Glenn McDavid (gmcdavid) wrote,
Glenn McDavid

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A great Fathers' Day

After church mia_mcdavid and I went home and picked up carpe_noctum_93 and turned around for a visit to the Science Museum of Minnesota for Make: Day. It was great. We saw a lot of fun projects.

Out front a crew from Twin Cities Maker had set up an onager. When we first stopped by they were having trouble getting it to work. I can sympathize: Any demo in front of a new audience is risky. One problem I saw was that the release mechanism was too close to the ground. This made troubleshooting difficult and undignified, especially for one crew member who was wearing a Utilikilt.

There was a Van de Graaff Generator, which made carpe_noctum_93's hair stand on end. Literally!

On the back porch the Minnesota Astronomical Society had a couple telescopes set up for viewing. One was a replica of Isaac Newton's first reflecting telescope. I have seen a zillion pictures and diagrams of it, but this was the first chance I had ever had to see and look through one. Very nice.

There was also a modern telescope pointed at the sun, suitably filtered. I looked through it and saw sunspots. I have known about them all my life but this was the first time I had actually seen them, sunspot to photon to eyeball.

We got to spend sometime "backstage", at the workshop where exhibits are prepared for the museum, and other museums that the SMM works with. The staff was friendly and enthusiastic. It reminded of me of when my parents took me, decades ago, to "Members' Night", at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago.

We had dinner at home, and I did the cooking (the others did the cleanup). It was one of the pasta improv meals that mia_mcdavid and I have made throughout our marriage. I got lovely cards and a present from Mia, our son James, and our foster daughter carpe_noctum_93. The present was an antique plane with a convex sole, such as could be used in shaping the seat of a chair:

It was a great day, and I have a great family. I love them all.
Tags: astronomy, chicago, family, kilts, physics, tools, weapons, woodwork

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