Saturday, March 25, 2017

March 25. Day 84. Froth and bubbles

Size isn't everything, or so they say. But there are exceptions to every rule and in some things bigger is most assuredly better. These things include bubbles. Bubbles might just be nothing much more than soap and water - a combination children generally find rather toxic - but bubbles provide almost endless fascination. And when the bubble is big enough to engulf your whole body or durable enough to hold in the palm of your hand, well that's just magic. The thing is, however, that these bubbles were at the World Science Festival not the World Magic Festival so while it may all seem quite magical there are solid scientific principles at play. Don't ask me to explain the principles, I'm the only member of my family without a science-based degree. I know they exist I just have more of an interest in the people who make them and the people who play with them than the science behind it. That put me in a bit of a minority at a science festival. You should have seen the reception given to celebrity scientist Dr Karl. It was of rock star proportions. But this no celebrity behaving badly. Anyone who invites kids to make bunny ears behind his head deserves respect - and a big fat bubble.

Friday, March 24, 2017

March 24. Day 83. Explosive fun

You have to laugh. The day started with watching things being blown up and ended with a comedy debate. Yeah it's all funny until someone gets hurt. Okay the only thing really getting hurt at the moment is the recommended dietary intake and hours of sleep.  I suppose I could have gone home and crashed on the couch after a looonnnggg work week supervising students at The World Science Festival but a girl's gotta have fun. And a comedy debate seemed like just the right distraction. And I learned a lot. Honesty is not the best policy, at least that's what the audience decided. Funnily enough that's not what I heard which goes something like honesty might be the best policy but insanity is the best defence. Which probably proves I'm insane, honestly.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

March 23. Day 82. Hatching an idea

Feathers, fur or fins. It doesn't really seem to matter. Our appetite for baby animals shows no limit. One of the things he organisers of the second World Science Festival in Brisbane tried to do was ensure it was different from the first. That meant all new speakers, all new displays, all new special attractions. But there's no need to be silly about it. Some times if you are on to a good thing stick to it. Baby turtles hatching are 100% in that category. They may have been at the festival last year too but did that stop the crowds from queueing up around the museum building to get a look? No it did not. The baby turtles remain cute and the crowds seek them out. And the cameras (including our own QUT News crew) follow the crowds. Not having baby turtles at the festival would be like not having the animal nursery at the Ekka. You might find something else to put in its place but it wouldn't be the same.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

March 22. Day 81. Colour my world

Who doesn't like colouring in? I mean, seriously what's not to like especially if you are presented with an extra large box of pencils or a giant canvas or preferably both. It may not be rocket science but it's huge fun. Still it's ironic or sad or telling given all the recent media coverage about coral bleaching that the giant canvas at the World Science Festival is of a white reef. How tragic would a world be if the only colour on coral came in a box. Hopefully by getting children involved change will come. I'll be keeping an eye on the progress of the colouring during the festival (as well as keeping an eye on the journalism students covering the festival. This is, after all, my day job). Just a bit further down the corridor from the colouring in was another piece of temporary art, this one in chalk. Dom Intelisano of Zest Events hadn't completed his chalk robot but was prepared to ham it up for the camera. It might be the last chance he gets because day two of the festival promises to be much busier than day one and by the weekend it will be packed. After all, if you build it, they will come.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

March 21. Day 80. Open mouth

When you work around a university, especially one with a fashion department, you grow very used to the idea that just about anyone can get away with wearing just about anything. But even on campus there are limits - or so I thought. To be fair I wasn't exactly on campus but in a community garden between university precincts. Here's the weird thing, in one corner there was a scarecrow, the point of which, I assume was to keep birds away. In another corner was a bloke in his undies feeding bread to the turkeys. It has to be said the sight of a bloke in nothing but his smalls was far more terrifying than the scarecrow. But he was all for encouraging not scaring off the birds. Of course he would have been trying to kill them with kindness. Scrub turkeys are particularly unpopular and wildlife experts strenuously warn against feeding human food to native animals. But I suspect not. A man in his undies doesn't strike me as the type of bloke likely to care much about what other think.

Monday, March 20, 2017

March 20. Day 79. Rain, rain go away

 We really needed rain. Everyone has been praying for rain. And we poor city folk were excited - for about 20 seconds. And then it just because tiresome. Today the rain came and went. Came and went. It seemed to want to come at the moments I needed to move about in the great outdoors and go when I was safely inside. Well not entirely. I had promised to take my neighbour Margaret to the dentist. Given just how long it takes to get her into and out of a taxi it would have been a slow and very, very soggy expedition. But on that errand at least the rain held off. Others were not so lucky. Later in the day outside the ABC at South Bank I watched people dealing with the rain. There was quite a lot of standing around waiting for the tropical downpour to ease. Then people would give up and run. Despite a long time standing conducting surveillance the number of people I saw running straight into a large puddle was extraordinary. There will be a lot of very wet footwear in Brisbane tonight. I remind myself we needed the rain and I believe it right until I get another whiff or wet footwear.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

March 19. Day 78. Move Yer Bloomin' Arse

My jaw dropped twice at the Lyric Theatre tonight and that was before the curtain opened.
The first time was when sitting in our seats the penny dropped that Drama Teen had never seen My Fair Lady performed on stage. Never. Ever. Admittedly he was 10 when it was last in town in 2008 but I really didn't think there was any big name musical he'd missed and certainly not one I love as much as My Fair Lady. I have failed as a mother. Again. The second time was when applause rang out for someone sneaking into her seat during the overture. Okay, the "someone" was none other than the amazing Dame Julie Andrews, the production's director, but I have never seen a reaction quite like it. And it was repeated after intermission. Astounding. And totally warranted. She is a phenomenon and the show was phenomenal. The Opera Australia and John Frost production delivers a version that is religiously faithful to the original. There's not even the faintest whiff of the modern obsession with updating and reimaging classic productions for today's audiences. Given that Julie Andrews was the original Broadway Eliza there was little chance of that. But one day someone will present a post- apocalyptic version where Henry is trying to teach an alien Eliza to speak like a human and it will worse than all those things Eliza wants to do to Henry in Just you Wait. But this 60th anniversary version is a nostalgia trip. It's flowing frocks and glittering gowns. It's that Ascot scene where a pretty in pink Eliza shines against the colourless British upper crust. It delivers what every good stage musical should - a smile on your face and a song in your heart. Move yer bloomin arse to QPAC and see it. It's positively smashing.
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