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Aron Ra stabbed... and other news

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I was talking to one of our members, Phil in Slack, and he informed me that Aron Ra had been stabbed in a protest in London! Being not the sort of thing that (at least), some would joke about, I took it seriously and couldn’t see anything on basic internet searches, so I went to his twitter account. Aron has been filming (in a non-PEP acting role for a full length film). Which was just as well, as I had arranged to meet him the next day.

I met up with Aron earlier today (Wednesday 29th May) in my home location of South East London. We visited the Horniman Museum in Forrest Hill. We had an early morning private, (before opening hours), viewing/photo session with pre-selected exhibition displays opened up for us.

The Horniman Museum is a place I like to visit regularly and I love it, and thought I should show it off to my guest. It is as strange looking as it is sounding, but in a truly delightful way. A Museum open to the public, featuring a century old private collection. The natural history exhibition is a wonderful display, mostly of evolution.

Upstairs is a taxonomic, visual encyclopaedic trip around the animal kingdom, with fossil displays from different periods of time.

Downstairs, there are displays of various aspects of evolution. This includes embryological development in different vertebrate classes, elephant, horse and human evolution, comparisons of convergence and the development of wings, fins, legs, armour, attack mechanisms etc. Despite it’s relatively small space, it crams a lot into very well presented displays and enough information to spend days learning, if you care to read and take in the many displays. There’s also an impressive taxidermy display of, largely birds.

I have been to many museums around the world and with a focus, so heavily on evolution, (yeah!) and great thought, the Horniman is my favourite, despite its lack of large extinct skeletons and familiar dinosaurs. For anyone interested in Natural history, particularly animals and evolution, if anyone from home or abroad is anywhere near London, do try to visit. It also has wonderful and disproportionately large, beautiful and ornate gardens to walk round, plus a café, shop, and various other exhibitions which change throughout the year, plus a large basement aquarium and other exhibitions other than Natural history. The museum is a charity, and free to enter for most things, but do donate if you can – you are helping to support the exhibition maintenance and update, plus education for all who visit.

I want to thank Alison McKay from the Press office and her colleague Stephanie Hay (who met, and stayed with us) for arranging the visit. Also, Joanne Hatton, curator of the Natural history exhibition, for showing us round and accommodating our visit before opening hours.

After spending some time looking round after public opening, we concluded our visit by presenting Joanne, on behalf of the Phylogeny Explorer Project, with a modest cheque to the Museum.

I highly recommend the Horniman Museum, especially if you are interested in animals, past and present and evolution in general for all ages. I am happy to link and recommend this Museum on the Phylogeny Explorer Project and perhaps there may be opportunities to collaborate in some way in the future.

We also popped into my local exotic pet shop, had fish and chips and a Guinness lunch at my local pub, discussed project matters and looked over the brand new Forums (an awesome job, Borg!). Big thanks also, to our developers, Emmanuel and George. More gratitudes on upcoming posts.



Steve Owen, Director of Operations at the Phylogeny Explorer Project.


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I only found Aron Ra’s YouTube channel a few hours ago. I have already watched all the Systematic Classification of Life episodes. I now find out that the man from Texas was less than 20 miles from my house just yesterday. Wow!

ps. I love The Horniman Museum ever since a school visit over 35 years ago.

Edited by RedPython

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