Sunday, April 29, 2012

Visit to Cambridge

Yesterday, Seth and I drove to Cambridge to visit with Molly and George. We had an awesome time.

We started the visit by going out to lunch at a great cafe and bakery called Flour. When we arrived at the cafe a little bit after 12:00, the place was packed! Seriously, I have never seen such a line. But this gave us time to figure out our meal plans. I had a grilled portobello melt with mozzarella, tomatoes and pesto. I also had a home-made raspberry seltzer, which was extra tasty.

This week, Cambridge was having the Cambridge Science Festival. There were special science activities, events, exhibits, and talks all around the city. One of the events was called Down to Earth Outer Space, which was a series of space hands-on exhibits and a talk at the MIT Museum. Since none of us had been to the MIT Museum, we headed over there after lunch.

We made it just in time to hear the talk about the missions to Mars. The presenter talked a good deal about the new robot heading to Mars, Curiosity. It should be there in just under 100 days and has a whole range of instruments to test Mars rocks and for potential habitability of the planet. It will also be the first space lab to have a camera that can take video in addition to pictures. I'm planning to check in on it's website one the lab makes it to the Red Planet to see some footage.

After hearing the talk, we look at the exhibits in the museum. There were, as promised, some pop-up exhibits regarding space science. There was also a massive exhibit of slide rulers. Upstairs in the museum, there was a robotics exhibit as well as an art gallery which featured amazing holography. There was also an art exhibit called, Gestrual Engineering. This featured kinetic sculptures, and they were unspeakably cool! One of the pieces was called Behold the Big Bang. It features a set of interlocking turning wheels ( called reduction gears) which move and turn one another. The one on the far left is turning quite quickly, the one on the far right is turning so slowly that it will take an estimated 13.7 billion years (the age of the universe) to complete one rotation.

Because the joy of this exhibit was the movement of all the pieces, I took some videos of the various installations.

Very nifty, as you can see!

After the museum, we headed by to Molly and George's were we played a very fun game of Settlers of Catan, a very popular German board game. Seth and I got this game a while ago and have been dying to play but it needs four people, and we rarely have that many guests. After a great dinner, Molly and George headed out to the the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and Seth and I headed home. What a fun day!

1 comment:

Melissa said...

Flour is amazing. The owner was just nominated for the Beard award on the national level. Hope you enjoyed your trip!