Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Museum Exhibit -- ToyMaker 3000

One exhibit we were all impressed with at the MSI was the "Toymaker 3000". The exhibit started with how a toy is conceptualized, followed the process through the struggles of a fledgeling toy company, and eventually to manufacturing. The toymaker 3000 actually assembles a 'Gravitron' toy from all of the individual parts. It makes green gravitrons all day long, but for only $3 it will allow you to custom order your own gravitron in green, orange or purple, with your name and the manufacture date stamped into the top.

A 2nd assembly line can actually be seen disassembling the generic green gravitrons which weren't purchased.

Ryan bought a purple gravitron with his name stamped in the top, and we followed it all the way through to the end, where it was packaged, and a robotic arm handed it to him.

ToyMaker 3000 Automation

Museum Exhibit -- Game On!

One of our favorite exhibits at the Museum of Science and Industry was "Game On". This exhibit was an extra $5 per person to see, but worth every bit.

The exhibit covers the history of video games from the 1960's foward. It shows archaic computers, an original arcade version of pong, in the wooden cabinet, all the way up to the latest PS2 and Xbox games. The great thing about it was seeing all of the history, the old commodore 64 and atari 2600 systems, as well as bieng able to play games on each. There must have been more than 100 games in that exhibit, all available to try. Anyone for the atari classic Pitfall? How about a game of Breakout?

And, as one member of our party found out, there's a small padded corner about halfway through the exhibit that's perfect for sitting down for a short nap. (If you can stand the noise...)

MSIChicago | Game On | Home

Chicago Trip: Day 2

After a long and mildly restful nights stay at the local Courtyard hotel, we were back on the road again headed towards Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry.

We planned our trip so that we'd hit MSI on a 'Free day', so general admission to the museum was free. Unfortunately, we also decided to see an Omnimax and the Game On exhibit, for a total cost of nearly $40 for the 3 of us.

The movie was alright... not the type of film I'd normally want to see, but it was nice to have the 'omnimax' experience. Game on was worth the $5 a head to get in. We also spent $3 for the toymaker 3000 exhibit, again well worth it to see the production and 'personalize' the experience.

The MSI was also hosting an exhibit called 'Body Worlds' that looked really interesting, but was a bit too adult for taking a 5 year old through, I believe. The exhibit consist of skinned human bodies and body parts, posed in ways to display human anatomy. I'd love to go back sometime and see the exhibit, given the chance.

We left the museum just before it closed at 4pm, got home by 7, and were in bed by a little after 8. Wow... I'm glad I've got the rest of the week off to recover!

Welcome to The Museum of Science and Industry

Monday, March 07, 2005

Chicago trip: Day 1

The first stop on our educational weekend getaway was the John G Shedd Aquarium, on the shores of Lake Michigan. Inside this underwarter zoo we saw dolphins, beluga whales, penguins, various sharks, rays, eels, and more. While interesting, the aquarium was about a two and a half hour tour, start to finish. It was crowded, and for the entry price of $23 (Plus $4 ticketmaster fee), I don't think we'll go back again any time soon.

Shedd Aquarium

We spent the afternoon visiting Allison's sister, and enjoyed a fine chicago-style pizza dinner. Other than one brief incident where two paint handprints ended up on the basement carpet, (at least one of which was just a perfect match for Ryan's hand) it was a fairly quiet afternoon. After such all the walking and excitement of the day, Ryan went for a swim, and then we all retired to the quiet of our room at the Courtyard.
this is an audio post - click to play