Tuesday, November 22, 2011

J'adore Paris!

Bonjour from Paris! As promised, blogging for the next few weeks from France at one of the greatest museums in the world!

A fine, beautiful foggy morning in the Jardin des Plantes. A wonderful timeless place that almost seems like you could see some great historical figures, like d'Orbigny or Lamarck still walking around in wigs and tights ...
They have giant sea-urchin inspired object d'art lying around!
Their famous rows of perfectly ordered trees...a haven for kissing couples, joggers, hurried museum scientists and many, many school groups doing assignments as they hurry to the Grand Galerie d'Evolution!
Here's a statue I missed the last time I was in Paris.

Jean Baptiste LAMARCK!!
On the base of the statue reads " Fondateur de la Doctrine de l' Evolution" which alludes to the more general concept of "change with descent" as opposed to Darwin's Natural Selection. Plenty to read about Lamarck here.

My business? brings me to one of the largest collections of natural history specimens in the world in an underground specimen vault known as the Zootheque-which is basically the French parallel to the Smithsonian's NMNH natural history collections..
The collections lie underground and securely sequestered away...
with many buckets full of specimens, both old and new to explore...

But, you don't come to Paris without taking in some of the sights...

the delightful gate at St. Denis..
the gorgeous architecture
but I've always been more of a fan of the subtle, street level art. For example there's literally 1000s of these "Space Invaders" by artist Invader located throughout Paris (and indeed the world). There's even a Wikipedia page about them..
There's this pink skeleton which is part of "Gaz"Art that uses manhole covers+grafitti... A website of other examples is here.
and of course, you cannot escape without pictures of French cakes!
More to follow...

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