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The Human Body                                                             

Rangos Omnimax Theater

October 11, 2002 to June 26, 2003


Whether awake, asleep, in motion, or at rest, the body--from inner ear to stomach--is continually performing a myriad of more or less routine functions that occur without our control...and often even our notice. For

instance, no one thinks about generating 200 billion new blood cells a day, but that's what the body does. In that 24-hour period, the body also grows 40 yards of hair, produces two pints of saliva, and sees ten

thousand of the brain's one trillion brain cells die. (Don't panic, evidence indicates some of those brain cells are regenerated.)


The Human Body, premiering at Carnegie Science Center's Rangos Omnimax Theater Oct. 11 is presented by Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh and reveals the daily biological processes hidden beneath the skin and offers audiences a rare opportunity to get to know their bodies a little better. By using innovative filmmaking methods and the latest medical and scientific imaging technology, the film follows a "day in the life" of the human body.


Activities covered during a "typical" day include eating, digesting, walking, breathing, and listening to music. Scanning electron microscopy, endoscopy, thermal imaging, time-lapse photography, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), X-rays, and sonography/ultrasound provide images rarely seen outside research laboratories and shots never before attempted in large format filming.


The Human Body, which took three years to make, travels into the biological blender of the stomach, the pumping chamber of the heart, arteries and veins, and the inner ear. Audiences will also follow the progression of a pregnancy from first ultrasound scan to birth. A

sequence of time lapse photography allows the entire nine-month pregnancy to flash by in about 20 steps.


The Human Body is the perfect complement to Carnegie Science Center's new exhibit, Grossology: The (Impolite) Science of the Human Body. While Grossology focuses on the body's "disgusting" functions in a silly, light-hearted manner, the Human Body film takes a more serious view of the human anatomy--but with several moments of ickiness tossed in for good measure (pimples on a four-story screen are not a pretty sight!). By combining both presentations, visitors will leave Carnegie Science Center with a whole new understanding of what it means to be a human.


Surprises at …

The Miniature Railroad & Village                                

Opening November 22


After a two-month hiatus for cleaning and maintenance, Carnegie Science Center's Miniature Railroad & Village reopens Nov. 22 with two new buildings. Or should that be old buildings?...every model created for the village connects to the technology, history, and the culture of southwestern Pennsylvania between the late 1800s and the 1930s.


Debuting this year: the Indiana County Courthouse and Hazelwood's John Woods’ home. The Modern Renaissance-styled Indiana Courthouse, designed by architect James W. Drum and dedicated Dec. 19,1870, stands on the corner of Philadelphia and Sixth streets in downtown Indiana. The brick courthouse originally featured four 30-foot-high Corinthian columns around the main entrance, stained glass windows, mansard roof with cast iron cresting, and center cupola with a 2,480 pound bronze and silver bell.


The Sept. 24, 1945, issue of Life magazine featured actor Jimmy Stewart, Indiana's most famous son, posed before the courthouse. By the early 1970s, the courthouse had fallen into disrepair and was slated for demolition. National Bank of the Commonwealth, however, rehabilitated the courthouse to use as its central offices.


Miniature Railroad & Village staff, including Mike Orban, exhibit manager, and Patty Rogers, program coordinator, created the model based on detailed measurements of the existing building and historic blueprints, photographs, and architectural drawings.  "We needed a courthouse," says Orban. "We looked at courthouses in Somerset, Mercer and other counties," says Orban, "but Indiana's seemed to complements and enhances what we have. It's also very attractive."


This year Pittsburgh Mayor Tom Murphy made the model of the John Wood's home in Hazelwood, which was built in and 1792 and is believed to be the oldest residence in Allegheny County.  As a child Mayor Murphy took model-building lessons at the Buhl Planetarium from Charles Bowdish, the founder of the Miniature Railroad & Village.


The Return of the Leonids...Maybe

By John G. Radzilowicz, Director Henry Buhl, Jr. Planetarium & Observatory, Carnegie Science Center


Last November, the greatest Meteor Storm in decades filled the sky with thousands of “shooting stars”.  It was one of the best sky shows of all time. And in Pittsburgh we were treated to the incredible sight of...fog.


These shooting stars of November are called the Leonids – named for the constellation of Leo from which they seem to originate. The Leonid meteor shower is caused by the Earth’s yearly encounter with the debris left behind by Comet Tempel-Tuttle. But every few decades the Earth encounters some of the largest parts of the debris trail, and things get interesting. We’ve been in one of those periods of heavy activity for a few years now, and the big storms are just about over.


But, the Leonids may give us one last grand performance.  The Leonids will peak early in the morning  - about 5:30 am – on Tuesday, Nov.19.  At the moment of the Leonid’s peak the Moon will be full! But while the Full Moon will wash away many of the fainter meteors, the Leonids could shower us with thousands of meteors the night of Nov. 18 –19. That’s still one of the best meteor showers most of us are likely to see.




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