The Scibling meetup weekend included free passes to see the ponies at the American Museum of Natural History. OMG PONIES… but I found the exhibit depressing, for the following reason:


I don’t understand why more organizations don’t give out press kits to bloggers. We make such good use of the material.

Anyway, the horse exhibit was nice, as far as exhibits about squishy living things go, but I ran off to see the rocks as quickly as possible. I wish I’d had time to do more than a quick jog through the earth science exhibits; there are ultra old-fashioned displays asserting that geologic processes exist purely to concentrate ore for human use, a great number of video interviews with geoscientists that provide nice glimpses into what it’s like to work in this field (or would, if anybody watched them for more than 10 seconds), and a few things I thought actually worked quite well, like a “powers of 10” series of signs and scale models.

If you’ve only got time for a quick jog through the minerals, though, what you actually want to see at the American Museum of Natural History right now is the giant piece of stibnite in a grand gallery “recent acquisitions” case. I don’t have a picture – my camera, a truculent robot even at the best of times and in the best of lighting conditions, has been acting up all weekend – but the Wikipedia article on stibnite should give you an idea of how shiny it is.


  1. Epicanis wrote:

    “[…]as far as exhibits about squishy living things go[…]”
    You’re not my wife in disquise, are you?…

    (She’s a PhD Geologist. We reguarly have dialogues while travelling that go something like this:
    Her (indicating a collection of columnar basalt or other interesting formation): “Wow, check that out! Isn’t that amazing?”
    Me: “Cool! That really IS some nifty-looking lichen on that!”)

  2. Lab Lemming wrote:

    Do they still have the really big iron meteorite?

  3. Maria Brumm wrote:

    They do still have the meteorite! It’s quite impressive. And there was a little kid next to me asking what kind of rock it was made of, awwww.

  4. Daniel Harper wrote:

    Regarding the stibnite, I happened to have been in NYC a couple of weeks ago and took a photo. I uploaded it to Facebook and it should be available here:

    I can email you the original if you like.

  5. mark wrote:

    Gee, all the times I went there many years ago, I don’t remember anything about geologic processes operating for the purpose of benefiting humans. I do remember thinking it funny that we were going off to see fossils of “horny” corals.

  6. Susie wrote:

    You have aided me in the production of an insight: a major factor in eliciting my interest is the smoochability quotient of the subject in question.
    Eohippus ponies = high smoochability quotient (although extincts) –> I am very interested.
    Stibnite = low smoochability quotient –> Look, pritty rock! zzzzzz…

    Although shininess does play a small but measurable role.

  7. Susie wrote:

    Ooops I meant hypohippus.

  8. Maria Brumm wrote:

    You’re saying mineral specimens aren’t smoochable?


  9. Susie wrote:

    You’re saying mineral specimens aren’t smoochable?

    It’s not either/or; it’s a scale. And, of course, it’s still subjective, because I’m a social scientist, and even when we quantify we fuck it up. However, I’d just like to point out that if you smooch that stibnite, you’re liable to cut your lip.

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *