I recently attended a sort of class trip to the Franklin Institute with my wife and a bunch of her vet school classmates. There is currently a Jurassic World themed exhibit on display and this anatomy professor who also happens to be a paleontologist organized this extracurricular trip to go see it for any students who might be interested.
First of all, anatomy professor at an ivy league university and an actual paleontologist at the same time? Awesome. It's like how Indiana Jones is an archaeologist but also a whip wielding, adventure having badass with a PhD in being fucking rad on the side. This guy is all like "Yeah I teach anatomy at one of the top veterinary institutions in the world and by the way I've discovered and named six dinosaurs. No big deal."
Thankfully, spouses/partners of students who would literally punch a toddler for a chance to see a twenty foot tall animatronic T-rex were invited to attend as well if they wanted. This explains how I got there. No toddler punching was required.
The actual exhibit was not what either Emily or I expected, but it was still pretty goddamn awesome. Emily thought it was going to be a lot of fossils, bones and skeletons, while I was expecting more of a behind the scenes look at the technical stuff that went into making the movies. In actuality it's more of a walkthrough thing that they have set up to make it seem like you are a tourist visiting actual Jurassic World. You follow a little narrative as if you are a VIP guest arriving on the island and visiting different exhibits all the way up until the finale where the giant murder dinosaur gets loose, surprising no one.
While I would have liked to learn more about what actually goes into the creation of the practical and digital effects from the various Jurassic Park Movies, I'm sure as shit not going to complain about a ceiling high fully articulated brachiosaurus head.
I got this idea that it was really funny to take a bunch of selfies where my head is blocking most of the dinosaur, or it's out of focus or something. It's like there is this enormous, lifelike hybrid marvel of engineering, science and art behind you and you just take a picture where your dumb head is blocking most of it.
Even Emily got in on this one. I kept taking all these crap selfies, until at one point one of her friends asked if we'd like her to take our picture, because she's a normal, polite person. She was all, "Oh, do you guys want me to take your picture in front of the dinosaur for you?" and I was like "Nah." She looked at me like I was kind of a crazy person so I elaborated that I was 'doing a thing' and that 'the pictures being bad is the point'. For some reason my clarification did not help.
In any event I did take at least a few pictures that weren't bad on purpose.
Emily wanted a picture of this baby dino here. This little guy and his mother who's giant legs you can see behind him are one of about 3524894734258 relatives of Triceratopsthat nobody give a shit about apparently because they don't have sick horns and aren't one of the four dinosaurs anyone knows the name of. It's a little sad, really that there are all these dinos floundering in obscurity while that limelight hogging hussy Triceratops takes all the glory.
It's ok little guy, we know the feeling. We have the same problem with Jason Momoa
He's such a glorious piece of chiseled man-god that nobody gives a shit about most of us in comparison either.
Anyway, this guy was part of the exhibit too who I'm pretty sure is supposed to be the dinosaur they made up to be the uberdino that murders faces in the newest movie
Actually, now that I think about it, I don't think this guy is a he. I'm pretty sure it's supposed to be a she because all the dinosaurs in the movie were female?... Or did it become a weird hermaphrodite... I don't know. To be honest a lot of the plot stuff they made up about the badguy dinosaur in Jurassic World was pretty shitty.
In any event, there was this whole sequence involving Murdersaurus Rex near the end of the tour, complete with machine gun sound effects and a bazooka where unseen park security presumably shoot it to death horribly in front everyone. Kind of a weird choice in my opinion seeing as it's an exhibit filled with small children but whatever I guess. If the kids don't learn about firing rocket launchers at rampaging dinosaurs now, how will they be prepared when they have to defend themselves against a real velociraptor attack?
After the giant animations portion they had a bunch more kid friendly/ traditional museum-y displays. Naturally while all the graduate students who came as part of the class trip perused the informational plaques and chatted one on one or in small groups with the professor, I played with a bunch of shit like a child.
I made a 3-D dinosaur of my own creation at a station which let you email it to yourself when you finished. Here he is in all his glory:
Look at that sassy motherfucker. Just struttin' around with his pink ass. God he is so sassy. That has got to be the sassiest stegosaurus ever to fake-walk the digital imaginary landscape of the pretend earth.
Look at him
That beautiful sassy son of a bitch aside, the last room before you left the exhibit had a bunch of touch exhibits including a station with paper and crayons were kids could make rubbings of some little dinosaur etched slabs they had.
By kids, of course I mean me.
Not only did I make a dino-crayon rubbing at a station where I had to bend double to reach the table because it was sized appropriately for a 7 year old; I goddamn waited in line to do it. I also silently judged the creations of people ahead of me in the process. A yellow t-rex kid? Really? Take that amateur hour shit and get out of here.
Mine of course is a masterpiece. You see that sweet illusion of perspective you get from that majestic ass foreground dino against the majestic mountain range in the back? It's truly majestic. Everything about this is Majestic. It's literally just shitting majesty all over your eyes right now.
Sassosaurus in my email inbox and crayon rubbing in hand we exited the Jurrassic World exhibit having learned basically fuckall about dinosaurs from the exhibit itself, a bunch of cool stuff from Indiana Professor the anatomy teacher, and having thoroughly enjoyed robot dino fun time.