Monday, March 24, 2014

Vintage Dinosaur Art: All About Dinosaurs

While it's exciting enough to get my mits on a book as genuinely vintage as All About Dinosaurs (1953), that this book was written by the legendary Roy Chapman Andrews is an extra special treat. This is a book that's part palaeontology lesson, part autobiography, with Andrews unable to resist relaying a few tales of derring-do. Illustrations are provided by Thomas W Voter, and essentially live up to expectation - these are the tail-dragging, slothful, reptilian flesh-barges of old, the 'great fossil lizards' that now seem as long-dead as the real beasts that inspired them. Oh yes, and a certain sauropod is stubbornly referred to as "Brontosaurus".

Monday, March 17, 2014

Down on the farm

What is this life if, full of care, we have no time to stand and stare at huge, grotesque models of extinct animals? When people ask me why I am willing to wade through hordes of screaming rugrats in order to gaze upon such eyesores, I only have to point them to the famous poem that Wordsworth didn't write. And with that in mind, Niroot and I recently took a trip down to Godstone Farm in Surrey (that's in the south east of England, for all you forrins) to check out their newly-purchased menagerie of monstrosities.

(All photos by me, unless they're by Niroot, in which case they're marked 'NP'.)

I've got a strong urge to fly...but I got nowhere to fly to

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Vintage Dinosaur Art: Prehistoric Monsters did the Strangest Things

While it would probably be more honest to replace 'did' with 'were' in the title of Prehistoric Monsters did the Strangest Things, it certainly makes the book an intriguing prospect. Exactly what were these antedeluvian beasties up to when not ineffectively disguising themselves with pondweed? Well, read on! Published in 1974 in the States, I'm borrowing this book from reader Patrick Bate. Hats (formed of aquatic vegetation) off to him.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Robosaurs in Rotterdam

Rotterdam seems to be a city in which every puffed-up, ever-so-avant garde architect of the last fifty years has been given free rein to erect whatever glass, steel, and/or jutting concrete monstrosity that they fancy. (As John Conway would say, 'take that, Rotterdam!') It seems only fitting, then, that the city should play host to the Living Dinosaurs expo - an exhibition of diverse, often impressively large, but never less than butt-ugly robot dinosaurs. Fans of prehistory-related kitsch will have a field day; palaeontologists may wish to avert their eyes.