qatsi (qatsi) wrote,

Early Modern

Yesterday afternoon we headed to the Science Museum for the Cosmonauts exhibition. It's interesting to reflect on just how much of the Space Race was won by the USSR; perhaps we tend to focus on the Apollo programme Moon landings not just because they were the pinnacle of human achievement, but also because they happened to be the thing the USA succeeded in doing first (and, so far, the only nation or agency to have done so). The exhibition goes further back, to the late nineteenth century, in probing the early years of imagination for a Russian space programme. The main focus is on the Sputnik and Vostok programmes, with lots of engineering scale models and contemporary ephemera; but the exhibition does follow the history right up to the Soyuz and Mir space stations. Among the considerable array of merchandising in the shop, we avoided the dubious taste of the Laika cuddly toys. We wandered around the rest of the museum to see a small room with an Ada Lovelace exhibition; two Difference Engines, the history of telecommunications and computing, clocks, trains, planes and automobiles, and V2 rockets.

We met up with rosamicula for an enjoyable meal at Tas before going on to the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse at the Globe for a performance of Jessica Swale's play Thomas Tallis. Our tickets were cheap, but I hadn't realised they were standing, at the back of the upper gallery. Although it was a bit cramped there was more in the way of fixtures and fittings to prop oneself up against than at the Royal Albert Hall. The play itself was quite thin and sketchy, following Tallis' career from the reign of Henry VIII through to Elizabeth I, but the numerous choral excerpts from members of The Sixteen were very well performed.
Tags: exhibitions, food, history, london, music, science
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