Yesterday faintheart and I went to the Pacific Science Center to celebrate the new year. It is something we used to do as a family a long long time ago, either my mom and the three of us kids, or sometimes my dad as well. We would get on the ferry from Bremerton to Seattle, take the ride-free bus up to 5th & Pine, get on the Monorail, go to Seattle Center, eat lunch in the Center House (nee Food Court/Armory/whatever) then walk over to the Science Center and spend the day at the exhibits. I used to especially like the probability machine, but I didn't see it yesterday. I am guessing it isn't there anymore. It used to be out on the plaza and if we didn't eat at the Food Circus (another name) we would often bring sandwiches and eat on the plaza at the center. It was usually cold, but sometimes they would have tents with heaters. I liked to sit by the probability machine and watch it. It was like a giant pachinko grid, and it had slots all along the bottom, and plastic balls would pour into the top of the grid then bounce down and distribute themselves into the slots. Which would, of course, form the classic Normal Curve. When all the balls had been run thru the machine and the curve was full, a bell would ring and the bottom of the slots would open, draining the balls out into the holding bin and emptying the machine. Then the little conveyer belt would start over again, lifting balls up from the reservoir/bin and dropping them into the top of the grid. This fascinated me and amazed me and I loved to watch the whole cycle. I can't remember how long it took, but it must have been an hour or so, since we did not always see it reach the end of the cycle while we were sitting there, but my remembered childhood time-sense isn't that great, and half an hour for lunch would have seemed as much as forever. It was interesting to see what had changed and what had not. They still do a fantastic job of making the exhibits understandable and interesting for adults and children both.
Something 'new' - to wit, installed since I became an adult, though it's been there for a number of years now - is the Tropical Butterfly House. It is really elegant, with lots of wonderfully fragrant flowering plants as well as the butterflies, who are amazingly inured to people. They have sort of an airlock-type entry and exit system, in fact, because the creatures will land on hats or shoulders and seem quite content to ride around, even to the extent of being accidentally carried off. For Glitchen, there were these gorgeous blue ones called Morpho Peleides. No milkers that I noticed, though. I refrained from trying to offer massages, as there were numerous signs requesting us not to touch.