richmond science museum

this morning I bumped up against the wall of the shower while having my shower. it was cold, and reminded me of my childhood. when I was in maybe first grade, our class took an overnight field trip to the richmond science museum. the place was utterly magical for me, since it was my first experience at a science museum like that. I remember two specific experiences there.

the first, which is what reminded me of the museum this morning, was an exhibit where a series of metal bars were placed in a row. every other bar was either pretty hot or very cold. when you placed your hand on it, so that it touched several of the bars, you experienced a sensation quite unlike any other, probably led primarily by your body’s confusion at having such conflicting feelings so close to one another.

the other thing I remember was a kind of workshop that we as a class attended. in it, the instructor created something she called simply “goop”. it was a little bit slimy, and oozed like a very thick liquid when poured, but when you squeezed it hard enough it resisted, like a dense piece of clay or something. the instructor insisted that it could be created in our own homes with ingredients as simple as just corn starch and water, but I was totally disbelieving at the time.


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