Center of the dome

This evening I went to see a multimedia show in the really great dome in Montreal at the Société des Arts Technologiques. The dome is fifty feet across, and it is a thing of wonder.

There are no chairs in the dome. Instead, the floor is covered with beanbags.

When you come in, you just pick the nearest open spot and lie back to watch the show. I am a friend of one of the artists, so I came early and was able to pick my spot.

So for the first time in my life I achieved a childhood dream: I got to sit in the very center of the dome. Always before I had to sit off to one side or another, and I had always wondered what it would be like to sit dead center.

One of the great things about the exact center of a dome is that when you start to talk, your voice sounds very strange. The sound of your voice takes 50 milliseconds (1/20 second) to reach the dome surface and then return to you, and that happens the same way in all directions.

So it sounds like your voice is talking back to you 1/20 second after anything you say. It is a strange and wonderful sensation. If you’ve never tried to stand in the center of a dome, I highly recommend it.

Of course the best part was that I got an undistorted view of everything they showed. It was wonderful, and now I can day that I have fulfilled my childhood dream of watching a show from the very center of a dome.

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