Our final activity in Boston
was a visit to the Boston Museum of Science.
We’d actually tried to visit the previous day.
But after driving around and around to find a car park
(we enjoyed the repeated views of the frozen Charles River),
we eventually arrived,
only to be told that tickets to the two shows we wanted to see
had sold out.
So we prebooked tickets for the next day,
our last day in Boston,
so we could not be late.
The two shows we wanted to see
were the Lightning Show and a Planetarium Show.
Yes, the Boston Museum of Science includes a full planetarium
(like the one in Brisbane).
We sat and enjoyed a show about the universe
and were then given a tour through the night sky,
which was fascinating given that it was the northern hemisphere
and quite different from the night sky we are used to.
But the Lightning Show was by far our favourite show of the two.
Inside the theatre is the world’s largest
Van de Graaff generator.
They can produce up to 5 million volts of electricity.
Kind of beats our 240 volts around the home, doesn’t it.
The show teaches you about lightning (obviously) and storm safety.
It also explains electricity, as well as conductors and insulators.
Oh and let me tell you
…this show is LOUD.
I particularly liked the Tesla Coils.
I urge you to read about Nikola Tesla.
He’s absolutely fascinating.
If it’s a choice between Edison and Tesla,
we’re picking Tesla!
A hair raising part of the show
was when the presenter stood inside a metal cage,
which was raised towards the charging generator
(definitely a ‘Don’t try this at home’ moment).
The lightning of course struck the cage,
and then the girl ran her bare hand around the inside of that metal cage,
while the 5 million volts continued bombarding the outside of the cage.
Apparently the cage ‘grounds’ the charge,
which protect everything inside it.
This is why we aren’t fried when/if our cars our struck by lightning.
It’s not the rubber tyres as lots of people assume.
The pièce de résistance was
when they put all of the components of the show together
into a kind of musical finale.
And yes it was very loud standing in there during it
but it added to the ‘electric’ atmosphere.
(Be aware that the ‘music’ you can hear in the video
is produced by the tesla coil
and not some musical instrument.
The sound is produced by the passage of the spark through the air.
Doesn’t that just make it extra cool!)
Now, after the shows,
we realised that we had quite a long walk back to the car.
In addition to our walk to the Museum of Science,
from our rendezvous point,
we had a couple of miles of Freedom Trail to backtrack through.
Luckily it was a pretty walk
as we took a slightly different path
to check out the pretty housing.
I must say, I’m not a fan of their brownstone.
It’s kind of what I expect to see in Boston,
and it does go nicely with the black trimmings,
but I wouldn’t want it on my house.
Aren’t the streets quaint though.
I would NOT want to park there though.
The street lighting was my favourite.
During our long walk back to the car
it was snowing.
So we were completely distracted by the snowflakes,
which really are unique and very very pretty.
We eventually made it back to our car,
with only minor frost bite.
(We actually think I did get a minor case of frost bite.
We can’t explain it any other way.
A small part of the bottom of one of my little toes turned black after a blister
and it stayed that way, hard as a rock, for nearly two months.
Then the black part just came away like a hard scab
revealing new skin underneath.
Isn’t that gross.
All part of the extreme temperature experience I suppose.)
Anyway, this was our last day in Boston.
The next morning, we packed up and moved on.