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Jaguars hunt; humans react

Petting the kitty awe-inspiring jaguar above will zap you over to chasingsabretooths and two incredible videos of hunting jaguars – including intense moments of submerged suspense as hunter and prey disappear beneath the water surface. Almost as fascinating as these incredible hunts is the reaction of the amateur filmers… there’s some deep humor when the maker of the first film says  “I feel like a bad person”.  In contrast, the group witnesses of the second attack seem to celebrate the jaguar’s prowess. Fantastic!

Museums; Sensory Overload

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One of the things I love about the Museum of natural History in Berlin is… it’s history. I don’t know if Heinrich expereinces the thrill of entering the space after doing it day-in-day-out for years, but I cherish the chances to visit him because – beyond our discussions – the place oozes generational passion for understanding the world. This column is literally right outside of Heinrich’s office and – strategically, you might say, so that no one can say that they are bored should he arrive a minute late. I unwrapped it hastily to show about 3/4s of its coolness, and you can see that the animals are the animals they are supposed to be, despite the materials they pecked out of and the constraints of logistics and workforce. These are all up and down the stairwell as well, no two alike. I’ll have to pester him to do some 3D scans. :-)

Frozen River is a wonderful film

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Happened across this gem of a film and just have to plug it here, despite its absolute lack of extinct animals or computer graphics. It’s just a brutally captivating film that makes you wince because it features people and the idiotic things people do. It also leaves you thrilled that the protagonists prove themselves capable of rising above their situations and mutually establishing a beachhead of humanity. If you get a chance, you heard it from me.

speedpaint 13.01; super diner

feast on corpse

A bit frustrated that I haven’t been free to indulge in what I want to the last few months, I interrupted my scheduled work for a speed paint. Not sure who the diners are, but the buffet is Supersaurus. I’d like to get a larger therapod coming in from behind and a smaller pterosaur with piqued interest in the overlooked tongue up front. Or maybe that would be too much.

Digital Heart Done with deep complexity

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The Barcelona Supercomputing Center built a heart down to the muscle fibers in order to simulate flow and beat pattern. It’s a beautiful thing to see!

x-ray-track-analysis; don’t wait for the movie!

Palaeo-electronica has a great paper by Richard Ellis and Stephen Gatesy analyzing substrate dynamics that I’m excited about even though I haven’t read a word. I’ve just looked at the pictures. And they tell a decent amount of the story – that’s exciting. They don’t communicate a quantitative analysis of the shifts and bulges of the substrate, but they do show that this is the focus of the paper – the beads in the sand communicate that quite well. It’s a great case for inreach due to the subject matter and the visual documentation.

Interestingly, the videos read worse than the images, the lack of depth cues make it very difficult to understand what’s going on in the xray video, and the rotating camera is a classic case of overlapping animation – making it very difficult to even follow what’s going on around the foot. No matter, the photos are great, and the illustration of the tracked bead paths show motion better than the videos… again, just lacking depth cues. It’s also a fantastically interesting subject matter. I’m off to read it!

 

Tracks

I love tracks that read as a story…

Support Cannibalism!

How much hype can you pack into one blog post? Well, how about a crowdsourcing science project to research cannibalism in Tyrannosaurs, launched by a popular Guardian writer / pterosaur researcher and a Canadian preparator / scientist, featuring cool graphics, videos (well, to date one) and a snazzy, t-shirt-begging logo? Click the badge and get in the know.

Sauropod Porn; S107-108

After pondering what genres might be suitable for making fossils the stars of the show not just for dusty old paleontologists (like those SVPOW perverts) but for a larger chunk of the population at large, I stumbled across porn. Heinrich, Dave – this is what happens when you leave me unsupervised in the bone cellar. (Insert evil laugh.) So, without further ado, here is January’s sumptuous fold-out S107-108 being explored sensuously, nook for nook, cranny for cranny. Depending on where you work, this might not be considered safe.

 

drip – Big in Japan

Some German terms are too good for translation, including Nabelschau. Literally interpretable as navel-gazing, it has an unhurried, introspective tone to it that the English fails to deliver. Navel-gazing calls up a vision of someone staring privately yet fanatically into his or her own bellybutton, whereas – to me at least – Nabelschau is a public dissertation of the brutally analyzed results. Today we engage in Nabelschau, with a look into drip.de’s statistics …

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According to the wordpress statistics plugin CyStats, drip.de yesterday received 546 unique visits and 2315 hits. That’s a spike in hits, but an overall steady course in visits. What I find interesting is the discrepancy between statistics, as every source I use reliably profers different results. My server statistics cite 1353 visits and 3552 hits for yesterday, and only a small percentage of that is targeted at my woefully neglected other sites – like my (coughcough) business site. So, I assume that Dave Hone’s appearance triggered some search engine bots. I’m not very well versed on interpreting stats, however, so if anyone has more insight, please leave a comment. Also, if you visit here regularly or have stumbled across, let me know. I’m curious who’s reading these bits and pieces and planning to post more of my own content in the future so it would help me to know who is interested in palaeontography, NPR, Germany, etc.

Very cool is how many visits I’m getting from Japan. 43%!!! Wow.

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