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Friday night in the museum 
22nd-Mar-2008 05:22 pm
The U of M astronomy club (the LowBrows) was going to get a demo of the planetarium in the exhibit museum after hours on Friday. I haven't been to a meeting in a while, but that sounded interesting, so I hung out after work.

First thing to do was to find myself food. I figured I'd park in the structure across from the MLB, and there's that Jamaican Jerk place right there -- where I've eaten once before -- and I decided to do that. It was yummy, although I melted a square centimeter or so of the roof of my mouth on the hot pork. While there a second customer showed up -- and she was quite chatty, hoping that they have more customers than they seem to, because she doesn't want them to go anywhere. They said that yes, they have a steady stream of customers, but in June or July the owner will be pulling up and moving somewhere else. So, if you've been waiting to try them, (1) they're yummy, and (2) don't wait too long.

Later, in the planetarium, some folks were discussing the projectors one can use in a planetarium, and how one reason that one might need to upgrade to a different projector is because you can no longer get the lamps for your specific model, leaving it "a museum piece". Yes, I know the term, but due to where we were, I couldn't bite the laugh back.
22nd-Mar-2008 11:05 pm (UTC)
I'd have snickered at "museum piece", too.

How was the presentation.
23rd-Mar-2008 08:51 pm (UTC)
I thought it was pretty cool. I was awed by some of the stuff they can do -- old hat to those who frequent planatariums, I suspect, but stunning to me. This included a portion of one of the movies they can/do play -- undersea. Just wow.

And I learned what they hope to do in the future -- they're still using the old (1959? hand stitched dome -- don't remember the size, but they have an extra 6 feet or so they can glom onto behind one wall, and they intend to.
22nd-Mar-2008 11:54 pm (UTC)
You're a Lowbrow? I was one way back at the beginning of the club, in 1979--I attended the first meeting and the first trip out to Peach Mountain to inspect the 24".

Alas I've fallen out of touch, largely because I get my astronomy fix from teaching now.

Planetaria are cool.

And yes, that's the 85-foot dish on Peach Mountain in my astronomy icon.
23rd-Mar-2008 08:53 pm (UTC)
I'm a nominal Lowbrow. I pay my dues and go to one or two meeting a year. Don't know how to run the McMath -- don't know how to run a standard scope for that matter. It's usually too cold on the Mountain for me -- that plus my current "if it's after 10pm I'm probably not safe to drive" -- plus the fact that I can't (yet) turn off the lights on my car...

23rd-Mar-2008 03:01 am (UTC)
Speaking of planetaria, ever consider getting your own?
23rd-Mar-2008 08:56 pm (UTC)
Ooooh, that's kind of cool. Hmmm... is there room in any room of the house for that? If I build another house just to house that cool geek toy, I would probably rather put up a dome and get a "real" one...

That _is_ cool though.
24th-Mar-2008 02:28 am (UTC)
I remember as a kid designing a house with a planetarium dome in the living room, a transparent geodesic dome over the bedroom for watching the stars as I fell asleep, and third dome for an observatory.

Alas, I'm never going to be wealthy enough to build that one.
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