Sunday, June 30, 2013

May The Force Be With You

On Friday, Matthew and I went to the Indiana State Museum to see the Stars Wars exhibit. The focus of the exhibit is the science of Star Wars, with special attention to the transportation and the robotics found in the movies.

I thought it would be appropriate for Matthew to watch the movie on our way to Indianapolis. To me, 'the movie' means the first one made. The one that I saw in the movie theater in 1977. I call it 'the first one', but I am told it is actually Episode IV. So confusing!
On our way, we saw some of the landmarks in downtown Indy.
Hello Colts!
Hello Aunt Betsy!
Hello Lady Victory!
Soon, we arrived at the museum, purchased our tickets, and headed upstairs to the exhibit hall.
For a little science lover like Matthew, this was sure to be an interesting day.
We saw Luke Skywalker's Landspeeder. It is so cool to see the vehicles actually used in the film.
Of course, most of the vehicles are small models.
We learned how some of the models were made to look smaller or larger than others for the space travel scenes. Matthew loved looking at all the different 'ships'. I'm sure to misidentify the ships and/or the characters during the course of this post, since I only really know the first (I mean number IV) movie.
After studying the vehicles on display, Matthew had a chance to build his own maglev car in the engineering design lab. Using magnets and Legos, Matthew soon had his car hovering over the track just like Luke's Landspeeder.
Moving through the stations, he tested his car on a longer magnetic track. Success!
Very cool!
Many of the costumes from the movies were on display. "Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi, you're my only hope."
I thought these were Chewbacca costumes, but Matthew informed me that they are different Wookiees altogether. Who knew?
Helloooo in there!
 So happy to meet Yoda, Matthew was. Hmmmmm.
"Remember...the Force will be with you, always."
After looking at the costumes and the robots, Matthew got a chance to try building a droid. He chose from a variety of wheels...
then tested it to see how it moved through varying terrain.
The next station allowed him to program his droid to move through a course. He had to choose direction and timing so that the droid would move and turn to accurately go from start to finish.

Here's a short little clip of his droid:

video

These are Luke's and Anakin's prosthetic arms. I think. :)
And a whole bunch of weapons. They do a lot of shooting and fighting in those movies. Can't we all just get along?
A Stormtrooper.
"The Force is strong with this one."
We made a stop at the Star Wars Trading Post, then headed over to the little museum cafe to eat some lunch.
The terrace was beautiful, with a spectacular view of downtown.
We watched kayaks and paddle boats float by.
After lunch, we went back inside to take a ride on the Millennium Falcon.
This was a 4 minute ride in a simulated cockpit of the famous ship. Here is a view of the Earth from the Falcon.
Our jump to lightspeed.
A couple of X-wing fighters ahead.
After safely landing the Falcon, we explored some other areas of the museum. We both liked watching the Foucault Pendulum. We watched long enough to see it knock down one of the rods that surround the circular path.

Downstairs, we spent some time in a nature lab, and he enjoyed boring a virtual deep rock tunnel.

He did some chores in the Indiana history lifestyle exhibit. He carried the water...
and brought in the wood. He tried churning butter, but it takes 500 churns to finish that chore!
He got to see what he might look like as an Indian warrior.
Matthew took my picture with Frances Slocum. My grandma told me stories about Frances Slocum from the time I was little. Frances Slocum was taken from her family in Pennsylvania by Indians when she was five years old. She spent the rest of her life with the Miami Indians near Wabash, Indiana. When her family found her, years later, she had no desire to return to a life she knew nothing about. She is buried near Wabash. The joke my grandma always told was, "If you knock on Frances Slocum's grave and ask her what she is doing, she will say nothing." Get it? Nothing. :)
Our last stop was the IMAX theater, and we tried a self portrait while we waited to enter the theater.

Here is Matthew all ready for Great White SHARK 3D.
We learned about the Great White to end a great day!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

G - G - G - Geo (caching)

Matthew and I had an opportunity to do a little more geocaching on Thursday afternoon. It was a hot day, so we packed some water and juice in a cooler and set out for our adventure. Matthew navigates from the back seat.
He checks distance and direction,
then moves toward the location. Unfortunately, we did not find this one, so we will try again on another day. I think we just need more practice to get better at it. Also, using my phone is probably not as accurate as using a hand-held gps. Maybe a new phone will help? :)
We did a couple of 'virtual caches', which means there is no container or log book to sign. The cache is to take a photo of the location and upload it to the geocaching site. There must be a person in the photo to insure that it wasn't just pulled from the internet. We did the Courthouse Tree cache, which was easy of course. And just look at that smile. :)
There is another one at the Bread of Life.
Yay! We found one! I won't disclose the location. Matthew tells me that sometimes stealth is required. :)
Cemeteries are a good place to hide a geocache. Here is Matthew tracking the cache.
Looking along the fence.
Found it!
He checks out what's inside, and we sign the log.
Often, there are small trade items inside, and the cachers take something and leave something. He didn't want to take anything from this cache (too girly) but we left a Little Miracle for the next person.
Geocaching on a hot day makes a guy tired!
Our adventure continued the next day with a trip to the Indiana State Museum. Stay tuned!