You should mark your calendars now…oh, wait, you’re all godless neodarwinist stooges, so you’ve already got Darwin Day colored in with circles and arrows and hearts. OK, so you should add an annotation if you live somewhere near Minneapolis, because the Bell Museum is sponsoring a special Darwin Day Cafe Scientifique, which will combine art and science to tell the story of evolution.
LIFE: A Journey Through Time
North American Premiere /Darwin Day Opening Event
Thursday, February 12, 2009, 7 to 9 p.m.
Bell Museum Auditorium
$10/ free to museum members and University students
Celebrate the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birthday with a special preview of LIFE: A Journey Through Time. The event will feature top University biologists using Lanting’s photographs as a springboard to deliver a rapid-fire presentations relating their research on evolution to the images. From the big bang to the human genome, hear the newest theories on how life evolved and enjoy the North American premiere of one the world’s most celebrated photography exhibits. Think speed-dating – Darwin-style!
This event is also the premier of an exhibit of a stunning collection of nature photography. You should go to that, too.
LIFE: A Journey Through Time
February 14 – April 12, 2009
The University of Minnesota Bell Museum of Natural History is proud to host the North American premier of this internationally acclaimed exhibit. LIFE: A Journey Through Time, interprets the evolution of life on Earth through photographer Frans Lanting. Lanting’s lyrical photos trace Earth’s history from the beginnings of primordial life to the ascent of mammals through otherworldly landscapes and breathtakingly intimate portraits of animals and plants engaged in million-year-old rituals. Many of the exhibit’s 62 photographs are matched with real animal, fossil, and plant specimens from the Bell Museum’s collection. Born in the Netherlands, Lanting serves on the National Council of the World Wildlife Fund and is a columnist for Outdoor Photographer and has received the BBC Wildlife Magazine’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year Award and the Sierra Club’s Ansel Adams Award for Conservation Photography.
One other special feature is that the speakers (I’m one of them) are going to present in Pecha Kucha style. This could be interesting, too.
Pecha Kucha (usually pronounced in three syllables like “peh-chach-ka”) was started in Tokyo, Japan in February 2003 by Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham as a designers’ show and tell event to attract more people to SuperDeluxe, their multi-media experimental event space they had set up in Roppongi.
The idea behind Pecha Kucha is to keep presentations concise, the interest level up and to have many presenters sharing their ideas within the course of one night. Therefore the 20×20 Pecha Kucha format was created: each presenter is allowed a slideshow of 20 images, each shown for 20 seconds. This results in a total presentation time of 6 minutes 40 seconds on a stage before the next presenter is up.
I’m planning to talk about the evolution of multicellularity…with 20 slides in 6 minutes and 40 seconds. We’ll see how that goes.