The Museum of Jurassic Technology in Culver City, California, is filled with objects that disorient as much as they delight. There’s the Deprong Mori, a bat that emits X-rays instead of sound waves and is thereby able to fly through solid objects. There’s the yelping, taxidermied head of the American gray fox, whose voice, upon further inspection, emanates from a small projection of a howling man that hovers over the fox’s unblinking eyeball. There’s a group of microscopes set up to display tiny images of vases and flowers composed of the scales from butterfly wings and a labyrinth of models depicting various superstitions and other pieces of folk wisdom, ranging from the curative properties of mouse pie to the importance of shrouding mirrors during thunderstorms. If you manage to locate the staircase to the second floor, you will be invited to take tea and contemplate detailed oil portraits of five of the Soviet space dogs.
While the Museum of Jurassic Technology, or MJT, might be described as a natural history museum, there is no cataloging to be done here, and no positivist truth about our world to be revealed. Whether or not the phenomena on display are, shall we say, verifiable is an open question. But the museum is far from a simple puzzle where truth can or should be cleanly separated from fiction. Read More