Fossils Belong to Everyone

Hey there every peoples!

I seem to have gotten into hot water with certain folks (they’ll probably call this post stupid as well). But I’ll deal with them later. Before i did i really wanted to talk about something that i have wanted to for a long time. It is about a problem that is quite pervasive in museums and one that needs to be rectified. Because it has repercussions for us all.

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Aftermath of SVP

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Last week was the first (and probably only, until i either land a job or get funding) time i was able to attend SVP, the annual meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology. It was fun, it was informative, it was exhausting! I saw some great talks, some great posters, and some not so great examples of either. Saw all the familiar faces, met some new ones, and got loads of advice and swag. It was a fantastic experience. It has left me a bit drained but not just physically. The conference has brought up a couple issues that no doubt stick in the Society’s craw.

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Exhibit Critic

Hey there everypeoples!

For most people, museums are just places to take the family on a lazy weekend or places you go to gawk at stuffed animals and ancient skeletons that have no practical applications to their lives or society. For me though, they were one of the only places i ever felt at home, where i belong. I have been going to museums to feed my passion for the natural world all my life. Whenever we went on a trip i was always looking for a museum to go to. And these days, i my enthusiasm has not waned. Since i hope to open my own museum someday, i am always looking at museum exhibits closely, looking for inspiration, what works, and even things not to do.

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Red Rock Canyon 2012

Hey there every peoples!

My God it’s been forever since I’ve done a post. Needless to say school’s been complete and total hell. After just a week and a half after it started, the strain was just too much to bear. I actually ended up dropping one of my classes. That seemed to take the pressure off a little bit but in the end really didn’t improve things all that much. I’m still doing horribly in my two current classes. One is a combination geometry and trigonometry class and the other one is intro to chemistry. Throughout my life I’ve always hated math and loved science. But I am having such a hard time with chemistry that I’m feeling the opposite. I find myself actually kind of liking the math (ok, tolerating, not liking) and hating the science. As you can imagine this has all done “wonders” for my fight against the Noonday Demon. So not only has school kept me mired down but October was a very busy month for me. First I went to Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios; and then there was Prehistoric OC for National Fossil Day in Buena Park; then there was helping grandma clear the sand off her rental home’s driveway; a trip to the Ernst Quarries to look for fossils; and finally last weekend which were about to discuss. Now since school has started there’s been a post I’ve been working on and off but I just haven’t had much time to work on it. But I really want to get it up and a few other posts but first I want to talk about this weekend while still fresh in my mind.

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“Better Know a Museum” Month Part 4: Return to the Age of Mammals

Hey there every peoples!

Welcome to the finale of “Better Know a Museum” Month. What a ride, huh? Yeah it’s two weeks late. But i had finals last week and typing this out has just been so tedious. I really need to invest in some voice recognition software. Anyway, everything good must eventually come to an (or continue to live on in a despoiled state. I’m looking at you Star Wars!). And for the final installment of this special series i have decided to revisit a previous review.

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Red Rock Canyon 2011

Hey there every peoples!

Long time. Same excuse. Been very very busy the last few weeks. Going to Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios, Seeing the new Hall of Life at the Raymond Alf Museum, visiting my sister in Pasadena after her horrible accident, having to ride my dad’s bike/take the bus because the transmission on my Ghettomobile (aka 1993 Geo Prizm) died, and just fighting with my depression as usual. But one thing out of the busy mess was the Natural history Museum of Los Angeles County’s annual field trip to Red Rock Canyon State Park out in the Mojave Desert. You may recall my discussion on my first time last year. Well no need to talk about all that again, so here is my coverage of this year.

First, we get an intro to the paleontoogy of the park, meet the staff, and go searching for fossils on Saturday:

Then that night, Xiaoming gave a wonderful lecture on his new species of woolly rhino from Tibet (which i think he just gave at SVP):

finally, when all hope seemed lost, i found the complete ulna (lower arm bone) of a giant camel (at least i think it was a giant camel), plus my after thoughts:

And a more stable, in-depth look at the process:

All in all, it was a very good time. I hope i will be able to go next year. Now to get to work on some long over due posts.

Till next time!

The Dinosaurs Cometh!

Hey there every peoples!

Holy hell the last week and a half have been a blur! Going up to Madera County, getting committed, 4th of July, and of course, the Dino Social Media Meetup at the Natural history Museum of Los Angeles County. I have spent the last few days slaving away trying to get my video coverage edited. It took awhile to get it done because not only do i have to go in and position photographs instead of video, but also because part of my learning disability dictates that i do better when i can take my time instead of the pressure of a deadline. So I am not going to write a long winded article like i usually do since i discuss so much in the videos below. But a couple things to touch on.

First, this hall was friggin awesome! And to get a sneak peek was unbelievable! I just wish i had more time! One of the conditions of attending was posting updates or photos at least once during the event with the hashtag #NHMLADinos, which i was sadly unable to fulfill because 1) not enough timeĀ  2) my phone doesn’t have a facebook app (i have neither the money nor the need for an iPhone. Though i wish i could have rented an iPad for the event). Many of the the mounts from the old hall return such as Mamenchisaurus (with a fancy new skull no less), Allosaurus, Stegosaurus, Carnotaurus, and Morenosaurus. Several new guys joins the crowd too such as Triceratops, a growth series of Tyrannosaurus rex, and a plethora of original specimens.

I also got quite a kick out of talking with the people behind the exhibit. Judging from tags people were wearing, there were more Dinosaur Institute personnel there than the ones i talked to, but so what; the people i talked to were awesome. I even managed to score a little chit-chat with Dr. Luis Chiappe, the museum’s curator of dinosaurs. A couple of them, Doyle and Paige i believe, who mentioned volunteering at the museum. I appreciate the thought, but i am not sure how to make that work at this time. I toyed with the notion of being able to go down once a month, but the museum’s volunteer application said that it has to be once a week (among other parameters), so i don’t know. If any museum personnel are reading this and have any ideas, I’m all ears.

But for now i am proud to present the museum’s new dinosaur hall:

If you would like to view the actual photos used in these videos, you can check them out here (they don’t have labels or descriptions yet; i will try to get around to that, time permitting). All i know right now is that i am totally burned out and am glad to have finally gotten this video up.

Till next time!

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Addendum: I did a little followup video.