Monday, December 19, 2011
Season's Greenings, with amazing displays made from plant material. We visited on Sunday, taking along Carter's friend Kitty to see the fantastic animal homes (like Monkey Mansion above), presidential houses (Martin Van Buren's below), and to while away the hours in the standard displays of lovely orchids and other botanical wonders from around the world. More photos follow.
We found several interesting plants, including this one that looked like a bird.
Carter and Kitty mugged for the camera quite a bit, posing everywhere.
We asked Kitty if she were to ever live in the house above, would she be called "President Kitty?" The answer is no. For formal titles, she prefers her formal name - Katherine.
Friday, December 16, 2011
A couple of years ago, Lea's mother purchased videos for Carter featuring songs and cartoons about world travels. Carter would watch the videos non-stop on long car trips across the country and learned about the famous Race to the South Pole. Since arriving in DC, we have come across several references to the race, and even saw an exhibit about efforts to reach the North Pole at the National Archives.
We decided to honor the 100th anniversary of the race on Wednesday. Carter had an early-release day at school, so Erik took a half day at work. We decorated Christmas cookies and packed up a box to take to Erik's colleagues at the NSF. Carter made a special cookie for Erik's co-worker Brian which you see below. It is an extensive form game tree in the colors of the University of Nebraska (Brian is a game theorist who came to the NSF from NU). Brian loved the cookie, but reports that it cannot be solved without information about the players' strategies. After exploring Erik's floor, they traveled to the Office of Polar Programs for a photo op (Carter is holding a snowflake cookie as part of our South Pole tribute). On the way out, Carter had a chance to see the display of "Ancient Denvers," a collaboration between scientists and artists depicting Denver, Colorado as it might have looked during the dinosaur age.