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!


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.


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.


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

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


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


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


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

Happy Pi Day, Everyone!

HOW-TO: Make your own super last-minute superhero costume for our Comic-Con Mixers & Elixirs

Need a last-minute costume for our Comic-Con mixer on July 18? No problem! As a connoisseur of procrastination myself, I know that waiting until the last minute to prepare a costume can be as stressful as it is a unique and beautiful catalyst for creating stunning, creative accoutrements.

Comic Con Blog 3

Copy Man surveying the landscape, forever on the search for those who need rescuing from copy-related emergencies.

Here’s a simple way to create your own bare bones superhero costume:


  1. Regular clothes
  2. Underwear (that can fit over your outerwear)
  3. A large swath of fabric
  4. Paper
  5. String
  6. Markers


Step 1: Pick a super-identity.
I chose “Copy Man” because I’m a copywriter.

Step 2: Pick out clothes that fit your super-identity.
I picked what I wore today to work … because I’m a copy writer.

Step 3: Put on clothes from step two.
Already on!

Step 4: Put underwear over clothes (bonus points if they also fit your super-identity or are really cute).
Sorry, if I had thought about this step before I left the house I would’ve worn cuter underwear.

Step 5: Find large piece of fabric and drape it over your shoulders.
Instant cape! Mine’s made from a curtain, fixed together with earbuds.

Step 6: Make a mask out of the paper and string.
Feel free to color yours in, but I wanted a more monotone palette.

Step 7: Draw a symbol on a piece of paper to represent your super-identity.
CM = Copy Man!

Step 8: Affix symbol to your shirt.
Tape is a beautiful invention.

Bonus step: Create awesome headgear or props with more paper and/or other found objects.

TA-DA! DONE. This took me, like, 15 minutes to put together, so if a friend of yours tries to come up with excuses on how they don’t have time to put a costume together before our Comic-Con Mixer at 7 p.m. on Friday July 18, tell them, “NO EXCUSES!”*

*You don’t have to wear a costume, but they are encouraged! See you Friday!

Comic Con Blog 1

Copy Man was just a mild mannered copywriter until one day the Houston Museum of Natural Science decided to throw a Comic-Con party.


Comic Con Blog 2

He now fights crime and poor writing with his “Cosmic Copy Ray”

The Iceman Stuffeth: 20 stocking stuffers under $20

Forget the fruit cake – get your family and friends something they could actually use for the holidays! Here are 20 items under $20 for everyone on your list (including you) from the Museum Store:

1. FOR THE CARBIVORE: Pastasaurus

“There are too many dinosaur references in my kitchen,” said no one, ever. Liven up your space with this ingenious pasta server! Your guests will be so entertained by your serving ware they’ll hardly notice your terrible cooking.

2. FOR THE SWEET-FANGED BAKER: Fossil Food Silicone Cupcake Baker

Do you have a vicious sweet tooth? Tired of trampling children as you dash for that last delicious cupcake? With these delightful trays you can make all the cupcakes you want and more! The fossil mold at the bottom is more of a warning than decoration: “If you don’t want to end up like these guys (extinct) keep your claws off my cakes!”


3. FOR THE 3D ENTHUSIAST:  3D Dino Cookie Cutters

They make you see every 3D movie that comes out. Give them a reason to stay home once in a while! Heck, with these, they can even recreate their own Jurassic Park — complete with T. rex, Brachiosaurus, Triceratops and Stegosaurus!



Everyone can see your brawn, but what about your brain? This button says, “I’m good at math, and that’s sexy.”


5. FOR THE TECH-SAVVY WINO: Save Wine Stopper

For when you just need to hack life … it just makes sense.

Also, this bottle opener, because you’ve got to get to the wine to save it.

6. FOR THE BOOKISH LUSH: Chem. 101 Flask Book

You give off a shy, quiet vibe but know how to have fun. Whether you’re in the library, park or attending a family event, you can maintain your bookworm reputation while having your own party!


Allows you to perfectly measure the ridiculous amounts of caffeine you use to power your body. Natch.


8. FOR THE DAREDEVIL(ISH): Climber Tea Infuser

You live life on the edge, but sometimes want to sit back and relax with a nice cup of tea – you’re just classy like that. This tea infuser captures the spirit of exploration, and heck, if it can have an adventure in your mug, there’s no reason why you can’t on your couch!



Looking good is simply elemental in this stylish tee. Perfect for a stroll through the museum, to the lab or to buy your new Bunsen burner.



Tired of long commutes by yourself? Love your electric car? Bring Tesla with you for a fun-filled ride! And if you really want to make it a party, you can bring along his friends Madame Curie, Sir Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, Leonardo DaVinci, Galileo Galilei, and Charles Darwin.


11. FOR THE DEFENSIVE GAMER: Space Intruders Drink Markers

Perfect for the gamer in your life! Or yourself. If you hold arcade games close to your heart, show everyone just how dedicated you are with these drink markers.


12. FOR THE THIRD WHEEL: I Love Nerds Button
Have a third wheel weighing you down? Tired of setting them up on dates only to find out your matches aren’t nerdy enough? Get them this badge of honor, announcing to the world their undying devotion to nerds — it’s sure to attract the perfect mate!



Remember when burning ants used to be the only way you could say, “I love you”? Well, now you have more pizazz (and are being investigated for arson…). So these decorative ornaments are sure to light a new fire in her heart with a nostalgic longing for those youthful days.


14. FOR THE WHOVIAN: Dr. Who Mug

You’ve been wanting your own TARDIS for a long time, haven’t you? Well, here’s your chance! Use this mug as you travel through space and time with your favorite brew.


15. FOR THE FORCEFUL STAR WARS FAN: May the F=Ma Be With You Backpack

Tired of choosing between science and science fiction? This bag combines the two seamlessly (except the ones holding the bag together) with witty simplicity — perfect for carrying beakers to the lab or as an overnight bag for a stay on the Millennium Falcon.


16. FOR THE WISE TRAVELER: Einstein Luggage Tag

Luggage tags say a lot: where you’ve been, where you’re going, and now, insights from one of the great minds if the 20th century. You’re on a mission to find your place in the universe. At least with this tag, you won’t have to worry about finding your luggage.


17. FOR THE MODERN CAVEMAN: Arrowhead Laser Pointer

Neanderthals ain’t got nothing on you! Perfect for presentations or tormenting your cat, this laser pointer is a precision tool for the modern caveman.


18. FOR THE PALEO-DIETER: Tricerachops Mug

Tired from running between CrossFit and work? Tough Mudder wore you out? What you need is Tricerachops! Let’s face it: you’re dedicated to the paleo diet — now go all the way! This mug will show you how to get the perfect cut of dino meat. Make our hunter-gatherer ancestors proud.



They care about the environment and leave their own unique stamp on everything — why not this watch, too?

20. FOR THE FUTURE SPACE EXPLORER: Zero-Gravity Fridge Rover

The final frontier: the back of the freezer. No one’s ever made it back from the icy edges of the universe — but that doesn’t scare you, not with your Zero Gravity Rover! Dare to go where no one has gone before: to freezer burn and beyond.

Order online from our Museum Store by Tues., Dec. 17 for delivery before Christmas, or call 713-639-4665 for pick up and expedited delivery options.

Science Doesn’t Sleep (9.3.08)

red red wine
Creative Commons License photo credit: elusive.

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

Coming soon: Chardonnay-dioactive. Nuclear scientists put on their sleuth hats to help stop a crime that’s keeping us all up at night: wine fraud.

Attention, Alabama and Georgia – time to start securing your knives, forks and any other sharp metal objects that might be lying around: scientists in Florida are building the world’s most powerful magnet.

You know him from Mythbusters, but he’s also obsessed with the dodo – here, a paean to extreme geekitude.

No matter where you are, Google can see you – better than anyone else. At least they will when their new, exclusive satellite launches.

NASA is going to spiff up the Hubble Telescope – one last time.

Oil goo: a Houston startup has developed a new technology that squeezes hard-to-reach oil out of wells.

Space is stealing our oxygen.