Saturday, September 27, 2008

Rivers to the sea

Claire and her dad check out the rattlesnakes

Madame X with First Mate Claire aboard the dredge Wm. M. Black

Claire at the helm of the Black: A reluctant pilot.

Museum director Jerry Enzler views the monitor linked to the kiosk

Saturday morning, the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium unveiled a new kiosk exhibit dedicated to oceans. I was pleased to attend the opening.

Wait a minute! What do rivers have to do with oceans? Everything, it turns out. Billions of gallons of the Mississippi flow into the Gulf of Mexico every hour. Other rivers and streams flow into the Mississippi. Well, you get the idea.

The river museum in Dubuque, which opened five years ago, is an affiliate of the Smithsonian.
The touch-screen video kiosk opened simultaneously (actually, an hour or so before) the opening of the Sant Ocean Hall at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History.

Madame X and I were joined by Claire and her parents. After the breakfast program and unveiling of the kiosk, we toured the museum, where the current featured exhibit is Venom, featuring venomous (not poisonous!) creatures, including the chance to get up close and personal with rattlesnakes.

The museum plans bigger and better things in the next couple of years, nearly doubling its size. Hard to imagine an experience that is twice as good as what Dubuque now offers.

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