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Monthly Archives: May 2010

On My Scanner

This week I have been working on an exhibit about the early history of life on Earth. We have selected several specimens for this exhibit, including examples of stromatolites, mat-like structures formed by bacteria and Cyanobacteria (blue-green algae). Some of the Precambrian specimens in our collection had been cut and polished, so I have been putting them on my flatbed scanner to produce images. Modern scanners are very sophisticated digital…

Posted in Collections & Research, Exhibit, Geology & Paleontology | Tagged , , | Comments closed

41 uses for a dead plant

Does anyone remember the book “101 Uses for a Dead Cat” that came out in the 1980’s? I know, I know animal rights activists accused the cartoonist of encouraging cruelty to animals but I can’t imagine that anyone took it seriously. I mean who would ever turn a dead cat into a pencil sharpener or a pair of roller blades? Anyway, it turns out that dead plants are even more…

Posted in Botany, Collections & Research | Comments closed

Astronaut Bob Thirsk coming to visit!

Canada’s most experienced astronaut, Dr. Robert Thirsk, will be visiting the Museum tomorrow to give a public presentation on his six months in space aboard the International Space Station. I’m lucky enough to be hosting him – I’ll post some pictures after our event tomorrow. The event is at 10AM in the Auditoiurm at The Manitoba Museum – you can get in by contacting me through the Museum switchboard to…

Posted in Astronomy, Exhibits, Planetarium, Science Gallery & Planetarium, Space News | Comments closed

Welcome to the Twenty-Metre Blog

  Some time ago, it was suggested that The Manitoba Museum would be adding curatorial blogs to our website, as a feature that would take visitors “behind the scenes.” This seemed like a fantastic idea, but I also wondered how I would approach this; I already have a blog in which I talk about paleontology, geology, and landscape, and it attracts a reasonable and steady following. It is a lot of fun…

Posted in Geology & Paleontology, News | Comments closed

Atlantis on final mission

Space Shuttle Atlantis is on her final mission right now. ou can watch the mission live on NASA TV or through www.nasa.gov. The Canadian Space Agency also has a video tribute to Atlantis by Chris Hadfield, one of two Canadian astronauts who flew aboard Atlantis – you can see that here.

Posted in News, Science Gallery & Planetarium | Comments closed

Final Launch of Space Shuttle Atlantis – 1:20PM CDT today

After 25 years, 31 missions, more than 282 days in space and 17 visits to two different space stations, the space shuttle Atlantis is on the pad for its final flight. NASA-TV and spaceflightnow.com are providing live coverage of Atlantis’ final launch, scheduled for 1:20PM Central Daylight Time today (14 May 2010). Atlantis will launch on a 12-day mission to attach the Rassvet Russian research module to the International Space Station…

Posted in Planetarium, Science Gallery & Planetarium, Space News | Comments closed

Recipe for a Perfect Field Day

With field season right around the corner I find that I spend a lot of time reminiscing about my past field work, and musing about what makes a perfect field day. I would say that it goes something like this: -1 reliable vehicle -Good, dry roads and trails, to taste -1 part nice weather: 20-24°C with a gentle wind -1 beautiful landscape -1 (or more) exciting discoveries or observations -0…

Posted in Botany, Research | Comments closed

Aurora Alert!

A big burst on the sun on May 5 could trigger auroras for Manitobans over the next few days. See www.spaceweather.com for details.

Posted in Astronomy, Planetarium, Science Gallery & Planetarium | Comments closed

upcoming Planetarium Show: Earth – an oasis in space

I’ve been listening to the soundtrack for our upcoming planetarium show, “Earth: An oasis in Space”, and it’s gotten me thinking. The show is all about life in the universe, and how liquid water is a key ingredient for life as we know it. This is what makes Earth an oasis- we have buckets of the stuff. But if we find liquid water elsewhere in the solar system, what does…

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Zombies in space

OK, not really – it’s a zombie satellite, though, which is still a bit creepy. Seems a solar storm took out the Galaxy 15  satellite last month, and now it’s wandering around in orbit under no one’s control. The worry is that it’s actually more of a vampire than a zombie, since it may start to suck the signals out of other satellites it gets near… full story at Space.com.

Posted in Astronomy, Planetarium, Science Gallery & Planetarium, Space News | Comments closed