Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

Archaeological Playing Cards

by Katie Bowell, Curator of Cultural Interpretation

This story from Colorado Public Radio is a few years old now but, given the recent concerns over protecting archaeological resources in Egypt, is still relevant.

Archaeological Playing Cards

Back in 2007, CSU archaeologist Jim Zeidler worked with Archaeologist-in-Residence at Fort Drum Laurie Rush to design a set of playing cards for U.S. soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. The goal of the cards (other than to be used for championship tournaments of “Go Fish”) is to teach the troops about archaeology. Each card has the image of an Iraqi or Afghanistan artifact or archaeological site, or a brief description of how to spot a site and what troops should do, and not do, to keep artifacts safe from accidental damage and looting.

Listen to the story of how the cards were designed and how troops and civilians have responded to them here.


Friday Quick Links

by Katie Bowell, Curator of Cultural Interpretation

How do you prepare a panda cub for life in the wild? Step one: wear an adult-sized panda suit.

In 1551, Konrad Gesner published the five-volume Historiae animalium (“History of the Animals”), the first modern work of zoology that attempted to describe all the world’s animals. Gesner did well, given that many of the animal records he wrote were based on others’ descriptions. The National Library of Medicine has digitized the book so you can flip through and see some of the highlights, from an armored rhino to a unicorn.

And if organisms smaller than the ones Gesner was describing are more your style, the National Library of Medicine has also digitized Robert Hooke’s Micrographia, which was a pioneering text for the world of microbiology.

The Japanese probe Akatsuki was supposed to reach Venus, but missed. No worries, its orbit around the sun means the probe and Venus will run into each other again in six years.

“Twinkle, twinkle, little star, How I wonder what you are, Up above the world so high, Like a diamond in the sky…” Meet LS IV-14 116, a pale blue star revealed to be the most zirconium-rich star known to date.

Unwanted object in a frog’s body? No problem! Just have the bladder grow around it and pee it out later!

We have amazing photographs in our Local History Archive. But as far as I know, no one’s animated them in quite this way: Poetry Animations.

On the Discovery Docket: Films on Perspective

by Katie Bowell, Curator of Cultural Interpretation

It can be easy to make fun of the old educational films that used to be shown on projectors in school (1949’s Exercise and Health, anyone?), especially when so many of us are used to Blu-ray, HD, and 3D films now. But sometimes low-tech can be just as, if not more, successful.

The 1960 film Frames of Reference, made by MIT’s Physical Science Study Committee, is definitely a classic. University of Toronto professors Donald Ivey and Patterson Hume give clear, understandable and funny presentations on basic principles of physics and perspective. You know that any video that starts with a man in a three-piece suit hanging upside down has to be good.

Here’s Part 1:

You can watch the following three parts of the film on the YouTube channel, or view the film in its entirety through

And since one film on perspective is never enough, why not take a minute to test your own abilities of perception when confronted with the McGurk Effect? Did you think your ears did all the work when you’re listening? Think again.

Do you have any favorite educational films?

March 2023

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