My Journey into the past, instead of writing.

Today is a screenwriting day. The day where my writing partner and I go over the plot and circumstances of our current screenwriting challenge. Yes, you should write every day and make it a habit, but he really likes to work when he feels the time is right. Not saying that he doesn't work on other things like I do (I am writing this blog instead of a story, for instance) but he only feels he can work on screenplays when the time is right for him. Needless to say, it takes a long time for us to get a collaborative screenplay out into the world.

We generally go to Sam's Club every Saturday before we start because they give away free samples. Everything is always better when it's free, as you well know. We get to walk around the store and get any itch to goof off out of our system. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn't. Today was different, there was an open house at the University of Arkansas' archaeology department, and he wanted to go. So we went. I took my wife, and he took his girlfriend.

I was surprised to see how many people were at the open house. They had pizza for everyone but that didn’t last!

Little exhibit where anyone could handle replicas of the artifacts stored there.

It was supposed to be held outside, but with this crazy-stupid Arkansas weather, they had to move it inside. I expected to see a few people but boy I was wrong. That place was packed. I also expected the folks to be rigid, facts oriented people that have no funny bone in their body. Wrong again. Don’t get me wrong, there were a few, but for the most part, they weren’t not cool folks.

3-D Printed copy of the artifact and the 3-D printer that made it.

The original artifact and the scanner used to make the 3-D Image

It’s still pretty cool, I guess. They scan in the image to the computer and plug it into the printer and out pops a replica. My buddy said that they need to refine the print head or something to make it more accurate, I do not disagree.

You could definitely see the printing lines in it and it only roughly the same shape when you look close enough.

Since it is actually a working laboratory for artifacts, I am genuinely surprised they allowed the access they did. We saw everything and anything we were interested in. My screenwriting partner asked to see the old weapons they may have in the place, and they happily obliged to open the storage area they are housed in and let him see them close up. Of course, he couldn’t handle them, but hey, good luck asking a museum to show you what they have in storage.

While he was staring down the old weapons, I was wandering, looking for crazy things. There are stacks and stacks of shelves all holding important mainstays of archaeology like pottery and household implements to some really insane and exotic items. It is kind of an x-file looking stack of shelves too. Just like in the movies and TV. So that made me somewhat interested in browsing the place.

They didn’t have just pottery and bones though. I was kinda excited to see that they haven’t forgotten about the other things from history especially the more recent history. They have military helmets, Crazy formaldehyde jars of snakes, frogs and other not so ordinary things that I find interesting.

Just some of the interesting and more modern stuff they have at the pottery collecting facility.

Of course, they have fossils at this place. Most are not that interesting, but there was this one thing. It is an alligator looking thing that was found in Germany. Wait, what? An Alligator in Germany, really? I mean that’s like finding a python in Ireland!

Mystriosaurus (Teleosaurus Bollensis

Mystriosaurus (Teleosaurus Bollensis

The keepers of the fossil were telling me all about where it came from and why it’s exciting. They said that the throat cartilage generally goes away when fossilization occurs but this thing, you can still see the esophagus. They believe its throat was made of harder bone than what would be expected in today’s animals of any kind.

The esophagus of the animal

They also pointed out that you can see what it recently ate as well. Ew…I guess it’s sanitary now being that its last lunch was over one hundred and fifty million years ago.

Lunch never got to quite be over, I guess.

For some reason, they also have lots of Taxidermy. Taxidermy isn’t just furry animals; it is also bones. One of them looked a little creepy, the Marmoset has a skull shape that’s eerily close to the form of a human skull. Plus, the plastic bag it’s in doesn’t help the situation much.

The rest of the taxidermy is pretty impressive. Just click an image below, and you should be able to scroll through all of them.

All in all, it wasn’t too bad of an excursion and being that today was a cold, bitter jerk, yet again. I guess the day wasn’t entirely wasted.

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