Monday, November 24, 2014


At the end of the day for the exhausted tyrannosaurid worker...the Corporate Suite!

November 24, 2014
Terrible nightmare last night:
I was reading through a fat, soft cover volume of student literary work, evidently in a university setting. The cover had a close-up newsprint image - so close up that the dots could be seen - of an elephant facing left. In boldface and uppercase letters the word “ELEPHANT” slanted up to the right, below the elephant.
I recall flipping through the book and settling upon several exceptionally well written poems, evidently written by different authors, on widely separate pages. They didn’t belong in ELEPHANT; they were beautiful, but they weren't writing - they only resembled writing, but they were the message of ELEPHANT.
Then the lightbulb flashed on: “They are all obscure aspects of the Cthulhu mythos!” I exclaimed to my companion – a man that I did not recognize, but clearly we were deeply involved in tracking this intrigue together. “I know-“, he replied. We turned back to the bizarre leaves of ELEPHANT as if they concealed the jaws and teeth that bit into everything we had at stake.
We rapidly discussed in breathless agreement all of the common threads that we had independently observed in the mysterious writings that somehow involved us beyond our immediate and tortured curiosity, and before I knew it his face was above me, pulled back like a wolf tugging a carcass into it's first rip and his hands were around my neck and his face was as bright as a star and by the throat he forced me to the floor and I was atwist in a murder grip.
I screamed, “THIS ISN’T RIGHT - THIS MAKES NO SENSE!” from the world of alteration into the world of night, where I lay panting like a darted stag.

10:39: I had a late start leaving home today (around 8:25) and I just arrived at the Burpee Museum about 10 minutes ago. The primary consolation is that I am here for three days in a row so that I can (hopefully) wrap up the last of the osteological descriptions. Now to finish Dorsal rib C!
11:28: I am done with rib C, but the ventral quarter of the rib broke off and needs repair – it is not at all a good feeling when damage happens to a fossil. I am now comparing the description of trunk ribs from Brochu (2003) with what I’ve written to make sure I haven’t missed anything.
12:08: I know I’ve arrived much later today than usual, but I am very hungry; I have to leave for lunch. Snow has been pouring down, so it’ll be a stressful drive.
1:02: I am back from lunch! I'm resuming with Brochu (2003).
2:14: I am done with the ribs; now, on to the fibula.
3:06: I am done with the fibula for now, in comparison with Brochu (2003), but I am working with the right bone, which is missing its ventral half. I will have to get the left from from exhibit to complete this section. Now I will flesh out the description of the tibia and proximal tarsals based on comparison with that in Brusatte et al. (2012).
3:57: I am done with the tibia section of Brusatte et al. (2012), now on to the astragalus.
4:48 pm: I am wrapping up for the day; I stopped on the last page of the Brusatte et al. (2012) description of the astragalus, there's about a column and a half to go for that bone. 495 pages reached.

References cited
Brochu, C. A. 2003. Osteology of Tyrannosaurus rex: insights from a nearly complete skeleton and high-resolution computed tomographic analysis of the skull. Society of Vertebrate Paleontology Memoir 7: 1-138.
Brusatte, S. L., M. A. Norell, T. D. Carr, G. M. Erickson, J. R. Hutchinson, A. M. Balanoff, G. B. Bever, J. N. Choiniere, P. J. Makovocky, & X. Xu. 2010. Tyrannosaur paleobiology: new research on ancient exemplar organisms. Science 329:1481.

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