Send us your bones, dummy!

Send us your bones, dummy!

Today, Kat and I went to view the wonders on display at the International Museum of Surgical Science, here in Chicago.

What an excellent way to spend an afternoon.  They have piles and piles of bonesaws.  Was everybody into amputation back in the olden days?

Other highlights — a full recreation of a 19th century apothecary, an iron lung, and a human skull elongated by binding.

Photo gallery here. Also accessible from my Photos page on the menu above.

The view from the 15th floor of the main Fermi Lab building

 

So on Friday, my health and science reporting class took a road trip to Fermi Lab, about an hour outside of Chicago.

They’ve got a particle collider there, and they smash protons and anti protons together to see what happens.

Over the years, they were responsible for the discovery of three primary particles, including the bottom and top quarks.

It was a fascinating trip, even though the weather was against us.  The campus is large, and primarily looks like prairie.  You wouldn’t know there was a particle collider there, unless you saw the huge earth birms from above.

Here’s a trailer for a PBS special that was filmed there called “The Atom Smashers”.  Bonus — the special was scored by Ghostly International’s Kate Simko.

Want to see some more pictures I took at Fermi?

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Taken yesterday at Northwestern's Evanston campus.  Those giant fish sure were squirmy.  The duck is for scale.

Taken yesterday at Northwestern’s Evanston campus. Those giant fish sure were squirmy. The duck is for scale.

At a certain time of day, specifically, a little bit before 9 AM, if you exit onto the street at the Monroe stop on the Red Line in the Loop, you’ll see that the light reflected off the shiny glass building on the west side of the street illuminating the buildings on the east side of the street.

To me, it looks like glowing sunlight bones.

Neat!

Neat!

For DJs that like to kick it old-school

For DJs that like to kick it old-school

Check out this beautiful gallery of obsolete gadgets and tech from DarkRoastedBlend.com

I particularly love the mad scientist cold-war era Russian stuff.

Found via BoingBoing Gadgets.

Well, I asked Google, and I found this metafilter page, which helpfully has an answer from one of my heroes, Robert Anton Wilson:

Robert Anton Wilson called it “metanoia”: Paranoia = “everything wants to destroy me”; Metanoia = “everything wants to help me”. I’m not sure if he was getting that somehow from John Lilly’s metanoia, RD Laing’s metanoia, the New Testament’s metanoia, or just made it up on his own.

Good enough for me.

It’s been seeming like the city’s been talking to me lately.  For instance, there must be an “Ian” that lives (or has lived) in Rogers Park before me, and he’s taken it upon himself to leave little notes stuck all around the city:

Found on a newspaper distribution box outside the Rogers Park Post Office, on W. Devon Ave.

Found on a newspaper distribution box outside the Rogers Park Post Office, on W. Devon Ave.

There’s another one stuck on a newspaper box right on the corner of Sheridan and Lunt as well.  I walk by it practically every day.

Then Tuesday night, I’m having a little bit of supper with some friends between classes, and what do I see as I’m walking out of the restaurant?

irishamericannews

It’s actually called ‘The Irish American News’.

So you got my attention, Universe.  What’s the message?

monroeelstop

The beach at Loyola Park in Chicago.  It's thawing out, and starting to look really nice.

The beach at Loyola Park in Chicago. It’s thawing out, and starting to look really nice.

Today’s another pretty nice day.  It’s not as beautiful as yesterday, but still pretty nice.

I went and walked around a little bit in Loyola Park, which is actually my backyard.

It’s starting to thaw out, finally, and the park is really great now that it’s a civilized temperature outside.

I wish I had taken my camera out yesterday, when I walked essentially the same route.  There was an excellently creepy old snowman that someone built on the beach, probably a month ago.  It was dirty and melting, and standing in the sand with weather-worn gloves serving as his snowman hands.  The image of a melting, filthy snowman on the beach was kind of horrifying, in a nice way.

Alas, today, the snowman had melted away completely.

Birds use the melting icebergs near the shore as landing pads.

Birds use the melting icebergs near the shore as landing pads.

Click the image to see the slideshow.

cnyas1

timetoopenthewindowsIt’s beautiful today.

The temperature is something like 50 degrees, and all the snow that’s been covering the ground for the last month is melting.

It’s not spring time yet, but you can tell it’s getting closer.  It’s certainly a good day to air out the house.