Mark Your Calendars for these events happening at HMNS 3/16-3/22

Bust out your planners, calendars, and PDAs (if you are throwback like that), it’s time to mark your calendars for the HMNS events of this week! HMNS SL exterior

Add some science to your Spring Break!
HMNS – Hermann Park
Check out our five special exhibitions: Wildlife Photographer of the Year, Samurai: The Way of the Warrior, Shark!, Faberge: From a Snowflake to an Iceberg, and Gemstone Carvings! Watch the newly released film, Humpback Whales 3D, in the Wortham Giant Screen Theatre. Be sure to stop by the Morian Hall of Paleontology during your visit to see our favorite Diplodocus, Dipsy, who was recently installed.

HMNS at Sugar Land
HMNS at Sugar Land has extended Spring Break hours from March 7-22: 
Monday-Saturday: 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. & Sunday: 12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Explore the special exhibition Crystals of India, take part in the P.A.W.S. Reading Program this weekend, and more at HMNS at Sugar Land!

The George Observatory
Bring your family out to Brazos Bend State Park to enjoy the George Observatory. Amateur astronomers also bring an array of telescopes for you to look through and learn about the night sky. Come early to enjoy a Discovery Dome movie and look at the Sun with our solar scope.

 

 

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Please, Be Irrational! Pi Day is Tomorrow!

pi-dayTomorrow is Pi Day, a slightly silly recognition of the special number that is the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter. But it’s not just any Pi Day, it is the Pi Day of the century! Because pi is 3.1415926……..etc., Pi Day is held on March 14 every year (get it? 3-14?), but Pi Day this year is special because it is 2015, so now we can have 3-14-15, which won’t happen again for a hundred years!

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For extra bonus, give a cheer at 9:26 am (and 53 seconds!) to squeeze in a few more place values of joy. But you’ll have to make a cut-off somewhere because pi just keeps going, and going, and going without repeating patterns.

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It has been calculated out to a trillion digits (thanks, computers!) but most of the time, there’s no reason you’d need more than a couple dozen at the very most. Happily, for everyday estimations 3.14 will get you there, or 3.14159 if you want be more accurate.

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Want to remember pi more easily? Use the delightfully geeky trigonometric chant:

Cosine, secant, tangent, sine!
Three point one four one five nine!

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Find yourself in pi’s digits: Use the birthday (or other date) finder from www.mypiday.com to see where your date shows up in the endless string – it’s pretty, too!

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Want some gear to along with that pi? We’ve got your covered!

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Join us for a Pi Day celebration at HMNS Sugar Land the morning of 3/14/15, or check out more fun with pi from www.piday.org

Happy Pi Day, Everyone!

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Dipsy the Diplodocus is back at HMNS!

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After a 2 year absence, “Dipsy” the Diplodocus is back at HMNS!  Making it’s debut back in 1975, Dipsy was the first dinosaur to call HMNS home. In 2013, our Diplodocus was de-installed from its original place in the Glassell Hall and sent off for a much needed spa retreat in Utah. While there, the bones were carefully cleaned and a new mounting frame designed. This week, she arrived back in Houston and was permanently installed in our Morian Hall of Paleontology.

Diplodocus installation, March 2015

Spine, tail and rib bones go up first. Followed by the legs.

Front leg installation.  Dipsy's stance has been modified from it's previous posture. Now, the skeleton assumes a tripod stance, as if rearing up to feed on leaves.

Front leg installation: Dipsy’s stance has been modified from it’s previous posture. Now, the skeleton assumes a tripod stance, as if rearing up to feed on leaves.

Associate Curator of Paleontology, David Temple, overseeing the installation process.

HMNS Associate Curator of Paleontology, David Temple, oversaw the installation process.

 Fun Facts about “Dipsy” the Diplodocus

  • This particular Diplodocus skeleton is a holotype for Diplodocus hayii. A holotype is a single physical example (or illustration) of an organism, known to have been used when the species was formally described. HMNS is the only place in the world where you can see a Diplodocus hayii on display.
  • Paleontologists don’t know for sure whether Dipsy is male or female.
  • Diplodocus hayii were herbivores. Their skulls, however, have many small, sharp teeth. These were used for stripping plants, not for chewing.
  • This skeleton is 72 feet long and about 25 feet high.
Dipsy's skull was the last piece  to be installed. Notice the small, sharp teeth present.

Dipsy’s skull was the last piece to be installed. Notice the small, sharp teeth present.

For more photos of the installation, visit out Instagram page.

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