Sunday, November 16, 2008

Niigata Science Museum

We had another trip.
Every single year around this time of the year, there will be a trip organised by the school for the international students to get closer and experience the culture of Japan. This time around, we went to Niigata, the capital city of Niigata prefecture, located about one-hour drive from the place I am studying at the moment, Nagaoka.
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Among the group of us who joined the trip.
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The Monument of Science at the entrance hall.
This museum consists of four main exhibition halls, namely Science in Nature, Science in Our Daily Lives, The Exploring Room and The History of Technology in Niigata. In addition, there is a planetarium dome, an astronomical telescope and outdoor exhibition areas. Too bad that we couldn't enter the planetarium which was closed on that day we were there.
The first exhibition hall we went to was the hall themed Science of Nature. I was actually quite excited when someone told me that there would be the complete dinosaur bones on display. In fact, I tried to get myself to the exhibition hall as soon as I heard of that. To my disappointment however, I got to see some worms.
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This is actually the fossil of one type of I-dunno-what-is-its-name sea plant.
Plants were not what I was looking for; dinosaur was. But this one caught my attention when I read the descriptions. Silicified wood (petrified wood) is wood that was buried in the earth. Underground water containing minerals such as silica soaked into the wood, changing its organic make-up. The wood eventually transformed into minerals such as agate and opal.
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Silicified wood (petrified wood).
Finally, I saw some signs of dinosaur.
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The fossil of the egg of Saltasaurs. Even if they put a sphere rock there, nobody would doubt it I guess.
Despite the early hype about the dinosaur exhibits, this is the most I got to see.
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What to do, no choice already, but still have to camwhore with it.
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I didn't dare to touch on the Mammoth's bone. Who knows, just in case it's my unlucky day and the bones might just fell apart the moment I put my hands on the bones.
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Actually, I saw three dinosaurs there, but they were rubber-made dinosaurs that are controlled by computers.
There are drawings that shows the human evolution which was first introduced by Darwin. Of course there are also people who question the reliability of Darwin's idea, but for now, we shall put that aside. The drawings started with crawling monkey and ended with walking human today.
My senior insisted to be part of the evolution, but too bad he ended up in the wrong stage.
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From his pose, he looked as if he really came from that stage.
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I once saw real toki during my visit to Sado Island last year.
From animals kingdom, we entered another section which was mainly about astronomy. Here, exhibits such as meteorite that hit one spot in Niigata many many years ago was displayed, besides the timeline that shows the birth of the universe until where we are today.
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Imagine our Earth is as huge as the gigantic Jupiter.
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My two Vietnamese friends, Chuen and Dat showing their country on the globe.
The next exhibition hall was quite interesting, which was called The Exploring Room.
Most of the exhibits here are made in a way that the visitor can try for themselves the stuff on displayed, and relate them to scientific concepts. Take this two exhibits as example. The first one shows a drawing on a wall, but with the correct angle of lighting, the drawing would look like a three-dimensional drawing. As for the second one, I will leave it for you to figure it out yourself.
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Cool eh?
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Roby, from Indonesia and me were wondering if we had overdose of Weight Gain.
Most of the exhibits in this museum are designed to help people understand the wonderful results which have been established in the many fields of natural science and technology. Personally, I prefer this kind of museum because the theme is not that heavy, and we could experience ourselves by observing, touching and handling the displays in the museum. There are also science shows at exhibition halls, scientific experiments and handicraft workings in science laboratories held hourly, which mainly attract young visitors.
I would say this museum is more suitable for younger kids, because most of the exhibits explains simple scientific principle and from the visitors on that day, most of them were parents who brought their children there to spend some time over the weekend while exploring the world of science.
The third exhibition hall was themed, Science in Our Daily Lives.
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Among the exhibits in this hall.
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Japan being a country prone to earthquake, almost all buildings here are equipped with mechanism during the construction process to prevent the buildings from collapsing.
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A real-sized car, cut into half to show how the engines work.
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I have seen this white seal called Paro before during my visit to Tsukuba Science Square, but it got a new friend this time. They are robots designed to look like soft toys, but the interesting part is that they are able to react to the way we touch and cuddle them.
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We got to set ourselves the movement of Aibo here, in fact my junior made it waving at us.
At one section, we tried on the flight simulator. It looked cool from the outside, and we thought we would get to navigate our flight like a pilot. However, that wasn't the case, as I later found out that the seat is as small as a stool. My long legs just barely fitted the limited space inside the simulator. However, I volunteered to take the first seat, and that person is in-charged of the taking off.
Although it was just a simulator and the seat doesn't move, there were doubts in myself if I will be able to make a smooth take off, or I might overturn it even before it takes off. Each of us got to control the plane for one minute and it was still quite fun.
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How it look from outside doesn't represent the interior.
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This is how the interior of the screen of the simulator looks like.
While waiting for the rest to gather before we head to the next location, we had our light brunch outside the museum, many thanks to my junior who made fried popia that day. I don't think I will be going to any place for autumn leaves sight-seeing this year, due to the tight schedule and the unpredictable weather. Nevertheless, the trees outside the museum looked as good as the ones in the maple leaves garden.
Yet, the Momijien I went last year still remain the best.
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Look at the beautiful tone.

It is always nice to lay yourself on the fallen dried leaves on the ground.
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It is time like this I long for a DSLR.
Although it's just another excuse to camwhore.

7 comments:

specialhuman said...

lol I think u should invest in a DSLR.

and the museum actually allows u to touch n hug the dinosaur fossil~?

specialhuman said...

lol I think u should invest in a DSLR.

and the museum actually allows u to touch n hug the dinosaur fossil~?

kh said...

that pilot on the screen looks like doraemon

kh said...

that pilot on the screen looks like doraemon

kh said...

that pilot on the screen looks like doraemon

calvin said...

@ specialhuman:
too bad my knowledge on photography is still very shallow.

they allowed us to touch the egg of the dinosaur, but not the skeleton xD

calvin said...

@ kh:
yea, doraemon taught us how to control the plane =)