Thursday, July 28, 2011

Boston 2011 - Day 2, Part 2: Museum of Science

Previously: Boston 2011 - Day 2, Part 1: Museum of Fine Art

After spending the morning at the Boston Museum of Fine Art, we needed something a bit more interactive for Luke to do in the afternoon, yet it still needed to be inside due to the cold and the rain. Our next stop was the Museum of Science. Well, once we figured out how to get there. The Science Park T Stop is right at the museum, but the train stopped at North Station and forced everyone off onto buses due to some sort of renovation going on. At least the signage was good, but it took several buses to pick everyone up and get us to the next station.

The atrium is huge, but there isn't much to see. The ticketing lines were long (again, forgot it was Sunday), but the kiosks weren't too bad. They only had one entrance turnstile open and there was a woman arguing about her tickets with the guy. By the time he sent her to customer service, there were a good 40 people waiting to go in. ::rolls eyes:: But once we got in, it was impressive.

Okay, big dinosaurs, good. What else ya got?

Now we're talking! LOL We had a primary purpose for being at the museum, but it wasn't time yet, so we found some stuff to keep us busy nearby.

Finally it was time to enter the Theater of Electricity!

And what do those big things do? This!

Note that second picture up there, with the lightning striking the tire. Proof that it isn't the rubber tires that keep you safe in a car, it is being surrounded completely by metal. Don't believe it? How about a demonstration:

Bird Cage Lightning Strikes

He is completely surrounded by a metal cage, with no rubber or other insulators. He even touches the inside of the cage as it is being struck! Not sure I'm that brave, but obviously, it works. We also got to see the Tesla coils.

Including hearing one "sing" the William Tell Overture (this is cropped to just a few seconds).

Singing Tesla Coil - William Tell Overture

Sadly, the finale "lightning storm" was a huge bust. Apparently, it was just too humid with all the rain of the past two days. I think we might have gotten a single strike? According to a quick YouTube search, we got robbed! The presenter guy was quite embarrassed, but there wasn't anything anyone could do about it besides come back for the next show, but I knew Luke wasn't going to be able to sit through it again, so we just moved on. I just advise you to go on a dry day if you're going to try it.

Now, to see what else the museum had to offer! We headed upstairs to the "Physics of the Playground" area, which had a bunch of fun interactive things to do. I didn't get photos of all of them, but he liked the see-saw (his first time getting to do it with other kids!).

And he really liked this "calculate your speed" experiment, though he had no interest in his actual speed (and we didn't bother calculating). Clearly, the grown-ups were having fun playing with the optic capabilities of their cameras, though. See, physics really is everywere! LOL

This is an Archimedes Screw, which I had never heard of before. As you turn the cylinder with the tube wrapped around it, the liquid moves up the tube. Totally simple and brilliant!

We may have canceled our plans to go to Yosemite, but we still got to see a sequoia! (well, part of one)

This was always my favorite room in any science museum room growing up, the optics room. They had the usual optical illusions and such, but they also had prisms and light games:

Another thing I always fiddled with as a kid, and Luke was fascinated by it. Match the color (he was pretty good at it).

I found these spinning discs fascinating. They had several, but this one was the most striking. I'm sure it was basically lenticular, but the cheap ones I am accustomed to only go through 2 or 3 "steps." This one had several more; it was very impressive in action.

Spinning Bat Disc

And I really wanted to take a quick group shot.

I thought this wall was so cool! What, you don't see us? How about now?

Still no? Here are some close ups, cropped directly out of the photos above.

I picked the "group shot" above because it shows 4 of the 5 of us really well. Naturally, no single shot showed all 5 of us clearly, and we didn't have time to fiddle with it. So just to prove I was there, here is a crop out of one of the other photos:

There was tons of other stuff to do there, much of which we didn't even get to, but we were all crashing, and it was time to go. As we were leaving, we spotted these footprints on the carpet, then noticed the glass. Nothing like standing in two cities at once!

As Mom and I sat on a bench to figure out dinner, I noticed Luke in this pose, with the reflection in the glass. It is one of my favorite photos from the whole trip.

And I took it from an entire city away; he was in Cambridge and I was in Boston! LOL We decided on Quincy Market for dinner since we had to go right through the station to get back to the hotel. I think we all ate at different places. Mom and I split a skewer of chicken wrapped in bacon with roasted potatoes (had to be roasted in the bacon fat, they were so yum!). Dad got a breakfast bagel from Finagle a Bagel, DH got Japanese hibachi teriyaki chicken (yes, from a "food court"), and Luke got some chicken tenders. Good heavens, it was expensive! Yummy and convenient, but expensive. Not so expensive that we didn't return another day, though (remember, yummy and convenient).

I'm not sure what time we got back to the hotel, but I can tell you that the three of us were in bed by 7:30 and asleep by 8, and I imagine my parents were similar. We were just *so* tired. We'd been walking and/or on our feet nearly the entire day. Such was to be the story of the entire trip, but it was a great first full day in Boston!

Continue Reading: Boston 2011 - Day 3, Part 1: Freedom Trail, Part 1

Currently feeling: scientific

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