OMSI & Sub Tour!

I mentioned in my Portland recap that Michelle got us free OMSI tickets. Michelle is married to Thor, Ryan Schenk’s cousin. She totally hooked us up. When we (Dwane, Alicia, Sarah, and I) got to the Membership desk to pick up the tickets she left for us, we found 16 TICKETS! 4 General Admission, 4 Planetarium, 4 Imax, and 4 Sub Tour. We could choose what we wanted to do.


Before we explored the special tickets, we entered the Mindbender Mansion exhibit. Mindbender Mansion is a series of confusing puzzles like those ones where you have a ring and a strip of steel and you have to fit a knot through a heart around a steel triangle without taking the nail out of the chunk of driftwood. Usually there’s a trick to it, but until you see that trick, the puzzle seems virtually impossible.

Take for example, this one. Two people put rings over their wrists that have rope strung between them. You cross your rope with your partner’s rope. Then you’re suppose to untangle yourselves without removing the rings from your wrists.


I have no idea.

Some of the puzzles at the Mindbender Mansion had little clues associated with them which could be entered into a computer to generate some snazzy password or cool video or something. In order to beat the hordes of field day students who were coming in, Alicia, Dwane, Sarah and I split up to try and get as many of the clues as possible. It turns out that despite my mechanical engineering degrees, I’m terrible at these things. There was one weird one where you had to fit all these puzzle pieces together to form the letter T. It was surprisingly difficult. Sarah and I were working on it diligently – hitting dead end after dead end. Suddenly this little 7 year old brat walks up to our table, reaches over, and moves the critical piece into the right spot solving the puzzle immediately. This was not good for my delicate ego.

We left mindbender mansion shortly thereafter and decided to hit up the submarine tour.

Check it out!

The Submarine

Torpedo Tubes!

Controls and fake wood paneling!

We walked through the sub under the direction of a submarine guy. He told us how they navigated, what types of sonar they used, methods of submarine propulsion, living conditions, how often showers were allowed… that sort of thing. It was really fascinating and the guy did a great job of describing life underwater. Here are some fun sub facts:

Fun sub facts:

In the 70’s about 3/4 of the sub population smoked. That mixed with the diesel sub engine resulted in some NASTY air quality.

There’s very little storage space on a sub. So the food is put in cans and put all across the floor. Then they put a fake floor on top of the cans. Best food in the military? Yes. Lower ceilings? worth it.

No women have served on submarines.

The maximum height limit on a submarine is 6’7″

Thanks again to Michelle for helping us out. It really made for a fun day. I highly recommend going to OMSI if you happen to be in the Portland area.

4 thoughts on “OMSI & Sub Tour!

  • 10/27/2008 at 1:27 am

    Max height limit is 6’8!!!!
    Also, this was the best tour EVER.

  • 10/27/2008 at 6:30 am

    oops. I had four fun facts, and one of them was wrong. That’s a bad ratio for items labeled “Facts”

  • 10/27/2008 at 11:14 am

    Jesse has provided a solution to the rope thing! Check it out here.

  • 10/27/2008 at 10:38 pm

    1. Solution = awesome, I never would’ve thought of that, even with all the spare time Jesse is afforded on disability leave for being too obese to work.
    2. Drawing = crazy awesome, particularly considering I know you spent like 5 minutes or less drawing the whole thing, in a world where even by hand on paper I struggle to draw dogs that look like they have 3 legs.


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