: The Awakening
From 02.14.2008: Awakening moving next week
The Awakening, sculpture, J. Seward Johnson, Maryland, Prince George’s County, National Harbor