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We just launched a new show here on The Brain Scoop to keep you updated on all sorts of science and discovery news from the Field Museum. We designed a few sets for the purpose. Be sure to check out our first episode, posted last week!
↓ More info + Links! ↓
Dinosaur Discovery & Updates on Cloud Rats | Natural News from The Field Museum | Ep. 1:

New Series Announcement! | Natural News from The Field Museum:

The beautiful images on our purple story time set are from the Biodiversity Heritage Library!
They also have a great flickr page:

Producer, Writer, Creator, Host:
Emily Graslie

Sheheryar Ahsan

Director, Editor, Sound, Camera:
Brandon Brungard

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This episode is supported by and filmed on location at:
The Field Museum in Chicago, IL
Hi! Welcome to the Natural News set. We're gonna give you a little tour about some of the stuff we have here today.

Cause it's cool. Ta-da! [intro music] So the first thing that I want to show you guys is this cool desk that we found in storage, in fact, just to start off with, we didn't purchase this single thing for this set, except for this lovely green banker's lamp, which Sheheryar, one of our cameramen, bought at a Goodwill for six dollars. And other from that, all of the stuff came from around the museum.

And my favorite part is this desk, right here, which, [mechanical *ca-chunk*] could probably, slice your finger off if your finger was in there. But the cool thing about it is that it has all these holes because this is where you would mount a typewriter. And so it's, like, the modern equivalent of like a, or like an older equivalent of, like, a desktop.

You could just have your typewriter, and you're typing And then, it takes, like, a lot of effort to... We have- I gotta cut. [beep] So here, we have the Remington standard typewriter, which is a lovely model- I don't know what year it's from, but we found we found it in the Paleo invertebrate collection, and Paul Mayer, the collection manager, had it down there, and the type setting margins on it were set to type up specimen labels. So you used to type up your specimen labels on your typewriter.

It makes sense now, but I mean... But we just use computers... technology. We also have a bunch of books from our librarian, Christine Giannoni, she let us borrow.

Um, they are being recurated and reorganized, and so in the meantime she let us have some for our set, and in the pile was this book, which smells amazing, for people who love old book smells. And when I opened it, I realized that this book is a copy of Don Quixote that was published in 1738, in England. So this was like the first edition of Don Quixote that ended up being sold to people in England, and to English-speakers.

It's in Spanish, I can't read it, but it has like amazing gold leaf, and it's older than our country. This is the copy of Don Quixote that Alexander Hamilton would've read, if he had read Don Quixote. That's what I tell myself. *whispering* It smells like knowledge.

This is one of my favorite things that we have on our set. Uh, it's a Gorgosaurus and his lunchtime snack, uh, a Hadrosaur. I love this model because it was made by the staff artist in geology, a woman by the name of Maidi Wiebe, And Maidi Wiebe did a lot of models like this but also paintings and reconstructions for the museum and this was on display next to the life-size articulated skeleton of these two specimens.

And there's a museum bulletin that was published around that time that talks about how these are "the most scientifically accurate of their time" and they are so accurate, then there was an armature that was created to support this free-standing Gorgasaur. It's just really phenomenal and wonderful to know that now this is— The reason it's not on display is because we know now it's *not* scientifically accurate. But we like to have this stuff on our show because it shows the *progress* of science throughout the years, uh, and it shows us in very real ways that you can reflect on, the way that science has progressed even in somebody's lifetime.

Couple of really cool things on the front of our desk here, why don't we get started with these trilobites that were on display at the 1893 World's Fair, which is pretty cool, not only are they hundreds of millions of years old, cuz they're trilobites, but they're also century-old, because they're from the World's Fair which is like the basis of the Field Museum's collection, so it's really cool that we can have a bit of history here. But then also we have these two plastic figures which are Mold-A-Ramas! and Mold-A-Ramas are like these phenomenal, uh, souvenirs that you can buy, not only at the Field Museum but at a lot of places around Chicago and all around the United States, and they're made from a two-part mold, uh, and plastic, colored plastic is injected into them uh, and they're two dollars! So it's like the best souvenir that you can get, and they're pretty classic!

So any time you come into the museum, pick up a Mold-A-Rama. They smell great. They smell better when they're warm. [quietly] They still smell pretty good. [*kih*] [snorts, laughter from O.

C.] So this little T. rex, um, actually used to be sold in the Field Museum gift shop, some sixty-five years ago, and a visitor, who, uh, last visited the Field Museum when she was two years old, her mom bought her a set of four of these at the gift shop, and then she never came and visited the museum again, and a few weeks ago, she was passing back through Chicago and brought this T. rex! Back to the museum and said that she just thought it belonged here! And so, uh, we put it on our set.

To (??) Natural News. Of course we have a, a important fixture of our set here, Mr. Soon Racoon, who, uh, we have decided to retire on the set of the Natural News.

He's moved a lot in the last three years, and we just think that, uh, it's about time he had some... time to just reflect on his experiences, and, so, uh, this is where you're gonna be seeing Soon Racoon from now on. Creeping on me. From behind.

Just like he would have always wanted. We also have these, uh, five horses on our set, we have three over on one side and two on the other. And they're plaster models that depict the evolution of the horse!

Uh, starting back with this tiny little horse, and there's also a little painting of it getting chased by some jaguar-looking, uh, cat. But they depict the evolution of the horse through hundreds of millions and tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of years, um, and progressively when you look really close at the horses you can see that over time they lose toes. So this one has four toes in the front and three toes in the back, and as they go on they get bigger and bigger and get fewer and fewer toes, which is, uh, an interesting adaptation that the horses went through to become faster, and eventually they became the odd-toed Perissodactyls that they are today.

So over here, in this section, we have a number of things, we have an ammonite, which is in the matrix, which is beautiful, a number of other, uh, fossil specimens that were on display at the 1893 World's Fair. We have this set of, uh, birdwing butterflies The male is more brightly colored than the female but the female is larger. And these butterflies are actually CITES-listed so they're protected by law.

Because they are so beautiful and large and gorgeous, a lot of collectors like to trade them and sell them, so, just don't buy any! Just don't— if you see some just don't buy some! And here, we have a handmade model of a chlorophyll molecule!

Which a botanist made a number of years ago, and it was found in the back of a room, so they let us hang it up on our set, and although I don't really know a whole lot about organic chemistry, other than what I learned in high school during a semester class, uh, I think it's beautiful! And it's a nice representation of our botanical collections here. And now, we're gonna do a walk-and-talk, to our other set!

Wow, look at this, here it is, just right here! Just, we crammed a lot in a small space. I'mma just gonna sit in the red chair.

This is our John Green salon. All the images that we have on the wall we wanted them to represent the different biological collections at the museum, so not just mammals but also insects and invertebrates and plant life. And all the images up here are from the Biodiversity Heritage Library, which is a resource we've talked about before and we use all the time.

We put millipedes in the biggest fanciest frame. And to continue on the tour of our spacious studio, Bam! There's a green screen!

Doo-doot-doo... We're gonna do a lot of really goofy stuff in front of this green screen, because that's what green screens are for. I'm no weather person.

We should do a weather segment. So also when you're making a set, you have to get a lotta lights! You gotta light that thing!

It takes a lot of lights. We didn't have enough lights, but we did have a staff photographer, John Weinstein, who's really phenomenal, and he let us borrow a bunch of his old studio lights, so these are original! They're from a long time ago!

They still make this model today, but these are from like, the sixties? They still use them to light Hollywood sets, they get *very* hot. Don't touch them with your bare hands, or your skin will melt off. [*clink*] So, now we walk over here, and we point out the sound-dampening foam, which we need because on the other side of this wall is an exhibit!

For kids! And there's a bunch of musical instruments in there. So they drum.

All the time. So we film when they're closed. But there're always drumming noises.

Anyway, this is the set of for The Natural News, if there's anything that we walked by that we didn't talk about that you want us to talk about, let us know! And we'll respond in the comments! That's where I will be!

Waiting for your comments. And responding. Bye! [bouncy endscreen music] [sped-up squeaky talking over the music] [music ends] [mechanical *click*] There we go!

I did it! [mechanical *chunk*] Oh my gahd! Voiceover

Emily: The Brain Scoop is made possible by the Field Museum and the Harris Family Foundation. Voiceover

Emily: still has brains on it.