In London again

Millennium DomeI had a slightly late start yesterday, I missed the train which I'd intended to get and this meant I was too late to see off the 'Backing Blair' van. Still, I did see the Dome, and this is an incredibly depressing site. After this I went to the tube station and bought a drink. I saw the london papers which were next to the till and they were proclaiming that Blair had seen the Queen to dissolve parliament. Given that this was half past 11, I suspect that the newspaper editor was making an educated guess and got lucky.

I then went up to Trafalgar Square, and coming out of Charing Cross Tube I almost walked into Eamon Holmes and Natasha Kaplinsky near St. Martins in the Fields. They were wearing formal gear, Eamon is a bigger chap than I remember, but then I only glance at Breakfast TV in the mornings, so haven't seen him properly for a while. I tend to listen to Today.

Trafalgar Square FountainsSome loud bangs scared the pigeons.Big Ben from Trafalgar SquareIn Trafalgar Square I took a few pictures, there was a series of loud bangs which seemed to occur whenever pigeons stopped panicking. This could have been a bird control method, or it could have been the workmen outside the National Gallery having a bit of a laugh.

The Natural History MuseumArchitectural Detail in the Natural History Museum.Animatronic VelociraptorsAfter taking my fill of Trafalgar Square, I decided to go up to the Natural History Museum, so took the tube to South Kensington. There is a long subway which goes from the tube to the museums, and this exits right next to the Natural History Museum, which is a truly impressive structure. The architecture has all sorts of detail which makes the building itself a pleasure. One of the first things I did in the museum was to see the dinosaur exhibit. They have animated velociraptors and a T Rex, both are quite realistic and would un-nerve a nervous child - and would exhilerate many. I took two (grainy and silent) videos, one to show the velociraptors, and one the T Rex.

Blue WhaleThe World ExhibitThe other thing which I had to do was visit the life-sized Blue Whale model. I remember visiting the museum as a child and this was something which stayed with me. The giraffes and elephants are completely dwarfed by this model.

Wire Mesh Klein SurfaceHyperbolic ParaboloidNapier's BonesClock of the Long NowI then went along to the Science Museum. The main hall of the Science museum is having a refit, but there is still plenty to see. I liked the smaller, more elegant things, like the mathematical surfaces such as Klein bottles. I was particular pleased to see a demonstration set of Napier's Bones - the main reason I was pleased is that I beat a teen on a nokia calculator to an answer...

They had a prototype of the Clock of the Long Now. There was an American woman there, of about my age, looking at this prototype. She obviously couldn't read as her boyfriend had to explain it to her. Having explained the concept that it would be a clock which would run for 10000 years as a testament to our 'civilisation' and as a reminder that we need to take a long term view of the planet, her response (in an incredibly whiney voice) was 'what's the point of that then, we'll all be dead in 10000 years'. She thereby completely missed the point of building something designed to outlast the pyramids, more than this, building a working mechanism designed to last that long.

Monica stands on a bridge of her own constructionMonica joined me in the Science Museum, and we had a look around for a bit, but it wasn't long before we headed back. We stopped at Westminster and saw lots of reporters on the grass near parliament, mostly they were packing up.

It was almost as if someone had just called an election.