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  • Secrets of the Silk Road – Revealed! [Online Chat] | BEYONDbones
    Online Chat Tuesday Aug 24 at 7 pm Register Can t wait Post your questions in the comments section below Dirk will address all questions during the event and in a q a post following it 0 0 0 This entry was posted in Anthropology and tagged silk road by Erin B Bookmark the permalink About Erin B Erin is the Director of Business Development at HMNS In a past life she was a public relations and online marketing dynamo at HMNS View all posts by Erin B 7 thoughts on Secrets of the Silk Road Revealed Online Chat Liz Garney on August 18 2010 at 9 54 am said Hi Dirk Just wanted to pop in and say hi and looking forward to Aug 24th I was with you and the group that went to Peru in 2007 Still use one of my pictures of Machu Picchu as my computer background What a great trip that was Any planned in the future Will be listening the 24th see you then Liz League City TX Dirk on August 18 2010 at 12 26 pm said Hello Liz Good to hear from you That was quite a trip We are currently in the early stages of planning a trip to Egypt That is scheduled for late 2011 More details when they are available I will see or hear from you on the 24th I am sure Regards Dirk Debra Healy on August 18 2010 at 1 38 pm said I look forward to listening to the program I am always seeking to learn more about the world in which we live Thank you for bringing this to Houston Grant McNabb on August 22 2010 at 11 08 am said Hi Looking forward to the chat From the Book Uriel s Machine

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2010/08/secrets-of-the-silk-road-revealed-online-chat/ (2016-02-12)
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  • As the Dung Ball Rolls… | BEYONDbones
    major pest there by 90 Many other developing countries have benefited from dung beetles which have improved standards of hygiene Most dung beetles feed exclusively on feces of herbivores and omnivores They can be divided into 3 categories roller tunnelers and dwellers Rollers are the most charismatic of the three and are very fun to watch They will construct a perfectly round ball of dung and roll it away from the pile Usually a male and female can be seen together with a ball although the male does most of the work while the female hitchhikes Once they find a suitable spot they bury the ball The female lays an egg inside the ball and the larva feeds and develops inside Tunnelers simply bury the dung they find and dwellers live inside of the dung We have acquired a species that is a roller Canthon pilularius and one that is a tunneler Phanaeus igneus Canthon Pilularius are also known as tumblebugs As soon as I gave them dung they started to construct and roll balls around They have kept me entertained for a long time as they are extremely comical to watch Phanaeus igneus are also known as rainbow scarabs and are beautiful beetles with a metallic red head and thorax and a metallic green abdomen The major males have a long horn extending back towards their abdomen They do not roll but they are very active and visible on the surface of the substrate and can be seen busily preparing their burrows in hopes for a mate I was able to capture both species on video and it was so cute I just had to share photo credit swanksalot a depiction of Khepri the sun god Probably the most interesting thing about dung beetles is their role in Ancient Egyptian culture Simply known as the scarab it s image represented transformation renewal and rebirth and can be found throughout Egyptian religious and funerary art They were linked to the god of the rising sun also known as Khepri Khepri was said to as the dung beetle rolls balls of dung roll the sun across the sky and into the underworld at night only to safely return it to the sky each day The god was often depicted as a whole scarab or a man with a scarab for a head Images of the scarab have been found all around Ancient Egypt They are usually small beads carved from bone ivory stone or even precious metals Similar beads can still be found today in bead shops These scarabs would often accompany the dead into the afterlife by being placed on the chest of the deceased during entombment They were known as heart stones the most famous of which was was found buried with Tutankhamen They were to help protect the soul in the afterlife Other images of the scarab were very large and sometimes contained long inscriptions Some of these massive sculptures can be seen at the Luxor Temple and

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2010/08/as-the-dung-ball-rolls/ (2016-02-12)
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  • ROBOTS! New Exhibit Now Open – HMNS at Sugar Land! | BEYONDbones
    The show will be open from August 13 October 24 so you have plenty of time to visit and then come back to play again and again And while you are here you can also see so much more like Stan the T Rex live Frogs sparkling geodes and a planetarium show Also on Saturday August 14 we will be hosting our first Second Saturday event ROBOTS RULE from 10 am to 2 pm You will have to chance to meet a real robotics engineer from NASA get your face painted and even help out the University of Houston s robotics teams with their Vex Robots Also we want you to come dressed as your favorite robot or create a robot of your own for a costume contest We are even giving out free Robots Rule buttons to the first 25 patrons Tickets for the exhibit may be purchased online For more information visit the museum s web site at www hmns org or call 281 313 2277 The ROBOTS RULE event is included with museum admission 0 0 0 This entry was posted in Science by Bryanna Bookmark the permalink About Bryanna Bryanna has been with the museum for

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2010/08/robots-new-exhibit-now-open-hmns-at-sugar-land/ (2016-02-12)
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  • Secrets of the Silk Road: The Tarim Basin | BEYONDbones
    level with Lake Assal in the Afar Depression making up the second lowest and the Dead Sea being the lowest point on Earth The Talkimakan or Taklamakan desert makes the area one of the driest in the world as well with an annual rainfall of 0 5 inch The Taklimakan has an arid continental climate with long cold winters and short hot summers This is the result of its location in the interior of Asia and near enclosure of the basin by some of the highest snow covered mountains on Earth The satellite image below illustrates this point well Among these mountain ranges we find starting in the south and moving clockwise on the first map shown in this blog the Kunlun Shan the Pamir and Tien Shan Mountains The Kunlun Shan mountain range counts four mountains higher than 7 000 m the Pamir range counts two such mountains and the Tian Shan mountains has one In comparison the tallest mountain in the Rocky Mountains is Mount Elbert at 4402 m above sea level The tallest mountain in the US Mount McKinley is 6193 meters high The basin gets its name from the Tarim River the longest inland river in China and the second largest inland river in the world second only to the Volga River Fed by the melting snows from the mountains the river never reaches any ocean instead disgorging its waters in the Taklimakan Desert itself About a century ago the river reached as far as Lop Nor now a dry lake and home to the Lop Nor salt works Given the remoteness of this area Lop Nor also served as China s nuclear weapons testing grounds Our upcoming exhibit Secrets of the Silk Road pre dates the nuclear age by several millennia In a next installment

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2010/08/secrets-of-the-silk-road-the-tarim-basin/ (2016-02-12)
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  • we heart geeks [wordcamp houston] | BEYONDbones
    Rebirth of Slick like Market research doesn t tell you what you should be doing it only gives you a picture of what has been done in the past Kelsey Ruger himself tells us Why Design is Cool and why he insists that design has little or nothing to do with art Many of the panels were standing room only and Judy said I was going to have to spend an hour on my feet I would go see the Archaeopteryx fossil that was on exhibit Messanonymous got into the sold out conference by volunteering and had a tech adventure Katie Laird brings us WordCamp cupcakes And the assertion that it was AWESOME Truth Chris Olbekson posted the slides from his presentation Optimizing WordPress for Performance Not at all surprisingly a conference about a blogging software generated quite a few posts many more than what you see linked here a not so random sample as well as tweets about the event so if you missed it read on We had a blast hosting and attending the event and are thrilled to see so many people had a great experience Thanks to everyone who came out hope to see you again at WordCamp 2011 0 0 0 This entry was posted in Science by Erin B Bookmark the permalink About Erin B Erin is the Director of Business Development at HMNS In a past life she was a public relations and online marketing dynamo at HMNS View all posts by Erin B 5 thoughts on we heart geeks wordcamp houston Brett on August 11 2010 at 10 36 pm said It was a great time I loved the venue in fact I was there again today with my daughter I hope there will be another WordCamp Houston again next year I

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2010/08/we-heart-geeks-wordcamp-houston/ (2016-02-12)
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  • Solnhofen – Birthplace of Pterodactyls | BEYONDbones
    really built like birds All dactyls walked upright on their hind legs They didn t scuttle about in a bat manner And so textbooks were revised Dactyls stood up and walked like Jurassic pigeons Footprints Back Buckland But in 1980 a new set of evidence emerged fossil tracks If the New Wave was right then dactyl tracks should look like bird tracks The left and right hind feet should have swung back and forth close together and the hands should have been kept off the ground Surprise Fossil tracks made by small dactyls and by big dactyls showed hind feet that were held out sideways And the hands were flat on the ground Dactyls walked like BATS The case is closed Hundreds of trackways and bio mechanical studies of shoulder and hips say the same thing Dactyls moved on all fours when on the ground like bats Pterodactylus Sand Piper Dactyl The original dactyl the first species discovered Pterodactylus was the commonest dactyl at Solnhofen No bigger than a tiny sand piper Pterodactylus had extra long arms and neck and a compact body with almost no tail The thin jaws could be used to snatch small fish Or the snout might have been used to probe the sand flats like a shore bird searching for hidden worms and baby clams The long neck arms and short tail are proof that Pterodactylus was a Jurassic cousin of the enormous dactyls of the Cretaceous including the Texas Quetzalcoatlus Rhamphorhynchus The Devil Tailed Dactyl Rhamphorhynchus was a flying Fish Trap The jaws carried long sharp teeth that slanted forward and the tips of the snout and lower jaw were pointed too This dactyl could dive down on the water and use its strong neck to throw the muzzle at fish and impale them The short arms made the wingstroke slower but more powerful than in Pterodactylus so maximum speed was less but maneuverability was greater The long bony tail was tipped with a vertical rudder of skin reinforced by stiff fibers Mysterious Extinction Long tailed dactyls went extinct in the Early Cretaceous and all the common dactyl species of the Cretaceous were short tailed relatives of Pterodactylus Why did the long tails die out What gave the short tails their superiority The final extinction of all dactyls struck when the last dinosaurs died out 65 million years ago at the very end of the Cretaceous Anurognathus Frog Mouthed Mini Dactyl Jewel of the Solnhofen Exhibit Rarest of the rare with only two specimens known is the famous Frog Mouthed Dactyl Anurognathus The Frog Mouth breaks all the dactyl rules It s super tiny half the size of Pterodactylus and about as bulky as the average little brown bat that hovers over Texas meadows today And unlike nearly all other dactyls the Frog Mouth doesn t have a long snout Instead the mouth is short and very wide The Frog Mouth design is what we d expect from an aerial insect hunter a dactyl

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2010/08/solnhofen-birthplace-of-pterodactyls/ (2016-02-12)
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  • Time Lapse: Corpse Flower + Upcoming Lois Events! | BEYONDbones
    this will be taking place in the HMNS Greenhouses at a time and date yet to be determined we have to wait until Lois is ready on Thursday August 19 at 10 am We will be opening up 25 free tickets to attend this event which will be given out via lottery If your name is selected you ll be able to go behind the scenes in the HMNS Greenhouses not normally open to the public and get a first hand view of the next stage in Lois lifecycle Plus our horticulturists will be on hand to answer questions Click here to register for the lottery and keep in mind that this event will probably take place on a weekday so please only register if you think you would likely be able to attend Lois Lecture with Horticulturists Zac Stayton hortzac and Soni Holladay Wednesday Sept 8 at 6 30 pm Zac is going to give us the inside scoop on the entire Lois phenomena from our discovery that she was blooming this year through her move back to the greenhouse Both Zac and Soni will be available to answer all your corpse flower questions and perhaps sign a few Lois t shirts Hope to see you there Tickets are limited so get yours now 0 0 0 This entry was posted in Plants Insects and tagged lois by Erin B Bookmark the permalink About Erin B Erin is the Director of Business Development at HMNS In a past life she was a public relations and online marketing dynamo at HMNS View all posts by Erin B 2 thoughts on Time Lapse Corpse Flower Upcoming Lois Events Sue E on August 7 2010 at 8 22 am said Great video We never tire of watching Lois bloom whether in person

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2010/08/time-lapse-corpse-flower-upcoming-lois-events/ (2016-02-12)
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  • Get Smart : Meter or grid? | BEYONDbones
    when you re at work and the refrigerator is still on it s part of the base load Most of the time the base load handles all our electricity needs However if there is a large spike of electrical usage such as the one around 5 p m when most people get off of work the base load is not enough This is when they can bring on fast startup plants usually using natural gas as the fuel and supply the electricity during peak times The current grid is rigged for redundancy The current electrical grid has grown up to offer multiple paths for electricity This means that if one area of the grid goes down the electricity can be maneuvered around the broken part What that means in practice is that just because an area near you looses power your power may not be interrupted Why would a smart grid be better For our current grid we use mostly large scale power generation plants but the smart grid would easily incorporate lots of small residential power generators like small solar panels on roofs and small wind turbines The small solar panel and wind turbines on the current grid are unable to provide all your electrical needs Even though they take in electricity all day long they only have available what they are taking in at the moment If there were a way to store all the electricity that they take in during the day when you aren t using electricity then it would help with the electricity you need especially during peak times Also in a smart grid if you had an excess of electricity you could sell it to a power company You could even sell it directly to people who need the electricity You would go from one who can only consume to a producer seller and consumer of electricity photo credit Mike Weston How can a smart grid help us save money on our electric bills Currently most electrical companies charge a single rate for electricity That means that you pay a constant price for a kilowatt hour The real cost of electricity is always in flux The price has to do with what time of day it is what season what it was priced at yesterday which power plants are down for maintenance which ones have been reopened the weather and many other variables A smart grid would allow us to purchase electricity in real time What if power plant B is selling electricity cheaper than power plant B at 3 a m What if power plant A sells cheaper electricity at 2 p m than it does at 5 p m Which one would you like to buy electricity from When would you buy your electricity if you could store it It gets even more exciting by adding smart appliances What if you could tell you dishwasher to only wash dishes during the night if the cost of a kilowatt hour fell to a

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2010/08/get-smart-meter-or-grid/ (2016-02-12)
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