Friday, March 27, 2009

Enjoying a Grandchild

Joseph's choice of activity for the day was to share the Bishop Museum with his dad. Dad thought he was going to get culture. He got some of that, but he also got a lot of hands-on science along the way.

Science at the Bishop Museum has a somewhat different focus than similar facilities on the mainland. Here, the focus is on indigenous plants and animals, volcanoes and their products, and waves. The 3-story model volcano contains exhibits of volcanic products, periodically belches steam/smoke, and houses at its lowest level the Hot Spot where they tell you about how the various volcanic products are produced -- and then pour molten rock from a 2700 degree F furnace onto a sheet of heavy metal to show what lava looks like right of nature's own hot spot, the magma pool deep under a volcanic area. There are several displays about waves -- waves around the islands; what wind makes b-i-g waves where I am; and demonstrations of several mechanisms creating waves.

At the planetarium we sat back and watched the stars visible tonight over Hawaii. We found Orion the Hunter trying to reach the Pleiades, those seven young sisters riding on the shoulder of Taurus the Bull. Behind Orion we saw Leo the Lion, Scorpio (whom the Hawaiians described as a fish hook), and the Gemini twins Castor and Pollux. We saw the planets Saturn, Mercury and Jupiter rising in the early morning sky, with the sun close behind them. We even saw the Southern Cross, not far above the horizon.

We enjoyed the animation exhibit sponsored by the Cartoon Network and on loan from the Museum of Science and Industry in Portland, Oregon, as well as the displays currently open in the still-being-refurbished Hawaii Hall. The main display area with most of the Hawaiian exhibits will not reopen until later this year. In the photo at the top of this screen, Joseph is working at the station about computer-animated images of events we cannot photograph -- in this case, the arrival of a robotic vehicle on Mars. Maybe it's my own video production experience, but I found this exhibit much more interesting than the one on sharks that occupied the space last winter.

By 2:00 (we had arrived at 9:30 a.m.) we were all ready to move on. I headed over to see my dad and pick up his dirty laundry. By 4:00 this grandma was glad to be home and able to put her feet up.

Nancy Ruth, Joe and Joseph headed for the Elks Club and some beach time. Nancy called later. Joseph had found a playmate. Sunset Beach has its fame, but is a destination unto itself. It doesn't have all the things that Waikiki offers to keep 9-year-old boys entertained. Tomorrow they are moving to town.

Give thanks for your family, however it has grown. Give thanks for grandchildren -- God's promise that the world will go on. Don't forget to pray.

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