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Prehistoric Landscape In Houston

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Above is a picture I took in Houston a few weeks ago that felt to me what a prehistoric landscape where dinosaurs lived would look like.

You never know what you will find when you drive around and look at the world.

You can see dinosaur tracks in Texas at Dinosaur Valley State Park in Glen Rose, Texas.

The new paleontology hall at the Houston Museum of Natural Science is very good.

Prehistoric Life by DK Publishing is a great resource to learn about the history of life on Earth.

December 17, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | 4 Comments

New Paleontology Hall To Open In Houston On June 2—Pictures Of The New Hall And Picture Of Girl With Dinosaur At Creation Museum In Kentucky

The new paleontology hall at the Houston Museum of Natural Science will open to the general public on Saturday, June 2.

The hall has been open to museum members for the past few days. I’m a member of the museum and I took the opportunity to visit the new wing.

Above you see a picture I took at the hall. That creature was an Eryops.

Here is a story about the new exhibits from The New York Times.

I thought the place was pretty good. It was full of fossils and big skeletons of dinosaurs and other prehistoric beasts.

There also seemed decent enough information posted about each exhibit for folks who wanted to learn more and who wanted to make sure that kids had some understanding of what they were seeing.

It seems inadequate to take a child anywhere and not to make an effort to explain what is taking place.

Though it happens all the time that parents take kids out into the world, and make no effort to explain to the kids what they are seeing.

This may help explain why so many people are ignorant.

The creature shown above was a Placerias. It ate plants.

A great book to learn the history of life on Earth is Life–A Natural History of the First Four Billion Years of Life on Earth by Richard Fortey.

Another very helpful title to learn the history of life on Earth is Prehistoric Life–The Definitive Visual Guide to Life on Earth by DK Publishing.

Prehistoric Life  is a colorful, informative and energetic book that is good for both kids and adults.

At the bottom of this post is a picture I took last summer of a girl with a dinosaur at the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky. Petersburg is not far from Cincinnati.

The Creation Museum is a very well done museum that wants to convince you that the Earth is 7,000 years old or something like that.

Plenty of people believe in God and evolution at the same time. I bet most religious people know that dinosaurs and other various kinds of life were around hundreds of millions of years ago and even longer ago.

I bet that a number of people who would  tell a pollster that the Earth was created 7,000 years ago, don’t in fact fully believe what they are saying.

If they do and if this is what they teach their kids—So be it.

That will be less competition for jobs in the sciences for kids who are taught real science.

In any case, the new paleontology hall at the Houston Museum of Natural Science will be open to all on June 2.

May 29, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

I Saw The Emancipation Proclamation Today–The Work Of Freedom And Progress Is Up To Each Of Us

This afternoon I went to the Civil War exhibit at the Houston Museum of Natural Sciences.

I saw the original Emancipation Proclamation that has been on display in Houston for 6 days. Today was the last day the Proclamation was being shown to the public.

The remainder of the exhibit is at the museum through April 29. It is well worth your time.

I don’t have any pictures of the exhibit as you were not allowed to take pictures. The photo above of the original Proclamation shows well enough what I saw.

The original is kept by the National Archives and Records Administration. If you poke around you can find a National Archives app for your mobile device that offers up a famous old document each day.

Here is a transcript of the Proclamation. 

Depite the promise of freedom offered by the Emancipation Proclamation, Jim Crow replaced slavery in our nation for a century after the Civil War.

Today the same people who fought racial progress to the least breath, oppose President Obama as much or more so for who he is and what he represents as they do for any of his policies.

Things do sometimes change for the better and you can always appeal to the best impulses of our fellow Americans.

On the other hand, evil is for real and the work of progress and freedom is up to each of us.

February 21, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Fact That Texas House Speaker Straus Is Jewish Is An Issue With Some Conservatives

There is a fight taking place about who should be the next Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives.

The incumbent Speaker, Republican Joe Straus, was elected two years ago with the help of Democrats in the House.

With Republicans gaining many seats in this month’s election, some Republicans are calling for someone they feel would a more conservative Speaker to take the office from Mr. Straus.

Speaker Straus is Jewish.

Not surprisingly given the people involved in this contest , the fact that the Speaker is Jewish is becoming an issue in the race.

From TV Station KENS in San Antonio

“….a new series of attacks is coming from the Religious Right, with Straus’ religion used against him. On his blog, Texas Capitol Reporter Harvey Kronberg reports that robo calls have begun in parts of the state. The voice on the calls tells people to support a “true Christian speaker.” Joe Straus is Jewish. Furthermore, the Republican Liberty Caucus has come out in support of North Texas Republican Ken Paxton (R-McKinney), citing a New Testament Bible verse in its original endorsement. That verse has since been removed from the group’s officially posted endorsement.”

The Jewish Herald Voice is concerned. This newspaper has written about Jewish life in Houston and in Texas since 1908.

Jews have a long history in Texas.

From the excellent Handbook of Texas Online

“No aspect of nineteenth-century Texas history is without the involvement of committed Jewish Texans. Adolphus Sterne of Nacogdoches served as alcalde, treasurer, and postmaster in 1826, Albert Moses Levy was surgeon in chief in the revolutionary army in 1835, Jacob and Phineas De Cordova sold land and developed Waco, Simon Mussina founded Brownsville in 1848, Henri Castro founded several towns, Michael Seeligson was elected mayor of Galveston in 1853, Rosanna Osterman funded significant religious and charitable activities through her will, Sid Samuels and Belle Doppelmayer were in the first graduating class at the University of Texas in 1881, Olga B. Kohlberg started the first public kindergarten in Texas in 1893, and Morris Lasker was elected to the state Senate in 1895. Jews also established themselves in Beaumont, Brenham, Corsicana, Gainesville, Hempstead, Marshall, Palestine, Texarkana, Tyler, Port Arthur, Wichita Falls, Baytown, Corpus Christi, Brownsville, New Braunfels, McAllen, Alice, Amarillo, Columbus, Wharton, Giddings, Navasota, Crockett, Lubbock, Longview, Jefferson, San Angelo, and Schulenburg.”

A great book to learn about Jewish History in Texas is Lone Stars of David–The Jews of Texas.

An ongoing exhibit at the Houston Museum of Natural Science  is called Forgotten Gateway—Coming To America Through Galveston Island. A portion of this interesting exhibit is about how Jews were often denied entry into America through Galveston for no other reason but that they were Jewish. The program runs through February 20, 2011.

The photo below is of the Beth Yeshuran Jewish cemetery in Houston. The large grave in the middle of the photo is that of Private Nathan Pizer. Private Pizer was a United States Marine who was killed in action in France during WW I.

Jewish folks have long served our nation.

It makes no difference what religion anybody is when it comes to who can serve in public office. We must remain vigilant. So-called states rights views, now all the rage in Texas and elsewhere , have long been associated with intolerance and injustice.

We can either fight back against this un-American behavior, or we can see the years of our lives wasted by extremists who refuse to acknowledge the outcome of the Civil War.

Political independents who often vote for candidates of both parties need to please consider what they will be getting from Texas Republicans over the next two years.


November 17, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Picture Of Corpse Flower At Houston Science Museum

Here we have a picture I took on the afternoon of July 14 of the so-called corpse flower that is at the Houston Museum of Natural Science.

(Update–You can go to the museum blog I link to below for the latest report. They have a twitter feed on the side of the blog as well that has some information.)

The police officer is there in case the flower starts to attack people.

You can access a webcam of the flower from the museum web page.

The corpse flower will smell like rotten flesh when it blooms.

The Houston Chronicle ran a story of this flower.

From the Chronicle story–

“The corpse flower is so rare that only 28 have ever been known to bloom in the United States. The 29th is poised to open any day now at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. The lime-green bud, which resembles an oversized endive, was nearing 5 feet tall on Wednesday in the museum’s Cockrell Butterfly Center and has been growing about 4 inches a day. Cockrell director Nancy Greig says it could open Friday or by early next week. Once open, the corpse flower will last about two days…As its common name warns, the corpse flower is a smelly thing, with the withering stench of rotting flesh. As the spathe begins to unfurl, the spadix becomes a gas chamber, heating its natural oil and emitting noxious fumes for eight to 12 hours to attract pollinating carrion beetles.”

Here is the Houston Science Museum blog about the plant.

Here is a photo essay on the flower from the Houston Chronicle. It has all the pictures you need of this flower.

Here are some basic facts about flowers.

I know this plant has a freak show value, and I’ve got nothing against a freak show, but wanting to see this corpse plant could also be a good time to learn the basics about all types of flowers.

All knowledge is connected.

Below is what the flower will look like after it blooms.

July 15, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | 5 Comments

What Shall My Wife And I Do With Our Day Off?

I have tomorrow off with my wife.

What will we do?

First, as you see above, we will get dressed up. We are quite formal people.

Then, we are going to go to the U.S. Post Office to mail off some holiday gifts.

My father-in-law worked at the U.S. Post Office for many years. His work helped my wife be able to attend college.

Please support your local post office.

Here is the link to the Smithsonian National Postal Museum. The wife and I once went there.

After the post office, I regret to say that we must go to the Apple Computer Store in the Houston Galleria.

You see that iphone in my hand in the picture above?

I dropped it last night and shattered the screen.

I’m not so pleased with this fact.

I do not want to go to the crowded Galleria nine days before Christmas, but hopefully it will be early enough in the morning to beat most of the crowds.

After the Apple Store, the wife and I will have lunch at a Japanese restaurant.

We use forks. Neither of us can handle chopsticks.

When the wife and I go out to eat, we bring newspapers and magazines to read.

We read and we talk to each other.  It goes quite well.

After lunch, we are going to go to the Houston Museum of Natural Science.

The wife and I will see an exhibit called Faberge–Imperial Jeweler to the Tsars.

After the museum, the wife and I may—or may not—take a walk in Houston’s Hermann Park.

The walk will depend on the weather and what time of day we are done with all we plan to do.

My wife and I will have a great day off together.

Take some time to be with the people you value in life.

At the same time, be sure to spend some time alone.

A balance of time with people you care about and time spent alone makes for a well-adjusted personality.

That is my theory at least.

December 16, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

   

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