Friday, June 26, 2015

Hold on to your margaritas!

Jurassic World!  My family loved it!  So many great moments, but one of the most memorable scenes for me was also the most brief.  It involved a gentleman evading a pterosaur attack while carefully moving his margaritas.  Two margaritas to be exact.  Epic!  As a mixologist, I fully appreciate this move.  Not to mention how much those drinks must of cost!  Earlier in the movie, a gentleman made a comment about $7 dollar sodas, so I'm sure these puppies must of fetched about 15 bucks a piece!  You bet your ass I'd take my margaritas with me!   I don't have a clip, but a brilliant artist made an animated gif about it!  If you click the picture, it will take you to the source.  
The gentleman who played the "Margarita Man" was actually Jimmy Buffett!  Brilliant!  Margaritaville is actually selling Margaritaville Isla Nublar T-Shirts!  I need to pick one up ASAP.
In honor of Jurassic Park, the movie, & Jimmy Buffett, I give you a Jurassic Margarita made by yours truly!  All the ingredients shown here made with fresh lime juice, dash of simple syrup, salted rim, & dash of cherry juice for effect.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Lego Jurassic World!

The park is open and everybody is talking about Jurassic World!  My family and I loved it and you can say for sure that we are definitely obsessed with the movie.  I love having the feelings I did when I first saw the original film.  Seeing Jurassic World brought back old memories and created new ones for my son Joey.  Along with making a day of going to see Jurassic World, we picked up the Lego game featuring all four films!  Lego Jurassic World is an epic game.
Lego Jurassic World is an amazing game.  We picked it up prior to seeing the film, so being that the game featured all four films, we were careful to not play the new movie levels.  After all, this game is like playing the movies, but with Legos!  One aspect of the game that definitely stands out is the soundtrack.  Wow, truly wow.  We were so excited and blown away listening to Lego Jurassic World's stunning musical score. From the music to sound effects, this game was perfect.  The game also features the actors voices from all four films!  Another great part of the game my son Joey loves is the comedy that the game implements into the levels and cut scenes. I don't want to spoil the game for those who haven't played it, so I will just say the game has a lot of surprises that are cute and funny.  
OK, so as if this game wasn't awesome enough, it also allows you to create your own Lego characters!  That being said, my son Joey was so excited to create some of daddy's friends that are real people working in the field of paleontology!  How cool is that?  Below are a few examples and I will continue to add more in time as he creates them, so check back to this post soon.  Each character Joey created has a code that you can enter in the Jurassic World's Visitor Center via the game.  Simply enter the code and play as the Lego character you want.  I also included links to learn more about the real people.  Happy Lego building everyone!

Unlock Code:  sBzBCQCyBCDBDBC


Unlock Code:  hCBVBCrCcBCjCQCH

Unlock Code:  BWBXBCnBdBCfBTB

Unlock Code:  QcBwBCwCRCCpBFBJ

Unlock Code:  QBxBPBVCCVCfC



Unlock Code:  QwBfBClBmBClBxBH



Unlock Code:  hCBDCCpCVCCXCxBN

More Coming!  Check back soon!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

New Jersey's Diplotomodon!

Image from Jurassic Park Institute.
In 1865, paleontologist Joseph Leidy described an isolated tooth found in Gloucester County, New Jersey. He believed it to be a marine reptile at first and named the beast Tomodon. As fate would have it, Joseph Leidy later changed the name to Diplotomodon in 1868 because the original name had been taken for another animal. Ironically enough, a dinosaur by the name of Dryptosaurus would suffer this same name ordeal years later.  Diplotomodon means "double cutting tooth." It lived during the same time as Dryptosaurus.  

In 1870, paleontologist Edward Drinker Cope described the tooth and believed it to be from a carnivorous dinosaur.  This idea is pretty much shared today.  Today, the tooth is mostly regarded as a nomen dubium or simply put, an unknown.  The sad part of this story is that although the tooth was described and photographed, it was lost. Hopefully in the future more will be discovered, but only time will tell.

Works Cited:

Gallagher, William B. When Dinosaurs Roamed New Jersey. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers UP, 1997. 104, 110. Print.

New Jersey's Dinosaurs On A Jurassic Park Website?

Wow...remember the Jurassic Park Institute website?  For those of you who don't, the following article appeared in a 12/01/2001 issue of THE Journal:

Universal Studios has launched the Jurassic Park Institute (JPI), a science-based and educationally focused program that will include a Web site, a dinosaur-themed in-school program, traveling dinosaur-themed museum exhibits, and an online kids club in partnership with Working with some of the world's leading paleontologists, JPI will be factual and scientifically accurate.

The first phase of the institute's development is the launch of, a Web site that features a variety of news, information, games, activities and guides for dinosaur enthusiasts. Visitors will find the latest dinosaur news, ranging from recent discoveries, to editorials from leading paleontologists, to entertainment news. Students will also be able to play a variety of dinosaur-themed games, and search through the Dinopedia to learn about their favorite dinosaurs and the world in which they lived. They can also locate dinosaur exhibits in their local areas. Beginning in early 2002, the site will be expanded to include a dynamic, in-school program. A series of traveling dinosaur exhibits is also set to begin in spring 2002.

The institute continues with the launch of JPI Rangers Club, a membership-based site located in's KidSpace channel. The club will provide members with exclusive educational online games and activities, an online journal and more. Universal Studios, Hollywood, CA,
I remember logging onto this awesome site on a daily basis and couldn't wait to see what was new!  I hope one day we will see this amazing site resurrected.  It really was a great idea and the possibilities could have been endless.  One part I remember most from The Jurassic Park Institute was a section called "DINOPEDIA".  On this page, you could access information on pretty much any dinosaur known at the time.  You could even look up three dinosaurs from New Jersey!  Well, Diplotomodon today is mostly considered a nomen dubium, which basically means "unknown."  Below are the cards from the site that are no longer accessible.  Enjoy!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Do LEGOs Dream of Electric Dinosaurs?

This Monday was shaping up to be a Monday: administrative duties, extra workload to get ready for the Geopark inaugural events this weekend, and on top of it, general thesis writing freak-out. What I was not expecting this morning was this:

Time for straight-up honesty:

1. I have not yet seen "Jurassic World" (GASP!) From what I have seen of released clips and trailers, I agree with Dr. Victoria Arbour and Dr. Angelica Tories on their assessments of the tired female lead themes in their reviews here and here, respectively. I also agree with their and Dr. Darren Naish's review of the movie-monster style versions of the theropods that could have been so so so much more fun and creepy (our heroes encountering a Velociraptor gently cleaning the blood and tissue of its latest human kill off of its feathers to the gently sounds of the forest, anyone?) I'll see Jurassic World one day, but it's likely not going to be until after I defend my doctoral thesis.

2. I do not play video games and did not grow up playing video games. Our idea of a video game was when the Pong machine was hooked up to the TV. After that, we inherited an old Commodore 64 and played "Tanks" and text-based games on the sepia-toned screen. I am not the person to ask technical questions of when it comes to "How can I access X, Y, and Z features?" I don't own a PS-Anything. Dammit Jim, I'm an avian anatomist and ichnologist, not a video game person! (I just finished watching Star Trek TOS.)

All that being said, it was pretty cool to discover that I was LEGOed! LEGO-Lisa even has the right colored field shirt!
Oh yes, I get to ride the Parasaurolophus. I'm not sure about flying the helicopter, but in a choice between dinosaur and chopper, the dinosaur wins. Image from Gameslingers at Dawn.
Kris Abel, author of Gameslingers at Dawn, was able to customize some characters for the Jurassic World LEGO game. Kris went for Canadian paleontologists. These characters are available for anyone to play (from what I understand). I'm in good company as I get chased through the park by Indominus rex and her like. Running from (Towards? With? We all know it's either towards or with) the dinosaurs is Philip Currie (University of Alberta) and his theropod pack, as well as David Evans (Royal Ontario Museum) and his ceratopsian troop. Follow the above link for the unlock codes for the characters!

If you play the LEGO video games, you'll have to let me know how LEGO-Lisa fares on her adventures with her buddy hadrosaur (we have an unofficial name for the airlifted specimen, but it's too geographically specific, and we are still keeping the site location under wraps for the time being until we can get the proper excavation funding.)

Riding off into the LEGO sunset,

LEGO Shaman.