I’ve just returned from visiting two immersive experiences that provide a lot inspiration for how we frame – or could frame – our stories in natural history museums. The first of these is the City Museum in Saint Louis and the second, Meow Wolf in Santa Fe. Neither of these are natural history museums – … More Two Immersive Experiences. Two Authors. Two Takeaways.
The other day, on a whim, we went to a thrift shop and something happened that you fantasize about but never expect. We found a masterpiece. The painting was sitting in a corner behind a lot of faded prints from the 1980s, with “$12.99”. scrawled on the back. We thought it was probably a clever … More The Painting
The other day, while looking for something to watch on YouTube, I was offered up in the side-bar a series of videos of a chicken playing the piano. Intrigued, I clicked on the link and was treated to two minutes and one second of a chicken at an electric piano playing “O mio babbino caro” … More The Chicken that Plays Puccini: A Question of Animal Awareness
I’ve always loved this painting. Vertumnus looks serenely at the viewer, a slight smile making you think he knows something you’d like to. It’s a clever work of Mannerism, seamlessly weaving a complex array of perfectly rendered fruits and other plants into the portrait of a human face full of character. The portrait is of … More Art, Science and the Intersection of Knowledge
The rapid decline of the global environment is an inescapable fact. The Earth’s major oxygen sources, coral reefs and rain forests, are disappearing along with the species that live in them. Atmospheric carbon is rising precipitously and one in a hundred year storms are becoming the norm. As the planet warms and forests are removed … More In an age of humans, can the arts save the planet?
At the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, we have two new arrivals: a pair of just hatched American alligators. It’s important to start handling your baby alligator when it’s still very young or you’ll find it increasingly difficult to make any impression as the animal grows larger. So, happily, I’ve been invited by our wonderful … More How to cuddle an alligator
About two weeks ago the level of activity in my household was added to significantly by the addition of a miniature pinscher, Electra. She’s 5 months old, incredibly friendly and relatively non-destructive. This photo taken at the pet shop makes her look the size of a shepherd, but in fact she’s not much bigger than … More People and Their Pets
I was at a dinner party the other day when I overheard one of the guests describing a living room in disparaging terms because it was too filled with chintz. I have to admit it’s not a fabric I spend much time considering, nor before writing this post even knew anything about (except that it … More Chintz and the Primordial Soup
When Juan Ponce de León traveled from Spain to the New World in 1513, he was looking for immortality. Legend has it that he was looking for the fabled fountain of youth. During his journey he named the state of Florida and his quest catalyzed the name of the Florida town of Ponce de León, … More Read This and Live Forever
I have the very good fortune to have a wall in my office that is ideal to hang large artworks. It was very recently painted an deep forest green and, even more recently, was installed a magnificent painting of the Whanganui River, by Thomas William (T.W.) Downes in 1896. Earlier this year the work was … More Art, nature and history meet on my office wall