Memories of the fantastic voyage to the moon on it’s 50th anniversary!

–Lachman Balani

It was the summer of ’69 and I was literally over the moon as I had just graduated from the American School of Tangier, a US secondary school in Tangier, Morocco and was preparing to go to Cornell University in the US for further studies in engineering.

Amidst all the excitement of getting ready for university, another extraordinary event, the imminent moon landing, heightened my adrenalin levels as I was highly interested in science.

Way back in ‘68 and ‘69 when the Russians and Americans were running neck and neck in the race towards the moon, I was actually rooting for the Russians as they were the first to launch the space  satellite Sputnik and the first to put a man, Yuri Gagarin, into orbit. The Soviets were also the first to hard land (unpowered) and soft land (powered) a spacecraft on the moon. The U.S.S.R. was also the first to get photos of the lunar surface.

I would jokingly tell my American friends in school that “the Russians are gonna paint the moon red!”

They would laugh back: “nah, we doubt it, but even if they do, heck when we get there we will spray it white with the Coca Cola logo!”

Such was the ingenuity of American marketing even way back then.

I remember well also that after the “dress rehearsal” Apollo 10 mission in May of the same year, there were rumours that Russia, cloaked in secrecy, would somehow beat the US and send up a manned mission to land on the moon before the upcoming Apollo 11 voyage in July.

However, the great day finally arrived for the Americans. My family and I huddled around the black and white TV on July 16, 1969, to watch history unfurl. With memories of the fire that killed three astronauts in the Apollo 1 mission a couple of years earlier and Neil Armstrong’s near death experience a year earlier still fresh in everyone’s minds, I kept my fingers crossed that nothing drastic would occur as the countdown began. Continue reading “Memories of the fantastic voyage to the moon on it’s 50th anniversary!”

Mind Boggling Museum Where Education Meets Entertainment

— Nita Balani

A brand new museum opened in Toronto which is fast becoming the talk of the town!. The Museum of Illusions has opened its doors to the public this week on November 7th 2018 and will stay permanently in its new home at Front Street East, Toronto. The hugely popular museum has attained world wide acclaim and has opened in 14 cities across the globe including Berlin, Athens, Dubai, New York and Kuala Lumpur. Toronto is the first Canadian city on the map.

The museum appeals to all ages as it takes you through interactive, tactile rooms and displays which play on your mind and eyes. The illusions and installations all “tease the senses while bringing out a playfulness in guests of all ages” explains Michaela Radman, owner and curator of the Museum. The entire experience takes about an hour and a half or so and guests can take photographs and videos to post and share with friends over social media. The display has mind boggling images, rooms, optical illusions and plays tricks on your “mind’s eye”. The 80 plus exhibits take you through multiple visual deceptions which are all based on science, maths, and psychology.

The tilted room (not for the faint of heart) is truly amazing as you struggle to keep your balance even as your mind tries to figure out what is going on. There are also reverse rooms (where everything is upside down), asymmetrical rooms and vortex tunnels to walk through which are fun to experience.

The optical illusions chair really is a thrill. The person sitting on the chair, when photographed relative to someone else standing next to it, shows us how perception relative to size works in our minds and eyes. Continue reading “Mind Boggling Museum Where Education Meets Entertainment”

Amazon Adventure Opens October 6 at Ontario Science Centre

 An immersive IMAX® experience based on a true story of  scientific discovery set in the heart of the Amazon Rainforest Opens October 6 at Ontario Science Centre’s Shoppers Drug Mart® OMNIMAX® Theatre

Toronto (October 3, 2017) – AMAZON ADVENTURE traces the 11‐year Amazon rainforest expedition of
naturalist, explorer and scientist Henry Walter Bates, who provided “the beautiful proof” to Charles
Darwin for his then controversial theory of natural selection, the scientific explanation for the
development of life on Earth. AMAZON ADVENTURE is a compelling detective story of peril,
perseverance and success, drawing audiences into the fascinating world of animal mimicry, the natural
phenomenon where one animal adopts the look of another, gaining an advantage to survive. AMAZON
ADVENTURE opens to the public at the Ontario Science Centre in Toronto on October 6, 2017; the film’s
run time is 45 minutes.

“This compelling real life story chronicles the search for experimental proof for Darwin’s theory of
natural selection in the remote Amazon basin,” said Maurice Bitran, Ph.D., CEO and Chief Science
Officer, Ontario Science Centre, “providing an inspiring demonstration of the scientific method at work
as well as highlighting the curiosity and perseverance required for scientific breakthrough.”

Continue reading “Amazon Adventure Opens October 6 at Ontario Science Centre”