Monday, January 30, 2012

Week 4 - Museum of Civilization (Part 1)

Some weeks, micro-adventuring is harder than I thought it would be! Getting out last week was a challenge - and perhaps including a lecture the week before was a bit of a stretch. But - since these are my adventures, I guess "I" get to decide what counts!   ;)   I had hoped to have friends join me so I left my outing until Sunday afternoon. When they couldn't join me, I went, with limited time, to the Museum of Civilization.

The Museum of Civilization is a beautiful building, on the Quebec side of the Ottawa River, designed by Douglas Cardinal who also designed the U.S. National Museum of the American Indian in Washington DC. Both reflect his very distinctive flowing style.

© Canadian Museum of Civilization, CD98-188-043

I focused this visit on the First Peoples exhibits and will return to see the other exhibits at a later date. You enter the Museum through the Great Hall...

Entry - Looking down at the Great Hall...

View (out the window) of the administrative wing of the Museum...

Sideview - the largest totem pole...

Front view...

The last time I was in this room was for a charity gala. I hadn't noticed then, or remember noticing ever, that the Great Hall smells of cedar. Cedar is by far the most prevalent material in the exhibits but I wonder - do they still exude such a fragrance or does the museum scent the room to increase the impact of the display?

My favourite sculpture The Spirit of Haida Gwaii by Bill Reid

It turns out this is only a plaster cast and the bronze version is in the Canadian Embassy in Washington. This is still very beautiful. Also by the same artist is a gorgeous sculpture that resides in the Vancouver Airport. Most of the exhibits in The First Peoples Hall deal with the tools, clothing and practices of natives across Canada. I was particularly fascinated by the some of the art.

Beautiful bead work

Huge painting...


Myths of Creation... The Creation of Eve by Roy H. Vickers

Another version... Creation by Francis Kagige

Other parts of the museum include The Canada Hall, Face-to-Face and the Canadian Children's Museum and the Canadian Postal Museum. I will be back to visit those another day.

Parting thoughts on what I learned... Adventures are often more fun (and easier to accomplish) when shared with friends. There are some amazing Native artists and it is a style I admire greatly. Canada had a tremendous history even before the arrival of early European settlers.

Did you go on an adventure this week? Tell me all about it?

Monday, January 23, 2012

Week 3 - TMT Predictions Presentation

After two weeks of visiting museums, a business presentation may seem odd. I think it fits as a micro-adventure as it is something I mean to do more of and rarely get around to it, and it was held at a location I have not attended a meeting at until now.

I have always liked to attend lectures and learn more from the speakers. Yet, other than when I am out of town at conferences, I rarely take the time to do this in my own city. When I saw that Duncan Stewart and his team at Deloitte were bringing their TMT (Technology, Media and Telecommunications) Predictions Roadshow for 2012 to Ottawa, it seemed worth attending (and worthy as a micro-adventure with a busy weekend coming  up).

Held at the lovely Brookstreet Hotel in Kanata - where I haven't attended any meetings until now - it started with a very early and very chilly drive to the far end of the city. The room was packed with the opportunity for networking pre-presentation. The discussions on big data, new trends in online advertising, increasing use of tablets and smartphones, fMRI and rapid prototyping were fascinating.

Now, as always, the challenge will be to see if I can take the information I have learned and apply it in some way - to make it valuable versus interesting. One thing I did learn was that lectures and talks will continue to be part of my series of micro-adventurres.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Week 2 - Museum of Science and Technology

-22 degrees C.

Too cold for many adventures, at least for this heat loving girl! Another warm, indoors museum it is!

One of the great things about living in the nation's capital (probably any nation's capital) is that there are many wonderful museums present. This week I chose the Museum of Science and Technology. It is focused on the history of science, technology and innovation within Canada.

Some things have not changed in years. The trains/locomotive displays are still there. I remember climbing on them as a child.

Trains - even someone waiting in the "station" reading a book!

 The Space exhibit remains (Yay! My favourite subject!) and has been expanded somewhat.

 Why Go to Space...
(not well answered!)

 Sounding Rocket

Black Brandt

When I walk through and peruse these exhibits, I listen for the small voice. The one that says - "Remember? This used to fascinate you? Does it still?" And sometimes the answer is "Yes!" In the Museum of Nature, I found I was still intrigued by fossils and rocks. Fossils and Rocks. Paleontology and Geology. Interesting...

In the Museum of Science and Technology - Space, Energy, Innovation - these are compelling interests of mine, and glass (who knew!) was far more fascinating that I expected.

Moon Power - lol - first time I've heard tidal power called that!

Amazing transformer - wish there were more of those around here!

Recycled glass countertops!

Undersea innovation

If these areas fascinate me - and in some cases, have for years - just viewing exhibits in Museums is not enough. The question becomes - what is? What is the next step? What more do I need/want to learn about these topics?

This voyage of discovery is becoming not just about my city - it is about learning about myself, about forgotten interests and areas to explore in depth in the future.

What micro adventure have you been on?

Thanks to Katie for joining me!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Week 1 - First Museum Adventure - NATURE

Ottawa has fabulous museums. It's odd however, how easy it is to have them all around you and never visit them.

Part of my year of micro adventures will be exploring all the city/region has to offer in terms of indoor activities as well as well as the great variety of outdoor activities.

First up was the recently renovated Museum of Nature.

It reopened last year after significant structural renovations caused by its location on leda clay. It has a new glass tower - the original stone tower was taken down in 1916 as the clay caused it to lean - hmm perhaps if it had been structurally sound enough we could have had the Leaning Tower of Ottawa!

There are some new exhibits as well as many of the classic favourites. The Dinosaurs are always great to see.

It is fascinating how many dinosaur bones have been found in Canada, especially in the prairies and I just discovered in the Arctic as well -  of forests. At one point the prairies were underwater and the Arctic was warmer than Ottawa. There are new Arctic exhibits. Birds, mammals, water, rocks are all covered. I love seeing all the fascinating and unusual rocks and geological exhibits. If there was an insect exhibit, I must have missed it. (My entomologist cousin would be disappointed...) Especially awesome are the paintings that make up the backdrop of many of the exhibits. What talented artists!

Depending on how much time you want to spend reading and studying the exhibits, this can be a great Museum for a quick visit. A good first adventure and a lovely museum!

(Note to self - must bring real camera versus cellphone camera...)

Thanks to Katie for joining me on this adventure!