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  • Discovery! Mass Burial of Ancient Red Beds Amphibians Uncovered | BEYONDbones
    of Mr Bill Whitley ranch owner the Houston Museum has been surveying all the fossil sites in the Clear Fork sediments that outcrop in the ranch Bits and pieces of Panzer Mudpuppies were recovered but no specimen had a complete skull or jaws The Discovery Mr Smajstrla had a ranch job to perform excavate a new tank to trap water for the cattle However he also had a talent for paleontological discovery When his twenty year old Caterpillar named YSOB was digging down to the ten foot depth the blade overturned grey clay chock full of fossilized plant parts Smajstrla salvaged many valuable chunks and led the HMNS party to the spot Fossil wood is rare in the Clear Fork so the discovery was exciting Then came what no digger had dared to hope for Even deeper went the dozer Fossil parts were in the bed below the plants Not botanical remains this time but what thrills the heart of every paleontologist skulls and jaws dozens and dozens of them many perfect For the very first time science had a beautiful sample of later Panzer Mudpuppies Some of the heads were larger than any previous discoveries The official name of the skull bed is The Judy Site in honor of Mrs Judy Whitley What will the Judy Site tell us Lots We ll know much more about the habitat choice of the Panzer Mudpuppies And we ll be able to detect micro evolutionary changes Investigations have just begun We look forward to sharing updates on our investigations as well as new finds with you Stay tuned 6 0 0 This entry was posted in Paleontology and tagged ancient amphibians bob bakker Dimetrodon dinosaurs dr bob bakker dr robert bakker early amphibians HMNS paleo ecology Paleontology panzer mudpuppies permian permian era Permian Period robert bakker salamanders Trimerorhachis by Bob Bookmark the permalink About Bob The Museum s Curator of Paleontology world renowned Dr Robert T Bakker or as some call him Bob is the leader of the handful of iconoclastic paleontologists who rewrote the book on dinosaurs three decades ago Along with other noted paleontologists Bakker has changed the image of dinosaurs from slow moving slow witted cold blooded creatures to at least in some cases warm blooded giants well equipped to dominate the Earth for 200 million years Dr Bakker can be found all over the globe notably leading the Museum s paleontology field program View all posts by Bob 6 thoughts on Discovery Mass Burial of Ancient Red Beds Amphibians Uncovered Phillip Palmer on January 13 2010 at 4 28 am said Bob No a comment about the amphbians but re T Rex Could T Rex have hopped like a kangaroo The leg structure of a roo looks similar to that of a T Rex Birds walk and hop so perhaps T Rex did both This could give the T Rex speed and turning ability Further the T Rex teeth remind me of the croc A croc grabs and

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2010/01/discovery-mass-burial-of-ancient-red-beds-amphibians-uncovered/ (2016-02-12)
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  • When Fiction Becomes Reality [Steve Berry] | BEYONDbones
    searching for bits of reality that somehow can be woven together into a coherent plot And it s not easy In fact the challenge is to find the most unrelated stuff as possible then relate them through a twist of the facts While doing this I have to always keep in mind that I m not writing a textbook it s a novel whose primary job is to entertain But that doesn t mean the reader can t learn some stuff along the way I enjoy that aspect and I ve come to learn that my readers do too I m careful though with my twisting and I make sure the reader knows where I played with the facts by including a writer s note at the end of each of my books In Houston on January 19th Jim Rollins and I will be discussing all of this Jim s books are a little history and lot of science mine are the other way around But we both definitely like to tinker with reality For me every book involves around 200 300 sources obtained from many trips to bookstores lots of internet browsing and at least one visit to a locale important to the book I have for days sat in a German Cathedral The Charlemagne Pursuit roamed an abbey in Portugal The Alexandria Link scoured Paris The Paris Vendetta climbed citadels in southern France The Templar Legacy boated all over Venice The Venetian Betrayal and wandered through the Kremlin The Romanov Prophecy But that s all part of the job So drop by January 19th to the museum at 6 30 and spend an evening with me and Jim Rollins Have your questions ready See you then An Evening of Thrills How Science and History Make Great Thrillers will

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2010/01/when-fiction-becomes-reality-steve-berry/ (2016-02-12)
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  • Here Comes the Sun | BEYONDbones
    warm that s solar power too But the type of power we re going to talk about is the type used to make electricity whether directly such as photovoltaic cells or indirectly solar thermal arrays To put it all in perspective The graphs above show the energy use in the USA in 2008 Coal natural gas nuclear and renewable energy are mostly used for electricity Petroleum is used mostly for transportation Renewable energy only make up 7 of our energy and solar energy only 1 of that Solar power is mostly used for residential and commercial power and not for transportation or large scale electrical generation Over the next 20 years solar is projected to grow What are the advantages of solar energy Well after you get the solar cells installed you don t have to pay for the energy Also collecting solar power produces no pollution You can put solar cells on nearly everything and it can work anywhere there is sunlight which can be great if it is somewhere far off the grid or you don t want to spend the resources to attach it to the grid However there are some disadvantages to solar The largest one is that solar power is dependent on the sun This means that solar panels cannot generate electricity when it is dark That s 12 hours or so a day that the solar panels can t work Weather also effects solar power It may not work if it s cloudy or rainy outside Also the land cost for large solar power generation stations are large Solar 2 a large scale solar thermal power station out in the Mojave Desert used 891 000 ft of land to produce up to 10 megawatts of power Currently electricity produced by solar plants is more expensive than most other sources Types of solar collectors Concentrated Dish solar the panels are made into a parabolic shape to concentrate the light collected into a sensor Flat Photovoltaic cells these are what most people think about when they think of solar power These cells are what you usually see connected to street signs or on top of buildings They use their surface area to collect light instead of concentrating it into one sensor Stay tuned next week for when I reveal the exciting Q and A from the students at Oran Roberts I ll tackle such questions as Does solar power work on other planets and What countries outside the USA use solar power So be here next week same bat time same bat channel 0 0 0 This entry was posted in Energy and tagged alternative energy ECC Energy geothermal power HMNS megawatts natural gas petroleum photovpltaic cells solar collectors solar energy solar power solar thermal arrays sun by Daniel Bookmark the permalink About Daniel An inveterate punster amateur chef and fencer Daniel B has a double degree in History and Museum Science from Baylor He currently serves as the Assistant Program Coordinator for the Wiess Energy

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2010/01/here-comes-the-sun/ (2016-02-12)
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  • Go Stargazing! January Edition | BEYONDbones
    since the solstice on Dec 21 but as of today the sun is still very close to its solstice height Beginning Jan 11 the noon sun s greater height in the sky again becomes the dominant effect as it is for most of the year From then until June sunsets are getting later while sunrises are getting earlier Jupiter is the brightest thing in the evening sky this month except for the moon You can easily see it by looking to the southwest Jupiter appears lower and lower to the horizon each January night By the end of the month Jupiter sets just after 7 p m At the end of February Earth and Jupiter will be on opposite sides of the sun and Jupiter will therefore be invisible to us Mars has become an evening object It now rises in the east about 8 p m and will rise by dusk at the end of the month Mars already outshines all stars in the night sky except the very brightest Sirius and will continue to brighten throughout January On Jan 29 Earth will pass between Mars and the sun putting Mars in our sky all night long this alignment is called opposition photo credit Elsie esq Saturn is currently high in the south at dawn Although not as bright as Mars this month Saturn is also brightening as it approaches its own opposition in March Venus is behind the sun at superior conjunction on Jan 11 and is therefore not visible this month The Great Square of Pegasus is in the west at dusk The star in its upper left hand corner is also the head of Andromeda Facing north you ll see five stars in a distinct M like shape this is Cassiopeia the Queen Her stars are

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2010/01/go-stargazing-january-edition-2/ (2016-02-12)
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  • Happy Birthday, Isaac Newton! | BEYONDbones
    pretty amazed at the scientific leaps and bounds we ve seen since the 1687 publication of his Principia widely regarded as one of the most influential books in the history of science Though he s known to schoolchildren to world over as the recipient of a nasty bump on the head from a falling apple the true origin of Newton s conceptualization of gravity comes from a little higher in the sky So in honor of Sir Newton s birthday here s a short clip from the BBC explaining how we came to know why we don t just fall right off the Earth How do you remember Newton Let us know in the comments And if you haven t already check out Google s homepage today for their celebration be sure to scroll over the image to get the full effect UPDATE According to Scientific American the apple story is not as apocryphal as some have claimed via BoingBoing 0 0 0 This entry was posted in Astronomy and tagged birthday gravity history of science isaac newton mathematics principia Science science birthday Sir Isaac Newton video by Erin B Bookmark the permalink About Erin B Erin is the Director

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2010/01/happy-birthday-isaac-newton/ (2016-02-12)
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  • Abracadabra! Magic exhibit now open | BEYONDbones
    Magic photo credit Deborah Smail As fascinating as the artifacts are by themselves we became convinced that they were only complete when they were accompanied by performances in our case both live and taped said Joel Bartsch the museum s president It is only when these artifacts are animated and brought to life by talented magicians that the dialogue loop between the artifact and the museum visitor is completed The exhibit showcases the wonders of magic without revealing the secrets that make it fun The exhibition will also feature film and video clips of famous magicians as well as guest illusionists performing live Live performances take place between 11 a m and 3 p m Wednesday Sunday Check out the video below for a preview of the exhibit Ilona Carson from Channel 13 interviews our magician Richard Hatch as well as magician dancers Michael and Jessica from the Rhythm of Magic Can t see the video Click here to watch it Looking for more Check out these reviews from the Houston Chronicle and Mike McGuff as well as our magic videos on Vimeo 0 5 0 This entry was posted in Science and tagged HMNS magic Rhythm of Magic Richard

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2010/02/abracadabra-magic-exhibit-now-open/ (2016-02-12)
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  • Magic! Houdini’s Needles and Thread | BEYONDbones
    as great an impression with these simple inexpensive items as did with larger props from his workshop in which he invested thousands of dollars 0 0 0 This entry was posted in Science and tagged HMNS houdini illusion illusions magic by Scott Bookmark the permalink About Scott Scott Cervine guest curator for Magic The Science of Wonder was one of the youngest people ever accepted by the prestigious Magic Castle in Hollywood at age 15 By the time he was 21 Scott was accepted as a full fledged member of the Academy of Magical Arts He is the only magician to ever be named Magic Entertainer of the Year two years in a row Scott has appeared on several new shows blending his unique style of comedy and magic to dazzle audiences He has performed in over a dozen countries and made several TV and movie appearances View all posts by Scott 3 thoughts on Magic Houdini s Needles and Thread Sam on February 25 2010 at 3 59 pm said I am not just responding to this post in particular but to almost every post on this blog HMNS is a scholarly institution and I believe it should use scholarly resources and articles and works in its blog Instead what I mostly see the majority of the time is links to wikipedia articles Wikipedia is a wonderful source for information and basic facts but a scholarly institution should use scholarly resources that have been published I have seen many other museum blogs and they often refer to a scholarly article or even just link to some information found it its website and database Steven on February 26 2010 at 4 52 pm said Hi Sam Thanks for reading Several of our bloggers Dirk Daniel Bob Claire and Dan in

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2010/02/magic-houdinis-needles-and-thread/ (2016-02-12)
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  • Charcoal, Bio Char and Nanotechnology | BEYONDbones
    out that lump of carbon can be used as a very effective fertilizer Now why do I bring all this up It s not only to talk a little about carbon sequestration or to talk about a hobby of mine but to talk about up and coming science Over at Rice University they are using modern methods of chemistry to try and create the best biochar for fertilizer and how to promote it in developing countries Why is this important First it is a way to improve soil quality without adding too many artificial fertilizers and pesticides Second it is a way to store the carbon without releasing it immediately into the atmosphere Using charcoal as fertilizer is not a new invention The idea and practice has been around for thousands of years One example of it has been slash and burn agriculture So what does biochar have to with carbon nanofibers Both are made from carbon Both are being worked on at Rice So what is a carbon fiber nanotube It is a string of carbon molecules that have been put together that are about 1 nanometer in diameter photo credit TheAlieness GiselaGiardino These smallest of the small have big potential A long carbon string made using these carbon nanofibers and buckyballs have the potential to help revolutionize fields such as electronics and building materials Carbon nanofibers have the strongest tensile strength how well the material stands up to stress and can also hold an electrical current 1 000 times greater than the copper wires we use So why aren t we already using it That s the really amazing thing The technology is so cutting and bleeding edge that the implementation is not there yet And there are greater things yet to come Oh brave new world that

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2010/02/charcoal-bio-char-and-nanotechnology/ (2016-02-12)
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