One of the coolest things about a generally cool trip was that redbird suggested we meet up in NY. This was very unexpected, as I only knew her through LJ, and I'm not used to the mindset that leads to this kind of invitation. Plus it was slightly embarrassing to ask for her on the phone by her handle, due to not knowing her real name!
Anyway, she suggested meeting at the Museum of Natural History, which was indeed a very good plan. She also picked the mind-bogglingly huge dinosaur skeleton in the entrance hall as a completely unmissable meeting point, and I was of course hooked from that moment. So we spent a very pleasant and companionable afternoon wandering round the history of animal evolution section and discovering that we get on ever so well.
The gallery is very well put together, (and of course it's not only dinosaurs, but dinosaur skeletons are ultimately funky, no matter how balanced and scientific the display attempts to be). But it was informative, and did a lot of letting the exhibits speak for themselves rather than trying overly hard to convince you that science is really interesting, really. And it's good at making clear distinctions between what's actually known and what is speculation, and talks about how things are known as well as just stating them. And successfully non-anthropocentric, too.
After the animal history bit, we wandered briefly through the marine section, which is mainly notable for having a life-size fibreglass model of a blue whale. And lots of other cool things including a video of scallop locomotion; said video wanted to get excited about jet propulsion, which as far as I'm concerned is basically Newton's third law, but what I thought was exciting was that the scallop also hops on its edge. Fun!
We went back to BG's flat for a much-needed cup of tea or several, and in order to continue chatting. Oh, and I introduced redbird to J, obviously. There will probably be more on 'why redbird is cool' in a future post, because she made lots of useful suggestions for things to do in NY. It seems a little vain to link to her being complimentary about me, but against that, I want to continue my habit of linking to posts by other LJers with whom I spent the time I happen to be writing about.
1. Obviously, redbird isn't really a dinosaur. But she has a bird avatar so I thought I could get away with a slightly catchier title than otherwise.
Yay for meeting such a great person.