Monday, 27 September 2010
Glasgow Science Centre is boffin great
Things I learned from the Glasgow Science Centre on a Monday holiday.
My inner nerd loves to run free. I'm 43 and I like science. There it's taken me quite a long time to admit it. I liked it at school, always pick a green question at Trivial Pursuit and enjoy sneaking a look at New Scientist when I'm at Super Sister's. (It's her missus' bog read of choice.) Now I'm loving that Boys One and Two have joined the march of the boffins.
3D movies at the Imax make me feel sick. The effects of Alien Adventure were stunning. You were actually in the film, so much so that I felt really sick and had to shut my eyes. Still the soundtrack was good too. Oh, and the Boys enjoyed that I felt sick and they didn't.
James Dewar was clever, but not that clever. The inventor of the Thermos flask (and fellow former pupil of Dollar Academy) obviously knew a thing or two about what does and doesn't pass across a vacuum. However, he wasn't smart enough to patent his invention. This little gem was part of the Wallace and Gromit Intellectual Property Office exhibition.
Pre-historic Scots were bloody minded about their diet too. Archaeologists looking at the lifestyles of Crannog dwellers on Loch Tay found that in spite of living above the water they didn't eat fish. Experts suspect there may be cultural reasons for this...
I'm not very good at facial recognition and even worse when the faces are modified by computer. At the Centre, researchers from Stirling University were testing how well people recognise faces with different racial characteristics. The hypothesis being that Caucasians 'see' Caucasian faces better than those of other races. To this end they take other races' faces and 'enhance' them to be more Caucasian. Upshot, I could recognise hardly any of the modified faces at all. The researcher said quite a few women had the same result, but few men. interesting.
My big Boys are great company. Even when they are laughing about me going green in the cinema. It was a fantastic day out, thanks chaps.