Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Websites Listed in My Favorite Bathroom Book (Part 5)

It's time for me to explore another website listed in my favorite bathroom book.

Today's website is the National Museum of Australia. And it's a little different from the websites I've explored in the past, because I've actually been to the museum before. I can speak from personal experience this time. Well, I ALWAYS inject personal experiences into my post. But I'm speaking of actually being to a place and having memories of it.

That being said, there might not be many memories.

I actually don't remember much about being there.  Fortunately, I have an old trip report post that might be able to assist me.  Let me go find that....

Yeah. Unfortunately, that's true. I'm not a big museum fan. I like them in theory. But in reality, they're overwhelming and I end up feeling exhausted by the end of the visit. 

I just went and read my old paragraph about the museum. I said something very similar to what I just wrote above.

I ended up not liking it. And I PROMISE it has nothing to do with the quality of the museum. It's an excellent museum about Australia. It's a GREAT history museum. I just don't do well in museums. I think I like them in theory...especially if they're about something I'm totally obsessed with. But I think they end up being too overwhelming for me. It's hard for me to go back and forth between reading and looking at things. I get very tired....very fast. I have the same problem with coffee table books. It's easier for me to just read something straight through. And if they have a little collection of photos in the middle of the book, that's great. But when I'm faced with a book that has photographs and captions on each page, my brain gets a bit jumbled.

So that's that.

Strangely, I have no photographs from the museum. I wonder why. It could be because I split up from Tim and Jack for awhile. And maybe I didn't want to take photos without people. My dad used to push the idea that it's important to have people in your photos; it makes the photos more interesting. At times I've agreed with him. Maybe our 2009 trip to Australia was one of those times. OR maybe there's a rule against photography at the museum.

Actually, I'm looking at our Canberra album, and there are several photos sans people. So I don't think I was following my dad's photo mindset at the time. So either there was a museum rule about photography, or maybe I was just too lazy to take the camera out and take pictures. Who knows.....

Now I shall look at the website for the National Museum of Australia.

It's a bit full on. If I were to explore the whole thing, I'd be here all day. No...all year actually.

I'm not even sure where to start.

Well, I just looked at the About Us page and that has a million different links.

Maybe I'll start with the basics. The museum is open 9-5, every day except Christmas.

It's located on a lake peninsula; the lake being Lake Burley Griffin.

If you were working in Parliament and wanted to visit the museum after work; it would be about an eight minute drive.

General admission to the museum is free, but some special exhibitions have a price.

Photography IS allowed, but only with permanent exhibits. You can't take photos of temporary exhibits. Maybe that explains my lack of photographs. Maybe I didn't have the brains to figure out what was permanent and what was temporary, so I just avoided taking any photos.

Also, though, you're not allowed to bring in backpacks. You have to check those in the cloakroom. Maybe I accidentally forgot to take my camera out of the backpack before checking it.

The museum has some helpful safety information, mostly regarding lost children. One is to point out staff to the children, so they know who to go to if lost. The other is, if you have children who tend to wander, write your mobile number on them somewhere. So that way, if they get lost and someone finds them, they can call you.

I like what they say about breastfeeding. The parenting room includes a comfortable place for breastfeeding, however breastfeeding is welcome in all areas of the Museum.  Amen to that!

There are other lovely things provided by the museum, including bike racks for those who want to ride their bikes to the museum, and free wheelchairs and scooters for those who need those.  I'm guessing people who need wheelchairs on a full-time basis would have their own. So these are probably for those who aren't wheelchair bound, but walking through a museum would be difficult for them.

There's a link on the website that says budget. I thought it was the museum's budget, but it's Australia's budget in general.

This website isn't just about the museum. It's about pretty much EVERYTHING.

I'm going to try to stick to things that are about the museum specifically.

Here's a page where you can become a museum friend. I'm not sure if you have to pay or not. So far, I don't see anything about money.

Maybe I'll try joining.  If it's free.

It's not free.

And I think they kind of trick you. There's nothing about the cost until you fill in all your information and provide a password.

Wait. Here we go. I just missed it. There IS a page about membership cost.  It's title is "Join Your Friends", so I took it to mean, your friends are friends of the museum, so you should be too. A more apt title might be "Cost and benefits of Membership". There's actually a benefits page, so they could have explained the cost there.

If I lived in Canberra, I might pay for membership. It would mostly depend on Jack, whether he was interested or not. He likes museums a lot but less so than he did when he was younger.

Then again, general admission is free. So I guess it would depend on how often the ticketed exhibits interested us.

You can volunteer at the museum. If I lived in Canberra, maybe I would do that.  A little mean voice in my head just said, then why aren't you volunteering at the museum in Fort Worth.

I answered, because our museum is about Fort Worth and not Australia. Duh! 

I'm kind of flipping through the zillion pages and stopping at stuff that interests me.

Here's a page about the museum building itself. It's defined as post-modern.  I'm not a fan, personally.
The guys who designed it are Ashton Raggatt McDougall and Robert Peck von Hartel Trethowan. They won a contest in 1997.

What's the deal with the super long names?

I just Googled Ashton Raggatt McDougall and found it's not a person. It's an architecture firm from Melbourne.

The other name though might be an actual person.

Now I'm going to look at the museum's exhibitions.   I think these would be the temporary exhibits, the ones you're not supposed to photograph.

The highlighted exhibit right now is about horses in Australia.  The cost is $15 for adults who are not friends of the museum; and $7.50 for those who are friends.  Children and teens, under the age of 16, are free.

The exhibit ends in March.

If someone reading this loves horses, is interested in Australia, but can't make it to Canberra before March; the museum website has a lot of goodies for you.  For example, there's a whole page about a horse welfare book published in the 1860's.

Another temporary exhibition is one about the Torres Strait Islanders. It's free. The exhibit started in June, but there's no end date. Maybe it's going to become permanent?

Again, there's plenty of resources here for people who can't visit the museum. This includes a timeline about the history of Torres Strait Islanders.

Interesting... In the 1950's, pearling stopped.  The main reason is people started using synthetic buttons. So, I guess in the past, buttons were often made of pearls?

There is some pearling in Australia still. Right? In Broome? Or is that over too?

I think it's really dangerous—from what I remember reading.

This website provides information about pearling jobs in Australia. So the industry still exists.  They don't talk about it being dangerous, but do say the job can be quite monotonous, dirty and smelly.

The safety of the industry is probably determined by how much the workers themselves are valued.  If workers are seen and treated as subhuman, safety is probably going to be ignored. And that's probably why it might be dangerous.

The third temporary exhibition at the museum is called Warlpiri Drawings. The tagline for the exhibit is very Doctor Who—Remembering the future.

This exhibit is free. And again, if you don't want to travel to Canberra, there are a lot of treasures provided on the website.  This includes drawings about remembering the future.  I like this one; it kind of reminds me of Spirograph.  Actually, I don't think the link goes to that specific drawing, so I'll just say...it's the first drawing.

I just consulted Lord Wiki about the Warlpiri people. I wasn't sure where they're from. He says they're from the Northern Territory.

The fourth temporary exhibit is another free one. It's called "Big Objects on Show".

I think my favorite thing from this exhibit is the Saw Doctor's Wagon. It looks pretty cool. If the 12th doctor ever happens to lose the Tardis, I think he should travel in something like this.

Now I'm going to glance at the permanent exhibits.

There's one about landmarks.

I probably saw all this stuff when we visited in 2009. I can't say I remember much, though.

Included in the landmarks exhibit is a gallery related to colonial life. The museum's collection includes the death mask of a reverend, a convict shirt, and the Batman land deed. For those wondering. It is not the same Batman who protects people in Gotham City.

There's an exhibit called Journeys, which deals with migrants and travelers. The gallery for this exhibit includes a dead sea cucumber.  If you don't want to travel all the way to Canberra to see it; you can look at a picture of it on the website. By the way, the aquariums in Sydney have actual living cucumbers that you can touch. It's pretty cool—maybe more cool than looking at a dead one.

There's an exhibit about the First Australians. Here you can see very old boomerangs and other exciting things. You can also learn something—if you're not like me and your brain doesn't turn to mush when you're in a museum.

There's an exhibit about Eternity. It's about the chalk writings in Australia, but other things as well. The museum website says, Eternity is based on 10 emotional themes that speak directly to people's experiences: joy, hope, passion, mystery, thrill, loneliness, fear, devotion, separation and chance. Each theme features several stories, anchored by a significant object and using innovative multimedia techniques to tell a wider story.

That sounds like it could be interesting.  I like the themes they've chosen. It could be a fun blogging project...you know one of those that a lot of people participate in. Every day, bloggers could all write about the same thing. For example, on Thursday everyone write about a time they experienced joy. On Friday, everyone write about a time they experienced hope...etc.

I'm looking at the passion page, because it relates to my blog.  This is how they describe passion: Passion, like love, attracts and is attractive. Full of longing and desire, a passion for someone or something – intense love or an outburst of anger – can become so strong it's barely controllable. If you feed this raw appetite, passion can tip into obsession. Once aroused, in all its fervent keenness, passion can be something to relish.

I love that, and I especially love how they mention both the positive and negative aspects.

I'm not sure I agree about the raw appetite thing.

Well, maybe I do.


When I first felt passionate about Australia, it was quite quiet and contained. Then we bought plane tickets and I started reading Australia books. Then it did tip into obsession.

Is obsession good or bad?

I think it can go either way. It's bad if you're obsessed with a person and they don't like you back. Then that can lead to stalkerish behavior. Not necessarily, though! Some people become obsessed with celebrities or certain characters. Instead of stalking, they do creative things like write fan fiction and make collages.

For passion, the museum has stories of various people and their passions.  For example, Graeme Clark had a passion for hearing, and that led to him eventually inventing the bionic ear.

I really love this exhibit. I could go on and on about it. I'm not going to do that, though. At least not now. But I think I'll bookmark it and look at it later.

I wonder if I noticed it when we visited the museum. I probably did, but didn't pay enough attention.

Onto the other permanent exhibits.

There's one about Australia's environmental History. You can see the skeleton of a thylacine. That's pretty exciting. And sad.

The last exhibit is an audiovisual thing. It's in a theater.

Speaking of theaters....

When we were at the museum, there was this really awesome exhibit for families. I can't remember what it was, but it involved a theater. I think maybe we created something about the future; then we went into the theater and saw it on screen. Does anyone know what I'm talking about?


I think I'm going to stop here and go finish watching my episode of All Saints. See you guys later!