I'd decided to fly in the day before the festival started so I could fit in some sightseeing, so at 8:30 that morning I arrived, found my way to the hotel, got settled in and then called the number given to me by EC. I sat out the front of my hotel, eating my lunch in the freezing cold and perking up at every car that pulled up to the curb. EC knew what I looked like from the many pictures and videos on my blog, but I had no idea what she looked like. Eventually a black car pulled up and I saw someone in the passenger seat grinning and waving at me enthusiastically.
"Well, either that's her or I'm about to be abducted by the government," I thought. "Not a bad start to my trip either way."
EC greeted me and introduced me to her husband, who was driving. They were both really cute together - the way people usually are when they've been married for most of their lives. They took me to Questacon, which is a centre of science and discovery which is really interactive and fun. There were lots of games, exhibits and challenges there and the three of us wandered through each room marvelling at the wonders.
|The outside of the building.|
|A giant glockenspiel outside the building. I could play a few simple tunes.|
|There were sensors in the top and bottom of that harp which sensed where your hand was. You could select one of dozens of instruments and it would make the sound of that instrument. The pitch was determined by where in the harp you put your hand.|
|This hole was only about as deep as a frying pan, but the use of lighting and one-way glass made it look like an infinite hole.|
|I was challenged to find a way to balance these six hammers on top of the first hammer. I'm usually not good at lateral thinking puzzles, but I think I nailed this one.|
|Those lower ones aren't touching the table - they're being precariously balanced on the first hammer.|
|Those magnets were just strong enough to not come off the wheel when you span it, but weak enough to slide across it when it was spun. The result was that it made a cool pattern when you spun the wheel.|
|This hourglass was filled with rubber and has been slowly seeping down to the bottom since its installation in December 1982.|
|They had a lightning machine. 'Nuff said.|
|We entered an exhibit on Earthquakes, where we stepped onto a platform which shook like a tectonic plate. We were encouraged to find the most structurally sound way to build a structure that would withstand the trembling.|
|A giant H2O Rube Goldberg machine.|
|I played air hockey against a big robotic arm.|
|There was a screen next to the table which showed what the arm sees. When the puck came towards it, it would measure the puck's trajectory...|
|...and hit it back.|
|That slide was angled in such a way that for the first half, you're just freefalling through the air. You're actually not even allowed on it if you can't hold yourself up by the bar at the top.|
|There was a ball bearing inside this giant ball that I had to get through the maze.|
|It dropped in the end :P|
|Naturally, we finished up at the gift shop. What do you think of this?|