Friday, March 30, 2012

Ode to Sue, the Tyrannosaurus Rex

A story:

Whilst living in Ohio, I used to visit Chicago, either for business or for short vacations. On my first trip, I was scheduled to be in Chicago for three days, and I knew that I would spend two of them at the Field Museum. Now, the large foyer of the Field Museum has the skeleton of Sue the Tyrannosaurus Rex prominently on display, dramatically greeting visitors as only an apex predator can.

It was love at first sight.

I literally spent five hours looking at Sue from all different angles; photographing her; sketching her; dissecting her with my eyes.

The mechanics of the pelvis and hip joints are extremely interesting, but the mechanics of the jaw is something that mathematicians would call "non-trivial". After numerous diagrams, the pattern by which the muscles attached and crossed each other began to dawn on me.

"Yes! Yes!!"

Had there been anyone else around, I would have high-fived them.

No, I did not smoke a cigarette.

What is "The Other Side of History"?

Hello, and welcome to my first blog - "The Other Side of History"!

What is this blog about? First, what it isn't about...

It isn't about "The undiscovered Country, from whose bourne No Traveller returns," which is a Shakespearian allusion to death. Unless you read it in the original Klingonese, in which case it means "the future".

Nor will this blog be directly about "The End of History and the Last Man," in which Francis Fukuyama claimed that "Western liberal democracy" will be the universal, final form of political ideology.

It would be close to say, however, that the subject of this blog is how "the end of history" and the Klingon "undiscovered country" will not make cowards of us all.

So really, what will this blog be about? The specifics will be clear after the first few entries, hopefully written before the start of next week.