AQ Review: Science of love

Enjoying a beer in thermovision (Joseph Tunney/AQ)
Enjoying a beer in thermovision (Joseph Tunney/AQ)

I can finally say that for once I didn’t spend my Valentine’s Day lying in bed, gorging on food alone. In your face, Mom.

Last Friday Science East put on a 19+ “Science of Love” exhibition. I went in search of Eros, the answers of the universe and possibly a few single ladies.

I can honestly say the exhibition exceeded all expectations. I was expecting to see more phallic imagery than an E. M Forster novel, but instead even harder things delighted me: puzzles.

Top of the list exhibitions for me were a wall that absorbed your shadows so you could step away and observe them (I made my shadows blow each other), ice cream made out of liquid nitrogen, a 3D printer printing little hearts, and a freakin’ cow heart that I held. So. Cool.

There was also a bar though, so I cannot remember any of the science that went into these experiments. Essentially what I saw was magic.

I did however get to use the classic “I’m a journalist” gag to grab a one-on-one with Michael Edwards, director of programming at Science East, A.K.A the man with the delicious vanilla maple ice cream. He was not only repping ice cream though; earlier in the night he had balsamic vinegar caviar, olive oil dulse and marshmallows dipped in the nitrogen so people could enjoy the hard exterior and soft and chewy inside.

“We’ve been playing with people’s perception of how food looks and how it tastes and doing some fun stuff,” Edwards said.

“Ultimately when it comes to love and dating, food is always going to be involved in some capacity. There’s no getting by that. So if people came along when we were talking about love and we didn’t give them at least some food, I’m sure they would have been a little upset and plus ultimately it always ends with dessert. We’ve provided you dessert and what happens in the rest of the night is up to yourself.”

A freakin’ cow heart (Joseph Tunney/AQ)
A freakin’ cow heart (Joseph Tunney/AQ)

In the basement of Science East, there is a dungeon, or at least a mock version of the old York County Jail that used to be located in the old greystone Science East building on Brunswick Street. You navigate the prison with flashlights to read the exhibit about the Miramichi serial killer Allan Legere.

I’m a little unclear how that was all related to the science of love, but I did a test down there and it turns out I’m colour-blind. Damn you, Allan Legere. Damn you.

I know I sound like a complete fan boy, but I swear it’s not the beer talking. The non-sexual, adult-only science exhibition was amazing. And although not all the exhibits were related to learning the art of love, I suggest trying it out yourself, maybe you’ll even be lucky enough try some ice cream while you’re there.

“Science centres as a whole are always wanting to find new audiences, plus adults kind of feel they shouldn’t come into a science centre; they think it’s for kids,” Edwards said. “So adult nights are a really good way to deal with both of those things head on. We let adults come in and play and do fun stuff, we get a chance to do things that we can’t really do with kids as well and we potentially, hopefully, get them coming to see us again.”

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