Monday, March 5, 2007

Marvel Super Heroes Science Exhbition: save your money

I was going to write a long blog entry about how lame, disappointing, and just downright dull and pathetic the "Mavel Super Heroes Science Exhibition" currently on at the Ontario Science Centre (and traveling to other museums) is, but I don't have time, so this will have to do. Save your money. I have seen many great traveling exhibitions at the Ontario Science Centre over the years, including The Art of the Muppets and Gunther von Hagens’ Body Worlds, but this one was just awful.

Also: the Ontario Science Centre is just falling apart, and the few extant exhibits (there's lots and lots of empty space) are dated and uninteresting. I have very fond memories of that place, but it needs a complete overhaul. I'm normally a very proud Toronto tour guide when I have visitors from out-of-town, but on Friday, I had time to take my friend Bev Geddes, visiting from Winnipeg, to only one place before Ad Astra began, and since the Science Centre is right by the Ad Astra hotel, we went there -- and I was ashamed.

They've simply shut down the horribly dated Apollo-era space gallery and computer gallery, taken away the giant laser, and replaced them with ... well, not much. Ugh.

The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site


At March 05, 2007 1:59 AM , Anonymous Jim Shannon said...

Hi Rob,
Have you ever been to our Telus World of Science (Space Science centre)here in Edmonton? I've never been inside because admission is pretty high. We're going to have Dr. Richard Leakey April 24th. Currently going on now is a Lego Egyptology exhibit. Looks interesting.

Thanks for the heads up about the Superhero exhibit. I'd rather save my money for my advance copy of Rollback instead.

At March 05, 2007 9:22 AM , Anonymous don said...

That's too bad. Maybe with some of your spare time you could start a petition/drive to get public support to have it updated (or at least have the name changed to the Ontario Science History Museum).

At March 05, 2007 10:43 AM , Blogger RobertJSawyer said...

"My spare time." Snort!

At March 05, 2007 10:47 AM , Blogger RobertJSawyer said...

Jim, in fact I gave the keynote address at the annual meeting of the Canadian Association of Science Centres in 2004, which was held at the science centre in Edmonton. It's a very nice facility.

(And I'm speaking at the OTHER Telus World of Science -- the one in Calgary -- in ten days, on Thursday, March 15, giving the annual (free) Peter Sim lecture for the Calgary Centre of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada.)

At March 05, 2007 10:56 AM , Blogger Lou_Sytsma said...

I noticed the same thing Rob when I took my 7 year old a couple of months ago. In his eyes, the place was a blast, but for me it was a big disappointment and sad as well.

At March 05, 2007 11:07 AM , Anonymous Brian Raney said...

The Apollo-era space gallery? Boy, Rob, you haven't been there in awhile! They removed that gallery long ago. Back in the early 90’s, the Centennial Centre of Science and Technology (AKA The Ontario Science Centre) had replaced the Apollo exhibit with a space shuttle camp and some miniature, low-end Zeiss projector exhibit.

I remember expressing shock and amazement to an information desk attendant, a likely summer student who couldn't have been more than 8 years younger than I, that they had removed the long standing exhibit. She expressed confusion and incredulity right back at me.

"What's an Apollo? --we never had that! Man walk on the moon? Shut up! You're stupid!"

Were the $25 tickets for the Marvel Super Heroes Science Exhibit in addition to the OSC $17 (ouch) price of admission? I hope not. Either way, it a shame the OSC feels they need to fleece their patrons for what little they have left to exhibit.

“.…Please leave the command module.”

At March 05, 2007 11:12 AM , Blogger RobertJSawyer said...

Now that you mention it, Brian, I do remember the Shuttle-era stuff -- and I do remember the real name of the Science Centre -- I often use it as a triva question ;). It was $25 for everything, and fortunately we had a trio of $5-off coupons from THE TORONTO STAR.

The Science of STAR TREK exhibition had lots of neat props and costumes from the movies, as well as some nifty displays. Despite all the big budget Marvel movies of late, not one costume or prop was on display (there was a lame-ass Doc Ock, but it wasn't movie-quality), and the exhibits were unbelievably lame.

At March 09, 2008 10:38 PM , Blogger DJSNZ said...

OK... I was a BIG time student and well fixture of the OSC when I was 5 through to well... NOW. I was there today with my wife and now (almost) 5 year old. He had a blast. the place is fairly loaded with neat new stuff. Science knowledge has grown since my day at the halls of learning. BUT... it felt vacant. The Space exhibit was.. PUNY. the zeis was on display in the hall and the starlab closed. (sign said coming soon) No simulated landers... (Over the past few years I knew it was gone but with it more shrunken it became more painfully obvious. Space is not something that should be relegated to a circular hall and done. I was dissapointed when my fav. display was removed a few years back and even moreso when it wasn't replaced with something NEWER... that's right the LASER display. I think I still have a piece of wood and plexy glass fried by that monster. Is the GREEN HOME still there? I love the Kispark space. (though that's where all those ehibits used to reside. and what happened to the AND/OR display and the radio dishes. and heck the mechanical atenuating arm to stack the sponges. The submerine display though long gone... I LOVED. and remember the "COFFEE" machine?

If I had to make one criticism it's the cafeteria staff. They look like the world is ending and they have resinged themselves to an end flippin burgers and serving pizza. Now when I was there.. the arcade was the central focus for kids. In the middle of the room was the eating area. for 1.50 you could get a very mediocre yet filling submarine sandwhich. I would go from open till close 2-3 times a week in the summer till I was.. 6. then when I got back from camp... whenever I could. Entrance was $0.25. It was just more VIBRANT. now it seems a little to ... sterile. I don't know, it just feels like somethings missing.



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