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Monthly Archives: June 2014

Isn’t it iconic? Don’t you think?

    What are the Factors that Make an Exhibit “Iconic”? In the last little while we have been working on the plan for a new exhibit in the Museum’s Earth History Gallery, which will be focused on a large specimen that we recently added to the collections. Around here we like to refer to the specimen and the planned exhibit as “iconic.” But what does iconic really mean? And…

Posted in Geology & Paleontology | Tagged , , , | Comments closed

Cataloguing Tiger Beetles

Tiger beetles are apparently very difficult to catch, although one would not know it when seeing the great number of tiger beetles in the museum’s collection. A quick survey revealed the Museum has over 500 pinned specimens in three genera; Cicindela, Ellipsoptera and Amblycheila. After cataloguing a couple hundred tiger beetles, I became curious about their biology, and did some research. Tiger beetles are found all over the world and…

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Wolves and cougars and bears, oh my!

For most of my career I have studied prairie plants, mainly because prairies are among the rarest ecosystems in Canada owing to the fact that they’ve been almost completely converted into cropland.  As a result, I have never had to worry about encountering grizzlies or wolves or cougars while doing my field work.  This year in contrast, I will have to be much more vigilant than I am used to.  During…

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Dutch Immigrant Klaas de Jong, Market Gardener

“I was in Winnipeg! The Immigration Department took group photographs, and I posed with about two dozen bachelors like myself. Then I was free. Free, at the end of my journey. Free in the very middle of the great, wide West. I couldn’t speak a word of English, and I was on my own. Now I had to be a man!” These are Klaas de Jong’s memories of arriving in…

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Making Connections

Even though I’ve been in the job for 9 months there are still parts of the collection that I’m not as comfortable with, largely because I’ve never worked in that geographic region.  That’s why I was very excited to receive a request from Jennifer Kramer, Pacific Northwest Curator at the Museum of Anthropology (MOA) in Vancouver to come and look at any Northwest Coast artefacts during her visit to Winnipeg….

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We Have Guests

Michael Cuggy (L) and Dave Rudkin discussing specimen notes. Those of you who are familiar only with the exhibits and the other “front end” parts of the Museum might be surprised at the constant changes that take place in the hidden parts of the institution. You might think that the dusty backrooms would remain the same from decade to decade, but really it is a whirl: exhibits are built in the workshop…

Posted in Geology & Paleontology | Tagged , , , | Comments closed

Astro-Alert: Possible Meteor Storm Friday-Saturday, May 23-24!

UPDATE – 21 May 2014: Sky and Telescope magazine has an article on the event on their website. LINK UPDATE 2 – 21 May 2014: Even if it’s cloudy, you can listen in on the meteors via radio! (Thanks to Don Trueman for the LINK) UPDATE 3 – 22 May 2014: Spaceweather.com also has a great article about the shower, and also the possibility of observing meteor impacts on the Moon through a telescope! On the early…

Posted in Science Gallery & Planetarium | Comments closed

The Sutherland Violin

This last winter I was pleased to receive a phone call informing me that the Sutherland family was interested in donating an artefact that had been in the family for 6 generations and had been in Manitoba most of that time. The Sutherland Violin, as we call it here at The Manitoba Museum, came with Alexander (Sodger) Sutherland in 1815 on his voyage from Scotland to the Red River Colony….

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