Museum Exhibit or Construction Zone? 2nd Edition!

Roy works on his computer in the library

Roy works on his computer in his new office space. Photo by the author.

Recently, Roy and Amrys have moved into the Van Vleck Observatory library. I’m not sure if they ever actually leave these days…they’re so dedicated to this project!

A random sample of what was on the table one day I was in the library.

Roy works on his computer in his new office space. Photo by the author.

The content of the tabletops is always in flux. There are light fixtures, coffee mugs, paper towels, 5 different varieties of velcro, various objects in the exhibit, post-it notes and other office supplies, post cards, exhibit scripts, tchotchkes, computers, books, books about computers, books about human computers, full-scale reproductions of historical images, cameras, eye glasses, water glasses, glass plates, commemorative plates, and lots and lots and lots of notes and to-do lists.

Very very old unopened Campbell's soup can

Very very old (18-years-old) unopened Campbell’s soup-can. Photo by the author.

Furthermore, the 18-years old Campbell’s soup-can (it expired in 1998) has joined Roy and Amrys’s office table, which is really just one of the library tables that was there all along. Roy has called the soup-can the “talisman” of the project, and that sounds about right to me. I asked him if he thought that there might be a black hole inside the soup-can that would make opening the can rather risky. Because Roy studies black holes for a living, I trusted his answer of “it could be.” Additionally, a tiny moon-shaped stress-ball now sits on top of the soup-can because “sometimes you just need to squeeze a tiny moon-shaped stress ball.” That also sounds right considering the amount of things going on in the library these days.

Our exhibit also has the help of several tiny plastic soldiers who keep a faithful guard on the Van Vleck Observatory at all times.

Tiny plastic soldier on library windowsill

Tiny plastic soldier watches for the enemy (light pollution!!) outside the Van Vleck library’s window. Photo by the author.

Suffice it to say that some of us are going a little loopy up on Observatory Hill, where the air really isn’t that much different. In any case, all these tchotchkes and historical artifacts and office supplies all mixed together at once really does make me happy in a very silly way for which I cannot truly account. I share this post with you now, because if you come visit the exhibit, you most-likely will not find expired soup-cans, tiny plastic soldiers, yards of velcro, boxes of lightbulbs, or even office supplies in the exhibit.

Or will you? (*wink wink*)

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