Archive | Juli’s Theories

REVIEW — The Georgia Aquarium

wow wall at Georgia Aquarium

As much as I love visiting museums on the down-low, seeing what the typical visitor (who doesn’t write blog posts about the experience) sees, there’s something to be said for behind-the-scenes tours. And holy balls what a tour it was at the Georgia Aquarium.

First of all, a big thanks goes out to Jen Richards, our unofficial tour guide. The Georgia Aquarium has some pretty great behind-the-scenes tours — want to SCUBA dive in the whale shark tank? you can! — but I doubt any of them are as intimate as Jen’s tour was for just me and Ryan. Plus, ours was free.

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REVIEW — The Gray Fossil Site & Natural History Museum

Ryan’s been feeling pretty bummed about the sporadic-ness (sporacity? sporacitude?) of the podcast, so to make him feel better I promised I’d post another museum experience for y’all. Imagine how horrified I was to discover that I haven’t posted a thing since October of aught-eleven! It’s about time I righted this wrong, and so I bring you excerpts from my trip to the Gray Fossil Site and Natural History Museum. Enjoy!

Gray Fossil Site and Museum exterior

saber-tooth cats and tapirs and bears, oh my!

“I was not a particularly happy camper this morning, having woken up balls-early for a road trip out to Boone, NC. Thankfully, my mood had vastly improved by the time we reached the Gray Fossil Site/Museum outside Johnson City, TN, and I was able to fully enjoy all the specimens, exhibits, and the dig site.

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REVIEW – Bodies: The Exhibit

Bodies: The Exhibition

Promo for Bodies: The Exhibition

While Ryan was enjoying New York Comic Con, I decided to take the opportunity to visit some of the Big Apple’s awesome museums. I left the choice of museum up to my good friend Rick, a New York native and fellow nerd, and he ended up taking me to the South Street Seaport — think Fisherman’s Wharf, NYC-style — for a double exhibit feature, Bodies: The Exhibition [BtE] and Dialog in the Dark (to be reviewed soon). Some of you might already know about BtE, since it’s been around since 2005. Multiple variations on the theme have been around for nearly 20 years, so you may have seen Bodies: The Exhibition, or Our Body: The Universe Within, or perhaps you saw Body Worlds back when it came out in 1995. These exhibitions are all independently owned and run, but you’d be forgiven for confusing them because they’re eerily similar. Essentially, you wander through room after room of plastinated human bodies, learning about the various systems and structures under our skin, seeing comparisons of healthy versus diseased organs, and wondering how the displays were made and who on earth these people once were.

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REVIEW: First in Space

Hey everyone, my apologies for not having posted a museum review in a while. You see, I’ve been interning at the Nashville Zoo and haven’t had a chance to scope out to other institutions. The good news is that in the downtime between interviewing visitors, I’ve managed to read some awesome books and comics about science, so that’s what we’re going to talk about today.

First in Space

Writer: James Vining
Artist: James Vining
Publisher:  Oni Press

$9.95/96 pages/Black and White

All summer long I’d been hearing about chimpanzees in the media, so now that the weather’s changing, it seemed fitting to close out the season with one of the greatest chimp stories of all time. As one might expect from a book titled “First in Space“, this is the tale of the first living being in space, a chimpanzee with the rather unassuming name “Ham”. I know, I know, just one letter off… In the late 1950s and early 1960s, the United States was lagging behind the USSR in the Space Race. The Soviets had already launched Laika (a story also available in comic form) into earth orbit, and the Americans were looking to jump ahead by successfully launching a creature into space — and successfully recovering the live specimen.

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EVENT RECAP: Adventures with Food at the ASC

Juliana, our science-illustrating museum-loving friend, is back after another event! Here’s hoping her guest postings become a regular feature because this one sure left me hungry for more! (yuk yuk) – Ryan (the photographer)

When I wrote about the Exploratorium’s Iron Science Teacher Competition, I confessed that I’d never seen an Iron Chef competition before. Which is kind of odd because — another confession! — I’m a bit of a foodie. Not in the “raw food is the only food” way or the “I own every gadget from Williams Sonoma” way, but in the “I’m doing science and it’s delicious” way. Thankfully, the local Adventure Science Center (ASC) in Nashville had a food-based program this weekend so I could get my foodie fix.

Step one of any cooking endeavor: get a spiffy apron

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GUEST POST: Iron Science Teacher Competition

Now for a little Tuesday treat we have a guest post from a dear friend of the show, current science illustrator and future museum evaluator Juliana Olsson! She wrote us up a post about her experience as the Iron Science Teacher competition held on June 25th, 2011. Enjoy! – Ryan

I have a confession: before attending the Iron Science Teacher competition at the Exploratorium a few Saturdays ago, I had never watched any “Iron [Fill in the Blank]” activity. It’s not that I discriminate against element 26, I just have a hard time reconciling the competitive nature of such events with the subjective topic: if each entry is good but in different ways, how do you choose the “best” one? Thus I was somewhat wary watching high school science teachers duke it out in front of a live audience to determine which one could come up with the best experiment and lesson plan on a given concept. Would this be a ferociously ferrous nerd bloodbath?

I shouldn’t have worried. It was awesome. There were chemicals and beakers and flames and muppet music. Things were learned, fun was had by all, and I approved of the winner. There was even a glowing pickle. Watch the webcast yourself, or read about the experiments after the jump.

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