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  • The quest for immortality | BEYONDbones
    to predict what they will find we could be in for quite a surprise if another Chinese mummy barely one century younger than the First Emperor is anything to go by Known as Lady Dai her remains were found in extraordinary state of preservation In 1971 a Han Dynasty tomb was found during the construction of an air raid shelter in the city of Changsha Aside from over a thousand perfectly preserved objects workers also encountered what is claimed to be one of the world s best preserved corpses Meet Xin Zhui wife of the ruler of the Han imperial fiefdom of Dai Photo credit drs2biz She died between 178 and 145 BC about 50 years after the death of the First Emperor The high quality of the artifacts that surrounded her reflected her wealth and importance in society Her body is so well preserved that she can be autopsied A prominent physical expert Dr John Verano of Tulane University expressed how horrified he initially was when he observed Chinese specialists bending her limbs You did read this right they could still bend the limbs of a 2100 year old mummy This preservation allowed an autopsy to be performed with the following results All her organs were perfectly preserved her brain had shrunk to half size but had remained intact She had a fused disc in her spine Undoubtedly she was in pain toward the end of her life Moreover a gallstone stuck in her bile duct may have caused her heart to give out Her skin was still soft to the touch Scientists even found blood in her veins She had type A Today Lady Dai is on display at the Hunan Museum in Changsha As mummies go hers is incredibly well preserved Remember the First Emperor lived in

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2009/05/the-quest-for-immortality/ (2016-02-12)
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  • 100 Years – 100 Objects: Northwest Coast Transformation Mask | BEYONDbones
    storehouse of specimens and artifacts one for each year of our history Check back here frequently to learn more about this diverse selection of behind the scenes curiosities we will post the image and description of a new object every few days This description is from Dirk the museum s curator of anthropology He s chosen a selection of objects that represent human cultures throughout time and around the world that we ll be sharing here and at 100 hmns org throughout the year This contemporary Bella Coola dance mask was carved by a member of the Lelooska family The mask represents a Nuxalk people Bella Coola myth In this myth a young individual belonging to a high ranking family found himself afflicted by a terrible disease It made him repulsive to all who saw him and made it impossible to get married One day the young man walked off in the woods and happened upon a mysterious lake In the lake was a supernatural being in the form of a loon Taking pity on the youth the loon swooped him up and dove down into the lake with him When they surfaced the young man discovered that he had been given supernatural power and great beauty He married and brought much honor to his people Explore thousands of years of Native American history in the John P McGovern Hall of the Americas a permanent exhibition at the Houston Museum of Natural Science 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 4 0 This entry was posted in Anthropology and tagged 100 years 100 objects ancient cultures artifacts Bella Coola dance mask HMNS Lelooska loon myths Nuxalk

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2009/05/100-years-100-objects-northwest-coast-transformation-mask/ (2016-02-12)
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  • Glimpses of Eden: the Pongos Basin of Peru | BEYONDbones
    rituals such as making Tsantas shrunken heads of their conquered adversaries Remarkably these noble savages are at total peace with nature While many indigenous cultures manage their natural resources in a highly sustainable fashion the Aguaruna go one step further revering the wildlife with which they share the region with much of their folklore and culture revolving around birds In fact the Aguaruna even practice the art of taxidermy with birds using kapok Ceiba pentandra fiber instead of cotton photo credit chdwckvnstrsslhm My colleagues and I have recently published a timely monograph on the incredible diversity of birds inhabiting the land of the Aguaruna the Pongos Basin We found an overwhelming number of more than 450 species representing over 50 different avian Families It is highly probable that the incredible avian richness in the 66 plus sites sampled north of the Marañon River is in part due to the noble savagery displayed by the Aguaruna preventing development from encroaching upon their lands Care to check out the manuscript Click here DB 5 14 08 0 0 0 This entry was posted in Zoology and tagged Aguaruna Anthropology avian families bird watching columbian indigenous cultures kapok Maranon River peru Pongos Basin shruken heads Tsantas Zoology by Dan Bookmark the permalink About Dan As curator of vertebrate zoology Dr Brooks has more backbone s than anyone at the Museum He is recognized internationally as the authority on Cracids the most threatened family of birds in the Americas With an active research program studying birds and mammals of Texas and the tropics Brooks advises several grad students internationally At HMNS Brooks served as project manager of the world renowned Frensley Graham Hall of African Wildlife overseeing building by an incredibly diverse array of talent by some 50 individuals He has also created and

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2009/05/glimpses-of-eden-the-pongos-basin-of-peru/ (2016-02-12)
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  • Hey Shutterbugs – Freeze Frame’s for you! | BEYONDbones
    of our fabulous Summer Camp teachers and a former ExxonMobil Community Summer Jobs program intern for me in Education Collections is a huge photography buff and she is using her wealth of darkroom knowledge to put together some new projects for the Freeze Frame campers this summer We ll be traveling back in time to experiment with some of the earliest photographic processes including learning about albumen prints which originally used eggs Using our own darkroom we ll build pinhole cameras and shoot black and white images and hand made blueprints Campers will get crafty with Polaroids and image transfers while exploring the artsy side of photography Then they ll turn into scientists playing with mirrors and light while building their own kaleidoscopes periscopes and much more Come join us for a bright adventure in Freeze Frame this summer Just because school is out for the summer doesn t mean your kids have to stop learning Check out our Xploration Summer Camps a fun and educational adventure for your children These week long science classes are available for children ages 5 to 12 from June 1 through August 14 For more information visit our web site at hmns org 0

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2009/05/hey-shutterbugs-freeze-frames-for-you/ (2016-02-12)
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  • Hitting this scene is a sure sign of intelligence! | BEYONDbones
    experience the Museum in a relaxed atmosphere Let loose by taking your sweetie for a spin or meeting someone special under the dinosaurs Try wandering our world class Gem Mineral Hall with a drink in your hand and good music in your ear Check out our 2009 lineup for bands that sure to please every musical taste June 5 Grady Gaines the Texas Upsetters June 12 TropiCrew June 19 The Handsomes June 26 Molly the Ringwalds July 3 HOLIDAY WEEKEND MIXERS RESUMES JULY 10 July 10 The Fab 5 July 17 Mango Punch July 24 Mambo Jazz Kings July 31 The Chromatics August 7 Commercial Art August 14 Grupo Batacha August 21 Yvonne Washington the Mix August 28 Grupo Ka Che So how do you get into this awesome party where you can have a cool drink listen to awesome music check out the dinosaurs and meet someone who s as interested in the exhibits as they are in the party Click here Your ticket into the biggest party in Houston goes for just 15 or you can purchase a membership and get in all summer long for only 13 See you Friday June 5 0 0 0 This entry

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2009/05/hitting-this-scene-is-a-sure-sign-of-intelligence/ (2016-02-12)
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  • 100 Years – 100 Objects: Giant Long-legged Katydid | BEYONDbones
    one of the very loudest insects Katydids rub their wings together to sing when this one sings it sounds like a major machinery malfunction Notice the ears just below the knees on the front pair of legs Female katydids have a long sword like ovipositor egg laying organ This species inserts its long narrow eggs each over inch long into rotten wood We are now rearing our second set of babies Learn more about katydids and their relatives in a visit to the new Brown Hall of Entomology a part of the Cockrell Butterfly Center a living walk through rainforest at the Houston Museum of Natural Science 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 Plants Insects and tagged 100 years 100 objects butterflies crickets grasshopers HMNS insects katydids ovipositor preserving artifacts preserving objects by Nancy Bookmark the permalink About Nancy Nancy is Director of the Cockrell Butterfly Center and curator of entomology A plant ecologist by training she specializes in the interaction between insects especially butterflies and plants The tropics are her favorite habitat and she heads south to Central and South America whenever possible View all posts by Nancy 3 thoughts on 100 Years 100 Objects Giant Long legged Katydid Cathy Hart on November 18 2010 at 1 37 am said my Dtr captured one in a sm jar to show to me we both noticed he was very unhappy abt being capturd body language I don t know but he was commubicating his stress anxiety abt it then he turned stared at me I really got what he wanted me to know my Dtr took him home

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2009/05/100-years-100-objects-giant-long-legged-katydid/ (2016-02-12)
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  • Installing New Exhibits – Terra Cotta Warriors and Diamonds | BEYONDbones
    etymology of the word carat I m not giving this one away you ll need to look for it yourself when you visit It makes sense but it would have never occurred to me on my own While you re looking for the lingual origins of carat linger for a while at the Mae West bracelet It caught me off guard because I ve always thought of her as being rather statuesque The bracelet s wide but its circumference is small Apparently she was quite petite it was her personality and jewelry that loomed large Milky Way Galaxy Necklace As for the actual sparkly stuff forget all the song lyrics and advertising copy and just say WOW And say it multiple times Let me assure you that the HMNS Collections staff maintains a detached and professional attitude towards all museum objects each one treated with the utmost care and regard However the women in the department are only human and we couldn t help but play the What s Your Favorite game Our male colleagues were disinclined to play they mostly shrugged their shoulders and walked off Lisa is partial to all of the tremblant pieces because she likes the motion in them Bryanna can t decide between the Frank Gehry necklace and the Selma Hayek tiara bracelet The dragon pin with the ruby eyes is the one for Eydie Beth favors the yellow heart shaped diamond ring because the stone is so perfect you can walk right into it Yours truly has to have two favorites the vintage diamond and emerald brooch with a small pendant watch and the twenty first century Milky Way Galaxy sculptural necklace After you ve seen the exhibit let us know what your favorite is If you can decide that is Then there s the impressive Terra Cotta Warriors The details in the figures are absolutely stunning Even the horse s teeth are perfectly done Obviously the objects are ancient and fragile We never rush around museum objects but there were times I held my breath as I slowly moved through the installation Yet when I stood still the figures didn t seem inanimate at all Especially once they all got their heads I did have a Night in the Museum moment when I briefly wondered if they all step off their mounts at night and march around HMNS Our Chinese colleagues are very congenial We had a good laugh when one of them showed us an NBA jersey she bought for her 15 year old son No not Yao Ming but Monta Ellis of the Golden State Warriors Since pretty much everyone in China has a Rockets Ming jersey her son will be particularly cool for wearing the NBA jersey of another favorite player I wonder what the terra cotta warriors would think of men chasing after a ball who also call themselves warriors I m ending this on a somewhat unrelated to HMNS note If you re visiting Philadelphia this summer be

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2009/05/installing-new-exhibits-terra-cotta-warriors-and-diamonds/ (2016-02-12)
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  • Pinchers, stingers and claws, oh my. | BEYONDbones
    is the best answer The same can be said for any animals with either pinchers claws or really sharp teeth That pretty much covers the majority of our animal collection here except for the amphibians The next question that pops to mind is why would you count scorpions Like many institutions that maintain animal collections an inventory is essential and often required by law Check out this article from the Seattle Times on the London Zoo when they were taking inventory of their collection While our collection is much smaller we still have to keep proper notes and update our inventory list It just seems a bit tedious when you are trying to count roaches Prolific fast moving roaches See how many you count in the picture below and then imagine what happens when you scare them Aerial shots of our Roach Dome a simulated home environment exhibit in the Butterfly Center where we house numerous cockroaches for display 0 0 0 This entry was posted in Zoology and tagged amphibians animal husbandry animals cockroaches husbandry roaches scorpions Zoology by Christine Bookmark the permalink About Christine Christine manages the live animal collection teaches weekday dissection labs and summer camp classes

    Original URL path: http://blog.hmns.org/2009/05/pinchers-stingers-and-claws-oh-my/ (2016-02-12)
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