Sunday, November 29, 2009

Seven Worlds Collide

I went to the New York Planetarium yesterday.

I hadn't so much intended to go there yesterday, but I was in the neighbourhood, and needed desperately to use their bathroom, so I paid the $24 entrance fee and went in. It was worth it just to use the bathroom.

The planetarium is a permanent exhibit at the Museum of Natural History, and so I spent a little time checking out the space exhibits in and around the planetarium before I was due to go in.

What struck me at first was that all mention of Pluto had been erased from the exhibit, what with it not being a planet anymore. It left me feeling kind of sad; like Pluto was the skeleton in the Solar System's closet, or some bad historical mistake that had to be wiped from public record. It's okay Pluto, I'm not a planet either. (I saw that on a T-shirt).

When it came time to visit the planetarium, we were shepherded into a massive windy line, then mustered into the elevators, and finally herded into the waiting room and theatre. The seats recline, so that we could get a direct view of the domed ceiling.

The ceiling was the screen - or the screen was the ceiling. Either way it was cool. The film opened with a rumbling and some pretty awesome special effects (which made a baby cry), and was narrated by Whoopi Goldberg (which made the republicans cry).

The focus of the film was primarily about how awesome the sun is, but it also showed a portrayal of the big bang and other such cosmic niceties. It was quite impressive, and very well done.

I couldn't help but almost doze off in several places however, as the chairs were altogether way too comfortable. I'm normally a pretty light sleeper, but I reckon that if I had nodded off, not even the big bang would have woken me.

After the movie, I saw the dinosaur exhibit.

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