Archive for December 7, 2006

Barcelona’s own Science Museum (Cosmocaixa)

Yesterday we decided to go and visit the Cosmocaixa. It’s Barcelona’s science museum and planetarium. We had discussed this with Jackie and Sebastian and since Jackie is a bone fide scientist, they were keen. This was the last month for the Einstein exhibit so I was really looking forward to it. I also found out that Sebastian was born in the same town that Albert was, such a small world. Anyhow, it turned out to be the perfect day for it, rainy and cool.

We took the FGC train from Placa Espana up to Tibidabo and then the 123 bus right to the museum. It’s an amazing place and because it was pouring I didn’t get any photos of the entrance in daylight but here’s one I took at night when we left.

To the right of this building is the main part of the museum but I thought that this building really had character.

Once we were inside though, we had to descend five stories on this circular ramp. In the centre was a 300 year old tree from the Amazon. This wood is so heavy is does not float. Cutting it is like cutting stone.

We descended the ramp all the while looking at different aspects of this tree. It grows between 30 and 60 metres tall, here’s looking up from about half way down.

and looking down to the roots……

Once we were down there I had to take a photo from right underneath, The steel cables holding this thing up were massive.

Once inside we wandered around the exhibits for about 4 hours. The main hall had many displays from the origins of life,

to the age of the earth, plate tectonics, geologic physics , the behaviour of light and much more.

At the end of the hall was a massive reproduction of the amazon jungle. I tried to get photos showing above the water and below but couldn’t capture the atmosphere of being there.

There were live animals and huge fish in this exhibit. Can you spot the birds in the photo above ? Very well coloured to hide from their prey.

They did an amazing job on this display. You can go into it via a tunnel and spot all kinds of different exhibits concerning the Amazon. It was interesting because Alex and I have been to the Amazon so we know what it’s like. At around 6:00 we headed to the planetarium to watch an exhibition called Genesis. We were all a bit disappointed in it though. Afterwards we went back to the displays and played around with the interactive ones. We finally leaft when we were asked to, since the museumwas closing. A departing photo ….

We had a really good time and I will have to get back there sometime. Tomorrow, Alex and I leave for Lisbon for a few days so be sure to check back later. I should have lots of pictures to share.

Have a great weekend…

December 7, 2006 at 2:36 pm 2 comments

Barça 2 x 0 Werder Bremmen

Ronaldinho is a genius!

Barça had a very important match last tuesday. They had to beat Werder Bremmen, one of the leading teams at the German championship, to be able to advance in the Champion’s League. They either advanced or they became the first European champeon to not pass the round of 32 in the following year’s championship. So, the pressure was on. And Ronaldinho delivered. The match was decided in the first 20 minutes when he scored the first goal, gave the pass to the second, and even managed to make a pass with the back of his head.

The first goal was a work of genius. Ronaldinho suffered a foul play near the goal area and was given a free kick. Those of you who have watched the guy play know that he is pretty good at the free kick, making the ball curve in totally unexpected ways. He usually makes it go high and around to the top corner of the goal. This time, however, he was facing the very tall German players and was too close to them to get the ball over them properly. So what did he do? He hesitated for one minute before kicking, the men in the barrier jumped, and he kicked underneath them. When I told my dad how he scored, his reaction was “he missed it then”. I said “what do you mean??” He said, “he missed; nobody kicks underneath the barrier”. Hehehe, Ronaldinho did. And here is what Edhur Gudjohnsen had to say afterwards:

“It is fantastic how clever the guy is,” Gudjohnsen said of Ronaldinho. “He seems ready for every situation and the bigger the game, the more he can handle it. He saw that they were going to jump. What he said in the dressing room afterwards was the two really big guys in the wall wouldn’t jump so he put it under the smaller ones. He’s a great player and I guess that makes him psychic. When you play with him and see what he does with a ball, nothing surprises me any more. One of these days, he will make the ball talk.”

And here is that famous goal:

December 7, 2006 at 12:05 pm 1 comment

Dec 6th: Montreal Massacre

On this day in 1989, a gunman went into the Ecole Polytechnique in Montreal, Canada, and for 45 mins he looked for women to kill. At the end of the spree 14 women were dead. Following my friend Dana’s lead, I would like to take a moment here to remember their names:

Geneviève Bergeron, aged 21;
Hélène Colgan, 23;
Nathalie Croteau, 23;
Barbara Daigneault, 22;
Anne-Marie Edward, 21;
Maud Haviernick, 29;
Barbara Maria Klucznik, 31;
Maryse Leclair, 23;
Annie St.-Arneault, 23;
Michèle Richard, 21;
Maryse Laganière, 25;
Anne-Marie Lemay, 22;
Sonia Pelletier, 28;
Annie Turcotte, aged 21

For a good coverage of the events of that night, take a look at the CBC archives

The event became a catalyst for movements for the eradication of violence against women and is remembered throughout Canada and many parts of the world today. Along Philosopher’s Walk at the University of Toronto, a very peaceful and beautiful place, a tree was planted for each of the women killed that day and a memorial was built.  I hope we don’t have to build memorials such as these in the future…

December 7, 2006 at 12:57 am 1 comment

December 2006

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