I've been to a few observatories and planetariums over the years and enjoy looking at the stars. I've been wanting to go to Perkins for some time and I signed up for their recent Friday night program. The cost is $8 for adults, $6 for children/seniors and you must reserve or buy your tickets in advance for dated programs. Currently, the next program with availability is March 1. The program I went to was sold out and I'd say there was about 40 of us there. Tom Burns puts on the entertaining program touching on the distance between stars, galaxies, ages and constellations. The program lasts about an hour and then visitors view stars through the telescopes on the front lawn if it's not too cloudy. We were lucky and there was a break in the clouds so we could view Jupiter, which was focused on during the program. After that, we went on a tour to learn about the story behind the planetarium aand then to the dome to see how it worked. Unfortunately, we didn't get to look through the telescope since it was cloudy. However the dome is rather large and originally housed a much larger telescope. It's impressive to see the dome open as its done on train track and is a whopping 135,000 pounds of cast iron. When it was built around 1924, it was the third largest observatory in the world.
Be sure to get to the planetarium a bit early to look around. I got to see professor Phillip Keenan's room, which included a "picture" of my favorite galaxy Andromeda. Keenan was a professor of astronomy at Ohio State and helped to create the classification system used today.
In the basement, visitors can see gas spectrums, various space rocks such as meteorites, early astronomical equipment and vintage constellation charts. They also have various telescopes, computers, astronomical and physics books and items related to space travel.
Donatos Asiago Cheese pizzas
The newsroom recently tried the new Asiago Cheese Pizzas from Donatos and this is what my co-workers had to say:
• Very good, but I couldn’t detect much difference between the new style and regular Donatos pizza. If the new pizza costs more, I’d stick to my favorites instead.
• I think the Asiago adds an almost assertive dimension to the pizza. There’s also a tantalizing, pungent element to the ingredient. Overall, I’d say it’s a nice addition.
• I had the cheese pizza. I’m not a regular Donatos customer, but this was quite good. Texture-wise, I think it was a good balance between chewy cheese and crisp crust. A little greasy and I’ve always preferred thicker slices, but I could definitely see myself having more and enjoying it.
• I’m not a fan of asiago cheese because I think it tends to be overwhelming, so I don’t know that I would have ordered any of these pizzas before taste-testing them. However, I have to say I think the sausage version is quite good – maybe because the spiciness of the sausage balances the sharpness of the asiago. The chicken version is decent; lots of chunks of chicken and the pieces of tomato are a nice touch. The cheese-only version is my least favorite, not only because asiago isn’t high on my list of favorites but also because I prefer my pizza with additional toppings.
• Donatos’ asiago pizza should have been done years ago, as it blends so well with Donatos’ sauce.
I tried the chicken, the cheese and the sausage offerings. All three were great, with crispy crusts.
The chicken certainly was my favorite, but the first piece I took — and it was a decent size — had no chicken on it. Donatos should be careful to make sure every piece is covered with it.
• The new asiago cheese pizza line is a nice addition to the Donatos line-up. The slightly nutty taste of the asiago came through on all the variation: cheese, sausage and chicken. But the combo I liked best was the sausage: the heat from the heat was tempered nicely with the sharp flavor from the asiago.
• Overall, I thought the taste of the asiago cheese pleasantly came through for all versions — the asiago cheese, asiago sausage, asiago chicken pizzas. It's a stonger flavor compared to regular cheese and works well with Donatos' sauce. I definitely preferred the chicken version, given how it provided another layer of flavor and what it did for the texture. I didn’t think the sausage worked as well.
• I enjoyed the robust flavor of the asiago cheese when it stood alone on the cheese-only pizza. The flavorful cheese and crisp crust are enough to form a please combination without too many variables thrown in.
The tanginess of the asiago also meshed very well with the chicken. It also is complemented by tomatoes. I think the mild toppings mesh well with the strong flavor of the cheese.However, I don’t think that the asiago paired very well with the sausage – the duo was a little heavy and I can’t imagine eating more than a few pieces at a time.