Thursday, September 2, 2010

Lincoln in Jacksonville: Days 3/4: Part I: MOSH

Yesterday was quiet. I finished up my project, spent some time with my client and then came back to the hotel and crashed hard. I think I may have slept a good 14 hours across the span of 3 chunks, including one where I "cooked" Stoufers mac-and-cheese found in the hotel gift shop. Yeah. I needed it, though... I've been running hard for the past few weeks and needed a break.

This morning, I slept in before heading to "MOSH". The same 13-year-old internal self that was snickering about the name of the museum visited on day 2 was wondering if there would be a "PIT" nearby*, but no--this is Jacksonville's Museum of Science and History. This is one of those places, like the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, where I sadly feel that I'm well beyond the target demographic age...and I get strange looks asking for "one adult, please".

Exhibit, uh. Science: As far as static exhibits go, there wasn't a lot there, but there was a water cycle display that I thought was quite affective; the live animals were the highlight of the visit: I don't think I've seen a live alligator before, let alone one so small. Likewise, I could have probably spent hours standing out in the courtyard watching the turtles and tortoises (tortuisi?) swimming and sunning themselves.

History, covering only the greater Jacksonville area, was much stronger. I learned many interesting facts about the region's history--like the Great Fire of 1901 which burned a large area of the city--that my inspire additional research tonight. That said, I found it a bit curious that the same topic was covered in two different exhibits with what I perceived as wildly different spins: In one, the division of the Baptist church, originally by an interracial group of 6 including slaves, into a 'Black Baptist' and 'White Baptist' reads like an amicable the other, it's a settlement at the end of a contentious legal battle with one segment being shut out of the original house of warship.

Also interesting was that Timucua Indian tribe engaged in warfare primarily to avenge injury to the tribe, e.g. the murder of one of its members, not normally for conquest, which lends credence to a hypothesis that I might discuss in a later post. Perplexing was a "Narnia" exhibit; I admittedly didn't spend much time in this area because my tolerance for screaming children was quickly exceeded, but from the time I spent it wasn't clear to me if this was "science", "history", or something else.

To be continued in Part II...


*- If that joke flew over the heads of everyone, my apologies. You didn't really miss anything; it's not that funny, but it still had the juvenile me amused.

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