This week @HMNS: Making physics cool and celebrating 25 years at the George

This series is about events happening at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. For more information about HMNS, our exhibits and programming, please visit HMNS.org.

 

THURSDAY, OCT. 9
FILM SCREENING: Particle Fever 
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Imagine being able to watch Franklin received his first jolt of electricity or Edison turn on the first light bulb!

Particle Fever gives you a front row seat to our generation’s most significant and inspiring scientific breakthrough as it happens the launch of the Large Hadron Collider, the biggest and most expensive experiment in the history of the planet. 10,000 scientists from over 100 countries join forces in pursuit of a single goal: to recreate conditions that existed just moments after the Big Bang and find the Higgs boson, potentially explaining the origin of all matter. 

Join Dr. Paul Padley, one of the Rice University professors who worked on the Higgs boson discovery on the Hadron Collider, for this one-night-only event.

 

FRIDAY, OCT. 10
MEMBERS EVENT: The George Observatory 25th Anniversary Celebration
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Celebrate the George Observatory’s 25th anniversary and peer through the refurbished research telescope to see spectacular views of Saturn along with a variety of deep space objects. Cash bar and light refreshments.

 

 

Celebrate the thrill of discovery at International Archaeology Day at HMNS on Saturday, October 18

Celebrate International Archaeology Day with HMNS October 18 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.! Professional and avocational archaeologists from all over the greater Houston area will mark the day at HMNS by highlighting exciting discoveries in local archaeology.

The event will include artifact identification, presentations and programs about archaeological excavations in the Houston area (including Dimond Knoll, discovered along the Grand Parkway), and displays of artifacts from other local sites, including a large collection of prehistoric stone tools recovered along Buffalo Bayou and artifacts recovered from recent archaeological surveys at the San Jacinto Battlefield.  

Projectile points from Dimond Knoll site.

“We’ve been talking about putting on this event for several years and are excited that we are finally able to offer it to the public,” said Dr. August Costa of Rice University and one of the organizers of the event. “One of the highlights of the event will be our artifact identification table in the Grand Hall of the Museum, where experts will be on hand to identify items brought in by members of the public. We encourage participants to bring in their collections and learn more about what they’ve recovered.”

Dr. Gregg Dimmick and John Rich excavating at Bernardo Plantation in Hempstead.

The event will also feature a family-friendly archaeology fair with interactive hands-on displays using real artifacts recovered from archeological sites, including stone tools, prehistoric pottery, and animal bone and shell, flint knapping demonstrations, and arts and crafts for kids focusing on the prehistoric era. Attendees will receive a goody bag with handouts from participating organizations, including bookmarks, rulers, brochures and other surprises.

HAS President Linda Gorski and Lenore Psencik screen for Dimond Knoll artifacts.

HMNS docents will man the Museum touch carts from several exhibits, including the Hall of Ancient Egypt, McGovern Hall of the Americas and Human Evolution section of the Moran Hall of Paleontology.

Initiated by the American Institute of Archeology in 2011, International Archeology Day celebrates thrill of discovery. This International Archeology Day event is sponsored by HMNS, the Houston Archeological Society, Rice University Archaeology, the Texas Department of Transportation and several other local groups. Exhibits in the Grand Hall of the Museum are free of charge. Additional exhibits in Glassell Hall are free with Museum admission. 

For more information on participating in this event, contact Linda Gorski, president of the Houston Archeological Society at president@txhas.org.

Instructor Dr. Gus Costa teaches flint knapping at HMNS on October 11 and December 1. (Image Credit: Gus Costa, The Flintstone Factory)


Instructor Dr. Gus Costa teaches flint knapping at HMNS on October 11 and December 1. (Image Credit: Gus Costa, The Flintstone Factory)

As October is Texas Archaeology Month, HMNS is also hosting several archaeology lectures.   For more hands-on archaeology fun, Dr. Gus Gosta join hosting an adult flint knapping class on Saturday, October 11. For more information and to register, click here.

HMNS is also hosting these archaeology lectures in October in celebration of Texas Archaeology Month:

Houston’s Prehistoric Energy Corridor
Wednesday, October 1, 6:30 p.m.
During the planning stages for the Grand Parkway, a prehistoric site dating back 10,000 years was uncovered. Dr. Jason Barrett, TxDOT archaeologist, directed the Dimond Knoll investigation that was completed this year and has shed new light on the prehistoric heritage of Houston prior to the arrival of Europeans. Click here for tickets.
Sponsored by the Houston Archeology Society.

The World Converges in Constantinople: Contact in a Byzantine Port
Thursday, October 16, 2014, 6:30 p.m.|
Excavations of a 4th century port reveal a vibrant hub of commercial activity that brought the world to the Byzantine Empire. Not only did ships bring spectacular wealth, they also brought ideas. Marine archaeologist Dr. Ufuk Kocabas of Istanbul University will explain what has been uncovered at the ancient Harbor of Theodosius. Click here for tickets. 
Cosponsored by Archaeological Institute of America, Houston Society.

Camp Logan, a WWI Emergency Training Center in Houston
Louis Aulbach and Linda Gorski, Archaeologists
Tuesday, November 4, 2014, 6:30 p.m.
Camp Logan, a military training base built in 1917, housed 44,000 soldiers in what is now Houston’s Memorial Park. To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the beginning of WWI, Louis Aulbach and Linda Gorski will present the archaeological work at the site and pay tribute to the soldiers who trained at Camp Logan. Click here for tickets.
Sponsored by the Houston Archeology Society.

Click here for a list of all of our upcoming lectures.

Related blogs:
The HMNS School of Rock: Cracking Caveman Crafts in the Classroom

Do you dig historic Houston? TxDOT and Join the Houston Archeology Society August 17! Click here for more information.

Celebrate ARR Favorite Holiday at Mixers & Elixirs: Talk Like a Pirate Day

Aye, we be fast approchin’ arrr favorite holiday and yours – Talk Like a Pirate Day! Get your bearings buccaneers and set sail for the Houston Museum of Natural Science where spirits and booty abound with live music to boot.

Once ye get a taste of pirate life, hearties, you’ll be hooked!

 

Not convinced? Here are some pros and cons to pirate life:

 PRO: Fancy Hats

 

 

CON: Sea monsters 

 

PRO: Cool lingo

 

 

CON: Other pirates trying to steal your stuff

 

Pro: Having a sweet ride

 

 

BUT you don’t have to be a pirate to talk like a pirate tomorrow! So come celebrate maties at HMNS!

Gamers Unite: See how you’d fare in battle with Battleship Texas at HMNS 9/20 and 11/11

This post was written by guest blogger Andy Bouffard, Wargame Facilitator.

“To a wargamer, wargames are not abstract, time-wasting pastimes, like other games, but representative of the real… You can learn something from wargames; indeed, in some ways you can learn more from wargames than from reading history.” Greg Costikyan in the collection Tabletop: Analog Game Design.

The Battleship Texas exhibit, now showing at the Houston Museum of Natural Science, provides visitors with plenty of history to read, videos to watch and lots of fascinating artifacts to admire. On September 20 and November 11, 2014, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., another dimension to the Battleship Texas exhibit can be experienced — wargaming

Museum visitors will be able to do more than read about naval warfare, via the written history of USS Texas. On these days you will be encouraged to interact with two simulated battles, each illustrating a different age of maritime warfare and each using representative model ships from their respective age.

Simulation 1
Throughout much of WWII, the German battleship Tirpitz, sister to the famed Bismarck, was a threat in the icy waters of the Norwegian and Barents Sea — threatening to leave the protection of Norwegian ports and attack Russian-bound Allied convoys out of Great Britain or to break out through the Denmark Straits as Bismarck once had. Meanwhile, throughout much of 1942, USS Texas escorted convoys and patrolled the seas, protecting against the likes of a raiding Tirpitz. While Tirpitz and Texas never met, historically, we’ll explore what might-have-been had Tirpitz attacked an Allied convoy and Texas was there to stop her.

Could Texas and her escorts have been a match for Tirpitz?  Help us find out!

Simulation 2
On September 5, 1781, the British army at Yorktown, Virginia, was surrounded by the Continental Army on land and the French navy at sea. Unexpectedly, a British fleet commanded by Sir Thomas Graves arrived to challenge the French blockade of Lord Cornwallis’ army. Although caught by surprise, the French fleet under Admiral De Grasse was able to form a line of battle and prevent the British from breaking the siege of Yorktown. The battle itself could be called a draw, but it did force the British fleet to return to New York for reinforcements and refitting. It is not an understatement to say that this seemingly inconclusive battle led to the formation of the United States of America. 

Can YOU do as well as De Grasse, or maybe even better than Thomas Graves? Find out!

More on Battleship Texas, at HMNS through November 16:

The exhibition, organized by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, highlights the history of the Battleship Texas in service to the United States Navy through World War II. It showcases 60 artifacts of the only surviving U.S. Navy vessel to have seen action in both world wars. Objects on view include a never-before displayed flag from the ship and a shell that hit the vessel but did not explode, plus select pieces from the silver service presented to the battleship by the people of Texas, historical photographs and personal items from men who served aboard the Battleship. A special listening station shares crewmember memories of service aboard the Battleship during World War II.

More on Wargaming in Houston:

Inspired by the National WWII Museum’s “Heat of Battle” wargame convention, Texas BROADSIDE! is held annually aboard USS Texas and uses wargaming as a means to educate the visiting public about the history of US armed conflict.  The event features local-area gamers playing board and miniature wargames aboard the USS Texas.  These games simulate various battles on land, at sea, or in the air, from early American military history, through WWI and WWII, and on to more recent, modern day, battles.  Don’t miss Texas BROADSIDE! 2014 on USS Texas held October 10-12. All proceeds will be donated to the Battleship Texas Foundation. The event is hosted annually by the Houston Beer and Pretzel Wargaming club. Details can be found here.

Houston Beer and Pretzel Wargaming is a group for gamers who meet once a month to share in wargaming amongst friends with good food and drink and wargames camaraderie.  Details can be found at here.