Science cafes – or café scientifiques, if you’re French – have become another way to earn quality hipster points if you live near a science center. In short, they’re typically evening programs where grown-ups can get together, usually drink a bit of wine or beer, and discuss a current science topic with a renowned expert. Think TED talks without the thousand dollar registration fees or Britney Spears-style headsets. (By the way, if you haven’t checked out a TED talk, do so immediately. They’re the closest thing to pure, first world optimism that I’ve seen since the first space shuttle launch.
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Jonathan Frederick directs the North Carolina Science Festival, an initiative of Morehead Planetarium and Science Center.

22 Jul 2008
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I know what you’re thinking, “uhhhh, aren’t coyotes normally naked, Jay? Duh.” Yeah, yeah, yeah. You’re freakin’ hilarious. But check this out. For those of you new to the fabulous world of 3D animation, this is what we call a wire frame. This wire frame is of the coyote in front of a chalkboard – the same as you can see in the previous blog post.

A wireframe is somewhat like a wire mesh that is squished, extruded, twisted and pulled to create models that will eventually be skinned or “textured” so that they look solid. Typically, a default gray texture is wrapped around the object so that the designer can get a better sense of what the object looks like. After the objects are modeled, they then have to be textured, animated, lit and finally rendered. But more about that next time…

Jay Heinz is Morehead's Digital Production Manager.

15 Jul 2008
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This is an early render of “Coyote,” Morehead Planetarium and Science Center’s first 3D character created for our first full dome planetarium show by Morehead Digital Artist, Jim Kachelries.

Coyote is a know-it-all when it comes to science, but the truth is, he’s always wrong. In this show, we take the opportunity to correct Coyote’s misconceptions about the Earth, the Moon and the Sun and let you know the facts. Especially if you’re a third grader and think the sun is on fire. Which it is not. Or so I’ve heard.

Stay tuned for more photos from the new show and maybe even some short videos.

Jay Heinz is Morehead's Digital Production Manager.

Starting this fall, Morehead is launching a brand new afterschool program. We’re going to give elementary school children a chance to explore science the way it should be explored: for fun, just to see how stuff works or why things happen. We’ll learn, play, design and tinker. We’ll experiment, test, re-test, and wonder. We’ll take field trips and meet scientists while making new friends.
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Jonathan Frederick directs the North Carolina Science Festival, an initiative of Morehead Planetarium and Science Center.

domefest 2008Denise (our Director of Education), Peter and Jim (two of our digital animators) and I met up with Richard (our Star Theater Director) and Mickey Jo (our theater manager) out in Chicago at the Adler Planetarium to attend the International Planetarium Society conference as well as DomeFest 2008 last week.
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Jay Heinz is Morehead's Digital Production Manager.

Good news! You’ll soon be getting more views than just my own on this blog. I’ve recruited two new bloggers from our staff.
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Jeff Hill is Morehead's director of external relations

Inside the Big Green BusIf you missed “The Big Green Bus” Wednesday, you missed quite the sight. 12 Dartmouth College students and recent graduates are road-tripping across America in a big green bus (duh) that runs on vegetable oil. Wednesday, they brought their message to Morehead Planetarium and Science Center. We were lucky enough to host the BGB because one of the crew is Elysa Corin, a Chapel Hill native.
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Jeff Hill is Morehead's director of external relations

17 Jun 2008
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Social media. Facebook. MySpace. Twitter. Wikis. YouTube. Flickr. Digg. Blogs. SecondLife. Good grief – where do you start? Like it or not social media is here to stay.
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Jeff Hill is Morehead's director of external relations