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  • Big Bite Nite Video Series: The Science of Food | BEYONDbones
    exhibition Terra Cotta Warriors Restaurants include Polo s Signature Post Oak Grill 17 Restaurant The Capital Grille The Grove Monarch Quattro Ruggles Green Morton s The Steakhouse YAO Restaurant and Bar and many more Inspired by the mouth watering smorgasbord set to spring up at the Museum April 30 we thought it would be fun to give you a taste of what you will experience at this special event with naturally a science twist So we did what we often do Erin and I packed up our video camera and asked a few of the chefs whom you will see at Big Bite Nite to give us a rare behind the scenes look in their kitchen as they experiment with their delectable creations After all food is a science And no one knows this better than our very own Kat Havens After reviewing the menu from Polo s Signature our first stop she had the brilliant idea to make butter The steps aren t complicated as you will see in the video but the science that goes into this simple condiment is amazing Afterwards she asked Polo Becerra Culinary Director and Adam Puskorius Executive Chef to create a dish using

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2009/04/big-bite-nite-video-series-the-science-of-food/ (2016-02-12)
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  • HMNS@100: Henry Attwater – Naturalist | BEYONDbones
    his conservation efforts He was instrumental in the passage of the 1903 Model Game Law Four years later he served on the game law committee which recommended hunters licenses be required for resident and non resident hunters and that the revenue from the licenses and fines be restricted exclusively for game protection and propagation When he retired from the railroad in 1913 he immersed himself completely in the study of natural history Surprisingly Attwater was not a 1909 charter member of the Houston Scientific Society which I wrote about in an earlier post as the organization that would one day become HMNS But at some point he sent out brochures for the sale and disposal of his self titled Museum of Natural History and Other Specimens Today HMNS has several copies of this undated brochure and also a copy of another undated brochure simply titled Exhibit of Products and Resources of South Texas I mention the second brochure because it solicits a larger Texas audience while the first targets Houston specifically What is certain is that in January 1916 there was an exhibition of The Attwater Exhibit Texas Samples and Specimens at City Hall here in Houston A confusing note adds that it is the gift of The Progressive League to the city I ve not yet discerned if the exhibit fee perhaps was borne by the Progressive League or if the League actually bought the collection exhibited though I lean towards the former In the July 28 1917 edition of The Houstonian an unsigned editorial pleads for Houstonians to not lose the valuable Atwater sic Museum to Dallas or San Antonio The founders of the Witte Museum in San Antonio purchased a collection from Attwater in the 1922 23 I m still researching which collection went to San Antonio But I did find notes from the Houston City Library dated June 2 1922 which contain the first mention of Sigmund Westheimer offering to purchase the Attwater collection whichever one it was and donate it to the Library and the City of Houston Photo credit Designatednaphour H P Attwater died September 25 1931 his grave is at the Hollywood Cemetery on North Main The Attwaters lived at 2120 Genesse Street and although it s known that his widow was still living there in 1940 sadly no house stands at that address today However H P Attwater s collections and legacy live on From a quick and very unacademic Google search I found specimens that he collected in the collections of the Witte Smithsonian Field museum Dallas Museum of Natural History Los Angeles County Museum American Museum of Natural History the British Museum and of course here at HMNS His field notes and articles can be found online Several species were named in his honor the most well known in Texas being the Attwater s Greater Prairie Chicken Today conservationists continue Attwater s early conservation work in ongoing efforts to conserve the Prairie Chicken and its natural habitat This early naturalist

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2009/04/hmns100-henry-attwater-naturalist/ (2016-02-12)
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  • Treasure the Summers of Your Life: Summer Camps at HMNS! | BEYONDbones
    Smart DinoMite Bug a Boo and Waterworks Last summer during Waterworks the students made bubbles In the photo to the left Abbie is concentrating hard on a bubble made from soap water glycerin and straws In the same class the students were fascinated when a Hula Hoop and wading pool plus the bubble ingredients created a bubble that surrounded each of them Magic This amazed camper pictured below is totally surrounded What child would not be fascinated by experiences like this For summer 2009 the Youth Education Programs Staff headed by Nicole and Kat have added three new camps Wild Wild West It s Easy Being Green and Freeze Frame Wild Wild West will be held at the Museum and at both The Woodlands and Sugar Land locations This camp will help cowboys and cowgirls discover the science and symbols of the Wild West as they try lassoing churning butter branding and participate in a cowpoke cookout It s Easy Being Green will be held at the Museum and in The Woodlands As campers discover that it is easy being green they will experiment with water wind and alternative energy powered model cars and design a miniature green city Freeze Frame will be held only at HMNS This camp teaches about old fashioned photography as campers discover the inner workings of a camera by dissecting an eyeball constructing a pinhole camera using the sun to make prints and much much more Its not to late to join in the fun we still have spots available for the summer You can register for Xplorations Summer Camps online If you have a question about camp please call the camp registrar at 713 639 4625 I usually write about books so I ll close with a quote from Stuart Little by E B

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2009/05/treasure-the-summers-of-your-life-summer-camps-at-hmns/ (2016-02-12)
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  • Up Close and Blurry – Texas edition | BEYONDbones
    clue as a challenge for you Once again with no photography skill and some very silly clues here are some new puzzles with one additional hint All of these animals can be found in Texas I am the fastest of my kind With sharp sight tasty birds I find Though in Houston I may nest Typically you ll find me West Answer Meadows and forests I snuffle through Eating insects grubs and roaches too Scaly in appearance but a mammal tried and true Birthing identical young numbering two and two Answer Small but fleet and utterly fine On crabs and fish I like to dine TED s keep me out of shrimp net clutches I nest in arribadas i e bunches Answer Medium in size though my range is statewide Found all through Texas and in trees I may hide Though my spots aren t as dark as my brother s My tail is short just like all the others Answer 0 0 0 This entry was posted in Zoology and tagged animals arribada HMNS natives photo puzzles Science TEDs texas wildlife Wildlife on Wheels Zoology by Christine Bookmark the permalink About Christine Christine manages the live animal collection teaches

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2009/05/up-close-and-blurry-texas-edition/ (2016-02-12)
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  • Future Scientist: Meet Olga | BEYONDbones
    times their own body length when capturing prey Olga wondered if bigger spiders could jump farther than little ones She was not able to find an answer to this despite searching the literature and calling a number of spider biologists so she decided to investigate that question for her research project We met Olga when she called us to see if we knew anything about jumping spiders Bold Jumping Spider Phidippus audax Photo credit Opo Terser She started her project in the winter when jumping spiders are not easily found so on my suggestion she ordered four spiders from Hatari Invertebrates a small company in Arizona that supplies the Cockrell Butterfly Center with a number of invertebrates from the southwestern USA Once she had received her spiders and set them up in separate housing she was ready to begin her study The entire research paper is attached here I hope readers will be inspired to read it to learn what interesting research a student can do In brief Olga tested four spiders of varying sizes She measured the spiders and then over several days measured a series of their jumps When she calculated the ratio of the average distance each spider could jump to its body size she found that indeed larger spiders could jump father than smaller ones However it was not a directly proportional relationship the bigger the spider the farther it could jump relative to its body size For example while the smallest spider could jump just over six times its body length the largest spider could jump nearly 11 times its body length These calculations lent themselves well to graphs and simple statistical analysis Olga received a well deserved A for her paper Olga became so fond of her spiders that she kept one as a

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2009/05/future-scientist-meet-olga/ (2016-02-12)
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  • Vulcan? Caprica? Tatooine? | BEYONDbones
    Sun And that would take about 12 years of observing since Jupiter takes about that long to orbit the Sun Finally the observer needs to see our solar system roughly edge on such that planets tug the Sun towards and away from the observer Fortunately for Starbuck et al Galactica has access to much better technology than we do today Gliese581 is type M3V Here V is the Roman numeral five representing the fifth luminosity class which is the main sequence of stars that includes our Sun M3 indicates a reddish star significantly smaller and cooler than our Sun In particular Gliese 581 has less than one third our Sun s mass and is more than 2000K 3600 o F cooler than our Sun Therefore the habitable zone around Glises 581 is much closer to the star than ours is to our Sun Gliese 581 d orbiting in that zone orbits once in 67 Earth days Although Gliese 581 e takes only about 3 days to orbit its star once is the planet closest to Earth s mass we have yet identified The Gliese 581 system brings us closer to finding planets like ours and to understanding solar systems like our own Hubble Telescope Photo credit Xaethyx Just days ago May 13 NASA announced that its Kepler telescope launched March 6 is ready to begin observations This is NASA s first mission capable of finding Earth sized and smaller planets around stars other than our Sun Unlike the Hubble telescope which orbits Earth this telescope is in orbit around the Sun It is roughly at Earth s distance from the Sun but on an orbit where it lags slightly more behind Earth s position as time passes After 4 years Kepler will be about 0 5 AU or half the Earth Sun distance behind Earth on its orbit Kepler will stare continuously at the same small region of the sky for three and a half years Scientists did not want this steady gaze interrupted by day night cycles or by passage behind the Earth as would happen if the telescope were in Earth s orbit Further Kepler is looking at a region of space far above the plane of our solar system so the Sun Moon and other solar system bodies never come near the field of view That area of space is also in the galactic plane roughly in the direction the Sun itself is traveling This means we are observing stars at the Sun s approximate distance from the galactic core Kepler will detect extrasolar planets using the transit method This method involves looking at stars continually for long periods of time to see if the light ever gets slightly dimmer If the slight dimming occurs on a regular basis it might be because a planet is orbiting the star and regularly passing in front of it from our perspective Such a passage is called a transit When a planet as small as our Earth transits its star

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2009/05/vulcan-caprica-tatooine/ (2016-02-12)
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  • 100 Years – 100 Objects: Asian Wild Dog (Dhole) | BEYONDbones
    of a new object every few days This description is from Dan the museum s curator of vertebrate zoology He s chosen a selection of objects that represent the most fascinating animals in the Museum s collections that we ll be sharing here and at 100 hmns org throughout the year As a rule one of the policies in the Vertebrate Zoology Collection is not to acquire any shoulder mounts of specimens They are of no use for exhibition and little use for research This Dhole shoulder mount represents the only shoulder mount in the entire Vertebrate Zoology Collection originally accessioned into the collection in 1971 The reason we still have it is because Dholes are poorly represented in Natural History Collections and thus of interest as a representative of this species You can see more images of this fascinating artifact as well as the others we ve posted so far this year in the 100 Objects section at 100 hmns org 0 0 0 This entry was posted in Zoology and tagged 100 objects animals artifacts Dhole HMNS preserving artifacts preserving objects shoulder mounts vertebrate Zoology by Dan Bookmark the permalink About Dan As curator of vertebrate zoology Dr

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2009/05/100-years-100-objects-asian-wild-dog-dhole/ (2016-02-12)
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  • Night at the Museum 2 wages war on IMAX – opening today! | BEYONDbones
    check their work which is a stressful moment when assembling a film You can say that those in the digital world do not have this duty more like click and drop The art of splicing remains at HMNS the reel thing Night at the Museum 2 Battle of the Smithsonian has more animals more action more characters and a lot more laughs which HMNS is proud to present to IMAX enthusiasts After assembling the 32 reel 105 minute movie I became engulfed in this enjoyable adventure Since the film took place in the Smithsonian a few key artifacts from history make an appearance as well Artifacts such as Dorothy s ruby slippers Archie Bunker s chair Muhammad Ali s boxing robe and notable works of art play a role in the film Oh and for you younger teens the Jonas Brothers make a notable cameo too So you could say that this movie has it all I would hope that museum visitors will sit in this IMAX experience and become as enthralled as I did I would also encourage the visitors to stroll through our exhibit halls after the film if they can and see a bit of history and science which includes an exhibition of one of the characters in the film Genghis Khan If Fox studios and director Shawn Levy plan to make a third installment of Night at the Museum I would definitely nominate HMNS for Larry Daley s next adventure Night at the Museum 2 Battle of the Smithsonian opens today 0 0 0 This entry was posted in Giant Screen Theatre and tagged Ben Stiller Genghis Khan Giant Screen Theatre HMNS IMAX film IMAX reels Jonas Brothers Larry Daley Night at the Museum Shawn Levy smithsonian by Dave Bookmark the permalink About Dave As an

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2009/05/night-at-the-museum-2-wages-war-on-imax-opening-today/ (2016-02-12)
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