Day 2 in London: British Museum of Natural History and The Darwin Center

It was another beautiful day in London! After a quick stop in the Cafe in the Garden, we began our class.

A little breakfast and a lot of discussion!

Natasha, sporting some large glasses, chose a healthy breakfast.

Large glasses seem to be all the rage this year in London.

We discussed when the students would present their thesis ideas and talked about how the Enlightenment and Victorian cultures may have influenced Dickens. We also talked about some of the major themes in Great Expectations.

After our discussion we had a break for lunch and then took the tube to the British Museum of Natural History.

Before we entered, we sat on the lawn while Dr. Firenze gave us a history of the museum and the Darwin Center.

We learned about how the collection at the museum was housed at the British Museum before being moved to this site. After hearing a little about the museum, we went inside.

We made time for a picture with the statue of Charles Darwin.

After seeing a little bit of the museum, we had a private tour of the Darwin Center.

Unfortunately, we were not able to take photos in the Darwin Center. The students were able to see scientists at work and view some of the 71 million specimens that are at the museum. We visited the “spirit collection” where we saw thousands of specimens preserved in alcohol (the spirits), including some “type” specimens collected by Charles Darwin himself. We also saw a giant squid and some flesh-eating beetles cleaning a fish skeleton. You can see them at work here: flesh-eating beetles.

After our afternoon at the museum, the students enjoyed a free evening in London. It was a hot day, near 80 degrees. Dr. Saraceno was very eager for a cool drink.

The warm weather (unusual for London) made everyone want to cool off. Dr. Firenze and Dr. Saraceno decided to try some synchronized diving.

Unfortunately, they failed to impress the judges.

Check back in tomorrow for another update!

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~ by Dr. Musa on May 23, 2012.

4 Responses to “Day 2 in London: British Museum of Natural History and The Darwin Center”

  1. Glad to see the lads ended the day with the rarely seen and seldom completed synchronized dive – the famed Firenze/Saraceno two and a half flying wedgie, degree of difficulty 3.14. Hopefully, they hit the pool this time.

  2. Dave, I did tune in later for the results of this complicated double dive. Though they did manage to hit the pool and it did have water this time around, it was Firenze’s raised arm that botched the maneuver. It was not clear in the replays whether there was actual contact as a result of Firenze’s flailing forelimb or if it was Firenze’s ferocious pheromones that threw off Saraceno.

    • Ahh yes, the old pheromone ploy! Pheromone — so that’s what Dr. Firenze is calling these days.

  3. “Great Expectations” —- Dr. Saraceno’s first Shirley Temple of the evening.

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