Saturday, March 14, 2020

The Space Alien Visits the Museum of Contemporary Art

Because of the outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19), a brunch with friends at Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) to which Your Editor had been invited had to be cancelled.  

But the Space Alien, being a creature of fantasy, and whose passion is modern art, decided to make a fantasy visit to this important museum.     


Loyal Readers may recall reading about the Space Alien's earlier visit to Chicago's Art Institute.  
http://spacealiengazette.blogspot.com/2018/04/the-space-alien-studies-astronomy-at.html  
So this trip to yet another leading art museum was very special for the Space Alien. 

First the Space Alien enjoyed a lovely fantasy meal with fantasy friends at MCA's exquisite Marisol Restaurant. 
Next, adequately nourished, the Space Alien toured some of the famous artistic works in the quiet galleries. 

The Space Alien admired a portrait of an old friend.  
"It's a perfect likeness!" exclaimed the Space Alien.

Visitors,  young and old, listened attentively as the Space Alien helped the MCA staff by leading a fantasy guided tour (since real people would never stand in such close proximity given the current public health situation!). 

At the Museum Store the Space Alien picked up a can of soup.  "I'm not sure why they are selling soup here, or why someone left a candle in it" said the Space Alien, "but it will be nice to have a can of soup in my pantry to enjoy some cold winter night!"

"And one more thing!" thought the Space Alien placing some purchases on the checkout counter.
"This is my gift for every single one of my Loyal Readers!"  
Hopefully the day will not be distant when Loyal Readers can safely enjoy this and so much more at Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Art.   More information is here:
https://mcachicago.org     
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Note: Now that Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Art is closed, a Loyal Reader responded with this URL with addresses for online tours of some great art museums all over the world!  The Space Alien plans to digitally visit them all!
https://www.travelandleisure.com/attractions/museums-galleries/museums-with-virtual-tours?utm_source=emailshare&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=email-share-article&utm_content=20200314

Note: On March 20, 2020, Your Editor received news from the Art Institute of Chicago (now closed) about their new "Interactive Features" which you may enjoy online!  
https://www.artic.edu/interactive-features?utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter&utm_campaign=base&utm_content=base-interactive-feature-03-20-20

Note: Added March 23, 2020, another sign of the times from the Art Institute of Chicago:



Saturday, February 8, 2020

The Space Alien Struggles with New Directions

The Space Alien's long-planned winter holiday was recently waylaid.   Despite carefully made plans to spend a week on a sunny Caribbean beach sipping non-alcoholic Mai-Tais, the Space Alien, traveling at customary velocities exceeding the speed of light, wound up in a dingy hamburger joint in freezing Chicago drinking a stale root beer.  

"How could this happen?" wondered the Space Alien.  "This is not the winter getaway I planned!  I followed my compass so carefully!  How could I have gotten so lost?"

The Space Alien soon noticed this article in a copy of the prestigious science journal Nature that another patron had left behind on the greasy counter.   

https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-00007-1

NEWS 
"Earth’s magnetic field is acting up and geologists don’t know why.  Erratic motion of north magnetic pole forces experts to update model that aids global navigation."

The Space Alien quickly set aside the stale root beer and began reading this article with alarm: 

"Something strange is going on at the top of the world. Earth’s north magnetic pole has been skittering away from Canada and towards Siberia, driven by liquid iron sloshing within the planet’s core."

Then the Space Alien turned a few pages and found this diagram:  


"Oh my goodness," thought the Space Alien.  "If the magnetic poles are moving, this must be why my compass doesn't work!   Without my compass, how will I ever find my warm, sunny vacation spot?" 

The Space Alien picked up a cell phone to do some research and saw that even Forbes had reported this movement of the earth's magnetic field!

https://www.forbes.com/sites/trevornace/2019/02/05/earths-magnetic-north-pole-has-officially-moved/#7ff08f2d6862 
"Earth's magnetic North Pole is quickly moving from the Canadian Arctic toward Russia."

Newsweek had also reported this at: https://www.newsweek.com/earth-magnetic-field-northern-pole-noaa-wmm-navigation-1318159

"Earth's northern magnetic pole is moving at an unexpectedly fast rate toward Siberia. Scientists discovered the pole was not where it should be in September last year, and, as a result, had to update the model that tracks its movements."

The Space Alien was flabbergasted by this news.  "What will happen to all the snowbirds heading for happy vacation trips to Florida or points south?" wondered the Space Alien. "They will have to unpack their swimsuits and pack Russian dictionaries instead!"

Then another post flashed on the Space Alien's cell phone:  
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/04/160401075118.htm
Science News 

The Moon may play a major role in maintaining Earth's magnetic field

April 1, 2016  Source: CNRS  
Summary:
The Earth's magnetic field permanently protects us from the charged particles and radiation that originate in the Sun. This shield is produced by the geodynamo, the rapid motion of huge quantities of liquid iron alloy in the Earth's outer core. To maintain this magnetic field until the present day, the classical model required the Earth's core to have cooled by around 3 000 °C over the past 4.3 billion years. Now, astronomers suggest that, on the contrary, its temperature has fallen by only 300 °C. The action of the Moon, overlooked until now, is thought to have compensated for this difference and kept the geodynamo active.
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The Space Alien, momentarily stunned by new words like "geodynamo" and the possible role of the Moon, did a quick Google search to read about the effects of movements of the Earth's molten core upon the geomagnetic field. https://websites.pmc.ucsc.edu/~glatz/geodynamo.html .

"This is all much too complicated for me," thought the Space Alien, and immediately picked up the phone to book a  seat on the next commercial airline flight to Miami.
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