Entertainment Quantified

Feb 24, 2020 - Science Space

HR MacMillan Space Centre

This weekend I went to Vancouver B.C. One of the attractions that I went to was the HR MacMillan Space Centre in Vancouver. I enjoyed walking through their attractions and went to a live show and the planetarium. If this had been the mid-eighties this would have been an amazing time. However, technology has moved on in the past 35 years, but this place hasn’t.

The main attraction area hasn’t been updated in a long time. The photos haven’t aged well and have faded from the light. There is a section that shows what it’s like on the space station but the stickers have been peeled off and not replaced so all that’s left is the stickiness turned brown from people touching it. One of the coolest parts was an actual moon rock that has been rubbed down to almost nothing from all the people touching it.

The live show was just a PowerPoint deck being presented by a 3:4 ratio projector. The presentation was good, and the presenter knew the material backwards and forwards, but newer technological advances like the finding of the Higgs Boson was just brushed over with half a slide. For the amount of money that each of the attendees paid to get in there, the museum could have easily upgraded the technology to more modern equipment and they could have spent some time to update the presentation too.

The planetarium was a similar story. You know how you go to an old movie theater and you can just tell that the chairs have been sat in 10,000 times? That’s what the chairs were like in this show. The projection was fuzzy and out of focus. At one point when zooming in to the Milky Way the presenter admitted that something wasn’t right and it broke. He then quickly looked up a photo of Andromeda and projected it on one wall.

It saddens me that science has atrophied like this. I guess if I could I’d donate some money to update their equipment, but I think that time has passed. They should tear it down and start over. Let me know if you’ve had a similar experience at a Space Center.