Wednesday, June 26, 2019

YSEALI PFP Day 30: North Michigan Avenue

19 May 2019

Resuming the morning jog again. The weather had been warming up as we approached the last days of our journey in Chicago.

Downtown Chicago goes silent on Sundays.

Totally love this view. Batman Forever.

This is my Gotham City!

Jogged along the Chicago RiverWalk, where it all started.

Saw an interesting information board on Chicago's beer history.

 Village of Chicago became Township of Chicago in 1833, and then became City of Chicago in 1837

Mayor Levi Boone raised the cost of a liquor licence by 600% to curb German beer-drinking culture and revived a law banning beer sales on Sundays. German and Irish immigrants protested in the 1855 Lager Beer Riot and made Mayor Boone a one term Mayor. Such is the power of beer as an organising and rallying cause!

2018 - Chicago has over 60 breweries

A memorial that honours the WWII submarines and submariners

"While most people probably associate Chicago and submarines with the Museum of Science and Industry’s captured German U-boat, the city’s river was actually used during the war to transport 28 submarines built in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico and ultimately the Pacific Ocean." -- Source.

A plaque dedicated to Joanne H. Alter, an elected Commissioner of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago

The Chicago River's flow was reversed, diverting sewage away from Lake Michigan

Waiting for takeaway breakfast

Headed to North Michigan Avenue, the Orchard Road of Chicago, again.

Diplomatic - because Singapore and Malaysia

Took shelter from the heavy downpour

AT&T had a Game of Thrones display at its flagship outlet at North Michigan Ave:

"What is it you seek?"

Getting a rest in Coach store

Maximising my greens for lunch

This is like the stir-fried version of Yong Tau Foo 

Interesting LED displays of beverages on the fridge 

Nice burgers they serve here!

Beyond Meat Burger

Ivy's Hotel

There goes the last Sunday in Chicago

YSEALI PFP Day 29: Navy Pier and Museum of Science and Industry

18 May 2019

Google had been a very useful tool to help us navigate and find out what's available nearby. This morning, it pointed to the Goddess and the Baker cafe at 33 S Wabash Ave.


This cake drew stares from the ladies seated on the opposite of the glass panel


Took a walk along S Wabash Ave, en route to Navy Pier.

Jack Brickhouse, Baseball Hall-of-Fame Broadcaster

A dilapidated building

University of Chicago Booth School of Business

And we reached Navy Pier.


Talking about Ferris Wheel, do you know it was designed and built by George Washington Gale Ferris Jr. as the centerpiece of the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago?

During World War II, Navy Pier was a training center for the U.S. Navy.

Crime-themed souvenirs

Shakespeare Theater

From Navy Pier, we ubered to the Museum of Science and Industry.

Discoveries all start with asking questions. The first exhibit we checked out was the "Fast Forward... Inventing the Future" exhibition

Testing of  robot on a glacier in Alaska 

What if your coffee table was a musical instrument?

What if a robot knew what you were thinking?

What if you could live to be 1,000 years old? 

 Aubrey De Grey's seven deadly things: Cell loss; Death-resistant cells; lysosomal junk; extracellular junk; sugar-protein molecular bonds; mitochondrial DNA mutations; nuclear DNA mutations and his solutions

What if you could program your best friend?

NAO the humanoid robot

What if you had a whole planet to yourself?

"What if you could use a pop bottle to create the first ultimate weapon?"

The story behind the "Super Soaker"

"What if your pizza could be delivered by email?"

"Food replicator - a high-tech automated food processor that can sustain astronauts on long space flights. Food will be translated into a mathematical language that describes ingredients and cooking instructions."

"What if you could operate a computer with your shadow?"

An interactive projector screen

Bridge Cable Section

Star Trek meets NASA


Launching the world's first successful rocket

German V-2 rocket engine 

Next, a history of US navy.

Seeking Freedom in an age of wood and sails

"Engaging at close quarters - Naval combat in the age of sails was a matter of positioning. The advantage went to the captain who could bring the side of his ship close to the enemy and fire his cannons, while at the same time preventing the enemy from doing the same.

This was John Paul Jones' strategy when he engaged the British warship Serapis. For four hours the two ships fired at each other at close range. Early on, the riggings of the two ships became entangled. Jones took advantage of this by lashing the ships together to keep the British from pulling away. Within an hour the American ship had suffered so much hull damage that it began to sink.

Legend says Jones shouted out, "I have not yet begun to fight!" when asked by the British captain to surrender. For two more hours the crews fought with muskets, swords and small cannon. Then, by chance, a hand grenade thrown by an American sailor ignited gunpowder on the British ship, killing many of that ship's crew. The British surrendered soon after."

The Transition to Steam and Steel

 "Imposing naval superiority - The Union naval strategy had two objectives during the Civil War. The first was to isolate the Confederacy from Europe. The second was to gain control of the Mississippi River. A Union naval blockade around Southern ports stopped shipments of Southern cotton from reaching England, and shipments of guns, ammunition and food from reaching the South. Some Confederate blockade runners did get through but as the Union Army and Navy captured Southern ports, the Southern economy collapsed."

Becoming a World Naval Power

"The Rise of the Carrier - The Japanese Imperial Navy was the first to appreciate the potential of the heavy aircraft carrier in naval warfare. 

Just before World War II Japan built six such carriers. When the Japanese attacked the American naval base at Pearl Harbor in December 1941, they sank or damaged seven of the eight American battleships anchored there. But their desired targets, two American aircraft carriers, were not in the harbor at the time and escaped damage."

Maintaining a Dangerous Balance

 "Three technologies change naval operations - The first is nuclear power... The second is electronics. The radar of World War II grew into an army of sensors, computers and communication devices that gave commanders more tactical information than ever before... The third is rocketry."

Global Duels in an Atomic Age

Turning the Tide in the Pacific Theater

Racing toward new Technology

Next, we checked out the U-505 Submarine Exhibition.

Under-sea boats, or U-boats could slip underwater, sneak up on unsuspecting merchant ships and destroy them with explosive torpedoes.

Number of vessels sunk by U-boats in 1942 = 1,150

"The US Navy inducted Captain Daniel V. Gallery Jr to be the commander of the Hunter-Killer Task Group 22.3. He had the perfect background for the job.

A native of Chicago, Gallery graduated from the United States Naval Academy and distinguished himself as a flier and a flight instructor. He proved himself to be ingenious, inspirational... and a fighter. For the first half of the war, he commanded seaplane bases in Scotland and Iceland responsible for patrolling the North Atlantic convoy lanes. His fliers sank six U-boats.

In September 1943, Gallery returned to the US and was appointed commander of the USS Guadalcanal... which sank three German submarines."

Tenth Fleet Submarine Tracking Room

A hologram feature on the discovery of new intelligence surrounding the U-boats

WWII US Navy Summer Flight Suit

U-Boat discovered

 "Attacking U-505 - On June 4, 1944 at 11:10am, the USS Chatelain reported a sonar contact and the Task Group jumped into action. The USS Guadalcanal could not attack without damaging itself so Captain Gallery moved the ship quickly out of harm's way. Supported by the Destroyer Escorts USS Pillsbury and USS Jenky, the USS Chatelain swiftly attacked. As the sonar crew maintained contact with the submerged U-505, the USS Chatelain's first attack was with a salvo of 24 hedgehogs that missed. While the USS Chatelain opened the range to turn and make another attack, two fighter planes from the USS Guadalcanal fired their guns into the water to help mark the location of the submerged U-505. The USS Chatelain then fired a pattern of 14 depth charges, eight of which were of the type you see here, forcing U-505 to the surface."

The Boarding Party

With the soldiers who mounted the U-505 submarine, without knowing if there were any other soldiers alive within, and took control of it

The U-505 submarine

Voyage to Bermuda

U-505 was carefully towed to Bermuda

U-505 crew were taken in as Prisoners-of-War

"In general, the U-505 captives were treated very well at Camp Ruston. However, they were isolated from other prisoners, and the US Navy confiscated all letters they attempted to send out. This treatment did not comply with the Third Geneva Convention (1929), which stated that POWs must be able to inform their next of kin and the International Red Cross of their capture."

Letter informing a parent of the plight of U-505

Anti-aircraft gun mounted on U-505

Encrypting "ACYPL" using the Enigma

Engima encryption

Peeking into the periscope

The original periscope

A navy veteran shared with us on his experience living in a submarine

U-boats were powered by diesel on the surface and electricity when submerged

Set-up of a radio room

G7e Practice Torpedo

T5 Acoustic Torpedo

The voyage of U-505 to Chicago

U-505 was used to raise funds for the war against Japan. People could climb aboard in exchange for purchasing war bonds.

"The soldier, above all other people, prays for peace, for he must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war." General Douglas MacArthur

U-505's anchor

Next, a quick walkthrough of the Farm Tech exhibition.

Science Storms Exhibition:

Simulating how a tornado works - the shape of the vortex fluctuates depending on air flow at different heights

Foucault's Pendulum demonstrates the rotation of our spinning earth

Tsunami Buoy

Newtex Fire Entry Suit designed to withstand radiant heat of up to 1,650 degrees celsius

How fire reacts to mist

NASCAR racing gears use fire-resistant fiber that cannot be washed out or worn away

A lesson on density

Trying out the strong winds of hurricane

Tesla coil, invented by Nikola Tesla

YOU! The Experience Exhibit:

A human embryo at 28 days

"At 35 days, the digestive system is simply a straight tube... a tiny bud from this tube in the throat will gradually develop into lungs. A bud in the belly will form the liver."

"8 weeks old - membrane surrounding this embryo attaches to the lining of the uterus... the amnion forms a fluid-filled "amniotic sac" that cushions and protects the embryo"

"6 weeks 3 days old - arm and leg buds are prominent. Tiny fingers have begun to form... lungs are sprouting, and the stomach and intestines are becoming distinct."

"7 weeks 3 days old - this embryo illustrates an "ectopic" or misplaced pregnancy... the embryo is implanted in the fallopian tubes (tubal pregnancy) instead of in the uterus"

9 weeks 5 days - umbilical cord connects foetus to the placenta

11 weeks 2 days - It's a girl!

14 weeks 2 days - foetus is in its amnion, or amniotic sac

18 weeks 3 days - uterus is fully formed

22 weeks - blood cells now produced mostly in the spleen. Right before birth, the liver takes over this function. In adults, blood cells are produced in the bone marrow.

27 weeks 8 days

Nervous system

Lots of interactive exhibits.

The Doomsday Clock was introduced by the Bulletin in 1947 to raise awareness about nuclear weapons. Today, the Clock also reflects the significant challenges of global climate change.

Transportation Gallery:

Checking out the gift store:

fried crickets

Weird fog on our way back

I headed out for dinner, but decided to check out Water Tower Place (835 N Michigan Ave), a shopping mall recommended by Cristy.

Police approaching a group of youths

Water Tower Place

Discovered a shopping oasis, the Orchard Road of Chicago. Why, why had we not been to this place for the many weeks we were here?

Reached Water Tower Place:

Chicago Sports Museum

These were some very cool chocolates. Some of the nuts could actually be screwed into the bolts!

Their first shop in the US. The company's from UK

Gender equality means 6 floors of Macy's for the ladies, and one floor for the gents, kitchen, travel, etc, etc, etc.

But no special discount for Asians

Met Yasmin after our window shopping. Thanks to Yasmin, I took my first and only CTA bus ride in Chicago.

An ad in the bus

Instead of pressing the stop button, one pulls a wire along the window to signal to the driver to pull over at the next stop

Dinner at Harold's Chicken (finally, Fried Chicken!)

Ordered an 8-piece meal for me, myself and I

Bon Appetit

Walked back to our corporate housing in a very chilly weather. Enjoyed the conversation with Yasmin on the way back. As the few parents in our ACYPL YSEALI Professional Fellows Program, we often discussed about our sons who were always on our minds.