Author Archives: Eva Amsen

Toys at sea

In January 1992, a container with yellow duckies and other bath toys fell from a cargo ship in a heavy storm. The container opened in the accident, and the contents spilled out into the Pacific.

Cargo ships lose a few hundred containers at sea every year. The containers usually sink, and the contents end up on the bottom of the ocean. These bath toys, however, were made to float – and float they did.

Song inspired by the travelling bath toys, by Rich Eilbert

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Museonder

IMG_4792 When I suggested to my family that we visit National Park Hoge Veluwe in the Netherlands, I was thinking about the wonderful art museum and the free bicycles, but I completely forgot that there is also an interesting small natural history museum in the park – or rather, UNDER the park.

Museonder” is a pun on the Dutch words for “museum” and “under” (which, as you might have guessed, are almost the same as the English words, except under is “onder”). The entire museum is underground, and can be accessed from the visitor center, through a sloping tunnel.

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Portland’s scientific light rail station

ArmsOne reason for my recent absence was a work trip to Portland, Oregon. While I was there, I suddenly found myself in the most science-inspired light rail station I’ve ever seen.

Washington Park station serves a few attractions: the zoo, the Rose Garden, the Japanese Garden,  the World Forestry Center, and other locations. It’s the deepest subway station in North America, and one of the deepest in the world overall. But even cooler: The entire station is inspired by science – mainly geology.

Full platform

Along both platforms (in each direction) is a platform-length core sample, taken during construction, and above and below it are little science tidbits or illustrations. Continue reading

Where in the World is The Finch & Pea

Screen Shot 2014-07-07 at 20.16.52Remember when I was really into GeoGuessr?

I rediscovered it this weekend, and I also found an even better site, GeoSettr, which allows you to make custom GeoGuessr games! I’ve made a special one, just for you. The locations are all ones that we’ve previously visited here at The Finch & Pea. So, if you’ve read all the travel posts, this should be a piece of cake!

The game is set up as a “challenge”, but ignore that – just try to find where you are. Some locations are easier than others!

Let us know how you did by entering your score in the comments.

Science North

Science_north_building_in_2007For Canada Day, let’s have a quick look at one of Canada’s most popular science centers: Science North.

Even though I spent seven years in Toronto, I never managed to make it up North, to Sudbury. This mining town in Ontario was established when railroad workers discovered nickel ore during railway construction. The town’s nickel mining heritage is highlighted in one of its tourist attractions, the Big Nickel.

A much bigger attraction in Sudbury, though, is Science North. It follows the common formula for big science centers, with various exhibits, evening entertainment, and an IMAX theatre, but, true to its name, Science North does offer some unique exhibits specific to the science and technology of Northern Ontario, including exhibits on local wildlife and the local underground physics lab SNOLAB. They also co-run a science communication degree with Laurentian University.

Science North is one of the science centers I’ve heard only good things about from people who either visited it or worked with them, and if I’m ever in Ontario again with some time to spare for a trip up North, I will visit!

 

Image from Wikimedia Commons