With one day to spare I booked a ticket to visit my family in Minnesota for Thanksgiving. I normally visit at Christmas - but this year we won’t be going, so it made sense to visit for the next-nearest holiday.
As a non-American, Thanksgiving is a weird non-Christmas-yet-still-festive holiday. The decorations are up, it’s cold, and there’s turkey. But there aren’t so many jingles on the radio.
I’m told that in Minnesota there’s a 50/50 chance that there’ll be snow around this time. This year there wasn’t, but it was still chilly - between 3ºc and -10ºc whilst I visited.
The fluctuating temperatures around zero cause interesting features to form in the ice. Here my best guess is that pools have started to melt, and have then refrozen. It’s fascinating all the different ways that ice manifest.
50m beyond the previous photo and the ice was completely different. It looked like this had formed in to big sheets that had broken up and then frozen together. It was still rather thing though - you wouldn’t want to walk on this yet.
The Walker is one of my favourite museums (up there with the Hayward Gallery and New Museum). We went to see the Siah Armajani show - which was excellent, but didn’t inspire any photos. He had a wide variety across his career. I particularly liked his mathematically inspired drawings using factorials and typewriters.
I wonder sometimes if museums will be the last place you’ll find certain bits of technology. Obviously museums about technology will - but also so many museums still use them for contemporary exhibitions. Will future generations start to associate big cube TVs and projectors as specialist items for exhibitions?
It seems increasingly that shows and works are made with Instagram in mind. The Hayward’s Space Shifters was great for this. I assume it’s a win-win for the gallery - they get increased exposure for their show, and the user gets a selfie.
The Pavek Museum (amazing website) holds an great collection of vintage broadcasting and media equipment. They’ve got examples of all sorts of things, including some rather odd inventions that never took off. I visited based on a tip from Atlas Obscura.
Rather rare for museums (particularly of vintage artefacts) they encourage vistitors playing with the exhibits. Many of them were still in working condition and museum staff happy to turn them on. I particularly enjoyed the Star Wars theme played on twin 1920s cinema speakers the size of grand pianos.
How does a vintage paper pamphlet like this survive so long in such good condition? Many of the machines had their accompanying promotional material next to them. Really great to see the outlandish claims and instructions that were included.
This table had a collection of curiosities. A stereo record player (note the twin heads and tracks on the disc), a lamp (top left) with record player in the top, and the base acting as an amplifier.
I spent a very enjoyable morning hiking in Tettegouche state park up to High Falls and back. The paths got progressively more icy, which was an interesting challenge - time I got some microspikes I think.
High Falls were half frozen over - though I epxect it’ll be a few more weeks till they fully ice up. The falls are the highest waterfall fully in Minnesota.