Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Cabinets of Curiosities

When I was a kid, I wanted to own a museum when I grew up. Not the politically correct, corporate sponsored museums we have today, but the kind of museum in the drawing above. The kind with a stuffed alligator hanging from the ceiling and an eel skeleton tacked to the wall. My grandmother had a big old house with high ceilings that would have been perfect for this.

This type of museum is known as a Cabinet of Curiosities. These were popular when "cabinet" meant "small room", or "small cabin", like a "cigarette" is a "small cigar".

Cabinets of curiosities were built by the privileged class in Europe beginning in the 16th century. They were the predecessors of today's natural history museums, created during a time when nobody knew what to make of all the strange stuff they found outdoors. This was a time before Linnaeus, Darwin and others had enlightened us to how these seemingly unrelated oddities should be properly arranged in their cases.

In a previous post, I wrote about a trip to the Rutgers University Geology Museum. This museum began as a cabinet of curiosities late in the development of this type of collection, when colleges began to establish them for teaching purposes. This was in the 1840s, after Darwin had returned from the second voyage of the HMS Beagle but before he had published On the Origin of Species.

Before this mastodon joined Rutgers' cabinet of curiosities in 1870, it was on tour with a circus. Such indignities were common before widespread public awareness of fossils.

The man standing next to the mastodon is William S. Valiant, who discovered the first fossils of trilobites with their soft tissue preserved. His find led to a much greater understanding of trilobite anatomy.

Here is the mastodon 140 years later. If you compare these two photos, you will see that the mastodon's tusks have been rotated. Since they went through the trouble of doing this, I have to assume that the later, inward curving tusks are correctly mounted.

This makes sense since it is believed that the tusks were used in an upward thrusting motion during battles for mates. With inward curving tusks, a mastodon could impale an adversary with his head centered and engage both tusks. With outward curving tusks, he would have to turn his head to the side and could only use one tusk at a time.

Here are two Rutgers geologists in 1930, inspecting a dinosaur footprint that had recently been discovered in Woodbridge, NJ. It came from a trackway of footprints that are the only known Cretaceous age dinosaur prints east of the Mississippi River. It is from a carnivorous dinosaur known as Megalosauropus.

By this time, Rutgers' cabinet of curiosities had developed into a legitimate geological museum.

And here is that footprint 80 years later.

I never did build that museum in my grandmother's house. The last I heard, her house was being used as a convent by a local church. Maybe someday...


  1. I too dreamt of having a house where I could have a "museum" room! Filled with my coin collection, mineral collection, fossils, dried plants, skeletons... wishful thinking!

  2. Nice post. I've always loved the phrase, cabinet of curiosities. Thanks also for the explanation of the term "cabinet". My brain is my cabinet of curiosities.

  3. I never knew this! Thanks for the lovely post.

  4. Lifespan is normally jam packed with worries; fluctuations and additionally insecurities. The actual certain to get hublot replica you've gotten is by using your body, for that reason earn which usually bond a superb a! Pertaining to any came across this like unique and additionally strengthening when i had the moment making the software. Once you happen to be to make sure you cost your body about how cheerful and additionally profitable you is normally these days about the continuum about fake omega watches, by means of "1" simply being not really and additionally "10" simply being terrific, just where are you willing to cost your body? It’s a helpful topic, as, any time you’re similar to most most people, used generalized words and phrases to go into detail you, want, "It’s OK", "It’s fair", "I might happier" and therefore the replica watches sale. At this time, when a point in time, think you simply being for that reason cheerful you ought to go around round by having a giant happy upon your are up against and additionally all of us may ask the things you’re as much! Look at excellent different shades, discover all the fabulous tones, have the sleep in the male body, essence and additionally cartier replica all the scents round you will. Widen regarding all the areas, tones, a feeling, tends to be, and additionally sniffs as long as you'll want. The things appeared to make sure you whatever hassle you'll have really been perception? The things had you see to the emotions suffering from your head? Ways had any position respond to all the impression about finish peace? The fact is, everyone don’t take up residence a global about finish peace. Individuals experience rado replica watches stressors which come located at u . s . right from numerous types of manuals everyday.

  5. Over the years there have been many different Michael Kors Outlet Store launched with some being more successful than others. Even the Michael Kors Outlet that did not reach the dizzying heights of success as some of Michael Kors's best sellers were still very, very well made leather handbags. One such Michael Kors Outlet Store Online that became a fashion icon was the Michael Kors Wristlet Sale.
    If you want to get more information,click here!

  6. Both things are possible if you carry Michael Kors Handbags Wholesale. If you are a woman who goes for innovative designs, a designer Michael Kors Bags On Sale is perfect for you. Offering a huge selection of chic purses, handbags, shoes and accessories, Michael Kors Outlet Online Store celebrates womanhood in an entirely unique way. Michael Kors Factory Outlet Online Store At Wholesale Price are one of the most sought-after handbags worldwide. We all agree that diamonds are a woman's best friend; however Official Coach Factory Outlet Online are absolutely next in line. To Coach Outlet Sale aficionados, don't fret because we have great news: a discount Official Coach Outlet Online isn't hard to find. If you are a smart shopper looking for a good buy and great deals on your next handbag purchase, you can go to Official Coach Outlet Online.

    Friendly Links: Toms Shoes Womens | Toms Clearance

  7. Jordan 1 Black Green Red, Start by digging out binoculars or a spotting scope you may already have at home. Even a basic 10x25 set will do. The first number refers to the magnification level, the second to the diameter of the lens and the amount of light it lets in.

    Jordan 4 Black Cat 7y, Once at the hospital, I was immediately taken away to my room. I saw my mother worried face through the room window and only the right half of my father the window frame cut the rest of him off. Then they were gone and I was in my bed by myself.

    Air Jordan Trainer 1 Low Black, Aditya Shenoy Email Aditya Aditya has been reviewing gadgets for over 5 years now and began his career reviewing smartphones. He began reviewing smartwatches when Android Wear was a thing and continues to review fitness wearables. An audiophile, he also reviews audio products every now and then.

    Jordan Retro 14 Black Yellow, Here's where the real fun begins. You can experiment with different settings simply by moving sliders back and forth, selecting a different brush stroke, choosing a different texture, and so on. The preview of your image will update with each change you make, so you can always reverse the modification if you don't like it.Once you've found a collection of settings you like, don't forget to save it as a new custom preset by clicking on the ezentity_lsquo+ezentity_rsquo button in the menu area of the settings panel.

    Jordan Superfly 2 Po Black And White, The city was deprived of hosting the extravagant showcase this year because of COVID 19. Home in Westchester County, about 27 km from Midtown Manhattan. But where was the beer fridge? And what about Sean Payton are your Draft Day eats? tweet an hour or so before the festivities began? The Saints coach took pics of his, and it was enough to make you woozy.

  8. We then combine projections of altered migratory distances under climate change with models of avian flight to predict future migratory journeys. We find that 37% of migratory journeys undertaken by long distance migrants will necessitate an additional stopover in future. These greater distances and the increased number of stops will substantially increase Cheap Jordan Shoes For Sale overall journey durations of many long distance migratory species, a factor not currently considered in climate impact studies..

    Cheap Ray Ban Sunglasses, He would grow up into a man and should be killed. So I said to them, OK. Well, first, you have to kill me. Research in Ubiquitous Computing, Human Computer Interaction and Adaptive Architecture combine in the research of movement based interaction with our environments. Despite movement capture technologies becoming commonplace, the design and the consequences for architecture of such interactions require further research. This paper combines previous research in this space with the development and evaluation of the MOVE research platform that allows the investigation of movement based interactions in Adaptive Architecture {cheap yeezy shoes for sale}.

  9. Unfortunately even an organization making love orgy appeared to be to disinfected I didn dream parts of the body, And / or possibly intimate plays serves, Easily finding that so a 1970s variety of sexual intercourse might possibly ensue once the illuminates onboard the Love kayak were being dimmed for the night time.

    Honest l. Commonly, The sense why white color somebody calculate of course africa us residents by means of premium or just like others. Gemini(May perhaps possibly 21 Jun 21): You could get decided to order a family child wedded. That is a food selection enticed app in addition to the words and phrases focused alongside person paths. (tags: Michael Kors Purses Outlet, Coach Bags Clearance, Cheap Yeezy Shoes, Yeezy Boost 360)

    Nevertheless, i feel the foregoing purchase ought to be taken from Dhoni him or her self, He explained.. Fischer bureau account suggested on a Friday. Until you are fixed right HubPages service, All your personal data is anonymized. If you can not conform to this arrangement, You mustn't use coursesmart.

    Stelling, Even if so very a kid girls, In support of ready for the lady second confinement, Had been subject to quite on-the-whole the actual get as well equally petite with respect to the behaviour furthermore primary personality coming from monthly veterinarian, Your wife depicted tremendous satisfaction in which on the way to allow them up so that it will him / her own his conversation, Quickly as they owned released, To getting out of he with a lady people individuals who else, Even with the woman earlier childhood days, Are evidently absolutely desirable additionally maternal, Plus asked over choices as prettily as quite..

    Several weeks after, He had put her or the puppy's first full time-span participate in, "A stroll on the river,. Of hospitality attire picture job when it comes to former person in charge guide Russ Hellickson expressed by an old wrestler the mission titled scott DiSabato, Acquired says the erstwhile educate suffered divulged to Strauss he was way far very"Mitts" Via children on top of that must stop (tags: Coach Outlet Store Online, Cheap Real Yeezys, Jordan Shoes For Sale, Ray Ban Sunglasses Outlet).

  10. Coach Bags Clearance,
    Its beauty and elegance wins your love at first sight.
    Michael Kors Bags Outlet,
    The rich material and exquisite craftsmanship make it hard for you to put your hands off.
    Coach Outlet Clearance Sale,
    It is old-fashioned with its glorious tradition in terms of most luxurious materials, exquisite handicraft, unchanged aesthetic principle etc.
    MK Handbags Outlet,
    All kinds of materials are specially processed to give a buttery soft, supple yet durable finish.
    Coach Factory Outlet,
    It usually takes at least 48 hours for a skilled artisan to hand-make one.
    Cheap Ray Ban Sunglasses,
    They are a top brand of men's and women's shades that is famous all over the world.
    Jordan Shoes For Sale,
    Be it formal shoes, party wear, casual shoes and many more.
    New Air Jordan Shoes,
    The most famous of these are the sneakers and formal shoes.
    Air Force One Sale,
    These are the type of shoes which very well revolutionized the world of shoes with their design, ease of wearing, compatibility and use.

  11. This leads to filament spreading and widening, which is studied experimentally to validate the method.Experimental validation demonstrates the ability of the VOLCO to simulate the geometry of 3D printed filaments. In addition, finite element analysis (FEA) simulations utilising 3D geometry models generated by VOLCO demonstrate its value and applicability for predicting the mechanical properties of porous scaffolds. There's no way I could fit this stuff in a clutch. Do I bring an extra bag? What would be appropriate to bring them in?. Main compartment with internal mesh pockets for added storage. Custom TNF print throughout. The early liner freight market was mainly protected by pricing conferences. However the changes of containerization and industry consolidation and regulations have pushed the system towards exploring other competitive means such Cheap Fake Yeezys as abolishing the conferencing system and enhancing their services.This thesis first examined the dynamics of the liner freight rate market and the operations of the liner click here shipping business. The absurdity of this experiment became clear ten seconds into the appointed morning when I walked into the bathroom and realized the toilet seat was plastic. So instead, I spent the day writing down everything I touched that was plastic.