THE MECHANICAL UNIVERSE Unbound

After the Project: Universe astronomy telecourse, Orange County’s Coast Community College District outdid themselves. From astronomy to physics, from one Universe title to another, was The Mechanical Universe and its follow-up that added some Beyond to the title. P:U will always be my personal favorite, but MU kicked everything up so many notches that it’s the more obviously impressive show, especially with its innovations in computer graphics.

This show was once expensive to acquire and difficult to see if you didn’t catch a broadcast on PBS, but now Cal Tech has put the entire thing up on their YouTube channel for free. Amazing!

The Tesla Coil of Consolation

I’ve recently been on vacation, and as part of a family trip almost made it to Bronson Canyon, location for Robot Monster.  I think I was within 1-2 miles, but walking the rest of the way to the caves just was not in the cards in the time I had.

But I did make it to Griffith Observatory, Los Angeles’ landmark astronomy site, located also within Griffith Park.  I’ve had a lifelong obsession with this observatory, thanks to the PBS series Project: Universe, which debuted in 1978 and played at least until 1989 where I grew up.

This is the debut episode, featuring plenty of Griffith Observatory:

More on Project: Universe some other time.  For right now, it’s just good to have made it to the observatory, taken in the Art Deco architecture, and have this photo of a Tesla coil to show for it:tesla