About Kelly

Kelly is the super nerdy Director of Online Media for HMNS.

HMNS Happenings This Week

Mark Your Calendars for these events happening at HMNS August 15 – August 21

Poppe-shell

NEW EXHIBIT OPENING!

Gems of the Sea: The Guido T. Poppe Collection
Opens August 19, 2016

World class. One of a kind. Never before seen. Made by mollusks.

The Philippines consists of over 7,500 islands in Southeast Asia, totaling a land area of approximately 116,000 square miles, and giving the Philippines the longest coastlines of any nation in the world. The Philippine archipelago is known to possess some of the richest marine biodiversity in the world. Along with their unparalleled diversity among the species, marine mollusks from this area are of great interest to science for their peculiar interactions and adaptations in their marine environment.

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Behind-the-Scenes Tour:

Planetarium – Black Holes
Tuesday, August 16, 6 p.m.

Explore the history, physics and mystery of black holes, and explores several of the latest scientific theories about how black holes are formed and where they are hiding now. Witness the bending of light, the skewing of perception, and the dizzying descent into a black hole.

Embark on a journey through one of the most mystifying, awe-inspiring phenomena in the universe with Dr. Carolyn Sumners, HMNS VP of Astronomy, for a special evening viewing of Black Holes in the newly upgraded Tru 8K Burke Baker Planetarium. Click here to learn more.

LECTURE:

Gems of the Sea – Deep Water Shells
Thursday, August 18, 6:30 p.m.

HMNS malacologist Tina Petway will relate how ecology and science benefit from research-quality shell collections. This special evening celebrating the addition of the Poppe Collection to HMNS’ shell collections will include a preview of the Gems of the Sea exhibition as well as tours of select portions of the Cullen Hall of Gems and Minerals, Strake Hall of Malacology and Morian Hall of Paleontology. Click here to learn more.

Erin Mills Cockrell Butterfly Center

 

Last Week of Summer CBC Events 
Wing It | Tuesday at 10:30 a.m.
Watch the release of hundreds of new butterflies into the rain forest.

Small Talk | Wednesday at 11 a.m.
Join our Cockrell Butterfly Center team as they take their live collection of insects out “for a walk” during Small Talk.

Friday Feeding Frenzy | 9:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m. & 11:30 a.m.
See science in action as snakes, spiders and centipedes enjoy a meal right in front of you!

 

HMNS Happenings This Week

Mark Your Calendars for these events happening at HMNS August 7 – August 14

Ivan Moreno, https://www.flickr.com/photos/37chess/26322021871/in/pool-hmns/

Ivan Moreno, https://www.flickr.com/photos/37chess/26322021871/in/pool-hmns/

Lecture

THE ART OF RISK: THE NEW SCIENCE OF COURAGE, CAUTION, AND CHANCE BY KAYT SUKEL
AUGUST 10, 2016, 6:30 PM · PLANETARIUM
Cutting-edge research into fascinating neurological pathways may be the key to understanding if risk-takers are born or made. Science journalist Kayt Sukel will introduce risk-taking factors such as gender, age, genes, emotions and stress-many of the biological advantages are surprising. Book signing following lecture. Tickets $18, Members $12

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Behind-The-Scenes Tours
 THE AGE OF THE DINOSAURS: TRIASSIC, JURASSIC AND CRETACEOUS
AUGUST 9, 2016, 6:00 PM · PALEO HALL
Because the Morian Hall of Paleontology is too large to tour in one evening, we are debuting a new series that will cover the hall section by section. Led by HMNS staff trainer, James Washington, each tour will include a hands-on fossil experience or short classroom presentation. The Jurassic Period ushered in the “Golden Age of Giants,” the time of 100-foot-long diplodocuses and stegosaurs who were skilled swordsmen. Predatory dinos clothed themselves with feathers. Giant sea reptiles cruised the oceans, while winged dactyls hunted for squid. The Cretaceous Period brought us the most dangerous herbivore of all time, the mighty Triceratops. Learn how our triceratops specimen with mummified skin has helped science proves new information about these three-horned tanks. Our five new T. rex skeletons all tell a different story that helps piece together what life was like in the Cretaceous. Members $15, Tickets $25

LA VIRGEN DE GUADALUPE
AUGUST 9, 2016, 6:00 PM 
Going back to the 8th century in a struggle between Muslim and Spanish naval forces and on to the appearance in the Aztec capital in the 15th century, Virgin of Guadalupe was adopted as a symbol in Europe and the New World during times of friction. Through the artwork and artifacts on display, your guide will trace the increasing role the Virgin of Guadalupe played in society. Members: $17. Adult Tickets: $27.

FruitButterflySummer Cockrell Butterfly Center Events 
Summer Cockrell Butterfly Center events continue through Aug. 19.

Wing It | Tuesdays at 10:30 a.m.
Come fly away into the world of butterflies at the Cockrell Butterfly Center with Wing it! Introduce yourself to your favorite winged wonders and watch the release of hundreds of new butterflies into the rainforest.

Small Talk | Wednesdays at 11 a.m.
Join our Cockrell Butterfly Center team as they take their live collection of insects out “for a walk” during Small Talk. Our experts will entertain and educate with all types of insects and arachnids.

Friday Feeding Frenzy | Fridays at 9:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m. & 11:30 a.m.
Join us this morning in the Cockrell Butterfly Center for our Friday Feeding Frenzy! See science in action as snakes, spiders and centipedes enjoy a meal right in front of you!

13495590_1123648724345617_4222281315587641161_oHMNS at Sugar Land

Earth Science under the Microscope
Thursday, August 11 | 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Come explore our new microscope lab, used for viewing very small objects, which we could not normally see with the naked eye. Learn about the practical applications of microscopy or just look at cool stuff on a micro scale! Travel the world as you view grains of sand collected from various continents, and learn about their origin, composition and transport. Look at microfossils, shells and other natural objects, or bring an item from home and check it out under the scope. As hands-on activities are the best way to learn, we’ll have interactive demo stations with docents to guide you through the amazing visuals you’ll see as you peer through the lens!

 

 

Cheese Please! Selecting Cheese for the Perfect Cheese Platter

Written by Chef Kevin Morris, Abuso Catering Co., one of our Museum’s exclusive caterers.

cheese 1

Cheese platers have been around for ages, and are a great staple to have whether at a formal event, or a casual gathering at your home. But with so many options how to you make a cheese plater everyone will remember?

Try to include a variety of textures and flavors. Most cheese belongs to one of four basic categories: aged, soft, firm, or blue. For a good variety, choose at least one from each group.

aged cheeseAged: Aged Cheddar, Comte, Goat Gouda

soft cheese

Soft: June’s Joy, Triple Cream Brie from Cowgirl Creamery, Cremont

Heap of diced semi-firm cheese on plate

Firm: Manchego, Texas Gold Cheddar, Parmigiano-Reggiano

blue cheese

Blue: Gorgonzola Dolce, Buttermilk Blue, Red Rock, Stilton

You can also try selecting cheeses by the type of milk used (cow, goat, sheep). This will ensure a range of different flavors on the plate. Also be sure to serve at least one very interesting cheese like Barely Buzzed (Cheddar rubbed with a mix of ground coffee beans and French Lavender.

How Much Is Enough?
It really depends on the event. For display during cocktail hour, use 1 to 2 ounces of cheese per guest. If I am doing a party where the cheese display is the star, I use about 3 to 4 ounces of cheese per guest. If you are going to bring a cheese platter to a pot-luck style party, then you should be safe bringing 1 to 2 ounces per guest.

cheese 2Accompaniments
Offer a selection of breads, including sliced baguette, bread sticks, and crackers in all different shapes and sizes. It’s a good idea to vary taste and texture among the breads as well as the cheeses. (I personally like to toast or grill some sliced baguette)

Jarred condiments and vegetables are quick and fuss-free. Try sweet fig preserves or honey, tart chutneys, and spicy mustards. You can also add artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers, and caponata. If you have a bit more time, prepare caramelized onions, which complement most cheese plates (I make this great cherry tomato jam that I like to put out with my cheese displays). One thing you could try is infusing the honey with interesting flavors like thyme, lavender, or even ancho chili.

Various other sweet and salty items are also great additions. Try cured meats such as prosciutto and salami, or candied nuts and pistachios. I like to use Marcona almonds, which I season with fresh herbs and olive oil. Assorted seasonal and dried fruits can include figs, cherries, apples, berries, melons and pears. I use fruit to make garnishes for my trays and displays as well.

cheese 3

Serving Tips

  • Set out a separate knife for each cheese, especially the soft varieties. Soft cheese spreads well with a butter knife; firm cheese might require a paring knife; and aged cheese often requires a cheese plane. We all have that set of cheese knives that someone gave us – you just need to find it in the closet.
  • Remove the cheese from the refrigerator an hour before serving―cold mutes flavor.
  • Spread out the displays. Place the cheese platters and the other nibbles on several tables to avoid guest gridlock.
  • Label each cheese so you won’t need to recite the names all evening. If you like, also jot down a few poetic adjectives describing its flavor.
  • When I need cheese for my clients I always call Houston DairyMaids. They can help you with your next cheese tray.

Good Luck and Happy Eating!

Our exclusive full-service caterers are trained in the policies and procedures of the Museum – making your event-planning process effortless. Each caterer is full-service and can customize your event to meet your specific needs. Learn more…

Butterflies and Shutterbugs: Another Fabulous Pixel Party at HMNS

Before-hours at the Museum on June 26, we hosted one of our exclusive Pixel Parties — where we open select exhibits just for photographers (both amateur and professional). For summer of 2016, we gave photographers exclusive access to our Cockrell Butterfly Center .

Below is a small sample of the fantastic photos submitted to our Flickr group:

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Photo by Sulla55

Photo by Sulla55

Photo by Sulla55

Photo by Alan in Houston

Photo by Alan in Houston

Photo by Debi Beauregard

Photo by Debi Beauregard

Photo by jerry1540

Photo by jerry1540

Photo by Arie

Photo by Arie

Photo by Arie

Photo by Arie

Photo by James Woody

Photo by James Woody

Photo by Sulla55

Photo by Sulla55