From Tuesday the 9th to Saturday 13th June the YA area at Central Library will be transformed into a planetarium as it hosts the NightVisionz Cosmodome. Using a digital audio visual show to simulate the stars and a dome large enough to take 30 people inside at a time, visitors will be able to boldly journey through the night sky and learn about Matariki and other constellations with astronomer Ron Fisher.
The Cosmodome is a great experience for children, teens, and adults alike and will be open to the public from 4-8pm from the Tuesday to Friday and 10am-4pm on the Saturday. Entry is by gold coin donation and sessions are on the half hour – people just need to turn up.
Read more about it at our astronomy blog (I write some of the posts there!) The astrodome/planetarium/cosmodome looks like a large, inflatable, and blue igloo.
This Saturday at 8.30pm is Earth Hour, which means that you should switch off your lights (presumably you can keep your computer/console/television on). I wrote about it last week, and embedded a rather neat Youtube channel.
Currently we’re giving away Ecobulbs – lightbulbs that use up less power than your standard, usual lightbulb and are made from recycled materials - to anyone who asks for them, really. So if you want a free lightbulb come on in!
The deal will last until tomorrow or at least until they run out (and we have a lot). See the awesome photo.
You probably have heard that an undersea volcano has erupted off the coast of Tonga – luckily the tsunami warning has since been cancelled, although Wellington would probably have been okay. Earlier tsunamis to hit Wellington tend to be from local earthquakes or from seismic events in South America.
Join the Wellington Astronomical Society and Wellington City Libraries on Saturday 21st March as we explore the sights, stories and secrets of our sun. Using telescopes and special equipment we will observe the sun in safety, with sunspots, flares and other features on show from 10am–4pm in Civic Square (on the City to Sea Bridge). There will also be activities celebrating the sun and its place in cultures all around the world as we mark Race Relations Day, and further displays will also be held inside Central Library, including live links to viewings of the sun.
Come along and explore, wonder and discover as we celebrate the International Year of Astronomy 2009!
If you are passing the Central Library, take a look at the telescope on display in the foyer. It’s massive, and was built in 1930 in Auckland by Robert Bruce. It’s the oldest refractor telescope made in NZ! I took some photos but, eh, they’re not too good – you can’t see how big it is.
See our other post about IYA2009, the International Year of Astronomy, here.
Some neat and interesting websites. For the weekend! Or week. Whatever.
Four-hundred years ago Galileo first looked through an astronomical telescope, and to mark the occasion 2009 has been declared the International Year of Astronomy (or IYA2009). There is an IYA2009 film trailer to watch, and a blog – a Cosmic Diary – to read. New Zealand’s own IYA2009 website has information about planned events for the year (and there’s also an art competition for secondary school students).
Google Maps now has ‘Street View‘ for New Zealand, which means that as well being able to look at your house (or anyone’s house, for that matter) from above, you can also view the building from the street, as if you’re driving past. This is exceptionally interesting and useful for
a. People who dislike going outside
b. People trying to find a destination
c. Lazy flat-seekers
d. Everyone else
(The Street View of Karori Library is quite funny.)
The Leonardo da Vinci Machines Exhibition is on at the New Zealand Academy of Fine Art until 15 February. A collection of over sixty machines based on his sketches, this exhibition looks pretty cool. The website says that it’s interactive, so you get to pick up some of the models to get a better look (although I suspect you probably don’t get to have a go with his hangglider).
Prices are $10.00 for students and $12.00 for adults (children under 13 get in for $8.00), but from the looks of the photo gallery it’s worth it.
The cover of a book can tell you a lot about the book’s contents. Its designers want you to see the cover, become interested and take the book (to buy, usually, if not just to read). For example, if you’re into Gossip Girl-type books, it’s pretty easy to find know which other books are similar – the covers will be a photograph of one or more fashionable & and wealthy girls. (I’m not so sure about the Ashleys’ fashion sense, to be honest.)
Interestingly, boys are less likely to read a book that has a girl on the cover than a girl is to read a book with a boy on the cover. And YA fantasy books seem to really favour circles on the cover (part II).
What is your favourite book cover? Do you think it matters if a book has a girl or boy on the cover? Do you often choose books by their covers alone?
The Forbidden City: Beyond Space and Time is a virtual tour of the Beijing landmark as it was during the Qing dynasty. For five centuries, The Forbidden City was the palace of the Emperors of China, and is now a World Heritage Site and museum. It was considered ‘forbidden’, as permission to enter and leave had to be granted by the emperor. Now you can download it (it’s free, but a pretty big download) and explore it with your own avatar dressed in Qing era clothing.