pin central

I’m doing an enamel pin design!

That’s right! Enamel pins are kind of amazing, and after building up a glorious and beautiful personal collection last weekend when I attended C2E2, I finally made the jump to get a pin of my very own!

I’ve wanted to do a design for quite some time, but being able to handle and really see the design work that goes into them was a huge help prior to settling on a design that would work and function well as a pin.

Unfortunately this means I won’t have them available at Anime Central.

(unless there’s an act of God and I am bestowed with a miracle)

However, I will have “QUEER AS FUCK” pins available starting for Indy PopCon in July! I may also have another design or two depending on how things go, and they’ll also go up on my Etsy store!

I’m very, very, very excited and can’t wait until they arrive!

#chipp #skelsuit alt version #lapel pin available Monday noon central playge.net/store edition of 50 pcs. #pingame #enamelpin #collectanddestroy

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The latest episode of Shelf Life, our original web series, is all about the different ways scientists preserve one of the Museum’s rarest and most iconic specimens: the coelacanth.

But preserving collections for posterity is the name of the game across all departments, and we’ve gathered examples of how specimens are prepared in other disciplines.

Pinning Insects

Pinned insects are central to entomologists’ work, but these fragile beauties can’t be moved much—removing them from their cases carries the risk of damaging a carefully prepared specimen.

To minimize handling, each specimen is placed on a stainless steel pin and housed on a special pinning block along with tiny cards indicating the species and basic data points. Preparators like the Museum’s Melody Doering ensure that despite their small scale, these crucial details are easy to read by placing them a uniform distance apart: a date-and-time of acquisition card 5 millimeters below the specimen, and a species label 5 millimeters below that is added later by scientists. Information about the animal is always visible, keeping specimens from being unnecessarily disturbed.

Certain specimens require special preparation even before they’re pinned. Field researchers, for example, often place bees in vials of alcohol, a common preservative. But alcohol can wreak havoc on the animal’s hair, a key part of its anatomy and one that has to remain intact to keep the specimen useful for further study. So to look their best for future generations of researchers, bees have to be shampooed and gently blow-dried before the pinning process begins. 

Read about more types of specimen preparation on the Museum blog