For a Sunday afternoon, we met up with a friend who's a semi-conducting engineer for Toshiba. Her name is H. and she's sort of my personal hero. Why? Think about how hard it is for a woman engineer in the US of A, let alone Japan. Despite being a first world society, with all the technological advances Japan still has a very conservative culture that encourages women to quit their job in favor of child-bearing and rearing, or at least in favor of their husband's career. I'm generalizing here, of course, and there are many folks in Japan who are open-minded and are forward-thinking.
Still, to be an engineer for a multi-national corporation with a household name, H's career is a huge achievement. I attribute a lot of this success to H. herself: she's the sort of gal who would travel by herself to see the world, language and culture barriers be damned! Last year she lived it up in Macedonia. Next month she's going to Belgrade, Serbia. You go, girlfriend!
On Sunday afternoon H. took us to Toshiba Science Museum, which is free and open to the public all 7 days of the week. The place was crawling with kids but it was actually quite fun and fascinating for all of us.
Click for bigger pictures!
Right off the bat we see this room that displays technology throughout the past few centuries. And photos and video recordings are A-OK everywhere within this museum, so I just snapped away ^.^
These are "tea-bearer" dolls, replicas made following instructions that were published in 1796! View the tea-bearer doll in action.
1933 record player and its slightly more modern counterparts, the cassette tape player (right, at left is a photo-copier). If I remember using such a cassette tape player, does it make me ancient? :X
1931 Vacuumer and 1930 washing machine.
Egg and rice cookers from the '50s.
Here hubby was discussing the size of that giant computer (with the 3 mesh windows) with H. (back left) and R., H's close friend from college. Both women went college in Nagasaki, and when they asked if we knew Nagasaki, we both were like, uhh, yes, of course we know Nagasaki. It got awkward for a split second ^.^
At left is a display replica of an 1851 multi-function clock that calculates moon phase, astrological constellations, zodiac, etc., in addition to telling western and eastern time. It's also super fancy, being gold-plated with mother-of-pearl inlays. At right is a gigantic microwave!
There was also a room where they do static electrical demonstrations. See the hair-raising demo ^.^
Hard drives from the 2000's and their modern day incarnations: the flash drives. We were told the current 19nm (that's nanometer) is already outdated and the newest is 15nm!
And this is the solid chunk of silicone from which they cut the wafers!