04 April 2010

Fakir Manpreet!

 The fakir on a bed of nails!

The fakir on a bed of nails!

This snap was taken at a recent visit to the science centre Tieto Maa in Oulu. How easily I lay on the bed of nails and equally easily some people in India make a fool of the vulnerable villagers by saying they are performing feats of magic!!!

Anyways, to tell more about the science centre…it was really very nice. Science museums and centres can sometimes be very very boring as they have too much technical stuff. Even adults have difficulty comprehending all the details, forget the poor kids. Its quite a feat if you are able to spend a couple of hours there. But at Tieto Maa, it was an altogether different experience. Everything was explained by the way of a small game or task. e.g the Fakir bed – instead of just talking about mass, pressure etc, they had a bed of nails on which you could lie and test it for yourself.

Similarly for other laws that we have learnt in physics.

The one explaining centre of gravity was quite interesting. Several squares appear on a screen projected on a wall. A ball starts falling from the top and you have to move your body i.e change your centre of gravity to hit the boxes with the ball. As per the game I am not stable, with which I and some of my close friends would agree. I actually keep stumbling and falling!!!

There were several quizzes for different areas …again organized as a proper buzzer round for a quiz wherein upto 4 people can sit around and each one is given the same question to answer. I was looking at one of these and immediately 2 small boys came and sat on the other seats! And we had a quiz.

So many simulators…each one more fun than the other.  There was a 3D ski jump simulator, flight simulators, a time machine simulator. Another exhibit, not really a simulator, but still quite interesting. You stand on a high platform and jump onto a mattress. They then simulate and show you your jump in slow motion.

There was one whole floor called Sporttimus where you could try various sports. There was even a pit stop for car racing where you can actually try and change 2 tyres for a car. The turning wall was also quite popular.

Couple of things that I noticed -

  • Everywhere there were small kids accompanied by parents – both categories having a blast.  One mom was busy playing a game herself, while her kids were playing some other game! 
  • Teenagers (early as well as late teens!)…unaccompanied by adults.  It was like a group of friends who have come for an outing. This is very unlike western culture where teenagers just hang out! 
  • I had gone alone and wanted to try the Dance Machine. It should be 2 people competing but I went on it alone. A girl in her late teens came up and asked me if she could join me. I thought that it was very considerate of her. She could have done it with her friends but realised that I was alone and just came up to me!
  • And finally is possible to spend several hours in a science museum and not get bored. I spent close to 5 hrs and could have spent more time but it was closing time!


Venkat H said...

You covered half the world in your tags :)

Manpreet said...

Don't make fun of Fakir Manpreet...she lay on a bed of nails and so has great magical powers...so be careful!!!

Raffi said...

Will host a Magic show when you come back to Bangalore :)