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Dr. Ash


The Messenger and the message

One of the beautiful things about summer is waking up to bird song; the trilling chorus outside my window as the rising sun paints everything rosy and gold. It’s winter now. The mornings are pretty quiet. There’s no choir of birdsong.

But if you live where songbirds migrate, their disappearance and reappearance are just part of the natural cycles. We’re always pleased when birds begin to arrive from their overwintering homes. I know I am. But what if the birds never came back? What if the birdsong stopped?

Su Rynards film The Messenger addresses these question. I had a chance to view the documentary at the Guelph Film Festival this past November.

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The Making of ‘Light Illuminated’

Radio. Photography. Microwaves. Television. The Internet. What do these things have in common? They’re all forms of ‘light-based’ technology. Without light and its basic properties we wouldn’t have these and many other modern tools. That said, without light and its basic properties we probably wouldn’t exist either. Without the Sun, what would heat up our planet? What would provide light for the photosynthesizing organisms that form the base of most of our planet’s food webs?


The word wall at the end of the exhibition highlights the important ways that light is used in our everyday lives. Photo credit: Brent Wettlaufer/THEMUSEUM

Light is necessary. To celebrate light and light-based technologies the UN has designated 2015 the International Year of Light. In honour of the occasion, THEMUSEUM, located in downtown Kitchener, is hosting an exhibition called Light Illuminated.


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Indominus rex is not your first genetically modified dinosaur…

Jurassic World just came out on BlueRay and digital download. Guess what I watched this week.

I had rip-roaring good time watching Jurassic World when it came out in theatres so I was looking forward to another viewing. The special effects were fabulous and the story was straightforward, and I got to watch Chris Pratt ride a Triumph motorcycle alongside velociraptors. The Jurassic World theme park was a fascinating extrapolation of what could have happened if the original Jurassic Park had managed to get off the ground. I enjoyed watching the movie from a science communication/museum exhibits perspective too. The Hammond Creation Centre had the interactive displays and holographic teaching tools that looked pretty effective. The movie, as a whole also touched on the ethics of animals in captivity and animal management. Continue Reading