We spent the morning at The Field Museum to see the Mastodons and Mammoths exhibit because it will be closing in January. It was a lot of fun. There was a huge amount of hands-on activities... mammoth and mastodon models to pet, trunks to manipulate, little bull mammoths that could fight together. There were also some videos that were very well done as a part of the exhibit as well. And the best part, in my opinion? There were none of those ridiculous push-button displays which are supposed to teach a child something, but in my experience, the only thing they teach a child is to push a button. I've never seen anyone use them for their intended purpose, only to push the button (at random and fairly quickly) and watch the result and then run on to the next thing. The interactive displays were actually interactive rather than button pushing. Thus, no button pushing happened... mine or the exhibits!
And here is my random mammoth fact for the day. Did you know, at the time when the great pyramids in Egypt were being built that there were still mammoths roaming across Siberia? How cool is that? (I kind of think big shaggy elephant-type animals are very cool, if you hadn't guessed.)
Now, some disappointing news for all of you Thursday Next fans out there. (And by now, after me touting the Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde off and on for many years, you are all fans, right?) A small, but funny and recurring plot device in the books is that in Thursday Next's England, mammoths had been cloned and herds of them spent the year migrating back and forth across England. It sounds funny, but played havoc on people's gardens. Well, according to one sign in the exhibit (undoubtedly created by a Thursday Next fan), scientists do not have the full genetic sequence of mammoths mapped out... they are missing approximately 30%... so no mammoth cloning is going to be happening. The whole sign so amused me that I actually took out my phone to try to text M. the news. (Which, if you know my views and abilities with texting, you will see the magnitude of the event.) I say tried because the cell reception in the museum is tricky and I was not in a spot where I could send a message. (Sorry, M., consider this your text.)
The beauty of museum memberships is that you can take everyone down to the museum for the morning, see a few things, and leave before everyone gets tired. All without feeling guilty that you didn't get your money's worth. So that is what we did. We were all back in time for a late lunch and everyone is relaxing.
If you are in the area, and haven't seen the exhibit yet, you should go and check it out before it leaves.