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Blown Away by MSI’s Science Storms Exhibit

Two years ago, Pastry Chef Chris and I visited Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry and I blogged that the most modern technology in the place was the Dyson hand dryer in the men’s room. In March, museum staff read that post–and invited me on a private tour of MSI’s jaw-dropping new Science Storms exhibit 24 hours before opening day. It’s amazing how easily a 40-foot man-made tornado can sway my opinion.

Mausoleum of Science and Industry

Why are Chicago museums so inconsistent? It’s always either feast or famine, a balance of the sublime and the craptastic. Sure, we have the world-class Art Institute, Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium, heck, I’ll even throw in the Chicago History Museum and National Museum of Mexican Art. But why must we continue to suffer through a contemporary art museum that is a legend in its own mind? A planetarium passing off 1990s technology as cutting edge? Or the biggest civic tithe of cultural mediocrity in the midwest, the Museum of Science and Industry?