August 27, 2009
Stop the Presses: David Hone’s paper on theropod behavior got picked up by the mainstream press. Then, he watched in dismay as each subsequent report piled error upon error. (For instance, he was surprised to read that he was German.) Hone presents a detailed case study of lazy science journalism, and offers good advice to paleontologists on how to deal with the media.
Badge of Honor: Edicarian proudly displays the “science scouts” badges that he has earned, including the “Nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah, I’ve got a TV gig” badge and the “Inordinately fond of invertebrate” badge. (As a part-time physics geek, I rather like the “String theory… I soooo get it” badge.)
What’s in a Name? “There is an awful lot of crap taxonomy out there,” observes Christopher Taylor at Catalogue of Organisms. “Incoherent ramblings, near-unidentifiable taxa, or ‘new’ taxa of dubious distinction from their previously-published relatives are all too common.” Some researchers have proposed that that only names published in peer-reviewed publications should be acceptable. Taylor explains why that’s a really bad idea.
Lounge Lizard: Matthew Brown works in “a slightly obscure corner of paleontology” doing fossil preparation. Get a glimpse inside his laboratory at his blog, The Prep Lounge. (His helpful hint of the day: Storing lab chemicals in food containers is “not cool.”)
In Memorium: Paleoblog pays tribute to the late actor Cecil Kellaway—best known to dino-movie fans for his role as paleontologist Professor Thurgood Elson in the classic 1953 Ray Harryhausen film, The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms. Elson went underwater in a diving bell looking for the beast, but never returned. His heroism will never be forgotten.
And Speaking of Movies: Bob’s Dinosaur Blog has assembled a list of Great Dinosaur Movie Taglines. Among my favorites: “Driven to extinction! Back for revenge!” and “Cowboys battle monsters in the strangest roundup of all!”
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