Episode 27– Be My Guest: Explore-a-saurus

June 27, 2011 13:44 by andi

Hey podcast listeners, it’s been a while but we are back on the safari intrepidly exploring behind the scenes at Museum Victoria. A mammoth thank you to all of who have been involved with and listen to Access All Areas Podcast Adventures because thanks to you we won an international award - the Best Audio/Visual/Podcast category in the MW2011 Best of the Web awards! Thank you!

In this episode, we deviously gatecrash the opening of the Explore-a-saurus dinosaur exhibition at Scienceworks. We hunt down dinosaur experts and dig up interesting science. We dance with animatronic dinosaurs and hang with dino enthusiasts whilst foraging for finger foods. I still find it amazing that chickens are modern-day dinosaurs.

Do the chicken dance, Dr Andi

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Dr Andi sneaks into the exhibition opening via one of the dinosaur crates | Mother Maiasaura with her clutch of babies | Dr Tim 'ask me about dinosaurs' Holland. Photos by Dr Andi. Dr Andi sneaks into the exhibition opening via one of the dinosaur crates | Mother Maiasaura with her clutch of babies | Dr Tim 'ask me about dinosaurs' Holland. Photos by Dr Andi.

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Episode 26 – Science (with poetic licence)

January 17, 2011 14:36 by andi

This episode tours the museum’s Natural Sciences Department via poetry by Ogden Nash (1902-1971). Like the scientists, he clearly loved to ponder our natural world as he wrote many memorable poems about animals and creepy crawlies.

Poets are allowed poetic licence, but pedants like me will still want to seek out the scientific line. So in this episode, we count the ribs of pythons, discuss the mating habits of shrimps, sniff out information on squashed ants, try to convince my cubicle buddy to do duck impersonations, find out the difference between centipedes and millipedes and reveal that Melbourne Museum has a an eel whisperer.

Animatedly yours, Dr Andi

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Simon Hinkley sniffs out information on ants | Kate Philips counts python ribs | Jo Taylor discusses shrimp mating behaviour and shows us some of her research specimens Simon Hinkley sniffs out information on ants | Kate Philips counts python ribs | Jo Taylor discusses shrimp mating behaviour and shows us some of her research specimens

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Episode 25 – Two words... sounds like... auditory illusions

October 29, 2010 15:25 by andi

Optical illusions are always great entertainment. It’s so amazing that our eyes and brains distort signals to the point where seeing is no longer quite believing. You’ll never guess what I found in the museum collections stores; a cassette tape of auditory illusions, among the files of a retired curator. When you listen to this podcast you will need stereo headphones or stereo speakers to get the full effect of the auditory illusions. One illusion is so amazing that everyone in the room hears something different. Enjoy the trip these sounds will take you on... they are un-real.

Sounding out the truth, Dr Andi

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Download audio illusion ringtone
Download Federation Bells playing Mozart’s Symphony No. 40 ringtone
(Not an auditory illusion, but aren’t the bells pretty?)

Boy listening to a crystal set radio through head-phones in his backyard, 1925  |  Visual illusion from The Mind: Enter the Labyrinth |  Geoff Holden (retired curator) Boy listening to a crystal set radio through head-phones in his backyard, 1925 | Visual illusion from The Mind: Enter the Labyrinth | Geoff Holden (retired curator)

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Episode 24 – It has a natural ringtone

September 16, 2010 11:31 by andi

Since doing podcasts, I have become more aware of the soundscapes and rhythms of various environments. Can you guess this mystery sound? This may not work in non-audio medium like print, but try it anyway ...

b’loop, b’loop... b’loop... ...b’loop, b’loop...

That’s five items at the supermarket checkout. Okay can you guess this one?

Kashunk, wrrrrr, kashunk ,wrrrrr, kashunk...

That’s hand luggage rolling over pavement.

I’ve been searching for a new personalised ringtone for my mobile phone; naturally I turned to the museum collections as self-appointed curator of culturally significant ringtones. In this episode we launch our first two Museum Victoria mobile phone ringtones: the imagined squawks of extinct Qantassaurus dinosaurs and the 1885 mechanical coin-operated Symphonion music machine.

May it ring true to you too, Dr Andi

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Download Qantassaurus ringtone
Download Symphonion ringtone

Animatronic models of Qantassaurus. Image: Jon Augier | Symphonion. Image: Jon Augier | Dr Andi and a banana, but no banana box frog. Image: Sarah Mulvey Animatronic models of Qantassaurus. Image: Jon Augier | Symphonion. Image: Jon Augier | Dr Andi and a banana, but no banana box frog. Image: Sarah Mulvey

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Episode 23 – Sounds like tech spirit

July 22, 2010 16:26 by andi

I was in the museum’s collection store the other day, the one that houses a lot of technology items, and wondered what it would sound like if it came alive at midnight. Would it be a noisy place? The historic clocks would chime, the wind-up toys would clatter and buzz, the industrial machines would hum a rhythmic bass and some old computers game would beep and bop while the phonograph players would wind-up waltz. Then again, it might be such a cacophony that it would sound like the pots and pans cupboard collapsing. In this episode, we ask one of the Museum Victoria curators to activate objects that usually lie silent so we can celebrate the sounds of some unusual collection objects.

Of sound mind, Dr Andi

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Detail of the music box showing metal pins. | David Demant with the music box. | David demonstrating the cardboard phonograph. Photos by Andi Horvath. Detail of the music box showing metal pins. | David Demant with the music box. | David demonstrating the cardboard phonograph. Photos by Andi Horvath.

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Episode 22 – Phar Lap’s tale

May 7, 2010 12:40 by andi

Ever wondered why so many Australians pay homage to Phar Lap the racehorse at Melbourne Museum? Is your knowledge of Phar Lap simply that he lived fast, died young and left a beautiful corpse? Here is your opportunity to get versed up with Jackie Kerin, the author of Phar Lap the Wonder Horse.

Incidentally, Phar Lap’s skeleton is exhibited at Te Papa Museum in New Zealand, his preserved heart is at the National Museum in Canberra and his beautiful hide is on display at Melbourne Museum, but his tale (irresistible pun intended) is right here.

Championing your trivia quiz cause, Dr Andi

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Phar Lap at Melbourne Museum, photo by Earl Carter  |  Jockey Silks, Telford Colours, worn by Phar Lap’s jockey in the 1930s, photo by John Broomfield  |  Storyteller and author Jackie Kerin in her finest racewear, photo courtesy of Jackie Kerrin Phar Lap at Melbourne Museum, photo by Earl Carter | Jockey Silks, Telford Colours, worn by Phar Lap’s jockey in the 1930s, photo by John Broomfield | Storyteller and author Jackie Kerin in her finest racewear, photo courtesy of Jackie Kerrin

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Episode 21 – A short history of Phar Lap curators

April 29, 2010 10:44 by andi

The ‘relics’ of history have been housed in museums for hundreds of years. Museum Victoria was officially started in 1854 by British colonialists who collected items deemed to be significant to the nation’s identity, culture, and education. 

Today the tradition of acquiring and housing what is significant to the nation’s culture continues but it’s performed by representatives of the broad Australian public, in the form of historians, scientists, and indigenous consultants, collectively known as curators. 

While Phar Lap is one of Museums Victoria’s most famous relics, it’s the succession of three Phar Lap curators that we explore in this podcast.  Their research and interpretation has allowed the stories of Phar Lap to be gathered, authenticated, understood, preserved and enjoyed.

Curating the curators, Dr Andi

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The three curators, left to right:  Eddie Butler-Bowdon (photo by  Jon Augier) |  Elizabeth Willis (photo by  John Broomfield)  |  Michael Reason (photo by Andi Horvath) The three curators, left to right: Eddie Butler-Bowdon (photo by Jon Augier) | Elizabeth Willis (photo by John Broomfield) | Michael Reason (photo by Andi Horvath)

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Episode 20 – Roll out the steam engines

March 2, 2010 13:13 by andi

The great thing about museum objects at Scienceworks is you don’t have wait til midnight for them come alive. You can attend one of their seasonal Machines in Action days (‘MAD’ events as they call it) to experience the sights, sounds and smells of old giant steam engines, a gold and money van from the 1930s, and vintage motors on four wheels. That day the Mini car club were out there celebrating their 50th birthday. When it comes to motor vehicles, I have to ‘fess up the only thing I was really interested in was the sound of their ‘toot’, but after meeting the people who know their machines inside and out, I got excited about them too.

Rolling on, Dr Andi

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Visitors checking out a Mini car. | The Super Sentinel Steam Waggon in action. | Matthew Churchward with the 1930s van for transporting gold and money. Photos by Andi Horvath Visitors checking out a Mini car. | The Super Sentinel Steam Waggon in action. | Matthew Churchward with the 1930s van for transporting gold and money. Photos by Andi Horvath

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Episode 19 – Be My Guest: Wild Thing

January 13, 2010 11:31 by andi

Where you find the wild things is right here at Melbourne Museum! There is a new exhibition called Wild: amazing animals in a changing world. There are over 700 specimens on display and it’s a wonderful zoo of animals playing 'freeze'. The extinct Tasmanian Tiger specimen is on display but what you become sadly aware of is so many endangered creatures may join him. The exhibition also celebrates amazingly effective conservation efforts and climate change awareness. Let’s act so museums and zoos are not the last places we find our wild friends.

In fine furriness, Dr Andi

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Red-crowned Barbet. Photo: Heath Warwick | Tracey-Ann Hooley in the exhibition gallery. Photo: Andi Horvath | Malayan Civet. Photo: Heath Warwick Red-crowned Barbet. Photo: Heath Warwick | Tracey-Ann Hooley in the exhibition gallery. Photo: Andi Horvath | Malayan Civet. Photo: Heath Warwick

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Episode 18 – The strange case of the butterfly theft

December 24, 2009 13:11 by andi

Good crime fiction finds out whodunnit by asking why and how they did it. Evidence can lead us to the culprit but can also lead us to erroneous assumptions. In this episode we talk to one of history’s detectives – the archivist.

Ross Harrison Snow, Museum Victoria’s (former) archivist, uncovered a long-forgotten but fascinating story about a butterfly theft that occurred from museums in Australia and New Zealand in the late 1940s.

The evidence, such as old museum correspondence, documents, court proceedings and media clippings, tells the story through what’s said but also and what isn’t said.

Arrestingly yours, Dr Andi

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Drawers for butterfly collections. Photo Kate Chmiel | A specimen with a tell-tale yellow label. Photo Kate Chmiel | One of hundreds of butterflies on display at Melbourne Museum's Bugs Alive exhibition. Photo Jonny Brownbill Drawers for butterfly collections. Photo Kate Chmiel | A specimen with a tell-tale yellow label. Photo Kate Chmiel | One of hundreds of butterflies on display at Melbourne Museum's Bugs Alive exhibition. Photo Jonny Brownbill

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