Skepticism

Skepchick Quickies, 8.4

Jen

Jen is a writer and web designer/developer in Columbus, Ohio. She spends too much time on Twitter at @antiheroine.

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32 Comments

  1. The article about the Franklin INSTITUTE make me very sad. Living in NJ I pretty much grew up between there and the Liberty Science Center. Last time I was there was to see Body Worlds and I didn’t spend too much time poking around the rest of the museum. It breaks my heart that it is no longer a place were the quiet, nerdy children can go to learn and get a sense of smug superiority when explaining the exhibits to other students. Poo on button pushing and hyperactivity. Poo indeed.

  2. They’re having a exhibition on the freakin’ Chronicles of Narnia?! I’ll be pretty interested in seeing how the Franklin (and how long before they shorten that to just “Frank”?) deals with the science of a talking lion that returns from the dead due to “deeper magic from before the dawn of time.” Exhibits on the works of Tolkien or C.S. Lewis would be more at home at the Creation Museum than an actual science museum. I mean, seriously, wtf?!

    Just so you don’t think I’m biased, 80% of what I read is sword and sorcery type fantasy stuff, but I do think a so-called “science museum” should keep references to that sort of thing to a minimum. The real world is a fascinating place, there should be no shortage of areas that “The Frank” can draw from.

  3. I’m really torn on the museum thing. I agree completely with the commenters, and the original article, that it’s sad to see this happen. But I imagine the people who run museums like these are trying compete with TV and video games, and they probably figure that if they can get kids at to a museum at all, it’s worth it, not to mention they also probably need the money visitors bring in.

  4. I also loved the Liberty Science Center and Franklin Institute as a kid. Going back when I was older, I thought maybe that my age was spoiling it. I didn’t know for sure that they were dumbing down their exhibits. This is sad.

    AMNH FTW!

  5. Anyone else read the Franklin story and think it sounds like a Simpsons parody of a ‘hip’ science museum? The sorta thing that would have Lisa rolling her eyes skyward?

  6. On the gender bias questions it reminded me of one I was asked last christmas. Some one asked me what my wife was making for christmas dinner. I told them that if we had to depend on my wife’s cooking we would all starve. My wife was living on microwave dinners and frosted cherrios when we met. She made me her signature dinner of brie cheese on water crackers with Riuniettie Lambrusco wine. After that I started feeding her all of the time. 6 years down the road since that first date and she still can’t cook. And I have done my best to teach her.

  7. Okay, I just read about scientists getting bombed because of their research. WTF is the matter with these people. Mice? Fruit flies. If your so big and tough go bomb the office of Raid or D-con. Hell go pick a fight with a biker wearing a leather jacket. Screw that come pick a fight with me. I just poured a crap load of poison on an ant mound in my backyard last night. I would bet that I have killed about a billion ants in the last year.

  8. Hi there!

    My wifey won’t actually let me have ANY other wives. I’ve tried to extol the virtues of more help around the house, someone else to watch the cats, not to mention a livelier discussion on the characterization and narrative of General Hospital, but she’ll have none of it.

    Of course, I am more than willing to compromise, by allowing her to have as many husbands as she wishes, but she insists on limiting herself to just me. [boggles]

    Polygamy is, of course, one of those things that are threatened by Christian groups as the “slippery slope” of allowing gays to marry. (“If a man can marry a man, it will soon be legal to have GROUP marriages!!”) But since marriage in the United States is apparently a purely Judeo-Christian institution, being in love with more than one person is still strictly verboten. It’s a good thing that so many marriages are between 1 man and 1 woman, such as the Vegas chapel weddings and Britney Spears’ multiple marriages, to protect our good old fashioned American values. [nods]

    But if anyone here wants to put their name on a list in case my wifey changes her mind …

    — Craig

    There once was a man from Tyme,
    Who lived with three wives at a time,
    When asked: “Why the third?”
    He replied: “One’s absurd!
    And bigamy, sir, is a crime…”.

    (I might’ve used that one on here before) [blush]

  9. As a kid, I used to love going to the Boston Museum of Science. I went at least once a year, and was always awe-struck but a ton of different stuff. The balls dropping into the shape of a bell curve, freezing stuff with liquid nitrogen and smashing them, the lightning exhibit, and of course the dinosaurs.

    I went back the summer after I got my undergraduate degree, and was slightly disappointed to discover that I knew everything in just about all of the exhibit. All of the awe and wonder was gone. It was neat to be able to explain all the stuff to my (liberal arts major) girlfriend at the time.

    I haven’t gone back since (approximately 4 years ago), but I think I will soon, just to make sure nothing is being dumbed down.

  10. You know… I’m all for popularizing science. I don’t even have a problem with sensationalizing science… As long as it’s still science.

    It seems like in order to hold anyone’s interest these days everything has to be watered down and bastardized until it’s just another TV show…

  11. “Hello everybody, I’m Ahmed.”

    “Hi, Ahmed!”

    “There was a time in my life when I had a single wife, just like everybody else. But one day I said to myself: ‘Hey, what’s the harm if I have two?’ And I had two. And then I said: ‘Well, I have two, so three wouldn’t make a hell of a difference.’ And I had three wives. And then I had four. I had reached the legal limit, but by then I was beyond the point of no return. I needed more, and more, and more… And then I suddenly came to the realization that I had six wives! I need help!”

  12. “Turning science museums into tourist traps makes baby Darwin cry.”

    Comment of the week!

    –And, I might add, I am so upset about the gutting of the Franklin Institute, I am never going back. In fact, I may even write a strong letter. Like the letter “K,” or perhaps even an “M.”

  13. I ran into the same thing at the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry a while back. The entire place was a playground for kids with little relevant science that I could see. Of course, there WAS the Star Wars exhibit…..

  14. Draconius, I agree completely. Its a freaking travesty. It’s just as bad that many skeptics arte against it because of the associations with Fundy mormons and the like. Makes my life a living Hell sometimes, honestly.

  15. Here in San Diego we have the Reuben H Fleet Science Center, which also has an IMAX theater/ planitarium. I spent alot of time there as a kid, and had a great time.

    The last time I went, I was horrified at the amusement park displays. Example: A display of the theory that ancient pots might have recorded the sounds of their makers talking while being spun. The display included a spining pot that you could point a laser at, and get different sounds from different layers, one of them the potter singing. Nothing on the display mentioned that the pot was imitation, beside the point that the whole idea is rediculous.

    They had a ride of a trip to Mars. It was similar to the Star Wars ride at Disneyland, except it was less educational, and less entertaining.

    I was going to go back and do a full review of the non-sense, but I just couldn’t stomach it.

  16. I dunno… The only cost I associate with my beauties is the cost forgetting that many birthdays. The secret is to make sure you forget ALL of them – otherwise you’re in no end of trouble.

  17. One of my favorite museums as a kid was the Garden State Discovery Museum, I haven’t been there in ages, but I remember it being really cool. I also remember getting stuck in philly on my way to school and going to see Body Worlds, It was a lot of fun, I also went last year on a field trip to see the darwin exhibit which I also enjoyed. I’m so disappointed in them, I have nothing but good memories of the place.

  18. When the honeymoon is over, atheist married men can easily become religious. As soon as the nagging, honeydo lists and not tonight I have a headache start, the man knows there is a hell. (to all you women : just kidding)

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