Hey man, are you around this weekend? I was hoping you could help me move my sphinx?
Moving is stressful and complicated and sometimes painful and always a lot of work, and that’s just for moving our regular stuff from one place to another.
When we’re talking about moving something, say, from the ancient world?
That’s a whole new level of moving.
That was the job last week at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, known better as the Penn Museum.
It’s in the midst of a multi-year building renovation, and you can’t very well do a renovation of that size with the artifacts all around you, right?
The most famous piece in the collection is a 3,000 year old sphinx, and the plan called for moving the sphinx out of a gallery where it’s been since the 1920s to the museum’s main entrance hall.
That’s about a 300 foot trip.
The catch? The sphinx weighs 12 and a half tons.
You can’t just box it up and roll it down the hall, at least not without the floor of said hall buckling under the weight!
After months of thinking and planning, the solution is kind of amazing: they built four gigantic air dollies, with compressors pushing air underneath the sphinx to lift it about a half inch up, like a 3,000 year old air hockey puck.
The workers inched the sphinx out of the gallery and onto a wooden runway before bringing it into the main hall.
It took three days to make the 300 foot trip from point A to point B.
And there was a price for moving the priceless object, of $850,000 dollars.
No word on whether this crew will help move that heavy desk you bought four apartments ago and somehow still have…
Meanwhile in Pakistan: a regional minister was giving a news conference, as regional ministers sometimes do – and this event was being livestreamed on social media, which is also pretty common these days.
The one thing that you don’t often see?
Somehow the livestream went out with the cat filter on.
Online viewers saw the regional minister sporting little pink cat ears and whiskers!
The minister admitted the mistake and urged people to quote “not take everything so seriously,” which is exactly what people do when they see a government official show up online in cat form.
A monumental move for the Penn Museum’s iconic sphinx (University of Pennsylvania)
Sphinx photo by Peter Miller via Flickr/Creative Commons