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Meet me under the whale

January 16, 2010

It was a sciency sort of day here in the spy household. We had planned to get up and go into the city early, but AJ’s late basketball game last night meant we all had trouble getting going this morning. Instead of going to the museum first thing, AJ and I sat at the kitchen table and watched videos from They Might Be Giants’ new science-oriented CD, “Here Comes Science” on Youtube. The videos were terrific and we watched a several of them more than once. Our favorite was “Meet the Elements,” which contains the stellar line, “elephants are made of elements,” which we have been repeating all day:

But check out the others as well. AJ liked Roy G. Biv and the one about the planets. I was pleased the latter mentioned Ceres, the dwarf planet between Mars and Jupiter that AJ and I only just learned about this week. AJ and I both agreed, though, that “Why Does the Sun Shine?” is not nearly as good as TMBG’s version of “The Sun is a Mass of Incandescent Gas,” even though they share some of the same lyrics. Overall, though, the videos we saw struck the right balance between didacticism and fun.

We also played an entertaining physics game about simple machines on the Museum of Science and Industry’s website. This, too, was interesting and fun and stylish.

Eventually, the entire Spy family managed to escape our own sloth and head to the actual brick and mortar Museum of Science and Industry, to which AJ’s been begging to return for the last few weeks. The museum is enormous and diverse and every time we go there we find something new and interesting. Today we hit our favorites, the genetics exhibit and the train layouts, which Mr. Spy had never seen. We also stopped in the green stairway to play with the machines. I mention the green stairway, because we spent a lot of time trying to find them. First we tried the yellow stairway, then the red, blue and purple, which was the stairway that took us to the cars and ships and Legos, so a worthy detour. But we will endeavor to remember green for next time. We visited a couple of new exhibits on the human body and the internet, discovered some old model ships and real cars, and we found a place to build with Legos.

On the way home, we stopped to visit my friend H, who has just bought her first place, a gorgeous condo in an early 20th century building. AJ played with her cat Gus and surreptitiously ate more cookies than he would get at home while the grownups chatted and pretended not to notice.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. January 17, 2010 5:23 pm

    Um, am I confused or in Roy G Biv do TMBG have their indigo and violet backwards?

    We’ve been trying out all your links (and then some) and having a lot of science fun on our rainy day at home. Thanks!

  2. January 17, 2010 8:56 pm

    You mean the actual colors, right? Not the names? I was confused by that too.

  3. January 18, 2010 9:08 am

    They have their colors labeled wrong! Really, I looked up my color words on Google just to be sure the 64 box of crayons hadn’t led me wrong. I emailed TMBG to tell them too!

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