Where did you say the circus was?


Of all the places I thought I would see a circus, this was not at the top of my list, but it happened and it was fantastic.

The Ontario Science Centre in Toronto has a circus exhibition…I know, what a place to have a circus, the kids were so excited and they were not disappointed.  Please see my post (November 26th 2015) to see what other amazing stuff that is available at this educational gem.



There is so much to do and learn about, ultimately, everytihgn that was in the circus was linked to science in one way or another, whether it be about speed, agility, energy,etc.

There can be no circus without tightrope walking, the skill, agility, focus and bravery of this little madam was breathtaking, she was fearless, she did want to fall in case the crocodiles would have her for dinner, she kept her cool and stayed on the tightrope!

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Does anyone remember “The Human Projectile”, crazy I must say, at least it was not happening live in the Science Centre, phew, that may have given the girls some sleepless nights.


No other daredevil circus stunt is more dangerous.  Records show that over half of all human cannonballs have died in the attempt.  So the question is, what did the other half do right?

Maybe they pretended they were basketballs?  Shooting out of a cannon is like shooting a hoop.  You have to arc through the air in a steep parabola – unlike a bullet that shoots from a gun in a flatter curve.


The Flea Circus brought back some memories, I remember seeing this when I was younger and I thought I was just sooooo big in comparison.

The taste sensation stall, the girls were a little disappointed that they could not actually eat was on display, it looked so real and so yummy, not surprisingly, lunch soon followed this discovery.


You may not always be able to identify smells – even familiar ones from the circus – but your nose can differentiate among 10,000 different odours.  It’s also 10,000 times as “scentsitive” as your taste buds.

Human honkers can pinpoint a smell in a concentration of less than one part in 10 million, and can recognise really yucky smells in concentrations as low as one part in 100 trillion. Sniffing skills peak at the age of 20.  And women are generally better at it than men. 

This was so good, from learning how our brain reacts and benefits from laughter, which parts of the brain are highlighted when we are happy to a wall of jokes.


Seeing is believing!  An avid angler fishing his favourite fresh water stream was stunned to reel in this spectacular, spectacled, speckled trout!

It seems the four-eyed, finned wonder was more than just an ocular oddity.  The brook trout was wearing the very pair of bifocals the angler had lost years ago while trying to land a similar fish in the same spot!

Ichthyologists are still pondering just how a trout with 20/20 vision was hooked by an obviously fake dry fly.  Unless it was time for new spectacles…


Joseph Greenstein (a.k.a. The Mighty Atom) awed audiences around the world with his feats of strength.  During his shows, he would break chains with his chest, pound spikes and bend steel with his bare hands, bite nails in half, and pull over 9,525kg (21,000 lb) with his hair.

The mighty mane of this modern Samson reportedly even stopped a speeding plane!  His feats were all the more amazing since The Mighty Atom measured only 163 cm (5 ft. 4 in), weighed about 67 kg (148 lb.) and performed until well into his 80’s.


How can Countess Vanessa swallow a sword without retching?

Sword swallowers learn to suppress their gag reflex – an automatic response triggered when a foreign object touches nerve endings embedded in the wall of the pharynx (an area between the mouth and the middle of the throat).  They also learn to control the opening of sphincters at the top of both the esophagus and stomach.  The digestive tract has a few curves, but a tilted-back head and a descending sword soon straighten that out!

What’s the real secret to sword swallowing?

Practice and more practice.  And the precaution of clean, dull blades.  Some performers learn to swallow more than ten swords at a time!

Hint: eating a heavy meal weighs down the stomach, making room for a few more inches of sword!

The girls displaying their prowess and weight lifting abilities, just proving that porridge in the morning does them a world of good, lifting this immense weight even while balancing on one leg, totally impressive, a new found hobby I think…not.

The dress up tent, all sorts of costumes and outfits available to inspire creativity.

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