I decided to check out the Galileo museum yesterday. It seemed like quite a good idea when I embarked upon the afternoon since I am on a church and art museum strike. To begin the tour of the museum, you step into a room that houses a giant astrological clock that “Galileo built” in the 16th century and was restored during the 18th century. Yet, when I walked around the side of it, to get a view of the winding mechanism, running right up the center of the interior of the clock, there was big metal support beam stamped and dated by the manufacturer in 1994! Now, either the Italians are full of shit (again) or they maaaaay have had to do some additional restorations on the clock since the 18th century. Taking into account my lesson from the Universe yesterday, concerning Claudio, I guess I will have to choose to give the Italians the benefit of the doubt. Pffffffffttttt…….
I had also already been suckered out of 8-euros for admission, so I kept on going. This museum was also commissioned by the Medici family to separate the scientific discoveries from the artistic (that and they were starting to accumulate so much cool crap, they needed a better system of organization to display it all). So, not only are Galileo’s telescope and other pieces he used to make his great discoveries, they are many other tools, early machines, and surgical instruments designed by other great mathematicians and scientists from the 15th-19th centuries. I take that back – they had astrological compasses that the Arabians were using in the 13th century – pretty cool huh?! Okay, not really – at least I didn’t think so – I know my brother would totally dig this place (considering that he is an aerospace engineer and all – which totally rocks) – but I was bored.
And what do I do when I am bored? I act out like a 1st Grader – which may explain why I spent most of 1st Grade in the hall (Public Schools are RAD!). Oh, come on……there HAD to be a way to make this damn museum seem more interesting so that I felt like I totally got conned out of my 8-euros. Thus, I did what any proper 1st Grader would do at that point…….I began to use my imagination (I know what you are thinking….oh shit…I would too, if I were you). No longer was I viewing an Organum Mathematicum because I don’t even know what one is or what it does – do you? I am sure my brother does, let’s ask him (I do this a lot by the way, call him with random questions that I don’t know the answer to, but am certain he will because he is an encyclopedia of odd and weird information, kind of like my own personal Google search mechanism – yes, I feel sorry for him too). To me it looks like a bill organizer – or maybe something that a bookie would use to keep track of all of the money his “clients” owe him – or maybe it is a GIANT bubblegum box – yes, that is it!
Alright, onto the next contraption…..the “hydrometer”. There were several of these glass shaped apparatuses on display, but you know what they looked like? BONGS! I mean, come on – one of them was blown glass in the shape of a crab. Now, will someone tell me why you need a crab shaped hydrometer?? Because it is a BONG – that’s why. The only reason I can think of needing a crab-shaped bong is to impress all of your Duke friends. I start to giggle to myself – only to have some old guy sneer at me (which I really don’t get because it isn’t like we are at a funeral – we are looking at protractors and compasses from the 15th-19th century, man – lighten up!). But, I moved to the next room anyway, where I found “retorts” – again big BONGS! Then memories of high school come back to me, as I used to wonder if my Chemistry teachers were in the back cooking up the good stuff, since they were always so giddy. I distinctly remember walking down the hallway to class one afternoon to have on the teachers jump out from around the corner, scared me half to death, then asked if I wanted to join them in huffing dry ice from sink in the back. No lie, and the Galileo Museum only confirmed my lingering suspicions. I couldn’t contain myself, I was laughing now so hard that I had to make a beeline to the exhibit of wax obstetrics models just to somber my ass up! Nothing like seeing 12 models of forceps deliveries to cloud your mood.
So, I don’t really understand what an apparatus for the parabolic path of liquids was used for, or why they actually took time to build one, nor do I relate to the use of hydraulic pumps and focometers, but I was very happy to see a portable pharmacy – now this I can get on board with. All of the bottles were much fancier than the crappy plastic ones Walgreen’s is handing out these days. As much as people pay for prescriptions, I think we should all start demanding they change their packaging to reflect a more classical design (grass and lids with ornate gold or silver tops, covered in jewels – my Prozac needs some bling, damn it!)
You know what else I don’t understand? WHY do the Italians keep old bones from famous dead people on display in gaudy cases? The museum had Galileo’s thumb, index and middle fingers from his right hand (and a tooth) displayed in some very ornate glass cases. Does this mean that someone cut off his hand, or part of, and pulled a tooth before they entombed him over at Santa Croce? Does this seem effed up to anyone else? Now, I understand showing off his telescope, because that is relevant, but his nasty decrepit old bones?! Really?! Why??? (If someone knows the answer will you tell me, please? I am sure my brother will know….)
The last visual I will leave you with is that of an old scale – designed to weigh us fine mofos back in the day. One side of the scale held a chair for you to sit upon, the other a large dish. All I could think of was if my ex was sitting in the chair, they would have to get a large ASS to sit on the other side, and even then, he may still come up heavier in the a-hole department! HAHAHAHA – and I’m spent!
Time for dinner…..Ciao!