Museum of Science and Industry

Alright. It's confession time: I have to admit that I haven't seen "Night at the Museum". I know, I know; it's shameful. I actually tried to buy both "NATM1" and "2" but the store only had the sequel so I picked it up and brought it with me. I was just going to watch #2 but people kept telling me I wouldn't follow it unless I saw the original (umm... everything comes to life, right? Isn't that pretty much it?). So, there you go. Haven't seen it.

Annnnyway, as you can imagine, people are often making the comparison between my month here at MSI and the movie. From what I can gather it seems like a valid comparison; well, except for the whole nothing-has-actually-come-to-life thing. Minor difference, I guess. While I don't necessarily use "Night at the Museum" to contextualize my experience here, I do find that I'm often using movies as metaphors to explain this crazy ride I'm on. I can only guess that this month is so radically different from my normal life that drawing the comparison is the easiest way my brain can process what's going on here.

So, if you're curious what my life has been like these past 14 days, I've put together a list of suggested movies that you can watch.

Remember the movie "Annie", when she moved in to Daddy Warbuck's mansion? And the staff was all ready to make her stay as pleasant as possible? And everyone so excited to have her that they broke into a giant song and dance routine? Well, that's exactly what happened when I arrived. Alright, maybe not exactly (no servants and no choreography) but the feeling was the same. Everyone here has done everything they can to make me feel like a special guest (thank you MSI-folks!) And as long as I can make it through the month to collect my own reward (the $10,000), I won't have to be rescued by Punjab on a bridge. (Did I lose you? No worries, all you really need to know is summed up in the song "I Think I'm Gonna Like It Here".)

I'm no Harry Potter expert but I remember the Room of Requirement (or the Room of Hidden Things?) in Hogwarts (from The Deathly Hallows Part 2) as having piles upon piles of amazing furniture, trinkets and antiques. According to the Harry Potter Lexicon website, it contains thousands and thousands of books, winged catapults, Fanged Frisbees and an enormous stuffed troll. I was lucky enough to visit Collections today and, well, I've got to say it's a whole like the Room of Requirement. It's much better organized and climate controlled but if you were to be looking for a stuffed troll, this is where you'd go. I can't wait to go back and spend more time with Margaret (a curator here) exploring their 300,000 square feet of treasures (by the way, only 5% of MSI's collection is on display to the public - amazing!).

In "The Truman Show", an entire reality is built around the title character in which everyone calls him by name, knows exactly where he is at all times and his every action is documented. He also has to stay in a prescribed area and can't wander too far. Truman and  I are alike in the sense that... well, uh... one could draw a parallel to the way that... oh nevermind, I forget where I was going with that. I guess there aren't any similarities at all. <grin>

So, that's my suggested viewing list. Check out these movies to understand a little more about my time here at MSI. Or, you could just watch the short documentaries (aka: my YouTube videos). After all, you're already reading the book. And I promise to watch "Night at the Museum" just as soon as I have some free time (sometime in 2012 from the looks of it).


*The main image is my interpretation of "night at the museum", in case you were wondering.

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kevin byrne

A digital marketing analyst from Chicago, Kevin is living inside the largest science museum in the Western Hemisphere for 30 days.

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