I did an awful lot of walking today. Whenever I travel to a foreign city, I always end up walking practically everywhere, unless I’m going somewhere over an hour away. It’s not that I have anything against public transport, it’s just that it’s more immediately convenient for me to stroll around, and of course it has the added benefit of letting me see the city properly.
I started off today at Melbourne Museum and spent the morning looking around the various exhibits there; everything was of pretty good quality and the Aboriginal exhibit was, as is usual in Australia, extremely informative. I do have to admit that I made the occasional wince when they made a lot of factual errors about the origin of the Internet (and somehow managed to omit all mention of Darpa) and implied that MRI scans operated by use of electrodes.
All of this museum wandering has made me think how fun it would be for specialist museums to be set up by enthusiastic professionals. Instead of getting any old person to make, say, the Internet section of a museum, why not get Internet experts to do it? The old ‘open source’ chestnut could be used and I’m sure there wouldn’t be any shortage of volunteers to create high quality materials and displays. Plus, it would then be possible to create museums that would have cutting-edge information and links to more in-depth resources. Of course, the main problem is that of organisation, but that’s not insurmountable. I suppose it’s another thing to add to the to-do list.
I left the museum in the afternoon, eschewing the Imax next door (I don’t think that I’ve ever seen an Imax movie in the UK, but I have seen them in about every other country I’ve visited) and wandered around the city for a couple of hours. This is actually quite a long time to be wandering, especially in a crowded city. I had the unpleasant experience of thinking that people were following me around and just waiting to nick my bag, but then I can’t have looked that much like a tourist since I got asked for directions. My initial take on Melbourne is that while it has an awful lot of shops, it doesn’t have any shops that I would want to buy anything from. What’s more, it’s damn cold. However, these are only first impressions and at least the place has good pizza.
It’s late, but there’s still one thing that needs to be said: George Mason in 24 is played by the same guy (Xander Berkeley) who did John Connor’s adoptive father in Terminator 2. Yes, I just watched T2 Director’s Cut on TV. It’s a shame that old George Mason (for how can he be known as anyone else now?) has been meeting such sticky ends.