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This week, I thought I would mention a few Science Fiction Museum Exhibits that look like fun. Like Festivals, Museum Exhibits have a limited life span (usually 3 to 9 months) before they are off to another location. Another similarity is the difficulty of finding the things on display (be they films or objects) outside of those venues, at least for a time. Should I call it Rare Ephemeral Things To Do… nope, too cumbersome, and only true sometimes, I am sure.

There are a ton of things I could point to about the various Air and Space Museum locations, like the POP Observatory or the fact that you can still see the IMAX versions of Star Trek 11 or A Night At The Museum in the theaters on the Mall and at Dulles. But what I would like to mention is the ray gun exhibit out by the airport; it is amazing. It is in the room just behind the hall where the original space suit developed by balloonist Jean Piccard (name stolen for the TNG captain) is on display.

If you are in D.C. for that, you will also want to stop by the National Geographic Terracotta Warriors exhibit, where you can meet up close and personal some of the 2,000 year old statues that have guarded the Emperor (and were more recently seen in The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor.

Another Museum Exhibit to be aware of is the Maidens and Monsters presentation, running now through April 18th, 2010, at the Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens in Winter Park, Florida. While the Polasec Museum has a lot going on, this display is something special, with original artwork by N.C. Wyeth, J. Allen St. John, Frank Frazetta, Virgil Finley, Hannes Bok, and many others. These paintings, posters, pastels, and other formats became some of the best known covers of Sci-Fi pulp magazines from the 20s to the 90s; get a glimps here of the wonders in this exhibit. Oh, and did I mention that while you are there you can also play a Theremin?

Touring for a few years now, Out of this World: Extraordinary Costumes from Film and Television, organized by the Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame, runs from the 6th of February until the 16th of May, 2010, at the Orange County History Center in California. With outfits from the Wizard of Oz, Indiana Jones, Star Trek, and Star Wars, this is a display no Cosplayer can afford to miss!

Best choice for DVD’s this week has to be Duncan Jones’s Moon, filmed on a tiny budget but delivering a huge and powerful story. The creative use of miniatures at a time when everyone is making CGI effects is an entire tale unto itself.

A project that did focus on CGI and Animation to get its results was The Celestial Railroad. The classic Japanese story of riding a train through the Milky Way was used as a good jumping off point for creating a program to project onto a planetarium dome at IMAX resolution, and it is now available in Blue Ray.

For TV, tonight’s season 3 premier of Chuck kicked the series off in the right direction, even if a few details (like the whole Prague decision sequence) were beat on harder than they needed to be. And yes, if you missed it you can watch it online at that link. Later this week, the Discovery Channel Sci-Fi Science series gives you the info you need to build your own working light saber. If you haven’t already been following the series, then last week you missed how to build a Starship. Some of the top physicists in the world are involved with this one, so it is not just fictional speculation, but the real deal.

The pick of the release week is the first in a series of movies; the name of this one is The 20th Century Boys 1: The Beginning of the End. It has been making the film festival rounds, and has been doing killer box office back home. With luck, they will be releasing the remaining two films in this set here soon.

I can’t believe they allow them to keep making these things, but as long as they do, I will keep buying them: Robot Chicken Season 4 is coming out Tuesday. In case you have not added any of these to your collection yet, they are also releasing season 1-4 as a box set. This is some of the most sick and twisted humor available today, from the minds of Seth and Seth.

In the Anime department, two old favorites get released in HiDef this week; Samurai Champloo: The Complete Collection, and Basilisk – The Complete Series. Each of these is an incredible job of storytelling in their own very different ways, with some of the best animation you have ever seen. Hell, even the soundtracks are world class. If you were thinking these are both historical action/dramas from the Shogunate period, one involving Ninjas and one Samurai, you would be right. They have a break with reality in the mystical and martial arts powers wielded by some of the combatants, and that is enough of an excuse to allow me to list them here (that’s my story and I’m sticking to it).

Previously unreleased Anime for this week includes El Cazador de la Bruja – Season 1 Part 2, which is even more interesting because this is the third series of Bee Train’s Girls With Guns set. Noir and Madlax were the first two series in the collection, which should tell you where this one is coming from. There is another Bleach volume out (number 23), but as usual I will be waiting for the box set before adding it to the permanent collection.

For another live action, we have Chai Lai Angels: Dangerous Flowers, the Thai version of Charlies Angels from the creators of Ong-Bak. Chai Lai translates to “gorgeous”, and this action-comedy has plenty of both (action and comedy).

There is a documentary hitting the shelves Tuesday as well that I thought was worth a mention: Fallen Idol: The Yuri Gagarin Conspiracy. They got the story pretty close to the way I heard it, so I suspect this will be worth watching.

Four months after the launch, tomorrow LCROSS will smash into the moon. Specifically, it will crash into a Dark Crater at the moon’s south pole, in an effort to find water on the moon. Locating a local source of water is critical for extended manned missions and habitation there. Details about the chances to see these events yourself can be found here, including a link to NASA TV Online, where you can watch the event live beginning at 3:15AM PDT, 6:15AM EDT.

The National Air and Space Museum unveiled POP today: the Public Observatory Project. Another celebration of the International Year of Astronomy, the historic 16-inch telescope set up in the observatory will be available for daytime use by the public. Craters on the moon, phases of the planets, and sunspots (with appropriate filtering and/or projection optics to protect Mark 1 Eyeballs from being burned out) are just some of the things the public can see there. If you can’t make it to the Smithsonian, you might want to visit Experience the Planets instead, and see the solar system through the eyes of artists. Or perhaps you would like to read a little about NASA’s Replicator, not quite ready for an order of Earl Grey, hot, but it can make parts for aircraft and spaceships at nearly the molecular level.

If you find yourself flying through D.C. with a layover at Dulles Airport of 2 hours or more, you can take a shuttle over to the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center. Located on the Dulles grounds, it is another branch of the National Air and Space Museum of the Smithsonian. Among the exhibits there is the US Space Shuttle Enterprise, and all the satellite, spacecraft, and aircraft displays you would expect. But there are a few other SciFi goodies as well, including the most complete classic ray gun collection I have ever seen, a small assortment of Robots, a phone booth in the shape of a Mercury capsule, and an R2-D2 USPS mailbox.