Monday, July 16, 2012

The Daily Planet


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The boys, Donnie, and I went to the Nature Research Center yesterday.  We watched the construction for a couple of years with eager anticipation of the opening which happened a few months ago.  The crowds have died down a bit now, so I figured it was time that we go check it out.  Plus, on a 96 degree day, a cool inside destination was in order.

We were greeted outside with the finalized Daily Planet.  Wow!  Inside, it's a 3 story planetarium style theater.  Double wow!  I wondered why the water wasn't blue?  The continents are decals and the silver is the color of the metal skin.

I love this shot of the boys holding up the planet:-)  They came up with that on their own.  Go figure!



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As you walk in the door, there is this massive piece of techno art over the stairway.  On the 2nd floor, you learn about it in more detail.  See the video below.  Fascinating if you ask me!  The square panels go dark and light and change via some sophisticated computer program to simulate a mosquito swarm or a hurricane vortex.  Someone sure put a lot of thought into it!


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Video

Joey was really interested in this LED light exhibit.  He takes after his mom.  All those lights changing into nifty colored patterns had us quite engaged.


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Meanwhile, Donnie and Johnny were enjoying the Chevrolet Volt exhibit.  The boys don't quite get electric cars yet, but they are starting to understand that they exist.  It was cool to see just the mechanics of the car's inside minus the 'skin'.  We could see how they stored the battery pack (up the middle).


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Out front of the museum?  A place to plug your Volt or other electric car in!  Too bad the fotomom minivan isn't pluginable!  More of those posts should be popping up in major cities soon.  Have you seen one in your city?


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By far, the  most interesting thing to me was the inside of the giant earth.  It reminded me of our visit to Morehead Planetarium.  Someone did a great did with the photos and video design.  The visual and audio show is a treat on a grand proportion.


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Who can resist images like this!  It's hard to get the scale from my pics, but try to envision 3 stories tall.


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Loved this collage video too!



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Here, in the Visual Design iLab, Johnny is using a technology similar to Nintendo 3DS AR cards.  He's got the whole wide world in his hands:-)  Come on now...sing along.  He's got the whole wide world in his hands...


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Lastly, there were a lot of laboratories in this new museum wing.  Here the boys were learning about using pipets to study DNA.  Lots of chemistry and biology geared study opportunities in this museum.


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We'll be going back again real soon!  We thought they did a great job with the design and layout and I'm sure we didn't see everything the first time around.

1 comment:

Major Mom said...

Funny you put up that picture of the quote from Lewis Richardson -- whose "Richardson Number" was the fundamental core of Dave's PhD dissertation -- aircraft turbulence!

He is also credited with using a series of differential equation solutions as a means to predict weather.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lewis_Fry_Richardson