02 July 2007

Glimpse of Science Museum & Kensington Stroll

So what do you do on a Sunday afternoon? Exactly, you call Kat for help in deciding which is the best option: Staying in, reading in a park when the weather forecast predicted rain or doing sth else. Door number three was some kind of attraction. In the end, my time management coach and I decided to send me to one of "the museums", as the Victoria & Albert, Natural History and Science Museum are called due to their being next to each other along Exhibition Road maybe 20-30min walk from my place.

The Science Museum is right next to Imperial College, btw, the prestigious technical university in London. The museum's collections comprise space, energy, time, telecommunication, history of medicine, maths etc. Currently, there is an exhibit about spying which was opened by the head of MI5 herself which is even more of an honour, as she seldom appears in public. Unfortunately, the exhibit costs 10£ entry, so I'll save that for September when Kat can hopefully join me! *sigh*

Anyway, it is a big interactive museum with a lot of what I will call leisure areas, ideal for families with children. The space collection was highly interesting! Space has always been sth that fascinated me. They showed a movie from 1985 (?) the Apollo 11 mission (I had never realised that space shuttles don't have an engine, meaning they have only one shot at a right landing!), I believe and some equipment and lifesize gear, sometimes even original! Intriguing was also the part about how astronauts live out there. Did you know that their feces and urine would be bagged and sent back to earth for analysis? Or do you know how a space toilet looks like? It has handles so the astronaut won't fly away before the job is finished (I am sure time has brought some developments in comfort, though)! Also, they don't shower, they use towels and if they stay on a space station for three years, well, then they can't shower for three years (Dinwiddy was already a challenge, I really admire these people for what they put themselves through). However, I have a blurred image of a space shower in my mind that I have seen somewhere online.
Anyway, I actually did not want to go anywhere near the maths collection but ah well, why not. Found this awesome machine, guess what it is!
It is a differential analyser!
And it is huge! Stunning! Nowadays, you just throw the figures into a PC or a calculator that fits into the palm of your hand. The machine above actually belongs to the University of Manchester, they conducted research with this!

On my home, I strolled through the lovely area of South Kensington where I have never been before. The picture makes it really evident why this is such a sought-after residential area! I found the following stunning figures in Time Out's "London for Londoners":
Royal Borough of Islington (where I used to live, includes King's Cross and Angel):
178 028 people with an average income of 2486£/month on 14.9 km²
Students: 11.08 %
Retirees: 7.84 %
Burglary: 14 (per 1000 persons; UK average 6.4)
Robbery: 7 (1.4)
Violence against the person: 42 (16.5)
Theft from vehicle: 20 (10)
Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea (where I live now, includes Earl's Court, Notting Hill and Regent's Park):
163 520 people with an average income of 3650£/month on 12.4 km²
Students: 10.21 %
Retirees: 8.29 %
Burglary: 10
Robbery: 5
Violence against the person: 19
Theft from vehicle: 14

Now, regarding the fact that the closer you get to London and the closer you get to Central London the more crimes are commited, the high relative rate is not surprising. However, Islington is known for its proportionally high crime rate. I have mentioned several incidents before and only last week did a 15-year-old stab a 14-year old to death again. I guess I have been lucky this past year.

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