Carnegie Science Center

Trip Start Jul 07, 2012
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of United States  , Pennsylvania
Monday, July 9, 2012

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I went to the Carnegie Science Center today.  They have two buildings.  One is a fairly large building that looks like a typical science museum.  The other building is nuch newer and contains Highmark Sports Works.  In addition, they have the USS Requin, a U.S. WW II-vintage submarine, moored on the river behind the main building.  I started with the one that looks like a typical science museum.

The museum has some unusual exhibits.  The first one I saw is GUITAR: The Instrument That Rocked the World, a temporary exhibition of the National GUITAR Museum.  Included in the exhibit is the world's largest guitar, which at 43.5 feet long is hard to miss.  One section of the exhibit has instruments that lead up to the guitar.  The other section has various guitars on display including one where the body had been printed on a 3D-printer.

Another unusual exhibit is the Miniature Railroad and Village, which is a large model train setup with a western Pennsylvania theme that is now in its 90th season.  It's one of the most impressive model train setups I've ever seen.

The museum has three areas where they give performances.  Two are scheduled throughout the day.  The third is only for groups that have made reservations.  I went to the Kitchen Theater for two of their demonstrations.  One was on how to flambe something.  The other was how to make ice cream using liquid nitrogen.  The demonstrations are mostly aimed at children but I found them mildly interesting.

Another exhibit is the SeaScape Coral Reef, with five interconnected aquariums.  It was unusual seeing the fish swimming through the clear tubes that connect the aquariums.

They have a large exhibit on robots called roboworld that includes a large robot that shoots baskets.  They also have a Robot Hall of Fame with robots from movies including Robbie, R2D2 and C3PO.

The Highmark Sports Works is a building full of mostly interactive exhibits such as climbing walls, pitching mounds where you can try to throw strikes and see the speed of your throws, etc.

The main reason I came was the USS Requin.  This is the third U.S. sub I've toured.  One was the USS Dolphin in San Diego.  The other was the USS Pampanito in San Francisco.  The USS Dolphin is a research sub so it was quite different.  The USS Pampanito is another WW II-vintage sub but it's a Balao-class Fleet sub and the USS Requin is a Tench-class Fleet sub.  While I'm sure there are many differences, the two subs seem very similar to me in size, layout and overall appearance.

I went to Legume for dinner.  It had been recommended by someone at Spoon so I decided to give it a try.  I had a cold beet and tomato soup and a ricotta ravioli.  Dinner was good.  Of the three restaurants I've visited in Pittsburgh I think I'd say that Salt of the Earth was a little better, Spoon was in the middle and Legume not quite as good but the differences were small.
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