Category Archives: Museums

Copernicus Science Centre in Warsaw, Poland = Fun for the whole family

Have you ever seen a fire tornado, experienced a simulated earthquake, or turned on a light bulb with a stair master?

You can do all that and more at the Copernicus Science Centre (Centrum Nauki Kopernika) in Warsaw, Poland, which opened in 2010, right on the bank of the Vistula river.

We’ve been there twice – once right after it opened, and the second time in January 2013. Both times not only the kids had a lot of fun, but the grown ups as well.

What can you see at the Copernicus Science Centre?

Well, looking at the Centre website I see that several of the exhibits that my kids loved, have been replaced by new, probably just as exciting exhibits, but a few of the old classics remained:

“Roots of Civilization”

The “Roots of Civilization” area, located on the ground floor, explains how some inventions, some quite ancient, changed the world and contributed to the development of the civilization.

At one of the exhibits, you can see what your name would look like when spelled in Egyptian hieroglyphics.

my name, Jolanta, in hieroglyphics
my name, Jolanta, in hieroglyphics

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What to do during the April Break? Go To the Cambridge Science Festival!

If your kids have a vacation break in April, like the kids in the New England states (Massachusetts, Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Connecticut), consider heading to Cambridge, Massachusetts next year to geek out during the annual Cambridge Science Festival.

As they say on their website,

the Cambridge Science Festival is a celebration showcasing fun and the leading edge in science, technology, engineering, art, and/or math in our region.  A multifaceted, multicultural event, the Cambridge Science Festival makes science accessible, interactive and fun, highlighting the impact of STEAM in all our lives.

Be mindful, though, that the science-related events start before the festival officially opens, and sometimes go on after it ends, so you may not be able to see everything if you come for just a week.

This year (2015), for instance, the Cambridge Science Festival included a series of events marking the 100th anniversary of Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity, which started with a March 26 event “Cosmic Loops: Music Beneath the Stars” at the Museum of Science.

 

And the “Black (W)hole” interactive experience at the Central Square Theatre ran into May.

Continue reading What to do during the April Break? Go To the Cambridge Science Festival!

America by Air Exhibit at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, in Washington, DC

When my sister was hired as a stewardess by the Polish Airlines LOT back in the 1980s, before she flew anywhere she had to attend trainings not only about airplane layout and duties and responsibilities of her job, but also complete a training on proper make up and behavior.

That’s why I stopped when I saw a big sign asking “Could You Be a Stewardess in the Early 1950s?” while wandering around the huge Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC.

"Could You Be a Stewardess in the Early 1950s?" display, part of the America by Air Exhibit at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum
“Could You Be a Stewardess in the Early 1950s?” display, part of the America by Air Exhibit at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum

Continue reading America by Air Exhibit at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, in Washington, DC

Visiting the Roman Sights in Merida, Spain

When we decided to do a road trip from Madrid, Spain to the coast of Portugal last year, we decided to find a city or a town to stay overnight on the way, rather than drive the 600 km (372 miles) or so in one day.

The names of towns and cities along the three different routes that GoogleMaps suggested for us didn’t tell me much, so I turned to guidebooks of Spain from Lonely Planet, Frommer’s, and to TripAdvisor reviews.

three different routes from Madrid, Spain to Obidos, Portugal that GoogleMaps suggested as a possibilty
three different routes from Madrid, Spain to Obidos, Portugal that GoogleMaps suggested as a possibilty

In the end, I’ve decided we should stop in Mérida, a place I’d never heard of before, because every guidebook I looked at suggested visiting the city’s Roman ruins, and we like ancient stuff like that.

We arrived in Mérida on a Friday afternoon and went sightseeing on Saturday. Given all the historical attractions in Mérida, I was really surprised by the low number of tourists we saw.

Clearly Mérida is not as popular as it was during the Roman times, which is really too bad.

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A few thoughts on Nicolas Regnier’s “Self-Portrait with an Easel”

If you are planning to visit the newly opened Harvard Art Museums, and are willing to play “scavenger hunt” with me, please read first “Invitation to Play ‘Scavenger Hunt’ at the Harvard Art Museums – The Clues.” 🙂

If you are not going to visit the Harvard Art Museums for a while, or at all, because Cambridge, Massachusetts way off your itinerary route, and you like to read about art, read on.

Last week I posted close up photos of a few details from five paintings at Harvard Art Museums that I found interesting. Some of them would be hard to miss as they are quite prominent in the painting, some might take some looking for, since they are just a small part of the overall piece.

detail from a 1620s Flemish painting
detail from a 1620s Flemish painting

The blobs of paint on the easel in Nicolas Régnier’s “Self-Portrait with an Easel” are hard to miss because the easel is positioned right in the center of the paining and is quite prominent, though it would not be the first thing you’ll look at, I bet.

What captivated me in Nicolas Régnier’s “Self-Portrait with an Easel,” painted around 1620s was… well…. how pasty pale he is. 😉

Continue reading A few thoughts on Nicolas Regnier’s “Self-Portrait with an Easel”

Invitation to Play “Scavenger Hunt” at the Harvard Art Museums – The Clues

You may have heard that Sunday, November 16, 2014 is the Opening Celebration at Harvard Art Museums, which is reopening after a long renovation that started with the closing of Harvard’s Fogg and Busch-Reisinger museums in June 2008, and the Sackler Museum in June 2013.

Now collections from all three museums are  housed under one roof in the completely renovated and expanded site of the former Fogg Museum designed by Renzo Piano, renowned architect who also designed the post-modern The Centre Pompidou in Paris and the expansion of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston.

Even though the official opening is on Sunday, two days away, Harvard Art Museums had opened its doors to Harvard affiliates earlier today and of course I simply could not miss the chance to go see it. (I should point out that while I work at the university, I am NOT one the museum staff, and sadly, my job has nothing to do with writing about art or travel.)

Continue reading Invitation to Play “Scavenger Hunt” at the Harvard Art Museums – The Clues