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Comment Museum of Nature, Ottawa, Canada (Score 2, Informative) 435

At one time the Museum of Nature (Ottawa, Canada) was the most surreal experience you could imagine. The building is literally a massive castle. Beautifully built with an atmosphere without comparison. They had the most fantastic paleontology section where you would start at the bottom of a ramp, very dark and foreboding and see fossils from a billion years ago. As you walk up the ramp you see newer and newer fossils - they did an excellent job showing transitional fossils. The ramp would wind around, showing the incredible assortment of life our planet has seen in the past. Finally, it would open up into a large chamber with dinosaur skeletons as far as the eye could see. You would begin with Triassic, Jurassic then Cretaceous. The chamber would then lead to the rise of mammals, ice age, etc... I swear the designer was a genius.

After renovating (I kid you not) they've lumped everything together in a horrible assortment of ice age animals, dinosaurs, mammals, etc... in a set of adjoining open ceiling rooms. There's no atmosphere (everything is bright white with phosphorescent lighting) and the science is certainly gone. I've tried to look into what idiot designed the new layout and I was certain I would find some slack-jawed creationist being responsible but no luck.

Anyway, this is just me venting and telling people not to waste their time on this travesty. However, the three museums of war, aviation and civilization in the Ottawa area are fantastic!

Comment Re:Or they're terrified (Score 1) 921

I think you can consider the fear of death in two ways...

1. You're afraid to die because of the act of dieing - you fear dieing in a painful or traumatic sort of way, rather than a calm or at least non painful sort of way.
2. You're afraid of the non-physical consequences of death.

I'm scared of the 1st, because I have an intricate history of cancer in the family and will likely go the same way. Personally I have no fear of the 2nd. When I'm dead, I won't care much that I'm dead since I'm dead (some Greek said it much better than me!)

Comment Re:culture (Score 1) 1038

I think if someone is interested in science and fortunate enough to live in Western society, you're going to get into science whether you have amazing teachers or poor teachers. I had terrible high school and university teachers with the exception occurring when I hit my fourth year. I had a prof who taught two electromagnetics courses (Elec. Eng.) and I was sold from that point on. I did my masters with him and soon to finish my PhD. I'm sure it's a YMMV type of problem, but at the very least curiosity and inquiry can take you VERY far in terms of your education, despite countless roadblocks.

Comment Re:What Idiots (Score 1) 229

As much as I'm a proud fellow Canuck, and would love to view our nation as one that will stand the test of time -- the US will just begin taking resource laden countries by force as they become incapable of purchasing / trading for resources legally. We also have enormous amounts of fresh water too. Oh wait... I've said too much...

Comment Re:Think outside the box. (Score 1) 442

Engineers, by definition, are more likely to think outside the box. The problem is that a lot of engineering companies are too afraid to take risks, not willing to re-design so they demand design re-use, etc. I think companies stifle engineer's creativity.

You make some terrific points - I learned blues guitar, started to criticize sports less and just shut the fuck up and enjoy it. Mind you, whenever a hockey fight breaks out I still jump out of my seat and beat my chest and hollar like an ape to tease my brother in law! I agree with the nurse comment too - in Canadian universities, it's a tradition for engineers (mainly males) to hang out with nurses (mainly females) during frosh and beyond. It was always a pleasure.

But I have to take issue with the Feng Shui. There are numerous debunkings to be found on the net, not to mention the show Bullshit! did good coverage of it. Just common sense would stop one dead in their tracks. You need to be careful you don't take thinking outside the box to thinking outside of reality.

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