Fossils are the lucky ones

From Errol Morris’ “Whose Father Was He? (Part Five)” (The New York Times: 2 April 2009):

I had an opportunity to visit the fossil collections at the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman, Montana. It was part of a dinosaur fossil-hunting trip with Jack Horner, the premier hunter of T-Rex skeletons. Downstairs in the lab, there was a Triceratops skull sitting on a table. I picked it up and inserted my finger into the brain cavity. (I had read all these stories about how small the Triceratops brain had to have been and I wanted to see for myself.) I said to Jack Horner, “To think that someday somebody will do that with my skull.” And he said, “You should be so lucky. It’s only the privileged few of us who get to be fossils.”

A museum I definitely want to visit

From Best Undiscovered Museum of Americana:

It’s hard to imagine how anything so big could be such a well-kept secret, but there are only two kinds of people in the world: those who haven’t heard of the Shelburne Museum , and those who rave about it. I’m one of the latter.

Situated on 45 acres outside Burlington, Vermont, the Shelburne has been called the “Smithsonian of New England.” It was founded by Electra Havemeyer Webb, heiress to sugar and railroad fortunes. An avid collector of Americana, Webb built the Shelburne and left an active foundation in place to keep it running and growing. It now encompasses 37 exhibits and buildings, some of them nearly incomprehensible in scope. They built a railroad, for instance, to bring the steamship Ticonderoga to the site. A curved building a quarter of a mile long covers a Lilliputian circus parade, each figure, animal, and cart hand-carved — by one person. The figures are only inches tall, and no two are alike.