Baron Dave Romm (barondave) wrote,
Baron Dave Romm

The Bakken Museum

DavE playing theremin
DavE playing theremin
Bakken Museum, MN 11/11/08
photo by Cheryl

The Bakken Museum is a nifty place, for electrical device enthusiasts and anyone else who wants to step into a 50s sci-fi movie with a tinge of 21st century education. Founded by Earl Bakken who invented the pacemaker and started Medtronic, the museum is located in a nice neighborhood beside Lake Calhoun, in a terrific mansion.

I went with several friends to the Bakken Evening Out, which takes place every second Tuesday. For the price of admission, you get food (good quality hors d'oerves and wine) and can listen to a lecture, in addition to the usual chance to play with their toys. Also, they had a professional photographer on hand for one of the toys. He would take pictures, for free, you would help decide which one(s) was the best, and he e-mails you. I just got his picture yesterday, which is why I'm posting now.

Baron Dave channeling electrons
Baron Dave channeling electrons
Bakken Museum, MN 11/11/08
photo by Bruce Challgren

I needed the prop to fully demonstrate the static electricity, not having quite enough hair to really be skiffy. To demystify the event and promote visits to the Bakken, here is a larger shot.

Cheryl and Brian at the Bakken Museum
Cheryl and Brian at the Bakken Museum
as a staffer cranks the wheel for their official picture
Bakken Museum, Mpls, 11/11/08
picture by Baron Dave

The Mindball game isn't a great photo-op, but was fairly interesting. Two people sit down at opposite ends of a table and affix a strap around your head such that the electrodes touch your forehead. The table looks sort of like air hockey, but the object is to relax. Displays show the brain waves of both players. The player who has the better Alpha and Theta waves (that is, the player who is most relaxed) moves the ball from the center to his opponent's side. I played twice: The first time, I lost quickly to a slacker teenagers who's display was almost flatlined. The second, I beat Dennis, one of my other friends.

The Bakken is interesting and spacious. I still have fondness for the Pavek Museum of Broadcasting, funded by the Bakken, which is almost a warehouse of old equipment. The Bakken is a museum, with well-marked exhibits and friendly docents.

Side Note 1: While I was able to get sounds out of the theremin, and show others how to use it, I could only make skiffy noises and am not, alas, able to generate a tune.

Side Note 2: I believe this is the first time I've posted three pictures by three different people.
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