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Author Archives: Graham Young

The Old Plesiosaur and the Sea: The Collectors

In my last blog post, introducing our plesiosaur exhibit,  I promised to follow up with some of the story of how the collectors found, extracted, and prepared the fossils. When I was assembling the exhibit I interviewed Kevin Conlin and Wayne Buckley, since they tell these stories so much better than I ever could. Here are the interviews, which are also on the panels within the exhibit.   Kevin Conlin Kevin…

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Sea of Monsters

The Old Plesiosaur and the Sea Exhibit, Open November 14th-April 6th Tomorrow morning we will be opening our new Discovery Room exhibit, The Old Plesiosaur and the Sea. Some Discovery Room exhibits show exciting or previously unseen objects from the Museum’s collections, while others feature collaborations with the community. This exhibit will do both: some of the beautiful specimens have been donated over the past few years by two remarkable…

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Are we Still in Manitoba?

Travels in the Hudson Bay Lowlands, August, 2014 Manitoba is an immense place, very slightly larger than France. If you look at the map, you will see that roads here are concentrated in the southernmost part of the province. The farther north you go, the fewer areas you will find that are easy to visit. Those of us who work in field-based sciences occasionally get to some of the more…

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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…

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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…

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I Miss the Mammoths

Crown view of a woolly mammoth molar from Bird, northern Manitoba (specimen V-1739; illustration by Debbie Thompson) Recently, there seem to have been a lot of stories in the media about the remarkable intelligence of elephants. Scarcely a week goes by without a new science story about how elephants are among the few non-human creatures that are self-aware, about their superb communication skills, about the ways in which they care for…

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Slicing the Onion

Downtown Winnipeg, as it has looked so often this winter. A couple of weeks ago, I gave a presentation at McNally Robinson in Winnipeg, as part of our Museum lecture course Into the Vault. I was planning to talk about the ancient island shoreline deposits we have been studying in the Churchill area, and as I thought about history and pre-history, I was reminded of an observation I had made during…

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Curator

‘I don’t know what you mean by “glory”,’ Alice said. Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously. ‘Of course you don’t — till I tell you. I meant “there’s a nice knock-down argument for you!”‘ ‘But “glory” doesn’t mean “a nice knock-down argument”,’ Alice objected. ‘When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’ ‘The…

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Mud, Glorious Mud?

I have often been told by members of the public that, “it must be so exciting to do paleontological fieldwork.” This is true, it can be very exciting to visit new places, to discover and collect fossils that were previously unknown to science. But often the conditions are such that the fieldwork is more of a necessary evil. It is a step that must be passed to acquire essential specimens,…

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New Guidebooks Published

Following on from my recent post about the geology of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, it seems entirely appropriate timing that another piece of architectural geology work has just been published. Last week, a guidebook to the geology of the Manitoba Legislative Building, by Jeff Young, Bill Brisbin, and me, finally appeared in downloadable form. The entire file (20 megabytes) can be found here. This book was published as…

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