Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Haringey Paleontology Museum in reduced circumstances

The Museum's glass display cases from the side

The Haringey Paleontology Museum's collection of over 300 scale model dinosaurs (and skeletons, and other prehistoric animals that aren't dinosaurs) has been forced to move from its current accommodation in Haringey, just round the corner from The Salisbury pub.

Sauropods (left), Cetiosaurus (in dark blue, a British sauropod, by Invicta, for the Natural History Museum, centre) and one of the Haringey collection's more recent acquisitions, a Siberian mammoth skeleton. Photo from a couple of weeks ago, when they were all still on display.

Birds and dino-birds from the Haringey collection, including a 1980s "terror bird" in purple and an Archaeopteryx, with some miscellaneous armoured dinosaurs (bottom, centre).

The Hall of Therapods. The big one is a Gigantosaurus, and the grey-green one on the left with the narrowish snout and the ridge along its back is a rare Acrocanthosaurus model. There are also overflows from the iguanodonts (front, to the left) and from the Hall of Mammals, including Andrewsarchus (the one that looks like a dog) and a modern aardvark.

Well over a dozen Dimetrodons, left, including one dating from the early 1960s that I found in the garden. Other non-dinosaur reptiles are shown, including a rare Longisquama model from Poundland, Moschops (a licensed Marx retread from Dapol from their factory shop in Llangollen, and several takes on mammal-like reptile Cynognathus. And some modern reptiles.

In the centre is a rather expensive Kaidyo model of a Camarasaurus all the way from Japan.

The diplodocus annex.

Iguanadonts, some in the kangaroo-like pose of early 1970s reconstructions. Centre left is a rare Camptosaurus model by Mini-Machines.

Numerous ceratopsians and iguanadonts.

Top left: headbutting dinosaurs including Stygmoloch, centre: terror birds, bottom right: ankylosaurs, nodosaurs, Scelidosaurus, armoured dinosaurs. Background right: standing Diplodocus model by Safari. The big, mostly white long-necked mammal is a very expensive indriocothere (aka Baluchitherium).

The Hall of Marine Reptiles

The Pterosaur Wing

Therapods, including "strange therapods", Baryonyx, and a scratch-built Crylophosaurus conversion (with yellow crest,from a pound shop Dilophosaurus). In the background in various shades of grey is an obscure Delta Dromeaosaurus

Top left: Camarasaurus, case of therapods at the top, top right: an obscure ceratopsian and a Natural History Museum Troodon, in the case at the bottom left: giant ground sloth (a Marx Toys knock-off?), Brontotherium (ditto?), Saltasaurus, Triceratops, head of a Plateosaurus.

The collection, some of whose dinosaur models date to the early 1960s, was mostly built-up when cheap dinos flooded the market in the wake of the first Jurassic Park film. A surprising number of really obscure species of dinosaur turn up as models on sale in poundshops to this day.

Negotiations are currently under way for a limited Haringey Museum of Paleontology display, that will eventually be established in Finsbury Park. In its new form, it will be a rotating display, with - for examples - "This month: therapods" or "This month: Dimetrodons" or "This month: prehistoric probiscidians", or "This month: Dinosaurs from Africa" or some such.

Some of the Museum's collection already boxed up for the move.

For another Haringey Museum facing homelessness,the Haringey Museum of Egytpology for Under £5, see here.

Belief in genies ‘helps English’

From the EL Gazette archives. This appeared in EL Gazette back in 2012.
(My recent news stories for EL Gazette are now here).

TRADITIONAL BELIEF in djinns – genies or supernatural beings created out of ‘smokeless fire’ and mentioned in the Koran – is helping candidates pass English exams in the Klang Valley surrounding the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur, according to national newspaper the Star, quoting the local Harian Metro newspaper.

For 350 Malaysian ringgit (£72), local bomoh (shamans) reportedly sell a charm made from a betel leaf, which they claim contains the spirit of a djinn.

A student giving his name as Azman testified to djinn’s power in getting him through English exams at the unnamed institute of higher learning where he studied, saying, ‘It does not matter if others believe in it or not. But for my friends and I, the results proved it is effective.’

Another student, ‘Rashid’, said djinn charms had improved his English exam performance from the ‘borderline passes’ he previously achieved, and knew of ten other satisfied djinn charm customers.