Friday, October 15, 2010

Mesozoic Miscellany #3

The big event this week was the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology's annual meeting, held in Pittsburgh. Plenty of bloggers wrote posts about the event, so today's roundup will consist largely of these posts.

With his usual excellence and attention to detail, Brian Switek provides thorough coverage at Dinosaur Tracking, Laelaps (now part of Wired's science network), and on Twitter (@Laelaps). In particular, I strongly recommend reading his Laelaps post entitled Plugging into SVP. Though it's a passion of mine, I find it tricky to write about science communication here. It's an issue of balance: I suspect that plenty of readers who love reading about new research in paleontology and its history don't necessarily want to read about how those things are written about. But one thing I'm confident in is that no matter your interest, you find value in blogs, and Brian's post touches on the issue of the reputation of the blogging community - to journalists, to scientists, and to the public. This is where readers come in. You all are the reason we do this, and we recognize how important you are to raising awareness that many bloggers are principled writers who share ideas in a vital new way.

David Tana came through in the clutch as well, and more than any other blogger, made me regret not being able to attend. He began his SVP series at Superoceras with an eloquent post about traveling to the event through Appalachia, and filed daily reports from there.

The perennially entertaining Jeff Martz wrote a piece chock-full of advice for younger paleontologists who find it hard to draw the attention of veterans in the field. His advice: selfishness without douchebaggery.

University of Missouri's Holliday Lab, The Prep Lounge, and Saurian also offered posts on the meeting.

National Fossil Day also happened on Wednesday, and I wrote a bit about it at Under Indiana. I'm working on a post about my personal Fossil Day festivities, which was a lecture by Indiana University paleontologist P. David Polly at the Monroe County History Center.

Paleoart of the Week
I'm always impressed by the sculpts done by Eduardo Moreno, who goes by the handle Epoxirex on Flickr. Here's a WIP of Coahuilaceratops. I'd also like it noted that I spelled Coahuilaceratops correctly in one try, without looking it up.
coahuilaceratops magnacuerna escultura

Twit Picks
Stuff I've tweeted in the last week or so:
  • The geology of Rumeli Hisar at Mountain Beltway. Check out the historical trace fossil of a dog pawprint in a brick!
  • DonorsChoose Drive for Earth and Ocean Science Education
  • Photographers: what's so awful about allowing embed code for your Flickr photos? Free publicity? Automatic links to your stream?
  • 169 years of sauropod research in 26 pages « Sauropod Vertebra Picture of the Week
Dinosaurs? Fuck Yes! featured some nifty Romanian aspirin advertisements that hinge on the idea that what really caused the end Mesozoic extinction was a rather nasty strain of the common cold.

Outrageously Off-topic Indulgence

George Hrab is the man. Give his Geologic Podcast a shot.

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