A Day at the Museum
You know those holidays where it feels like you have an endless expanse of time spread in front of you, and you have no idea how you’ll ever find enough activities to fill it? And then the next thing you know, poof! They’re gone. And you’ve found yourself the night before work returns, panicking because ‘Surely, it’s not been enough time!’, ‘Surely, there are things I still have to do before I’m ready!’. But there has been enough time. Five whole weeks of it.
No? Just me then.
These Christmas holidays have come and gone so quickly. Trips to Melbourne, Christmas, trips to Tasmania, New Years at Falls Festival, hanging out with some amazing people and just generally living life. I have filled so much into my holidays that they have passed with a blur.
But really, I don’t think I’d have it any other way.
The other thing that is making me balk a tiny bit at going back to work, is that I’m not, technically, going BACK to work. I’m going forward. To a new class, new school, new suburb, new colleagues and generally…a whole new world. I’m looking forward to the challenge of transitioning to a school about ten times bigger than my last (with an all-boy cohort to boot), but I don’t think I’d be me if I said I wasn’t a little bit nervous too.
In preparation for this foray back into the intellectual sphere (as opposed to spending my time sitting on the couch googling dank memes and hanging out with the doggos at home), I ventured a few days ago to the Cultural Centre of Brisbane. The Queensland Museum was on my agenda, and I wasn’t going to come home again until I’d explored it’s fascinating exhibit on the Hadron Collider (and the fact I knew basically diddly squat about physics was moot, really).
I wasn’t just going to see the collider, however. The great thing about the Queensland Museum is that it has enough stuff to keep anyone occupied – old and young, historical experts and novices alike, and while it mostly focuses on the cultural and natural history of Queensland (funnily enough), it’s exhibits are varied enough to capture the attention of just about everyone – dinosaurs, dead and living specimens of some amazing animals, and some strange and wonderful artefacts from yesteryear.
Not to mention, this exhibit…which equally fascinated and grossed me out.
I always feel very nervous about taking photos in a museum. Like the relics and artefacts deserve more respect than a wannabe blogger with her smartphone camera getting a bit snap-happy. Nevertheless, I managed to grab a couple of pics of some things that caught my eye.
Like this cute little guy, and this adorably goofy wombat (both stuffed, of course),
This majestic A.F eagle,
These gross giant cockroaches, squirming around (these ones were real),
A bedazzling green tree snake (sorry Stella!),
And this horrendous model of a mosquito, that was about the size of a large cat.
None of these compared, however, to the amazingness of the exhibit on the Hadron Collider. The Hadron Collider is an epically cool machine, covering an expanse of 27 kilometres, was built with the purpose of accelerating 2 beams of protons to 99.99991% the speed of light. Purely so that scientists can smash them together and see what appears from the collision. Just in case anything cool comes up. Like the previously undiscovered, heaviest elementary particle known to man (so far…). The Higgs Boson.
When I was in Grade 10, I was in the advanced science class – basically we did the cool shit that the other kids weren’t trusted to do. A bit of physics, a bit of biology, a bit of chemistry, all to give us a taste of our options in senior school (I chose biology – giggity). I was amazed at how much I remembered about neutrons, protons, and the periodic table – and surprised even still at how fascinating I found the exhibit. The machinery they constructed, the theory of the Higgs field, and epic 50+ year journey towards the discovery of the Higgs boson, how it all relates to the universe and the world around us, it was, to put simply – thrilling. What amazing feats scientists can do! I am pretty passionate and dedicated to my field of education, and still I envied these professionals of their single-minded determination to find something they weren’t even sure existed.
Also, the pics were pretty cool.
If you have no idea what I’m talking about, I highly, highly recommend you go and check it out. It’s not just for science nerds (a lot of it is explained in really simple language) and if I found it interesting (I have the attention span of a 4 year old), then I’m sure many of you will too. At $15 for an adult ticket ($24 if you get the mega deal which includes entry to the science centre), it’s not too expensive, and I’m planning on dragging Ryan back there to have a second look!
I left the museum at lunchtime to trundle down the road to The Charming Squire for a brew and a bite to eat, before heading back to see what the Science Centre had to offer (yes, I bought the mega deal ticket).
Unfortunately for me, the Science Centre that I grew up fascinated by is nothing like the one-level set-up they have now – fantastic for kids, not so much for a lone female 20-something year old who is enjoying pre-Term 1 cultural immersion. I didn’t hang around for more than 20 minutes. Perhaps if I’d had someone there to muck around with it would have been better, but I’m glad I didn’t pay the full price of a $14.50 ticket. Luckily the entry to the Queensland Museum was free, so I could go in and out as often as I liked!
A great way to beat the heatwave that was harassing Brisbane, I thoroughly enjoyed my visit – the culture and history were just what I needed to boost my brain back into school mode and I think I’m *almost* ready to commence the school year!