Space stuff, viruses and vibrations at the California Science Center

On our last weekend in California we were trying to come up with something to do, so we browsed Yelp for suggestions.  The California Science Center popped up as one of the most recommended places to visit in LA.  I love science museums so I was thrilled that Kurt and Ezra were on board with the idea.  Geek mode ON!

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Before we even made it inside the building we spotted this huge torque exhibit:

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A 3014kg pick-up truck was attached to one end of a lever, and you have to try to lift it at 3 different positions.  It’s quite obvious that the further you are from the fulcrum, the easier it is to lift the truck. IMG_3889

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We spent quite a bit of time playing around here before making our way to the building. When we reached the entrance, we expected to have to buy tickets to get inside, but we were surprised to find that entrance is actually free! (Something we probably should have known if we did our research properly XD)

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The first thing we saw when we made it inside was the Air and Space exhibit, where they had sophisticated telescopes and space capsules on display

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This is a 1/5th scale display of the Hubble Space Telescope

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And this is the original Gemini 11 Space Capsule.  Supposedly 2 astronauts lived inside this tiny little thing for three days!  I probably would have died of a panic attack if you made me stay in there for longer than 5 minutes. IMG_3941

Another space capsule from Project Apollo

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Closer look at the door

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Kurt took loads of footage of Ezra as usual

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There were other interesting setups around the area, such as this optics display

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The California Science Center houses the Endeavour Space Shuttle.  You probably saw pictures of it online last year as it was flown around on top of a plane:

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(Image source)

Unfortunately we didn’t get to see it because you had to make a reservation, which we failed to do.  But there were plenty of other things to see in the museum, so we weren’t too broken up about it.

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There were also stations set up where employees gave demos to illustrate interesting concepts.  I think this was the demo for pressure.

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This spiral thing is an exhibit for how sound travels.  Two people stand at opposite ends of the pipe and can have a clear conversation with each other

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And this one shows how air makes different sound pitches based on the length of a glass tube

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We had fun playing around the earthquake exhibit, where we were asked to build a house that can withstand tremors.  We failed miserably.

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Thermal camera. There’s a black wall behind us and you can “paint” images on it using body heat

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Forgot what this display was forIMG_4040

More sound displaysIMG_4051

This one allows you to create a loud noise by simply rotating the crank and causing vibrations in the air

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Kurt enjoyed this exhibit a lot.  It’s a couple of “cars” with solar panels attached to it.  You use a joy-stick thing to control the light source and try to aim it at the solar panels to get the cars to move.

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There was a High Wire Bicycle exhibit on the third floor which lets you pedal yourself a short distance at a great height (for just $2).

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Brave kid

After this we decided to drop by the gift shop where they had lots of interesting things for saleIMG_3907

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This cute little guy is an E.Coli bacteria plushie

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And this one is a swine flu virus

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This is a nerve cell plushieIMG_4088

This one is some sort of microbe (but I can’t remember which).  Ezra insists its just poop.

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And this one is a computer virus, lol

We found lots of educational toys like a build your own crystal kit, complicated puzzles and quiz board games. I loved those kinds of things as a child.  If I was younger I probably would have tried my hardest to convince my parents to buy them for me, and argued that it was for the sake of learning

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We found these Brain Quest cards there too.  Ezra and I had a couple of these when we were younger.

I didn’t buy anything from the gift shop, but Ezra picked up some freeze-dried astronaut ice cream

After this we explored the museum again:

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Human brain

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Giant nerve cellIMG_4127

There were chicks on display at the life exhibit

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Want to know what the inside of a cockroach looks like?

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Eeew

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Ezra’s checking the inside of a salamander

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Overhead shot of LA?
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This is a wall of ice that you can touch.  I don’t know how people managed to dig their fingers in there because that thing was solid as heck!

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This display demonstrates how much pressure is found at the bottom of the ocean.  It can crush that styrofoam head and cup to that extent.

We were getting pretty tired from walking around so we decided to head outside and take a break

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The loving coupleIMG_4189

We munched on the astronaut ice cream while resting

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And watched squirrels chasing pigeonsIMG_4197

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There was a rose garden right next to where we were sitting, so after resting for a bit we decided to go see it

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The place was beautiful.  Perfect for photoshoots.  Unfortunately the sun was really harsh at the time and it left us with horrible shadows on our faces 😦  But I did manage to take pictures of the pretty flowers

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See what I mean about the shadows?  Harsh!  And we were squinting in most of the photos because the sun was too bright.

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A little overexposed, but this is actually one of my few decent pictures there

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We wrapped up our day just sitting around the rose garden and enjoying the view and fresh air.  Kurt took some videos too which he included in his video for this trip.  You can watch it below:

The video’s 30 minutes long, but the MV part is only up to 4:20.  The rest is just a documentation of our silly antics for the day.  Apparently there was a lot, which is why the video is so long 🙂

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