Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry

Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry
I grew up in Chicago, the oldest of four. We lived on the far south side in a neighborhood called Roseland. The diversity was amazing; Irish, Polish, Italian, German, and Scandinavian. The food was ethnic and the religion was Catholic. My parents loved the outdoors and travel to anywhere was likely. So Boy and Girl Scouting was a part of life. I still prefer to sleep outdoors!

“The City”, meaning downtown, was magical. It was a treat beyond compare to grow up looking at fish, fine art, stars, stuffed animals and science experiments. We went as many times as possible.

My favorite was the Museum of Science and Industry, housed in a building leftover from the 1914 World’s Fair. I was passionate about the place. Before I could walk long distances, I rode on my dad’s shoulders begging to see “everything.”

Over time I learned to walk longer distances and eventually saw everything. Each and every time we returned we always went to my favorite exhibits, “The Dancing Lights Square, The One With The Arrow, The Really Big One With The Millions of Little Balls, The One Where Metal Balls Go Down The Drain, and The Wire Bubbles One.” As far as I know they might still be there today.

You have to understand that these early childhood names reflected my understanding of each exhibit. As my education progressed my understanding grew slowly.

In grade school the dancing lights became a cube, then multiplication tables and then square roots. During high school the arrow became a Mobius strip, that amazing a one edged one-sided geometric surface. In college the millions of little balls became a dynamic demonstration of probability and a Bell curve. Many years later while watching Carl Sagan’s Cosmos Series the rubber mat with the gridlines coupled with my memories of the drain experiment became a gut level understanding of curved space. As for bubbles wired or otherwise just start playing with the Bubble Zomes.

There is one more favorite experiment from the Museum of Science and Industry that I have not mentioned yet because this one turned up years later, after the first lasers began appearing. I was in my early teens when I saw my first ruby laser true hologram not the common natural light holograms of today but a 3D hang there in space laser hologram. Wow! I had learned about photography in my dad’s darkroom, but this was different very different. My passion for holograms has never diminished. I share their magic with any one who will listen.

The point in this little story, besides just getting a little background on me, is that you never know when something will spark that inner passion. To fully participate in this paradigm shift pay attention to whatever lights that fire for you.