Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Science Museum and Harrods

Today was supposed to be rainy all day, so we planned on a bit of 'inside' stuff. Since the Underground was down because of the Strike... we ended up taking a bus down to the Science Museum. I was kind of glad that even Alysha wanted to see the science museum. I think it had something to do with her epiphany earlier on the trip where she decided on studying to become a nurse. I'm glad to hear it!

I thought it was going to be just another 'kids museum' kind of experience. But from the very moment I walked in the front door, it was something special.

I can't even describe all the things I liked about the museum.

The first section was based on Steam Power, and had actual full size versions of the Newcomen, and then Watt, low pressure, and high pressure, and then mobile and factory sized steam engines. These were very well done. With great explanatory descriptions on each one.

I was also impressed with all the 'original' exhibits in this museum had to offer. The No. 1 Babbage Difference Engine, one of two 'Regulator' clocks from the Greenwich Observatory, the first clock from the Long Now Project, just to name a few.

I especially like a section on the
scientific instruments used in the 18th century. Many were teaching or demonstration devices to explain different scientific theories. Things we teach in Jr. High Science classes now. I just love Brass Scientific Instruments for some reason.

I could have spent much, much more time in this place!

There was also a very thorough exhibit on the history of flight. I loved a quote from an early french airplane inventor about how they would have to go down in history as having worked on the inventions of flight, but that America would be remembered as the ones who actually did it.

Sections on health and DNA that Jill just loved - and a fun, entertaining hands-on section that had exhibits that I've never seen before. (and I've been in lots of science museums)

We then stopped into Harrods to have an early dinner in their 'Food Court' - we were told by a neighbor friend this food court was something special. We have to agree! The food there was unbelievable! - Unbelievably expensive! We saw a pizza for over $65 - and the security guards wouldn't even let you stop and look around. The place was HUGE with many many specialty areas. It would have been fun to stay and look around - but we were hungry, tired and didn't feel that wealthy.

I guess I'm just not 'sheik' enough for Harrods. (I didn't mean Chic... but actually Sheik) - I'm not Chic enough either. Perhaps if I found an extra couple million hanging around... no... Even then I couldn't bring my self to spend that kind of money on things in Harrods. I can't believe how crowded and how many people were actually spending that kind of money there!

A nice Italian restaurant down the block worked out fine. We had to wait for ages to finally get a bus back to the hotel. (Ryan, Jill and Alysha went shopping for clothes at a couple of stores down the street before returning)

A good day!

(Set Soapbox=On)
Did I mention that I *hate* strikes! Obviously something is wrong in a country when workers can cause so much damage to so many people and get away with it. Especially in an economic climate with unemployment so high. JUST HIRE MORE WORKERS! - Go ahead and strike. We'll just replace you. Should be management's position. You are worth exactly what it costs to replace you - no more, no less. If you want to be paid more, then be worth more! (set soapbox = off)

Kids just can never get too much sleep. Waiting for a bus...

On the bus ride - a couple of houses Jill would like to live in
18th Century Science ApparatusFirst prototype of the Long Now 10,000 year clock
Inner Workings of the Observatory 'Regulator' clock
An Example of a single Human's DNA Strands - Huge!

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