Inspired by energy: Get poetic and win a tour of the Wiess Energy Hall

In the time before TV or radio, people had to entertain themselves. Some of the quickest games to start were word games.  Either take a theme and pun away, or set up different rules like starting the next word with the letter that ended the previous word.  For more formal entertainment, you could create a poem using a variety of different structures. Maybe you gravitated toward the villanelle, a 19-line poem. Or a haiku, a non-rhyming poem of 5, 7, and 5 lines.

But for this poem inspired by energy (cable’s out) I’ve gone with the always-classic sonnet.

Wiess Energy Hall 3

Here is a short sonnet written about oil
And a couple of things you can do during the summer
So that your bills and budget aren’t foiled
Leading to your vacation being a bit of a bummer
When you’re driving around in your car
Make sure your tires are full of air
Tires without air don’t go far
Keeping up your car should take your care
And don’t forget about things in your trunk
The car’s gas mileage can be affected by that junk

But I could have just as easily gone with a limerick like:

There once was a man out on his luck
He couldn’t find a job, but wouldn’t give up on his pluck
He got a job harvesting bio mass
So that he could get some cash
So now he harvests algae muck

So here’s the deal — make a silly summer sonnet of your own, a lovingly lined limerick, a high-minded haughty haiku, or any other poem about saving energy this summer.  We’ll post it on the ECC website and a couple of other places. In two weeks we’ll have a drawing for a few different prizes, the grand prize being a free tour of the Wiess Energy Hall by moi.

The votes have been tallied: Your new mascot is called…

Tiny the Tyrannosaurus rex!

You all sure appreciate a sense of irony — Tiny won our naming contest with 104 votes over Tex’s 85. The remaining nominated names trailed behind, with Huey coming in at 19 votes, Sam with 10 and Amigo with eight.

We’ve gotta say, we were pulling for Tiny all along. Just look at him; it’s perfectly paradoxical:

T-Rex trying to crack a geode!
Tiny the T.Rex is having trouble cracking this geode. He should come to HMNS’ geode-cracking station!

The winning name was first nominated by Katy Yeager Huggins, who won four passes for a guided tour of the new Hall of Paleontology. Congratulations, Katy!

Tell us: What do you think of Tiny the T. rex?

What’s in a name? Prizes, for one thing! VOTE for your favorite moniker and grant the submittor a guided tour of the new paleo hall

You’ve made your nominations, and the academy has deliberated. We even put the top five names you guys submitted for our new T-Rex Trying mascot in crisp ecru envelopes and everything. We hired a calligrapher and borrowed ball gowns! I’ve gotten carried away, haven’t I?

T-Rex Trying to catch a butterfly!

Well this much is true: We’ve selected our favorite five name suggestions, and now it’s up to you to pick the winner.

Our favorite picks were *drumroll please*:

  • Tex 
  • Huey 
  • Tiny
  • Amigo
  • Sam

Whether the names were inspired by our city, our state or our sense of irony, we loved the outpouring of responses we received. So don’t stop now! Log onto the HMNS Facebook page and vote for your favorite; the winner will get a guided tour for four of the new Hall of Paleontology.

Help us help you: Name our new paleontological pal and win a guided tour of the new Hall of Paleontology!

By now you all should be acquainted with our new mascot:

T-Rex Trying to fit in!

He’ll be hanging out with us for the indefinite future, and it occurred to us that it might be polite to give him a name.

Well, that hasn’t gone smoothly, as you might imagine. In fact, the entire process reminds me of the infamous family shutout of ’92, when my sister was incubating and my two name suggestions — Maleficent for a girl, Pooch Patrol for a boy, naturally — were vetoed without so much as a vote.

Although in hindsight I think “Annie” does have a nicer ring, I’m dedicated to making this naming exercise a touch more fair. And that’s where you guys come in!

Here are the contest details: Leave a comment either here or on HMNS’ Facebook page with your suggestion of a name for our new spokes-dino. The top five submissions (read: our most favorite) will be selected by our online team, and then put to a vote on Facebook. The winner will get a guided tour for four of the new Hall of Paleontology — with more than 3 billion years and hundreds of species to cover, don’t you think you want a docent?

The power of social media is yours to harness, so use it!

The name nomination contest ends Friday at 5 p.m., so get your thinking caps on and come up with something our tireless T. rex can be proud of — just don’t ask him for a high five.