i met peter at kendall square this morning and together we went to the science museum because i had a pair of free passes. the science museum is the kind of place schools love going for field trips (the fact that it's about science and educational makes it an easy sell), with plenty of interactive exhibits for kids to play with. it's exactly for that same reason that i was scared, scared about picking up some disease from all the little hands pawing away at the various exhibits. we were there for 5 hours, taking a break in the middle to get some food at the galaxy cafe and to visit the gift shop (where i bought a birthday present for my aunt, grow-it-yourself venus flytrap kit). coolest things: seeing the corona effect at the electricity demonstration, watching the tamarin monkeys, and playing around with the time-lapse cameras at the special time exhibit. most awkward moment: watching a mentally-handicapped man corner the tamarin monkey trainer and berate him with non-monkey related big dig questions (his parents had to lead him away before he got violent). i probably could've stayed longer (i have a high museum threshold), but i could feel peter getting bored so we left, walking back to kendall square.
in the evening i went with my parents and my 2nd aunt to my aunt and uncle's place in arlington for a pre-birthday dinner for both my father and aunt. they were making indian food, and while matthew was in the kitchen cooking, my aunt showed us the photos should took from her recent vacation to taiwan. i was most impressed with a photo of a pair of colorful birds i thought she had seen in a zoo but actually they were wild specimens (later i found out they were muller's barbets, actually quite common in taiwan but i've never seen them before). after dinner we had cake and tea, and saw the remaining photos, before we left at 11pm.