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  • Book List: Warfare and Soldiers | BEYONDbones
    day was clouded by Arnold s upcoming court martial and increasing financial problems Arnold began to think that if he could not win the war for the Americans he might at least bring the war to an end and become a hero With this thinking becoming a traitor was not difficult According to Fritz Arnold apparently never understood the enormity of his actions photo credit daz smith Paul Fleischman author of Bull Run won a Newbery Medal as did his author father Sid Fleischman After growing up in California Paul lived in New England and his love of history grew I thought about teaching history as a career but decided to bring it into my books instead Bull Run is a collection of short monologues so in addition to being read by individuals this book is suitable for classes to read aloud The book has 16 characters both men and women one only 11 years old in sets of 8 from the North and 8 from the South The characters describe their lives and experiences leading up to and including the Battle of Bull Run the Civil War s first major battle Because of the number of individuals involved you experience the battle and its aftermath from many perspectives as the characters learn that war is not a game Newbery Medal winner Avi is one of the most popular authors for children and young adults The Award winning book The Fighting Ground is a fictional account of a day in the life of 13 year old Jonathan during the Revolutionary War Jonathan s older brother and cousin are soldiers and his father had been wounded near Philadelphia More than anything Jonathan wants to be a soldier too When the bell at the town tavern began to ring Jonathan tricks his mother into letting him investigate what is happening and as he leaves home his day long adventure begins Jonathan comes to realize that being a soldier is not glamorous and when he is captured by the Hessians his journey towards manhood continues as he is exposed to the horrors of war Author notes Many of the titles of Jean Fritz s books about American history end with a question mark Will You Sign Here John Hancock What s the Big Idea Ben Franklin and And Then What Happened Paul Revere Perhaps her best known book is her memoir Homesick that tells the story of her childhood growing up in China in the 1920 s and China Homecoming the story of her return to China years later Paul Fleischman s Joyful Noise Poems for Two Voices won the Newbery Medal but don t miss Seedfolks and Whirligig Seedfolks illustrates the power of one person to change a community and Whirligig is the story of teenage Brent who drives drunk and kills innocent Lea Lea s mother asks Brent to put a whirligig that looks like Lea in Washington California Florida and Maine and his journey to fulfill this request leads to

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2009/07/book-list-warfare-and-soldiers/ (2016-02-12)
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  • Lucy, Out of Africa. Not! | BEYONDbones
    Rhinos Shaped like Hippos Here s an unlikely world traveler the short legged hippo rhinos If you saw them alive you might be fooled into thinking they were bona fide hippos The body form was hippo esque rotund belly wide hips low slung chest and rump But they were genuine members of the rhino family close kin of the Indian Rhino of today Hippo rhinos ate grass just as Indian Rhinos do in the modern Indian ecosystem But hippo rhinos also known as Teleocerines weren t content to graze the meadows of the Brahmaputra They went north and east and north and west They invaded Europe and turned down into Africa Hippo rhinos must have chased Lucy when they were in bad moods Hippo rhinos dared to cross the Bering land Bridge connecting Siberia to North America and so they are the commonest rhino fossils in Nebraska Wyoming and Texas Example of Globe Trotter II Hippos Shaped like Hippos Hippopotamuses today frolic in the rivers of Africa Back in Lucy s day hippos went much farther They waddled north and west over Europe and made it to the Thames River in England Going the other way hippos trotted through Eurasia and invaded India Hippos failed to cross the Bering Land Bridge though they never could follow hippo rhinos to Texas Think about that why Meanwhile as hippo shaped rhinos and real hippos went thousands of miles across four or five continents Lucy s relations stayed put in Africa Example of Globe Trotter III Saber tooth Cats Big plant eaters should have been followed by big meat eaters And they were Chasing Lucy in Africa were many kinds of saber tooth cats Semi saber tooths Dinofelines Sword tooths Smilodonts And dagger tooths homotheres All three kinds of saber cats had evolutionary

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2009/08/lucy-out-of-africa-not/ (2016-02-12)
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  • Birthplace: Pennsylvania? US Oil Turns 150 Today | BEYONDbones
    there is a fountain from which oil springs in great abundance inasmuch as a hundred shiploads might be taken from it a one time At Baku seeps shallow pits were dug to facilitate the collection of the oil By 1594 hand dud holes up to 115 feet 35 meters deep were in use Essentially oil wells 116 of the holes produced about 28 000 barrels of oil about 80 barrels day a barrel of contains 42 U S or 35 Imperial gallons by 1830 In 1849 Russian engineer F N Semyenov used a cable tool to drill an oil well on the Apsheron Peninsula near Baku ten years before Drakes famous well in Pennsylvania There is much discussion as to exactly when and how the oil industry itself started however Polish pharmacist Ignacy Lukasiewicz 1822 1882 is generally credited with developing the first industrial scale process for refining seepage oil in 1853 distilling it to create kerosene He intended his process to supplement the rapidly diminishing and therefore increasingly expensive supply of whale oil which was burned for illumination photo credit Valerie Everett Besides kerosene early refineries produced asphalt machine oil and lubricants while products not needed such as gasoline were burned in open pits At this time there was a growing demand for better lighting in homes factories and streets kerosene was seen as the answer to this need Additionally a thriving industry developed where early oil finds and distillates were put to some rather unusual uses for both internal and external purposes in the medial field By the mid 19th century in the U S crude oil was bottled and sold unabashedly promising a cure for just about everything from rheumatism gout and blindness to the common cold In 1854 Benjamin Silliman Sr father of the science professor at Yale whose report on oil seepage launched Drake s investigation was the first to fractionate petroleum by distillation This discovery together with that of Ignacy Lukasiewicz s ignited the petroleum industry By the early1860s when Baku was producing about 90 of the world s oil refineries began springing up in many other parts of the globe particularly in the U S where crude oil from drilled wells had been available since August 27 1859 when Edwin Drake finally found oil at 69 feet into the ground on Oil Creek near Titusville see picture below Drake s well was drilled for Seneca Oil Company and it originally yielded 25 barrels day By the end of 1859 output was down to only 15 barrels day but by then many other wells had been established in the area To utilize this oil the U S refining industry grew rapidly with the first refinery in the area being commissioned in 1862 driven initially by the demand for kerosene lighting By 1865 in Cleveland Ohio where a great deal of the crude from Titusvillewas taken 30 simple batch still refineries operated witha total capacity of 1 500 barrels day This capacity far eclipsed the

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2009/08/birthplace-pennsylvania-us-oil-turns-150-today/ (2016-02-12)
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  • Steamy salsa night closes out the summer | BEYONDbones
    a location that gives you the opportunity to be outside the normal standardization of a club It is something really new and innovated that gives you another taste of both themes a museum and a show How would you describe your band s overall music and performance We are the most energetic Latin performance in town Our show is completely live and it is well established We got together in 98 What started you out in music We all started as musicians We share Latin music as our connection even though we come from different countries By communicating with the local audience we felt the need to polish and professionalize our music Our group presents Latin music that delivers our culture as well as an exciting show for our audience What was it like performing under a giant dinosaur in past years It was an adventure Everyone at the beginning wasn t sure what the response would be As a band we really appreciate the work that the museum has been putting behind Mixers We are pleased to be a part of the most exciting events It integrates the museum aspect as well as an opportunity for young business professionals to network dance and mingle This is your last chance to see and be seen at Mixers Elixirs Don t let the opportunity to salsa under the dinosaurs pass you by for another year The party starts at 6 p m with our live DJ and cash bars The dancing begins with Grupo Ka Che at 7 p m Be sure to catch this fantastic night before it summer slips away 0 0 0 This entry was posted in Science and tagged friday dancing Houston friday nights friday party friday party Houston grupo ka che HMNS houston friday night Laitno

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2009/08/steamy-salsa-night-closes-out-the-summer/ (2016-02-12)
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  • Meet Charro, our new resident iguana! | BEYONDbones
    the neck and have a ridge of flexible spines along the back I have not been able to find any known function for these beyond ornament Quite a few of Charro s ridge spines have been broken off and we are not sure whether they will grow back Iguanas do molt their skin periodically unlike snakes which shed their entire skin at once iguanas lose theirs in patches over several weeks Iguanas can live for over 15 years but usually don t make it that long in the wild because other animals including humans love to eat them In fact they are sometimes called chicken of the trees or bamboo chicken Their eggs are also eaten and their skin is sometimes used for belts or boots etc Iguanas themselves are strict vegetarians which is rather unusual among lizards most eat insects or other small animals For us of course it is fortunate that iguanas have no interest in eating butterflies We feed Charro healthy salads of vegetables and fruits Greeny leafy vegetables such as collard greens are especially good for him According to the Green Iguana Society website although iguanas will eat almost anything you offer them they should not be given any animal protein Because iguanas especially the males are quite territorial we have been advised by none less than the director of the Houston Zoo to keep only one iguana at a time Indeed many years ago when we had a male and female they had a tremendous battle and the male was badly injured Although in nature you may see several iguanas in close proximity they are not social creatures and really only get together to mate Long time patrons of the Butterfly Center will remember some of our previous iguanas Sidney died in 2004 at the age of 14 after more than three years in the Center A large stocky and colorful iguana he acted more like a dog than a lizard he was so friendly that he would crawl into people s laps to be petted When Sidney died we had an autopsy done the vet told us he died of a heart attack apparently a common cause of death in older captive male iguanas Gandalf was not quite as friendly as Sidney but was a truly magnificent specimen Unlike Sidney and Charro he had a complete unbroken tail that was exceedingly long Gandalf was about 6 feet long including the tail Unfortunately after several years of climbing all over the Center he made an unfortunate misstep We believe he slipped off one of the planters on the second floor and crashed onto the cement floor around the cenote This undoubtedly happens in nature as well during one field season in Costa Rica I used to admire a large iguana that sunned himself every day on a high and slender branch of a cecropia tree along the Puerto Viejo river One day I noticed that the branch had broken off I never saw that particular

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2009/08/meet-charro-our-new-resident-iguana/ (2016-02-12)
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  • 100 Years – 100 Objects: Jeremejevite | BEYONDbones
    few days This description is from Joel the Museum s President and Curator of Gems and Minerals He s chosen spectacular objects from the Museum s mineralogy collection which includes some of the most rare and fascinating mineral specimens in the world that we ll be sharing here and at 100 hmns org throughout the year Jeremejevite Mile 72 near Swakopmund Namibia Blue jeremejevite is among the rarest of gem minerals and has been found at only two localities both of them in Namibia Crystals from the original Namibian find in 1973 remain the finest known examples of the species This 5 5 cm specimen is the best of the matrix specimens recovered The presence of multiple crystals makes it unusual Marvel at the world s most spectacular collection of natural mineral crystals in the Cullen Hall of Gems and Minerals at the Houston Museum of Natural Science You can see more images of this fascinating artifact as well as the others we ve posted so far this year in the 100 Objects section at 100 hmns org 0 2 8k 0 This entry was posted in Gems Minerals and tagged gems gems and minerals HMNS Jeremejevite minerals Namibia preserving

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2009/08/100-years-100-objects-jeremejevite/ (2016-02-12)
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  • Partial Eclipse of the Eclipse: Report from Shanghai | BEYONDbones
    in Babylon was not the SAR but Halley s term stuck Cycle 136 then includes the eclipses of July 11 1991 June 30 1073 and June 20 1955 Future eclipses in this cycle will occur on August 2 2027 August 12 2045 and so on As eclipses of cycle 136 occur further and further from aphelion they won t be quite as long as this year s There won t be a longer total solar eclipse until June 13 2132 That s when a different saros cycle 139 begins to occur near aphelion The Shanghai Tourism Administration estimates that over 13 000 overseas visitors traveled to Shanghai to watch the eclipse Along with hundreds of other eclipse chasers our group left Shanghai proper to observe the eclipse from the Yangshan Deep Water Port a small island southeast of the city itself To understand why refer again to the July 2009 path of totality Drawn on the eclipse path on that map is a black Sun with small rays indicating a point on the open water southeast of Japan This is the point of maximum eclipse where the eclipse occurred at local noon and lasted the full 6 minutes and 39 seconds At other places on the path totality was slightly shorter A few folks actually sailed the Pacific in order to be near that point We however opted for the convenience of observing on land Shanghai was the place in the path of totality closest to the point of maximum eclipse while still on the Asian mainland Also note the blue line drawn down the middle of the path of totality Observing on that line as opposed to the northern or southern edges of the path gives you a longer eclipse Shanghai although well within the path is somewhat north of the blue centerline Moving from Shanghai itself to Yangshan island to the southeast put us closer to the centerline This gave us 5 minutes 57 seconds of totality as opposed to about 5 minutes even in Shanghai Photo from Shanghai 2009 solar eclipse As it turns out there was another benefit from observing from Yangshan July 22 2009 was rainy in Shanghai At Yangshan however it was simply overcast And just when we were beginning to think we d miss the entire event the clouds began to thin out in spots allowing us occasional glimpses of the partially eclipsed Sun Unfortunately those thinner clouds were not with us during totality We missed seeing the beautiful corona around the totally eclipsed Sun We could not see the planets and the brighter stars against the mid day twilight sky And we could not watch the Moon s shadow approach and then leave us making shadow bands on the ground as it did so However we did notice how much darker and cooler it got during totality After all an overcast sky at night or in twilight is much darker than an overcast sky in broad daylight Cheers and whistles rose from

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2009/08/partial-eclipse-of-the-eclipse-report-from-shanghai/ (2016-02-12)
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  • Send help now! | BEYONDbones
    clay tablet with cuneiform writing on it The tablet which dates back to the final years of the Assyrian Empire was found at the site of Tushan in Southeast Turkey This site is known today as Ziyaret Tepe several archaeological teams have undertaken excavations there The tablet contains a message written by an Assyrian army commander facing imminent danger from invading Babylonian forces His message is a raw plea for help Death will come out of it No one will escape I am done What is this all about The year is 630 BC and Tushan considered to have been the administrative capital of the northern province of the Assyrian Empire is threatened by the Babylonians From the brief cuneiform text it appears that the citizens knew all too well this was happening Many fled among those specialists in weapons manufacturing This is what caused the commander to lament Nobody mentioned in this letter not one of them is here How can I command His premonitions proved to be correct the city fell photo credit glyn nelson Yet the Assyrians had had a great run for a long time Centered on the capital city of Ashur Assur located on the west bank of the river Tigris in northern Mesopotamia the Empire s roots date back to 1800 BC Its zenith occurred during the 13th century BC during the reign of king Tukulti Ninurta I 1244 1208 B C As with all empires decline eventually set in and by the time we reach 630 BC the Assyrian Empire was but a shadow of its former self The Babylonians were systematically conquering them Through this tablet we get a glimpse of what people experienced at that time Archaeologists value this highly when we read history we often forget that real people were

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2009/08/send-help-now/ (2016-02-12)
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