Angelic Paranoia

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Sunday 15th December 2013 8:21 pm

On Friday night I decided to go to London, as I had nothing on this weekend and knew that otherwise I'd just sit around not really getting anything done (whereas today I had an excuse).

In the morning I went to the Large Hadron Collider exhibition at The Science Museum. It was in the basement and designed to look as if you were there - the info text were on white boards and screens and radios of people talking. There was even a mock-up office. It was interesting, but of course it has to appeal to everyone, so quite a bit of it I knew. Quite a bit of it I'd forgotten, particle physics not being my forte - too chemistry for me.

It started off with a video of various people telling you various stuff. Towards the end it was mocked up to be the control room with people working at computers. There were four people in there, three of whom had three monitors. One of them only had one monitor and it was blank. Which didn't stop her from working at it...

There was one bit I couldn't do. It was a about 270 degree video room (with no seats) showing you the tunnel to start with. It moved in such a way that I couldn't tell if I was moving or it was, so I had to leave.

I had a wonder around some of the rest of the museum. The small 3D printing exhibit was disappointing as it mostly consisted of showing you things that had been 3D printed and there was one brief piece of information on how they worked. In the shop you could buy one for £1700! Or some (quite flat) Christmas ornaments that had been 3D printed for £2.

I liked The Secret Life of the Home, though. I saw early hoovers that had to be pumped by someone else. And a video and microwave that were massive and older than I was. Obviously they were too expensive for people to own back then.

In the afternoon I went on a tour of the Houses of Parliament (where you weren't allowed to take photos). I've been to the equivalents in Australia and Canada, but not here. It was really interesting - and the House of Lords and House of Commons were much smaller than they look on screen.

One of the Lords side rooms hosts foreign heads of state when they come and talk to both Houses and on either side it has big paintings of great British victories. One is Nelson's, one is Napoloen's defeat. When Sarcozy came they warned him about them in advance!

When the Commons have a vote there's a bell that rings to tell them they have to get there to vote. It rings throughout the building and in the offices over the road. And also in some of the local pubs and restaurants...

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