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Monthly Archives: August 2013

Geology of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights: Part 1

The construction of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR) in Winnipeg has been the subject of tremendous public interest and media coverage. As opening nears for this institution, our first national museum outside the Ottawa area, I have read discussions of the planned exhibits and galleries, conversations concerning the relationship between the museum and local communities, and assessments of the architecture of the spectacular building. I have not, however,…

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Geology of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights: Part 3

2. Mongolian Basalt Slabs of dark igneous stone, apparently basalt or diabase, can be seen covering some walls in the lower parts of the museum, but for a geological appreciation of volcanic rock the visitors must wait until they have passed upward into the huge Garden of Contemplation. This is the finest place I know of for viewing columnar-jointed igneous rocks, between Thunder Bay and the Rockies! Walls of Tyndall…

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Winnipeg Tribune Head is Found

Some time ago, after the donation of a “gargoyle” that once graced the former Winnipeg Tribune Building, we put out a call to the public to see if any more of these strange terra cotta statues would show up (see my blog of March 30, 2012). Fourteen are known to have existed, and The Manitoba Museum had two. We did get some calls, with two leads to something I had…

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The scientific method: a reality check

If you have ever heard someone say “I have a theory about that” they don’t. They’re most likely confusing the word “theory” with “completely unsupported, untested hypothesis”. All kidding aside, the words “theory” and “hypothesis” mean something very specific to a scientist, and the former is actually a much stronger statement than the latter. Since most people are not scientists but sometimes need to judge the value of someone’s statements,…

Posted in Botany, Research | Comments closed

The Value of Professional Conferences

I went to the annual conference of the Canadian Association for Conservation (CAC) this year, as I try to do every year. It is held in late spring in a different location in Canada, alternating between different regions of the country. It is not a large conference, with attendance ranging from 70 or so in the smaller cities, to about 150 or even 200 in larger cities such as Toronto….

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Open Air Museums in Poland

I was recently asked to attend a conference and weekend festival in Poland regarding historic landscapes in the Vistula River valley. One of the newer public interests in the area happens to be Mennonite history: Mennonites arrived in Poland in the mid-16th century from the Netherlands region and established thriving communities that existed until 1945, when they fled the Soviet advances at the end of Wolrd War II. One of…

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