Raffles Museum news
Research and education at the Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, National University of Singapore.
05 Jul 2007 - Raffles Museum News has shifted to http://news.rafflesmuseum.net
Sat 18 Nov 2006
Speaking about marine life at at the Public Service Exhibition 2006
Category : talks
The National Environment Agency's outreach partners for Pulau Semakau chipped in at their booth at the Public Service Exhibition 2006 with a few talks and I had volunteered for Saturday's sessions, now at 2.30pm and 4.00pm.
As I plugged in my mac and got the nod to start talking, a group eventually gathered out of the thin air. I did have to yell against a background of loud sounds from the crowd in that semi-enclosed area, and from the very loud sounds of the MC on stage highlighting various events and attractions. His sound system made it really challenging, but I soldiered on and it turned out well in the end.
NEA has a model of Pulau Semakau, the world's first offshore landfill, on display, which I used for the talk. The talk was reasonably well received, kep to the timing, was relevant and the audience seemed happy enough.
Besides the exciting photos and clips of marine life in Singapore, the issue of the plastics in oceans was raised, as was littering, proper waste disposal and recycling - I used the coastal cleanup data as well. NEA's Mr Loo was drawn in since has contributed sightings of otters, dolphins and other marine creatures. He and I first met when planning the first workshop for teachers on Pulau Semakau in 2000.
So I threw out my mangrove talk and decided to repeat the talk for the 4pm session. Once again we did not make an announcement from the main stage, this time because the MC could not be found. Still, there a limit to how many people would be able to hear me in the din. I did have to change my routine by using the Semakau model while my mac was restarted to reacquire the display - the projector's buttons were at just the right height for a kid's exploratory fingers and one kid did exactly that and messed up the entire setup. Interesting lesson we learnt there!
By the time it was over I was hoarse, dripping with perspiration but happy at the surprise and at times, disbelief the audience expressed when they saw and heard about the marine life in their backyard, and the data from the International Coastal Cleanup.
I was happy I had survived the sessions, and done our bit for NEA and Semakau. I also met a young graduate keen on joining Toddycats, and completed her recruitment interview during my break in between the two talks (downloaded the application form via free wireless nearby). She'll be joining our ranks soon. So a Saturday well spent!
Just maybe the next time, I'll bring along a portable mike.
Thanks to Angeline Tay and Anand Balan who packed and provided backup, drinks and lozenges; and Nanthinee J. for the photos!
Sat 18 Nov 2006
"Perak fish" - a new Paedocypris sp.?
Category : southeastasia
"Upbeat over 'Perak fish' find." By Audrey Dermawan.
GEORGE TOWN: Biggest is not always best, sometimes the smallest can be a source of pride, and a big scientific step forward.
Earlier reports of Paedocypris sp.
Sat 18 Nov 2006
Hunybunz and family collect the Pachycephalosaurus!
Category : dinosaurs
Yi Hang's blog post was kindly typed in by his mummy and he wrote about his visit, "Sue was a T-Rex." Once of the objectives of bringing down Sue was to awaken that sense of awe in little kids and awaken an interest in Science. So kids like Yi Hang were our prime target and it was especially pleasant to read the thoughts of this five year old when we were judging the contest. Aren't blogs wondeful!
I opened up the Public Gallery for them to take a short walk around. Although both parents are NUS alumni, it was a surprise to see this little gem tucked away in one corner of the university. Along the way, I did explain that school kids regularly visit us, that I speak in schools about marine life and other topics, that our volunteers participate in public exhibitions, and that we lead field trips to various places in Singapore.
But yes, wouldn't it be wonderful if the exhibit was in a large museum in town?
Hunybunz and her husband are well informed about natural history and the internet, and we ended up chatting about the museum, Sue, Chek Jawa, public interest in our nature reserves and the International Coastal Cleanup!
As they left, they encouraged us to keep up our efforts in public education - that was helpful encouragement to tackle the public talks later at Toa Payoh! Meanwhile, when Yih Hang plays with his Pachycephalosaurus, I wonder if he'll dream of dinosaurs!