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It’s a great time for paleontology. I know, I’m the first guy to say “It’s always a great time for paleontology” but believe me, this time, it’s a great time for Paleontology!

In the last few weeks, we’ve made incredible leaps and bounds in our understanding of the natural world. Scientists in Canada, Australia, and Japan successfully cloned blood protein from a Siberian Wooly Mammoth, bringing us one step closer to successfully cloning an extinct animal (The Pyrenean Ibex, an extinct goat, was cloned in 2009, but did not survive.) Scientists are optimistic, some predicting oogenesis (living embryos) in the next two years, and giant fuzzy elephants in zoos in less than five years!

This article is really about Snuffy and Big Bird, if you think about it.

I know, right? But sit down, there’s more.

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STAN the T. rex is a truly spectacular display that you can only see in DinoDigs... Or Indianapolis... Or London... Or California... Or Arizona... Or Japan.

What gives? How can the same dinosaur be in so many places at once?

(Originally posted June 6, 2009) - Dinosaur fossils are fragile pieces of the puzzle of Earth's history. When we do find them (and it is tough - even if you know where to look) they are often broken up or missing pieces. Even STAN was missing about 30% of his skeleton when he was discovered. How do scientists bring them back for us to view in museums around the world?

We make copies! (or Casts, as we call them!) It's okay, because if scientists didn't do that, the whole world would only have about 3 or 4 complete T. rex skeletons altogether (and a ton of spare parts!)

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Here's a fun activity courtesy of NOAA and the folks at Ultimate Wave: Tahiti.  Don't forget, the film premieres here on June 19!

 



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This is a fun activity courtesy of the people from Ultimate Wave Tahiti, coming to the Dr. Phillips CineDome on June 19.

You will need:
  • A clear plastic bottle, about 20 oz (600 ml) size or smaller
  • Rubbing alcohol, enough to fill the bottle half-way
  • Mineral spirits, enough to fill the bottle half-way
  • Food coloring, a few drops; you choose the color

 

Directions

Do these steps in a sink with help from an adult:

  1. Fill the bottle half-way with rubbing alcohol.
  2. Add three or four drops of food coloring to the alcohol and shake to mix.
  3. Add mineral spirits to fill the bottle and put the top onto the bottle. Be sure the top is tight!
  4. Hold bottle horizontally until the layers separate, then raise and lower one end to create waves.

For more information about different types of waves and wave features, visit www.ultimatewavetahiti.com/explore.


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We're serious about our Science, but that doesn't mean we can't have a few laughs, too! On May 2nd, crowds were treated to three Standing-Room-Only performances by Willie the Clown AKA The Science Magician! Our happy harlequin host presented several magic tricks, including several that still have us scratching our heads!  But best of all, in true Science Center fashion, there was something to learn, too.   

Willie's Clues about Refraction opened guests eyes to a glass-shattering illusion, while Willie's Clues about Pressure made for a fun and confounding round of "Three Card Monte!"   

In a related note, nuclear physicist and OSC Volunteer Bill Kahn has performed his unique brand of theatrical Clownology for years, delighting audiences at various shelters, hospitals, and assisted living facilities. Mr. Kahn, who represents Willie in all of his business dealings and recommendations for pizza toppings, has hinted that in the very near future, the lovable Science Magician may pop up again!

 


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New HVAC system is the first step toward building becoming LEED certified

Orlando Science Center will use operations to educate public on sustainable technology

Orlando, FL - May 6, 2010 - The Orlando Science Center has embarked on a major retrofit of its facility to increase its energy efficiency, decrease operational costs and help serve as a community leader in the use of sustainable technologies. Born out of a need for a new HVAC system and a strong commitment to environmental stewardship, the Science Center will be participating in a number of sustainability efforts in the months and years ahead.   

The first step in this process was the recent installation of a new energy-efficient HVAC system, which is already providing cooler temperatures within the Orlando Science Center. Many partners contributed to the success of this effort, including Irvine Mechanical that helped select and install the new system, the City of Orlando and Orange County who assisted in securing federal stimulus dollars, and the Orange County Arts and Cultural Affairs Council, OUC - the Reliable One and Darden Environmental Trust for providing significant grants.

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Orlando Science Center • 777 E. Princeton Street • Orlando, Florida 32803 • Phone: 407.514.2000 • Toll Free: 888.OSC.4FUN • Email: [email protected]
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