Fun with Feces

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This past weekend I had the chance to visit my old stomping grounds, the Museum of the Earth. I risked the 4-hour trip the day before Hurricane Sandy so I could see a very special exhibit. Before I left my job at the museum, I nagged just about every employee about how there needs to be a dinosaur poop exhibit. I envisioned a display case filled with poop in each bathroom. Consider it an inspiration piece, if you will. The more I thought about it, the more I wanted this exhibit so bad I could taste it. (Whoa, that came out wrong but you get the idea.) They have some truly fantastic specimens in their collection! Well, low and behold, they created an entire poop exhibit called Did Dinosaurs Poop? so I absolutely, positively had to see it. Plus I had to deliver soap to the museum so why not kill two birds with one stone (ewey, what an awful expression!). Overall, it was a nice presentation and I thought the dinosaur slide was a fun touch. If you ever wanted to pretend that you were a piece of food being eaten by a dinosaur and then being pooped out, the slide experience is for you. I hear on good authority that it’s super fast though so go slow or you just may bust a tailbone. There were several display cases of different dino poo specimens (aka. coprolites) and some were quite beautiful actually. However, I was a little disappointed by the lack of bulk, if you will. The museum has some really heavy, hulking dinosaur poops in their collections and none of them made it into the display cases. If you want to see them though, go to Dino Lab and ask the volunteer(s) to point them out to you. And for those that want a little souvenir, head to the gift shop because one of the volunteers has created some gorgeous polished poops for sale. Among the keychains, wine stoppers, bookends and other poo gifts he created a few bolo ties that have lovely polished dino poops as their clips. They’re quite fetching actually. They look just like polished stones. I had a hard time walking away from the black braided number because I’ve been dying to bring the bolo tie back (not that it ever left my heart).

Another thing I pushed hard for while I worked at the museum was the idea of having an exhibit space for volunteer art. There are some amazing science-inspired artists out there and they seem to find their way to the museum as volunteers (and staff for that matter). It was a shame to not be able to show off their talents. Well happily I was able to see this concept come to fruition in the exhibit Prehistoric Muses. I absolutely love how the art is displayed. It isn’t the usual stuffy way of everything needing to be mounted exactly the same and in the same exact frames. It’s completely mixed media and no piece is anything like the next. It really took my breath away to see such talent displayed and enjoyed by the public.

Lastly, hats off to my brother from another mother, Richard. His paleontological cartoonistic-astic-ness can be enjoyed by all in the exhibit T. rex Go Boom: The Prehistoric Cartoonery of Dr. Richard Kissel. Charming work from a charming man. Just his childhood photo alone makes this exhibit worth seeing. If you like what you see in the photos, please visit Our Secret Treehouse. There you can view and purchase his wonderful, whimsical and most importantly, scientifically accurate, creations.

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