Volunteer of the Month: William White

William_White_August2010_WEB William White has volunteered at MOSI since May and thus far has incurred a total of approximately 213 hours of volunteer service. William quickly absorbed responsibilities above and beyond those of the floor InterActor and was promoted to Floor Manger.

William was named volunteer of the month for July and we greatly appreciate his incredible initiative, ambition and drive! William has set a new standard for MOSI volunteers and volunteers in general!


Fractal Quilts by Rose Rushbrook

Currently on display in the Connecting Corridor Gallery are a selection of Fractal Art Quilts by Rose Rushbrook.

What is a fractal?: A fractal is "a rough or fragmented geometric shape that can be split into parts, each of which is (at least approximately) a reduced-size copy of the whole,".(1) image

Let’s take an example from nature, Romanesco Broccoli (Brassica oleracea) which can be described as a naturally occurring fractal. The main branches of this cauliflower relative are arranged in an ever increasing spiral curve also known as a logarithmic spiral. Each bud is composed of smaller buds that are similarly arranged in a logarithmic spiral making each branch a seemingly tiny copy of the whole.

The term fractal derives from the Latin word fractus which means “broken” or “fractured” and was coined in 1975 by French/American mathematician Benoît Mandelbrot. Mandelbrot is known as the father of fractal geometry.

DSCN0846 Fractals in Quilts: Artist Rose Rushbrooke takes the self-similarity designs of fractals and uses them as the basis for her art quilts. The artist begins with an image designed using fractal and graphic software. This image is translated to a black and white line drawing which is used to transfer the pattern to fabric.

As her media, Rose uses hand-dyed fabrics, velvets, quilting cotton, yarn, thread and ribbon. Using piecing and appliqué, the artist constructs a fractal in fabric. This fractal is then embroidered, beaded, embellished and finally sandwiched, quilted and bound to create a unique piece of mathematical art. DSCN0847

The first quilt pictured is entitled “Upon Reaching Middle Age: Grease”. The pattern is extracted from the Julia Set fractal and is executed in hand dyed and printed cotton, silk and polyester fabrics. The quilt is machine stitched and quilted in long cursive lines of the word ‘grease’ repeated again and again. Created in 2004 this quilt measures 62” x 82”.

About this quilt the artist writes: “Where did all the fat come from, the cellulite, the double chin, the dangle under the arms, the dissappearing waist? Whatever happened to the lithe and slim young body? Middle age came and the grease set in.”

DSCN0848 This next quilt is entitled “Royal Crustacean”. The pattern is an original fractal design. Executed in printed silk charmeuse, silk ribbon and embroidery floss, this quilt is hand embroidered and quilted. The finished piece measures a diminutive 18” by 14” and is mounted on a canvas frame.

About the title of this quilt the artist writes “The repetitive fractal image resembles a lobster tail and purple is the colour of royalty

You can read more about Rose Rushbrooke’s creation process for fractal quilts in this article.

About the Artist: Rose RushbrookeDSCN0850

Born in London, England. Lived abroad since 1986; moving to Antigua in the West Indies, then to Virginia and recently, Florida. Met her American husband in the Islands and relocated to the States in 1996.

Interest in modern fractal geometry led to using these fascinating images as a starting point for textile work. This artwork ranges from tiny pieces of embroidered silk; to large hand stitched fabric wallhangings.

Exhibits nationally and internationally. Five pieces were selected for 'The Marriage of Art, Science and Philosophy' exhibition at the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland.

Recently spent two years earning an Advanced Diploma in Character Animation.

Filmed by HGTV for 'Simply Quilts', and by Adelphia for 'Artscape'; she is no longer owed her fifteen minutes of fame.

You can learn more about the artist, Rose Rushbrooke at her website Rushbrooke Strand. These fractal quilts will be on display at MOSI until September 6th, 2010.

(1)Mandelbrot, B.B. (1982). The Fractal Geometry of Nature. W.H. Freeman and Company.. ISBN 0-7167-1186-9.


MOSI’s Scientist Breeding Program

MOSI’s latest genetics experiment is in full swing. Here at MOSI, we are breeding the scientists of tomorrow! By carefully selecting MOSI scientific education staff as parents, we can guarantee that the future crop of scientists are destined for greatness!

image Calliope Lynn McIlrath was born on April 6th, 2010. Her mommy, Vivian McIlrath is our Youth Programs Coordinator. Vivian started at MOSI as a teenager in our YES! Team Program, attended USF, and continued teaching science and dissecting sharks all the while.

Calliope’s future goals will be to matriculate at a cool nursing school, begin eating solid foods, and to become potty trained. Her career goal is to become a marine biologist.


Rosabelle Marie Easterling was born on July 19th, 2010 to proud parents Luke and Lakin. Luke started in MOSI’s Education department in his young teenage years, left us to attend college and then was magnetically drawn back to MOSI.

We expect that Rosabelle will be working soon enough at MOSI with her dad, Uncle Jeff and Uncle Trevor. Clearly, MOSI just can’t get enough of this Easterling family. Future plans for Rosabelle include her development of new science shows for the museum, breakthrough work in string theory and the ability to crawl.

imageJocelyn Freya Hill, born May 8th 2010, is the newest of three itty bitty scientists produced by Tim Hill and his lovely wife Cara. No one really remembers how long Tim has been in the MOSI education department… he may have budded from the building itself.

As you can see by her attire, Jocelyn may well be headed into the time honored field of entomology. In the mean time she will work on bright smiles, ambulatory skills and safe handling of liquid nitrogen. Jocelyn will be helped along in her scientific endeavors by her two older siblings.pic

Alina Ponds was born August 8, 2009. Alina’s proud daddy AJ works in reservations and is one of the people you are most likely to have help you when you call the museum.

Alina’s future goals are to tackle sprinting, climbing, and using utensils. Her future career goal is to become a Marine Biologist.


Analyzing Dental Impressions at Home

By: Samantha Ribble

Now through September 6, the Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) is hosting to the traveling exhibit CSI: The Experience. This interactive exhibit turns guests into crime solvers as they investigate the scene, collect and analyze evidence, and bring the criminal to justice. With three different crime scenes to choose from and a high-tech laboratory, visitors are sure to walk away with a greater knowledge of what it takes to be a CSI.

Kids can be investigators in their own homes by analyzing evidence of the mouth – dental impressions.

Eighty percent of the time, teeth impressions are used to identify unknown victims. When fingerprints cannot be recovered and DNA testing is not possible, the teeth can give investigators a place to start. Since the enamel on your teeth is one of the hardest substances in your body, teeth are often well preserved.

Humans get two sets of teeth in their lifetime. By age three, children have a complete set of 20 baby teeth. Permanent teeth begin developing around the age of six and, over a span of 15 years, continue to cultivate until all 32 adult teeth are in place.

Teeth can reveal age by looking closely at level of development and wear. Dental records help investigators match a person’s mouth to a name.

All you need to get your young ones started on their first investigation are a few household items: scissors, Styrofoam plate, marking pen, and a thick piece of cheese or chocolate. Have the investigator leave the room and one of the suspects take a bite out of the cheese/chocolate. See if you can identify the person who took the bite by comparing impressions.

  1. Divide the Styrofoam plate into six equal wedges. Cut the wedges.
  2. Take two of the wedges and stack them together. Cut off 1 inch from the pointed end of the wedges.
  3. Place the two wedges into your mouth as far as possible.
  4. Bite down on the wedges firmly and then remove them.
  5. Label the top and bottom wedges Top Teeth and Bottom Teeth.

Have your little investigator study the teeth impressions, make the comparisons, and figure out who bit it.

A Brief History of Dental Impressions:

The first published account where a suspect was convicted using bite mark evidence occurred in 1954 in the case of Doyle vs. State.

A grocery store in Aspermont, TX was broken into on the night of December 15, 1954. The burglar had stolen 13 silver dollars, small change, two bottles of whiskey, and decided to snack on some of the meats and cheeses behind the meat counter.

Once apprehended, the suspect was asked to bite into another piece of cheese. After a dentist compared the freshly bitten cheese slice and one recovered at the scene, the suspect was convicted of his crime.