8. July 2009 09:03
In my daily life I often push buttons, flip switches, turn keys and without another thought, magic seems to happen. Lights instantaneously flash on, elevators lift and car engines roar on the spot without another hint of how my simple motion jump started these complex processes. At the Discovery World at Pier Wisconsin in Milwaukee, I took a behind the scenes look at life by exposing the unseen forces behind man-made and natural wonders in our everyday world.
The science museum explores the world’s mechanisms with numerous hands-on exhibits that break down how things work, such as a hamster wheel for humans to power a light bulb and clock gears that illustrate how clock keeps time through a system of weights. Even processes as intense as computer code for automated machines and the invention of the electric guitar were revealed at the museum.
In another part of the museum, exhibits on what’s really under our waterways used glass aquarium tunnels and touch-me tanks to make me feel closer with bizarre-looking underwater creatures. Though I still couldn’t build a battery from scratch, the museum made me think about how much in the world I take for granted. This museum was one of many intriguing attractions I discovered on my tour of Milwaukee with many more surprises in store tomorrow.
7. July 2009 07:15
I wasn’t sure what to expect on my first evening in Milwaukee, but Elvis Costello certainly wasn’t at the top of my list. Within five minutes of landing in the Wisconsin city, I spotted someone walking into the airport with not only the face, but also the familiar hat, scarf and sunglasses of the famous musician Elvis Costello. I’m afraid I gawked at him as he walked by, since I could scarcely believe my eyes.
It turns out Milwaukee has had a long history with music. I arrived the day after the 11-day-long Summerfest, titled the “World’s Largest Music Festival” by the Guinness World Records. After driving by the festival grounds next to the sky blue Lake Michigan, I learned Elvis had indeed performed the day before at one of the festival’s many stages. Looking at the stellar Summerfest lineup, I could tell the city knew how to party.
After my surprise celebrity sighting, I took a driving tour of the city and won about $30 at Potawatomi Bingo Casino. Not too shabby for my first attempt at a slot machine. Tonight, I’m staying at one of Milwaukee’s many historic hotels called the Ambassador Hotel. This beautiful hotel hearkens back to the 1930s with its art deco decorations that extend to it elevators and bathroom doors. I can already tell my tour of Milwaukee will be full of surprises.