Miguel-Atwood Ferguson At First Fridays @ NHM, 2/4/11
By James Thorner / Special to LAist
The Natural History Museum’s First Fridays series picked up again last week, celebrating the normally unremarkable date of February 4th and continuing this year’s engaging amalgamation of intellectual, cultural, and musical intrigue. Unlike January’s, in which lines of anticipating concert-goers stretched far out into Exposition Park, this month’s turnout was impressive but modest; it was enough to make you feel like you’re a part of a pretty badass show while still able to escape from the madness in one of the stoic exhibits.
The lecture portion of First Fridays continued its Nostradamus theme, not by making sweeping, unfalsifiable statements about the future, but by discussing how the science of today can provide insight into the world of tomorrow. Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jonathan Wiener discussed the possibility of finding a scientific cure for aging, and maybe even mortality, while ironically being surrounded by a wealth of taxidermic remains in the North American Mammal Hall.
The museum itself is as good as ever, with the recently reopened Haaga Family Rotunda and Age of Mammals exhibit. If you’re lucky, on the way there you’ll come across a life-sized Tyrannosaurus Rex puppet (operated by museum staff) meandering through the hallways. It doesn’t bite, but the thing is so eerily lifelike you won’t want to get any closer than a few feet. Who knows, maybe it’ll be a sabertooth cat next month...