Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Simplicity of Ball on Wire

Last night Carynn and myself put together an impromptu date as I didn't have any rehearsal and Carynn was finished with school for the day. With no initial plan we headed downtown and ended up at the Clark Planetarium located in the Gateway mall. This was my first time at the Clark planetarium and hadn't been to anything like it since the Hansen Planetarium on state street that no longer exists. The following is our experience:

We entered playing with the idea of possibly seeing an I-max show, we never knew what we were in for. We started in the toys browsing balls that change colors when you throw them, other balls that grow and shrink and even a frame for a spider to build webs in for your garden. All this was fun but grew tiresome after looking around for a moment. As we continued to peruse the merchandise my ears seemed to be playing tricks on me as I seemed to be hearing chimes and whistles going off every few seconds. Eventually my eyes moved heaven word and noticed something incredible. 

Remember those gumball machines that you loved to by gum from, not because the gum was good, but because once you turned the knob the gumball would roll around these crazy designed wires in circles and go really fast among other things, only to have the excitement die once you received the gum. Imagine that same excitement, except on a much larger scale. The planetarium has this very over sized non-gumball ball maze that is captivating! Large balls are zooming over your head around a track keeping watchers thoroughly entertained. 

After forcing ourselves away from this wonder we continued to enjoy the settings learning more about the sun and space and all sorts of things. However to cap it off, on our way out we stumbled upon the machine that was creating all the noise of the chimes and bells and whistles! Now imagine the gumball machine... same size gumball... only the machine is TWO STORIES HIGH and the possibilities are absolutely endless, and no quarters are required! Displaying one of Newtons laws, the balls are sent on these intricately designed wires that do loop the loops, super fast spinning circles, work there way through mazes and best of all, at one point they leave the track and bounce on a trampoline device into free flight into a basket. 

Warning: This attraction is so captivating that if you wish to see every possible option you must be willing to devote at least 20 minutes as Carynn and I did, since there is not just one track but several for the balls to follow. Best part of all with this device, there is participation knobs that help the spectator get in on all the action! This is an absolute MUST see... if you have kids they would probably enjoy it too. Lucky for us there weren't any kids blocking up the knobs so Carynn and were having the time of our life! It took us back to our childhood days of ease and simplicity of a gumball rolling on a wire. What a great Date!