Saturday, April 18, 2009

Science! and the MDT

Friday did not start off well. I missed the first bus to the Science Museum (where my Corps Day was being held) and had to wait half an hour for another one to arrive. There I got sucked into conversation with what I assume was a Vietnam airborn vet. He was a kind of weirdly interesting guy, and our conversation covered his colored opinions on the rescue operation vs the Somali pirates, the economy, and a lengthy dissertation on the miraculous powers of dogs.

So I showed up to my corps day about 10 minutes late and we did an assortment of random activities that were intended to show us how team building with kids works, as well as how the Design Team does its work (the Design Team being middle and high school kids who use inventive engineering to solve clients' problems- actually a really cool program that I really wanted to lead next year, but oh well). These activities included dividing the group into four using a consistent algorithm, placing other people in our groups on an x-y plot of the Meyers-Briggs personality test, and using damp sponges to play music on a computer. I was also introduced to Make magazine, which looks really, really cool. Basically it's a collection of DIY tech projects that look both fun and occasionally feasible for me to do. I may have to get a subscription... *marks down one more expense on the list*

After this we were given free reign to wander about he museum and go to an IMAX movie. I went to Super Speedway, which was about everyone's favorite palindrome. It was very pretty and motion sick inducing, as all IMAX movies are. My group then wandered about the museum, stopping in at the Science of Fear and the Water exhibits. The fear one was pretty cool- they had a bunch of different booths set up that asked you to do something to rate how afraid you are of things. These included sticking your hand in an enclosed drawer that may or may not contain creepy crawlies, putting your finger on an electrode and waiting for an electric shock, hearing creepy music followed by a gun shot and being strapped to a table that falls quickly to the floor. The first one actually generated a visceral reaction in me, while the others... not so much. Still, they had lots of cool stuff and facts there. The water exhibit was a little less interesting, but they still had cool factoids about dams, wave power and how much water it takes to create various things.

I then missed my bus again and was late for Manly Drinking Time with Russell and Pechous. Still, we had a pretty good time. We went out to the Peanut Bar under Williams and had well whiskey shots and a liter of Schell Maifest apiece (mmmm...). Pechous then had to bail, but Russell and I stuck around, then headed home for more beer and yet another shot of whiskey. It was a good time- we got to talk, drink, watch 28 Days Later and drunkenly attempt to play Heroes 5 and fail miserably. A pretty good night, I should say.

Until next time...

"The scientist. He will spend thirty years in building up a mountain range of facts with the intent to prove a certain theory; then he is so happy in his achievement that as a rule he overlooks the main chief fact of all--that his accumulation proves an entirely different thing."
- "The Bee" essay by Mark Twain

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