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From the archive

How Nature reported the opening of the children’s gallery at the London Science Museum in 1969, and a strange memory problem from 1919.

50 Years Ago

The Science Museum in London has a bright and spacious new children’s gallery and, although it is not yet completed, most of it has been opened in time for the school holidays … Nevertheless, the children are turning handles and pressing buttons on familiar as well as new exhibits now housed in the basement of the museum’s new extension. The aspiring Mr Universe can still try his strength on the weights and pulleys … The self-opening door is there too, although it must be much less of a wonder now that public buildings often have this system … New exhibits include cut-away working models showing how various engines … work, and how electricity is generated. Another new and popular acquisition is the periscope from HM submarine Tiptoe through which can be seen, after patient queuing, the galleries above the basement.

From Nature 12 April 1969

100 Years Ago

May I direct the attention of readers of Nature to a strange trick that I have found my memory to play me for many years? It occurs in the process of recollection of visual impressions (“visualisation”) of faces. Suppose, now, that I am attempting to visualise a face not seen for some time, and that I recollect the lower lip to be slightly pendulous, while the nose is large and rather prominent — well, I can visualise each separate feature correctly, but, so soon as I attempt to visualise the face as a whole, the features are grotesquely exaggerated, so that the lip (to take the above case) appears as a huge, pendulous, quite unnatural growth, and the nose as an equally absurd and grossly unreal structure … There is possibly some scientific explanation forthcoming; if so I should be glad to hear of it.

From Nature 10 April 1919

doi: 10.1038/d41586-019-01103-y
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