Royal Ontario Museum Blog

Monthly Archive: December

Minecraft and Museums together at the ROM

Posted: April 16, 2018 - 14:57 , by Sarah Elliott
a Minecraft tower with red, yellow, and purple roads leading in different directions away from it

For over a year, the Learning Department has been hard at work on the development of a new approach to museum virtual visits: building an online experience using an adventure map in Minecraft to teach elementary students about Responsible Mining. We’re excited to announce that we have reached the pilot testing phase!

National Volunteer Week 2018: Lynne Wood

Posted: April 14, 2018 - 09:32 , by Ryan Dodge
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Get to know some of our volunteers this week!

Kalighat Paintings: Murder in the Collection

Posted: April 5, 2018 - 00:31 , by Deepali Dewan

A notorious murder case is one of the subjects of the ROM’s collection of mid-nineteenth century Kalighat paintings, an urban folk art style that developed around a popular Kali temple in Kolkata, India. Written by Piali Roy.

 

The Rules of Taxonomy: How Species Are Named

Posted: March 15, 2018 - 12:44 , by David McKay
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Phylogenetic Tree of Life

Why should ROM curators care about a proposal to create an organization that would make rules for how species of living things are named?

In Hot Water – the Ongoing Debate on Bottled Water Extraction in Ontario

Posted: March 9, 2018 - 15:20 , by Hellen Fu
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Large sign in snowy field reads: Nestlé Waters Canada bottling plant and head office 101 Brock Rd.S., Township of Puslinch

In the quiet countryside of the county of Wellington, echoes from a clash between the local community and mega-corporation Nestlé still linger in the air. Starting in 2015, the debate over Nestlé’s water extraction in Aberfoyle and Elora sparked outcry from community members and organizations that got the attention of the province (and indeed the international community). It is time to take a look at what has happened since, and what both Nestlé and anti-water bottling organizations have to say about it, for the battle is far from over.

When Things Go Wrong for Right Whales

Posted: March 8, 2018 - 10:44 , by Hellen Fu
Carcass of right whale floating in ocean, researchers on large dinghy

Guest blog written by Environmental Visual Communication student Viridiana Jimenez

The death of seventeen right whales in 2017 represents a loss of over 3% of the population. The significance of this loss has sent the scientific community into a panic. Their deaths were primarily caused by ship collisions or entanglements with fishing gear. As frequent visitors to the Gulf of St. Lawrence, we must now work together to save this species from extinction.

Presenting our Winners of the 2017 ROM Wildlife Photographer of the Year Contest

Posted: March 3, 2018 - 13:20 , by Cheryl Nichols
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Polar Bear

In celebration of the prestigious Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition, the Ontario-wide ROM Wildlife Photographer of the Year contest returned for its third year – with incredible prizes for both adult and youth categories!

When Whaling is Your Tradition

Posted: February 27, 2018 - 15:35 , by Hellen Fu
Inuit community standing on and near a recently hunted bowhead whale on beach

Guest blog written by Environmental Visual Communication student Ursula McClintock

In some Indigenous communities around the world, whaling is as much a part of their tradition as my family’s turkey dinner at Thanksgiving and Christmas. Whale hunting has played an integral role in feeding Inuit communities for millennia. Bowhead whales, among many other species of whales, were hunted to near extinction at the turn of the 20th century. Yet more often than not, Indigenous communities are cast in the same light as the commercial groups that are responsible for the near collapse of populations of these iconic marine animals.

Celebrating Chinese New Year: Dogs in Ancient China

Posted: February 15, 2018 - 17:38 , by Diana Lu
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 Photo of a sculpture of a dog

Ridge tile with a dog
Moulded earthenware, glaze
Ming-Qing Dynasty (17th-19th century)
921.1.232
The George Crofts Collection

By Kara Ma

What is it? Unexpected Life in Downtown Toronto

Posted: February 14, 2018 - 12:51 , by Antonia Guidotti
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Ostracoda, Podocopida. photo by Antonia Guidotti

ROM Natural History staff often receive specimens for identification.

In entomology, they frequently receive and identify common household pests, however, they recently received something a little bit more unusual. A community centre in the city, operating an Aquaponics lab, sent in a sample of some tiny, mysterious critters they found on the roots of their plants. Concerned they may be causing the plants harm, they were hoping the staff at the ROM could give them some insight as to what they were.