What I’m Reading

Photo by Steve Browne and John Verkleir via Flickr.

Photo by Steve Browne and John Verkleir via Flickr.

1. After a while, I learned to choose the names of my fellow characters more carefully. Having looked up the symptoms for dysentery, it wasn’t something I would wish on most people. This was just one of many life-changing facts I learned while playing Oregon Trail as a child. Writer Emily Grosvenor decided to take her Oregon Trail education one step further: participating in a life-action, role-playing version of the beloved computer game. “I found myself pushing a 200 pound man on an ancient kiddie wagon with two missing wheels up a hill with about a 40 percent incline while he shouted out facts about how to preserve meat…”

2. While on the topic of childhood memories, I was initially saddened to discover that the Rosenbach Museum—a personal favorite—was losing its Maurice Sendak collection. The sadness was eventually replaced by excitement for two reasons: 1) There’s going to be an entire Sendak museum in the future; and 2) This means that instead of always featuring a Sendak exhibit, the Rosenbach now has more room to create exciting displays features other items in their extensive collection.

3. Lonesome George. That’s one hell of a moniker. But, if you happen to be the last of your kind, your nickname is bound to be a little depressing. This look at the afterlife of a famous extinct tortoise has some great bits, like the line “What posture should a tortoise have?” or the imagery evoked by the Lila Acheson Wallace Wing for Mammals and Their Extinct Relatives at the American Museum of Natural History.

4. Turns out Lonesome George has plenty of friend’s at New York’s Museum of Natural History if Hiroshi Sugimoto’s new book Dioramas is anything to go by. This short essay from the New York Review of Books not only marvels at the beauty of Sugimoto’s photography, but also captures the love of an old-fashioned museum experience when describing the darkened diorama halls: “That hushed public place is the private secret of every child in New York.”

5. If the opposite of an old-fashioned museum diorama is a completely immersive and interactive display, where the heck does Shia LaBoeuf’s latest performance piece fall on the spectrum? On September 25, the actor ran his own MetaMarathon around Amsterdam’s Stedelijk Museum, adding to his growing portfolio of performance art.

6. Speaking of Dutch museums, turns out famous footballer Arjen Robben has plans to open one of his own one day. The future museum’s focus? Why Arjen Robben of course! I hope it has exhibits where you can attempt to duplicate his incredible crosses, or one where you can try the most dramatic flop you can come up with before sitting down at a fake press conference and saying “sorry-not-sorry” for flopping. I really want to go to this museum one day.