Sunday, December 11, 2005

Thursday: Visitors, a new exhibition, the Natural Science Museum, ChingJenKu (Lovervale)


News stuff: The National Museum of Natural Science here in Taichung will be opening a new exhibition, which some of you may have seen overseas, entitled "Dinosaurs of Darkness." The exhibition shows both casts and original material from dinosaurs that lived above/below the arctic and antarctic circles. The exhibition opens on the 23rd of this month, and will run through May.


My friend Jeff Miller came down from the north end of the island on Thursday.


A true gentleman, Jeff knows more about Taiwan than almost anyone I know, and we had a wonderful time chatting about Taiwan's future and killing time in the Desert of the Real. Jeff also gave a marvelous presentation to my business topics class on marketing American products in Taiwan. Apparently we don't export much worth exporting to the island. Does America actually make anything anymore?



On Friday morning we went out the National Museum of Natural Science, an oasis of culture in the Desert of the Real. My son's idea. Dinosaurs were calling!


The Museum is still running its exhibition of the coffeetable book photos of earth from the air.


The Museum has some wonderful displays, but like most Taiwan museums, its failings from our perspective can be summed up in three words: Needs. More. English.


The Hall of Dinosaurs is of course the centerpiece. Who doesn't love dinosaurs?


The animatronic T-Rex, here caught in full head bob and tail wag, is the prize display.


Here exhibit technicians prepare for the opening of the new exhibit.


We also visited the Chimei Musical Instrument Exhibition. It's fantastic, some interesting musical instruments. Don't miss it!


This is a hurdy-gurdy, in case you were wondering what the Donovan song was about.


Afterwards we repaired to 85C coffee, a new chain that has decent coffee and kickass cake.


Here's a view of the impressive and very fresh selection.


In the afternoon we went out to Fengyuan to the well-known private park ChingJenKu. The park was something in my wife's day, but I was not very impressed. A few shots follow:



This is a sandpit containing the lairs of dozens of ant lions.






Fortunately Jeff found a beautiful spider the size of my hand for me to photo. The animal had caught a bee, and wrapped and consumed it as we watched.






A wading bird looks for lunch in the stream.


And of course, Steve and Rhonda's new baby. Congratulations!

2 comments:

Budding Sinologist said...

"Apparently we don't export much worth exporting to the island. Does America actually make anything anymore?"

Are you just talking about goods or are you including services as well? Since America is a service-based economy, you would expect us to export less and less widgets. Much of our economy is knowledge-based like Microsoft Windows... of course we all are aware that between China and Taiwan one could count the number of legally registered versions of such software on two hands.

Michael Turton said...

Hey, I was born in Cleveland, where real men bashed metal. All this pansy-ass service oriented stuff makes me nervous. :)

Michael