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  • Genghis Khan & The Battle of Ain Jalut | BEYONDbones
    the Mongols proved superior and started to envelop the Mamluk left flank Qutuz rallied his troops and fate intervened again The Mongol general was captured causing the Mongols to experience their first defeat They abandoned the battlefield pursued by the Mamluks Damascus and Aleppo were re taken by Muslim forces photo credit puroticorico This battle is important and interesting for many reasons In some cases one has to wonder what if the outcome had been different The Mongol tide has reached its zenith In the following years Mongol attempts to avenge this defeat were rebuffed Mamluk Egypt remained a force to be reckoned with in the Muslim world for another 200 years Crusader forces played a minor role in these hostilities They were very small certainly in comparison with the overwhelming might of the Mongol army Most of them were holed up in fortified positions like the city of Acre Realpolitik eventually caused the Crusaders to abandon a policy of neutrality and allow the Mamluk army on the march to come through their territory camp and acquire provisions Seeing a huge Muslim army camped outside the walls of their cities must have caused many a Crusader heartburn to say the least The battle may also be one of the earliest in which firearms were said to have been used These handheld devices were extremely primitive but may have served a purpose of frightening the Mongolian cavalry with loud noises and smoke Unfortunately for Qutuz all was not well in the end Before he could return to Cairo for his triumphant entry he was murdered by a close ally who took over the reigns of his dominion Without Qutuz s decisive actions however the world would have looked very different today Learn more about Genghis Khan and the mighty Mongolian civilization he built in the world premiere exhibition Genghis Khan opening Feb 27 at the Houston Museum of Natural Science 3 0 0 This entry was posted in Anthropology and tagged Acre Ain Jalut Aleppo artifacts Baghdad Battle of Ain Jalut bow and arrow Cairo Crusaders Crusades Damascus firearms Genghis Khan genghis khan and the mongols guns history Hulegu Khan iran Iraq israel Mamluks Mongke mongol army mongolian empire mongolian history Mongolians Mongols mural Qutuz Realpolitik siege Syria the great khan by Dirk Bookmark the permalink About Dirk As curator of anthropology Dirk is responsible for the museum s artifact collection and is involved in its temporary and permanent anthropology exhibits Dirk is an expert in human cultures he curates the Museum s Hall of the Americas and specializes in native American cultures like the Aztec and Maya View all posts by Dirk 8 thoughts on Genghis Khan The Battle of Ain Jalut gao on February 22 2009 at 3 29 pm said This may offend some people but for the mongols the defeat was less decisive One less piece of remote from the steppes land that is Just like the seige of Malta is so exulted in Europe while bing

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2009/02/genghis-khan-the-battle-of-ain-jalut/ (2016-02-12)
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  • Cure Nature Deficit Disorder – Take Your Kids Outside! | BEYONDbones
    a garden takes me back many years I fondly remember helping my parents to tend our vegetable garden in Calgary s short growing season no tomatoes there My father and I would often go out with a flashlight after dark to pick the slugs off the beans and lettuce dropping them into a can of salty water The few ears of corn we got each year would be relished as a special treat cooked and eaten only minutes after they were picked Besides harvesting our garden crops we would also go out looking for wild june berries called Saskatoons in Canada tiny wild strawberries so flavorful or crabapples and chokecherries that my mother rendered into jelly or syrup I was very lucky to grow up when and where I did But surely all kids should have a chance to learn how plants grow and what bugs live in their backyard or the overgrown area behind their fence Things are different today kids are busier more sheltered and many of their parents are uncomfortable in the outdoors These days many people turn their gardening over to a landscaping crew and their kids never work out in the yard in contrast us kids had to mow and edge our huge lawn all summer and rake up all the leaves in the fall for no pay Today people grow up so distant from nature that it no longer surprises me to meet a grown woman like the garden club member who visited recently who hadn t the faintest idea that butterflies come from caterpillars Some of you may have heard about Last Child in the Woods a book by Richard Loew that has gotten a lot of attention over the last few years Loew coined the term Nature deficit disorder and convincingly argues

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2009/02/cure-nature-deficit-disorder-take-your-kids-outside-2/ (2016-02-12)
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  • 100 Years – 100 Objects: Sailor’s Valentine [Happy Valentine’s Day] | BEYONDbones
    s history and our collections of historical technologies that we ll be sharing here and on hmns org throughout the year Ca 1850 1900 HMNS 1991 1085 1 This antique shell mosaic was a gift from Mr and Mrs J R Preston During the mid 19th century sailors to the West Indies often returned from their long voyages with mosaic shell boxes for their loved ones Messages of affection spelled out in shells were included at the center of the designs surrounded by additional colorful shells arranged in geometric patterns and compartments These shell mosaics were commonly fitted into octagonal hinged boxes with glass covers on each half and were known as Sailor s Valentines Although the shell mosaic featured here is not specifically a Sailor s Valentine it dates to the same era The photograph at the center is a hand tinted ambrotype of an unidentified woman This shell mosaic frame is thought to represent a fraternal order or family crest for the recipient All the shells in this antique frame are from the West Indies which helps to date the mosaic Check back soon for more of the 100 most compelling objects from the museum s collections we ll be posting the series throughout 2009 as we celebrate a centennial of science in Houston 3 73 0 This entry was posted in Science and tagged 100 years 100 objects artifact centennial collections culture HMNS mosaic photo photo gallery preserving objects Sailor s Valentines sailors Science shells tradition valentine gifts valentine s day West Indies 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

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2009/02/100-years-100-objects-sailors-valentine/ (2016-02-12)
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  • Welcome to the Dollhouse | BEYONDbones
    doing a stroll down memory lane in regards to this place I don t have any particular fondness or nostalgia towards miniature dollhouses but for some reason I ve been remembering an exhibit from my first year at HMNS Pamphlet cover for the dinner and auction From what I ve been able to dig up in the archives during the early to mid 1980s the HMNS Guild along with the Houston Area Miniaturists Society sponsored brief exhibits lasting about three weeks in the Brown Hall of miniature dollhouses and miniaturist scenes There was a small fee for the exhibit and the funds went to the Guild A portion also went to the Miniaturist Society I know you re thinking HUH But these exhibits were quite popular and brought in thousands of visitors during their brief time on view The scenes ran the gamut from historical to fantasy hospitals and farmhouses to Santa s workshop In 1984 one room box was a depiction of Prince William s nursery So popular were these miniatures that the Guild had one in the live auction at the 1985 Wild Game Dinner As it was described in the program A Miniature Mansion The two story plus attic electrically wired Williamsburg Colonial dollhouse is guaranteed to enchant adult and child alike Each room is lovingly and individually furnished by creative Guild members The winning bid was 3200 00 and was written about as the first item in Betty Ewing s society column in the Houston Chronicle For you youngsters 1985 was an economically tough time for Houston so that winning bid was a pretty good sum for a dollhouse Dollhouse of Prince William s nursery My hazy memory of a dollhouse exhibit is from 1987 I m fairly certain it was the last one I can

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2009/02/welcome-to-the-dollhouse/ (2016-02-12)
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  • Love Bugs: Personal Interface | BEYONDbones
    love and I m going to throw my TV out photo credit antkriz Go green this Valentine s by turning OFF your computer and come interface with some cuties without perusing any profiles This Friday night from 6 10 p m HMNS will work its magic to create a flirty fun atmosphere where love can blossom It s Love Bugs Dance to the rhythms of Grupo Ka Che Houston s hottest salsa band who will be sure to pack the house with singles and couples alike Grab some light bites a drink from the cash bar and make your move Grab that cutie and take them to the Cockrell Butterfly Center for a romantic stroll through the butterfly sanctuary Finding love online has its place but on Valentine s we re going to do it the old fashioned way in person The band and the people are going to be smokin come feel the heat this Friday at the Houston Museum of Natural Science 0 0 0 This entry was posted in Science and tagged butterflies chemistry Cockrell Butterfly Center couples eharmony grupo ka che HMNS kiss latin dances Love Bugs match com salsa salsa dance singles Valentine s valentine

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2009/02/love-bugs-personal-interface/ (2016-02-12)
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  • For the Love of Chocolate | BEYONDbones
    that only the gods were fit to drink chocolate In the 1500s when chocolate first made its way in to Spain it was considered a health food and a medicine Many doctors of the time prescribed it for curing fevers cooling the body aiding in digestion and alleviating pain DANGER Chocolate is poisonous to dogs and other domestic animals the Theobromine found in chocolate is a stimulant especially affecting the heart muscles and can be too much for small animals So be careful if you have pets The melting point of chocolate is just below normal body temperature so it literally melts in your mouth Mmmmm tasty photo credit gadl In 1940 M M s were invented by the MARS Company for soldiers going to WWII The biggest bar of chocolate ever made was made in Italy in 2000 and weighed over 5 000 pounds The largest slab of fudge weighed over 2 000 pounds and was made in Canada Currently 40 of the world s almonds and 20 of the world s peanuts are used by chocolate manufacturers One pod from a cacao tree the plant from which chocolate is derived contains about 30 50 almond sized seeds This is enough to make about 7 milk chocolate bars And finally 63 of Americans buy chocolate for themselves when buying it for someone else So go splurge on your sweetie But don t forget to grab a treat for yourself while you re at it This Valentine s Day be sure to pick up some chocolate for your special someone and don t worry if you don t have any extraordinary plans Come on down to Love Bugs the Museum s Valentine s Day bash And if perchance you are spending this February 14th alone you should still go out

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2009/02/for-the-love-of-chocolate/ (2016-02-12)
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  • Feb. Flickr Photo of the Month: Lensbaby! | BEYONDbones
    about his photo The day I took this photo I was visiting the Museum to get some shots of the Dinosaur Mummy CSI exhibit with my new Lensbaby Afterwards I walked through the permanent exhibits taking more photos finally coming to the T Rex skeleton One of the things I like about this lens is that it produces an image similar to what is shown on TV as being through the eyes of the beast and I wondered how this perspective would change the image from that of static museum exhibit to a more imaginative how would this critter have looked back in the day While it did not take the T rex out of the museum it did really focus attention on that mouth and all those sharp teeth something I am certain its prey also saw So what s this Photo of the Month feature all about Our science museum is lucky enough to have talented and enthusiastic people who visit us every day wandering our halls grounds and satellite facilities capturing images of the wonders on display here that rival the beauty of the subjects themselves Thankfully many share their photos with us and everyone else in our HMNS Flickr group and we re posting our favorites here on the Museum s blog once a month You can check out all our previous picks here or here 20090111 8467 by Etee Many thanks to Etee for allowing us to share his stunning beautiful photograph We hope this and all the other amazing photography in our group on Flickr will inspire you to bring a camera along next time you re here and show us what you see 0 0 0 This entry was posted in Science and tagged dinosaurs feature flickr Flickr photo of the month HMNS

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2009/02/feb-flickr-photo-of-the-month-by-etee/ (2016-02-12)
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  • The gift that keeps on giving: Darwin and the Origin of Species | BEYONDbones
    of nonliving matter on the Earth as well as in the heavens Supernatural explanations which depended on the unfathomable deeds of the Creator were accepted as explanations of the origin and configuration of living creatures Authors such as William Paley in his Natural Theology of 1802 had developed the argument from design the notion that the complex design of organisms could not have come about by chance or by the mechanical laws of physics chemistry and astronomy but was rather accomplished by an Omnipotent Deity just as the complexity of a watch designed to tell time was accomplished by an intelligent watchmaker It was Darwin s genius to resolve this conceptual schizophrenia Darwin completed the Copernican Revolution by drawing out for biology the notion of nature as a lawful system of matter in motion that human reason can explain without recourse to supernatural agencies Darwin s greatest accomplishment was to show that the complex organization and functionality of living beings can be explained as the result of a natural process natural selection without any need to resort to a Creator or other external agent The origin and adaptations of organisms in their profusion and wondrous variations were thus brought into the realm of science photo credit angela7dreams Evolution can be seen as a two step process First hereditary variation arises by mutation second selection occurs by which useful variations increase in frequency and those that are less useful or injurious are eliminated over the generations Useful and injurious are terms used by Darwin in his definition of natural selection The significant point is that individuals having useful variations would have the best chance of surviving and procreating their kind As a consequence useful variations increase in frequency over the generations at the expense of those that are less useful or

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2009/02/the-gift-that-keeps-on-giving-darwin-and-the-origin-of-species-2/ (2016-02-12)
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