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  • Dead Man’s Party – Dia de los Muertos | BEYONDbones
    and how to do some activities with their own students so that they may learn more about the culture If you want to learn how to make sugar skulls check out this guide online it has some great tips on how to make some incredible shaped sugar treasures Above you ll see an artwork that references La Calavera Catrina an etching done by Mexican printmaker Jose Guadelupe Posada in 1913 La Catrina and some of Posada s other artwork is reproduced and can be seen around town available on book bags t shirts and in jewelry especially around Dia de los Muertos This piece pictured here is composed completely out of dyed eggshells by one of our very own hmns bloggers Below are some of the fun hands on activities and projects the teachers did at the Overnight this year and don t worry we re already thinking up some cool ideas for Dia de los Muertos II the Overnight Sequel for Educators next October Drop me a line if you want to receive notice when we start accepting registrations for this Overnight in 2010 overnights hmns org Decorating sugar skulls Calacas puppet in progress Cigar box altar This tiny clay skull is perfect for a tiny cigar box altar table Completed sugar skulls 1 5 0 This entry was posted in Education and tagged Altar art teacher Calacas celebration cigar box altar classroom classroom activities culture Day of the Dead Dia de los Muertos Education educational programming Educator educator overnights Halloween holiday Muertos November 2 overnight overnights skull Sugar skull teacher teacher training Workshop by Allison Bookmark the permalink About Allison After volunteering at HMNS since 1993 Allison joined HMNS full time in 2003 Her current job responsibilities include curating the education collections and keeping the summer camp classrooms

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2009/10/dead-mans-party-dia-de-los-muertos/ (2016-02-12)
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  • The Monster Mash, IS a Museum Smash! | BEYONDbones
    resistant survival structures These spores don t need oxygen are anaerobic and germinate when in contact with tissues to produce a potent neurotoxin This toxin affects the brain and many of its primary functions and if left untreated eventually leads to death in part by causing paralysis of respiratory muscles photo credit gruntzooki Speaking of feasting on flesh did you know that maggots fly larvae are necrophagous meaning they eat dead tissue Sounds terrible right The thought of a roiling squirming mass of wormy things devouring a rotting carcass is more than some people can handle Actually they are quite helpful little things especially in treating wounds that won t heal like diabetic ulcers Still grossed out Just remember bugs are our friends In fact you can come by and check our bugs out at the Cockrell Butterfly Center Giants are not something we are accustomed to in this day and age the closest thing we have is an elephant and while quite large by our standards they don t even hold a candle to Indricotherium the largest mammal ever to walk the earth Herbivorous it stood over 16 feet tall and weighed more than 4 elephants To put it into perspective a person around 6 feet tall would just come to its KNEE Now that s a giant mammal I d like to see photo credit Furryscaly Moving on to the next monster I want you to consider this phrase I vant to suck your blood Sound familiar Vampires are the in monster of the moment but they owe their stardom to the misunderstood hemoglobin loving vampire bat In fact this bat is in part responsible for some of the vampire characteristics we are all familiar with today Look at the parallels nocturnal creatures turning into a bat and

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2009/10/the-monster-mash-is-a-museum-smash/ (2016-02-12)
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  • Punkin, my Halloween spider | BEYONDbones
    and built larger webs One spiderling disappeared and the other gradually moved over to the same corner of the house formerly occupied by her parent I watched this spider probably the daughter of the first for about two months Near the end of August she also disappeared during the night Once I knew the routine I began searching the nearby bushes looking for the next generation Early in September I found another Spinybacked Orbweaver Unlike her mother and grandmother she was orange and had a perfect jack o lantern face With Halloween approaching I decided to name my new spider Punkin Click to view large Punkin photo credit Cletus Lee Late in September 2007 Punkin set up housekeeping in the same spot previously occupied by her mother and grandmother I was not certain how long spiders lived but those earlier spiders seemed to last about two months as adults October came and went So did November and December To encourage Punkin to stay I caught live bugs and tossed them onto the web She was one well fed spider During the winter Punkin received a lot of care and attention and stayed around my den window until late February 2008 Observing three generations of spiders during the summer and fall of 2007 was an education Being able to see nature up close right outside my window was a treasured experience which has broadened my horizons and fostered a new respect for spiders With a flashlight I now explore my backyard and the grounds of the neighborhood Nature Center nightly to check on my little friends and make some new ones 10 0 0 This entry was posted in Plants Insects and tagged arachnids Gasteracantha cancriformis HMNS orbweavers spiders spinybacked orbweavers by Steven Bookmark the permalink About Steven Steven never dreamed his first job out of college would be in public relations and on top of that working for one of the top museums in the country After all he majored in History at Vassar College Within three months of graduation he landed a spot in the PR department and has not looked back since He is fast becoming a communications fanatic spending a tremendous amount of his time promoting the museum and all it has to offer View all posts by Steven 8 thoughts on Punkin my Halloween spider Mary Ann Beauchemin on October 29 2009 at 5 20 pm said This is a great little article about Spinybacked Orbweavers It certainly inspires me and hopefully others to stop and take a closer look at their relatives that live in my yard Fantastic pictures as well Susan Williford on October 29 2009 at 11 27 pm said I loved reading about the multiple generations of domestic aracnids decorating your home exterior What a fun and fascinating hobby This may be an ignorant question but how do you know they are females Clearly I m the true amateur arachnologist Tell that cute lively wife of yours hello beth fowler on October

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2009/10/punkin-my-halloween-spider/ (2016-02-12)
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  • 100 years – 100 Objects: Okapia johnstoni | BEYONDbones
    museum s curator of vertebrate zoology He s chosen a selection of objects that represent the most fascinating animals in the Museum s collections that we ll be sharing here and at 100 hmns org throughout the year This is one of a handful of Okapis Okapia johnstoni exhibited in a U S museum and this particular specimen was donated by Chicago s Brookfield Zoo The Congo Basin of Africa which is the region Okapis are restricted to is characterized by civil unrest and political instability with rural people often unsure of what tomorrow will bring let alone where their next meal will come from Consequently wildlife of this region is highly threatened due to the bush meat trade where wildlife is harvested unsustainably for European markets in order to make ends meet in an otherwise destitute economy Range across seven biomes to explore the entire continent of Africa in the Evelyn and Herbert Frensley Hall of African Wildlife and Graham Family Presentation of Ecology and Conservation Biomes a permanent exhibition at the Houston Museum of Natural Science You can see more images of this fascinating exhibition as well as the other objects we ve posted so far this year in the 100 Objects section at 100 hmns org 0 0 0 This entry was posted in Zoology and tagged 100 years 100 objects congo basin HMNS Okapia okapia johnstoni okapis perserving objects preserving artifacts Science Zoology by Dan Bookmark the permalink About Dan As curator of vertebrate zoology Dr Brooks has more backbone s than anyone at the Museum He is recognized internationally as the authority on Cracids the most threatened family of birds in the Americas With an active research program studying birds and mammals of Texas and the tropics Brooks advises several grad students internationally At HMNS

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2009/10/100-years-100-objects-okapia-johnstoni/ (2016-02-12)
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  • The colors of Fall… in some places anyway! | BEYONDbones
    leaves change to various colors Too bad we don t see much of this in Houston 0 0 0 This entry was posted in Science and tagged autumn ecology Fall Fall color leaves change nature trees by Allison Bookmark the permalink About Allison After volunteering at HMNS since 1993 Allison joined HMNS full time in 2003 Her current job responsibilities include curating the education collections and keeping the summer camp

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2009/10/the-colors-of-fall-in-some-places-anyway/ (2016-02-12)
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  • GEMS 2010 – Share your knowledge! | BEYONDbones
    technology engineering and mathematics HMNS has been hosting GEMS since 2006 alongside the Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council and we have seen many really incredible booths put together by Girl Scouts From probability games and circuit testing to optical illusions and magical mobius strips girls can really get creative with the topics they choose to share with the crowds at the GEMS event A really fun part of being a GEMS booth host is participating in the booth host set up event and Overnight the night before GEMS then everyone wakes up on Saturday morning ready to roll So how can my Girl Scout troop apply to be a booth host you ask It s easy 1 BRAINSTORM Come up with several ideas of math and science topics that seem intriguing to your group 2 KNOW THE GUIDELINES Download the information packet for Girl Scouts interested in hosting a GEMS booth from the HMNS website and review all of the parameters for hosting a booth Think about the space limitations participant requirements etc 3 SELECT A TOPIC Pick which topic from your brainstorming session that will best suit the GEMS guidelines and complete the booth description part of the application be creative 4 APPLY Applications are due by 5pm on Nov 20 2009 that s only a few weeks away so don t delay Be sure to contact us if your group is interested in hosting a Girl Scout booth Stay tuned for more information on how to join us on the day of GEMS as a visitor and visit all of the fun booths 0 0 0 This entry was posted in Education and tagged booth hosts Education engineering gems Girl Scouts Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council Girls Exploring Math and Science HMNS math Saturday event Science

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2009/10/gems-2010-share-your-knowledge/ (2016-02-12)
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  • 100 Years – 100 Objects: Teinopalpus Imperialis | BEYONDbones
    learn more about this diverse selection of behind the scenes curiosities we will post the image and description of a new object every few days This description is from Nancy the museum s director of the Cockrell Butterfly Center and curator of entomology She s chosen a selection of objects that represent the rarest and most interesting insects in the Museum s collections that we ll be sharing here and at 100 hmns org throughout the year Kaiser I Hind or Emperor of India or Teinopalpus imperialis This stunning swallowtail is very rare threatened both by over collecting and by increasing destruction of its habitat Found in small pockets in northeastern India Nepal and Bhutan at 6 000 to 10 000 feet in the Himalayan mountains it is today protected by Indian law but is still hunted illegally as its unusual and beautiful coloration and its rarity make it highly prized by collectors Luckily its strong rapid irregular flight and habit of perching high up in trees makes it difficult to capture The female bottom photo larger than the male has several tails on the hindwing and large gray areas on both fore and hindwings The smaller male top photos upper side on left underside on right is a brighter green with a brilliant yellow patch on the hindwing and only one tail Caterpillars feed on the leaves of trees in the laurel family Learn more about butterflies and their relatives in a visit to the new Brown Hall of Entomology a part of the Cockrell Butterfly Center a living walk through rainforest 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

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2009/10/100-years-100-objects-teinopalpus-imperialis/ (2016-02-12)
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  • It’s National Magic Week! FREE Magic Performance, 1 p.m. Saturday | BEYONDbones
    totally is 10 23 get it However as students of magic know things are not always as they appear Insert diabolical laughter here Though magical methods are often enshrouded in secrecy in reality magicians combine the art of performance with a variety of scientific disciplines including math physics and psychology to create their dazzling effects and fascinating illusions Which is why we are very excited about our just announced spring exhibit Magic The Science of Wonder opening Feb 26 2010 This extraordinary exhibit will examine how science and magic are intertwined tapping into our universal desire to know How does that work We think magic is the perfect subject to inspire people of all ages especially kids to learn about the science behind the magic and the world around them So we re kicking off this year s National Magic Week an annual celebration of The Society of American Magicians which falls Oct 25 31 with a FREE magic performance in our Grand Hall tomorrow Come at 1 p m to be dazzled by nationally known magician Curt Miller you won t believe your eyes as Curt makes a volunteer from the audience levitate in midair Or stop by any

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2009/10/its-national-magic-week-free-magic-performance-1-p-m-saturday/ (2016-02-12)
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