Dino Poo
For those of you who are familiar with Logan, you're also aware of his love of dinosaurs.  The fascination has been going on since he had personal interests, and we tend to indulge it as much as we can.  A few weeks ago we visited the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia.  They have a wonderful dinosaur hall where both boys, ok three boys, were more than happy to gaze at the bones of some long dead critter for hours.  In typical man fashion they even got to look at poo.  That's right, they have petrified dino poo there.  Mostly I think it's just to fascinate the male of our species.
Some of the highlights were pretty spectular though.  In the lab, a few students were cleaning up a new dinosaur, one that hasn't been published yet.  We got to watch as some of the plaster packing was opened and the specimens were cleaned.
Dave proving he has successfully tamed the T-Rex.
We looked though the animal halls of more dead, mounted creatures.  Many which are endangered, or are able to lick their own eyeballs and clean out their ears.  Yeah, makes for a good visual doesn't it?  Also in the collection there, more dead things, Mummies!
The entire museum is well done and laid out.  Great for kids as all the exibits are at their level, and even the notes for the exibits are written at their reading level.

This one is the size of a pygmy hippo.
The next day, we bundled up and headed to prison.  Eastern State Penetentiary is a unique relic in Philadelphia, that if you have the chance to go see it, you should.  The outside is imposing.  The place looking more like a medieval castle than early 19th century prison.  30 foot stone walls surround the entire property and make it seem more imposing than modern prisons with just chain link, razor wire and armed guards.  The fact that it's crumbling doesn't help the matter, and you do get an eerie feeling as you pass onto the property.
Eastern State.  Just inside the property.
The have both guided and self guided tours.  We decided on the guided one, which was the way to go, the guide was friendly, and knowlegeable, happily answering questions as they were asked.
Logan, being the intrepid watcher of Ghost Adventures that he is was wanting to look at all the 'haunted' places and was more than happy to relate the ghost story of Al Capone's cell to the husband.  There's no doubt about it, the place is creepy and imposing.
Inside one of the cells.
In it's time it was meant to be a place for penitence.  Even the doors to the cells are designed to make the prisoners bow their heads as they enter and leave the cells.  Unless you're short, like me, then the design is lost on you.  Each cell had a window made to look like an eye, as though you were being watched.  And after hearing about the state of indoor plumbing in 1829,(toilets flushed once a week, and the heat and waste line running next to each other) I'm thinking that was all part of the grand scheme of punishment.
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