S is for Science.

The California Academy of Sciences +21 evening.  Half-price tickets, alcoholic beverages, DJs, and hundreds of twenty and thirty-something “singles looking to mingle.”  Was it science, or simply chemistry?
Full access to the rain forest, the aquarium and the Extreme Mammals exhibit.  A Capoeira show.  All the cool and dorky science fun, minus the kids.  Only, this was really just a bunch of grown kids in a giant adult-sized playground.  Grown women shrieking as they ran to the children’s eel cove.  Some guy shouting things at the sharks.  A museum dude showing a special exhibit of baculum, or penis bones (he was particularly proud of the one belonging to the walrus, which the Eskimos use as a club to hunt.  “It’s really heavy!” he exclaimed!)  It was surreal.
Up with the Extreme Mammals, I learned what it takes to fit into this category, and quite frankly, I felt like a mediocre mammal. I have no large tusks, no enormous antlers or a crazy-long tail! But I was particularly taken with the AMAZING ADJECTIVES they included in all of the descriptions.  Someone was having fun with their thesaurus!  Things like “the biggest brain ever!” and “massive metatarsals” and “unbelievable arm strength” and “the most mind-blowing creatures to ever walk the earth.”  Props to the crafty wordsmith who wrote the clever catch phrases.  My friend Susannah would have been in heaven at the marsupial display, where it explained the “awesome pouch births” with the title, “Hang in there, kids!”  Oh, bless them, trying to make science fun!
Down in the aquarium, it was a pretty dreamy scene.  The lights were low, the house music was turned up, and the cocktails were flowing.  I half expected to find a couple making out near the nautilus tanks.  But alas, it all seemed fairly PG-13, and I managed to get some great shots of the underwater party animals.  My last image was seeing a group of friends plopped down in front of the Phillipine Coral Reef, staring up at the scene, mesmerized while the DJ played Men at Work’s Down Under to close out the night.
Outside in the foggy night, groups of excited mammals were saying their awkward goodbyes, perhaps exchanging phone numbers, perhaps wondering how the hell to get home from the middle of Golden Gate Park. All in all, the evening was very amusing.  A very entertaining way to witness science in action.