An hour with… the Earthquake Simulator

Individual Science Centre exhibits usually get no more than a few minutes of attention, but spending a whole hour near one can be interesting… The ‘Shake House’ earthquake simulator is tucked away in the back of the ‘Earth: Our Untamed Planet‘ exhibition. It is a room furnished like a kitchen with a sofa and coffee table….

Ants and their pheromones (Part 1)

Ants infestation is sometimes a problem in my house. I am sure many of you are nodding in agreement. If you can live with it, great. Normally I don’t really mind them crawling around under the dish drainer or towards the rubbish bin which we will dispose of by the end of the day. What I…

An hour with… Audio Kinetica – the Ball Machine

Individual Science Centre exhibits usually get no more than a few minutes of attention, but spending a whole hour near one can be interesting… Audio Kinetica is a large glass box, inside of which a number of balls (I counted eighteen) are rolling around on wire tracks, knocking on bells, pushing levers, cascading over xylophones…

A revisit of the caterpillar

You might have read our blog posts sometimes in July about this caterpillar that appeared in our office. 1. I spy with my little eye… 2. Nature is everywhere indeed! Or you might have just seen the picture or video post on our “Science It” Facebook page. In the composition picture above, we showed the…

Cheese

A couple of months back, I made an intriguing observation on a slab of Emmentaler cheese: around one of the holes that this quintessential ‘Swiss cheese’ is known for, I noticed some veins or wrinkles radiating away from the edge of the hole. That set me thinking, because I had never seen those, and I…

How far away is a rainbow?

As a biologist, I am not an expert on rainbows, but I thought I knew how they work. A rainbow occurs when the sun is shining into rain, and each water droplet acts as a little spherical prism, splitting the sun’s white light into the colours of the rainbow in a process called refraction. The…

Nature is everywhere

I had an intriguing five minutes this morning. Like every morning, I was washing the dishes after breakfast when I noticed, out of the corner of my eye, a movement on the kitchen wall above the sink. Expecting the usual ant or small moth or fly, I had a closer look, but couldn’t find anything….

The fly on the wall

The Science Centre offers some great opportunities to get in touch with nature. There are the obvious ones, like our monthly Nature Discovery Trails, or a visit to the Ecogarden. Then there are the more subtle ones, like watching the chicks hatch in the Discovery Zone. But the most memorable encounters with wildlife are the…