Tuesday, April 12, 2016

March 12 -- planetarium, and history museum

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We have arrived at the planetarium.  At 1:10 pm.  The next planetarium show started at 2:00.  There is one (1) exhibit space.  It has some pieces of things that have fallen on the earth, including this really cool chunk of metal.

The descriptive info said:  "Fine Octahedrite.  Found:  Carlton, Hedron County, TX.  Polished and etched slice."





Their info on the formation of our moon was admirably up to date (matching what we were told is the current best thinking on that topic in Moons class).

I walked through the exhibit area twice.  I walked through the gift shop twice.  I got a candy bar from a vending machine.  I sat in the sunshine and ate my candy bar.  I ended up sitting and playing with Instagram on my phone while I waited for the planetarium show.

This is a really small planetarium.

They do have a spherical theater.  They are set up to project animated shows on the inside of that sphere.  The show I saw was on pulsars.

From the Wikipedia page on pulsars:  The events leading to the formation of a pulsar begin when the core of a massive star is compressed during a supernova, which collapses into a neutron star. The neutron star retains most of its angular momentum, and since it has only a tiny fraction of its progenitor's radius (and therefore its moment of inertia is sharply reduced), it is formed with very high rotation speed. A beam of radiation is emitted along the magnetic axis of the pulsar, which spins along with the rotation of the neutron star. The magnetic axis of the pulsar determines the direction of the electromagnetic beam, with the magnetic axis not necessarily being the same as its rotational axis. This misalignment causes the beam to be seen once for every rotation of the neutron star, which leads to the "pulsed" nature of its appearance.


I think this next image is the massive star, collapsing.



Here you can see the high energy emissions from the magnetic poles.



The animation made the wobble of the magnetic poles around the rotational axis very clear.

While informative, I believe this animation was designed to make people feel nauseated.  It tipped, it tilted, it rotated..........

Before the show began, there was a person in there, telling us where to exit after the show, etc.  He said that if we needed to leave before the show was over, there was a different exit to use.

I thought "Leave before the show is over????"  Then the tipping and tilting and whirling began, and I understood exactly why someone would want to leave before the show was over.  Good grief.  People *like* to be made to feel that way?  Yet another thing about other people I will never understand......

I wonder if the people who think it is "fun" to put their money into flashy machines are likely to also think it is "fun" to be made to feel queasy in a planetarium show.



I walked north across the parking lot from the planetarium to the history museum.  This museum has several exhibit spaces, and a lot more going on.  Lots of displays of all sorts of different things.



There were a lot of things related to gambling.

Here's a lei made of paper currency and dice................  I bet someone thought it was lucky.  I bet the house won, way more often than not, lucky lei or no lucky lei........................




Ceramics.



This nice little basket would have fit comfortably in my two hands.



Horse(tail) hair rope.  Cool to look at, but prickly to handle, I expect.




Toys.  (Imagining the assessor on Antiques Roadshow being excited that this ring toss is in mint condition, as is its box........)



My first thought was "Snowshoes?  In the desert?" and then I remembered the snow on the mountains....



It would be fun to peruse the catalog.  What did people need that we no longer need?



I have used a toaster like this one, myownself.  You lay your slice of bread on the door, and then close the door (using those knobs on the sides of the door).  That closes your bread up near the wires on the inside, which are red hot.

You have perfect control over how toasted your bread gets, but you have to watch it like a hawk and check on it very frequently.

The person I knew who owned toasters like this one also had a wringer washer, and a gas-powered refrigerator (in town where there was plenty of electricity).  I am willing to relinquish control over some sorts of functions, in the interest of not having to mess with them incessantly..........



This doll was about a yard tall.



What a sweet face.



This is the view from the front yard of the history museum, looking southwest.  Nice.



Looking more or less straight south, interesting clouds.



Forsythia next to the planetarium.



Walking south in front of the planetarium.  The round building is, I believe, the university's basketball stadium.



Lots going on in the sky............



I meant to walk by the pond, again, on my way out, but I perversely decided to try a different way to get there.  I ended up in the back of the university.  I saw lots of parking lots.  And dumpsters.  No pond.

Oh well.  Here we are looking up at the sky, through a tree.



Wow.



That was the texture seen, close up, on the end of this hunk o' tree.  This used to be a big tree.  I bet it was a yard in diameter.  Why this one chunk of it is sitting between the street and the sidewalk, right here, is a mystery to me.


The sky was still excellent when I got back to the hotel room......................

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