Friday, July 15, 2011

Crossroads..........

Looking over my blog (paying attention to the number of new followers that pretty much subscribed to a stagnant, or, shall we say, dead blog :P) and doing a little websurfing (especially in the area of Biology), I notice that it's time for a new start, or, at least, a new direction. Now, don't freak out and begin complaining about me or to me thinking that I am going to delete this blog because I assure you that won't happen.

Of course, seeing as I did start this my sophomore year of High School (I'm now an adult at the age of 19 and going to college in the Fall.) I realize what I hadn't noticed before; it's horrible. For one, I have no focus and I have been absent for really no legitimate reason. Also, my "Fossil facts" (which became huge hits for some reason(s) I can't fathom)  are totally ignorant. I'm not qualified nor am I knowledgeable in the field of Paleontology to even be doing such things. (I can recommend better sites and people whom I've established valuable connections with throughout my years on the blogosphere. I will list them with brief, minute descriptions of the topics covered at the end of the post.) For that, one could state that I have been committing an act of fraud. And, I'm sincerely sorry.

So, where does this leave me and my blog? Well, as the title says, I'm at a crossroads (not just with the blog but with life); lost, is likely the best word to describe it. I've certainly enjoyed it here and I've developed memorable "friendships" (since I've never met over 80-90% of my reader base, it's not fair nor is it accurate to call them "friends" in the traditional sense of the word.) on the blogosphere. The most memorable are: Dinorider d'Andoandor, Traumador the Tyrannosaur and Jason Westby, since they are some of my first fan base and close "friends" on the blogosphere. I'm grateful to them all; their contributions and support have been astounding and I couldn't appreciate them anymore than I do right now. Thank you, guys, so much!

 Where is my mind headed at the moment I'm writing this? I could continue to post about the basics, and simple introductory concepts in the fields of Biology, Geology, and Paleontology with an occasional article or paper from magazines such as Discover, Scientific American, Science Illustrated, Nature, Plos One, National Geographic, etc. (It's likely that I'll be able to include more literature when I get to college, as many University libraries carry such materials.). The other possibility that I had considered was start a whole new blog (keeping this one) solely about Biology, more or less for reference and I'll be compiling information regarding science's ever greater understanding about the natural world (the biological aspect at least). For that blog as well, I'll try to keep to the basics for non-technical audiences, interspersing technical jargon every now and then so they get used to seeing it and not feel so lost or dumb (remember, the tradition of using Latin or Greek mechanics was, and is, to allow global communication with those of a foreign language, as each language has different common names for the same thing. For example, the typical house feline is known scientifically as Felis cattus derivative of Latin, while in English, it's "Cat", in Japanese, it's "Neko", Spanish, "el Gato", and so on., but more on that some other time.) Of course, I've yet to decide on anything. So, for now, I'm stuck at the crossroads, attempting to get my bearings and move into, what will hopefully be a fulfilling and pleasing direction. 

Better Qualified Bloggers:


  • Traumador the Tyrannosaur of the Tyrannosaur Chronicles- Known for his peanut sized brain and large heart, Traumador is a kind-hearted, extremely knowledgeable "vivus" (the term used for living non-avian dinosaurs on his blog) T. rex whose adventures (or, should I say, mis-adventures) and hilarious antics make him a great read and one of the most, if not THE most successful blog ever!! Check him out and his Palaeo Facts. (He was raised in the Royal Tyrell Museum of Palaeontology in Drumheller, Alberta, Canada, after all.)
  • Andrew Farke- Paleontologist from out west, whose work, I think, concerns Ceratopsians (but don't quote me on this. :P). Plus, he apparently makes a mean beer! lol! (Before you say anything, I don't drink, I assure you.) Check him out on The Open Source Paleontologist and his Brewing Blog.
  • ReBecca Foster, of the Dinochick Blogs, is a paleontologist from Colorado, USA, whose blog often contains entertaining musings on life and anything Paleo.
  • Dr. Jeff W. Martz, the "erratic" Paleontologist, is a self-proclaimed "underpaid" vertebrate Paleontologist who specializes in a group of Late Triassic reptiles that are closely related to the common ancestor of the Dinosaurs. His musings are often entertaining and insightful, often expanding beyond paleo to life in general. Highly recommended.
  • "Dinosaur George" Blasing- Great friend of mine, actor, public speaker/lecturer, and writer. He is best known for his show on the History channel Jurassic Fight Club (or, as it's known outside the U.S., Dinosaur Secrets). He is curator of the Witte Museum of Natural History in San Antonio, TX which he lives and works as head Dinosaur George, Inc. He has been touring, speaking at libraries and schools since 1998 when he left a "lucrative real estate career" to make a living (though not paid as much as his real estate job) sharing his passion for Paleontology and Natural History with audiences of all ages. 
  • The Houston Museum of Natural Science Main Branch's blog, called Beyond Bones, is a terrific resource that covers everything from Biological Anthropology, Dinosaur Paleontology and Geochemistry to Physics and Astronomy with notable contributors like Robert T. Bakker (author of The Dinosaur Heresies and Raptor Red and was a student of the legendary John Ostrom. He and John R. Horner of the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman, Montana, also the modern day civilized counterparts of Cope and Marsh except for the part that Horner and Bakker are good friends, pioneered Dinosaur endothermy during the Dinosaur Renaissance.) Check it out! 
  • Craig Dylke, the CGi artist for Prehistoric Insanity and Primary teacher is extremely knowledgeable and, if you can manage to reach him (he is a VERY busy guy as they all are, considering he just got married, for those who did not know!!! Again, Congratulations to him and the now, Mrs. Rhonwyn (not sure how to spell it, sorry. :P) Dylke!!) who, living and working in New Zealand has had the great experience of working with the only Vertebrate Paleontologist in New Zealand, Dr. Ewan Fordyce. Craig also worked as a Camp Counselor for the Summer camp for the Royal Tyrrell Museum, which he has been visiting since he was very young back when the museum first opened in the 1980s, instructing and entertaining. Again, great guy, highly recommended and highly knowledgeable and qualified to answer any and all questions you may have. Check him out, but don't get upset when he doesn't respond right away (I sent him a question a few weeks ago via e-mail and I still haven't heard back from him. Of course, who am I to demand a response and become impatient and irritable? He has a life and it is a privelege and an honour to have him take the time to answer a question of mine.)
  • Albertonykus ("Alberta Claw") is a Dinosaur enthusiast from, you guessed it, Alberta, and dons the persona of a maniraptoran (the clade of carnivorous dinosaurs that include the "raptor" families and birds) and avid Animaniacs fan. His posts are insightful and entertaining; definitely worth a visit for all your Maniraptoran needs!! Plus, there's the bonus of his delightful sense of humour! :)
If there's any I've forgotten for whatever reason, just let me know who and, perhaps, the URL for their site and I will add them to the list. I want to give credit where credit is due.

4 comments:

Dinorider d'Andoandor said...

Always two there are, a master and an apprentice! grateful of being your apprentice I am!

share your always increasing knowledge buddy!

Albertonykus said...

Thanks a lot for the plug! A minor correction, I'm not actually from Alberta; that's a reference to Albertonykus (the dinosaur). In terms of formal qualifications I'm no better qualified than you are, so don't put yourself down too much!

Don't forget the really "big" blogs like Tetrapod Zoology and Archosaur Musings!

Raptor Lewis said...

Dinorider- I am extremely honoured that you liken our friendship/blogosphere relationship to a jedi master and his young apprentice. It really means a lot. I am also extremely honoured and appreciative of you, buddy. With your encouragement, I will continue to blog. Who knows, but perhaps there will be a new Fossil Fact in the near future? ;)

Albertonykus- No problem and thanks for reminding me of Switek and Hone; both are awesome guys who really know their stuff and are great scientists.

And, sorry for the mistake in where your from, man. :P I'd realized that recently on Facebook not too long ago. lol!

Also, thanks for the support. It's very much appreciated and I am honoured to have you as a "Friend" (in the blogosphere sense of the term). Again, thanks so much and, right now (this part is addressed to Dinorider and any other potential readers) I am finally working on a post on understanding evolution (I know I promised such a post and it's long overdue, but, pleae bear with me, you two.). As I say, stay tuned.

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