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Lockdown 12 – A Cultural Visit

Today the whole family went to the US of A. I decided a bit of culture might be good for our well being so we took a trip to the Smithsonian Natural History Museum. There was no one there on the virtual tour, so we felt safe.

First things first, with any Natural History Museum, where’s the blinkin’ T-Rex. I found one munching on a Stegosaurus’s head just off the main foyer. It took me a long time as a child to grow into my head, but the T-Rex, especially as a skeleton, never has. In my mind, being the world leading authority in nothing, there is no way that massive head was supportable by the rest of the frame. Please sort that out Smithsonian.

What the skeleton should look like

Note: sometimes these virtual tours can distort the view at some angles and on second inspection I think that’s what’s happened. But I’ve written it now, so let’s move on. T-Rex, you big head.

After a look round the rest of the dinosaurs and we’d moved into a room filled with pots and wicker, I sense we should move on, so we nipped over to the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC and learned about Degas and Raphael. I never realised how obsessed with the Opera Dega was. The virtual tour is really good, with audio, video and text. As with real museums, we skimmed most of it.

If you can’t be bothered to click below, then I’ve provided a sketch that captures the essence of Degas life long struggle to seize the essentiality of ballet.

Sorry Dega

The kids liked Dega but weren’t too keen on the Raphael sketches, I gathered this from this revealing sentence: ‘Dad, these drawings are crap.’

I was thinking the Guggenheim in New York next, but realised I was losing my audience so you’ll have to have a look at that yourselves

‘Do you want to go to Mars?’ I said in the most upbeat voice I could muster after 12 days in the house.

‘Yes’ they said, not quite as enthusiastically as I’d hoped.

So we found ourselves at NASA, roaming the surface of Mars and flying around the Moon on the Apollo 13. We watched people do clever things in the Space Station and gasped at the top 17 images of the Earth from space

Then a made them all watch Carl Sagan at his very best, with one of the greatest speeches ever. And the first city on Mars should definitely be called Sagan.

In my mind they were deeply moved and spiritually enriched by their hour of culture. They disguised it well and bunged Netflix on for the rest of the day.

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