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Published: January 3rd 2007
End of an Era
The last picture of the Travelling Trio, until April at least. It's hard to believe!
So, yesterday Mark took off for Ko Samui, Thailand, leaving Derek and I here in Singapore. The Travelling Trio is no more. It was scheduled to happen in just a few days, but the abruptness of our change of plans took everyone by surprise. We've got a replacement, though (haha, no one could replace you, Mark!) in that Geoff will be staying with us in Kuala Lumpur. That's great, because Derek and I have opted to stay back at our favourite, super fancy, slightly budget breaking hotel in KL, and having an extra person in the room really helps out with the cost. It's actually only going to cost me about $77CAN total for 3 nights , so how can you not? Soon I'll be paying that much daily for seedy hostel accommodation in Europe.
I had a really fun day in Singapore today, but it definitely took a turn for the worse near the end, so I'm kind of struggling to get a good entry out here. I haven't posted for awhile, however, so I think one is due. Today I DRAGGED myself out of bed at a somewhat reasonable hour, and trust me it was incredibly difficult. The
Geoff's Severed Head
We got tired of Geoff and decided he needed a beheading. Nah, it's just an optical illusion
New Year's Adventure took its toll on me and turned my cold from a minor annoyance to a major hindrance, and I've been having to force myself to get up and do things because I'm so tired all the time. After going back to bed for a few minutes of a power nap, the three of us set off for a strip of road where the buses leave to go to KL. We bought our tickets for tomorrow morning (that's going to be a really early wake up, which I'm NOT looking forward to) and then walked back to our hostel and the sky train station. From there we took the train to the Singapore Science Center, which I'd been looking forward to for days.
It did not disappoint!
It was AMAZING!! We were there for over 5 hours and there were still entire galleries that I hadn't visited. It was like Science World, but, in my opinion, much better. The displays were incredibly informative. Even with 3 full years of post secondary science education I was not at all bored. The vocab used was really high level, and the concepts explored were quite advanced. I question if
Secrets of nuclear power--revealed!
Ever wonder how high temperature plasma used for nuclear fusion is contained safely? Now I know! It's in something that looks like this, called a tokamak, using a magnetic field for conatinment. Cool!
any kid could actually understand the explainations of the experiments, but I sure enjoyed them! The sheer volume of info presented was incredible. The Marine Alcove contained information straight out of my mom's Marine Invertebrate course, including counter-illumination and coral bleaching and everything. Now, they didn't just say "When coral is sick, it becomes bleached." No no. They went straight into "When corals are stressed, the polyps eject their symbiotic zooxanthellae." No further explaination given as to what "zooxanthellae" are (they're the little algal cells that live inside of the animal coral cells). I generally read everything there is to read in a museum, but that was simply not possible with the Singapore Science Center. Information Overload!
We also paid a bit extra so that we could tour some special exhibits that they had on. I spent over an hour in the iSpace one, which was all about how the technology of yesterday's science fiction is now part of everyday, modern, convenient life. I got to try out some really cutting edge technology, like a Star Wars video game where I used my hands to swat away droids, and this incredible global map on a big flat disk that
Derek rocked on this thing. He was so speedy! I took a more cautious approach (I tried to upload the video but it's not recognizing the format. Grrr.)
I could manipulate by tilting and turning. I could zoom right in to Victoria or zoom way out for a view of the whole Earth. It was awesome. One of my favourite exhibits reminded me of the shuttle naviagtional control system from Earth: Final Conflict (likely Dad is the only one who knows what I'm talking about here). By simply waving my hands in the air I could pick up icons that were being projected on to a screen and move them around to preform tasks. It was really impressive, albeit a little difficult to get the hang of. Through the whole exhibit I wore a card around my neck which contained a microchip which was preprogrammed with my name, age, and language of choice so that when I went up to an exhibit it would display information that was age appropriate. So cool!
I got separated from Derek and Geoff when I went in to the iSpace exhibit because they spent most of their time in the iFuture exhibit. It was a showcase of more entertainment based technology, like lots of video games which Geoff quite enjoyed playing. My favourite part was getting to ride a Segway, which
One of the cool iSpace exhibits. This one reminded me of something in a Borg cube (my Star Trek nerd-ness shows)
is one of those two wheeled, motorized platforms that you stand on, with an internal gyroscope to keep the whole thing upright. You lean forward to make it go forward, and push the handle to either side to turn. (Haha, I couldn't remember what it was called so I was googling various things, and in the end the query "lean forward, go forward" came up with the Wikipedia entry). I was a little unstable on it. It seemed counterintuitive to me. Derek and Geoff were pros and zipped around at top speed, though. I have a couple videos but there's no USB port here so I can't upload them right now.
We stayed at the Science Center until it closed, and I tried to get to the train station as soon as possible so I could go to the Singapore Scout Headquarters and Shop before it closed, but to no avail. After more than 45minutes on the sky train I stepped off at 7:03pm, 3 minutes after the shop had closed. I decided to go to it anyways and take a picture, but I couldn't even find it!!! I obviously don't understand the street system here, because I found Bisham St. 11, 13, and 14, but Bisham St. 12 (which I wanted) was no where to be found. Dejected and much more than a little exhausted (remember every step these days takes effort for me!) I trained all the way back to our hostel and then walked 15minutes to the internet cafe where I was supposed to meet Geoff and Derek. They'd already come and gone, however (I think the internet was down at that place) so, even more dejected, I turned to trudge back to the hostel. Then it started to POUR rain!!! I ran into a nearby mall and found the internet place I'm in right now, so I thoght I'd hang out here for a bit until the rain stops. I've still got a ton of packing to do tonight, so I'd better go get started. Maybe I'll be able to find a Scout Shop in KL.
Good Luck Jr. Team Canada in the semis, tonight!!! It doesn't look like I'll get to watch. *sniff*
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