Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The upside-down house and other wonders

Its an upside-down building!!!! How freaking cool is that? Just one of the many wonders you can behold in Sevierville, TN. Actually, most of the other wonders are located inside this building, a science museum aptly named Wonderworks. David and I, along with his sister and her husband took the kids over yesterday and it was a real hootenany. Seriously, I thought this place was off the hook. I don't want to badmouth the Liberty Science Center but this place has an upside-down edifice, for God's sake, including dangling trees!! Other wonders included the tiled floor located ON THE CEILING:

The Hurricane Chamber was pretty wild. You head inside this mini subway-car-type thing and then winds up to 65 miles an hour are blasted in your face. Kids thought that was crazy fun, although after all the natural disaster this world has seen in the last few years, I found it a little scary:

Primo and Sec spent a good 20 minutes trying to pull themselves up on this seat attached to a pulley system.They now understand what an unsung hero our elevator is:

Then you enter Space Zone with a lot of computers asking what I considered to be exceedingly hard quiz questions about American space history. Also one super cool space shutle control chamber where you have to sit upside down:

And then there was this:

A bed of nails, you say? WHO would be crazy enough to lie down on a real bed of nails? Oh, I'll tell you who.

Primo saw the bed of nails and raced over, telling me he really wanted to try it. Now, this doesn't sound like my anxious, circumspect first-born at all, so I was a little surprised but I'm all about encouraging his bravery so we got on line. While waiting, I read to him the explanation of why it was safe to lie of the bed of nails, and the reason is basically that there are so many nails - 3,487 to be exact-- that each nail gets just a tiny faction of your weight and so your body doesn't get punctured. I was hoping for a slightly more convincing reason like, "Its safe because these are fake nails" or something similar. So its finally our turn and Primo has - what else - cold feet. He resolves them by instructing ME to go on the bed of nails, putting me in quite a predicament. I can't refuse because I don't want to show him there's anything to be afraid of but dude, spreading out on a surface of sharp pointy things made to hold lumber together is not my idea of fun. But I haul my ass on that table and lie there listening to them slowly raise the nails through the plastic table top with 3,487 holes in it and growing increasingly worried that it wasn't a prudent idea to take instructions from a five year-old. It wasn't painful, its true, but it wasn't NOT painful either. It was a definite all-over pinch, particularly on my bare legs.

So the basic idea here is never WALK on a bed of nails but if you must have some encounter with them, lie right on down. Wonderworks says its safe and Wonderworks knows.

This makes me curious - anyone else try this stunt? Swallow swords? Eat fire? I'd like some scientific explanation for those, too.