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Mad Scientess Jane Expat

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Science and music [20100601|14:33]
Mad Scientess Jane Expat
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[with a hint of |How To Destroy Angels - A Drowning]

I went to the Science Museum Lates last Wednesday with my work colleague Helen. We bounced around the "Making of the Modern World" gallery on a treasure hunt and attended two guided tours of the gallery, which were all about geniuses of engineering.

Model of a Victorian Workshop


These are two of my favourite objects in the gallery. Can you believe the Apollo 10 module still holds the speed record for a manned vehicle? It went almost 25,000 miles per hour (nearly 40,000 km/h) on re-entry into Earth's atmosphere.

Apollo 10 Command Module


On a different note: If you like Nine Inch Nails, Trent Reznor's new EP in collaboration with his wife Mariqueen Maandig (she provides most of the vocals) is now available for free download. Get "How To Destroy Angels"* and its collection of obligatory droning bees here.

* Dear TR: Please show a bit more originality and choose an album name that isn't the same as Coil's next time. Cheers, N
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: sneakypeteiii
2010-06-01 14:05 (UTC)
Aaaaahh Victorian science and engineering are the best. Did you ever go to the Museum of Jurassic Technology?
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2010-06-01 20:10 (UTC)
No, I didn't, and I looked it up and I"m regretting that now. I'll definitely go on my next visit to SoCal. I'm assuming you've been - is there any particular exhibit or gallery that you'd recommend?
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[User Picture]From: sneakypeteiii
2010-06-03 17:32 (UTC)
The museum's not that big and it's constantly in flux, so I enjoy the whole thing. When I went they had an exhibit on cat's cradle and other string games, complete with strings and demos so you could play on your own. Oh, don't miss the microminiatures.

The letters to Mt. Wilson exhibit was pretty cool, but I was suspicious as to its authenticity: They had a letter from Hale, I think, claiming some pseudo-scientific, quasi-religious discovery, among other things. Actually, the letters from kids addressed to "Mr. Wilson" were adorable.
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[User Picture]From: feylike
2010-06-01 14:42 (UTC)
i find the aesthetic of nineteenth century machinery and scientific apparatus to be very appealing in a way that hasn't really been matched in recent decades. it's a sort of timeless elegance that i imagine can only be achieved if the builder believes that the artifact will not become obsolete in a small number of years (or that such obsolescence is irrelevant to creating a thing of beauty). then again, perhaps it's because they look good when depicted on copperplate engravings.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2010-06-01 20:15 (UTC)
I suspect this is why people like Apple products so much. There isn't really much point in making them so sleek and so pretty except that it makes them pleasant to look at and handle. I think you've hit on a trick they're missing, though: iPods with walnut casing and brass trim.
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[User Picture]From: feylike
2010-06-02 03:26 (UTC)
or, to elaborate upon an existing Apple design theme, a case/body carved out of a single flawless block of brass and augmented with intricate guilloché engraving...

perhaps i am being overly sentimental, but i feel that tools that are aesthetically pleasing allow the user to be more effective or creative while using them.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2010-06-02 14:01 (UTC)
I don't think you're being overly sentimental. Being able to appreciate the implements that allow you deliver others is a core part of aesthetic experience. Otherwise we wouldn't have fine china and fancy glassware for different types of alcohol.
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[User Picture]From: cosmiccircus
2010-06-01 19:33 (UTC)
Thanks for the Reznor link!
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2010-06-01 20:05 (UTC)
You're welcome. What do you think? I'm only convinced by the first and the last songs myself.
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[User Picture]From: cosmiccircus
2010-06-01 23:09 (UTC)
I haven't had a chance to listen to it yet, since I'm at work, but I definitely will tonight!
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[User Picture]From: victorine
2010-06-02 06:12 (UTC)
Picture 1 is a fright inducing sight. My head is beginning to ache.

Picture 2. I seriously thought that was going to be a submersible, due to all the brass color and rivets.

RE: Trent; don't you hate it when formerly good musicians/artists get laid on a regular basis and can't write/create anything.
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[User Picture]From: victorine
2010-06-02 06:13 (UTC)
anything approaching their former glory, I meant to say...
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2010-06-02 13:58 (UTC)
It's funny how similar the craft for space and deep sea exploration can look, isn't it?

RE: Trent: Or when they become convinced that their lovers can sing, too.
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[User Picture]From: danaid_luv
2010-06-02 23:06 (UTC)
Best I can manage today is "ooo, pretty!" to the both of them (gorgeous colouring with both shots)
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2010-06-03 10:29 (UTC)
Aww, thank you. :-)
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[User Picture]From: seismic
2010-06-05 01:16 (UTC)
Yeah. That's all I can manage as well.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2010-06-06 07:59 (UTC)
Appreciated. Thank you.
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[User Picture]From: nimoloth
2010-06-04 20:44 (UTC)
It all looks very steampunk from you photos!
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2010-06-06 07:58 (UTC)
The gallery is devoted to triumphs of engineering and science, and a number of those for Britain were in the "Era of Steam", so it's easy to get drawn into portraying the whole thing that way!
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