Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Notes from the Denver Museum of Nature and Science

Posted By on Tue, Jun 29, 2010 at 12:36 PM

The last time I visited at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, I arrived on a yellow school bus. Wait, not true. A friend and I made a special trip to see BODY WORLDS several years back.

Well anyway, it’s been a long time, and upon my return (as well as that of BODY WORLDS, with a new installment, The Story of the Heart) the place was just as new and incredible and awesome as it was to my elementary school eyes.

For the time I was there I stuck to the permanent exhibits, focusing mainly on the North American wildlife, gems and minerals and Native American cultures displays. I also watched part of a half-hour video about beliefs on death and dying (with an interesting Catholic priest who said he really didn't know what awaits us on the other side, but in the Christian tradition, believes in a "persistence of the soul").

For my fellow writers out there, I learned about "Wampum" the Northeastern Native American tradition of giving shell beads with the meaning, "My words are true and full of power." That's something anyone in the business of language can appreciate.

All of which really is devastatingly cool and superbly interesting. You’d think I was there for short period of time, but I wandered for close to two hours in this small portion of that enormous place.

Here’s some of what I found, from gems and wildlife:

Snowball meets fiber optics
  • Edie Adelstein
  • Snowball meets fiber optics.

A galaxy cluster of geodes
  • Edie Adelstein
  • A galaxy cluster of geodes.

Pronghorns on the run
  • Edie Adelstein
  • Pronghorns on the run.

Dalls sheep, the fancy cousin of the Bighorn
  • Edie Adelstein
  • Dall's sheep, the fancy cousin of the Bighorn.

Take the kids or take yourself — I really recommend a visit. And remember to be on your best behavior, everyone. That means indoor voices, no standing on the displays and general avoidance of being obnoxious.

Also, you may want to take advantage of the museum’s membership push. Adult member tickets to BODY WORLDS are $12. Everyone else pays $25.50. Find out more at dmns.org.

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