This blog reports events and interesting tidbits from Rensselaer, Indiana and the surrounding area.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Field Trip to Indy

On Wednesday, Oct 28 a group of students from SJC traveled to Indianapolis for a networking event. I was allowed to go with them. On the way down, we passed by the forest of windmills on I-65 west of Brookston. Some of them were rotating in the wind, which probably means that they are hooked up to the grid and supplying electricity.
This year the event was held in the Indiana State Museum. We were restricted to a very limited area because the museum was closed to regular visitors. I was able to snap a picture of the steam clock and the canal that are just outside the museum. The clock is rather interesting. You can see it in action here and here.
The canal was a commercial bust, but now is one of the main tourist draws to downtown Indianapolis. The picture below was taken several years ago. For more on the Wabash and Erie Canal, see here.
From our little area, you could see a Foucault pendulum. It is a physics experiment that shows the rotation of the earth.
You could also see a mock-up of a limestone quarry. I have never taken the time to carefully visit this museum, but it looks like it has a lot of interesting things in it.
Our reception area was at the entrance to a special exhibit. We could not go in.
One of the people I met there was a former editor of the Rensselaer Republican, Maura Giles. After graduating from SJC, Maura had spent about a year doing public relations for SJC, then moved to the Rensselaer Republican. She left that for a job in public relations in Chicago, but a year or two ago moved to Indianapolis, where she is now head of public relations for the Indianapolis Zoo. She loves her job.
Last year this reception took place at the Indianapolis Zoo. She was disappointed that we were not back at the zoo. It turns out that receptions of the sort we were having plus meetings and parties are an important source of income for the zoo and the museum. This year the downturn in the economy has caused businesses to cut back the meetings, conferences, and receptions that they are having, so the zoo feels the pinch.

Maura was quite excited about Zoo-Boo. She explained that the various departments at the zoo decorate for Halloween, and the public chooses a winner. The winner has bragging rights for the entire year. They do even more elaborate decorations for Christmas. (But if you go to see the decorations at night, you do not see much of the animals.)

After a couple of hours, it was time to come home. Everyone assembled by the bus, enjoyed a last glimpse at the skyline of Indianapolis, and then settled in for the ride home.

On the way back, I was curious to see the wind farm at night. I had heard that the red warning lights blinked in unison. They do.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It is nice to take a trip down I 65 with out having to drive it.