Thursday, January 13, 2011

Master of the Universe



After my day trip to Mars, I ventured out further into the cosmos with a visit to the Taipei Astronomical Museum.

You have to admire my desperate efforts to impose a narrative structure on my life, as a way to remedy the uncertain and random nature of existence. Maybe 'admire' is the wrong word...





I always assumed astronomy would be my midlife crisis, but recently I've been more fascinated by the stars than ever (which is saying something). Whether that means travelling the world has accelerated the pace of my life and my bitter end is nigh, or seeing the pyramids really did raise my tourism standards to extraterrestrial heights, only time will tell.

I'm also a fan of childish days out and leaving my comfort zone behind, so I felt very at home in this out-of-date interactive intergalactic museum with no English descriptions of anything.

But at just TW$20 (44p) for a great kid's day out, I'm not complaining. You could say the price is the only thing about this place that isn't 'astronomical' - ha-HAAAAAAAA!!!!




Taipei Astronomical Museum
(臺北市政府)




The popular history of astronomy tends to be very Western-oriented (Aristarchus > Copernicus > Galileo > Kepler > Brian May), so I knew practically nothing about the Chinese influence before I came here. I still don't, but hey - adding a dragon to an astrolabe (or whatever that thing is) looks nice!



I don't remember these guys showing up in Cosmos



Holy space base, they have plans!



No wonder the Chinese are desperate to get to space:
these aliens look exactly like their food



This museum arguably needs updating



You Are Here



There are tempting buttons, and then there are flashing red buttons labeled 'Tornado Generator'



It's not relevant in any way, but let's throw in some prehistoric dead stuff for the kids
(and twenty-five-year-olds)



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