Friday, July 25, 2014

Ramadan 2014 – Day 26, More Activities at Katara

Yesterday I read in the news that all the restaurants in Katara were doing a charity fundraising event that evening -- all revenues earned by the restaurants would go to helping Palestinians in Gaza. I had always been meaning to try the Italian restaurant there (Vesuvio) so the charity event was a good enough reason to head out to Katara for the evening.

After dinner I spent some time wandering around Katara looking at some of the exhibits that I missed during Garangao (see Ramadan 2014, Day 14). There was one I especially wanted to see:

I love astronomy, I have a few books on astronomy at home that I occasionally read, so I wanted to see the pictures of galaxies. It was an interesting setup, wall sized pictures along with the occasional area where tables and chairs were set up so people could read a variety of books on astronomy. The books ranged from kids books on the stars and planets to astronomy books geared more towards adults. It would be easy to spend a few hours reading if you really liked astronomy.

After wandering through the galleries I noticed something. With the exception of this picture:

I don’t think any of the images on the walls were of galaxies -- I believe they are all photos of nebulae, which are very different from a galaxy. The pictures were unlabeled as well so unless you recognized them you might not know if it's a galaxy or not.

It seemed strange to call this a Galaxies Gallery when almost none of the pictures were of galaxies so I took a catalog of events back home with me as it had the events in both English and Arabic. I assumed it was just a translation error and the Arabic for nebulae was mistranslated into “galaxies”.

Nope, it turns out it was not a mistranslation. The title of the event uses “majrat” (galaxies) instead of “sadim” (nebulae). Weird. Anyway, still worth popping by to see if you are in the Katara area, just bear in mind that most of the pictures are nebulae, not galaxies.

I then wandered over to the amphitheater area where I saw this:

Okay, I don't recall seeing that before. Turns out it was a ride, a bunch of people sit in chairs wearing 3-D glasses and you're taken on a journey for about five minutes flying through space. It’s designed that the chairs shift, tilt, and rattle a lot, not unlike being in a truck on a really bumpy road, so I wouldn't recommend it on a full stomach. Entertaining enough for a free ride.

I also wandered down to the shore, they had some boats moored and the Turkish restaurant (Sukar Pasha) had some tents set up on the beach. Previously they had some open-air tables on the beach so I assume the tents were for private dining, maybe even with air-conditioning to keep diners comfortable.

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