Tag: culture

I went to the Natural History Museum in Dublin, and took some pictures

And here they are…

It’s a super-quaint nineteenth-century cabinet museum, where almost everything is catalogued and exhibited in glass cases. There is no VR here, no animatronic T-Rexes, no interactive installations or contrived ‘Did You Know?’ infographics in Comic Sans.

I’m convinced that some of the furniture is of similar — or greater — cultural and historical significance than the artefacts on display. Certainly, the interior of the museum — its design, proportions, echoes, lighting, and layout — reflects an important piece of human heritage in its own right.

It feels like this is a quirkily happy side-effect of decades-long chronic underfunding. The museum, never having been modernized, stands largely untouched and unchanged for more than a century, as if preserved in amber.

The museum itself belongs in some kind of museum.

Of course, Dublin being Dublin, there was ‘fun’ to be had in the nearby souvenir stalls. Down the street, our species’ evolutionary history was depicted in t-shirt form:

Ha, ha, ha — you see? It’s hilarious.

Oh well, the actual museum is a definite treasure trove, if not a treasure in its own right. Go there. Now.

Before they ‘modernize’ it…

Brian thinks chicken pox is normal, Harper is confused

Speaking as a Brian, I can confirm that this is true…



In my 1970s childhood, everyone got chicken pox sooner or later. Whenever I felt unwell, I would eagerly look for the red blotches that would confirm my destiny. The ‘pocks’, as I thought they were, each individual mark representing a single ‘pock’.

For reasons that appear now strange in hindsight, I don’t recall ever contemplating what chickens had to do with it. For all I knew, the bird might have been named after the disease, rather than the other way around, so normal was the pox.

I didn’t know how you got it, but I knew you could only get it once. This lent chicken pox a certain right-of-passage cachet. Until my own skin was scabbed over with itchy blisters, I felt I was missing out.

Eventually I was struck down. After a week or so it was over. I was quite proud of myself. I had had my pox.

Exciting times. Pity the Jaxons and Harpers with their coddled modern pox-free lives…

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