What I Did On My Holidays

Chapter 18

The Exploratorium

Day 13

We thought we'd go to Berkeley, so we walked down to the BART* station and got rather wet. We decided that this weather would spoil our intended wander through Bezerkley campus, so we hung a left and headed for the Exploratorium instead.

This means catching one of the weird San Francisco buses. To paraphrase Hitchhiker's: Looked like a bus, moved like a bus, steered like a tram. All along the route, there were two overhead lines. The bus was electric and had two long arms reaching up to the overhead wires from the back of the bus. Unlike a tram, the bus was not constrained to tracks, but could move about under the wires with the two arms swinging side to side to maintain a connection. This public transport oddity was made up just to compete with the whole cable car concept.

Despite this, the bus did get us to the Exploratorium. This place is a full-on tech-a-logical museum. Every exhibit is a hands on, push button, play around type exhibit. Sound, electricity, magnetism, light, optical illusions, a tornado maker, geysers, genetics. Lots of fun except that many of the exhibits were designed for people the height of ten year olds. Why would they do that?

* These Americans even name their public transport after TV characters... (back)


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