Be careful out there guys!
Last night, the Explainers contributed to a pretty freaky carny night that include Paul D. smashing a cinder block on the chest of the non holey man (Eric. M.) as he lay between two beds of nails, a tripped-out strobe light room that incited dancing and prompted Gabe to have interesting fantasies, and Luigi (aka the great Wonderson) doing what he does best.
Our room was a life sized version of the disappearer exhibit, allowing visitors to construct their problems and then see them vanish into thin air. With the two Ryans out front, calling the pull, the room was packed with people, sitting in a dark room, as a disco ball rotated, with Radiohead and Pink Floyd playing in the background. Or as a mom told her daughter, “it looks like a college dorm room party in there”.
It was awesome to see a training that we did for a study group shared with the public. Check out these awesome pictures that Amy took of posing Explainer carnies and others as the night progressed. And after the night was over, as the crew sat in the possum’s belly (aka jukebox room) with the museum cleared of patrons, it was hard to declare the night anything but a total success.
I don’t want to talk about how disappointed I still am that I was not present at last Friday’s cuteness training. Especially since I noticed someone made the Cuteness Closet even cuter lately. Actually though, sometimes the Cuteness Closet and Cuteness Cupboard k.o.* piss me off, because I feel powerless to the emotions they conjure up in me and i cannot suppress awwwwing at the adorableness of that kitten wearing frog ears or that precious lady bug crawling on that smiling plant. And though it makes me want to vom, it simultaneously makes me want to whimper and hug things.
This is where the fucking precious penguin baby pictured comes into play. Apparently someone else was also k.o. annoyed at the adorability of animal babes and took it out on them in blog form. Seriously, you guys should read this. All of it. Read the archives, even. The author of this blog tells cute animals what’s what. Furthermore, we should add it to the Cute Room. It would be far better than that touch screen where you move the hammer along the spectrum of attractiveness.
*k.o. = kind of (i learned this from an 8-year-old at Spring Camp while I was missing training)
I like estimation. We use it all thie time. For example we look at a group of kids and estimate how many explainers will be needed (1 per 40 kids). We estimate how much coffee we have to drink to stay good and hyper all morning (4-6 cups). Some of us even can do a mystical magic trick that involves the power of estimation to produce the chosen card (or so we say).
But how good are we really at the fine skill of estimation. The other day we were trying to figure out how many pieces of paper would reach the top of a tall building. And we were trying to figure out the size of nano planets. And about how much is half a lethal dose anyways.
I really liked this article in the NY Times last week about how to break these immense problems into parts we can relate to. And when you think about it thats kinda what we do anyways in the museum, take abstract science concepts and make them seeable hearable or touchable.
If you have some time after reading the article, you should take the added quiz to test your estimation abilities. The answers go by powers of ten so you don’t even have to be that exact and yet I had a super hard time with this. I got 1 out 8 right which actually seems statistically improbable. Oh well. Maybe you all can do better.
Here are some more photographs of the ausflug. Hope you aren’t disappointed, but they are far less interesting (and by that I mean random) than Ryan’s photograph collection. Also, this is off subject, but I miss Johannes. Also, back on subject, I apparently need to work on my chicken rafter fighting skills. I didn’t even know you took of video of it, Ryan. But thanks- now I can watch it and find Gabe’s weaknesses for next time.
Hey dudes, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how we’re in the second great depression and yet everyday we waste perfectly good meat that could be used for human consumption. That’s right, I’m talking about all that delectable fat and muscle that surrounds the cow eyeballs that we dissect on the floor every hour.
The Exploratorium is a place where we’re all about doing experiments, so I thought I would take the time to answer the age old question…”can you eat them?”
I spent some time thinking about how to prepare them. Conventional wisdom says that cow eyes are best prepared in soups or stews. But that seemed too easy and predictable. I wanted something that put the eyeball meat in a prominent position but also contained lots of hot sauce that could mask any possible off flavors. Tacos seemed to be an obvious choice. After work, I secreted into the bio lab and grabbed two eyes from the fridge. Next I went down to the supermarket and bought some tortillas, limes, and Tapatio. In the kitchen I cut off the fat and muscle and sauteed it with a bit of salt and pepper.
At first I was a bit hesitant to taste the dish, but after realizing that hot dog meat is probably made of far worse parts of the animal, I dug right in to the culinary creation. And you know what? It wasn’t half bad.
Tacos de Ojo (Eye-ball Tacos)
Makes 1 heaping taco
2 Cow Eyes (muscle and fat trimmed off)
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
2 teaspoon Salt
2 teaspoon Pepper
1 Corn Tortilla
Tapatio Hot Sauce
Heat up oil in a small pan. Add trimmed fat and muscle from the eye. Add salt and pepper to the pan. Cook until muscle is browned and the fat has become transluscent. Place on the tortilla and add lime and hot sauce to taste.