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  • Magic: The Science of Wonder [12 Days of HMNS] | BEYONDbones
    with legendary performers of the past and present such as Harry Houdini Harry Blackstone Doug Henning and Penn Teller the exhibition will also feature film and video clips of famous magicians as well as guest illusionists performing live In addition the University of Magic inside the exhibition encourages visitors to learn a magic trick of their own This extraordinary show examines how science and magic are intertwined tapping into our universal desire to know How does that work In this special clip presented by our guest curator Scott Cervine see if you can figure out his illusory feat of wonder Need to catch up The First Day of HMNS Explore Snow Science The Second Day of HMNS Preview The Chronicles of Narnia Exhibition The Third Day of HMNS Preview Disney s A Christmas Carol The Fourth Day of HMNS Investigate The Star of Bethlehem The Fifth Day of HMNS Shop The Perfect Gift The Sixth Day of HMNS Marvel Faberge The Seventh Day of HMNS Glimpse Spirits Headhunters The Eighth Day of HMNS Behind the Scenes HMNS Greenhouses The Ninth Day of HMNS Revealed Gem Vault The Tenth Day of HMNS Discover HMNS at Sugar Land Get into the holiday

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2009/12/magic-the-science-of-wonder-12-days-of-hmns/ (2016-02-12)
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  • 100 Years – 100 Objects:Sextant | BEYONDbones
    historical technologies that we ll be sharing here and at 100 hmns org throughout the year A sextant is a tool used for navigation and aids one in determining location It could be used horizontally to measure the angle between 2 objects like 2 lighthouses or vertically for celestial navigation to measure the altitude of a celestial object above the horizon The distance once calculated could also provide a line of position on a nautical or aeronautical chart Taking these measurements is known as sighting or shooting the object Historically the most common use for the sextant was to sight the sun at noon to determine one s latitude The different colored filters allowed for the direct observation of solar measurements A sailor could trust the results of the measurements as they were taken relative to the horizon and not relative to the device itself therefore the results were much more precise Also since the images of objects being measured were bounced between two mirrors the sailor could offset any inaccuracies caused by the motion of the boat itself The margin of error for celestial navigation is about 0 1 nautical miles approximately 200 meters This is considered good since a person can visually see several nautical miles This device is still considered a practical back up tool for navigational purposes since it does not rely on electricity or satellites like our current GPS tools The only drawback is that if damaged sextants are irreparable because the arc might bend making all measurements taken most likely incorrect So having a case for the tool as seen here in the photo was essential To ensure their integrity most navigators would not even share their sextants with other members of their crew You can see more images of this fascinating artifact as

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2009/12/100-years-100-objectssextant/ (2016-02-12)
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  • Ho, Ho, Hoax-Nay to the Nay-sayers! | BEYONDbones
    us expect any reindeers hoof beats to wake us up on Christmas Eve anymore As I was driving home from our little get together I realized that it would be ridiculously fan double tastic if some scientist decided the whole Saint Nick Rudolf routine was entirely plausible and within the ever expanding realm of the possible So I did some internet browsing and came across an article published by a professor at a university in North Carolina that stated exactly that Possible genetic engineering photo credit atomicjeep I ll go over a few of his key points Santa s reindeer can most certainly fly they have been genetically engineered with that ability They also have extraordinary balance and super night vision Also they don t have to tote around toys enough for all the children of the world Santa uses nanotechnology to make all the toys on site right under the Christmas tree And finally my favorite the explanation for Santa s ability to get to every house all in one night relativity clouds He has the knowledge and the skills and he has found a way to create controllable rips in time allowing him months to deliver packages in what seems to us like a blink of an eye You have to accept that Santa is slightly more advanced in the the technological field then we are All of these possibilities have been discussed before in science fiction and some of them such as nanotechnology are in current use Now take your new found scientific Santa ammo and use it on someone who stopped believing in Santa Claus a long time ago but be nice because Santa is listening on his sophisticated technologically advanced antennae Happy Holidays 0 0 0 This entry was posted in Science and tagged HMNS

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2009/12/hello-non-believers/ (2016-02-12)
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  • Discover: HMNS at Sugar Land [12 Days of HMNS] | BEYONDbones
    Houston Museum of Natural Science at Sugar Land is now open Meet Stan the T rex and marvel at Science on a Sphere just two of the fascinating exhibitions available Plus you ve got a few more weeks to check out The Chronicles of Narnia The Exhibition HMNS and HMNS at Sugar Land are both open Christmas Day Click play on the video below to tour the exhibitions with Carolyn Sumners VP of astronomy and the physical sciences Need to catch up The First Day of HMNS Explore Snow Science The Second Day of HMNS Preview The Chronicles of Narnia Exhibition The Third Day of HMNS Preview Disney s A Christmas Carol The Fourth Day of HMNS Investigate The Star of Bethlehem The Fifth Day of HMNS Shop The Perfect Gift The Sixth Day of HMNS Marvel Faberge The Seventh Day of HMNS Glimpse Spirits Headhunters The Eighth Day of HMNS Behind the Scenes HMNS Greenhouses The Ninth Day of HMNS Revealed Gem Vault Get into the holiday spirit Visit our 12 Days of HMNS web site to see the videos and get more information about each event exhibit and film 12days hmns org Happy Holidays 0 0 0 This

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2009/12/discover-hmns-at-sugar-land-12-days-of-hmns/ (2016-02-12)
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  • 100 Years – 100 Objects: Seed Fern | BEYONDbones
    post the image and description of a new object every few days This description is from David Temple the museum s curator of paleontology He s chosen a selection of objects that represent the most fascinating fossils in the Museum s collections that we ll be sharing here and at 100 hmns org throughout the year Seed fern Alethopteris grandini Pennsylvanian Stranger Formation Franklin County Kansas Vast swamps covered many parts of the world during the Pennsylvanian Period The plants that grew in them included ferns seed ferns rushes and tree like lycopods with scaly trunks When these plants died they settled into stagnant oxygen poor water in which their carbon was eventually preserved as coal Among these coal swamps lived many kinds of amphibians the first small reptiles many types of insects and other arthropods such as large cockroaches giant dragonflies millipedes and scorpions Wander among prehistoric beasts in the Paleontology Hall a permanent exhibition 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 0 0 This entry was posted

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2009/12/100-years-100-objects-seed-fern/ (2016-02-12)
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  • Revealed: Gem Vault [12 Days of HMNS] | BEYONDbones
    workshop of Ernesto Moreira one of the talented designers who created jeweled masterpieces for the Lester and Sue Smith Gem Vault in the Cullen Hall of Gems and Minerals He told us about the intricate process of creating these stunning works and let us get a peek into how jewels like those on display go from stone to setting Click play to check it out And then come by the Museum to see his work on display in the Gem Vault we re open Christmas Day Need to catch up The First Day of HMNS Explore Snow Science The Second Day of HMNS Preview The Chronicles of Narnia Exhibition The Third Day of HMNS Preview Disney s A Christmas Carol The Fourth Day of HMNS Investigate The Star of Bethlehem The Fifth Day of HMNS Shop The Perfect Gift The Sixth Day of HMNS Marvel Faberge The Seventh Day of HMNS Glimpse Spirits Headhunters The Eighth Day of HMNS Behind the Scenes HMNS Greenhouses Get into the holiday spirit Visit our 12 Days of HMNS web site to see the videos and get more information about each event exhibit and film 12days hmns org Happy Holidays 0 0 0 This

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2009/12/revealed-gem-vault-12-days-of-hmns/ (2016-02-12)
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  • 100 Years – 100 Objects: Madagascar Sunset Moth | BEYONDbones
    on both upper and lower wing surfaces that make this species so sought after by collectors are not due to pigments but result from the scattering and reflecting of light by microscopic ridges and pits on the highly curved scales covering the wings The museum has several hundred specimens of this moth It is relatively common in its native habitat where it periodically undergoes massive one way migrations when the hostplants for the caterpillar stage they feed on trees in the spurge family increase the amount of distasteful toxins in the leaves Interestingly after the migration has lessened pressure on the hostplant the amount of toxins in the leaves subsides to normal levels In the American tropics a close relative the green Urania moth Urania fulgens also makes mass migrations for the same reason Learn more about moths 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 4 0 0 This entry was posted in Plants Insects and tagged 100 years 100 objects butterflies chrysiridia rhipheus HMNS hostplants lepidoptera madagascar sunset moth moth moths preserving artifacts preserving objects spurge spurge trees sunset moth sunset moths swallowtail butterfly swallowtails Urania fulgens Urania moth by Nancy Bookmark the permalink About Nancy Nancy is Director of the Cockrell Butterfly Center and curator of entomology A plant ecologist by training she specializes in the interaction between insects especially butterflies and plants The tropics are her favorite habitat and she heads south to Central and South America whenever possible View all posts

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2009/12/100-years-100-objects-madagascar-sunset-moth/ (2016-02-12)
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  • The Unconquered Sun: Winter Solstice Today! | BEYONDbones
    Dec 21 occasionally Dec 22 No one in antiquity knew what date Jesus was born For one thing many of the early Christians rejected all birthday celebrations of any kind as a pagan ritual Even had folks wanted to observe Jesus birth the lunar calendar used in Israel at the time would complicate the choice of date The Chronology of 354 is the oldest document to list Christmas as a festival When the church selected Dec 25 for this festival it was probably because late December was already a festive time across the Roman Empire photo credit kevindooley Although today is the shortest day of the year you may have already noticed that sunset is a few minutes later now than at the beginning of the month In June the North Pole was tilted towards the sun as much as possible Since then the North Pole has tilted a little more away from the sun each day Days have been getting shorter because each day the sun has taken a slightly lower path across the sky Sunrises have been getting earlier and sunsets have been getting later By late November the sun had already gotten about as low as it is now As the day to day difference in the sun s height gets smaller another effect begins to dominate Earth s orbit is not a circle it is an ellipse The orbit is almost a circle however the eccentricity out of roundness is just 0 016 where 0 is a perfect circle and 1 a parabola This is enough of a difference to bring Earth slightly closer to the sun in early January and take it slightly farther away in early July Therefore Earth is now beginning to make its closest approach to the sun called perihelion As a result Earth is speeding up on its orbit This causes sunrise local noon and sunset to occur just a little later each day By the 21 sunset will occur at 5 27 pm as opposed to 5 22 pm on Dec 2 the actual date of the earliest sunset Sunrise however will have shifted from 7 00 am to 7 13 am Thus that days are still getting shorter even though the sunsets are a little later Many people assume that the winter solstice should be the coldest day but this is usually not true January is usually colder Although days get a little bit longer and the sun a little bit higher beginning Monday it takes quite awhile for this to add up to an appreciable difference in the Sun s height in the sky and in the amount of light and heat reaching the arctic Frigid air masses continue to form in the arctic and move across the Northern Hemisphere throughout January February and often March Although the sun is higher in those months than in December the air can be just as cold if not colder Hopefully we are getting all of our cloudy gloomy weather over

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2009/12/the-unconquered-sun-winter-solstice-today/ (2016-02-12)
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