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10:12 pm: A candle for Laika
So it turned into a long weekend of pandas, hummingbirds, margaritas, sealions, curious beans, rainswept neon and red carpets, sunburn, peruvian tea, pelicans, Mexican maximalist decor, manga shops, blisters, the pacific, enormous fibreglass elephants &c. Which is all well and good. However, none of these things were the best thing about Southern California. The best thing was unequivocally the Museum of Jurassic Technology. See, I'd never wondered before what a museum which had been built to specifically cater to my tastes would be like. Turns out I didn't need to, because someone appears to have already built it. Admittedly they have built it in a not-frightfully-accessible bit of Los Angeles and you have to ring a bell to gain entrance, but I had a bus timetable and a finger, and between us we prevailed.

To illustrate, I will list a few key exhibits. To wit:

* A collection of some of the more interesting letters to the Mount Wilson Observatory, including several budding Theories of Everything, an accusation of Rosicrucianism, a claim to have transmuted lead into gold, and an invitation to join a business venture in the field of limitless solar energy.
* A tiny carving of Pope John Paul II, placed within the eye of a needle.
* A room full of books about Napoleon, including one which was printed in reverse, but every second page was a mirror.
* An exhibit centred on historical theories of memory, centred around the geometric theory proposed by the possibly-fictional bridge architect and neurologist Geoffery Sonnabend after his meeting with possibly-fictional, memory-impaired diva Madelena Delani at Iguazu Falls.
* A room full of rather literal recreations of folk remedies and myths, such as telling the bees, inhaling duck breath to cure thrush, and eating mice on toast (I forget why).
* A room of theatrical illusions.
* A corridor devoted to Athanasius Kircher, including a magnetic divination device and an automaton made of bells.
* A door marked "FAIRLY SAFELY VENTURE", beyond which is an exhibit on unusual systems of depiction of formal logic, and Alaskan cats-cradle games.
* An account of a naturalist trying to capture a rare rainforest bat inside a giant structure of lead.
* "Garden of Eden on Wheels", an exhibition devoted to objects from trailer parks.
* A room of paintings of dogs lost during the Soviet space program, with a candle kept burning for Laika.
* And finally, a tea room full of lilies, in which there was free hot black tea and cookies.

I suppose a museum specifically made for me would include more about the mapping of Antarctica, or nuclear lighthouses, or a biographical exhibit on Maurice Wilson, or Toynbee Tiles, or anthropodermic biblioplegy, or ice-nine, or the hypnerotomachia poliphili, or yes well you see what I mean, &c. What I actually mean is, if you are me, and you happen to be in Los Angeles, you should go there. I'm speaking to you, me-of-two-days-ago.


[User Picture]
Date:March 8th, 2010 10:46 pm (UTC)
Fortean! Thank you. I went to Los Angeles in 2003, travelling by public transport during a public transport strike and thus never made it to the MJT.
[User Picture]
Date:March 9th, 2010 09:23 am (UTC)
Argh. Admittedly I left out the part where I left the MJT to find it pissing down with rain, and it turning out that Los Angeles buses don't work very well in the rain, and the contents of the very full bus being turfed out in a random part of the city due to the windscreen wipers failing. But if there had been no buses at all my entire tourism schedule would have been really screwed.
Date:March 8th, 2010 11:49 pm (UTC)
Museum of Win!

Ice-nine would be a rather dangerous thing to have in a museum. Or anywhere.

Anyway, if I ever happen to be you in Los Angeles, I shall be sure to pay a visit.
[User Picture]
Date:March 9th, 2010 12:08 am (UTC)
Thank you for my daily dose of WTF... This is on my see-it-before-you-die list.
[User Picture]
Date:March 9th, 2010 08:03 am (UTC)
Post of awesome! And you can guess where my favourite spot is... I've always had a thing for the original space dog and been somewhat angry on her behalf, so the candle gives me joy.
[User Picture]
Date:March 9th, 2010 09:44 am (UTC)
Have you read Laika?
(warning: it will make you cry)
[User Picture]
Date:March 9th, 2010 11:18 am (UTC)
Perhaps unsurprisingly, that was on sale in the gift shop.
[User Picture]
Date:March 9th, 2010 09:53 am (UTC)
There was a book, there was a book I read where Laika had sort of fused with her spacecraft and become bionic and was still observing the world from orbit, but I can't remember what it was... Sounds like an excellent place, though.
Date:March 9th, 2010 12:21 pm (UTC)
We went there when we visited and it was awesome. Sounds like about half the exhibits have changed since.
[User Picture]
Date:March 9th, 2010 03:26 pm (UTC)
I LOVE that museum!!! We went there when I was visiting a friend in LA, one of the few times I've been to the city, and I absolutely adored it.
[User Picture]
Date:March 10th, 2010 10:48 am (UTC)
Aw man, I wanna go there.

Song about Laika that makes me choke up a bit, despite very silly title.
[User Picture]
Date:March 14th, 2010 08:39 pm (UTC)
I need to go there one day.
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