Mark Your Calendars for these events happening this week (12/1-12/7) at HMNS

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!

Go behind-the-scenes of our offsite collections storage facility or tour one of our exhibits in the five behind-the-scenes tours offered this week, sharpen your survival skills (and an arrowhead and stone knife) in the adult education class ‘Creating Stone Age Tools’, and explore India with the last World Trekkers event of the year – this week at HMNS.

shrunken head
View shrunken heads from the Amazon up close in our Behind-the-Scenes tour of our Offsite Collections Storage facility. 

Behind-the-Scenes Offsite Collections Storage
Monday, December 1
1:30 p.m. & 6:00 p.m.
Millions of artifacts and specimens are housed at the Museum’s offsite collections storage. For the first time ever, HMNS is allowing the public to tour this facility. Participants will see old favorites no longer on display, like the shrunken heads from the Amazon, and new acquisitions that have not been seen by the public yet, including a giant African elephant. This truly behind-the-scenes tour of the museum collections will be led by Lisa Rebori, HMNS VP of collections. Participants will meet at HMNS and ride van to the offsite facility. This program is limited to adults and children age 12 and older. Reservations are required in advance. Space is very limited. Click here for tickets.

Behind-the-Scenes – Fabergé: From A Snowflake To An Iceberg
Wednesday, December 3
6:00 p.m.
This new installation of the McFerrin Collection includes over 150 new objects. The exhibition is designed to tell the history of Imperial Russia through the works of the Fabergé master craftsman and highlight the different types of items made by Fabergé – from showy fashion statements to opulent utilitarian items – all made with Fabergé’s hallmark beauty and precision. Tour this remarkable collection with HMNS master docents. Click here for tickets.

Behind-the-Scenes – Farish Hall of Texas Wildlife
Wednesday, December 3
6:00 p.m.
Walk through the different biomes of Texas that feature the flora and fauna of these distinct areas that are unique to Texas. Learn of the animals that are featured in the exhibition – some who flourish in these areas, and others who are endangered or extinct. Museum master docents will be your guide through the new Farish Hall of Texas Wildlife. Click here for tickets.

Behind-the-Scenes – Shark!
Thursday, December 4
6:00 p.m.
Learn about the important roles sharks play in ecosystems and about their unique physical characteristics in the Shark! touch tank experience. Museum biologists will lead this special after-hours, hands-on tour. Click here for tickets.

Behind-the-Scenes – Samurai: The Way of the Warrior
Thursday, December 4
6:00 p.m.
Witness the exquisite objects related to the legendary Samurai warriors of Japan in the special exhibition Samurai: The Way of the Warrior. Museum master docents will lead you through the collection that includes full suits of armor, helmets, swords, sword-hilts, and saddles, as well as exquisite objects intended for more personal use such as lacquered writing boxes, incense trays and foldable chairs. Click here for tickets.

Class – Creating Stone Age Tools
Thursday, December 4
6:00 p.m.
Discover how antler, stone and bone can be used to fashion a Paleolithic survival knife through proper percussion and pressure methods. Learn how to make an arrowhead by pressure alone and a simple stone knife using traditional hand tools. Your lithic art is yours to keep for your collection. Paleolithic archaeologist Gus Costa will teach the prehistoric skills needed to master the ancient art of stone tool making. All materials, tools and safety equipment will be provided. Participants must be at least 15 years of age. Click here for tickets.

Orion First Flight Viewing
George Observatory
Thursday, December 4
4:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. 
The George Observatory will be free to the general public for the viewing of Orion’s first flight. 

World Trekkers – India
Friday, December 5
6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Leave the luggage at home, you can explore India right from HMNS’ Grand Hall with World Trekkers this December! Our last World Trekkers event of this year will transport you to India with Bollywood dance performances, rangoli display, photo ops with cultural icons, traditional Indian cuisine, and much more! Click here for more info. 
Also, don’t miss the screening of the Disney Classic The Jungle Book at World Trekkers at 7:00 p.m.

Holiday Trunk Show – Rebecca Lankford 
Saturday, December 6
12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. 
Favorite local designer Rebecca Lankford is back! With hand cast metals, fine leathers, and a casual take on gems like raw diamonds and South Sea pearls, Rebecca’s designs have earned her a devoted Houston following.Click here for more information on upcoming trunk shows. 

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!

 

Come to England with us! World Trekkers + The Princess Bride = Awesomeness

We’re showing The Princess Bride as part of our World Trekkers: England event on Friday night. We know that this is basically one of the best movies ever (it has a HUGE cult following), but here are some special tidbits that make it that much more awesome:

Princess-Bride-cast

 

The Cliffs of Insanity are real

The “Cliffs of Insanity” are actually the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland (personally, I think Ireland should think about renaming this location to align with the movie). Dramatic movie scenes aside, they really are a natural wonder, standing at a staggering 702 feet at their highest point. Formed over millions of years from sedimentary deposits, the cliffs are rife with fossils, and are constantly (but slowly) changing due to erosion.

 

Whoopie Goldberg wanted to be Buttercup

Don’t get me wrong, I love Whoopie Goldberg, but I’m very glad that Robin Wright got the part. Virtually unknown at the time, this was Wright’s first major role. She went up against Courtney Cox and Meg Ryan, and yes, even Whoopie Goldberg campaigned for the role (now try picturing them in different scenes as you watch the movie – it’ll blow your mind).

 

Iocaine powder doesn’t exist

We’ve all considered building up a resistance to iocaine powder after seeing this film, just in case, but sadly it’s made up.

However (and we don’t recommend this), you can actually build up a resistance to some lethal substances. Mithridatism is the practice of protecting oneself against a poison by self-administering non-lethal amounts over a long period of time. The name comes from Mithridates VI, King of Pontus, who ingested small doses of poisons on a regular basis, to try and develop immunity. However, in modern times, this practice is almost exclusively performed by those who regularly risk exposure to venomous animals.

 

Vizzini’s line about land wars is Asia is a real quote (almost)

One of the most famous lines in the movie is when Vizzini says, “You fell victim to one of the classic blunders — the most famous of which is ‘Never get involved in a land war in Asia’ — but only slightly less well-known is this: ‘Never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line!’” This advice actually comes from Bernard L. Montgomery in a speech in the House of Lords in 1962 where he said, “Rule 1, on page 1 of the book of war is: ‘Do not march on Moscow.’ Rule 2 is: ‘Do not go fighting with your land armies in China.'”

 

Robin Wright used Andre the Giant’s hand as a hat

Some nights while shooting the film it apparently got rather chilly. In which case, Andre the Giant would place his hand on Wright’s head to help keep her warm. Now that’s a custom headpiece!

Now that you know all this, come watch The Princess Bride in the Wortham Giant Screen Theatre (for an additional $6) during World Trekkers on Friday, March 21!

 

Feast your eyes, ears, and stomach! At World Trekkers, we’ve got something for everyone.

Come hang out with your favorite limeys, like Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn, Robin Hood, Maid Marian, and the Royal Guard. Feeling artsy? Take in a calligraphy demonstration or a painting class provided by Pinot’s Palette. Feeling dangerous? Watch some sword fighting demonstrations. Feeling classy? Enjoy tea time, provided by House of Té, and live music by Apollo Chamber Music. Feeling hungry? We’ll have food trucks out front, and free cookies (or as the Brits might say, biscuits) for the first 500 attendees. Feeling romantic? Watch The Princess Bride in the Wortham Giant Screen Theater (for an additional $6).

All this PLUS free admission to our Magna Carta exhibit!
Sealed almost 800 years ago, one of the most important legal documents in history is in Houston for an exclusive, limited engagement. And you can see it at World Trekkers at no extra cost.

Join the British sensation!
What are you waiting for? Come see everything England has to offer without leaving your own backyard — at HMNS during World Trekkers on Friday, March 21.

Miss the belly-dancing and dervish-whirling at World Trekkers: Egypt? Join us Aug. 9 for World Trekkers: France!

If you didn’t make World Trekkers: Egypt last Friday, we hate to break it to you, but you missed out.

World Trekkers: Egypt at HMNSThere were belly dancers, a whirling dervish and TWO congenial camels, named Gunther (above) and Teddy (not pictured). Even our own Director of Social Media and Assistant Director of Public Relations & Marketing tapped into their Arab roots and delighted our younger guests as Cleopatra and King Tut.

 

World Trekkers: Egypt

Gunther was quite the hit with the kiddies.

 

World Trekkers: Egypt

Face painters kept it festive.

 

World Trekkers: Egypt

Belly dancers got hips swiveling.

 

World Trekkers: Egypt at HMNS

Damien and Ernesto from Cat Eyes Makeup Artistry made everyone look like Egyptian royalty.

 

World Trekkers: Egypt

And our brilliant volunteers designed crafts to take home AND teach you something.

 

World Trekkers: Egypt

World Trekkers: Egypt

World Trekkers: Egypt at HMNS

So if you’re feeling a twinge of regret, file that away for now. Just don’t miss our next World Trekkers event Aug. 9, when we indulge our inner Francophile in France!