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Post by Cortney Pachet, Collections Registration Associate (Human History)  With changes happening throughout the museum, we sometimes find opportunities to update existing exhibits and breathe new life into old favourites. Last spring, when our temporary exhibition about the Winnipeg General Strike, Strike 1919: Divided City, was installed in our Urban Gallery and the entire gallery received beautiful, new mannequins, I jumped at the chance to revamp one of my favourite...
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What season is this again?

Astronomy

submitted by Science Communicator Claire Woodbury Welcome to spring! Or at least it’s supposed to be… astronomers tell us that spring in the northern hemisphere began on March 19th, but with all this snow, it looks more like Winter 2.0. Why do seasons on the calendar not quite match up with seasons in the weather and why are we colder in winter anyway? You probably know that the earth’s revolution...
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Post by Cortney Pachet, Collections Registration Associate (Human History) From October 2018 to October 2019, Cortney served temporarily as the Assistant Curator of the HBC Museum Collection while the Curator was away on leave.  As part of her curatorial role, Cortney processed the Fowlie collection acquisition and curated a small temporary exhibition about the collection. Throughout its history, the Hudson’s Bay Company had a tradition of recruiting young men from...
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Satellites in a train

Astronomy

Winnipeg residents have been reporting some unusual sightings in the night sky over the past few days. Bright star-like objects have been seen moving across the sky, following each other in a train. Sometimes half a dozen or more of them are visible at the same time. What are these? Unfortunately, they won’t be “unusual” for very long. These are the StarLink satellites, launched by Elon Musk’s Space-X to deliver...
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If a tree falls in the forest

Botany

We humans tend to think that diseases affect only animals but plants suffer from them as well.  Diseases are caused by microscopic animals (like parasitic worms), fungi, bacteria and viruses and they affect animals, plants, fungi and even some species of bacteria (viruses that infect bacteria are called bacteriophages).  But it’s not just microorganisms that parasitize species; larger organisms do too. Some fungi are parasites of other fungi and some...
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One of the most significant contributions that America’s Indigenous peoples have made is with respect to agriculture. Many of our most beloved foods (e.g. chocolate, potatoes, corn) are native to the Americas, being initially cultivated or domesticated by Indigenous farmers. Ancient Agriculture Indigenous agriculture has a long history with the most recent archaeological evidence suggesting it has been practiced in the Americas for at least 10,000 years, almost the same...
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A total eclipse… of Mars?

Astronomy

This month brings skywatchers a rare sight: a total eclipse of the red planet Mars by our Moon. The event is visible across much of North America, and is the only event of its kind all year. As the Moon orbits our planet, it gets in the way of all sorts of other celestial objects that are farther away. When the moon blocks out the sun, we call it a...
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Post by Carolyn Sirett, Conservator It’s time for the sweaty part of the blog – not the panicky sweating type of emotion I first experienced when large fragile artifacts were being transported all over the city – but literally sweaty in the sense that big artifacts get your muscles moving prepping them for exhibition.  Our first workout began after the stained glass window was delivered to Prairie Studio Glass for...
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Many plants use the wind to disperse their seeds. But what if a plant lives somewhere that isn’t very windy? How do they encourage their children to “launch”? Many plants decided to take advantage of animals’ mobility. One way plants do this is by growing little hooks or stiff hairs on the fruits that readily catch onto the fur or feathers of an animal when they are ripe. The fruits...
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Just like all creatures, plants want to reproduce themselves. But they typically don’t want their offspring hanging around for too long, eating all the food in the fridge and drinking all the beer. But plant babies living on the land can’t move on their own, so how is an exasperated plant parent going to get their children to leave the nest? Instead of producing swimming babies like algae do, the...
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