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“Batman! Superman! Spiderman!” shouted a crowd of young campers, eager to share the names of their favorite superheroes, as guide Michael Malave kicked off his “super power” tour through the Milstein Hall of Ocean Life and the Akeley Hall of African Mammals.
“When you look around the hall, you can see many animals, and each of them has an ability that helps them to succeed and survive,” explained Malave to the pack of superhero enthusiasts. “This is much like how superheroes use their powers to win and beat the bad guys.”
Malave, who studies applied math at Marist College, was one of 32 students selected for last year’s Museum Education and Employment Program (MEEP), a summer internship that trains college-age students from the New York City area to develop and lead free themed tours for camp groups who flock to the Museum’s halls each weekday. In 2010, MEEPers, as the student guides are affectionately known, led more than 580 tours in a span of six weeks — an average of more than 20 tours a day.
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On Tuesday, January 25, the Museum kicked off the six-day Global Weekends: Brain and the Tibetan Creative Mind program with a traditional opening ceremony performed by monks from Drepung Loseling Monastery. Known in Tibet as Sa-chong, the ceremony, which includes chants, music, and mantras, prepared the area for the creation of a sand mandala. Over the next four days, the monks will complete the “Medicine Buddha” sand mandala in the Hall of Birds of the World.
Visit the Museum to see a traditional cham performance, learn about Tibetan arts, watch the making of the sand mandala, and more. The full schedule is available here. And, check out the clip of Tuesday’s opening ceremony below.
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How do drugs and drug use impact the brain? In this podcast from a recent SciCafe, Carl Hart, Associate Professor at Columbia University, shared his latest research and his sometimes surprising findings.
The next SciCafe, “Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World,” takes place on February 2, 2011. Learn more about this popular after-hours series featuring cocktails and conversation about cutting-edge science topics.
Recorded at the Museum on January 5, 2011
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While crossword puzzles have been proven to exercise the brain and improve memory, guessing the answer to a difficult clue also provides emotional satisfaction, according to New York Times crossword editor Will Shortz.
Shortz, who last week spoke at the Museum program “This is Your Brain on Ping Pong,“ recently shared his passion for both puzzles and drop shots.
Check out the video below, and for more puzzles and brain teasers, visit the exhibition Brain: The Inside Story.
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Just as Western medical historians prize classic texts, whether Henry Gray’s 1858 Anatomy Descriptive and Surgical or Walter B. Cannon’s 1932 The Wisdom of the Body, students of Tibetan medicine value scroll paintings that illustrate traditional medical knowledge and procedures. Sixty-four modern copies of such medical paintings from the Museum’s collection are the subject of a new special exhibition, Body and Spirit: Tibetan Medical Paintings, which opens Tuesday, January 25 in the Audubon Gallery on the Museum’s fourth floor. Curated by Laila Williamson, senior scientific assistant in the Division of Anthropology, with host curator Laurel Kendall, chair of the division, the exhibition will run through July 17.
In the 17th century, a series of paintings was commissioned for use as teaching aids in a medical school founded in Lhasa, Tibet, by Sangye Gyatso, regent to the Fifth Dalai Lama and author of the Blue Beryl, an important commentary on the classic Tibetan medical text Four Tantras. The fate of the original paintings, which were created between 1687 and 1703, is unknown. But in the late 1990s, Romio Shrestha, a Nepalese artist, and his students reproduced 79 paintings, painstakingly rendering their intricate details in vegetable and mineral dyes on canvas. These Tibetan Medical Paintings, acquired and conserved with the support of Emily H. Fisher and John Alexander and exhibited with the support of a generous gift from the Estate of Marian O. Naumburg, are believed to be among only a handful in existence, providing a unique and rich history of medicine in Tibet.