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  • Happy New (Chinese) Year! | BEYONDbones
    new and the winter solstice has not yet happened that month is repeated Similar rules exist for the second lunar month which must contain the spring equinox the fifth lunar month which must contain the summer solstice and the eighth lunar month which must contain the fall equinox Accordingly the first new moon after the winter solstice always begins the last month in the Chinese year and the second new moon after the solstice begins the next year Chinese astronomers noticed that every twelve years Jupiter reappears next to the same stars This is because Jupiter takes 11 86 years to orbit the Sun There were twelve months in a typical Chinese year although occasionally one was doubled as explained above Also the Chinese divided the day into twelve double hours They used a system of twelve Earthly Branches to designate the months of the year and the double hours in a day Jupiter s motion in the sky established a cycle of years analogous to the cycles of months and double hours Thus Jupiter became the Year Star Suixing and years too were designated with the Earthly Branches photo credit geoftheref Later as a mnemonic device the Chinese began to associate the Earthly branches with animals Sources disagree as to exactly when Legends tell that Buddha or the Jade Emperor summoned all of the animals to him each of the first twelve to appear became associated with an Earthly Branch The twelve animals are 1 Rat 2 Ox 3 Tiger 4 Rabbit 5 Dragon 6 Snake 7 Horse 8 Sheep 9 Monkey 10 Rooster 11 Dog 12 Pig The signs of the Chinese zodiac then unlike those of the western zodiac are not constellations in the sky The most well known of the Chinese constellations are the 28 lunar mansions These are small groups of stars very roughly arrayed along the ecliptic which is the apparent path of the sun moon and planets across the sky As you ll see in the links below the Chinese used some stars such as those in Orion that are too far from the ecliptic for the moon to pass through them The 28 mansions were subdivided into four groups of seven each group of seven represented one of four Chinese animals associated with the directions and the seasons 1 The Blue Green Dragon Qing Long of the East associated with spring Note that the ancient Chinese color word qing was quite broad in meaning Blue and green were considered different shades of this broadly defined color 2 The Red Bird Zhu Que of the South associated with summer This mythical bird with red and orange plumage is distinct from the feng huang also called the Chinese phoenix 3 The White Tiger Bai Hu of the West associated with autumn 4 The Black Tortoise literally Dark Warrior Xuan Wu of the North associated with winter Xuan Wu was always shown as a tortoise with a snake wrapped around it reflecting the folkloric belief

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2010/02/happy-new-chinese-year/ (2016-02-12)
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  • Coincidence or Cooperation? Amazon Feathers & Modern Jewels | BEYONDbones
    other for women The tukaniwar shown below is a spectacular neck ornament made for women from mythologically harmless bird feathers the blue color connects the wearer to the sky where all the culture heroes dwell Check out the exhibit catalog for more info As you can see from the image there are blue feathers woven into the ornament that would have hung in the front as well as the smaller ornament that would have hung in back once the necklace was tied tukaniwar on display in Spirits Headhunters It would seem that these two objects created by artists from very different cultural traditions would have nothing in common However the hanging feathered ornament is extremely similar to the small jeweled ornaments that Ernesto designed into the clasp of his pieces in the Gem Vault if you haven t been in the Vault yet trust me you re going to want to check it out in person I wondered if there could possibly be a connection and when associate curator for Amazonia Adam Mekler was here to install the Spirits Headhunters exhibition I asked him Sure enough it turns out that Moreira had worked with Mekler many years ago when parts of this collection were first on display Pretty amazing coincidence to be sure but I had to find out if there was any merit to the theory that one had influenced the other This is a science museum after all Here s what Ernesto had to say I can tell you right away Adam s pieces did not have an immediate direct impact on my work That said I have noticed a pattern in the way my brain works in regards to creativity When I was a teenager I looked at Japanese prints and architecture then in my early twenties I made a collection of one of a kind pieces called little people One time during a solo Gallery show the entire collection sold out The gallery owner told me it was sold to mainly Asian customers Sometime later I realized how Japanese my pieces actually were in their geometry and their compositional balance Most recently during the making of the museum Gem Vault pieces I began to adorn the settings with filigree but not just the normal filigree a more architectural version This time it did not take me long to figure out that once again I was translating many of the images in my head into my jewelry designs since I had spent many years sketching and photographing much of the ornamental ironwork on windows doors and street lights so prevalent in European cities something I still do So it seems I work best absorbing and letting be then somehow sometime the subject matter reappears in my work I worked with Adam Mekler and his incredible Amazonian collection during many years and for months at a time I would handle these amazing works absorbing as usual I doubt that such resemblance between the indigenous works and my own

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2010/02/coincidence-or-cooperation-amazon-feathers-modern-jewels/ (2016-02-12)
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  • The Principles of Magic Revealed | BEYONDbones
    throughout the run of the exhibit check back here for exclusive videos and descriptions of the unique items on display The Principles of Magic have been discussed endlessly for centuries Some magicians say there only five others claim there are twenty two Take a look at the eight principles that follow and watch them in action in the video and see if you can remember a single performance of magic that hasn t used at least one of them APPEARANCE DUPLICATION VANISH SUSPENSION LEVITATION PENETRATION RESTORATION TRANSFORMATION TRANSPOSITION Can t see the video Watch it here And don t miss Magic opening February 26 2010 0 0 0 This entry was posted in Education and tagged appearance duplication editors pick HMNS levitation magic magicians penetration principles of magic restoration suspension transformation transposition vanish 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

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2010/02/the-principles-of-magic-revealed/ (2016-02-12)
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  • A Valentine’s Day Suprise, A Pink Grasshopper! | BEYONDbones
    will certainly receive some TLC here so we can make sure she makes it to adulthood So remember to keep your eyes open for pink bugs If you find any we d love to hear about them Happy Bug Watching 0 0 0 This entry was posted in Plants Insects and tagged bugs chortophaga viridifasciata erythrism HMNS mutant northern green striped grasshopper pink pink grasshopper pink katydid rare bugs red valentine s day by Erin M Bookmark the permalink About Erin M As an entomologist at the Cockrell Butterfly Center Erin designs creates and maintains exhibits for the Entomology Hall raises and cares for live insects and insect relatives and educates the public about the wonderful world of bugs View all posts by Erin M 10 thoughts on A Valentine s Day Suprise A Pink Grasshopper Lisa Thompson Hobbs on February 20 2010 at 12 19 am said Hi Saw the posting about the pink grasshopper from Santa Fe I grew up there and I saw them a few times growing up My grandmother always killed them because of the garden But I know that they were always found during the fall and winter time They ate the cabbage I left Santa Fe in 1988 but remember seeing them a year before The Area was 24th and Ave M Lisa Hobbs Margarita Sims on February 20 2010 at 8 59 am said Why did you not keep its name as Love Bug the name which the sweet 7 year old who found it gave to the grasshopper It just seems wrong to change it dianna wagner on February 22 2010 at 12 22 am said I thought you would be interested to know I found a pink grasshopper in my yard this morning After looking online I came across your post with your blog and thought I would let you know If you would like to see a photo I can send you one It is very small about 2 weeks old or so It is also more of a purple pink than a very pink dianna wagner Erin M on February 22 2010 at 10 13 am said Margarita As far as I know the boy did not name the grasshopper I was asked by several people what the name was and I just came up with Val I believe the woman who wrote the article for the Galveston Daily News made up the name love bug herself I was never told by Mrs McLaughlin or Ronnie that they had named it in fact I e mailed Mrs McLaughlin about the name I picked and she seemed quite happy about it Dianna I would love to see the photo of the grasshopper you found Did you keep it If so I m sure ours would like to have some company You can e mail blogadmin hmns org with pictures info Thanks Sarah on April 27 2011 at 7 55 pm said Today is April 27 2010 My son has

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2010/02/a-valentines-day-suprise-a-pink-grasshopper/ (2016-02-12)
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  • Girls Explore Math and Science at HMNS – THIS SATURDAY! | BEYONDbones
    on activities and displays as well as community groups and organizations who will be on hand to talk with girls and families about cool careers in fields relating to math and science Among these groups are the Houston Zoo The John C Freeman Weather Museum The Downtown Aquarium Rice University The Society of Women Engineers and many more When you arrive at GEMS check in with us in the grand hall across from the box office to pick up your GEMS passport patches and buttons then go explore the booths You ll learn about probability math in designs knot tying and much more Don t forget we have a special guest speaker who is a Girl Scout Gold Award recipient who now works as an engineer be sure to arrive at GEMS before 9 30 a m to get your seat in the IMAX theater and hear all about her experiences and why she loves science and math GEMS participants will also get the opportunity to explore energy with Carolyn during her Exploring Energy Presentation at 10 45 a m The Museum s Ecoteens teen volunteers will even be stationed around in the exhibit halls doing touch cart demonstrations but don t expect them to answer your scavenger hunt questions you ll have to use the clues to finish that hunt yourself Can t wait to see you Saturday 0 0 0 This entry was posted in Education Science and tagged Education Energy Family event gems girl scout gold award Girl Scouts Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council Girls Exploring Math and Science HMNS houston museum of natural science math open house Paleontology Science 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

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2010/02/girls-explore-math-and-science-at-hmns-this-saturday/ (2016-02-12)
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  • Free SEM Images! Where do I sign up? | BEYONDbones
    should be up in about two weeks and they will notify all submitters by email when you can see your before and after images Make sure you can part with what you send in as samples will not be returned Your everyday objects will be transformed into alien landscapes Don t believe me Try looking up scanning electron micrographs of pollen The images truly speak for themselves but what kind of blogger would I be if I didn t bury you in a deluge of graphic and evocative descriptions I ll limit myself to one short example no it s not the mold in delicious delicious blue cheese it is the common flea This mighty jumper may surprise you when you meet him up close and personal You might just find out that fleas have mustaches to rival even the likes of Tom Selleck and Burt Reynolds the mustache greats This opportunity is perfect for educators students fun loving families and all inquisitive folks in general So grab your cat toys the dried fly that is undoubtedly stuck in your window sill your old toenail clippings or anything else you want to see uber mega ultra close up and send it in All for free courtesy of ASPEX Want to see more Check out the SEM Image Gallery for some incredible examples Toy Bunny Before Toy Bunny After 0 0 0 This entry was posted in Education and tagged ASPEX electron scans electrons HMNS scanning electron microscopes SEM SEM images by Erin C Bookmark the permalink About Erin C As a Youth Education Marketing Coordinator Erin is responsible for keeping the 20 districts to the North of Houston informed about everything going on at the Museum She also works booths at various conferences to help promote HMNS to educators She

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2010/02/free-sem-images-where-do-i-sign-up/ (2016-02-12)
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  • Magic! Prepare to be dazzled | BEYONDbones
    sense of wonder even in adults We know its not real magic or sorcery there is illusion deception and misdirection behind every performance Still that knowledge doesn t make it any less spectacular or any less mysterious Magicians can make the seemingly impossible real Though their methods are enshrouded in secrecy 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 And the countdown is on Just two weeks from today you too can experience the wonder of magic up close in our new exhibit Magic opening February 26 2010 This exhibit has it all with over 100 artifacts and relics from the incredibly rich history of magic See the water trunk that Houdini escaped from a rapping hand that answered audiences questions and much much more Be astonished by live performances and magicians who wander through the exhibit Looking for even more Join us for our distinguished adult lectures come to our VIP night or take a hands on class in magic Scott Cervine guest curator of the exhibit explains how he started down the road of being a magician in his first post in an ongoing series on Magic In the days leading up to the opening and throughout the run of the exhibit check back here for exclusive videos and descriptions of the unique items on display You can buy tickets in advance here grab them quick before they all disappear Having trouble seeing the video Click here 0 0 0 This entry was posted in Education and tagged HMNS houdini magic magic artifacts magic exhibition magic tricks Magic Magic the Science of Wonder Scott Cervine by Steven Bookmark the permalink About Steven Steven never dreamed his first job out of college

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2010/02/magic-prepare-to-be-dazzled/ (2016-02-12)
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  • Taking Flight: A Second Look at New Art in the Cockrell Butterfly Center | BEYONDbones
    God I m really proud of her for knowing who she is and what she s all about She makes me want to be head strong just like her 3 Your piece has a unique three dimensional element Can you tell us how you created that and why Mrs Higuera the AP Art teacher was showing me this new technique cutting paper with X Acto knives I fell in love with it and I decided it would be a good idea to cut the butterflies out of paper I wanted something different compared to what everyone else was doing I cut each and every butterfly individually It took a long time but it was worth it I liked the way they came out 4 What role should art play in science Is there a role for science in art Please explain I think art should always play a role in science It s there to show you what s going on through photographs drawings sketches and gives you a better understanding and view of what you re looking at Plus I think it s pretty to look at 5 Do you think you ll use scientific concepts for your art in the future I m not really sure I m just going to have to wait and see what the future has in stored for me and my love for art It would be nice to use scientific concepts it sounds very interesting Don t miss Bianca s Break Free or any of the other beautiful works of art now on display in Taking Flight on the lower level of the Cockrell Butterfly Center The exhibition will be available through March 31 0 0 0 This entry was posted in Plants Insects and tagged Bianca Olvera butterflies Butterfly butterfly art

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2010/02/taking-flight-a-second-look-at-new-art-in-the-cockrell-butterfly-center/ (2016-02-12)
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