Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Come see the new dinosaur exhibit in El Paso, TX!

And yes I will be there with some dinosaur art as well. Insights is officially opening their new dinosaur exhibit (which I had the chance to visit a few weeks ago.) I'll be doing a few new illustrations for this so if you're interested, and live in the area, come on by for a visit:)

I'm still torn as to what a paleoartist is and am I really one... but it was so very nice of them to ask me to participate, I just wanted to donate some images to help the museum out:)



Saturday, June 2, 2012

Why all the Mermaid hate?

 A mammalian 'mermaid'

 I think someone might have just lost all their cool points;)

Mermaid: A Body Found.

The first thing I did when I saw this on my TV was press info. The FIRST thing it said was science fiction, I thought it might be fun (I could always turn it off and delete the show, I did it with Finding Bigfoot, I can do it with this!)  This was never presented as science fact. It was a fun an interesting thought experiment. If mermaids did exist, or were found, how would you explain them them? And yes the Aquatic Ape Theory is not true… BUT if we did find a mermaid, that was related to us, could parts of AAT actually explain this? (I will admit to almost yelling when they brought up the Aquatic Ape Theory, but I waited to here what they had to say first.)

Dinosaurs were originally thought to be birds by Huxley and other early paleontologists, but that was later changed, the theory was toss to fit the evidence they had at the time (no clavicles in dinosaurs were 'known' at the time.) But it was later brought back when more evidence again supported the dino-bird connection. That's what this show did, it used a tossed idea to explain a 'new species' of human, thus pulling the aquatic ape theory out of the trash, all for a good story. Far more interesting than Jurassic Park if you ask me. They just used cloning and basically ignored the rest.

And no the show was not completely unscientific. I learned about the islanders who can dilate their eyes at will underwater to see better, the bloop (which I only vaguely remembered,) whale evolution, and the link between navel sonar tests and whale strandings. A quick google search shows these to be real facts, things that most people might not know about. So while the mermaids are fake (and honestly when have you ever actually heard these things are real in the modern time? I can think of ONE show that even hinted this might be the case but that too was a ruse to keep the viewers interest,) some of the science was real.

This was a very clever use of science and science fiction to make an interesting and compelling story. The fact that they went so far as to cast DIFFERENT actors for the re-enactments was a stroke of brilliance!

What some fail to grasp, is that most people simply don't care about science. They have no real interest in it. I had to argue with my editor a month ago to get a feathered T. rex in a comic, because they preferred them scaly (unfortunately it was a cross over issue and I didn't see the other issue, which was very nicely drawn with a feathered T. rex… with 3 fingers…!)  I went to a new dinosaur exhibit at a local museum a few weeks ago, and watched as wave after wave of skool children briskly walked past the dinosaurs (DINOSAURS, kids are supposed to love them!!!!!) to go play with the interactive stuff at the museum. People just aren't that into what some of the science writers and scientist are into. This show does both entertain and teach. It's a classic technique that some seen to have forgotten how to use, especially with people who are not as vested in the sciences as they are. Did this show really work? Well a buddy, who also watched it, sent me a link to the islanders who can dilated their pupils because he thought it was cool. So yes, I would say it did. It entertained and taught… something that's very hard to do right.

OK, I got that that off my chest, more dinosaurs soon. I'm doing some for that museum I  mentioned:)

 A more fishy 'mermaid'