Thursday, December 30, 2010

Geckos, Music, and Photos, Oh My!

Today we went to the National Geographic Museum, which had four terrific exhibits in one location.
  • The main thing we went to see was the Gecko exhibit, where they have around 20 different varieties of live geckos on display.  Not only was it fun to see so many different types of geckos (which I didn't realize lived in so many different countries and environments), it was fascinating what scientists are learning about geckos, particularly about the unique way they attach themselves to trees or vertical surfaces.
  • They were also showing an exhibit called "Wild Music," which explores sounds in natural and different human cultural envrionments and how they influence, contribute to, inspire, or can even be considered music.  It was a wonderful blend of nature and high technology about an artisitic subject (one of the panels discussed the wide difference in opinion about what even should be considered music).  This exhibit had actually already been displayed at our local science museum, the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences (one of the developers of the exhibit was the Music Research department of the University of North Carolina in Greensboro), but it was several years ago.  We enjoyed it a lot then, but enjoyed revisiting it today, especially since my son is now several years older and could appreciate things he didn't back then.
  • Of course, National Geographic is famous for its fabulous photographs, and they had another display of wonderful photographs taken all over the world that ended up not getting into the article for which they were shot.  So we got to see photos of a water park in China, brightly painted boys undergoing an initiation ritual in Ethiopia, turquoise-clad women in Afganistan, and much more.
  • Finally, they had one other photographic display, this time of American presidents.  They had a lovely collection of capturing presidents in candid poses that revealed a lot of their personality.  It 1was also a good review for my son's recollection of the last ten presidents.

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