Royal Ontario Museum Blog

Monthly Archive: December

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.

Trees for Life in Lakefield

Posted: February 8, 2018 - 10:46 , by Hellen Fu
Children playing in a large tree

Guest blog written by Environmental Visual Communication student Fenella Hood

When Rebecca Rose left her home in Leslieville and moved her three young children to the quaint village of Lakefield, she felt secure in the belief that she was improving their lot in life. Then one day a notice was slipped through her door from the Township of Selwyn announcing her next-door neighbour's severance application to build a second house and increase his selling power. His small corner lot boasts a stand of seven mature trees that will need to be cut down to make room for the build. “It felt like being kicked in the stomach. I don't want those trees to die, and I don't want to tell my kids.”

Wu Dacheng: ROM Chinese Jades at the Suzhou Museum

Posted: February 1, 2018 - 15:35 , by Diana Lu
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As part of a special exhibition entitled Collections of the Wu Family From Suzhou in the Qing Dynasty (December 16, 2017, to March 11, 2018), the Royal Ontario Museum lent 28 Chinese jades to the Suzhou Museum. This exhibition, curated by the Suzhou Museum, constitutes the second in the series of Suzhou Collectors from the Qing dynasty. The ROM is amongst several lenders that contributed to this special exhibition.

 

The life cycle of a new fossil: Meet the ancient cousin of the earthworm

Posted: January 19, 2018 - 12:35 , by admin
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An artist reconstruction of Kootenayscolex barbarensis

By Karma Nanglu

Make Plastic Reduction Part of Your 2018 New Year's Resolutions

Posted: December 29, 2017 - 12:55 , by Stacey Kerr
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Plastic pollution found at Turkey Point on Lake Erie. Photo credit: Cristina Bergman

Guest blog written by 2017 Environmental Visual Communication student Cristina Bergman

Every year, 10,000 tonnes of plastic enters the Great Lakes. Imagine 55 jumbo jets of plastic crash landing in the lakes each year. In this province alone, 3 billion plastic bottles are sold annually, but only half are recycled. The other 1.5 billion bottles end up in landfills or littering the environment. As the only province that borders the Great Lakes, Ontario has an obligation to protect this vast, irreplaceable resource. But is the province stepping up?