MUMIN Museo de Minerales [MUMIN Mineral Museum]

I need to get this posted, because I was told that this museum will be closing next month, which sucks, because it’s pretty cool.  It has a strong online presence, a good physical space, and a great staff.  It will be a loss.

The MUMIN (MUseo de MINerales, get it?) is the educational endeavor of the SEGEMAR, the Servicio Geológico Minero (Argentine Mining Geological Service).  It caters mainly to school groups, tasked with making rocks interesting to children.  Geology, being perhaps not the sexiest of sciences, could make that a bit difficult to achieve, but they have done an admirable job.  Things to touch, demonstrations to look at–there’s a lot of activity for minerals.

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If a rock museum could have jazz hands

The museum is located within a government ministry building, the name of which escapes me at the moment–but you do need an ID to get in.

I poked around on my own until a staff member came out, discovered my terrible Spanish, and immediately went back to send out a very patient English-speaking geologist.  He showed me around the museum, told me about all the displays, and answered all my questions.  Let’s see a little of the collection!  Argentina has a lot of mineral-related loot.

So, do you have a favorite kind of fossilized thing? ‘Cause I do.

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That thing is petrified wood, and the MUMIN has a huge chunk of it. Yaaass.
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Patagonia’s got some crazy fossil deposits.
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Up top you can see the impressions of a plant; at the bottom is a sauropod bone fossil.

“That’s cool,” you’re thinking. “BUT ARE THERE PRETTY ROCKS”

Of course!

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Fluorite!  One of my favorite minerals.
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Big ol’ piece of rhodochrosite, the national stone of Argentina.

The museum does have an app available on the website that will do AR stuff with a few signs as well as a VR headset with a short meteorite thing to watch; nothing extravagant but fun and memorable.  There are a few more hands-on elements to see/do, including some SUPER FUN SAND TABLES:

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whaaaaaaaaaaaaat

If you move the sand around, the volcano changes:

There’s another one!

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Islands in the stream, that is what we are

In this table, you move the sand around to form the topography of the land.  Then you can make it rain by spreading your hand.  The idea is to demonstrate how water moves over the topography.

Know what else I liked?  This Argentina-specific graphic of geologic time:

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Although the geologist explained that it is just illustrative–if you dug beneath the Obelisco, you wouldn’t find a whole lot of the middle layers.  You would, however, cause no end of excited reactions on the part of the local government.

Wanna see more minerals?

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Good news.

I will never not find it fascinating that some minerals naturally grow in distinctive shapes.

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NEVER.

Finally, I will close this out with a geode.

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The label doesn’t tell you this but the very nice geologist will, this geode is an enhydro agate–a geode with water inside of it.  Did you know that was a thing?  I had no idea that was even a thing!

The MUMIN is free and open to the public Monday through Friday from 9am-5pm (closed on holidays).  Take your ID though because you need that to get in.  It’s very close to the Plaza de Mayo and easily accessible by all the subway lines that go there.  Go while you can.

Carne [Beef]: Special exposition of the Museo de la Ciudad

Serendipity. That happiest of things. That great gift.

I was walking down Defensa after class.

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…seemed awfully big and fancy for a carniceria.

Ah–oh!

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This is not the main location of the Museo de la Ciudad, but the Casa Altos de Elorriaga location, which is currently, magnificently, and tragically temporarily, a museum to Argentine beef.

So what will you find in a glorious exposition dedicated to meat, that most Argentine of culinary indulgences?

HISTORY!

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A TIMELINE OF BEEF: The first cows arrive in 1549!
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2002: The first Argentine cloned calf is born!
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2008: Political machinations affect beef!

HISTORICAL ARTIFACTS!

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Including racist marketing!

But that is absolutely not all. No indeed. Got something meat-related in mind? NAME IT, SON.

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BOOKS ON BEEF PRODUCTION
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GET EDUCATED IN ARGENTINE CUTS
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WEIRD OLD CARTOONS

Have you ever wondered if the Argentine relationship with beef can be statistically quantified? WONDER NO LONGER.

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The only nation that consumes more beef per person than Argentina is Uruguay. BARELY.

So what do Argentines use all that meat for? The interior patio holds the answers you seek, friend.

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Beef is often located in guiso (stew), milanesa, and empanadas.
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Beef is also featured in an asado, which is an Argentine barbeque.
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Beef can be found in street food. You can tell this cart is another historical artifact because today, 18 pesos will buy you literally nothing.

Are you more interested in “how the sausage is made,” so to speak? It looks something like this:

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Moo.
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The “dirty zone” is where steak is born.
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Someone made a tiny side of beef for this display.

So, meat plays a pretty big role in Argentine culture. But what about Argentine pop culture? Has there ever been a famous sexploitation film in which meat featured heavily alongside a celebrated bombshell and a future father of an Oscar-winning writer?

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I mean, why are you even asking?

But maybe your cultural tastes are more highbrow. You appreciate fine art. Painting, sculpture. These media speak to you and inform your experiences. You enjoy seeing beauty rendered immortal by the hand of a master.

You will find your treasure here, too.

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MEAT PAINTING.
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MEAT AS A CONTEMPORARY SCULPTURE
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LOOK AT ALL THIS MEAT ART, BUDDY.

All in all, “Carne” is a masterpiece. Obviously. It might be that someone in a position to affect these sorts of things noticed that it is the 50th anniversary of the film “Carne” and just ran with it. If that’s the case, this exhibition is even more superb. It’s open to the public, it’s free, there are promotional postcards–but it closes down on September 30th, so you only have a month to experience “Carne.”