Yay, Berkeley!

Here (and below in the form of a little mini-gallery) are some photos we took yesterday up in the Berkeley hills at the always-gratifying-to-visit Lawrence Hall of Science. We were there for a birthday party of one of the kiddiewinx in my son’s 1st grade class. Good fun!

LHS is a science educational outreach entity of UC Berkeley, established in 1968 and named for the University’s first Nobel laureate, (1939), who cast a long shadow, indeed, having invented the tool to finally show those atoms who’s boss, and apropos his receiving the Nobel, Dr. Lawrence was also the guy who introduced Robert Oppenheimer to the team later known as the Manhattan Project.

Slime from the party that a grad student helped the kids make

And the final part of this li’l digression is this, lest we forget what smashed atoms can do: when he was only 34 Lawrence became the Director of UC Berkeley’s Radiation Lab, “remaining in this post until his death,” when he was only 56. Ahh, but he “burned so very, very brightly”…

Anyhoo!…after making slime under the guidance of a grad student, we had the run of the place, so naturally many went outdoors to the rear courtyard that commands a wide view of the Bay from this perch in the hills. And the view is — quite clearly — very dramatic and sweeping; it’s safe to say it’s first thing anyone notices when they step out of the building to the courtyard and kids’ play area.

I’ll amend that: it’s the first thing any *adult* notices. The kids screech off to the water play area, or the enormous and gorgeous sculpture “Sunstones II” on a grassy knoll in the center of the area (and I’ll amend that to “or the tall rocks that look fun to climb on…”).

Anyway, I’m walking straight to the perimeter to get the best view of the Big View and I sort of exclaim in that redundant way we do, “wow, guys, look at this view!” My son’s walking next to me, looking all around and when we get to the edge and there’s nothing to look at except this view, he is suddenly stopped cold. Dude only had really just noticed it, and after a second of actual shock and awe, says, “Whoa! That view IS amazing!”

(click the image to see the bigger version)

Tres cute. Now, here are the rest of the pictures featuring the super awesome huge sculpture of DNA and a life-size plastic model of a Fin Whale:

And here’s your moment of Zen:


1 Comment

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One response to “Yay, Berkeley!

  1. My father built the Sunstones. We celebrate the winter solstice sunset there each year (would love to see you). Your pictures and comments warmed my heart.

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