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The Science Museum: not Just a Tourist Hotspot

Sir William Bragg, the eminent physicist, once stated, “The important thing in science is not so much to obtain new facts as to discover new ways of thinking about them.” The profundity and truthfulness of this statement seems nowhere more relevant than in the National Science Museum in London – one of the country’s most loved historical institutions. As part of the National Museum of Science and Industry, the Science Museum is more than a tourist attraction for London’s many visitors: it preserves some of the world’s most impressive scientific artefacts, while constantly showcasing new talent and the latest in scientific innovations from across the globe.

The Science Museum first opened in 1857 from the collection of the Royal Society of Arts, as well as surplus items from the Great Exhibition of 1851 to promote the achievements of science and technology. Initially created as part of the South Kensington Museum, the museum went through several incarnations before being officially titled the Science Museum in 1885.

Today, the Science Museum holds over 300,000 exhibits. Its most famous items include Stevenson’s Rocket, an early steam locomotive built by George Stevenson in 1829, James Watson’s model of DNA and Charles Babbage’s Difference engine, a special-purpose mechanical digital calculator. The Museum itself is made up of a series of permanent and temporary galleries, including ‘Space’, a historical gallery that tells the story of human space exploration, ‘Flight’, which contains a number of aeroplanes and helicopters, and ‘Making the Modern World’, a new gallery which houses some of the museums’ most iconic collections.

Since December 2001, the museum has been free to all visitors, and is therefore a popular attraction for families in Britain. In fact, the Science Museum also organises “Science Night” – described as an “all-night extravaganza with a scientific twist”. On these evenings, up to 380 children aged between 8 and 11 are allowed to spend an evening in the museum performing enjoyable, science-based activities before being allowed to spend the night among the exhibits. In the morning, the participating children can awake to breakfast in the museum, more scientific-based fun and an IMAX film – an altogether unforgettable scientific experience!

But the Science Museum doesn’t simply provide a place for children to learn and play amongst some of the world’s most important scientific developments: it also opens up forums for controversial scientific debate. The Dana Centre, a groundbreaking urban bar and café, was opened in 2003 in an annex to the Museum, and is currently the UK’s only dedicated scientific discussion venue for adults.

As an integral part of the National Museum of Science and Industry (which includes York’s National Railway Museum and the National Museum of Photography, Film and Television in Bradford), the Science Museum plays a crucial part in the scientific education of much of Britain’s population.

If you’re hoping to visit the Science Museum, you’re sure to find a range of London hotels located in South Kensington through a variety of online travel sites. So choose to spend a day – or a night – in the Science Museum, not just because it provides fun for children and adults alike but because, as an institution of scientific progress and learning, it’s virtually unparalleled.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by - July 21, 2010 at 4:33 am

Categories: Vintage Steam Locomotives   Tags: , , , ,

The News reports that an underground steam pipe just exploded in NY city.?

We dont have underground steam pipes in the UK so I know nothing about them. What are they all about? Do they exist only in NY or in other cities and towns too? Where does the steam come from? What is it for? How is the steam powered? How often do they explode?
To confirm what Nefertari says, the news report also said the pipe was built in the 1920s and was lagged with asbestos. Although nobody was hurt by escaping steam, NY City officials are worried that passers-by might have inhaled asbestos filaments. There was only 1 death:- a man had a heart attack due to shock!

On films set in NY you can see steam coming up through the pavements /sidewalks. Are these points where valves are set in to allow the pressure to equalise?

What exactly is being heated? Is it individual apartments, or are they just providing under-floor heating to the road surfaces and pavements to melt the winter snow?

2 comments - What do you think?  Posted by - June 15, 2010 at 5:24 pm

Categories: UK Steam   Tags: , , , , , , ,

Heron, did he invent just the vending machine, automatic door and the first steam engine?

I was Just wondering if it were possible that Heron invented anything other than the above objects, maybe a steam powered boat, i think it’s possible. What do you think?

3 comments - What do you think?  Posted by - May 11, 2010 at 10:58 pm

Categories: Vintage Steam Engines   Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Film and Fashion: Just Friends

Film and Fashion: Just Friends
Vogue, in its March issue, pays homage to Avatar Jen Kao has seen Avatar—twice. Kao, a New York designer known for filmy knits and aggressive black leather, plans to infuse her next collection, in September, with some of that movie’s violent colors and savage frills. Well, Kao, get in line. Jean Paul Gaultier was feeling an Avatar moment way back in January. Just a month after the release of the …

Read more on Manila Bulletin

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by - February 26, 2010 at 8:52 pm

Categories: Vintage Steam Engines   Tags: , , ,

Just What is the Chattanooga Choo Choo?

Chattanooga is a town in Southern Tennessee close to the Georgian border, most famous for its Choo Choo – but exactly what is the Chattanooga Choo Choo? According to Chattanooga.com: “it’s a train, it’s a song and it’s a (sic) hotel” which sounds more like a plagiarized superhero description than a clarification. However, let’s look at why all three are referred to as the Chattanooga Choo Choo, starting with the train.

The Chattanooga Choo Choo train is believed to have been the wood burning steam locomotive operated by the Cincinnati Southern Railroad, which first operated out of Cincinnati on 5th March, 1880 bound for Chattanooga. ‘Choo Choo’ was the affectionate name given to all the wood burning steam locos of the era, and the final destination gave rise to the alliterative moniker ‘Chattanooga Choo Choo’.

Following the demise of the steam era, most of the trains were scrapped, but a fine example of the early Chattanooga Choo Choo locomotives that ran on the Cincinnati line has been preserved and is on permanent display at the Terminal Station in Chattanooga. There are other exhibits from the steam age at the Station as well, and train devotees in search of more Choo Choo memorabilia can also visit the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum in the suburb of East Chattanooga.

The song “The Chattanooga Choo Choo”, on the other hand, was an arrangement performed by the Glenn Miller Orchestra in the 1941 movie Sun Valley Serenade and features the immortal line: “Pardon me boys, is this the Chattanooga Choo Choo?” The lyrics make reference to Track 29 and that is the line on which the display locomotive now rests at Terminal Station in Chattanooga. One of Miller’s most memorable numbers, it earned the band leader a gold disc in 1942 for sales in excess of 1.2 million.

And finally, the Chattanooga Choo Choo is also a hotel and convention center spread over 24 acres in central Chattanooga, which features the original Choo Choo steam locomotive. This is the only hotel in Chattanooga which offers Victorian Train Cars as hotel accommodation. It is also features the “Dinner in the Diner”, which is a restaurant offering fine dining that is housed in an early dining car.

So although there are three definitions of the Choo Choo, it is evident that two of them – the song and the hotel – owe their entire existence to the original and definitive Chattanooga Choo Choo; the steam locomotive train from the 1880s.

And although the Choo Choo is undoubtedly one of the main reasons why most people visit Chattanooga, the town offers a lot more. It is also home to the Tennessee Aquarium, an IMAX cinema and the Creative Discovery Museum. Nearby are the Lookout Mountain attractions which include the Ruby Falls, Rock City Gardens and the Incline Railway. If you go to Chattanooga looking for a Choo Choo, you’ll find all three – as well as a marvellous city offering warm, southern hospitality.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by - at 5:18 pm

Categories: Vintage Steam Locomotives   Tags: , ,

Desk Toys and Stress Balls – More Than Just Office Toys

Are you stressed at work? Overwhelmed? Tensed? Well, when the stress or boredom level is high at the office, and you wish you can have something to let off some steam and turn that frown upside down, go ahead and grab some desk toys. Desk toys are fun items that can make you feel more relaxed and comfortable, more valued and more at home in your office.

Desk toys often come in those fun, functional things such as a samurai letter opener, a pirate spin folder that do not just hold your papers but twirls round and round when you flick the spinner, paper clips that act like your ideal assistantâ??s happy head nodding in constant agreement, as well as tux penguin memo clips that do not just offer the very utilities that they were meant for – they also give an eye candy value to every office desk and an ice-breaking relief to those who own them.

Stress balls, though some are actually not shaped like balls, are fun and usually silly desk toys made especially for office workers who spend a lot of time on their jobs and desperately need a break from their stressful environment. For instance, if you want to break someone elseâ??s nose and let out a foul mouth expression, save yourself from the dirty consequence and instead get yourself the swearing punching ball or the larger swearing punching bag. Or, you can get a scream pillow in case you want to scream and not want anyone to hear you, or a telephone stress toy in case you want to slam the receiver on a cheaper phone than the real thing, or better still, a stress express flying helicopter in case you want to send something flying across the room or outside the window.

How would you feel about tearing, burning, or crumpling a bundle of 100 dollar bills? Now you can even if youâ??re in the middle of an economic crisis! Very satisfying, donâ??t you think? And if your computer problems is really bugging you, the â??Computer Bug Zapper – Zap Your Software & Hardware Problems may be just what you need. Did you know that some programmers or tech guys wish there is really such a cool thing?

In some cubicles, you can even find toys like â??Dilbert â??The Bossâ?? Stress Toyâ?, â??Boss Tossâ?, â??Grow A New Bossâ?, â??Mr. Boss – Screaming Pen Holderâ?, â??The Bossâ? Mugs, â??Salariesâ? Mugs, and other toys emphasizing the word â??Bossâ?? or â??Salary/Salariesâ??. Do you wonder why? Because every once in a while, or at some point in your life, you might find yourself working for a shitty boss or for a company that offers shitty pay. Since you understandably cannot take out your anger on your boss or on your company, why not take it out on the toy then, huh?

In the grand scheme of things, desk toys serve their purpose of making their owners – the office cubicle occupants, that is â?? happy and satisfied at work, and also disarm and make their office visitors happy, too. So the next time you find some of these toys in an office supplies store or in a novelty shop, instead of just ignoring them, stop and think about how many people have made friendly acquaintances or new, loyal customers by these things, as well as how many more whose lives and sanities have been saved by this simple toys! Perhaps then you would want to consider buying some for yourself. Remember, a happy worker is a good worker, and while youâ??re at it, you do want to be a good worker, donâ??t you?

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by - February 2, 2010 at 4:44 pm

Categories: Vintage Steam Toys   Tags: , , , , , , ,

Just Steam and Stress Less

According to the National Health Interview Survey, 75% of the general population experiences at least â??some stressâ? every two weeks and half of those experience high levels of stress during the same two week period. With all of the effects stress has on a person, psychologically and physiologically, it is important to understand the implications it has and itâ??s critical for you to become capable of dealing with it effectively.

Effects of Stress on Physical Health

The American Medical Association stated that 80% of all human illnesses are the result of stress. Bearing this fact in mind, dealing with stress effectively can be a life saving skill that could drastically improve your overall quality of life. When a person is under a lot of stress, the brain releases chemicals giving the body an instant boost to combat and survive the stressful circumstance. Unfortunately many people in todayâ??s society constantly put their bodies under this stress causing them to suffer from heart disease, high blood pressure, chest pains or strokes. The release of these chemicals also prevents the body from sleeping properly, resulting in slower thinking and other side effects such as depression, which in turn can lead to other problems such as alcohol abuse. When the body is under stress it is more susceptible to illnesses and diseases such as pneumonia and cancer as the immune system is weakened. When an individual dies from an illness such as a heart attack, doctors point the cause of death on the heart attack, but in all reality the heart attack was caused by other reasons such as an unhealthy life style and / or stress.

Effects of Stress on the Economy

According to the HSE (Health & Safety Executive), 6 million working days are lost each year in the UK through stress related problems. This costs the employer between £530-£545 per annum, as stated by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI). Visit the HSE for more information: http://www.hse.gov.uk/stress/standards/.

Learning to Relax

One of the best ways to combat stress is to relax and unwind. Everybody has their own way of relaxing, therefore it is important that you find a method of relaxing that suits you. Some of the more popular ways to relax and unwind are:

â?¢ Running, jogging or taking a long walk

â?¢ Listening to restful music

â?¢ Receive or give a massage

â?¢ Participate in an active sport

â?¢ Visit the park

â?¢ Practice yoga

â?¢ Eat organic natural food

â?¢ Ride a bicycle for pleasure

â?¢ Read

â?¢ Sunbathe or have a nap

â?¢ Play a musical instrument

â?¢ Use a hot tub, steam room or sauna / infrared sauna

Use a steam shower or sauna

Steam showers and saunas are well known for their relaxing properties and provide the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Saunas and steam showers can be found in health clubs nationwide, however, steam shower rooms and saunas are becoming more popular in homes as they become more mainstream and affordable. A daily steam shower or a sauna session can really melt away stress and lighten the toxic burden on your body, revitalising and enlivening it.

Mohamed Abou Donia, Ph.D from the Duke University Medical Centre conducted a study which showed how stress can turn normally harmless chemicals in the body, dangerous. Dr. Mohamed Abou Donia says that even short term exposure to specific chemicals, just 28 days, when combined with stress caused widespread cellular damage in the brain and liver of rats (http://medschool.duke.edu/). Considering the adverse effects on the body both stress and chemicals can have, itâ??s critical to detoxify and reduce the stressful burden. Chemicals are rampant in todayâ??s society: they are found in the foods we eat, the liquids we drink and the air we breathe.

Whenever you feel stress, a home steam shower or sauna is never far away to provide an instant escape. Steam showers heat up within minutes and use very little energy to operate, making them the choice for those seeking stress relief and physical well being. Just sit down and feel the warmth of the steam loosen all the muscles in your body, revitalising, making you feel brand new and fresh. The soothing warmth causes the body to sweat out harmful toxins and flush out the pores, giving your skin a clean glow. For those who have never seen a steam shower, or are interested in more information / articles or purchasing one, visit steam shower specialist Di Vapor: http://www.divapor.com.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by - January 5, 2010 at 7:01 am

Categories: UK Steam   Tags: , , ,