news JANUARY / FEBRUARY 2014 VOLUME 19, NUMBER 1 w w w. h m n s . o r g
Magna Carta Exhibition Opens February 14
HMNS MUSEUM STORE
HMNS IN THIS ISSUE • HMNS MUSEUM STORE
2 HMNS Museum Store
w w w. h m n s . o r g / i n t e r a c t
3 HMNS Gala General Information 4 -5 Magna Carta 6-7 Scenes from the Stone Age: The Cave Paintings of Lascaux 8 Cockrell Butterfly Center 9 HMNS at Sugar Land 10 - 11 Burke Baker Planetarium 12 - 13 Wortham Giant Screen Theatre 14 George Observatory 15 Wiess Energy Hall Volunteers 16 Adult Education 17 Travel Programs 18 - 19 Just For Kids 20 - 21 For Teachers 22 - 23 Events Calendar World Trekkers GET CONNECTED TO HMNS WWW.HMNS.ORG FACEBOOK
SHOW YOUR HEART OF GOLD THIS VALENTINE’S DAY Don’t skip this beat! Say it like you mean it with this spectacular Heart of Gold metallic vinyl plush—only for the most super-special people in your life. As always, the Museum Store comes to your rescue for a meaningful gift that’s distinctive, fun, and just what you need for that special someone. The Heart of Gold comes from the I Heart Guts collection which includes more humorous plush ways to express your love: “When Urine Love” kidney, “Gimme Some Sugar” pancreas, “Ova Achiever” ovary, “I’m a Liver Not a Fighter” liver, “Gland of Milk
And Honey” mammary gland, “Go With Your Gut” intestine, “I Got the Beat” humongous heart, “Womb Service” uterus, “You’ve Got Gall” gallbladder, “Having a Ball” testicle, “Party Pupil in the House” eyeball, “All You Need is Lobe” brain, “I Ache for You” stomach, and more. Shop onsite or online this Valentine’s Day and make it a gift they’ll remember always. And to make you feel good, 100% of the proceeds go to support the Museum’s educational programs—a little gift back to you. Available for purchase in the Museum Store or online at museumstore.hmns.org.
Celebrate the rich history, elegant tradition and regal proclivity of England as we transform the Museum into a British revelry fit for royals and highrollers. The 2014 Houston Museum of Natural Science Gala, will be held on Saturday, March 1.
A major event in Houston’s spring gala season, Shaken, Not Stirred provides essential financial support for the Museum’s exhibitions, educational programs and operations. Tables are available from $5,000 or individual tickets can be purchased from $500. For additional information, please contact Sveta Darnell at (713) 639-4729 or email@example.com.
GENERAL INFORMATION SUGAR LAND
HOURS OF OPERATION Monday through Sunday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. New Year’s Day: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Extended Christmas Break: January 2 – 5: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. MLK Day: January 20: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
(713) 639-4629 Monday - Sunday: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Online at www.store.hmns.org Handling fee for phone orders only.
Number of discounted tickets by membership level: Individual, Student & Senior, 1; Dual, 2; Family level & above, 2 adults & 4 children.
Member $5, nonmember $10, all others $20
MEMBERSHIP QUESTIONS (713) 639-4616, TTY (713) 639-4687 firstname.lastname@example.org
SPECIAL SERVICES Call (713) 639-4629. Wheelchairs provided at no cost, subject to availability. FIELD TRIPS
For all venues: (713) 639-4659, www.hmns.org/fieldtrip
(713) 639-4646, www.hmns.org/birthdays Party Smarty at Main Campus and Sugar Land; (281) 242-3055 Challenger Birthday Mission at the George Observatory.
BUILDING RENTAL SPECIAL EVENTS
(713) 639-4749, www.rentthemuseum.org
(281) 313-2277 www.hmns.org/sugarland 13016 University Boulevard Sugar Land, Texas 77479
HOURS OF OPERATION
Thursday - Friday: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday: noon to 5 p.m. Monday - Wednesday: only field trips with advance booking MLK Day: January 20: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
GEORGE OBSERVATORY (281) 242-3055 www.hmns.org/observatory Located in Brazos Bend State Park. Park entrance fee: $7 per person; free for ages 12 & under. Private groups can schedule tours, Challenger missions and astronomy classes, call (281) 242-3055
(713) 639-4629 www.hmns.org 5555 Hermann Park Drive Houston, Texas 77030
H M N S H M N S G A L A • G E N E R A L I N F O R M AT I O N
HMNS Gala Shaken, Not Stirred Saturday, March 1, 2014
Magna Carta H M N S M A G N A C A R TA
Magna Carta - Royal Power Limited Opens February 14
Almost 800 years ago, on June 15, 1215, at a place called Runnymede, King John of England was forced to accept a document put in front of him by rebellious barons. This document, a Grand Charter, was the tangible expression of years of pentup frustration experienced by these noblemen. During the late 11th century and the early 12th century, English politics were murky.
Dynastic ties with other ruling houses in continental Europe, rules of succession and inheritance sure to engender ill-will—even war—made for a very eventful period. Further abroad, political events were equally tumultuous. During this same period, no fewer than four crusades set out for the Holy Land. Not all of them made it that far. The Houston Museum of Natural Science is proud to host an original copy of the 1217 Grand Charter, or Magna Carta, and an original version of the 1215 King's Writ, an associated document. In this exhibition you will find answers to questions such as: How many versions of Magna Carta were there?
In which language were they written? Where can we find other copies? What was the link, if any, between the Crusades and Magna Carta? Why were English kings so obsessed with France, fighting endless wars with their neighbors across the Channel? Finally, you will learn of Magna Carta’s legacy for Americans. All will be revealed during the Magna Carta exhibition opening February 14. The loan of the documents is a partnership arrangement between the Houston Museum of Natural Science and the Chapter of Hereford Cathedral and Hereford Cathedral Perpetual Trust.
What caused these charters to be drawn up and placed before the king?
Detail of a miniature of King John, England, ca. 1307 - ca. 1327, Royal MS 20 A II, f. 8v
Magna Carta is generously underwritten, in part, by The Hamill Foundation; The Harriet and Truett Latimer Endowment Fund; Dianne and George Lindahl; Kathrine G. McGovern; Kelly and Bill Montgomery; Elizabeth and Gary Petersen; HMW Entertainment; Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co.; Laurie and Reed Morian; and Matt Assiff and Lisa Young.
Magna Carta Events Members Event Friday, February 14 6 - 10 p.m. Free for Members
Reserve early—this event will sell out! Children’s crafts, cash bar and refreshments. Admission to Magna Carta requires a ticket purchase. Please call (713) 639-4629 for reservations
Shell Educcators’ Preview
Registration begins January 20, at www.hmns.org/educatorpreview and (713) 639-4659.
Continuing Studies Course Magna Carta: Power, Wealth and Liberty Wednesdays, February 19 – April 2
Tickets $18, Members $12 Cosponsored by Rice University’s Glasscock School of Continuing Studies “A Universal Charter? The Legacy of Magna Carta” Sir Robert Rogers House of Commons Wednesday, February 19 6:30 p.m. Nearly eight centuries ago, twentyfive barons waited, under fluttering pennants, for King John to round the bend in the river. The events of that day underpin our modern concepts of liberty, freedom and justice. But why, and how did Magna Carta come about? What distinguished it from other charters of early medieval times?
“13th Century Sword & Buckler: Origins of the Knightly Fighting Arts” John Clements ARMA Wednesday, February 26 6:30 p.m. The liberal arts in medieval times were those subjects studied by a free man— who was free precisely because he was armed and trained in the fighting arts. Much of what is known of 13thcentury sword and buckler training is documented in the only surviving fencing manual of the period. John Clements, martial arts historian and director of ARMA (Association for Renaissance Martial Arts), will describe the science of defense developed in this period, as well as the arms, armor and chivalric work of knights. This lecture will be followed by a live demonstration of medieval martial arts. “Conquest, Wars and Liberties of the Realm: the Long Run-Up to Magna Carta” Bruce O’Brien, Ph.D. Univ. of Mary Washington Wednesday, March 12 6:30 p.m. To understand Magna Carta, one has to understand not only England’s past, but also the way the barons in 1215 remembered that past. Much has to do with the obligations of kings and their subjects, which was a point of negotiation. This process is writ large in pre-conquest Anglo-Saxon laws, in the monuments of the Norman kings such as Domesday Book (1087) and the coronation charter of Henry I (1100), and in the legal reforms instituted by
Adult Class “Introduction to the Sword” Thursday, February 27 6 p.m. Tickets $75, Members $65 The sword is an important symbol of power—from the gladius of gladiators to the light saber of the Jedi. It has been used to change history. Whether leading a conquest of the Normans or to helping to secure the seed of democracy, the sword is an important symbol of martial skill. Thought of as a “lost art,” swordsmanship is still taught using the writing and illustrations passed down from Renaissance sword masters. Learn the basics of this martial art in this class led by John Clements, director Association of Renaissance Martial Arts.
This course features sessions by international experts on the history and legacy of Magna Carta. Registration and more information at gscs.rice.edu or (713) 348-4803. HMNS Members receive a discount for this course.
Henry II (1154–1189), which formed the basis for what came to be known as the Common Law. Dr. Bruce R. O’Brien is chair of the literary board and intellectual lead for Early English Laws, an international project to re-edit and translate all English legal texts written up to and including Magna Carta.
H M N S M A G N A C A R TA
Tuesday, February 18 4 - 7 p.m. Free for educators
What did it really say and why? How did it then become embedded in the consciousness of the people of England before travelling the world? And most importantly, what does it mean for us today? Sir Robert Rogers is the Clerk of the British House of Commons—an office that dates back to 1363.
H M N S S C E N E S F R O M T H E S T O N E A G E : T H E C AV E PA I N T I N G S O F L A S C A U X www.hmns.org/lascaux
SCENES FROM THE STONE AGE: THE CAVE PAINTINGS OF LASCAUX
MILESTONES IN HUMAN EVOLUTION: WHAT THE PAINTINGS AT LASCAUX TELL US Modern human beings—people just like you and me—evolved in Africa around 200,000 years ago. Like earlier hominids, they (or, if you prefer, “we”) eventually left Africa, migrating to other parts of the world. However, when Homo sapiens arrived in Europe some 40,000 years ago, they did not have the place to themselves. For the next 10,000 years or so, they had Neanderthals—Homo neanderthalensis —as their neighbors. When we review what our species achieved over these thousands of years, the contrast between us and others, including Neanderthals, is striking. Art, religion (especially belief in an afterlife), and social organization (taking care of older and weaker members of the group), all blossomed when Homo sapiens appeared on the scene. While some of these behaviors have roots going back to earlier Neanderthal
days, the evidence is scant, possibly because it got lost over time, but also, and most importantly, because modern humans took this behavior to the “next level.” Consider body ornaments such as necklaces and bracelets. We have plenty of evidence that 20,000 years ago anatomically modern humans living in the Dordogne, home of Lascaux, made these items. This tells us that they were successful enough in their survival strategies to have time for these “frivolous,” “non-productive” activities. The cave paintings too underscore this. Why were they made? What purpose did they serve? We may never know for sure, although hypotheses abound. Maybe these images reflected magic, used in ceremonies to ensure a successful hunt. Perhaps they were genuine expressions of art for art’s sake. What we do know is that this kind of art is uniquely linked to us—modern
humans. So, pat yourself on the back when you walk through the Houston version of the Lascaux Caves. While Lascaux’s art has proven to be timeless, the opportunity to see it in person is sadly more limited. The site, as with many other prehistoric sites, is closed for public viewing for conservation purposes. But you are fortunate, because you can view these works of art in Scenes from the Stone Age: The Cave Paintings of Lascaux at HMNS through March 23. This exhibition was created by the General Council of Dordogne, with support provided by the Regional Council of Aquitaine, the French Ministry of Culture and Communication, and the European Union. The worldwide tour is organized by the SPL Lascaux, international exhibition. Official sponsors are Delpeyrat and Maïsadour.
Tickets $18, Members $12
Cave of Forgotten Dreams Tuesday, February 18 6:30 p.m. Tickets $18, Members $12
“The Cosquer Cave: Painted Cave Beneath the Sea” Jean Clottes, Ph.D. Archaeologist Friday, January 24 6:30 p.m. In 1991 a scuba diver discovered paintings and engravings in a cave under the sea near Marseilles, France, dating back 25,000 years ago. The entrance to the cave is now 37 meters below sea level due to the rise of the sea after the end of the last ice age. In all the submerged chambers, the walls are corroded and nothing is left.
“Insights in Texas Cave Art” Carolyn Boyd, Ph.D. SHUMLA Tuesday, February 25 6:30 p.m. The Lower Pecos Canyonlands of southwest Texas and northern Mexico encompass some of the most complex and compositionally intricate prehistoric rock art in the world, from a period dating back 4,000 years. Dr. Carolyn Boyd, executive director of SHUMLA, will explain how interdisciplinary approaches have gone beyond interpreting the meaning of this art, contributing to the understanding of the early cultural history of Texas and the Mesoamerican philosophical universe, as well as human adaptive strategies.
The accidental discovery of Lascaux Cave by four teenagers in September 12, 1940, during troubled times, forever changed the perception of modern man about our prehistoric ancestors. This discovery, immediately considered as a major event, offered the world an unexplored cave, rich in beautiful imagery. The international scientific community and the general public flocked to see it, which rapidly destabilized its fragile natural environment. From crisis to solutions, Lascaux has become a laboratory for the conservation of decorated caves. The story of its preservation will greatly improve our knowledge about these complex environments.
RICE CONTINUING STUDIES COURSES
CO-SPONSORED BY HMNS Rock Art: Windows to Our Human Ancestors Tuesdays, February 18 - March 25 This course features sessions by anthropologists and art historians, including Muriel Mauriac, curator of the Lascaux Cave in Dordogne, France. Registration and more information at www.gscs.rice.edu or (713) 348-4803. HMNS Members receive a discount for this course.
DAY EXCURSION ! LD OUT
SO Texas Cave Art Saturday, February 8 8 a.m. Tickets $345, Members $265
This lecture will be presented by Dr. Muriel Mauriac, Curator of the Lascaux Cave in Dordogne and Curator General of Heritage, France. This lecture is sponsored by The Leakey Foundation and Rice University’s Glasscock School of Continuing Studies.
BEHIND-THE-SCENES TOUR Tuesday, January 28, 6 p.m. Tickets $30, Members $20
Photo by Jean Clottes
However, the upper chambers are preserved. Leading authority on cave art, Jean Clottes, and his team of researchers and deep sea divers registered 177 animal images—many of which have never been seen before in ancient art, such as penguins, seals, fish and jellyfish, as well as over 200 geometric signs, 65 hand stencils and a curious image of a dead man. The ground is strewn with charcoal from torches or fires lit to make the charcoal with which to draw. This lecture is cosponsored by the French Consulate General of Houston.
“The Lascaux Cave” Muriel Mauriac, Ph.D. Lascaux Cave Tuesday, March 4 6:30 p.m.
In 1994, scientists discovered a cave in the south of France perfectly preserved for over 30,000 years containing early human paintings. Take a glimpse inside the Chauvet Cave in this spectacular 3D documentary by Werner Herzog featuring Dr. Jean Clottes. Since this cave is not open to the public, the film offers the only way to view this marvelous site. Introduction to the film will be provided by archaeologist Dr. Gail Larsen Peterkin.
H M N S S C E N E S F R O M T H E S T O N E A G E : T H E C AV E PA I N T I N G S O F L A S C A U X
CAVE PAINTINGS OF LASCAUX EVENTS
H M N S C O C K R E L L B U T T E R F LY C E N T E R
So why is it that while plants account for over half the organisms on endangered species lists, they receive only 5% of the funding spent on conservation research? Somehow, people do not “see” plants in the same way we see animals. We need to change this if we are to preserve the vital diversity of the plant kingdom, and thus ensure our own survival. Don’t miss the opportunity to hear one of the world’s foremost authorities on plants and plant conservation, Dr. Peter Raven, who has worked tirelessly throughout his career as an environmentalist on behalf of plants in particular. (More info on page 16). Butterfly aficionados may be interested Cuban Cockroaches to know that among Raven’s many publications, one of the best-known is a paper titled “Butterflies and Plants: a Study in Coevolution.” And of course, if you need a plant fix, you can always get one on a visit to the Cockrell Butterfly Center, where we have about 300 different species in a lush rainforest setting. As Hans Christian Andersen said in The Ugly Duckling “Green is good for the eyes.”
Have you ever imagined living in a world without plants? It’s hard to do. In fact, the closest equivalent would be living on the moon. Most of us give hardly a thought to the greenery that surrounds us. Even gardeners seldom stop to think of all the ways we depend on plants. But plants are critical to life on Earth. It is thanks to plants that we have the special atmosphere that makes Earth such a unique and inhabitable place. Everything we eat comes directly or indirectly from plants. Plants are the only organisms that can make their own food, via the amazing process of photosynthesis—using sunlight to fuel the fusion of carbon dioxide and water to make sugars, releasing oxygen as a byproduct.
Plants also provide building materials, fuels, fabrics, rubber and vital medicines. (One quarter of all prescription medicines are derived directly from plants!) Furthermore, plants help modify the climate—they store carbon and help to keep Earth’s carbon dioxide concentrations in check. (Although, they are having trouble keeping up with the increasing levels during the past century or so.) Also critical to the world’s water cycle, plants pull water from the soil and release it into the atmosphere, where it can come back to Earth as rain. In short, as the Global Strategy on Plant Conservation states: “Without plants, there is no life. The functioning of the planet, and our survival, depends on plants.”
HMNS AT SUGAR LAND OPENING JANUARY 18
MEMBERS EVENT Friday, January 24 6 - 10 p.m.
Children’s crafts, cash bar and refreshments. Reserve early—this event will sell out! Please call (713) 639-4629 for reservations. An admission fee of $2 includes entrance to Masters of the Night: The True Story of Bats.
Gemstones Speak the Language of Love Friday, February 14 6:30 p.m.
Daydream among the dinosaurs and browse the galleries hand in hand. The evening includes a three-course meal with wine pairings, and a unique presentation about the relationship between love and gems. Seating is limited. Advance ticket purchase required by February 11. Adults 21 and over, please. To register, call (281) 313-2277.
VALENTINE’S DAY DINNER LECTURE
H M N S H M N S AT S U G A R L A N D
Blind, blood-sucking, squeaky creatures that get tangled in your hair—BATS?! Visitors to Masters of the Night: The True Story of Bats will quickly find these beliefs to be myths that have endured through the years. Bats are actually gentle, beneficial little animals. With lifelike models and interactive components—like trying on a pair of bat ears or matching the bats with their favorite foods—the ecological importance of bats is revealed in this special exhibition, and visitors can better understand, and truly appreciate, the wonders of the bat world.
H M N S B U R K E B A K E R P L A N E TA R I U M
Not all stars are created equal. Some are massive. Others are tiny, almost insignificant. The specific characteristics of a star determine what type of life it will lead, how long it will live, and even how it will die. For instance, massive stars have short lifetimes, while the smallest have amazingly long lives. “Live fast, die young” is the rule for the cosmos.
Our own Sun will use up its fuel in eight to ten billion years. Sirius, the brightest star in the night sky, with twice the Sun’s mass and 26 times its brightness, will last only hundreds of millions of years. Probably the largest well-known star is Betelgeuse, a red supergiant in the shoulder of Orion. If placed in the center of the Solar System, this star would engulf all the planets out to Jupiter. It’s a star near the end of its life: a stellar time bomb—a future supernova.
Sir Patrick Stewart of TV’s Star Trek: The Next Generation and the X-Men films, guides your journey into the Secret Lives of the Stars.
But this is not the future for our Sun. All over the heavens we can see the remnants of sunlike stars called planetary nebulas. Gases that once
SECRET LIVES OF STARS
formed a star’s atmosphere have made these spectacular formations. Deep inside these formations are the scorched remnants of planets and a cosmic ash ball that was once a star. The life of our Sun will end with the creation of a magnificent stellar tomb, a fitting monument to the star that gives us life.
DISTINGUISHED LECTURE “Small Stars in a Large Context: All Things White Dwarf” Don Winget, Ph.D. McDonald Observatory Tuesday, January 14 6:30 p.m. (page 16)
A L S O S H OW I NG
H M N S B U R K E B A K E R P L A N E TA R I U M
Films and showtimes may change. Please visit www.hmns.org
H M N S W O R T H A M G I A N T S C R E E N T H E AT R E
WORTHAM GIANT S
PREMIERES JANUARY 6 Mysteries of the Unseen World will transport you to places on this planet that you have never been before, to see things beyond your normal vision, yet literally right in front of your eyes. You will enter the microscopic, a world once reserved only for scientists, so you can begin to understand that what we actually see is only a fraction of what there is to see on Earth. High-speed and time-lapse photography, electron microscopy, and nanotechnology are just a few of the advancements in science that now allow us to see a
whole new universe of things, events, creatures, and processes we never even knew existed and now give us new “super powers” to see beyond what is in front of us. Visually stunning and rooted in cutting-edge research, Mysteries of the Unseen World will leave audiences in complete thrall as they begin to understand the enormity of the world they can’t see, a world that exists in the air they breathe, on their own bodies, and in all of the events that occur around them minuteby-minute, and nanosecond-by-nanosecond. With this understanding comes a new appreciation of the wonder and possibilities of science.
Descriptions available at www.hmns.org. Proceeds from the sale of all Wortham Giant Screen film tic
g for current schedule and more information about each film.
HELD OVER! Soar above the Holy Land and explore one of the oldest and most mythic cities in the world. The film traverses a land considered holy to the three major Abrahamic religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Three teenagers who call the city home respectively represent each religion in the film. The documentary gives audiences a rare glimpse of the city fought over more than any other place in history, a place conquered and destroyed, rebuilt and reinvented repeatedly over 5,000 years. Booking in advance is advisable.
PREMIERES FEBRUARY 15 In the vastness of the Pacific Ocean there is a paradise unlike any other: the Galápagos Archipelago. Amongst these fascinating and remote volcanic landscapes, life has played out in relative isolation over millions of years. The result is a biological wonderland with charismatic animals that have adapted themselves to the unique Galápagos environment. This is a story of treacherous journeys, life forms that forged unlikely companionships, and surviving against all odds.
ckets help further the Houston Museum of Natural Science’s nonprofit mission. Your support counts!
Misrepresented, maligned and on the verge of extinction, the great white shark is an iconic predator—the creature we love to fear. Great White Shark will explore the great white’s place in our imaginations, in our fears, and in the reality of its role at the top of the oceanic food chain. The film will concentrate on key aggregation points around the world. Key figures in the history of shark research and people whose lives have been changed by contact with the great white will tell us of their experiences, culminating in a direct encounter between man and shark.
H M N S W O R T H A M G I A N T S C R E E N T H E AT R E
LAST DAY FEBRUARY 13
GEORGEOBSERVATORY More information about the Observatory, directions and registration for all of the programs listed can be found at www.hmns.org/observatory. The George Observatory is located in Brazos Bend State Park (park entrance fee: adults $7, kids 12 and under free).
H M N S G E O R G E O B S E R VAT O R Y
SATURDAYS AT THE GEORGE
Telescope Tickets $5, Members $4.50 Discovery Dome Tickets $3, Members $2.50 View the night sky through the large Observatory telescopes every Saturday evening until 10 p.m. Gift Shop, exhibits and Discovery Dome open at 3 p.m. Telescope tickets go on sale at 5 p.m. Viewing begins at dusk.
The stellar view you’re used to at the George Observatory needs your help! The George’s Research Dome houses the world-class 10-ton Gueymard Telescope—the largest in the country dedicated to public education. It is designed by the same folks that created the Hubble Space Telescope, but unlike other meter-class telescopes, you can actually look through the Gueymard! Other telescopes provide an image on a monitor. With the Gueymard, you OWN the experience as you see the wonders of deep space with your OWN eyes. The Research Dome and the Gueymard’s mirror need work, about $80,000 worth of work. Help ensure future generations of Texans can make galactic discoveries—and know that you were part of the effort and that you OWN IT. Give a George for the George! Donate online at www.hmns.org/saveourscope.
Jupiter Night Saturday, January 4 See the Red Spot and the Galilean moons as Jupiter re-emerges into the night sky as a giant beauty. Enjoy this spectacular sight at the George with professional astronomers.
SCOUTS Cub Scout Belt Loop Workshop Saturday, January 18 1 - 3 p.m.
S.O.S. – SAVE OUR 'SCOPE 14
Cub Scouts can enjoy completing their Astronomy Belt Loop and Pins through hands-on activities taught by our staff astronomer, including learning how to focus and diagram a simple telescope, make and use a star map, and interview an astronomer.
NEW TELESCOPE CLASSES Did you get a new telescope over the holidays? An expert astronomer will show you how to set it up and polaralign your scope so that your views will be out of this world. (It is not as easy as the box would lead you to believe.) Refracting / Reflecting Scope Class Saturday, January 11 1 - 3:30 p.m. Tickets $30, Members $25 Computerized Telescope Class Saturday, January 11 4 - 6 p.m. Tickets $35, Members $30
Scouts will tour the large research telescope in addition to learning astronomy concepts in the Discovery Dome portable planetarium.
FAMILY SPACE DAY MISSIONS
Saturday, January 25 3, 4, 6 and 7 p.m. Tickets $10 Astronauts of all ages—kids and adults—can fly to the Moon aboard the Space Station Observer with NASA volunteers in the Challenger Learning Center and work together as they solve problems and have fun. Great fun for the family, ages 7 to adult.
WIESS ENERGY HALL THREE GREAT WAYS TO LEARN ABOUT THE ENERGY INDUSTRY FROM HMNS!
Overview of the Energy Industry Thursday, January 23 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. $200 per person Led by experts in the fields of upstream, downstream, and energy economics in the 21st century—including alternative energy sources—this course includes breakfast, lunch and tour of the Wiess Energy Hall. To register, visit www. hmns.org or call (713) 639-4629.
WIESS ENERGY HALL TOUR
Energy 101 offers an extended look into the world of oil and gas, including hydrocarbon formation, geology, drilling, production, refining, products, transportation, distribution, and alternative energy sources. This online course is great for people new to the industry and those seeking a comprehensive overview about how the industry works. A discount to attend “Overview of the Energy Industry” (left) at HMNS is included with the purchase of this online course. Available at www.energy101training.com.
Explore the application of scientific concepts and advanced technology in the oil and gas industry. Learn the processes of energy development, from how oil and natural gas are formed, to the ways in which various types of energy are used. To schedule a tour contact Daniel Burch at (713) 639-4737 or email@example.com.
HMNS WIESS ENERGY HALL • VOLUNTEER
CONTINUING EDUCATION CLASS
JOIN THE HMNS VOLUNTEER TEAM! Meet smart and interesting people… Learn about the Museum’s constantly changing exhibits… Become part of one of the most visited museums in the nation… Show children the wonders of science…
Become an HMNS Volunteer! To sign up or receive more information, please contact the Volunteer Office at firstname.lastname@example.org. HMNS at Sugar Land We are also accepting applications for Volunteers at the new HMNS at Sugar Land. Please contact the Volunteer Office at (713) 639-4656 to schedule an interview.
ADULT EDUCATION MERCER SOCIETY LECTURE SERIES
H M N S A D U LT E D U C AT I O N
Celebrating Mercer Arboretum & Botanic Gardens’ 40th anniversary. Purchase tickets to the entire 4-lecture series and receive a discount: Series Tickets $60, Members $40 Individual Tickets $18, Members $12
“Plant Conservation in a Rapidly Changing World” Peter Raven, Ph.D. Missouri Botanical Garden Thursday, January 30 6:30 p.m. The animals, plants, and other organisms of our planet collectively make our lives on Earth possible, and yet we are destroying their habitats, changing the climate, widely introducing weeds, diseases and pests, and overharvesting many of them. In turn, these factors are driven by our rapidly growing population, increasing consumption levels, and use of destructive technologies. As a result, we could drive to extinction more than half the kinds of plants and animals that exist now within the next 75 years or so. Fortunately, plants can be saved through genetic seed banks, protected areas, and botanic garden collections. Dr. Peter Raven will describe the efforts to save as many species in the USA as possible, while we still have time to do so. This lecture is co-sponsored with The Mercer Society.
“The Chinese Economic ‘Bloom’ – People, Plans and Plants for a Verdant Earth” David Creech, Ph.D. Stephen F. Austin University Thursday April 10 6:30 p.m. “Exploration to Exploitation – The Road from Plant Discovery to Market” Tony Avent, Ph.D. Juniper Level Botanic Gardens and Plant Delights Nursery Thursday, September 4 6:30 pm “Growing an Ark: The Expanding Role of Botanic Gardens in Plant Conservation” Peter Wyse Jackson, Ph.D. Missouri Botanical Garden Thursday, November 6 6:30 p.m.
DISTINGUISHED LECTURES “Small Stars in a Large Context: All Things White Dwarf” Don Winget, Ph.D. McDonald Observatory Tuesday, January 14, 6:30 p.m. Tickets $18, Members $12 Dubbed “impossible stars,” white dwarfs are the simplest stars with the simplest surface chemical compositions known—yet they are very mysterious. The McDonald Observatory leads in investigating white dwarfs along several avenues: telescope observations, theory, and most recently, the making of starstuff using the most powerful x-ray source on Earth. Dr. Don Winget will examine how studies of these stars can shed light on everything from the age of the Universe to the understanding of dark matter and dark energy. This lecture is sponsored by the University of Texas at Austin McDonald Observatory in celebration of their 75th anniversary in 2014.
“Chocolate, A Revolution in a Cup” Rosemary Joyce, Ph.D. U.C. Berkeley Tuesday, February 4 6:30 p.m. Tickets $18, Members $12 The Maya were the first to begin cultivating the cacao plant to produce chocolate, one of the wonders that emerged from domestication of plants and an innovation that initially was made available to only a few in the form of an intoxicating chocolate drink laced with peppers. Surely chocolate must be one of the greatest ideas that humanity has produced! Dr. Rosemary Joyce is chair of graduate studies at University of California, Berkeley. This lecture is cosponsored by Archaeology Institute of America – Houston Society.
CULTURAL FEAST “Chemistry of the Cocktail2” Thursday, February 20 7 p.m. Hosted at Brennan’s Tickets $115, Members $95 Shaken? Stirred? Sustainable? In addition to exploring principles such as specific gravity and melting point, our second Chemistry of the Cocktail showcases how many producers of spirits are working to help reduce the carbon footprint by using innovative methods of production and distillation. Organic ingredients are also an important component of today’s growing trend for sustainable and green cocktails. Our cocktailian festivities are again hosted at Brennan’s of Houston, led by mixologist Richard Middleton and culinary historian Merrianne Timko. Chef Danny Trace will create small plates to complement the featured cocktails.
T R AV E L P R O G R A M S Visit www.hmns.org/travel for more information.
Participants will meet in Vernon, Texas, and ride together in vans during the trip. Dinners are included, but lodging is not included in the listed price.
You will witness the strikingly majestic deserts, rolling hills and picturesque coastlines, and visit the fortress of Masada built by King Herod and Qumran, where the “Dead Sea Scrolls” were transcribed and preserved in caves. Exclusive lectures with journalists, writers and experts are part of the itinerary. An optional extension is available to Jordan to visit the ancient metropolis of Petra, cut into the desert’s red sandstone cliffs. Travel Night - Israel Tuesday, March 25, 6 p.m. Interested travelers and those already registered can learn more about this trip to the historic sites of Israel.
Legendary paleontologist Dr. Bob Bakker and David Temple are leading a small group to discover and excavate Permian-aged fossils April 2 - 5, 2014. The excavation site has yielded the Museum’s fin-backed dimetrodon, a boomerang-headed salamander diplocaulus, and prehistoric shark Xenocanthus—and there are many more discoveries yet to be made.
Experience the Holy Land’s unmatched history, archaeological treasures and religious cultures. Visit Jerusalem’s iconic sites—Dome of the Rock, Temple Mount, Al Aqsa, Western Wall, Arab markets. The group will also tour the biblical sites of Caesarea, Mt. Carmel, Galilee, Capernaum, Bethlehem, Nazareth, Mount of Olives and Gethsemane.
H M N S T R AV E L P R O G R A M S
Paleo Field Experience: Excavating the Texas Red Beds April 2 - 5, 2014 Tickets $1,185, Members $985
Israel, The Heritage and The Hope November 1 to 13, 2014
HMNS JUST FOR KIDS
packages also available: Partysaurus, Winged Wonderland, Galactic Gathering. Visit www.hmns.org/birthdays for complete party planning info, including optional add-ons.
A BUTTERFLY FLUTTER Saturday, February 22 10 a.m.
On February 22, children and parents will burst out of their cocoons and migrate to HMNS for A Butterfly Flutter. This children’s event offers a variety of exciting activities, including papilio arts and crafts, metamorphic face painting, a squirmy insect petting zoo, and so much more! Of course, there will be lots of nectar to drink to keep those wings fluttering, and other munchies for hungry caterpillars!
The 2014 A Butterfly Flutter Chairs, Allison Plumhoff, Mary Leslie Plumhoff and Mary Kristen Valentine, hope you will flutter your wings to support the best butterfly center in the southwest! To be a part of the excitement, please contact Sveta Darnell at (713) 639-4729 or email@example.com.
Be a guest at your own child’s party this year! Let HMNS handle everything for you—the decorations, entertainment, craft project, party favors, and party coordinator. Party packages begin at $350. Themes: Dinosaur, Ancient Egypt, Butterfly/Bugs, Astronomy. Deluxe
Registration and more info are available at www.hmns.org/scouts. Saturday Boy and Girl Scout Classes Return in January
Birthdays with a Little Brain Power!
New for Brownies and Daisies is Brownie Trails Egypt, in which scouts learn the process of mummification, as well as the life and culture of ancient Egypt. In Science Trail, Brownies learn how to use the scientific method as they perform their own experiments. Girl Scouts are invited to join us on March 1st as we dig for 45-million-year-old marine fossils on the banks of the Brazos River with Careers in ScienceFossil Dig. The girls pictured are analyzing fossils from a fossil dig.
Scout Sleep Over for Cubs and Webelos March 7 - 8 In your tent and sleeping bag, you’ll be just a glass wall away from the wildlife of Hermann Park as you camp out in the Museum’s Grand Entry Hall. Take a flashlight tour through the paleontology hall, stargaze in the planetarium, drive a monster truck on the moon or land a plane on Mars, have a campfire with Texas wildlife. Each scout must be accompanied by a parent for this fantastic family adventure.
and bird study. In this one-week lab course for teens, participants will gain experience using scientific instruments, posing research questions, controlling variables, collecting and analyzing data to answer specific questions. Each question can lead to independent research, and even a science career. Teens will be at HMNS for 4 days, then spend Friday at the Museum’s George Observatory in Brazos Bend State Park—applying what they have learned. Registration is limited, so register early.
HMNS in Hermann Park: Tuesdays, January 7 - March 4 4:30 - 6 p.m. HMNS at Sugar Land: Thursdays, January 9 - March 6 4:30 - 6 p.m. Registration $240, Members $190 Our most popular Summer Camp is now available in a 10-session course during the school year. Explore NXT Robotics Engineering as you build models with our LEGO MINDSTORMS NXTTM system and use a computer to program them to obey your every command! Limited to 16 students in grades 4 - 7. To register, visit the Weekday Classes page at store.hmns.org.
TEEN SUMMER RESEARCH LAB 2014
June 23 - 27, August 4 - 8
GIRLS EXPLORING MATH AND SCIENCE
Conduct research with Museum curators on a variety of topics including discovery of new asteroids, microgravity effects, archaeo-astronomy, Native American habitats, light pollution, fossil excavation, butterfly behaviors,
The perfect opportunity for families to encourage students to excel in math
Saturday, February 8 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. Free with Museum admission Generously supported by Air Liquide.
XPLORATIONS SUMMER CAMP 2014 It is almost time to register for Xplorations Summer Camp at HMNS in Hermann Park and HMNS at Sugar Land. Catalogs will be mailed and available online in mid-February. Register early to secure your camp spots! Priority membership registration begins: February 20: President’s Circle, Benefactor, and Discoverer February 24: Voyager March 3: Family March 24: General Public
Scouts at George Observatory Cub Scout Belt Loop Workshop Saturday, January 18 1 - 3 p.m. (more on page 14)
HMNS JUST FOR KIDS
Want to host a booth at GEMS 2014? Contact HMNS GEMS coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Application deadline is January 15, 2014.
Spring Break Scouts March 10-12 and March 17-19 Boy Scouts can earn three of the required badges for becoming an Eagle Scout: Citizenship in the Community, Citizenship in the Nation and Environmental Science.
and science, GEMS is open to girls of all ages to attend with their friends, family and troops to experience handson science and math with Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council and HMNS. Explore the Museum's exhibit halls, see booths and activities created by Girl Scout troops, play science and math games, try your hand at cool contraptions and more! Local professionals will be at the Museum to answer questions about careers in science, technology, engineering and math.
FOR TEACHERS Dissection Labs for Grades 5-10 Spiny, Yet Spineless – Explore the underwater world of an interesting echinoderm, the sea urchin, as you study these prickly wonders of the ocean. Includes sea urchin dissection.
Wildlife Lab for Grades 1-8 Howdy Neighbor – Introduce yourself to the neighbors as you encounter animals that can be found right here in Texas, some as close as your backyard!
ConocoPhillips Techo Science Lab for Grades 1-8 Soap Science – Investigate bubbles, emulsification and soap films.
HMNS FOR TEACHERS
MUSEUM EDUCATOR OPEN HOUSE (MEOH) Saturday, January 25 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. New format for 2014!
Time Lab for Grades 1-8 Who Owns these Bones? (Anthropology) – Decipher the messages that ancient bones whisper to the careful observer.
Earn 3 hours of CPE credit by attending workshops in the Houston Museum District. For details, pre-registration, schedule of presentations and a list of participating museums, please visit houstonmuseumdistrict.org.
Dissection Labs for Grades 5-10 Legless and Loving It – Learn all about snakes in this fascinating class on those sneaky, slithery reptiles. Includes snake dissection.
Coming to HMNS for a field trip? Try one of our Weekday Science Labs. These self-contained investigations feature Museum specimens, artifacts and laboratory equipment. Students examine ancient objects, investigate technology, meet live animals and conduct scientific experiments in five different, themed labs. Each lab lasts one hour and includes admission to the Museum’s permanent exhibit halls for lab participants. Available at HMNS in Hermann Park and HMNS at Sugar Land. Capacity is 25 students per lab. Cost per lab is $165 - $200.
LABS ON DEMAND Biology Lab for Grades 5-10 Flower Power – Get the buzz on how some plants pull out all the stops to attract their perfect pollinator. Investigate how flower form meets function in full color. Wildlife Lab for Grades 1-8 How It’s Made – If you have eaten honey or worn silk you have benefited from the labor of industrious creatures. Take a behind-the-scenes look at these animal-run factories.
Time Lab for Grades 1-8 Medieval Japan – From shogun to samurai, embark on a journey to medieval Japan.
Time Lab for Grades 1-8 Roman Water – From aqueducts to baths and beyond, explore how Rome tamed water and ruled the world.
Need help with a TEKS objective? Want a lab experience for your field trip? Each lab is tailored to your grade level. For example, a 3rd grade Earth Science Lab might investigate volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, and landslides, while an 8th grade lab would look at tectonic plates and topographic maps. Topics Available: Chemistry, Force and Motion, Electricity, Light and Optics, Magnets, Storm Science, Ancient Egypt, Cells, Earth Science, and Dissection. $200 per presentation (maximum 25 students), plus $75 travel fee for onsite presentations. For more information on booking a Lab on Demand for your group, please email email@example.com.
FOR MORE INFORMATION AND FOR ALL EDUCATORS PROGRAMS, VISIT WWW.HMNS.ORG/TEACHERS OR CONTACT EDUCATIONQUESTIONS@HMNS.ORG
“Erosion” Tuesday, January 28 5 - 8 p.m. (Grades 3-8)
Earth Day Arts and Crafts Tuesday, March 25 5 - 8 p.m. (Grades 3-8)
Investigate how topographical features, soil properties and natural disasters affect and shape the surface of Earth.
Learn about the impact you have on Earth every day and then engage in activities that turn trash into treasure!
EDUCATOR LATE NIGHTS
OUTREACH PROGRAMS Bring the Museum to Your Classroom! For more information and scheduling: www.hmns.org/outreach, outreach@ hmns.org, (713) 639-4758. Chevron Earth Science on Wheels ConocoPhillips Science on Stage Docents to Go TOTAL Wildlife on Wheels Discovery Dome Bugs on Wheels
Discover a new world of science as you go behind the scenes with HMNS curators and staff in these exciting interactive workshops. With new topics each month we can provide you with ideas and activities to bring your classroom to life! Dinner is provided. Each workshop is $25 per educator and participants receive 3 hours of CPE credit. “Food Webs” Tuesday, January 14 5 - 8 p.m. (Grades 4-8) Explore how food webs work, interactions between organisms in their environments, and what happens to those organisms when the environments change—either by natural or manmade causes.
Examine the natural science and yummy cultural history of chocolate with hands-on classroom activities. Then listen to guest lecturer Rosemary Joyce, who will tell how the cacao plant was domesticated to produce chocolate. The lecture, included in the workshop, is co-sponsored by AIA – Houston Society. Promoting History Engagement with Visual Narrative Tuesday, February 25 5 - 8 p.m. (All Grades) Learn how 4,000 year-old Native American rock art can engage students in the study of history and social sciences with SHUMLA Archeological Research and Education Center. Following the hands-on activities and demonstrations, teachers will attend a lecture by Dr. Carolyn Boyd on the rock art sites in Texas.
All educators will leave with handson activities available for immediate implementation. Complimentary catered dinner and parking in the HMNS garage is included. 6 hours of CPE credit will be awarded to participants at the end of the event. Registration is restricted to educators only.
SHELL EDUCATORS’ PREVIEW Magna Carta Tuesday, February 18 4 - 7 p.m. Free for educators Registration begins January 20, at www.hmns.org/educatorpreview and (713) 639-4659. Exhibit info on page 4.
EXXONMOBIL TEACHER TUESDAY WORKSHOPS
“Domestication of Plants: Chocolate” Tuesday, February 4 5 - 8 p.m. (All Grades)
This is the third in a series of Gifted and Talented professional development sessions in the strand of differentiation. Participants will enjoy an evening in the Museum exploring how to differentiate for learning styles by creating products through menus and graphic organizers, and through collaboration with Museum presenters and local area teachers.
HMNS FOR TEACHERS
“Differentiation for All Learning Styles (GT Update)” Friday, January 31 5 - 11 p.m. $60 per educator (All Grades)
For tickets to all events, visit www
HMNS EVENTS CALENDAR • WORLD TREKKERS
SATURDAYS AT THE GEORGE Sky Event – Jupiter Night Saturday, January 4 (page 14) WORTHAM GIANT SCREEN THEATRE PREMIERE Mysteries of the Unseen World Monday, January 6 (page 12) CLASSES AT THE GEORGE OBSERVATORY “Refracting / Reflecting Telescope Class” Saturday, January 11, 1 p.m. “Computerized Telescope Class” Saturday, January 11, 4 p.m. (page 14) EXXONMOBIL TEACHER TUESDAY “Food Webs” Tuesday, January 14 5 p.m. (page 21) DISTINGUISHED LECTURE “Small Stars in a Large Context: All Things White Dwarf” Tuesday, January 14 6:30 p.m. (page 8)
HMNS AT SUGAR LAND Special Exhibition Opening Masters of the Night: The True Story of Bats Saturday, January 18 (page 9)
EXXONMOBIL TEACHER TUESDAY “Erosion” Tuesday, January 28 5 p.m. (page 21)
CONTINUING EDUCATION CLASS “An Overview of the Energy Industry” Thursday, January 23 8:30 a.m. (page 15)
BEHIND-THE-SCENES TOUR Scenes from the Stone Age: The Cave Paintings of Lascaux Tuesday, January 28 6 p.m. (page 7)
DISTINGUISHED LECTURE “The Cosquer Cave: Painted Cave Beneath the Sea” Friday, January 24 6:30 p.m. (page 7)
DISTINGUISHED LECTURE “Plant Conservation in a Rapidly Changing World” Thursday, January 30 6:30 p.m. (page 16)
MUSEUM EDUCATOR OPEN HOUSE Saturday, January 25 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. (page 20)
EDUCATOR LATE NIGHTS “Differentiation for all Learning Styles (GT Update)” Friday, January 31 5 p.m. (page 21)
SATURDAYS AT THE GEORGE Family Space Day Missions Saturday, January 25 (page 14)
WORLD TREKKERS #worldtrekkers Check www.hmns.org for dates and ticket information. Tour the globe right at HMNS with World Trekkers, a series of cultural festivals that invite visitors to explore the cultures of different countries—all without baggage fees or jet lag! Each fest features crafts, entertainment, face painting, balloon artists and other attractions inspired by a featured country. Passports are available to track your travels and will be stamped at each attraction. Featured countries for 2014 include England, Mexico, Brazil and India.
w.hmns.org or call (713) 639-4629.
SUMMER CAMP REGISTRATION President’s Circle, Benefactor and Discoverer Thursday, February 20 (page 19)
DISTINGUISHED LECTURE “Chocolate, A Revolution in a Cup” Tuesday, February 4 6:30 p.m. (page 16)
CULTURAL FEAST “Chemistry of the Cocktail2” Thursday, February 20 7 p.m. (page 8)
WORTHAM GIANT SCREEN THEATRE PREMIERE Galápagos Saturday, February 14 (page 12) SHELL EDUCATORS’ PREVIEW Magna Carta Tuesday, February 18 4 – 7 p.m. (page 21)
EXHIBITION OPENS Magna Carta Friday, February 14 (page 4) MEMBERS EVENT Magna Carta Friday, February 14 6 - 10 p.m. (page 5) HMNS AT SUGAR LAND Valentine’s Day Dinner Lecture Friday, February 14 6:30 p.m. (page 9)
SUMMER CAMP REGISTRATION Voyager Monday, February 24 (page 18) EXXONMOBIL TEACHER TUESDAY “Promoting History Engagement with Visual Narrative” Tuesday, February 25 5 p.m. (page 21) DISTINGUISHED LECTURE “Insights in Texas Cave Art” Tuesday, February 25 6:30 p.m. (page 7)
FILM SCREENING Cave of Forgotten Dreams Tuesday, February 18 6:30 p.m. (page 7) DISTINGUISHED LECTURE “A Universal Charter? The Legacy of Magna Carta” Wednesday, February 19 6:30 p.m. (page 5)
DISTINGUISHED LECTURE “13th Century Sword & Buckler: Origins of the Knightly Fighting Arts” Wednesday, February 26 6:30 p.m. (page 5) ADULT CLASS Introduction to the Sword Thursday, February 27 6 p.m. (page 5)
GIRLS EXPLORING MATH AND SCIENCE Saturday, February 8 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. (page 19)
A BUTTERFLY FLUTTER Saturday, February 22 10 a.m. (page 19)
HMNS EVENTS CALENDAR
EXXONMOBIL TEACHER TUESDAY “Domestication of Plants: Chocolate” Tuesday, February 4 5 p.m. (page 21)
POSTMASTER: Dated material enclosed. Please deliver IMMEDIATELY!
Non-Profit Org. U.S. Postage PAID Houston, Texas Permit No. 6371
HMNS NEWS IS AVAILABLE ONLINE AT WWW.HMNS.ORG/MAGAZINE HMNS activities are supported in part by funds provided by the City of Houston.
HMNS News (ISSN 1556-7478) is published bimonthly by the Houston Museum of Natural Science, 5555 Hermann Park Drive, Houston, Texas 77030. Issues are sent every other month as a benefit to all Museum members. HMNS is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to preserve and advance the general knowledge of natural science, to enhance in individuals the knowledge of and delight in natural science and related subjects, and to maintain and promote a museum of the first class.
PREMIERES JANUARY 6 ON THE GIANT SCREEN
NOW ON EXHIBITION
H M N S N E W S • JANUARY / FEBRUARY 2014 • VOLUME 19, NUMBER 1
5555 Hermann Park Drive Houston, Texas 77030
SCENES FROM THE STONE AGE: THE CAVE PAINTINGS OF LASCAUX