Monday, June 6, 2016

Extra Credit Event 1

Tar Pit Treasures
June 6, 2016: Tour of the La Brea Tar Pits & Museum
On June 6, 2016, I was able to check another museum off my Los Angeles bucket list in finally seeing one of Los Angeles's most unique museums, the La Brea Tar Pits. The La Brea Tar Pits centers around the fact that 11,000 years ago, Los Angeles was full of exotic wildlife. Fossils have been captured by the La Brea Tar Pits, giving way to the creation of this museum. Natural asphalt, also known as tar, has seeped up from the ground in this specific area, and many animals have gotten trapped over thousands of years beneath the tar. The tar almost perfectly preserves their bones, allowing the museum to feature these historic artifacts. 

Animated Timeline

The museum features an animated, 3D timeline that represents 2,000 years of history, from 38,000 years ago until the present day. The top part of the timeline showed the events and animals most popular in the La Brea area during that time, while the bottom portion shows the major developments in man's history during that time. The part that I found most interesting on the timeline that also related to our class was the innovations that occurred in Greece 4,000 years ago. I am referring to the creation of architecture. Architecture is something we focused on during Week 2 of class, while discussing the important of math with art. The Temple of Zeus was one of the first to use math in architecture in order to create large temples. 

Experience the Tar
There was also a very cool invention within the museum, which allowed for a more interactive experience. It allowed museum guests to pull up on a lever that was filled with tar in order to feel how hard it would be to escape a tar pit. This explains how so many animals became trapped in the tar, and thus have been preserved throughout the years. The use of technology to explain history is helpful in understanding how things occurred. Technology has been a dominant focus in our class. 


Finally, the La Brea Tar Pits also implemented great amounts of science into their museum, specifically with their built-in laboratory. This laboratory is used to reconstruct the fossils that get discovered. Reconstructing these fossils to form the structure of the animal that once existed is an art form. These pieces of art get put on display for all that visit the museum to see. The laboratory does experiments with these fossils to discover at what point this fossil was once alive. 
Proof of Attendance

This museum was fascinating in that it demonstrated a piece of Los Angeles history that you would never knew existed. It takes away from all the glitz and glamour of LA to feature a pit that is stinky, gooey and full of history. I would definitely recommend this museum, as it embodies art, science, math and technology. 

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