Teh moon rulez #1 [Day 2 of the DC trip]

We got up in the morning, showered and dressed and went off in search of a mythical Waffle Shop of which we had heard tell. It was kind of sketchy but cheap and kind of cool. There seemed to be a lot of locals in addition to the people the hotel had directed there.

No one really had any firm plans or things they needed to see, so we set off wandering towards the Mall in a group with Rebecca, Teri, Amanda, Cari, Matt, Tom and Eboni.

A group of SI students wandering along Pennsylvania Avenue is automatically going to be drawn into one building, and drawn we were. After having our pictures taken in front, we headed into the National Archives for some home-grown SI nerdiness. While other people thought deeply about the information in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, we thought about conservation techniques and the value of having the original document. I wonder how often that tour guide is asked about the temperature and gas pressure gauges in the cases. He probably thought we were insane.

We continued our amble up to the Capitol, but as it was Sunday, we didn't bother to go all the way up the steps. We took pictures of the outside and then wandered into the Botanical Gardens next door.

Someone at the Botanical Gardens is seriously obsessed with orchids, because there were orchids, orchids, orchids everywhere. I guess orchids are okay, but I was particularly interested in the papaya and coconut trees, tea plants and herbs. I suppose my heart is in my stomach and my interests lie in What My Food Was Before It Was Food. Young Matthew was impressed by the colors and variety among all the plants and pointed out how amazing it was that they all managed to evolve uniquely and beautifully and yet had no idea what they look like. An orchid doesn't know if it's purple or yellow or if it's square or orchid-shaped. I don't know why this struck me, but I had never thought about plants' lack of self-awareness.

It was getting late and we wanted to see more, so we moved along and started back in the direction of the hotel. We stopped in the Air & Space Museum and looked at the WWII exhibit, a human-powered glider, a model of an aircraft carrier that took 1200 hours to make and a collection of aircraft personnel uniforms. I also checked out the WWI exhibit while everyone else was resting. In the entryway of the museum, there was a sample of a moon rock that you could touch. I hoped that in touching it I would have some kind of mind meld with moon people, but it pretty much just felt like touching a rock. Sigh...

At that point, we were pretty pooped (not pooping) so we headed back to the hotel for a rest before dinner. Around 4, we met up with more of our group and went off in the direction of the Kennedy Center. The plan was to eat at a pizzeria under the Watergate Hotel before popping over to the free concert at the Kennedy Center at 6.

The problem was, the pizzeria was closed and there was nowhere else in sight to eat. Those who had been in my group during the day quickly realized that we had forgotten to eat lunch. So we wandered. And wandered. And wandered. When we finally found something, it was closed. We continued wandering and wandering until we started seeing that the people coming towards us were carrying food, food wrappers, crumbs and other signs that sustenance was to be found in that direction. Eventually we found our way to the George Washington University student center's food court, where we slaked our hunger with Burger King, Taco Bell, Subway and Chinese food.

Thanks to the fast food we'd found, we were still able to make it to the Kennedy Center in time. It is a really impressive building with enormously tall ceilings. They have a free concert series going on this week, so we got to see the Holmes Brothers, which was quite enjoyable.

After the concert, we were all exhausted and our feet hurt, so we stumbled onto the shuttle, the metro, and into the hotel. We collapsed for a while, then all gathered together to watch the series finale of Sex and the City before going to bed.

srah - Sunday, 22 February 2004 - 8:31 PM
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Comments (3)

gravatar Bethany - February 25, 2004 - 10:56 AM -

I belive that we only consider plants to be unaware of themselves because they have no communicative abilities. I do not think we actually know if plants can or are aware of there size, shape, smell or anything like that.... if only they could talk.... but this is just the crazy wanna-be botanist talking...

gravatar srah - February 25, 2004 - 11:03 AM -

Well, considering how often animals are confused by their own image in a mirror and the fact that plants have no discernable visual/cognitive systems, I'm betting that they don't.

But it's true - you never know! Maybe plants have knowledge far beyond our own and don't need a visual system because they already have all of the knowledge in the universe inside them somewhere.

And then we eat them!

gravatar katie - February 25, 2004 - 12:03 PM -

I read an article somewhere about a study wherein they hooked plants up to a machine thingie that would measure their electromagnetic fields and whatever. Then they had a person do things to them, do things around them, and think about them.

The results were that the plant reacted violently when a person (whether in the same room or another) thought about damaging the plant. It reacted less to the actual inflicting of said damage.

Silly plants. They're all backwards.

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