As a native Houstonian Kathleen has watched HMNS change and grow over the decades. Her life-long love of cultures and all things rocks and minerals brought her back to HMNS after several years away. Well versed in almost all things museum as an employee and volunteer her goal is to share her love of learning with anyone who will stop long enough to listen (or read).

Crazy for Cuneiform: Decoding Ancient Text

I love everything ancient! That particularly goes for ancient writing systems. My fascination started with Egyptian hieroglyphics, but soon turned toward cuneiform. Cuneiform is an ancient writing system that developed in Mesopotamia around 3400 B.C., and it is the oldest form of writing in the world. Cuneiform is not an alphabet, but rather a set […]

How To: Make a Block Print with Styrofoam

The invention of printmaking changed the world. Printing was invented in China between the years 618 to 906 A.D.  The earliest prints were made using wooden blocks that were carved with pictures and writings. The process wasn’t complicated, but it took great skill and time to prepare the blocks for printing. First, the text or […]

Edible Archaeology: Excavate a Chocolate Chip Cookie

Archaeologists keep careful records, as do all scientists. One important way to keep track of their work is by mapping where each artifact is discovered before it is carefully removed.  First, gather your materials: • Chocolate chip cookies with lots of chips • Toothpicks  • Paper towel or plate to work on • Cookie grid […]

My Bloody Valentine: A Darker History

I am no fan of Valentine’s Day. A simple Google search of “I hate Valentine’s Day” will prove that I am not alone in my aversion. I don’t know why I hate it. I just do. I prefer to celebrate the Ides of March, which is exactly one month and a day after Valentine’s. Give […]

Dinosaurs for Dinner: A Thanksgiving Tradition

Oven roasted or fried? Stuffed or unstuffed? How do you prefer your dinosaur? Did I say dinosaur? I meant turkey…or did I? In truth, that turkey on your table is or was in fact a real-life dinosaur. Turkeys are theropods, just like the meat-eating dinosaurs you so love to visit at the Museum. Paleontologists have […]

The Magic and Mystery of Stonehenge

“But, nobody knows…nobody knows”. This is the refrain from my brother who sits across from me as we sip pre-brunch cocktails. The topic of discussion, you ask? The new special exhibit Stonehenge: Ancient Mysteries and Modern Discoveries at HMNS. It prompts a memory that he clearly finds rather amusing. According to him, “…but nobody knows” […]

The Origins of Money and Why It Was Invented

Let’s talk about numismatics. Whoa, hang on now, don’t leave…it may sound overly academic and boring, but trust me, it’s not. Numismatics is all about money, specifically the study or collection of coins, paper currency, and medals. I mean who doesn’t like money? We can all relate to money on some level. Am I right? […]

Biophilia: A Healthy Obsession

I have an obsessive-type personality, especially when it comes to science and history. I can regale just about anyone with my vast stores of information in a good number of subject areas. I often recount, in sometimes excruciatingly vivid detail, seemingly endless esoteric facts on subjects ranging from medicinal cannibalism to the effects of sexually […]

Are Zombies Real? Our Education Team Investigates!

Monsters have played a pivotal role in all cultures since the beginning of human existence. They are a convenient device used to explain all manner of evil and bad luck, from disease to death and beyond. Monsters play a unifying role amongst people, encouraging group solidarity, in an effort to protect against the ‘other’ or […]

The Surprising Origins Of Popular Halloween Traditions

  The ghosts of all things past parade, Emerging from the mist and shade That hid them from our gaze, And, full of song and ringing mirth, In one glad moment of rebirth, And again they walk the ways of earth As in the ancient days. – Hallowe’en John Kendrick Bangs   I remember the […]