Cambridge Science Festival

Mesmerized by the Borealis installation. As part of the Cambridge Science Festival last weekend, Dan Acher recreated the Northern Lights right above the MIT Open Space on Kendall Square. Dan Acher calls himself an international artivist. He uses cities as playgrounds to create a sense of belonging and community. Borealis is currently touring the globe, here is the schedule of where it’s going next. We somehow missed it in Antwerp in the summer of 2021, haha.

Neva and Simon taking in the installation
Simon in front of the”fog machine”

Earlier that day, Neva and I touched grass at the MIT Open Space where the Science Festival was held:

I took part in a Science comic book workshop:

With our bare hands, we held a real meteorite that once landed somewhere in Africa. You wouldn’t believe how heavy that thing was!

the round metal thing on top of the meteorite is a magnet, the meteorite is mostly made of iron

We also made a spectrogram of Neva’s name. It turned out that the audio analysis tool “Praat” these Boston University researchers used was developed at the University of Amsterdam!

We lost the print-out of the spectrogram of Neva’s name they gave us, so we installed the app on my laptop and made new spectrograms. It was fun to compare how differently we pronounce Neva Lena (Neva’s full name):

My (wrong) pronunciation on the left and Neva’s on the right. Hers is quieter and fuzzier,
mine is quicker, louder and sharper, with a softer [n] and [l] . I should learn to be fuzzier!

We also observed special oscillators with pens attached to them trace oscillations:

And simply enjoyed what the locals here call leaf peeping and walking back home along the Charles River embankment:

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