On Dec. 30 I went to the Museum of Natural History. Technically, this was a good idea on this day since it was raining (I think it was the fifth day of rain in the 3.5 months I've been here). However, every other person in Los Angeles... and their plentiful children... also had the same idea, as I had feared they may. So over the squeals and electron-like darting of the pediatric contingent, I had a look at the museum.
Apart from the fabulous gemstone and semi-precious stone collection, I'd have to give this museum a so-so rating. One interesting way it differs from Canada is the level of violence in the dioramas- animals or their respective reassembled fossils are often shown attacking or chewing on other animals (see above!). Refreshing, in it's way. Lots of stuffed-critter dioramas, one big room of African animals and two of North American ones.
The museum also seems to serve as exhibit space for other assorted collections that don't fit into other museums- there is a section on California history, and some early technology that we'd see in the Science and Tech museum back home.
One nice surprise was coming across a large rose garden on my way there. Unfortunately, because it was raining, and there were no paved pathways, and it was relatively cold for L.A. (around 10C, and before you scoff, I was wearing sandals, but then again, I guess you could scoff at that instead), I didn't go in. I can't go later on a sunny day either, since the garden closes January to March! But here are some photos I got from looking over the wall at it...