Sunday, August 24, 2008

We had a great time in Baltimore! The weather was much more mild than our typical August weather...meaning it was only 98% humidity at 86 degrees rather than 100... still, there were frequent breezes coming off the water that were refreshing and evenings were divine...

We spent a fair chunk of time in the Maryland Science Museum, or, the geekatorium. I found much of it very very exciting but I definitely do not care a single bit for the geological stuff, or even the ancient creatures... but the physics demonstrations are just too much fun. They had a laser harp!!!

There was also an exhibit called Body Worlds which has become sort of notorious for its displays of "plasticized" human bodies intended to illuminate our understanding of our physical selves. I was really conflicted by it which came as a surprise. I loved my anatomy coursework in college more than almost anything else, just really got into it. I loved the parts of the Body Worlds exhibit that demonstrated the overlapping plates of an infant skull that enables it to emerge in childbirth without killing the mother (well, sometimes...), the displays of hips and knees with prosthetic joints...simply amazing... A skeleton stripped of everything with the exception of intact nerve bundles... simply awe-inspiring. I really could have spent much much more time with those exhibits than either my husband or kids would have tolerated. But the plasticized bodies, those without skin displaying structure of muscles and ligaments? They bothered me. Not that they were gross but I just felt like there has been some major transgression against those bodies... strange, yes? The infant cranium cut cross section to reveal the plasticized brain? Didn't bother me; on the contrary; I was fascinated by it. So I found lots to reflect on there and I'm still not sure what to make of my reaction.

As usual, we really enjoyed the water taxis.... for about 7 bucks per day (until 11 pm!) you can hop on them at any of the 13 stops around the harbor to get around the harborside communities of Baltimore--party districts like Fell's Point and Canton, pedestrian friendly restaurant districts like Little Italy... or you can do what we did: just get on and ride around for the heck of it. The cool thing about the inner harbor is that there's the entertainment center that has become very successful, but Baltimore remains a very active port of commerce and I find it rather fascinating to see those huge ships taking on their cargo or offloading...they are HUGE.

We did the Duck tour which was made especially fun by three very gregarious Boston Red Sox fans in town for the weekend to see the Orioloes get beat up on. I thought they were all going to tear up as we drove through Little Italy and the driver played "That's Amore" over the loud speaker. Nice guys, though, despite their allegiances. They looked askance at my Nationals cap but didn't say anything.

Best of all, though, was simply the time together without any of the responsibilities of house or home... the liberty for adults to have perhaps one more drink than they should at dinner, staying up too late... watching the girls' amazement. It was lovely.

Geek Update
Heh. Not forgetting this bit! My iPhone 3G was delivered Monday last. *sucks in breath* It is heaven. It is more cool than I imagined. I don't know how I lived without it. For now, I'll just say that it took less than an hour today to configure it to interact with my WiFi and control my SqueezeBox with a very nice little piece of client software called iPeng---free, open source. Done. Now I don't need the remote for that device, I can just just dial up whatever music is on my pc and stream it through my player with a click of the phone....Nice.


jill said...

Re: Red Sox fans -

We're not ALL jerks!

;-) Glad you had a good time

KSM said...

Look at those gorgeous golden girls. Just like their mommy.

KHM said...

Now that is one charming niece.....

Special K said...

I saw Body Worlds too - it's really strange. At first I liked it and thought it was a really cool anatomy lesson, and then, about halfway through (it was Loooong) I was about ready to pass out and I was seriously creeped. THEY WERE PEOPLE!

Did they have a section that addressed the "donors" and their contracts? So crazy.