Sunday, June 10, 2018

Royal Institution, London

The building of Royal Institution in the Albemarle Street.

There are lots of things that I want to do when I visited London (but I only have a short period of time). After taking a look at several places around the city, it was decided that other important places to visit in London will be Royal Institution of Great Britain (often abbreviated as the Royal Institution or Ri). There is another different organization that known as Royal Society - that actually different, as Royal Society more dedicated as learned society.

There are few important things that we need to visit this special place; for its histories of science development and also for notorious remarkable yearly events that introduce by Royal Institution that known as Royal Institution Christmas Lectures. Since my visit was in May, I can only visit for the regular lectures that also interesting. The lectures held in its historical lecture hall; where Michael Faraday first introduced in 1825. Today, you need to become a member and then book in advance for the ticket ballot – it’s more like a lottery now!

The invention of Davy lamp safe coal miner’s life.

Different type of lamps.

The Royal Institution was founded in 1799 by the leading British scientist of that time. The main purposes of the establishment are for diffusing the knowledge, and facilitating the general introduction, of useful mechanical inventions and improvements; and for teaching, by courses of philosophical lectures and experiments, the application of science to the common purposes of life.

The other thing that really inspiring me here is the Michael Faraday’s Lab in the Faraday Museum in the basement of the Royal Institution Building in the Albemarle Street. This is where Michael Faraday conducted his research about electromagnetism and electrochemistry that leads to many other discoveries. The truth is, his lab was not as good as the lab that we have today, but the impact of his research can be seen in every electrical and electronics devices today.

The Michael Faraday's lab in the basement of the building.

Status of important RI figures.

Thermos flask invented by James Dewer.

Michael Faraday was one of many other scientists and researchers from Royal Institution that contributed countless science knowledge that transform the way how our lives today. The invention of Davy lamp safe many lives of coal miners. While many other inventions and knowledge shared improved science and technology drastically.

Other than the museum, we still can walk around the historical buildings – where there are rooms that use as libraries, the alley that also located books and showcases the presentation by previous researchers explaining about electromagnetics, chemicals, anatomy and so on. There are many other things that happen here (at the time of my visit). For more details of the events, you can visit their website to get the tickets (for lectures); the admission to the Faraday Museum is free.

Historic lecture hall.

Same as my previous visit to Kew Gardens and Natural History Museum, my visit to Royal Institution has also come together with its own photo collection at my fanpage; make sure you visit it. It’s supposed to be another main attraction here in London since its contribution to advancements in human science and technology. All I can do is sharing part of my visit and hopefully it will inspire others to know more about it.

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Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Natural History Museum, London

The Natural History Museum as you get to its front entrance.

Another worth visit in London is to Natural History Museum, located in South Kensington. Not only housed a huge collection of specimens, this museum also collaborated in many scientific research, especially related to nature and conservation. Located on Exhibition Road, next to two other popular museums (Science Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum) in London, Natural History Museum lure its own unique visitors from all around the world.

Natural History Museum previously was known as British Museum (Natural History) until 1992. Even though the legal separation from the British Museum was happening earlier in 1963. That’s part of the story of the Natural History Museum, even though, as we know the beautiful Alfred Waterhouse building was opened in 1881 - and the museum keeps on expanding its collections together with its roles in educating the public and research.

The gigantic blue whale skeleton at the Hintze Hall.

This moa (Dinornis novaezealandiae) was identified by Richard Owen only by its single fragment of bone (before it was completed).

There are many reasons why people are attracted to this museum, especially if they watched the documentaries by the BBC or National Geographic. More than that, educator and students also need to see by themselves all the specimens on display in order to understand more about the nature (especially when it comes to dinosaurs and specimens outside of their geographical areas).

Here at this museum, everyone is dedicated to give their best in their field start from its first Superintendent in 1856 the palaeontologist Richard Owen. Richard Owen was known to be very detailed in identifying all the specimens to make sure it is original. From there the Natural History Museum keeps on expanding its function and change the way we look at the museum.

Giant gold nugget.

The mineral collections from the Earth Hall.

The best experience starts soon after you see this magnificent museum’s building. Rather than just huge, it is carefully designed with beautiful façade and animal sculptures will make you astonished. If you can, make sure you visit this museum during the weekdays, as during the weekend or public holidays it will be long queues of people from all around the world. But that’s not all, there are many other surprises of the building’s architectures that will amaze you before you even see any of its exhibits.

Since its establishment in 1881 until today, this museum specimen now comprising of some 80 million items with five main collections: botany, entomology, mineralogy, palaeontology and zoology. Only some of these specimens will be shown in its exhibitions, while most of the specimen being kept for conservation and research purposes. If you are lucky, you might be able to see some of them if there’s any special exhibitions during your visit.

Life size blue whale replica at the Mammal Hall. 
Other mammal replicas in the same hall.

Same as the previous visit to Kew Gardens, it is important for you to make sure what is the main things you want to see in this museum? One day visit won’t be enough for you to explore the whole collections displayed on their exhibition halls; unless you just wandering around without any attention to the collections.

You can check their floor plan in advance and at the same time, check the interior of the museum through Google Maps to get an idea which is where - so it will help you to decide which areas is more important. You also need to check their website for more details about the current exhibitions (as sometimes there will be additional information regarding closure of exhibitions too).

The dinosaur is one of the important specimens here.

Skeleton of Triceratops horridus at the dinosaur area.

I need to visit this museum twice when I visited London recently (first visit was two hours and the second visit was around four hours: still I missed few areas). As I need to speed up my observations, I took as many photos as I can for future reference (and I put it in the fanpage album so we all can see it). The light condition in the museum also is too dim, so taking photos is a little bit tricky!

There are many things happening around here at the Natural History Museum. Not all of it you can see during your visit, the details of these activities are posted on their website. You might want to see about the usage of new technologies in order to unravel many things that we still don’t know about the nature. Then, with the latest technologies too, the information will be shared with the public - you need to check the 3D skeleton ofthe blue whale.

There are many other interesting information available on their website, where you also can become a member to get membership benefits. If you are interested in nature and sciences, Natural History Museum is one of the place you should visit. I hope I have shared some important information here and the rest is up to you. If you have any question or information to share, don’t hesitate to share it at the comments section below or email it to me at wikipelajar(add)gmail(dot)com.

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Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Wonderful World of Botanical at Kew Gardens, UK

The entrance at the Victoria Gate.

Recently we (Myrokan blog) had this opportunity to visit the world most renowned botanical garden that also known as Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Kew Gardens is one of the oldest botanical gardens in the world that also played many important roles in introducing specimens of plant and trees to many other countries such as rubber and tea. Kew Gardens not only keep living specimens of plants, but also dried specimens, seeds and DNA, libraries, illustrations and many other records related to plants. That’s what makes Kew Gardens one of the most important places that we visited in London.

Kew Garden founded in 1840 in the area that originally was the exotic garden at Kew Park. That park itself had been enlarged several times with the merging of the royal estates of Richmond and Kew in 1772. Within this area many garden structures had been built and some of them still remain until today.

The pond right in front of the Museum no 1.

The temperate house just been reopened two days earlier.

Well, there are so many things happened back there, but here we want to see other important things that we still can see at Kew Gardens and other activities related to it - that will give benefits to us and the future generations. Even though they have only taken care of plants, but the further study of these plants is actually for human benefits such as for agriculture, medicine, farming, cloning, seed bank, references, cataloguing and you can check more on their website – included at the end of this article.

Knowing more about Kew Gardens is important before you plan to visit it (well, no one can ever visit the whole of the areas within one day – so you must know which areas that important to you, or you can visit it several times). Maybe the best way to do it by asking these few questions;

  • Are you just want to see the plants in Kew Gardens?
  • Are you interested to know how Kew Gardens keep the specimens of the plants and trees?
  • Are you interested to know the history of Kew Gardens and their buildings (such as their glass houses, their garden structures, bridges, canopy walk, cottage, palaces and many other buildings in Kew Gardens)?
  • Are you interested to know more about the activities conducted here in Kew Gardens?
  • Are you interested to participate in activities conducted by Kew Gardens (exhibitions or scientific activities) in their vicinity or online?
  • Where you can find the map of the whole area?
  • How you are going to explore the area?
  • Time of opening, as the time will change according to the seasons.
  • How you can contact Kew Gardens in order to get more information in case you need some help?

The Palm House another important glass house with huge size.

The tropical plants and trees can live vigorously inside this glass house.

It might hard for us to see this plant in their own natural habitat.

There are many other questions you can ask during the preparation to visit Kew Gardens. By identifying your priorities you will save lots of time and you will know exactly where to look at during your visit. Even though I managed to see what I want during my visit, I still missed a few things - I think I could improve it if I plan it properly. The other reason is, there are too many things to see.

The best thing was, during my visit the Temperate House has just reopened two days earlier. I also joined the tour guide that explaining more details about the history, the process of restoration that cost around £41 million and take a look at the Temperate House itself. It was closed for the past 5 years for the restoration process. There are many interesting things about this building that we should talk about it separately – hopefully I will get a chance to do it.

The Temperate House not only important for its functions but also for its architecture.

The plants and trees had been relocated back into the Temperate House.

Kew Palace, another important building in Kew Gardens.

Flowers of plant at the Queen’s Garden.

Flowers of plant at the Queen’s Garden.

There are few more glass houses in Kew Gardens includes Palm House, Waterlilly House, Princess of Wales Conservatory and Davies Alpine House. All of the glass houses, housing different types of plants - so please try not to miss it. You can use optional transports in the gardens either bicycle or electric train to help you travelling around. I used the electric train and still I missed few!

Here in this article I shared a few photos during my visit. If you want to see more photos you can visit our fanpage where I posted more photos. I hope it will help others who unable to visit to Kew yet to see how it look like and to get the general ideas of what Kew Gardens is.

The Princess of Wales Conservatory glass house.

Orchids of tropical planted in this glass house.

Another beautiful tropical plant’s flower.

Another beautiful view of the pillar’s covered with tropical plants.

You can see different types of plants in the same glass house.

Carnivorous plant specimens, is one of important plants that I want to see here in Kew Gardens.

Besides visiting Kew Gardens physically, you still can learn more about it or get involved with their activities online. Check their websites to learn more about their activities. You can easily get in touch with them to know more about any activities that you can get involved with. So this is the link to Kew Gardens’ website.

There are many other things I would like to share about the details in each area of Kew Gardens, perhaps I can do it soon. Before that, you can ask me if there is any question - don’t forget to see the photos that I posted on my fanpage to get more ideas about Kew Gardens.

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Monday, April 30, 2018

World of Arts: Coloured Pencils Drawing

There are limitless of result you can achieve with coloured pencil technique. - Photo by: Morgan Davidson

Time to move on to the next stage of our drawing exercises. Here you can choose the colouring techniques that you like. Anyway, since the coloured pencils technique has been the basic in colour – you should at least try it, even if you don’t want to make it your professional fields. With coloured pencils technique, it will be easier for you to understand any other colouring techniques such as watercolour, oil, acrylic and etc.

Here I only can show you the basic things you need to know with this technique, it’s either you can follow the free tutorial courses from the YouTube or you can enrol in any online courses to get greater results. There are countless result, you can achieve with any techniques as long as you keep on learning. In fact, you can also try the mix media techniques using colour pencil.


To start this technique all you need to have is the colour pencil sets. There are few sets of colour pencil that consist of 12, 24, 36, 48, 72, 132, and 150 (the amount of colour pencils also can be different with different brands).

For the start you can have the smaller sets of colours on 12 or 24. At the earlier stage what you need to know is the techniques instead of the result of your painting. The other reason is, you want to know which brand is good for you. You don’t want to buy a complete set and after that found that the other brand in much better.

You can start with basic coloured pencils set. - Photo by: 

Colouring Techniques

There are similarity of colour technique with colour pencils and the shading process with a regular pencil. That’s why, starting with colour pencil will be the easy step to start for the colouring process before your shift into any other colouring techniques.

There are some strokes you need to learn when using the colour pencils. Strokes will give different textures to your result. Other important skills with coloured pencils is the colour blending. The colour blending will give you extra shades of colours instead the total colour that you have on your colour set. The other thing is mixing colours with coloured pencils is different with the mixing colour with watercolour and oil paintings.

In order to master this technique you need to get enough exercise to get a good result. Then you also need to know that different brand of coloured pencils going to give you different effects. In order to speed up your learning, it is better if you are following any classes so you can get a proper guide and discussion.

Here we are going to see some samples of colouring techniques with coloured pencils. What you need to remember, you need to first master the basic techniques before you can come out with a very good result. Keep on practicing, keep on exploring different techniques in order to produce a better result.

You can keep on searching relevant tutorial videos or even follows the related channels to make sure that you always learning something new.

You need to keep on exercising in order to get stunning results like this painting by Néstor Canavarro. – Photo by: Néstor Canavarro

Online Classes

Or you can simple follow an online classes. With online classes you will be able to interact with others or your trainer in more details about your works. Plan properly, so you can dedicate enough time if you decide to invest in online courses.

You can also have your painting group where you can work together in order to improve your paintings result. For example, you can follow an online classes through this website, but there are many other online classes you can find all over the internet.

Look how beautiful is the result of coloured pencil techniques. - Photo from:

Keep on practicing in order to get a better result. - Photo by: Morgan Davidson

Coloured pencil is the most basic technique. Even though it’s not popular as watercolour, oils or acrylic, coloured pencils can provide you with better ideas of other colouring techniques. You also will find many good paintings produced with coloured pencil techniques. Keep on exploring and always keep on learning.

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