Ralphie Meets Indiana Jones

At a recent birthday party, Katherine was playing on a slide. Over and over again she climbed up and slid back down. At one point, she dropped her sippy-cup just as she started down the slide. I happened to be recording and thought it was hilarious. It reminded me of something between Indiana Jones always going back for his hat and Ralphie from ‘A Christmas Story’ trying to get back up the slide after he realized he hadn’t told Santa he wanted a Red Ryder BB Gun.

Ralphie stops sliding down the slide.

Recreation of the Indiana Jones hat grab stunt by joshua1878

Did I Imagine Brontosaurus?

Katherine is now enthralled with all thing dinosaur.  As we have gone through the various books and toy sets, I am reminded of most of my favorite dinosaurs from my childhood.

They are all there: Tyrannosaurus Rex, Stegosaurus, Triceratops and Brontosaurus. Actually, no, there is no mention of Brontosaurus in any of the books.  Did I imagine this dinosaur?

Tonight, I looked it up and sure enough, Brontosaurus is no more.  I found a lot of information about why in the article, The Brontosaurus Brouhaha.

In summary, it explains how the dinosaur named Apatosaurus was discovered and named before Brontosaurus and that later on it was determined that Apatosaurus and Brontosaurus were really the same thing.  It’s actually a very interesting story to read.

So now I know why Brontosaurus isn’t in my daughter’s toys, but I have more questions now. Here are things that are still unanswered to me:

  1. Brontosaurus is really Apatosaurus, but why is it that none of the books I have seen mention a dinosaur by that name either? Is it too controversial? Or is it no longer the coolest sauropod?
  2. Encyclopedia Britannica declared Brontosaurus officially invalid in 1974, yet all of the books and toys I had still had him in them. I was born in 1974.  Were my books and toys that old?
  3. What other things are being made up with today’s dinosaurs? The story of Marsh and the Brontosaurus is one partly born of ego and of human fallacy. The human brain fills in gaps with patterns it is familiar with. I think this is partially why Marsh ended up with the version of the Brontosaurus head that he used.
  4. Is Diplodocus really just a visualization of Brachiosaurus that has poor posture?
  5. Do we actually have more concrete evidence about the existence of Barney the Dinosaur than T-Rex?

Barney :Butter Doctor

Barney: Butter Doctor

Barney: Butter Doctor

We have a Barney the Dinosaur book that Katherine likes to read. In the book, ‘Barney What Will I Be When I Grow Up‘, Barney encourages the kids about them being good in various professions. I guess it is important for Katherine to think about that now that she is almost 2 🙂

In this picture, Barney encourages Mimi that she’d be a ‘dandy doctor’. I think it is fantastic how encouraging Barney is, but I do wonder how much I can trust his opinion since it looks like he would have treated the patient’s scrape with a stick of butter.

Reciprocity Has Its Benefits

Recently, Rebecca and I purchased a membership to COSI.  The most immediate benefits for us are the following:

  • Rebecca and Katherine have another option to get out and explore. Unlike the zoo, this will be good during winter months as well. I think this is as beneficial for Rebecca as it is Katherine.
  • The toddler play area is apparently phenomenal
  • Currently, there is a Dinosaur exhibit. Katherine loves dinosaurs. I recall when she was about 10 months old and we were at a toy store and I found a toy unicorn and a menacing T-rex toy and I held them up to her to choose which she liked better.  She chose the T-rex.

What I wasn’t immediately aware of were the reciprocal benefits conferred upon members. COSI is part of the ASTC Passport program, which grants you free access to other ASTC Passport museums and facilities. The list of participating museums is fairly large and if you travel a little bit, you can really extend the benefits and see some new things as well.

We were able to visit both the Cleveland Museum of Natural History and the Great Lakes Science Center with free admission and they were both fantastic facilities.  This turns out to be a great way to encourage both local membership of these museums and further exploration in other cities.

Prehistoric Shark

Prehistoric Shark

Dunkleosteus terrelli, a.k.a, Prehistoric Shark

Last week, Rebecca, Katherine and I  traveled up to Cleveland and went to both the Cleveland Museum of Natural History and the Great Lakes Science Center.

Both museums were nice, but the natural history museum really stood out to me for two main reasons:

  • The quality of the items on display are fantastic. It isn’t as big as The Field Museum in Chicago, but the items on display were as good. They also have live animal exhibits outside, including many birds of prey, deer, etc.
  • At 20 months of age, Katherine loved it.  I had no idea that she would be as entertained by the exhibits as she was.

The photo above is a replica of a prehistoric shark called Dunkleosteus Terrelli. It was found in the Cleveland Shale in 1867 and while the one hanging is a full body replica, the fossils of this creature are there and are among the best in the world.

The funny thing about this is that Katherine had a funny love-hate relationship with the hanging replica.  She really does love sharks, but this one would scare her when I would get her close to it to the point that she would cry.  After I would get her out of the danger zone, she would ask to go back and see it.  And again, she would get scared.  Back and forth this went for some time until we finally left.  Even now, she still will talk about the shark with a very serious look in her eye 🙂

The Greater Threat?

Perspective of a fish about to become lunch

Perspective of a fish about to become lunch

I took this picture from the bottom portion of the Polar Bear exhibit at the Columbus Zoo looking at the fish. In the background you can see one of the Polar Bears looking at the fish as well. Or, is he looking at me?

Fourth of July at the Zoo

Rebecca, her parents, Katherine and I made a trip to the Columbus Zoo today.  Despite it being really hot, the animals were pretty active today. We had loads of fun and saw quite a bit on our relatively short trip.


I didn't mind the Gator fan taking a picture behind me.

The Alligators were in full view today and I was in a good enough mood to not mind the Florida Gator fans enjoying the view.

Come and knock on our door, we've been waiting for you ...

Every time  I see Flamingoes at the zoo I think of the opening bit to the Three’s Company television show. There definitely weren’t this many the last time I was at the zoo.


Okapi - It's pronounced 'Oh-Copy'

The Okapi had a lot of room to roam today and seemed very happy.   I am always impressed that when Katherine sees one, she calls it by name.

Katherine in her shades

Katherine in her shades

Katherine was having a great time with the animals and grandparents to chaperone her trip.

Rebecca, Bea, David and Katherine

Rebecca, Bea, David and Katherine: a photogenic bunch

Lion Roars

Lion Roars

We had such a great view of the Lion marching back and forth in front of us roaring and bearing his teeth.  Katherine loves to roar like a lion, but she was somewhat intimidated today.  This was up close and personal.