We went to Columbus to visit Daughter No 1. and we wandered around the city for a while before having dinner at a great brewery downtown, The Elevator. A word of advice—don't order the beer with a hint of banana. Before dinner, part of our walk took us around the capital building where the lawn is dotted with old canons and monuments to various people important in Ohio's history. There is one impressive monument to the "sons" of Ohio—Ulysses S. Grant, General Sherman, President William McKinley....
At the opposite end of the lawn is a statue of a man wearing a boxy hat and long robes. As I approached it, I wondered about his identity because he was not dressed like anyone who would have lived within the time frame of Ohio's state history, and he was certainly no "son" of Ohio. He was holding a globe, so I asked without thinking, "Who is that? Galileo?"
In Night at the Museum, Ben Stiller plays a night watchman who tries to keep reasonable control over the museum exhibits that come to life at night. One of the exhibits is a bronze statue of a man in a boxy hat and long robes holding not a globe but a map. There isn't a name plate on the statue, so the night watchman can't figure out who he is and calls him "explorer guy." The statue turns out to be Christopher Columbus.
You can guess that in the city of Columbus, Ohio, the statue of the "explorer guy" in front of the capital building is not of a man who declared that the earth rotated around the sun instead of the other way around, causing the Church to excommunicate him for heresy. It is a figure representing the explorer who sailed the ocean blue in 1492, the very same explorer the city is named after. Any idiot would know that, right?
In my defense, it makes more sense to have Christopher Columbus holding a map instead of a globe. It wasn't his idea the world was round, even though some people say that. Early scientists were telling everyone the earth was round centuries before Columbus, but the Church and later the Inquisition kept people from believing it.
Here is a the statue from Night at the Museum.
Now, before anyone calls me "stupid," I'm sure you've all said things in a split second without thinking first. Fess up.