Medill Story: Adler After Dark Apr 23, 2010 1:11:44 GMT -6
Post by Chicago Astronomer Joe on Apr 23, 2010 1:11:44 GMT -6
Medill School of Journalism does a piece on "Adler After Dark"
Telescopes and tequila, a rare pairing at Adler After Dark
BY SPENCER RINKUS
APRIL 21, 2010
The clanking of glass bottles and the sounds of a frat party are hardly normal stargazing conditions, but since last October, such is the view one Thursday night each month at Adler Planetarium.
The hands-on “Planet Explorers" exhibit for children, that mimics a space voyage through the universe to “Planet-X” gets boxed up for the night. Big Bird, Elmo and friends, the hosts of “One World, One Sky,” an adventure that teaches viewers about the Big Dipper and the North Star, go back to Sesame Street for the night.
From 6:00 to 10:00 on the third Thursday of every month, Adler Planetarium packs away some of its exhibits and prepares itself for a more “adult” crowd.
In place of the traditional exhibits, Adler rolls out the signature thingytail of the month (this month welcomed the “Silver Surfer,” a blend of tequila, rum and vodka with a twist), a music act, and a mix of movies and presentations that might appeal to the 21 and over crowd.
The planetarium hopes that the event will draw Chicago residents to normal visiting hours.
“I’m from the suburbs of Chicago, and I’ve never been to the planetarium,” said Jesse Knight, 25, a graduate student at Northwestern University, “The view of the city from the Planetarium was amazing.”
Despite attracting their target audience, the planetarium might have some kinks to work out of the evening.
“I wished they had chosen another form of live music,” said Knight, “The DJ was a little intense and the crowd seemed quite young—I can't imagine everyone was 21.”
The music act was Orchard Lounge, a collection of DJs who spin a mix of genres into a futuristic sound. The dance floor was heavily populated, and seemed to be the main attraction (having the bar within arms reach might have had something to do with it).
A presentation, “When Spaceflight Goes Wrong,” gave attendees the opportunity to ask a panel about missions that go awry and “The Uncanny Physics of Superhero Comic Books" answered burning questions about how exactly superheroes stop speeding bullets and leap tall buildings in a single bound and the composition of Captain America’s shield.
Despite the programs put in place by the planetarium staff, the patio ruled the night.
“After more people got here I stopped looking at the exhibits, they were small and less available than I had thought,” said Megan Cimino, 23, a graduate student at Northwestern University “I loved being outside. There were great views and it was different from drinking at other places, but I didn't wander too much because I stuck close to the bar.”
Adler pegs the event as a “very original first date,” and true to it’s billing, there aren’t many other places in the city that can offer drinks, dancing, telescopes and comic books.
Tickets can be purchased online, $10 in advance for non-members and $7 for members and students. The prices rise when online sales have closed. For more information, hop over to Adler’s website at adlerplanetarium.org.
The planetarium hosts the event in hopes that visitors will come check out some of the afternoon exhibits. Though the idea isn’t to scare people away from the museum’s nightlife, they may have achieved their goal.
“I’d like to go back to the planetarium during the day, but I’m not interested in going at night again,” said Knight.
I liked the "Far Out Fridays" myself.