Google me this, google me that
If you remember life before google
I’d like you to tell me that!
In October 2016, Google opened a pop-up shop in downtown Manhattan’s SoHo, to showcase their Pixel and other gadgets. A cool place where one could try out Google Home features, walk into a Daydream VR world or past the ”Pixel Wall”, a board with rotating cubes that changed composing different images. Interestingly, nothing in there was for sale, although staff would help potential buyers find gadgets they fancied on-line. Via google search, of course.
The idea was to get a glimpse inside the grandiose interior of what used to be the headquarters of Williamsburg Savings Bank. Little did we know that walking past the entrance doors, we would fall into a real-life Narnia – and we didn’t even need a closet. For over the cold winter months Winter Brooklyn Flea finds shelter under the vaulted ceilings of One Hanson Place; and its food market, the irresistible Smorgasburg, takes place in the underground vault. That’s where we followed our nose, first. Then went on for a long stroll to the flea market, to tantalize the rest of our senses.
Walking through the immensity of the Museum of Natural History, in Upper West Side. Every room another wonder of our Cosmos.
Megaloceros (Greek: μεγάλος – megalos + κέρας – keras, meaning “Great Horn”) may be the largest deer ever to have lived. It belongs to the group called artiodactyls (Greek: άρτιος – ártios + δάκτυλος – dáktylos, meaning ‘even finger/toe’) – hoofed mammals that usually have an even number of toes. Generally, only male artiodactyls have antlers. In living deer, they are used during the mating season for wrestling with other males and attracting females. Then, they are shed. This means that Megaloceros regrew its enormous antlers every year!
Stenomylus (Greek στενός – stenos “narrow” and μύλος – milos [latin: mola] “molar” meaning ”narrow tooth”. This group of camel skeletons was buried in dune sand in western Nebraska 22 million years ago. These individuals are only some of the numerous completely preserved camel skeletons that were found together at a site in Agate Springs National Monument. Stenomylus lived in a region where dune fields extended widely. It was relatively primitive in its body skeleton, but had the more advanced feature of very high-crowned teeth – presumably to cope with sand-laden food, which rapidly wears down the teeth.
If I understood correctly, ”hitchcocki” was added in honour of Dr. Edward Hitchcock, a geologist and President of Amherst College, whose Ichnology Collection of dinosaur footprints and tracks is invaluable (read more about it here).
Mammoths were widespread during the Ice Ages. Some had woolly fur to keep them warm. This is a ”non-woolly” mammoth that lived in southern parts of the United States, which were not covered by glaciers. Like living elephants, Mammoths had trunks. We can’t see it on this skeleton, because soft parts are rarely preserved as fossils. But we can see where the trunk was attached, at the large single opening high on the front of the skull. The Greek myth of one-eyed giants, the Cyclops, may have arisen when ancient people found fossil provoscidean skulls and mistook this nostril opening for an eye socket. Most mammoths died out by 11.000 years ago but a few somewhat dwarfed forms persisted until about 3.000 years ago on remote arctic islands.
(click on photo for a panoramic view and caption)
Around 100 million years ago, they lived in what is now Argentina. This huge dinosaur is a sauropod: a massive plant-eater with a long neck and a whip-like tail. Sauropods roamed the planet for 140 million years and include the largest land animals ever.
This stuffed beauty
(although I instinctively dislike stuffed animals)
Creatures of the sea hanging in mid-air
And those that came from the cold
We skipped the eggs benedict in favour of their signature steaks served by courteous, mostly Croatian staff. That was surprising at first but not a coincidence, considering Delmonico’s current owner is Mr. Dennis Turcinovic, a Croatian himself.
Going back to the roots and learning a bit more about Native Americans; peoples, traditions and art that were thriving here before America’s discovery by the Old World.
A sad necessity perhaps but such dedicated museums are the most effective means in rendering these cultures and their history more widely accessible to visitors.
In New York, the museum is housed in the Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House, one of the most splendid Beaux Arts buildings in the City with a magnificent rotunda dome.
”Shortly after the outbreak of the 1877 war with the United States, Chief Looking Glass declared that he wanted peace and moved his camp to Clear Creek on the 1863 reservation. Peo Peo T’olikt, who was in his twenties, was instructed by the chief to parley with militiamen and soldiers who came to the camp on July 1. The Indian camp raised a white flag, but was attacked and destroyed.
Peo Peo T’olikt was wounded in the leg, but escaped and was involved in all the subsequent battles of 1877. He lost a wife and young son in the war, but his exploits were many. Capturing the cannon at Big Hole, stealing General Howard’s mules and horses at Camas Meadows, and protecting the camp at Bear Paw are just a few.”
Allen Pinkham, Sr. (Ni Mii Puu)
Tribal historian and former National Museum of the American Indian trustee
”Susette La Flesche descended from Omaha tribal leaders on both sides of her family. As a child she lived in an earth lodge, though she also attended a mission school. La Flesche witnessed the expulsion of the Ponca tribe from their homeland to Indian Territory in 1877, and the subsequent imprisonment of Standing Bear and other Poncas who had attempted to return to Nebraska. These events launched La Flesche’s career as a nationally known activist who argued against the involuntary removal of indigenous people from their homelands and for Indian citizenship rights.
La Flesche found a soulmate in Thomas Tibbles, a newspaper reporter for the Omaha Herald who followed the Ponca case. Schooled in Western and Omaha culture and bilingual, La Flesche chose an elegant cream-colored wool skirt and jacket when she married Tibbles in 1881.”
Brenda J. Child (Red Lake Ojibwe)
Historian, University of Minnesota
Mebêngôkre men and women wear feather headdresses or capes during children’s naming ceremonies and boy’s initiation ceremonies.