Wednesday Roundup: Aviator Lions, Rockwell Models and Baby Anteaters

Latest exhibits from around the Mall

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Air and Space Lions—Understandably, folks over at the AirSpace blog have been feeling a bit envious of all the attention the National Zoo has been getting on account of their seven new lion cubs (ATM has covered their birthswim tests, physical exams and outdoor exploration in recent months). To show that the Air and Space Museum can be cute too, they've unearthed a series of lion photos from the Air and Space archives. The photos are mostly of pilot Roscoe Turner and his partner in flight, Gilmore the lion. In 1930, Turner was flying for the Gilmore Oil Company, whose mascot was a lion head; Turner decided to fly with a real lion to show some spirit. The post features pictures of Turner with Gilmore the lion as a tiny cub, but also as a full-grown lion.

Rockwell Closing—The American Art Museum's Norman Rockwell exhibit, "Telling Stories: Norman Rockwell From the Collections of Stephen Spielberg and George Lucas," is closing on January 2. One group of stories that the exhibit leaves largely untouched is that of the many people who posed for Rockwell, mostly from Arlington, Vermont, where the artist grew up. Last summer, there was a Rockwell model reunion in Arlington, where 80 former Rockwell models came together to reminisce. Eye Level has a few anecdotes from some of the participants.

New Anteater Born at the National Zoo! As if lion cubs weren't enough, earlier in December the National Zoo's giant anteater, Maripi, gave birth to a male pup. This was Maripi's third child in the past three years (her other pups are now at zoos in France and Nashville, Tennessee). Initially, the pup had low body temperature, causing concern among the keepers, but after weeks of monitoring both the pup and his mother in the hospital, they have moved them back into their exhibit. They report that both seem healthy and Maripi is taking good care of her offspring.

Race to the Museum—There are 73 cars in the American History Museum's automobile collection, but only 14 are actually on display. Vote for your favorite of eight cars on O Say Can You See by January 12, and the two most popular cars will be put on exhibit from January 22 through February 21. The options include a 1997 electric car, a General Motors solar-powered car from 1987 and an Oldsmobile "runabout" from way back in 1903, to name a few.

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