Monday, January 7, 2013

Happy New Year!

      It is very wet and cold this week.  The high this week is 40 degrees.  Overcast and drizzly, no snow but no sun either. The girls are still home from school this week and all they want to do is stay in their pajamas all day.  Funny, but that's all I want to do too.

      Last week we visited the Shanghai Science and Technology Museum.  Lots of interactive exhibits for the kids.  They both played ping pong with a machine that kept returning their balls.
      I loved a "plastique" creatures of the deep display.  It was an entire wing of sharks, rays, whales, etc that were dead, but embalmed in plastic.  They were partially dissected so we could see inside the stomach and skeleton of the animal.  We saw the inside of a shark, and all it's babies inside it's stomach.  Gross and cool at the same time.
      The best part was the indoor rainforest. Once we entered, we hiked up a hill and there are waterfalls, lots of foliage (real and fake), and hidden snakes (fake).  We commented on how this would never open in the states because OSHA would insist that the steps were too moist and slippery and there would have to be hand rails and handicap access.  Chris commented on the good rock-work.
      There was also a "disney-like" dark ride through the body's digestive system.  We rode in a slow-moving car on a track, and began at the mouth (literally, with teeth and everything), slid down the throat, and into the stomach.  There we watched smiling bacteria churn and bubble.  Did I mention this ride was in 3D?  We then went into the intestines, and occasionally an animatronic (lame) figure would slowly pop out of the corners and try to scare us.  The final stop of the ride was in the bowels where there was lots of action.  A cartoon character explained what was happening, all the while holding his nose (I get it).  I had to assume this was the breakdown of the waste matter -- forgive me, the whole thing was in Mandarin.  Then in the end (heh, heh), the characters fling balls of poo at the riders in the car.  The final screen shot is a cartoon of the rectum spewing in 3D.  EEeeewww.  Of course the kids thought that was the best part.
      There is a brand new high-speed train that goes from Shanghai to Beijing in 8 hours.  The train opened the day after Christmas.  There was an engineering display of the train in the museum, and tracks that run all through the bottom floor.


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