Sunday, May 20, 2007

A Saturday Of Science And Spirituality

Saturday we experienced science and spirituality in Pasadena. We started with a drive down with the "J" to NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). This weekend was their open house. We arrived around 2:00 pm and we were surprised how crowded it was. The result was long lines at every exhibit. The wife and the "J" went to one exhibit while I walked around a bit. We had agreed to meet in an hour but after studying the lines I realized that I did not have time to to go to any of them.

At first this was disappointing but I realized that I had seen most of the exhibits already. I have been interested in space exploration since I was a little kid. I had seen all the pictures and I followed many of the missions. I monitor the Space.com RSS feed. The exhibits were not geared towards the knowledgeable person - they were geared to the uninformed but interested or the hardcore Space Geek (I did see a guy in a full Star Trek: Enterprise uniform). I am somewhere in the middle and the result is that my visit to JPL was pretty dull.

I went to the designated rendezvous point and waited. The wife and the "J" showed up about 40 minutes late. They had gone to one of the exhibits and had stood in line for an hour. We got some dinner (Burgers and Hot Dogs) and I bought a couple of T-Shirts for my collection. They did not have magnets - Bummer. We did stop to ask the Scientist a question. The wife asked about Black Holes and the "J" asked what he would be if he weren't a Scientist (He would have been an Historian or a Linguist). I abstained from asking a question. A few pictures here.

After leaving JPL, we drove the 9 minutes to the Rose Bowl which was transformed into the Rosary Bowl. The stadium held a three and one half hour Rosary. The event was put on by the Holy Cross Family Ministries and the Knights of Columbus. There were TV stars (mostly Latino stars) who gave religious reflections. The only one I recognized was James Caviezel. Another interesting contribution was from Immaculee Ilibagiza, a survivor of the Rwandan genocide. I felt a little out of place since I am not Catholic and I am not Latino. I was there for the wife and the "J". Having said that, the music was enjoyable and this was my first time in the Rose Bowl. The catholic crowd were very fond of the wave which got annoying later on. About half way through I went to the men's room and I was surprised to see all the bats flying around outside the stadium. When it ended I had not converted and the wife and the "J" agreed that this was way too long and would not do much to convert anyone.

Well, this was a strange day. Then again, we thrive on strange stuff. It didn't quite live up to my expectations but it wasn't terrible either. We can now say that we have been to JPL and to the Rose Bowl.