The Adventures of Archie the Wandering T. rex: England

by Karen Whitley

Man am I one lucky dinosaur. When I was adopted last summer from the Museum Store at the Houston Museum of Natural Science, I had no idea I was on my way to becoming a world traveler, a globetrotter, an adventurer if you will. Just call me Lemuel Gulliver! (Like from Gulliver’s Travels? Get it??)

Well, actually, I was given the name Archibald… (Pretentious much?) But you can call me Archie. While my cousins and friends all waited to be adopted, I packed my suitcase (let me tell you, not so easy with short arms) and began my new life. A life filled with far off places, daring swordfights, magic spells, a prince in disguise… eh, maybe not so much. Let’s just say my human watches a little too much Disney.

To celebrate, my new family and I went off on a summer vacation! I did worry about the airplane, I mean flying dinosaurs….it’s not natural. But luckily everything went smoothly. The food wasn’t great and all, but I did get to catch up on some movies, and they even gave me some wings! I’m telling you, wings on a dinosaur… Not natural. Before I knew it, we had set down in Merry Ol’ England. Did you know they have a queen and princes (I wonder if they are in disguise), but no king? Guess I’m the king around here!AirportLondon is such a busy city! Taxi drivers zooming in and out, people filling the sidewalks, lines of big red buses everywhere. There was so much to see and do: from walks in St. James Park and Kensington Gardens (and ice cream), to Westminster Abby, Buckingham Palace (and ice cream), St. Paul’s Cathedral, LEGOLAND (and ice cream), and more (plus more ice cream)! The adventure never stopped! Here are just a few highlights from this great country.

There was this old clock that everyone was taking photos with… Big Ben, I’m told. Do you think I can get people to call me Big Archie? I won’t lie; for a clock, it was pretty spectacular. I reminds me of the Chronophage back home at HMNS.Big BenOM NOM NOM!! Look at me, I’m eating the clock! Godzilla IRL! LOL! JK…Eating Big BenThen we went on this giant Ferris wheel called the London Eye. We got a really cool bird’s-eye view of London, but for some reason people kept taking photos of me, even people in the pods next to us. Guess they had never seen a blue dinosaur before. It ain’t easy being blue.London EyeHey look, there’s the clock thing again! See it to the right?London Eye 4I even went on my first boat ride down the Thames to see the London Bridge (eh, not that impressed…) and the Tower Bridge (now THERE’s a bridge!), where we ended up at the Tower of London.Tower Bridge 2You’ll be happy to know that the ravens were present and accounted for when I left. I did try to eat a few, but since apparently that would have been disastrous to the realm of England. They kept them pretty safe. What do you think, would I make a good guard? (I’m pretty good at standing still…)Guard TowerWe did leave London to go out into the country to visit Leeds Castle in Kent, which was amazing! I mean, it has a moat. Who doesn’t love a moat?Castle LeedsThere was a tricky maze, which is not easy when you’re nine inches tall (Ok, eight and a half, but who’s counting?), but I didn’t let it stop me. Here’s me in the center of the maze!Castle Leeds Maze 2My final adventure in England was at King’s Cross Station where I journeyed onto Platform 9 3/4. They even sorted me into a house, Ravenclaw… They seemed to think it was where I belonged before I ran through the wall. Hmmm, magic, princes, a far off place… All we needed was a sword fight. Maybe my life is turning out like a Disney film, after all.Harry PotterSpeaking of Disney, tune in again in a couple of weeks as I tell you about my adventures in Paris that includes a trip to Disney! As for this trip to England, that’s about all the stories I have to tell. Until next time!

Oh, I almost forgot. I’ve got a big family still waiting to be adopted at the HMNS Museum Store! Stop by and meet them all, including my big brother! If they’re lucky, maybe you’ll take them on adventures, too!

Editor’s Note: Karen is Birthday Party Manager in the HMNS Marketing department.

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Registration deadline approaching for HMNS awards and scholarship!

by Scott Stevenson

Excellence in Science or Mathematics

Through the generosity of the Cockrell Foundation, the Houston Museum of Natural Science is proud to offer the Evelyn Frensley Scholarship for Outstanding Achievement in Science or Mathematics in Science or Mathematics and in recognition of the fine educators of Houston we also offer the Wilhelmina C. Robertson Excellence in Science or Mathematics Teaching Award

2015 Luncheon

The museum hosted the Excellence in Science Luncheon at the Houston Country Club Oct. 22, 2015. The Evelyn Frensley Scholarship for Outstanding Achievement in Science or Mathematics was presented to Philip Tan of Lamar High School and Rolando Marquez of Sam Rayburn High School. The Wilhelmina C. Robertson Excellence in Science or Mathematics Teacher Award was presented to Mycael Parks from L.H. Stehlik Intermediate and Tom Heilman from St. Stephen’s Episcopal School Houston.

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Dr. Zahi Hawass

The recipients and guests at the luncheon were treated to keynote speaker Dr. Zahi Hawass, world-renowned archaeologist. Dr. Hawass has served at most of the archaeological sites in Egypt during his career. 

2016 Student Scholarship and Teaching Award

Two annual awards of $2,000 go to two high school juniors in the Houston area. Of special interest to the museum review committee is a description of plans for college and future career and a description of projects or activities that demonstrate ability and interest in science or mathematics. To nominate a student, please fill out the 2016 Student Scholarship Form. The deadline for all submissions is April 22, 2016.

The Wilhelmina C. Robertson Excellence in Science or Mathematics Teaching Award of $2,000 will go to one Kindergarten to fifth-grade science or math teacher, and one sixth to 12th-grade science or math teacher who demonstrates significant ability and dedication to teaching in either discipline in the Houston area. You may nominate an outstanding teacher by filling out the 2016 Teaching Award Form. The deadline for all submissions is April 22, 2016.

Editor’s Note: Scott is Youth Education and Xplorations Camp Manager at the Houston Museum of Natural Science.

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Mark Your Calendars for these events happening at HMNS 1/25-1/31

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!

Last week’s featured #HMNSBlockParty creation is by Juliauna (age 9).

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We also want to highlight another great #HMNSBlockParty creation by Jamie (age 2). 
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Want to get your engineering handwork featured? Drop by our brand-new Block Party interactive play area and try your own hand building a gravity-defying masterpiece. Tag your photos with #HMNSBlockParty.

Film Screening – First Footprints with Peter Veth
Wednesday, Jan. 27
6:30 p.m.
Explore the story how people first arrived and thrived on the Australian continent. Startling new archaeological discoveries reveal how the first Australians adapted, migrated, fought and created in dramatically changing environments.
Join Dr. Peter Veth of University of Western Australia for the Texas premiere of the film First Footprints.
This is a one-night only event. This program is cosponsored by AIA, Houston Society with support from Schlumberger and the Houston Perth Sister City Association.

Lecture – Expression in Aboriginal Rock Art by Peter Veth
Thursday, Jan. 28
6:30 p.m.
One of the oldest living traditions on the planet, Australian Aboriginal rock art informs us about the very nature of cognitive origins. Dr. Peter Veth will explore why aboriginal tribes feel compelled to decorate their landscape and what meaning this art form holds for them. Perhaps creating art is essential to the human spirit.
Archaeologist Peter Veth is a professor at University of Western Australia who studies ethnohistoric and ethnographic artwork in an archaeological context. This lecture is cosponsored by AIA, Houston Society with support from Schlumberger and the Houston Perth Sister City Association.

Wildlife Photographer of the Year opens Friday, Jan. 29
Now in its fifty-first year, Wildlife Photographer of the Year is the international leader in innovative visual representation of the natural world. This prestigious competition and resulting exhibition stimulates engagement with the diversity and beauty of the natural world and thrills audiences around the globe.
This world-renowned exhibition, on loan from the Natural History Museum in London, features 100 awe-inspiring images, from fascinating animal behaviour to breath-taking wild landscapes.

 

 

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Goldfish and Hops: the upcoming Special Events trends of 2016

by Ashley Zalta

The Special Events department of the Houston Museum of Natural Science annually attends the Special Events Conference, the industry’s premier trade show and conference for event professionals. The conference is attended by over 5,000 event colleagues, exhibitors, and mentors who can select from over 100 education sessions, attend seven showcasing events, network with fellow event pros, and browse through thousands of products on the exhibit hall floor. We would like to share with you some of the fun facts we learned:

9. The average attention span of a person is now down to only nine seconds… The same as a goldfish!

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8. Since 1963, Pantone has chosen the color of the year, and for the first time ever, the 2016 color of the year is actually two colors: Rose Quartz and Serenity. Rose Quartz and Serenity demonstrate an inherent balance between a warmer embracing rose tone and the cooler tranquil blue, reflecting connection and wellness as well as a soothing sense of order and peace.

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7. The color of the year affects industries from events to fashion, to home décor. Last year, however, although the color of the year was Marsala, the number one paint color sold was sage green.

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6. This year, the floral trends of the year will be variations of the garden rose and hops. Yes, the ingredient found in beer!

A couple of our favorite garden rose colors are the Pashmina, which is a lovely combination of green and pink petals.

Conf63The Salamansar rose is a member of the coral color family also known for having big, fluffy blooms.Conf62

With craft beer becoming such a popular thing, using hops in bouquets and boutonnieres will be a trend you will be seeing more of.

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5. The average wedding age is currently 29 for males and 27 for females.

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4. No longer is DIY only for the bride on a budget. It’s also a great way to show off your creativity and personalize your event — things like paper flower arches for ceremonies and hanging picture frames featuring your family tree or special movements in your relationship.

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3. A current booming trend in food presentation is DIY food stations. In this option, foods are completely cooked, but assembly options allow the guests to customize exactly what they want. Examples to get you started are the make-your-own taco bar, make-your-own bloody Mary, and make-your-own caramel apples.

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2. You may not be interested in planning a social event, but you can use our suggestions in a big 2016 trend of unconventional meetings. Studies now show people want more interactive and engaging meetings with people getting up and moving, and this can be achieved by holding your meeting at an unconventional location such as a museum like HMNS!

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1. With the neverending need for us to be connected to our technology, our last trend provides fashionable comfort with the ability to recharge in charging furniture.

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We hope you enjoyed these fascinating details. We sure did! For more information on how to plan your special event at HMNS, check out our web site. Happy planning!

Editor’s Note: Ashley is the Special Events Manager for the Houston Museum of Natural Science.

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