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New Meetup: Harry Potter Scavenger Hunt @ Harvard Museum of Natural History

From: T.J. M.
Sent on: Wednesday, November 3, 2010 11:31 AM
Announcing a new Meetup for Nerd Fun - Boston!

What: Harry Potter Scavenger Hunt @ Harvard Museum of Natural History

When: Sunday, November 14,[masked]:30 AM

Where: Harvard Museum Natural History
26 Oxford Street
Cambridge, MA 02138

Over the past two years, Nerd Fun has attended to many a lecture at the Harvard Museum of Natural History, but hasn't really explored all the exhibits they have on-site.

From Saturday, October 30 to Sunday, November 28 the Harvard Museum of Natural History is offering as a way to explore the museum a Harry Potter Scavenger Hunt, free to all with museum admission, and on Sundays from 9 am to 12:00 noon, admission is also free to Massachusetts residents.

Depending how many people are interested, we can divide up into little groups to use the Harvard Museum of Natural History "Marauder?s Map" to explore the museum. So what if it is geared to kids? Aren't we all kids at heart?

The museum is free all times to current holders of a Harvard I.D.

According to the site "free to Massachusetts residents every Sunday morning (year-round) from 9:00 am to noon and on Wednesdays from 3:00 to 5:00 pm (September through May) excluding commercial groups. Please be prepared to present proof of residency". The museum is open daily from 9 am to 5 pm.

Where to Meet:

Go through the main entrance of the Harvard Museum of Natural History. Go up the stairs. Take a right. You will see T.J. Maher, 5 foot 7, with blue eyes, short brown hair, a "Hello My Name is T.J." nametag and a red MEETUP sign attached to his black messenger bag, standing in the alcove, waiting for people. He should be there at 10:00 am, cursing daylight and nursing a coffee. We can decide how we want to split up the group to participate in the self-guided tour when we finally see the
Marauder's Map".

The staff at the museum have mentioned to leave around an hour to complete the free self-guided scavenger hunt. After the hunt, we definitely need to go to the room containing the Glass Flowers, pin down a staff member, and have her walk us through the collection.

Anybody want to go for brunch or lunch, say, at noon? Feel free to bring suggestions!

From the Harvard Museum of Natural History site:

"Celebrate the world of J. K. Rowling?s Harry Potter in a scavenger hunt in the museum galleries. Pick up an HMNH 'Marauder?s Map,' to explore hundreds of specimens from wolves to wolfsbane and test the depth of your knowledge about Harry?s world. Free with museum admission".

About the Museum of Natural History:

"The Harvard Museum of Natural History was established in 1998 as the public face of three research museums: the Museum of Comparative Zoology, the Harvard University Herbaria, and the Mineralogical and Geological Museum. Presenting the incomparable collections of these parent museums and the research of scientists across the University, it has a mission to enhance public understanding and appreciation of the natural world and the human place in it, sparking curiosity and a spirit of discovery in people of all ages.

"Today?s museum reflects both the history of its parents and an evolution toward a 21st century institution that presents cutting-edge research, addresses contemporary issues, and offers creative educational experience in a unique, intimate setting.

"We believe in the power of museums to change the way we see and understand our world, and in the importance of close observation, of asking questions and, from the answers, generating new queries. Through our exhibits, programs, and classes for learners of all ages we encourage our visitors to look closer, dig deeper".

The Most Commonly Asked Questions about the Glass Flowers:

"Are they really glass?
"Yes, the models are made entirely of glass often reinforced internally with a wire support.

"Who made the Glass Flowers?
"The models were created by father and son Leopold and Rudolph Blaschka, nineteenth century glass artisans who perfected their family craft. Their lineage of jewelers and glassmakers trace as far back as the fifteenth century.

"How were the models made?
"The parts were shaped after the glass was softened by heat. Some models were blown. Colored glass was used for many, others were "cold painted" with a thin wash of colored ground glass or metal oxide(s) and heated until the material fused to the model.

"When were they made?
"The models were made from 1887 through 1936.

"Where were the Glass Flowers made?
"The Blaschkas' studio was located in Hosterwitz, near Dresden, Germany.

"Why were the models made?
"Professor George Lincoln Goodale, founder of the Botanical Museum, wanted life-like representatives of the plant kingdom for teaching botany. At the time only crude papier-mach? or wax models were available.

"The life-size models include 847 species, with remarkably accurate anatomical sections and enlarged flower parts. Since the Glass Flowers are always in bloom, tropical and temperate species may be studied year-round".

About the Bank of America Museums on Us program:

"The museum participates in the Bank of America's Museums on Us program. Visitors can present their Bank of America card for free admission to the museum during the first full weekend of every month"

For a list of museums that are free to Bank of America card holders besides the Museum of Fine Arts and the Harvard Museum of Natural History this November 4th and 5th, you can go to

Map of the HMNH: Roll over the map on to see what is on exhibit there.

Walking Map to the Museum of Natural History from Harvard Square (in Adobe Acrobat PDF format):

Parking and Directions:

"On-Street metered parking: There are a limited number of 2-hour metered spaces located on Oxford and Kirkland Streets. These meters only accept US quarters. After 6 pm, and all day on Sundays, the meters do not require coins but may be restricted to Cambridge resident permits. Resident permits are not required all day on Sundays. Please read the street signs carefully".

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