Mumbai Science Tweetup #1

I missed out on posting things asap in January, so trying to cover some lost ground here. This is mostly from memory, so there are bound to be some errors.

A Tweetup is an offline meetup of people who use the service called Twitter, generally organised and publicised on the same service. It is open to everyone using the service. A Science Tweetup is an offline meetup of people who tweet about science or are generally passionate about science and technology. Rather than having the tweetup at a restaraunt or a coffee joint, I thought a science tweetup which is in the scene makes more sense than having tweetups in restaraunts. Thus the  idea of holding the first Mumbai Science Tweetup at the Nehru Science Centre occured and was accordingly held on January 3, 2009.

Having the venue at Nehru Science Centre has it’s short comings. While the Planetarium is too famous, the Science Centre is not that well known. The Science Centre is located about 2-3 odd kms from Worli Naka on the route to the Mahalaxmi Railway Station. The Centre was under renovation for sometime but has come out of it with some pretty cool exhibits and experiments. The idea of the Centre is to allow the general public to understand science not through theory or vague mathematical equations, but actually experimenting with what’s happening and giving a simple description of the same in English and Hindi.

Only two of (@pradx and @deltarx) us turned up for the first tweetup, which is not bad and is much better than a one person tweetup. All that matters is that both of us love and are passionate about science and we had a thoroughly wonderful experience at the Center. I really hope more people join us in the future perhaps after reading this. A big mistake that I made was not to charge up my mobile phone before getting to the Center, which essentially meant that I didn’t get many of the photographs that I thought I would. Well, I can always go back there on a later date :).

The major attraction of this tweetup was to be the newly opened dome theatre at the Center. The theatre is really cool, surrounded by a timeline photo exhibition beginning from the big bang and moving forward in time as we go towards the theatre entry. The seats were simple and comfortable (you don’t expect better seats @ Rs. 40, do you?) and the show was called the Serengetti. The experience was awesome and there were some giggles during the lion-lioness uncensored sex scene. The sound could have been better but overall it was a nice experience. I wouldn’t mind giving the experience a 3/5. As we come out, we catch up on the time line and walk out as human beings begin to populate the continents.

Since there were only two of us and both were aerospace buffs, we decided to spend max time in the Aerospace exhibit in the -1 floor. I just can’t speak enough of this exhibit and the part it played in my early love for engines and rockets. The climax of this exhibit for me was at the Space Mission Control exhibit. They had linked up the computer to the live on-board feed for IRS-P3 (orbit, orbital visualisation, temperature and such parameters).

We subsequently went for lunch in the Centre canteen and then went through the exhibits called Sound, Light, Prehistoric eras, Hair, etc.

I will try and post a link to images as soon as I upload them on Flickr or perhaps somewhere else on this website. Will update this post accordingly.

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