I would like to say something new finally. I have not written for a while, for this I do apologise.
It is Sunday already and a nice weekend is quickly coming to an end. Pity that.
Pity, especially since the weather for the last 2 days was truly marvelous, giving us sunshine aplenty, with fresh (chilly) air and great views for our bike trips. So good is the weather, at least on Saturday. Saturday, as S-chan has already written, has been great and active.
First of all, we went to the Dynamic Earth Museum, next to the Scottish Parliament building. The view above is from next to the Museum Building onto the hills of Arthur's Seat - an ancient volcano caldera remnants in the city centre.
The view was impressive and since there are quite a few relatively easy climbing tracks we fully intend to go and try to get up there next weekend. We can only hope the weather will be as good as this time.
This Saturday, however, we went to the museum. It is really fascinating. The building itself is really impressively modern. I cannot even say what it resembles, maybe a monster from the architects imagination?
The inside is surprising as well. Generally, it is a geology and biology museum, not too big. It is obviously well planned, well managed. When you go in, there is one normal looking museum room with facts about the Earth, such as some geology, population, earthquakes, other planets. What is quite interesting here is a high-tech planet sphere - it is a ball from the inside of which the image of a given planet is being displayed. In short - it looks very much like a small planet revolving in front of you. I wish I had played more with it, we had to go though to the next part - the time machine. This is actually the main idea of the museum. You are being put in a big elevator and told it is a time machine. There are some special effects - sounds, lights, a clock counting backwards in time. What is really nice is that you can see outside of the lift, through transparent walls, on the extrernal screens videos and pictures of bygone scenes and times are being displayed. Good idea.
The next part is divided into a few parts, ultra-pre-history back to the beginning of the Universe, you have 3 big screen and it is supposed to look as if you are looking outside of the time machine / space ship, onto the beginnings of the universe, in the next part - onto the begginings of the Solar system and finally earth. It is all wery well done and the staf enjoy it too and play along the time-machine scenario. It was really good quality factual science and good means of presentation with high resolution video projections. The videos are all well done, in the good tradition of BBC / Discovery science and nature movies. There is also the next room where you can see amazing good quality projections onto 4 big screens - it looks as though you are flying above primeval Earth. The scenere is really beautiful.
What comes next is the evolutionary evidence, explanantions and models. All very well done, with lots of stuff for children - some toys, interactive screens...
There is also a small cavern representing the jungle, with facts, videos, and animal models.
Before I go onto the highlight of the stay, a few words. The museum shows a few connected facts about the whole of Universe and connects it to Eearth in general, later going into a few specifics. I would go there again to have a more detailed look at some of the features. It is really a small but well made place of science.
Now, the best part is the 360 degree dome - cinema. You can sit in a chair, recline a bit and look up onto a dome above, where a short movie is shown. I suppose the movie is always about some part of science, as it was the case now.
But wait! The movies are high resolution 3d! That was really really good! The particular movie was about the scientific observatories of space - both those on the ground and up in the sky - in the space actually. It went quickly through the history of our perception of Kosmos, the Universe. It was not boring for a second, I really was enjoying myself immensly. What was especially amazing was the new space based telescope soon coming to life, the James Webb Space Telescope, successor to the unvaluable Hubble telescope. I actually had not know about the telescope, somehow missed news about it. Must have been reading too much about the CERN's Large Hadron Collider. Concerning which, it was also shown in the video - as the place where the beginnings of the universe are being targeted for discovery. Amazing.
What was equaly interesting about the movie was that it touched the infrastructure of science. It showed that the data gathered have to actually get somewhere, they have to be saved, analysed, passed onto the scientists. It is a science in itself. No wonder that it was the CERN people have come up with the INTERNET to share their findings with colleagues.
All in all the movie was the best part of the museum; everything else is worth seeing too, of course.
kojiczuk (kojisato & Pa-panda)