Thursday, July 18, 2013

science and magic

It's been a few years since I've been to the Natural History Museum, mostly because I'm a little intimidated by science and also because it's always super hot in there. Structurally, it's probably the most beautiful museum in London, a converted Victorian rail station, but sadly, no air conditioning. But lots of fascinating bugs! And you can't swing a cat without hitting a school group. But I went today with Josh and Jason, one of whom is a science major at UVU and the other who was bored and just wanted to see the Human Conception room. (If you know these guys, you'll know who's who.)

Anyway, the most interesting part is always the "journey to the center of the earth," which is just an escalator through a giant lava earth. Inside it's all glowing red and fiery. You feel, for a moment, that you are at Disneyland. But it's really just for that one moment.

Because they are good sports, I dragged Josh and Jason to the Cine Lumiere across the street to see one of my favorite movies, Warner Herzog's Aguirre: The Wrath of God. It was made in 1972, yes, the year I was born, and it's all about Pizarro's exploration of Peru. But mostly its about a madman named Aguirre who talks to monkeys. And lots of people get shot by poisonous arrows and darts and say funny things right before they die. There are cannibals and lots of thick, fake, pinkish blood. But it's such a fascinating movie. We laughed a lot. We continued to quote it the rest of the day.

Tonight we saw Matilda, which I saw two years ago. It was as delightful as I remembered. It might be my favorite modern musical. The library scenes drag a little bit, but the rest of it is pure joy. It's fast, fresh, funny, and so so clever. I was worried because the original Agatha Trunchbull, Bertie Carver, was now playing the role on Broadway, and I didn't think that anyone could live up. But David Leonard was really great, too, and very gracious when we met him after the show. It's so encouraging to see these musicals full of so much heart and energy.

Afterwards, Nate, Jason, Josh and I walked down the river to get a little closer to Big Ben. And then, as a trip to Big Ben always seems to do, we were inspired to go get a Big Mac. Which we did. Where we saw some ladies from New Jersey complaining about their fries.