Saturday, May 5, 2007


This is the roof of a hospital!!!!

The girls and I went onto BCN today and went to a rain forest! We met Neanderthals and explored Newton's physics....Yes ladies and gentlemen, we went to the science museum. It was AMAZING. Little one went into town kicking and screaming and generally being obnoxious about the idea, and half way through declared it the best day of her life. So any of you considering coming to BCN with kids, may want to consider this....though you don't really come to BCN to go to the science museum.

It also had cleaner bathrooms than McDonalds which is generally something of a benchmark for me, and is a freaking miracle in Europe.

They had simulated a rain forest, there was footage of the team in Brazil taking castings of the trees, and then they added plants, animals and water....

There were absolutely brilliant demonstration of most of the basic laws of physics. The kids spun and whirled and waved and twanged their way through all sorts of stuff, and came to interesting questions too.

This is a wiggle-able helix that did a spectacular job of showing how waves of energy travel, but the matter does not....

These impressed the heck out of me...lots of structural engineers in my family...I can talk a good line about compression and tension and stress lines.. These were plastic forms that you could bring weight down on and the material turned colours where the lines of stress are....some are quite beautiful..

Two discs:

A straight beam...the stress lines are clear, and sharp, not too strong, but pretty.

Basic round arch

Gaudi's parabolic arch, almost no visible stress lines, one smooth colour...very strong.

Classic Cathedral...I find the stress lines here stunningly lovely. Invisible beauty in our structures.

This exercise let you pump a foot peddle and it released the bubbles into the water...the bigger the bubble, the faster it went up, so the big ones actually invaded the bubbles above them, and you could see their's shape inside the upper bubble for a few seconds. The other astonishing thing was that BOTH bubbles started to change shape before they came into contact. The upper bubble got a convex inturned bulge on it's underside, as if it were tucking up it's butt to avoid being run into, and the lower bubble elongated and got more pointed at the top...these are bubbles folks, no sentience..I have no idea how this works. An argument could be made in my weak-in-physics mind that the upper one bulged up from the pressure of the fluid being pushed by the upcoming bubble, but why did the bottom bubble change shape?
I took about 15 pictures and never got the bubbles merging then gave up...sorry.

And this is what happens to greedy fish. If you eat too big a fish you see, you cannot spit them out again because the scales won't let you...too much friction. There were three of these, as well as fish that had died because they had eaten fish that were just too heavy, they couldn't swim anymore!

Finally, I know it's a bad sign when the rats abandon ship, but what happens when the statues start to abandon their pedestals?

I missed my Birks every step of the way... I wore the runners that my sister gave me at Christmas. I painted them purple yesterday and the oil paint wasn't dry yet. You could probably trace my route through BCN by the miniscule smears of purple paint I left behind....and my feet hurt. Not too bad, but they ain't Berks.


Trish said...

Oh my gosh...I feel like I have developed a few more neurons in my brain after viewing these museum pictures.

But the statues leaving their pedistals are the best! LOL

Beth said...

Another lesson for me! It's so great these are accompanied by your fabulous pictures now.
Loved the stress lines ones.
(Love the fact you posted one of the clean bathroom.)
Sad about your Berks. But you'll be back in Canada (soon?) and be able to replace them. (I know, I know, new ones will never be as good...)

Beth said...

god do I love all of your pictures. I love that you take us everywhere with you. thanks!

oreneta said...

Trish: That is exactly how I the encyclopedia had been plungered into my skull...

Beth: Yeah, the shoes sort of bite...soon...

Beth: It does kinda feel like I am taking y'all with me cause I do take pictures thinking...ooooh this'll be good for the blog...
sort of social?