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  • Which raptor turned into the first bird? | BEYONDbones
    the consensus is that all birds came from a single species or that they came from a family of species instead and this answer would also have implications that people should know for any species or family of species Dr Bakker curator of paleontology here at the museum wrote this in response Another darn good question Archaeopteryx was the first bird back in the Late Jurassic It s got the complicated arrangement of feathers on its arm to fly like a pheasant today does All other birds evolved from Archaeopteryx or something very like it Deinonychus read my blog about Deinonychus is a famous raptor dinosaurs who look very close in their bones to Archaeopteryx The tiny Microraptor from China is closer still Thanks to the dinosaur specimens from Laoning China we know that all the raptor type dinosaurs had feathers T rex had feathers too the tyrannosaur clan were clothed in a full pelt of fine kiwi style plumage But Deinonychus and all the Laoning feathered dinosaurs are from the Early Cretaceous that s too late to be an Archaeopteryx ancestor We need a Jurassic raptor to be our Archaeopteryx ancestor We now have a few specimens from the end of the Jurassic These are advanced raptor like dinosaurs with long arms built like Archaeopteryx So we re getting close to discovering the one single raptor dinosaur who evolved into the first bird It had to be in the Mid or Late Jurassic If you have any questions you would like to ask any of our bloggers or curators send us an email at blogadmin hmns org Interested in learning more about dino birds Make sure to check out our next exhibition Archaeopteryx Icon of Evolution opening April 23 2010 0 0 0 This entry was posted in Paleontology

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2010/03/which-raptor-turned-into-the-first-bird/ (2016-02-12)
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  • The Discoverie of Witchcraft | BEYONDbones
    publicly burned by the Royal hangman Many of the surviving copies like this one have severely reduced margins which may have resulted from trimming away the charred edges of copies rescued from the hangman s fire The importance of Scot s book to conjuring is due to his extensive discussion of conjuring tricks explaining their natural not supernatural basis by revealing the basics of sleight of hand That it pained him to expose the secrets of this already ancient art is clear in introduction to this section of his work being sorie that it falleth out to my lot to laie open the secrets of this mysterie to the hindrance of such poore men as live thereby whose doings herein are not only tolerable but greatly commendable so they abuse not the Name of God nor make the people attribute unto them His power Scot had learned much of the magicians repertoire from a skilled French born named John Cautares who earned an honest living as a laborer Scot chiefly discussed tricks with balls coins and cards but also apparent feats of self mutilation and even decapitation In doing so he gave us an intimate portrait of the 16th century conjuring repertoire and its technical basis Although Scot s intent was to expose rather than teach magic his book formed the basis of conjuring literature in English and several other languages it was quickly translated into Dutch and German for more than 200 years It is also said to have been used by Shakespeare as a source for his plays when dealing with the themes of witchcraft 0 2 0 This entry was posted in Science and tagged A Perfite Platform of a Hoppe Garden censure censuring daemonologie king james king james I magic natural magic queen elizabeth reginald scot

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2010/03/the-discoverie-of-witchcraft/ (2016-02-12)
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  • Butterfly Gardener Alert! | BEYONDbones
    flowers borne in showy clusters Some examples of good nectar plants for our area are Porter Weed Echinacea Purple Cone Flower Zinnias Rudbeckia Brown and Black eyed Susans Monarda Bee Balm Lantana Salvias Eupatorium Mistflower Cuphea Buddleia Butterfly Bush and Tithonia Mexican Sunflower among many others Eastern Black Swallowtail Caterpillar photo credit cyanocorax In contrast to the adults baby butterflies aka caterpillars have chewing mouthparts and eat leaves Many butterflies are quite choosy in their caterpillar stage and can only survive and grow on specific plants which we call host plants For example Monarch caterpillars will only eat Asclepias Milkweed they cannot and will not eat anything else Female butterflies seek out the appropriate host plants for their babies when they are laying eggs Some host plants that can be included in your butterfly garden are Asclepias for Monarchs and Queen Butterflies Passionvines for Gulf Fritillaries and if you re lucky Zebra Longwings Citrus and Rue for Giant Swallowtails Dill Parsley and Fennel for Black Swallowtails Aristolochia aka Pipevine for Pipevine and Polydamas Swallowtails and Cassia aka Senna for Sulphur Butterflies If you see caterpillars eating these plants rejoice You will soon have lots of beautiful butterflies coming to your nectar plants Some of you may think you don t want caterpillars eating away in your garden If so you can avoid host plants and include only nectar plants However you ll get more butterflies if you plant both We predict that soon you ll be treasuring every caterpillar Many of the nectar and host plants listed above will be available at our sale We strive to provide butterfly attracting plants that are either native or naturalized in Texas and that perform well in the Houston area Our sale is also a good place to learn more about butterfly gardening Several experts will be on hand to answer questions and to help you choose plants Plant Sale At the Cockrell Butterfly Center from HMNS on Vimeo So save the date Saturday April 10 from 9 a m to 1 p m Come early the plants go fast 0 0 0 This entry was posted in Plants Insects and tagged Aristolochia Asclepias bee balm buddleia butterflies Butterfly butterfly gardens cassia caterpillars cuphea echinacea eupatorium Gulf Fritillaries HMNS host plants Lantana mexican sunflower milkweed mistflower monarch butterflies monarchs monarda nectar nectar plants Passionvines pipevine Plant Sale Polydamas Swallowtails porter weed proboscis purple cone flower Queen Butterflies rudbeckiam brown eyed susans salvias senna sulphur butterflies swallowtail tithonia zebra longwings zinnias 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

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2010/03/butterfly-gardener-alert/ (2016-02-12)
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  • Magic! The Rapping Hand | BEYONDbones
    the exhibit check back here for exclusive videos and descriptions of the unique items on display from curator Scott Cervine Rapping Hand This hand was the centerpiece of a popular late 19th and early 20th Century spiritualistic stage effect The carved wooden hand resting on a sheet of clear glass held by audience members would rap out answers to questions Traditionally the hand would rap once for yes and twice for no but it could also respond with numerical answers to personal questions such as How many children will I have and How old will I be when I marry The effect could be played straight or tongue in cheek depending on the performer and audience 0 0 0 This entry was posted in Science 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

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2010/03/magic-the-rapping-hand/ (2016-02-12)
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  • Life: A New Series from the Discovery Channel | BEYONDbones
    airs Sunday evening at 8 pm eastern 7 pm central This is the episode I had the pleasure of viewing I think it was a great introduction to the series and definitely left you wanting to see more Discovery masterfully captured on film how the highly adapted thought processes and behaviors of plants and animals allow them to survive on a constantly changing planet Predators and prey have to think and act fast to either get their next meal or avoid being someone else s Competition for mates is higher than ever giving rise to some of the most fantastic displays graceful dances and fierce battles I loved how we weren t only shown predators dominating their prey but also animals creatively outsmarting their pursuers and barely escaping photo credit sly06 The makers of Planet earth show you everything from cheetahs finding a new way to hunt to flying fish to the amazing perseverance of the little strawberry poison dart frog I was pleased to also see an insect that I know relatively little about the stalk eyed fly I have to admit I even found what these flies do to compete for females well weird I really don t want to give too much away This episode promises a series full of wonder and surprises I was even surprised by the narrator I can t wait to see the others If you liked the Planet Earth series I hope you ll tune in or at least set your DVRs to the Discovery channel at 8 pm eastern I know I will 0 0 0 This entry was posted in Plants Insects and tagged challenges of life cheetah competition discovery channel flying fish life planet earth predators prey stalk eyed fly strawberry poison dart frog by Erin M Bookmark the

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2010/03/life-a-new-series-from-the-discovery-channel/ (2016-02-12)
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  • Rev. Butter Turns Up the Heat at Big Bite Nite April 29! | BEYONDbones
    first laid eyes on one of his sparkling pieces last year during our inaugural foodie event Big Bite Nite Our special events divas Leslie and Nancy asked him to do something big in honor of the occasion and as usual he didn t disappoint He sculpted our event logo When I saw it I was in a hypnotic state for quite a while and could not take my eyes off of it Finally I came to myself and moved to my assigned post for the night I never forgot him and looked for a motive to get up close and personal with him to find out how he sculpts the ice A reason for you to meet Reverend Butter Right now we re in the planning stages of our second culinary affair and we re literally turning up the heat As in spicy And we re starting with Reverend Butter This year he s returning to do something big and spicy not only for us but for you as well On the night of the event April 29 fire meets ice Butter will be live onsite with his chainsaw to sculpt ice in harmony with some of his favorite musical tunes beginning at 5pm Caution if you can t stand the heat well you know the rest As a precaution for what you re in store for pump up the volume and take a peek at this super hot video below See why Butter believes the ice sculpting business is a growing industry but a dying art And watch him hand sculpt a beautiful piece no software needed just the use of a powerful tool that he refers to as the extension of his hand Can t see the video Click here Check back soon for the rest of our

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2010/03/rev-butter-turns-up-the-heat-at-big-bite-nite-april-29/ (2016-02-12)
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  • Magic! The “Tayade Indian Cups” | BEYONDbones
    an ancient traditional design Unlike the traditional conical Western cups these do not stack and the knob on top is used to lift and manipulate the cups Despite the technical differences the structure of such routines is similar in that small cork balls appear vanish and transpose between the cups ultimately leading to the surprising revelation of something other than small balls larger balls or fruit under the cups The traditional Indian performers known in Hindi as Jadoo Wallah perform the cups seated on the ground rather than sitting at or standing behind a table See Richard Hatch s version of this classic illusion in the video below Richard also performs live in the exhibit on certain days Click here for the schedule Can t see the video Click here 0 0 0 This entry was posted in Science and tagged ball trick cup trick cups and balls HMNS jadoo wallah magic magic balls and cups magic cups and balls 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

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2010/03/magic-the-tayade-indian-cups/ (2016-02-12)
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  • Christmas in March? I Want Coal Year Around | BEYONDbones
    coal is around 90 carbon Of the coals it burns the hottest but only makes up about half of a percent of the coal used Bituminous coal makes up 50 of the coal production in the United States and is used to turn turbines to make electricity Sub bituminous coal accounts for about 46 of coal production but does not produce as much heat as Bituminous Lignite is the youngest of the coal and holds the least carbon There are other types of coal and coal related rocks Graphite is a coal but its ignition point is so high it is rarely used as fuel Coal and diamonds are both carbon products but it would take a Superman to make coal into diamonds while you watch Coal has been used for 6 000 years Its first use was as jewelry in China The Romans used it as a heating source Coal is best known as being the fuel supply for the Industrial Revolution in Europe Surface Coal Mine photo credit Neuwieser Coal is usually found underground Most coal mines in the United States are surface mined A surface mine is where you remove the surface and dig a large open air pit to get to a deposit in this case coal In the present day coal is mainly used to produce electricity About 40 of the world s electricity and 50 of the United States electricity come from coal How does coal produce electricity The coal is burned for its heat The heat is used to turn water into steam The steam is used to turn a turbine which produces the electricity So how efficient is coal at producing energy A kilogram of coal produces about 2 kilowatt hours of electricity It would take about 1 ton of coal to run a 100 watt light bulb for a year Natural Gas produces about 3 1 kilowatt hours per kilogram It could make a light that yonder window breaks photo credit ReneS Coal when burned emits a lot of undesirable emissions 2000 pounds 1 ton that is used to keep a light bulb on for a year of coal will produce about 5 720 pounds of carbon dioxide Burning coal also produce sulfur dioxide and nitrous oxide both of which are harmful gases Particulate matter also know as fly ash is left over as well So why would we use coal We use it here in America because America has the largest coal reserves It is somewhat easy to mine and does not require a lot of refining to make it a usable fuel Also coal remains a cheap way to produce electricity America is no longer the largest user of coal China surpassed America in coal consumption in 2008 Over the years the coal industry has developed ways to capture the harmful gases Scrubbers remove the sulfur before it can become sulfur dioxide and catalytic converters take out the nitrogen The particulate matter is now collected and sold to different

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2010/03/christmas-in-march-i-want-coal-year-around/ (2016-02-12)
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