Next stop: BRAZIL! Jet-setting at home with World Trekkers this Friday

Think Brazil is all Carnival and beaches? Think again. Here are three things you probably didn’t know about Brazil:

MERCHANTS NAMED IT, NOT COLONIAL POWERS

When Portugal started to colonize Brazil, they named it Terra de Santa Cruz (Land of the Holy Cross) in their official manuscripts. However, as sailors and merchants began to exploit the plentiful natural resources, a new name took hold, Terra do Brasil (Land of Brazilwood). They also called it Terra di Papaga (Land of the Parrots), but luckily that name didn’t stick.

TWENTY PERCENT OF WATER EMPTYING INTO OCEANS COMES OUT OF THE AMAZON

That’s not just 20 percent of South America’s water; that’s 20 percent of the river water in the world that empties into the ocean! The Amazon river basin is crazy huge — largely located in Brazil, but covering 40% of South America. It’s no wonder then that the Amazon Rainforest is one of the major areas in the world for plant and animal life.

 

THEY’VE GOT THE COOLEST BUILDINGS

Ranging from pre-Colombian monolithic structures to Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Modern … you name it, they’ve got it.

Wish you could be in Brazil now? We’ve got something better — we’re bringing Brazil to YOU with World Trekkers this Friday, June 27!

Brazil is known worldwide for its vibrancy, love of life and endless beauty. Now, you can experience it all at HMNS.

Featuring Brazilian dancers courtesy of LD Dance Company, animals from Brazil and South America with Pacodu Exotics, crafts, balloon art, face painting and a screening of the animated hit Rio 2 in the Wortham Giant Screen Theatre, we’ve got fun for the whole family!

Don’t miss this chance to travel the world right in your hometown. Come to World Trekkers at HMNS on June 27 and get a taste of Brazil.

Viva Brasil!

 

Glimpse: Spirits & Headhunters [12 Days of HMNS]

Today is the Seventh Day of HMNS! In the spirit of the classic holiday carol, we’re taking 12 days to feature 12 different videos that preview or go behind-the-scenes of a holiday museum activity, here on the blog (or, you can get a sneak peek at all the videos on 12days.hmns.org – we won’t tell).

Many of the exhibits we host here – like Genghis Khan or the Terra Cotta Warriors – present objects from long-dead cultures, and the wonder comes from the experience of coming face-to-face with artifacts that were created so long ago. And when you walk through our current Spirits & Headhunters exhibition, and contemplate the absolute beauty of the vibrant, intricate feather art and objects on display, it’s easy to forget that the cultures that created these works are very much alive – though also fast disappearing.

Learn more from Adam Mekler, associate curator for Amazonia, who believes, “When a culture disappears, I think an aspect of all humanity disappears.”

Click play to explore the exhibit and discover these vanishing worlds.

Need to catch up?

The First Day of HMNS – Explore: Snow Science
The Second Day of HMNS – Preview: The Chronicles of Narnia Exhibition
The Third Day of HMNS – Preview: Disney’s A Christmas Carol
The Fourth Day of HMNS – Investigate: The Star of Bethlehem
The Fifth Day of HMNS – Shop: The Perfect Gift
The Sixth Day of HMNS – Marvel: Faberge

Get into the holiday spirit! Visit our 12 Days of HMNS web site to see the videos and get more information about each event, exhibit and film: 12days.hmns.org Happy Holidays!

Science Doesn’t Sleep (7.17.08)

Clownfish!
Creative Commons License photo credit: watercolors08

So here’s what went down after you logged off.

National Geographic has beautiful photos of the Abrolhos Reef, off the coast of Brazil – which scientists have recently discovered is twice as large as previously thought.

Molecular hula hoops: very tiny fun!

The Maker Faire is coming to Austin. According to the organizers, it’s “a newfangled fair that brings together science, art, craft and engineering plus green, food and music in a fun, energized, and exciting public forum.” Will you enter? Tell us what you’re making!

Ohhh…I see. When you said “lucky” what you really meant was “carcinogenic.”

Stephen Hobley plays a harp made of lasers - that also functions as a controller for Guitar Hero. Best of all – you can build one, too! (Love Guitar Hero – but not DIY enough to make your own laser version? Check out Rockfest in the Grand Hall this Saturday.)

SciGuy‘s got a list of Houston’s most generous science philanthropists – it’s a chronicle not just of their generosity, but also the cutting-edge science facilities we have here in Houston. He’s posting them one at a time, so check back.

AquaJellies!