Wednesday, July 5, 2017

The Evolving Universe

The Expressions Gallery in Upper Hutt is currently showing the Smithsonian Museum’s exhibition of The Evolving Universe. This is a series of astrophotographs, taken using a variety of wavelengths and technologies, and relate what is happening in our universe as part of the timeline of Earth. The time it takes for light to get to us from distant parts of our galaxy, the Milky Way, and galaxies further afield, are related to the Earth’s development and general information about astrophysics and telescope technology. It’s all fascinating stuff and the pictures are, of course, very high quality and detailed.

As it’s in Upper Hutt, I donned my wifebeater and mullet wig so that I’d fit in. If you don’t know about Upper Hutt, it’s the smallest of the four cities that make up the Wellington conurbation (along with Wellington, Porirua and Lower Hutt). I haven’t actually been to Upper Hutt town centre before, but I’d heard bad things about it. It’s not the most prepossessing of town centres, and has frankly earned the derision of most Wellingtonians, in much the same way as places like Croydon do in the UK.

After looking at the exhibition, we then had a look in another room, which had information about the Upper Hutt Blockhouse. This was built in 1860, at the height of the New Zealand Wars. For further information about the New Zealand Wars, see this. What was remarkable about this exhibition, however, was the text accompanying one of the photographs. It said that the blockhouse was built “after a series of squeamishnesses” – a sentence which had us confused. We eventually figured out that it was a spellcheck replacement for “skirmishes”. Really, someone should proofread these before pinning up huge boards with mistakes like this.

After a brief squeamish with the traffic, we headed back to Petone for some lunch. Our best-laid plan to dine at Bella Italia gang aglay when they told us there was a half hour wait for a table, so we ended up in café Chavi at the other end of Jackson Street.

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