Curiosity Carnival

We went to the University Museum of Natural History, as part of Curiosity Carnival. The museum was buzzing with interested members of the public and researchers willing to share their knowledge.

The building itself is fascinating, and the permanent displays, such as the minerals which were available to be touched, and the columns, each of a different stone.

Pillar 38 at the University Museum.
Pillar 38 at the University Museum. Each pillar is made of a different stone, and the capitals are carved with accurate representations of plants and animals. Click the image for a more information.

All these features were tempting, but we tried to press on and see the special exhibits, and come back another time to see the parts we could see at any time.

Phab members engaged in discussion with one of the researchers.

We saw how the colour of our faces as seen by an Infra Red camera matches how much blood flows to different areas.

We learnt a lot about long range weather forecasting from a climate scientist who showed us the tail end of Hurricane Maria, live on the displays at windy.com

Many displays, such as the chance to compare the weight of a cow bone and an ostrich bone of similar size, were rare opportunities, and we learnt a lot about bones. Bones are made of collagen and calcium, and we could feel how a normal bone is very strong; one from which all the minerals have been removed is quite floppy and bends too easily to support any weight, while bones which have no collagen are brittle and crumble underĀ  pressure.

This could be seen as a metaphor for they way that people, each with their own strengths and weaknesses, can come together to be tougher and stronger than we are on our own.

 

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John

I was born in Edinburgh, and studied Physics at Southampton University. Now retired, I maintain my interests in Science, Open computing, and many other areas. I have been a member of Oxford Phab for a many years, and maintain their web site.