Ohio: There and Back Again
Over the 2-4 weekend, a nerd party consisting of me, my brother, my dad, and my wife took a trip to the States for something to do. We left Friday morning and just got back Monday night after midnight (so technically Tuesday), hence the lack of posting/commenting for the past few days.
We crossed the border in Windsor and got a really jerky border guard. The first thing we visited was the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan. They have a vast collection of mechanical wonders and oddities there, including huge steam trains, all manner of ancient automobiles, and a portable house designed by Buckminster Fuller. So why was I most excited about seeing the Oscar Mayer
The next day we went to the Ohio Caverns and saw some cool stalactites and stalagmites. Despite being in pretty much hillbilly country, the tour guide and the facility itself make no bones about the fact that the caverns are over 200000 years old and that it takes a very long time indeed for the calcite deposits to form. No Old Earth Creationists here.
Sunday, after a series of navigational errors by my brother which took us to Kentucky, we went to the Cinncinati Museum and saw an Omnimax movie about the Alps (Omnimax hurts my head) and then toured their Museum of Natural History. They have a great exhibit on the ice age and have numerous casts of Pleistocene megafauna like giant ground sloths. For no good reason, here's a photo of the hind end of a mastodon.
Finally, on Monday, we went to the National Air Force Museum at the Wright Patterson Air Force Base. We didn't see any aliens (the Roswell remains were rumoured to have been sent there for analysis back in the '50s) but we did see all manner of fantastical engineering marvels, most of which were at American taxpayer expense. This is a Goblin - a short-range escort fighter meant to be carried by the larger plane it's escorting.
As a Canadian, the following signs were very disturbing and otherworldly, yet they were all over the place in the States. This one was located at the cavern ticketbooth.
And finally, on the way to the Air Force Museum, we saw this:
It's a giant statue of Jesus rising out of the water that's so tacky even my wife thinks God would not approve. America: sometimes I don't know whether to laugh or cry.