Olympics withdrawal got you down?

Birds' Nest at Night
Creative Commons License photo credit: chumsdock

Are you suffering from Olympics withdrawal? Take your own travel adventure to China with the Houston Museum of Natural Science.

In less than a year, you can travel to China to see the most famous attractions of the country AND the longest total solar eclipse of the century.

The Olympics have shown us the new China – historic, modern and beautiful. The Houston Museum of Natural Science will explore its wonders during our trip to see the total solar eclipse in Shanghai next summer.

The trip includes three days in Beijing with time to climb the Great Wall, visit Tienanmen Square, the Forbidden City, the Temple of Heaven, the Summer Palace, and the most famous Olympics venues, including the Bird’s Nest and Water Cube.

The trip also includes Xi’an with its Terra-Cotta Warriors and Wild Goose Pagoda followed by a trip south for a Yangtze River cruise, ending at the Three Gorges Dam, as well as sightseeing in Shanghai.

Eclipsed? Not totally.
Creative Commons License photo credit: James Jordan

But the highlight and final event is the total solar eclipse, with the dark new moon passing in front of the sun, blocking all but its beautiful outer atmosphere from our view for six full minutes. From a special location near Shanghai, we will watch this rare celestial event, occurring over one of the most populous and modern cities in the world.

If you have any questions about this historic event or the trip we’re planning to witness it, please leave me a comment on this post.

(Can’t wait until July? Some of China’s most spectacular archaeological treasures – the Terra Cotta Warriors – are coming to Houston this May.)

Science Doesn’t Sleep (8.20.08)

Highway One
Creative Commons License photo credit: billaday

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Science Doesn’t Sleep (8.18.08)

Robot Vista
Creative Commons License photo credit: Kiwi Flickr

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

Robots: they’re so hot right now. A new surveillance bot looks really cool – but it’s also extremely noisy (and so not very good for surveillance.) And – this robot could save your life.

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The NASA spacecraft Cassini has taken “razor-sharp” images of 1000-meter deep fissures in the surface of Enceladus, one of Saturn’s moons – a place believed likely to contain life (or at least, more likely than other places in space).

A new study from the Johns Hopkins Weight Management Center indicates that low density foods may be the key to weight loss. Sponsored by the Mushroom Council, the study recommends foods that have a low ration of calories to volume, like…mushrooms.

As Arctic ice melts, Canada will search for the remains of a 19th century expedition that was lost in pursuit of the Northwest Passage.

Science Doesn’t Sleep (8.14.08)

Granny Smith
Nutritous and delicious.
Creative Commons License photo credit: Steve Navarro

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

For the 2008 Olympians, what’s nutritious and delicious? Powdered apple peel.

Humans and wild elephants in Indonesia have come into repeated conflict over habitat – resulting in property losses for humans and deaths of wild elephants. So, locals have developed a squadron of trained “flying elephants” that patrol the perimeter villages and warn their brethren away.

Insects that dive underwater create an “underwater lung” – an air bubble they carry with them as they swim – in order to breathe. Scientists have just figured out how it works.

Don’t forget to sleep on it: sleep plays a sophisticated role in what we remember – and what we forget.

Geographic profiling: what works for bees also works for serial killers.

Ready the wonderment: the Moon goes into partial eclipse this Saturday night.

Where have all the sea monsters gone? A variety of factors are transforming Earth’s oceans into “simplistic ecosystems dominated by microbes, toxic algal blooms, jellyfish and disease.”