Friday, August 3, 2012

it's a giant

This week I'm in Columbus, OH.
Whenever I visit a new city I study up on the things that I like to visit - tourist traps mostly. While so much of the travel media spouts "be a traveler, not a tourist" I wear my tourist badge (it's actually an iron-on patch) with pride, ambling through the streets like a rube, ogling at giant balls of string and waiting for the local toughs to take the big camera from around my neck. I have noticed the travel media seems to prefer you sit in the living room glued to the set rather than actually being a tourist, or a traveller. But that's a different blog.
Today I visited some sites I was most looking forward to - I visited a faithful reproduction of Christopher Columbus's Santa Maria and the local science musem - COSI, the Center for Science and Industry.
I like visiting science museums when I travel, and COSI is one of the best I've been to. To begin with the place is freaking huge, and there're so many high-quality attractions, some I would consider theme-park quality. But that's a different blog.
The reason I'm writing about COSI on a blog about music and storytelling is because of this:

That, is the skeleton of a one-hundred foot tall giant, named Gigantic, it was scultped from fencing material by artist Tim Reitenbach.
As someone who talks about giants for a living, it was incredibly cool to see this beast, hunched over in a three level mezzanine, glowering at me.
A hundred feet tall didn't seem like so much, particularly hunched up under the ceiling. I think that's because he's so separated from people - it's kind of like when someone places a soda can in a walk/don't walk light suddenly you realize just how big they are because you have some context.
That's a difficult thing isn't it, context. I've been trying to figure out a way to describe comparitive sizes of various things for years. It has to be something the listener is familiar with, but you don't want it to be so out of place that it's jarring.
Recently I told the goblin spider, and I described the spider as being "as big as a moving van" with legs that spread out a dozen feet from its body in all directions. I don't know if that worked, I know that a moving van is pretty big, particularly when you think about it in the conext of a giant spider, but again it's all relative, if the listener pictures a moving van driving down the road, it's not so big, but if somehow thay're able to conjure the image of a moving van supported by eight legs, spinning about and lunging towards you, well then maybe I'm doing a good job.
As coyote said, wandering through the desert,I shall have to think about this.

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