Down in the Valley: In the 1930s, residents near the Berkshire Mountains in Massachusetts named a strip of land “Pioneer Valley” in a bid to attract tourists with imagery of colonial frontier life. But, I guess with everyone struggling in a tough economy, settler life doesn’t quite hold the escapist appeal it once did. So, according to Bob’s Dinosaur Blog, one local advocate named Sarah Doyle has launched a rebranding effort: “Doyle would like to change Pioneer Valley's name to Valley of the Dinosaurs, based on the thousands of fossilized footprints that can be found in the general area…There's only one problem with this scheme—the dinosaurs that left their footprints in the Connecticut River Valley are mostly unidentified, and not nearly as sexy as T. Rex or Triceratops.” (Which could explain the sudden mass deliveries of these dinosaur shoes to the Berkshire area….)
The Eye of the Beholder: Why I Hate Theropods explains why he loves duckweed.
Kids Write the Darndest Things: Peter Bond has been posting examples of work he did as a child, including the opus, The Adventures of Flat-Foot, the Deinonychis!—his earliest attempt at writing and illustrating a kid’s story book. An excerpt: “One day Flat-Foot went to see if anything was in the mailbox. He levitated the mail to his hand. He ripped open all the mail at once. He opened one with a mark on it. The envelope was a letter from: Torro the Tyrannosaurus rex!!! It read that a bomb was planted in Sanfrancisus, his home city.” (So far, it’s better than the latest season of 24.)
Body Art: The Free Tattoo Designs blog (seriously, is there any topic that doesn’t have a blog?) gives rave reviews to this collection of temporary "Mini Dinosaurs Tattoos". Apparently, they’re fun for kids of, um, all ages: “I had these as party favors recently; they’re a big hit. You get a stegosaurus on your clavicle, then go to a bar and someone thinks it’s the best tattoo they’ve ever seen.” (Hah! Wait till they see my tattoo of a brontosaurus shooting flames from its mouth…)
Boneyard: Archosaur Musings continues his reviews of museums around the world. This time, the setting is the State Museum for Natural History is Stuttgart: “One thing that was well done in several places was to have out an original slab of disarticulated bones with each carefully labeled to show which part of the skeleton it came from, then suspended above it was a complete skeletal reconstruction of the whole animal. It really helps show off both the anatomy, and how we get from a pile of bones to a whole mounted skeleton. In a similar vein a nice aetosaur was on display but instead of the usual resin or plaster bones to replace those missing, it was completed with burnished metal, giving a real ‘living tank’ look like no other. We definitely need robot aetosaurs!” (Amen!)
Dinonauts: The May 2009 issue of Scientific American has a feature article, “Our Planet’s Leaky Atmosphere.” As a number of bloggers have pointed out, there is a slight error in one of the captions: “When a comet or asteroid strikes a planet, it creates an enormous explosion that throws rock, water, dinosaurs, and air into space.” (As if we didn’t already have enough junk cluttering Earth’s orbit…)
Dino Expo: Goseong province on the south coast of Korea hosts a giant dinosaur expo every three years. “During this time an immense park is turned into a dinosaur event that covers several square kilometers and features multiple themed pavilions (Cretaceous, Jurassic, etc.), tons of dino sculptures and a dino museum that would put most museums in NA to shame,” writes Michael Ryan over at Palaeoblog. Be sure to check out his photos, including (shudder) the “triceratops toilet.”
I Want to Believe! Glendon Mellow has recently unveiled his latest artwork: “Mythical Flying Trilobite Fossil III.”. Also, Glendon sets the record straight about his chosen subject matter: “For the Arizona resident searching under ‘flying trilobite hoax,’ I'm kind of glad you didn't find one. I don't paint inaccurately-winged flying trilobites on pieces of shale for the same reason people make crop circles or launch flares….I paint flying trilobites largely for the same reason people paint dragons or faeries. It's fun and interesting, and hopefully sparks the imagination….Can you imagine if I did try to perpetuate a hoax about finding a genuine flying trilobite fossil?”
I agree. I mean, who would be gullible enough to believe in a flying trilobite? That’s almost as absurd as the idea of a stegosaurus living among humans in Cambodia…oh, wait.