Wednesday, 14 December 2022

6x6 (10. 384)

strife wins out: ๆˆฆ (ikusa, tatakau meaning war) is voted kanji of 2022—previously, see also—via Language Log  

dunston checks in: Poseidon’s Underworld reviews the 1996 comedic film starring Jason Alexander, Paul Reubens, Rupert Everett and Faye Dunaway  

hearth and home: more animated Yule Log loops—see previously—via Waxy 

twitterpated: a survey of possible dinosaur vocalisations  

mission highlights: arresting imagery from Artemis I—see also 

diwhy and regretsy: a collection of jargon and slang terms from the crafting community

Tuesday, 15 November 2022

6x6 (10. 306)

honkbal hoofdklasse: Dutch for ‘Major League Baseball’  

fragrant, acid, burnt and caprylic: the Crocker-Henderson odour classification system 

dinosaur.pocket: AI generated Mastodon instances by Janelle Shane (previously

the floor is lava: a fun looking arcade experience though the best part was climbing over the furniture and leaping from place to place  

pontifex: the cathedral-like under-girding of the bridges of Seoul 

phryge-fest: Paris unveils its Olympic and Paralympics mascots—anthropomorphic hats

Friday, 29 April 2022

pangaea

Via Hyperallergic, we are referred to a nifty tool that lets one explore the geography and lifeforms that would have informed one’s hometown over the รฆons. Developed by engineer and palaeontologist Ian Webster, Ancient Earth ploughs through millions of years of tectonic shifts and rising and receding oceans with insights about fossils found nearby at the time and events defined the particular age and epoch. Despite the until recently relative inhospitability above the waves, one is always hoping that one’s home stays above water—especially in our current Anthropocene. Much more at the link above.

Saturday, 13 February 2021

here we come on the run with a burger in a bun

We enjoyed very much this appreciation of the Cabazon dinosaur ensemble, a novelty roadside attraction two decades in the making created by theme park artist and sculptor Claude Bell (of Knox Berry Farm fame) off the freeway near Palm Springs to draw diners to his nearby restaurant, the Wheel Inn (1958 - 2013). The Brontosaurus, Dinny the Dinosaur, and Mister Rex are made of out of salvaged, reclaimed road construction materials and since the restaurant’s closure, have been host, in a surprising turn, to a gift shop and a museum devoted to doctrine of creationism (inside of Dinny—the Tyrannosaur formerly had a slide in his tail but has been since filled with concrete due to safety concerns)—selling dinosaur related souvenirs with the rather shrill caveat that the “fossil record does not support evolution” (see also) and espousing young Earth beliefs, that place Adam and Eve among the dinosaurs about six millennia ago. Exhibits run counter to a frieze that Bell painted along the internal passage way that portray a scientific point of view and timeline that includes Cro-Magnon, Java Man and Neanderthals. More from Pasa Bon! at the link up top.

Saturday, 12 December 2020

umleitung: bedheim

We made a brief stop in the village outside of the town of Rรถmhild in the county of Hildburghausen to take in the architectural ensemble, typifying a Baroque manor, of the three-wing castle and fortified church. First constructed in the thirteenth century and coming into ownership of the aristocratic family Rรผhle von Lilenstern once ennobled by Hapsburg Emperor Charles VII after 1743, chiefly then as a summer residence for Prince Joseph Friedrich von Sachsen-Hildburghausen, it is still the ancestral home of the heirs and an interesting architectural footnote on its own. 

The village became more intriguing, however, seeing that its crest features a pipe organ and a dinosaur. I don’t think we’d ever encountered this sort of charge before on a coat-of-arms and the raptor is definitely not a mythological griffin.  It turns out that one of the notable descendants, Hugo, was an avid paleotologist and had made many finds in the surrounding area, discovering among others an example originally referred to as the leaping lizard (Halticosaurus, springende Echse) and later renamed Liliensternus

I recall my grade three teacher, Miss Friday, one day bringing in a cast of a fossilised dinosaur foot discovered on their property with the taxonomical classification of Arkansaurus fridayius, which I thought was an odd instance of show-and-tell to end all show-and-tell sessions. A museum was established in the castle to display skeletal remains, but once the family could reestablish residence after the war in 1969, the collection was transferred to the Museum of Natural History in Berlin. The organ of the coat-of-arms is in deference to the pair of instruments installed in the church, a greater and a lesser installed in the early eithteenth century a decade apart (and can be played in tandem) by prominent local master builders and is adjacent to the entombment place of many members of the family Rรผhle von Lilienstern. We weren’t able to glean much about the war years and there was a sombre and intriguing memorial plaque to all those who underwent forced sterilisation during Nazi times and research yielded little. In better times, we’ll return to learn more, go to the Schloss cafรฉ and maybe take in an organ concert.

Sunday, 12 April 2020

garysaurus

His massively popular and curatorially acclaimed colossal sculptures having already attracted quite a following as they were paraded, fully assembled in cross-country processions and on display in-situ became the backdrop of the 1986 sci-fi comedy Howard the Duck, Jim Gary (*1939 – †2006) was the only artist invited to present a solo exhibition at the Smithsonian’s Museum of Natural History, opening on this day in 1990, and featuring dozens of Twentieth Century Dinosaurs, stegosaurs, triceratops, tyrannosaurs, pterodactyls fashioned out of salvaged automobile parts and brightly lacquered in car paint.
When not touring, the dinosaurs resided in Gary’s garden or were on loan to his favourite cafes and restaurants (hence the appellation for one installation, the dinersaur), sort of like those art cow statues (called CowParade and conceived by Swiss artist Pascal Knapp) of its day. The term above was an encomium to Gary in an obituary by biographer and reporter for The Guardian Andrew Roth, coining the neologism to describe his creations.

Thursday, 16 January 2020

wollemia nobilis

Via Super Punch, we learn about the clandestine, successful mission pulled off by botanists, park rangers, conservators and New South Wales’ brave firefighters to save the only known wild population of Wollemi pines.
The trees, which may be up to one hundred thousand years in age, number about two hundred individuals and prior to their discovery in 1994 (akin to finding a living dinosaur), were believed to be extinct and only known through the fossil record. The operation was kept secret so as to not disclose the grove’s location as caretakers fear that visitors could bring contamination that could harm the critically endangered species. Clones have been propagated worldwide and have distinct broad needles and knobbly bark.

Saturday, 29 December 2018

dinosaurier des jahres

Since 1993, Germany’s Naturschutzbund (NABU, Nature Conservancy Corps) in Berlin has been awarding its annual dirisive distinction, its Dinosaur Award, to the group or individual who’s actions are most emblematic of regressive tendencies in environmental stewardship.
This year’s prize went to the chairman of an energy company who pledged to continue the expansion of its strip-mining operations and destroy the remaining sliver of the old growth Hambacher Forst despite massive protests and the gradual phasing out of coal. Earlier in the month, a ceremony was held in the nearby Ruhrgebiet to mark the closing of the country’s last black hard coal mine, also operated by the same energy giant fossil.  There are regrettably too many of such barons (sometimes ourselves included for our lifestyle choices) to contend with but who might you nominate for failure to adapt?

Thursday, 4 January 2018

dinosaur court

Via Messy Nessy Chic, we are introduced to the world’s first paleontological park of Crystal Palace in the borough of Bromley commissioned as an extension of the Great Exhibition of London in 1854. Though considered scientifically naรฏve by contemporary standards, the attraction predated Charles Darwin’s publication and contrary to Victorian affection for the supernatural these “antediluvian monsters” weren’t taken as patent evidence for dragons and weathered subsequent derision well enough to earn protected status and become a cultural touchstone. Learn more about the historic park and the mythos surrounding it at the link up top.

Friday, 28 April 2017

one million b.c.

Like forensics experts working on a case that went cold hundreds of thousands of years ago, archรฆologists are discovering that equipped with the next generation of genetic sequencers that there able to find bits of ancient hominid DNA when sifting through the sediment of practically any old cave.
No fossil evidence nor artefacts, though surely that’s pretty exciting to uncover, is required to trace how our direct ancestors and Neanderthal cousins spread across the continents and perhaps interacted. Surely this can be expanded to the whole of the plant and animal kingdoms, as well.  I wasn’t expecting that our machines were so finely calibrated to detect biochemical markers as so faint a trace, but this is sure to be revolutionary as palรฆontologists have already managed to extrapolate and reconstruct whole monstrous dinosaurs and more modest primogenitors of our kind out of just a fragment of a tooth or a little toe bone.