Mind Your Head – Part 2

When I first stumbled across the Vajen-Bader Smoke Protector, I initially thought it was a prop from Dr. Who or Star Wars. This bizarre looking hood was created in the 1890s by hardware salesman, Willis Vajen and piano maker, William Bader to prevent the inhalation of smoke and toxic fumes.

Mind Your Head – Part 1

Headgear or the lack of it can define us. Do you shun the bike helmet or cinch your chin strap tighter? Do you sport a cheesy yellow wedge in the Fall? Or is a Viking helmet more your jam?

The Humble Mastodon

Today on Museum Bites we’re celebrating the humble mastodon (Mammut). Often overshadowed by the bigger, flashier wooly mammoth, the mastodon has the reputation of being the Jan Brady of the elephant family. But did you know a glass of rum, a prehistoric arrow, and a former U.S. president all played a role in the discovery... Continue Reading →

Lovely Monsters

Seaman’s haunting photographs capture the dark, tornado-rich clouds hovering open-mouthed over vulnerable farmland. Captivated by the fierce beauty of these supercell storms, my fight or flight response was pinging.

Say Cheese!

These pearly little gems tear our food into tiny bits, come in handy if we need to fend off an attack, and provide a little pocket change when we hide them under our pillow.

Hiding in Plain Sight

We’re back at my home base, the Michigan State University Museum, and today we’re taking a closer look at cryptic coloration, better known as camouflage. Whether furry or feathered, scaly or shelled, herd dweller or loner, a wide range of animals use camouflage to grab or avoid becoming dinner. Following is a brief description of the various... Continue Reading →

Hello Dolly

Sporting a thick, sturdy ponytail, good old Velvet was made to withstand my exuberant hairstyling. No more creepy bald dolls. It was the perfect gift.

I Love Lucy

Land bridges temporarily formed between the continents and like a Midwestern retiree, species migrated in the hopes of finding warmer climes.

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