Last weekend, DC hosted the USA Science and Engineering Festival. This was the fifth biennial event, which started life in 2010 as an overgrown science fair spread across the National Mall and Pennsylvania Avenue. I have a few images on Flickr from that year, as well as from 2012 and 2016. Not sure why I missed 2014.
Unfortunately the Festival has turned into a commercial showcase dominated by government contractors, federal agencies, and the military. And, of course, everyone was into STEM. Sorry, arts people. I only saw one reference to STEAM.
Even with the excessive weaponization of science, there were some interesting exhibits and fun sights mixed in. Here are a few images from my time in the two huge halls, with the full gallery here.
Many exhibits featured VR and this young man seemed to be having a good time with whatever was in this world presented by the US Air Force.
A cadet from the US Naval Academy helps this boy with programming an Ozobot.
An organization called Squid4Kids based at Stanford University brought, what else, a squid for all of us to touch. It’s just as slimy as it looks.
And at the Army’s huge space, this young man was learning how to drive one of their vehicles using what looked like a standard video game controller.
Kathy and I had the opportunity to tour the greenhouses where the Smithsonian cultivates the flowers and plants used for exhibits and general decoration in all their museums. It was a wonderful way to spend a cold, windy afternoon. Below are a few of my shots. More of mine are in this gallery and Kathy’s much better work is on her site.
I was working with a macro lens for the first time and very happy with the way these apricots turned out.
I don’t know what this plant is called (it was in the orchid house) but I just loved the otherworldliness of it. For some reason it reminds me of a character in the film Beetlejuice.
I see an eye formed by the water puddled in the center of this plant.
Always looking for the odd image, although I have to give credit to Kathy for spotting this one.
I’ve been past and around the Ronald Reagan Building in downtown DC many times but never really taken a good look inside the place. So I recently took a tour and, of course, brought the camera. Here are a few of the better images and more are in this gallery.
The view down Pennsylvania Avenue from Freedom Plaza towards the Capitol. The Reagan building is to the right.
The massive atrium of the main building.
A portrait of Woodrow Wilson on a window in the center named for him. One of many discontinuities in a building named for Reagan.
I like the pattern in the seats of the auditorium. This is home of the Capitol Steps, a political satire group that started early in the Reagan administration. The irony is not lost.
Last Sunday I was able to join a group for a photo walk around Washington National Airport1. Here are a few of my better shots. If you’re interested, the full set is here.
The domes of the airport’s B and C terminals with a very cloudy sky.
During this session, we were allowed to use a tripod in the terminal which makes it easier to get shots like this.
A couple of American Airlines planes waiting at the gate.
Some members of our group as reflected in the dome of a security camera.
1. Don’t ever call the place “Reagan” Airport around me. :-)
Last Friday here in the DC area, we had an unusually warm winter day after several weeks of freezing weather. That plus some rain produced some amazing fog on the Potomac River. Below are some photos taken from the waterfront in Alexandria. More are in this collection and in this one by Kathy, my friend and photo partner.
A row of boats caught in the Potomac River ice at the Alexandria marina.
Ducks in the water and gulls standing on the ice.
The MGM Grand hotel and casino seen through the fog from the Alexandria waterfront.
The Woodrow Wilson bridge shrouded in fog.