Feb 27, 2015


A fun Friday frolic is to visit the Museum. We have a season pass for downstairs, the interactive "Sciencentre" (to quote an over-used cliché, do you see what they did there?) so we can toddle in there at a moment's notice and mess about with stuff.

They have a thingummy on at the moment about the human body which is a bit, I don't know... rubbish? It's full of titanic machines which seek semi-interactively to educate around the senses and organs and all that. The machines really don't need to be as big as they are, and some of them don't seem really to work any more. It's a bit 1970s.

There's an amusing game about reproduction: amusing because you have to race a computer sperm (gasp) into the vagina (gasp) by hammering away at buttons. Lyra likes it because there are buttons. I believe the subtleties of the educational experience elude her, and she remains uncorrupted by the rude words (strangely enough, there's no mention of willies).

Another amusing one is the guts machine where we marvel at the length of the human intestinal tract, as represented by a rope which we pull out of the backside of a picture of a bloke. The rope stretches five metres or so (from memory) and when you let it go it snakes its way back up the man-figures arse. Only thing is, what with the picture being flat and all, the hole where the rope comes out is where the todger out to be, and so it seems very much more like you're grasping his one-eyed trouser snake and extruding it across the room through the medium of the tug-of-war pull. Lyra remains uncorrupted by the subtleties of any connotations an adult such as I might make.

The other half of the Sciencentre [sic] is much more fun. Lyra runs around in there, rushing from one thing to the next, pressing buttons with no regard whatsoever to the effect they might have, poking stuff, taking balls out and hiding them in other exhibits, and generally developing her motor skills and curiosity (hopefully).

For instance, here she is playing 3-dimensional Connect 4, having creatively re-interpreted the rules to enable the winning strategy of removing all the balls and throwing them across the room, watching them bounce amusingly and poor old Dad chase them around, even more amusingly.

And here she is sampling the delights of the Centrifugal Chair of Extreme Disorientation, which I imagine has left many a passenger reeling with nausea, but she took it gently and looked on it more as a pilot-harness fastening trainer.

My favourite is the Polypropylene Gas-Giant-In-A-Glass-Globe, which when spun at the appropriate speed forms little weather systems and climatic bands which swirl and dance in a fascinating and vaguely trippy way. I could play with that ball for hours.

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