Connect with us

Community

Giant Bugs Invading Science Museum of Virginia

The museum’s tagline of, “I Like Big Bugs and I Can Not Lie” is quality, it’s pretty hard to beetle. This pun mite bug some of you.

Published

on

I’m an admitted Science Fiction junkie and movies such as Them featuring giant ants hold a strong fascination. I would be dishonest if that isn’t my primary motivation for going to the Science Museum of Virginia’s upcoming exhibit.

January is not the time of year most people think about bugs descending on Richmond, but that is what is happening at the Science Museum of Virginia. And those bugs are going to be big, in fact, they are larger than life.

Photo Credit: Arizona Science Center

On Saturday, Jan. 18, the Museum is opening the traveling exhibition “Giant Insects.” Featuring six enormous, robotic insects ranging from 40 to 120 times larger than life size, numerous interactive stations and terrariums with live bugs, the exhibition will excite insect lovers of all ages.

“Insects are often unnoticed or disregarded because of their small size, but this exhibition makes it impossible to overlook them,” said Director of Playful Learning and Inquiry Timshel Purdum. “It will switch our guests’ perspective: they will be the size of the bug and the bug is the size of the guest. Plus, hopefully this exhibition will squash some of the fears people have about bugs!”

Designed by California-based Kokoro Exhibits, “Giant Insects” blends art and science with impressive animatronic insects that move like their real-life counterparts. Within each insect, pneumatic valves and cylinders are orchestrated by computers to recreate the movements of actual insects based on consultations with entomologists. Each insect body is designed around a steel “skeleton,” while the outer body is made from either polyurethane or molded fiberglass, or a combination of both materials, and then meticulously painted to match the live model.

Giant insects depicted in the exhibition include the desert locust, which has a 20-foot wing span; two rhinoceros beetles engaged in mortal combat; a tranquil wiggling caterpillar that, in adulthood, would become a Swallowtail butterfly; a 60-times life size praying mantis; and the master-of-disguise stick insect camouflaging with Mother Nature.

Three hands-on insect head replicas allow guests to control mouthpieces to better understand how a dragonfly, honeybee and mosquito each have their own particular way of devouring food. Other interactive stations allow guests to identify insect sounds, better understand camouflage techniques, see metamorphosis stages and more. Mind-blowing Bug Byte facts shared throughout the exhibition will also remind guests of the complexity and diversity in the insect world.

Photo Credit: Arizona Science Center

In addition to the bugs currently on display in the Museum’s Animal Lab, the “Giant Insects” exhibition will feature live arthopods, including multiple tarantulas, a vinegaroon, millipedes, several species of beetles, hissing cockroaches and two types of crabs. Museum educators will be stationed in the exhibition to engage with guests about the lifespan, diet, habitat and fun facts for each creature.

“We want guests to walk away from this exhibition better appreciating the unappreciated,” Purdum said. “Often we put emphasis on, or marvel over, the pretty bugs, like butterflies, but the so-called ugly, brown and seemingly boring bugs need love, too. Insects are an important part of our ecosystem, and we need them just as much as they need us. They were on this planet long before humans, and they will probably be here long after we’re gone.”

“Giant Insects” is on display through August 30, 2020. The Museum will feature special insect-themed programming, such as Lunch Break Science presentations and cooking demonstrations, during the run of the exhibition. Those will be listed on the daily schedule found on the Museum’s website.

“Giant Insects” is included with Museum admission, which is $15.50 for adults, $13.50 for youth and seniors and $10 for preschool-age children. Museum members and children two and under are admitted free. The Museum offers discounts for military, teachers and EBT cardholders. It is sponsored locally by Strange’s Florists, Greenhouses, & Garden Centers.

Comments

comments

Richard Hayes is the co-founder of RVAHub. When he isn't rounding up neighborhood news, he's likely watching soccer or chasing down the latest and greatest board game.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Northside

Former Braves star Andruw Jones coming to Richmond for Flying Squirrels’ opening night

The five-time NL All-Star and former Richmond Braves outfielder will help ring in 2020 season at The Diamond.

Published

on

Former MLB standout Andruw Jones will be the special guest for Opening Night as the Richmond Flying Squirrels begin their home schedule at The Diamond on April 16, the team announced on Wednesday. The five-time National League All-Star will throw out the ceremonial first pitch and sign autographs for fans.

Opening Night with the Flying Squirrels, presented by Virginia Birth Father Registry and Chick-fil-A, will include dueling fireworks to ring in the new season. The first pitch between the Flying Squirrels and Bowie Baysox is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. and the ballpark gates open at 5 p.m.

“Opening Night in Richmond at The Diamond is a very special thing with 10 straight sellouts and a long list of popular ceremonial first pitch participants, some with ties to the Braves’ history here in Richmond,” Flying Squirrels VP & COO Todd “Parney” Parnell said. “Andruw Jones is certainly one of them. Many remember him for his hitting prowess, but his 10 Gold Gloves in the outfield is a high standard. We look forward to welcoming him to Richmond as we pursue our 11thconsecutive Opening Night sellout at The Diamond on April 16.”

Jones played 17 seasons in the majors with the Atlanta Braves, Los Angeles Dodgers, Texas Rangers, Chicago White Sox and New York Yankees. A star in Atlanta for 12 seasons, Jones earned 10 consecutive Gold Glove Awards from 1998-2007 and was later selected to the Atlanta Braves Hall of Fame. In 2005, Jones won the Silver Slugger Award and the Hank Aaron Award while leading the majors with 51 homers and pacing the National League with 128 RBIs.

Prior to his major league stardom, Jones suited up for the Richmond Braves in 1996. His stop in Richmond lasted 12 games, during which he hit .378 with five homers and 12 RBIs before earning a call to the majors in mid-August at just 19 years old.

The Willemstad, Curacao native hit .254 in his 2,196 career MLB games, adding 434 home runs over 17 years from 1996-2012.

The Flying Squirrels’ first 10 home openers have all sold out, including franchise-record crowds of 9,845 fans in each of the last two years. Since the franchise’s first season in 2010, the Flying Squirrels have welcomed a special guest to help open the home schedule at The Diamond. Jones joins the list of sports stars and dignitaries to celebrate the start of the new baseball season in Richmond.

Previous guests include:

  • 2019 – Ryan Klesko
  • 2018 – Fred McGriff & Gov. Ralph Northam (caught by Mayor Levar Stoney)
  • 2017 – David Justice (caught by Mayor Levar Stoney)
  • 2016 – Jerome Bettis
  • 2015 – Will Wade (caught by Gov. Terry McAuliffe)
  • 2014 – Michael Robinson
  • 2013 – Javy Lopez & Ryan Kerrigan
  • 2012 – Dale Murphy
  • 2011 – James Farrior, Brandon Rozzell & Chris Mooney
  • 2010 – Gov. Bob McDonnell

Information on group packages for the Flying Squirrels’ home opener on April 16 are available here or by contacting the front office at 804-359-FUNN (3866).

Comments

comments

Continue Reading

Community

Detour on Buttermilk

The trail will remain the same once the work is completed. They’re just taking care of a ramp that’s seen better days.

Published

on

From RVA Trail Report:

ATTENTION: There will be a detour in effect on Buttermilk starting tomorrow and lasting several weeks. The wood and brick ramp just west of the Reedy Creek parking lot is being completely re-built. The detour is well-marked, just follow the yellow arrows and signs. This project is being completely funded by a generous donation to RVA-MORE from an individual who wishes to remain anonymous. Thanks to all to helped make this happen !!

Comments

comments

Continue Reading

Downtown

Senate advances bill allowing transgender people to change birth certificate

The Senate passed a bill earlier this week that would allow a person who changed their sex to have a new birth certificate issued, something that the transgender community said will help eliminate problems experienced when their legal identification doesn’t match their transition.

Published

on

By Rodney Robinson

The Senate passed a bill earlier this week that would allow a person who changed their sex to have a new birth certificate issued, something that the transgender community said will help eliminate problems experienced when their legal identification doesn’t match their transition.

Senate Bill 657 would allow a person to receive a new birth certificate to reflect a change of sex, without the requirement of surgery. The individual seeking a new birth certificate also may list a new name if they provide a certified copy of a court order of the name change.

“I just think it’s important to try to make life easier for people without being discriminated [against] or bullied,” said Sen. Jennifer Boysko, D-Fairfax. “Allowing an individual who is transgender to change their birth certificate without having to go through the full surgery allows them to live the life that they are due to have.”

The bill requires proof from a health care provider that the individual went through “clinically appropriate treatment for gender transition.” The assessment and treatment, according to Boysko’s office, is up to the medical provider. There is not a specific standard approach for an individual’s transition. Treatment could include any of the following: counseling, hormone therapy, sex reassignment surgery, or a patient-specific approach from the medical provider.

A similar process is required to obtain a passport after a change of sex, according to the State Department.

Once the paperwork is complete, it is submitted to the Virginia Department of Health vital records department, Boysko said.

Boysko said her constituents have reported issues when they need to show legal documents in situations like leasing apartments, opening a bank account or applying for jobs.

This is the third year that Boysko has introduced the bill. Neither bill made it out of subcommittee in previous years, but Boysko believes the bill has a better chance of becoming law this year.

“I believe that we have a more open and accepting General Assembly then we’ve had in the past, where people are more comfortable working with the LGBTQ community and have expressed more of an interest in addressing some of these long-overdue changes,” Boysko said.

Vee Lamneck, executive director of Equality Virginia, a group that advocates for LGBTQ equality, said the organization is “really pleased that this bill is moving through.”

“This bill is really important for the transgender community,” Lamneck said. “Right now many transgendered people do not have identity documents … this is really problematic when people apply for jobs or try to open a bank account.”

There are 22 other states in America that have adopted legislation similar to this, including the District of Columbia, Boysko said. The senator said that “it’s time for Virginia to move forward and be the 23rd state.”

The Senate also passed Tuesday Boysko’s bill requiring the Department of Education to develop policies concerning the treatment of transgender students in public elementary and secondary schools, along with bill outlawing conversion therapy with any person under 18 years of age.

The bills now advance to the House, where they must pass before heading to the governor’s desk.

Comments

comments

Continue Reading

Richmond Weather

Advertisement
Advertisement

Events Calendar

Advertisement
Advertisement