Recent outings.

Last Friday Elder Son and I went to the Maya exhibit at the Science Museum of Minnesota in St Paul. When he was in Chiapas as a volunteer teacher* he lived in an area populated by Maya, so he was eager to see the exhibit. 

This is where I was"This is where I was, Mom."


Stele.  Another stele.  Yup. It's another stele.
The stelae in the exhibit were casts of the originals. The Maya kings
loved to raise stelae with pictographs and stuff.


Sometimes the stele was illumined.
Younger Son's comment when I showed him this photo: "Really? The Maya had projectors?"


  Contemporary Maya artesans.

Something for everyone.

Comtemporary Maya dress.
Elder Son said he often saw women dressed in similar garments.



Blue yarn was dyed with indigo. Don't remember the others.
Yarn! Must photograph the yarn!

Hand-brocaded fabric.

  Great photography, right?
This hand-brocaded fabric was lovely, but my photos suck. No flash photography allowed. 


A few things I learned about the Maya:

  • They had a base-20 numbering system. Andrew pointed out that they didn't wear shoes, so base-20 instead of base-10 makes sense.
  • The civilization comprised isolated city-states. There were no navigable rivers and settlements were separated by steep mountains, so each was isolated.
  • The carved stelae commemorate battles and various kings' conquests of other city-states, but no written record remains of day-to-day life.
  • The paucity of written records is due to the first Christian missionary to minister to the Maya. He burned all but four of their books because, clearly, they were the devil's work.
  • The Maya civilization appears to have crumbled because of severe drought and overpopulation, exacerbated by their deforestation of the hillsides to grow corn to feed that population.
  • They could only store one season's worth of corn because of the damp climate during half the year, hence, loss of one year's crop was devastating. Continued losses = time to leave their great cities and go somewhere else where there was rain.
  • Learning the history of the Maya is important to the indigenous people of the region because until now, they had no history. History, as taught in the schools, started with the Spanish conquest of Central and South America. Before that, there was nothing of importance.
  • As interesting as the history was, the part of the exhibit that attracted my attention was the textile section.

We ate dinner at Cossetta's in St Paul, then I went to knit with my buddies at Starbuck's on Grand while ES went to find a bookstore.

The youngest member of the knitting group.

* * * * *

This week's adventure occurred on Wednesday, when Smokey and I drove into Minneapolis to attend the grand opening open house at Younger Son's new employer.

IMG_0027There was yummy food and an open bar and did I mention the cherry cheesecake? 


Matthew explains.
This is one of their server racks. I think. Okay, I have no idea what this is.


Anti-static chair.
This may look like an ordinary tile floor, but It Is Special. It is an anti-static floor — who knew?
and the chair has special metal wheels to prevent static buildup and has a couple copper grounding straps besides. Apparently, static is a bigger no-no around electronics than I thought.


The algorithm. No, I have no idea what it says, either.


Matthew says graphics on the wall is so last week. I thought it was cool.



* * * * *

But we are not done yet. We left the open house to go to a concert at the Cedar Cultural Center.

The venue was only a couple doors down the street — literally, two doors away — from  the storefront/apartment building that blew up on New Year's Day.

So sad.
All that remained was a pile of rubble and a lot of ice.


The concert was delightful. We heard Zoe Keating, who has been one of my favorite artists for several years since I first heard her music on Radio Lab. I encourage you to click on the player at the link and listen to her latest album.

We had decent seats, considering it was general admission and we walked in 5 minutes before the concert started.
Once again, no flash photography, so sucky photo.


* Or, as he puts it, hea was a Volunteer Teacher In The Zapatista Army Of Liberation.

This entry was posted in Andrew, Chiapas, Friends, Music, Yarn. Bookmark the permalink.

0 Responses to Recent outings.

  1. gayle says:

    Your outings sound wonderful!

  2. k says:

    Mayans. Long-term environmental shift. Micro climates. Lots of things. I told you about the River of Pus, right? Cool.
    Oh, taking pictures in the dark. You can get down to 1/40, by leaning up against something and holding your breath, bracing your arms against your ribs. But I bet that’s old technology, no longer pertinent.

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