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Make your very own fossil!
PHOTO: Owen Egan
The Redpath Museum wants to help Montreal children with their first tooth -- that is, their first dinosaur tooth. May 26 is the annual Montreal Museums Day, when the city's museums throw open their doors free of charge to the public. The Redpath is going a little further -- they will be offering children the chance to make a cast of a real fossil.
"Our lab will be set up with a whole bunch of different kinds of fossils and microscopes. Kids will get a chance to see and touch fossils as well as to make plaster casts of some of the items in our collections," said Campbell Rolian, acting manager of public programs and a science educator at the museum. He explained that the children will be making casts using the same materials that professionals use, albeit on a smaller scale.
"They won't be coming home with a full scale T-Rex, but they'll be coming home with a very accurate replica of an Albertosaurus tooth or a shark's tooth, and that's usually enough for them to be very happy."
Although the Redpath runs programs for children every Sunday, the Museums Day events will be free, and don't require registration. Rolian said that the museum will likely see 2,000 people pass through the exhibits that day. The Redpath is well prepared for the deluge.
"Most of our curators will be on hand in the museum -- for instance, our ethnology curator (Barbara Lawson) will be up on the ethnology floor to tell people about our ethnology and anthropology collections. She'll be able to tell people about the Egyptian collections, the African collections, and the art of mummification," said Rolian.
Volunteers and students will also be on hand at certain exhibits to answer questions from the public.
The Redpath Museum will be open from 9-5 on May 26 for Montreal Museums Day. Call Campbell Rolian at 398-4086 ext. 4092 for further information.
Flowers and fowlers
If you're at a loss as to what to give your mother for Mother's Day, why not try flowers? Not very original, you say? Think again -- the Morgan Arboretum will be hosting a tour of the multitude of spring wildflowers on May 12.
"It's for the whole family, but flowers and Mother's Day go well together, so we hope people will be original and bring their mothers to see wild-growing flowers instead of giving cut ones," said Mathieu Boudrias, the educational program coordinator at the Arboretum.
In addition to observing and smelling the specimens in situ, the tour will include explanations of each flower's name, medicinal properties, and associated myths. You won't be leaving with a bouquet for Mom though.
"We observe, enjoy and smell, but there's no picking -- they're very delicate," said Boudrias.
Boudrias explained that although the tour will likely see about 20 varieties of wildflower, which ones are visible depends on the whim of Mother Nature.
"It changes very rapidly in spring. It's pretty much an improvisation tour because we're never sure what flowers we'll see," he said.
If flora bores ya or you're more fond o' fauna, the Arboretum offers a bird-banding tour the following weekend. Ornithologists David Bird and Rodger Titman will guide a group through the intricacies of bird watching, identifying and, as well, banding. Birds will be trapped by mist nets set early in the morning in the wildlife refuge at Stoney Croft Pond. Those hoping to handle the birds for themselves will be disappointed -- a special permit is needed for that.
Spring Flowers tours start May 12, at 11 am (French tour) and 2 pm (English tour). Cost to tiptoe through the tulips is $7 for adults, $2 for children. Bird banding starts May 18 at 7 am. Cost is $10. Please call 398-7811 for reservations for either event.
When sports go bad
PHOTO: Gary Rush, McGill Sports Information Office
Got a bad case of tennis elbow? Athlete's foot? Swimmer's ear? The sports medicine clinic is there to help everyone from the weekend warriors to millionaire professional competitors with any sports-related ailment there is -- excepting, perhaps, hockey hair.
With many people resuming outdoor activities after a long period of hibernation, sports-related injuries are bound to increase. Improper conditioning and preparation can lead even the best athletes to injury -- think muscle strains, dislocated shoulders, stretched tendons.
You needn't be a jock to use the clinic's facilities -- the doctors, physiotherapists and other professionals often treat those with repetitive stress injuries, which tend to affect musicians and office workers as well as athletes. For those who suspect that Wheaties are insufficient for their competitive needs, a nutritionist is on hand, as is a sports psychologist.
Associated with the Montreal General Hospital and the Seagram Sports Science Centre the clinic has access to a wide variety of high-tech medical equipment useful in treating athletic afflictions, including an MRI and ultrasound equipment.
The Sports Medicine Clinic is located in the Sir Arthur Currie Gymnasium complex. To reach the Clinic for more information or to make an appointment, call 398-7007.
Queen Noor to bring words of peace
The Beatty Memorial Lectures have featured a fair number of prestigious speakers over the years -- scientists, philosophers and authors. Never royalty, but that will change on May 23, when Queen Noor of Jordan will deliver a lecture entitled "Creating a Culture of Peace" in the Fieldhouse Auditorium at 7 pm.
It will be Her Majesty's second time at McGill -- the first was a one-day visit two years ago. As the International Spokesperson for the McGill Middle East Program in Civil Society and Peace Building she will return to the University as part of a visit organized by the Quebec government.
The Queen's duties with the Middle East Program fit well with her many activities in peace-building projects. The American-born and Princeton-educated wife of the late King Hussein of Jordan promotes cultural and development initiatives within the Middle Eastern countries, as well as acting as patron to the Landmine Survivors Network and the International Campaign to Ban Landmines.
The Middle East Program offers fellowships to Israeli, o and Jordanian academics working to reduce inequality, promote civil society and build peace in that region.
Tickets to Queen Noor's lecture can be obtained in advance at the McGill Bookstore. American Sign Language interpretation available.