Monday, May 18, 2009

OK, curate it! Next month! Redlands!

In my ongoing effort to delve into deep controversial issues, let me start with this item from Inland Empire News:

The San Bernardino County Museum invites the public to visit the museum in Redlands from 9am to 5pm with no admission fee on Sunday, June 7, 2009.

At 2pm, join Curator of Geological Sciences J. Chris Sagebiel on a tour of the Earth’s interior in a special lecture, “Journey to the Center of the Earth.” Sagebiel will take you through the layers of the Earth’s interior, presenting the evidence for what we know about its structure.

“Why are there layers and what are they made of? Did you know the Earth’s magnetic field is caused by convection currents in the molten iron outer core of the Earth?” These are just some of the questions that Sagebiel will discuss with visitors. He will also give a preview of the upcoming Hall of Geological Wonders’ exhibits that will focus on the interior of the Earth.

From 3 to 4:30pm, Genevieve Duo will perform in the new Hall of Geological Wonders Amphitheatre with romantic classical and Celtic songs of harp and flute.

Visitors will enjoy also two special exhibits: “Gadgets and Gizmos: inventing the modern world,” and “The Art of Ramon Contreras and the Mexican Muralists Movement.”

The San Bernardino County Museum is at the California Street exit from Interstate 10 in Redlands. Everyone is admitted free on Sunday, June 7. Parking is free. For more information, visit

The San Bernardino County Museum is accessible to persons with disabilities. If assistive listening devices or other auxiliary aids are needed in order to participate in museum exhibits or programs, requests should be made through Museum Visitor Services at least three business days prior to your visit. Visitor Services’ telephone number is (909) 307-2669 ext. 229 or TDD (909) 792-1462.

Now I want to find something controversial about this whole thing, but other than the fact that the museum is near Pharaoh's (really) Lost Kingdom, what controversy can we find?

Well, all you have to do is follow up on the activities of Jerry Lewis.

No, not THAT Jerry Lewis. I'm talking about our esteemed California Congressman. I assume that Lewis didn't think that this December 23, 2005 article was a Christmas present:

From powerful positions on the House Appropriations Committee, California Rep. Jerry Lewis has greenlighted hundreds of millions of dollars in federal projects for clients of one of his closest friends, lobbyist and former state Congressman Bill Lowery.

Meanwhile, Lowery, the partners at his firm and their clients have donated 37 percent of the $1.3 million that Lewis' political action committee received in the past six years.

Such intertwining of public, political and for-profit business is legal. But because the relationships between campaign contributors, lobbyists and lawmakers are forged out of the public's view, they are not widely known or understood.

And one of the beneficiaries of this activity?

San Bernardino County has benefited from Rep. Jerry Lewis' tenure on the appropriations committee. The county museum has received more than $1 million for a Hall of Paleontology and a heritage center.

Don't know if Lewis has any creationist supporters who would be aghast at Lewis helping to fund a paleontology exhibit. But if any such supporters exist, they should realize that Lewis is devoted to the acquisition of funding for his district, even when he objects to said funding on principle.

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