Another hoot of a TED Talk. By Jack Horner about baby dinosaurs. With a very dry whit and great pacing, Jack delivers the sad news that of 12 end extinction dinosaurs, several were just different ages…
Gone are a few of the more intriguing ones as we find that dinosaur skulls change as they grow up.
A bonus TED Talk by the same guy, on how to roll your own dinosaur. Not quite as funny, but still pretty good.
Seems he’s dyslexic, and had a very colorful life to reach where he is today. A humorous and uplifting story in 16 minutes:
That last video on his dyslexia is a great story.
I had no idea. It would be fascinating to find out how he adapted to acquire information if reading was so difficult. Presumably by asking questions and lectures and such. A great object lesson on how people make assumptions about others abilities and skills on purely superficial observations.
From dinosaur to chicken , serfs, like sixth graders think this is cool. )
The Evolution of Birds.
Making do with what’s at hand,
In this case, ‘hands’ –
used to be ‘legs,’ but they became
useless little arms
with claw appendage, the kind
you find on odd marsupials like kangaroos,
and on that two-legged oddity
of the Jurassic, Dinosaur Therapod.
By God! There’s a black swan development
if ever there was one.
Fossils unearthed in limestone quarries
by homo sapien with evolutionary tools –
stone axes won’t do it –
record the evolution of the therapod hand
from flexing wrist of Velociraptor to
Unenlagla’s wing-like flaps and
primitive feathers of Caudipteryx,
say, there’s a giant step for birds.
Then the momentous uncovering of
flight feathers on fossil Archaeopterix
and we have lift off!
While precisely ‘how,’ or maybe ‘why,’
the wings of birds evolve remains a mystery.
Just when homo-sapiens think – they – may
have some sort of handle on the evolution of birds,
tricky Nature calls up another black swan,
or cygnet maybe, seems some new and
up – to – now – unknown phenomenon
has been at work in the evolution of birds,
for yet another evolutionary technology.
X-ray CT scanning of bird skulls
throws new light on their progression
or paradoxically – regression. Progenesis
they call it – seems birds may be baby
dinosaurs. Precocious maturation of birds
in just a few weeks, a portion of the lifespan
of therapods, becomes the whole life span
of a new successful species.
A new successful species. Praise be
to tricky Nature for the evolution
of birds! Lords of the air, of updraft
and perilous tumbling,
of utterance of sweet song, of joy
to the world and tremulous longing,
of feathers rivalling in pattern and profusion
the spangled universe, touching the imagination
of homo sapien, inspiring the visionary words
of poets, expressive of delights and lamentations
of mature lovers and yearning dreams of adolescents.
So did dinosaurs taste like chicken? – or – do chickens taste like dinosaurs?
More importantly this 6th grader just realized that humans were alive when dinosaurs were alive (at least the avian dinosaurs). Sounds like the making of a trivia question or a bar bet.
Did dinosaurs sing?
Larry Ledwick says:
19 September 2018 at 3:36 am “That last video on his dyslexia is a great story.
I had no idea. It would be fascinating to find out how he adapted to acquire information if reading was so difficult.”
As to my learning to read in spite of my dyslexia. At the time I was in grade school “See say” was the method of teaching reading. “Read the letters, sound it out” A technique I could not grasp. I don’t see sounds, I see pictures. a group of letters, with no particular orientation. Left or right means nothing in my brain Up and down works, front and back works, but after 72 years, left and right still does not. Spelling and numbers requires close attention as to the orientation, left and right, of the cypher’s,. bdpqg are very similar as are 235 to a dyslexic that is writing them down. I have to pay close attention when creating these to get them correct in shape and placement.
In the 4th grade a friend helped me by pointing to each word and pronouncing it to me so I could connect the word picture to the word used. My 4th grade teacher, that grasped my problem, got me a special “speed reading” course that forced me to grasp the sentences and paragraphs as thought pictures and not a string of letters to be deciphered and spoken. Once I grasped these things, I progressed from 1st grade reading skills to 10th grade in 1 year.
I still have great difficulty with spelling. The invention of computer and word processor has been a great boon to my communication with others with writing.
Speaking is a nightmare of translation of thought pictures into words to be spoken so that others can understand my thoughts. Often by the time I figure it out the conversation has moved on. Think of it as communicating with someone that has suffered a stroke that damaged their speaking ability. It can be very frustrating to everyone involved.
Reading my stuff can be as difficult as creating it. I have to craft every sentence. the above has taken over an hour to compose and rework so others can read and grasp my thoughts. I hope!…pg
Not only did a line of 2 legged, egg laying, Dinosaurs survive as birds, but 2 lines of 4 legged Dinosaurs also still exist. There are 2 species of egg layers, mislabeled “mammals”, that also still exist in the present era….pg
No worries PG well done and easy to understand what your wrote.
Or did dinosaurs taste like Turkey? Just sayin’ there’s more than one bird flavor ;-)
Were I doing the designer dino-retro-bird thing I’d start with an emu or ostrich just for the larger size. Besides, dinostrich just sounds more cool than dinochicken ;-)
But yes, I’d wager some dinosaurs did “taste of chicken” …
FWIW, my epiphany moment of “Dinosaurs are still alive!” came some many years back when the dino-aves thing was just breaking. What’s more, they’ve now found the entire evolutionary path to crocodillians… and it comes through a dinosaur like ancestor that ran around on land. (Picture a tyrannosaurus that’s a bit pudgy with a crocodile like head and about 10 feet tall…) Basically it looks like all the 4 chambered heart “reptiles” are actually dinosaurs or dinosaur first cousins. So next time you look at a gator, realize it IS a dinosaur… or perhaps an uncle of dinosaurs…
I’ve seen articles both ways – claiming it was a precursor offshoot (archeosaurs?) and claiming they ARE dinosaurs, so YMMV.
Which sure looks to me like folks still trying not to admit it’s just one big group and both crocs and birds are dinosaurs of a different sort…
Besides, alligator jerky tastes a lot like turkey jerky ;-)
I once visited a pet shop located a few miles out of town… under the departure path of a newish airport… They had a bird I think was maybe a magpie, the yellow billed kind. It’s tongue had been split so it could more effectively “speak”. Well, that was all well and good and it could do a lot of talking. But…
Being under the departure of the airport, it had learned to do an excellent imitation of a jet turbine wind-up and full thrust take-off…. Every so often it would fluff up a little and there would be this jet turbine powered bird… that peculiar whistling roar of a jet… and the whoosh…
I’ve often wondered if anyone would buy that bird after hearing that…
I’m just on the right side of the edge between problem and feature….
In 1st grade I had an Ah-Hah moment on reading and took off like a rocket. The moment? Reading the word “The”. I’d essentially memorized some kids books at home and would “read” them being shape prompted by the words on the page, but mostly memory. I could “see-say” the simple words like “be” and “go”. But the TH in “the” was not clicking— Te Ha eee isn’t “the”. Then I “got it” that the collective was the object. Forget the “sound it out” and just say “the”. (What would now be called phonemic spelling as opposed to phonetic). From that point on reading was easier as I could do the decode if needed but mostly just learned the assemblage as a thing.
In 2nd grade I had ongoing problems with making R backwards (why not? It’s a unique shape whatever rotation or inversion you put on it?) and had 2 vs 5 and S vs Z issues (plus rotations or inversions of them…) Eventually I accepted that “other folks” could not handle a backwards S as being an S because it had roundness and not a Z that has sharpness… Then I took Russian and now I once again sometimes get a G where a D was needed ( the g is like a d in Russian) and some of my backward N things too… ) BUT, it let me realize there really was nothing wrong with the other orientation – it is just a convention and subject to change.
Fast forward and a speed reading book later….
I now read without actually looking at the letters. Sometimes I’m just scanning the top half and the pattern of up-things and round-things tells me the word. I like fonts with serifs as I can key a word just from the pattern of bits with serifs on them and that orientation. UN-fortunately, I also now don’t really care the order of the letters inside the word so much, AND I’ve noticed in the last few years a tendency to “any vowel will do” ( eny vawal will du ) in a “shades of Semitic languages” moment… Great for reading, not so great for writing….
I had those same “visual to audio” translation issues early on, but got recruited as an algebra tutor at an early age and was forced to learn how to explain in words my very non-word processes, and then how to create linear methods for folks to follow (algorithms) since “just see the answer!” didn’t cut it ;-) Now, decades of programming later, that skill has been sharpened greatly. I’ll look at a thing, see the method, then sit down to the drudge work of turning it into painfully precise “words” of programming over a few hours… (Patience I have to excess ;-)
So, oddly, we are both very alike, and very different. I’m from your side of the fence, but just enough on their side to work both sides of the street… I think it is part of why I get so upset at the Education Establishment when it wants to shove everyone into the same damn wrong box.
Everyone is a unique set of abilities. Let them use what they have, don’t force them to play your limited set of skills. If a person is gifted at music, why on God’s earth force them to memorize pages of dead peoples screw-ups (that we call “history”) and the years of them? Let them be a Mozart, please! It’s like asking blind people to describe a painting or deaf folks to sing an opera. Just dumb. When, and it IS a when, you find someone who is auditory not visual, teach them via the auditory path. When someone is visual, not symbolic, don’t force them into a symbol world. More information flows faster via video and sound than via writing anyway. (Dr. Jack Horner is a stellar example of what can be done via a non-symbol path…)
The spouse has helped shape that understanding in me. She is a Special Ed. teacher. Her job consists of finding what “mode” works for a given child and then prescribing an education plan that uses that mode of learning to teach the child all they can learn. While some kids are just never going to go anywhere because they have too much missing; I’ve seen a steady stream of successes show up. Kids that in K-5 age ranges were failing, assessed and plans given, then eventually, years later, in come the stories: Graduated high school. Won on Jeopardy (a real case!), married with kids and a big job, etc. Folks who in prior years would have been chucked to the curb, now successful in life. So I’ve seen that it can be done.
One year she got a blind student. Next thing I know she’s learned Braille so she can help the kid with homework and such… Just amazing. So the deaf kids get sign, the blind kids braille, the dyslexic kids get training exercises and coaching and some verbal help. On it goes. And it works.
IMHO, what we are lacking is an all-verbal track. WHEN kids are identified as print-challenged, have a whole classroom of them where learning goes on, but verbal and video based. Still work on the reading / writing coping skills; but don’t stop educating just because of that. Essays can be presented orally. There’s no reason a person can not master a field just because the “symbol trick” doesn’t work for them. IMHO, it ought to be possible to earn a Ph.D. verbally.
@Larry; Thank you, Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.
Sometimes, after I reread my stuff I think ” Wow! this is well done”. And sometimes it is, “Even I find it a hard thing to read.” ;-) …pg
WRT dyslexia, do you (as I have) difficulty with new words — this difficulty being that they can be read and put into sentences when writing but I’m at a complete loss as to how they might be correctly pronounced? However once informed how to say the word it all seems easy and obvious.
I also find that my proof-reading skills are virtually non-existent as the words I write are not always the ones I (internally) read — character/symbols-to-words-to-sounds seems broken. Or maybe those cane welding teachers were correct and I’m just thick and inattentive.
Fascinating. I learned, as did my sister, how to read at a very young age. Grandparents would sit us on their lap or nearby and read to us. Then they’d have us read with them. Phonics was the fad back then, when first learning to read, though, in retrospect, that should have been called phonemics. That, by the way, was combined with spelling, where both were taught together. After memorizing the names of the letters, next letter groups were paired with their sound, as syllables. Then whole words were taught, followed by the exceptions. You were expected to memorize the exceptions. Then you were taught phrases and finally whole sentences. Later, in high school, you had the formal introduction to English grammar. Oh yes, we were encouraged to read dictionaries, at school and at home. If there was a family that was too poor, encyclopedias and dictionaries were shared. People would also give these away.
I have a hoard of words where I use them regularly in print but have no clue how to pronounce them. Another large batch I looked up in the dictionary to get an idea how to sound them. It was easier with old dictionaries that had “English like” pronunciation guides. The modern IPA script for pronouncing everything in the world is hopeless. ( I even formally learned it at one time in a linguistics class…) Essentially you must learn yet another alien language to find out how to pronounce your language. Sheesh.
As one (slightly embarrasing) example: When in high school I pronounced hover craft like Hoover vacuums… Made sense to me as they both blew a lot of air around… (only later did I learn to say h-of-er instead of h-who-ver).
One at a time over decades I’ve reduced the list, even while new words crawled onto it.
My proof reading was improved greatly by writing computer programs where any character difference is a big fail. Unfortunately, unless I force myself into that mode, I’ll be quite happy with “any word that’s close enough” to the goal. Close clouse clos or either iether ether or loose lose loos or … it’s along list of “much remember to check with deliberation”. (And that isn’t even counting the ‘other language related’ errors from other languages I’ve learned having alternatives that are valid. So using K for hard C or apartement appartment apartemant appartement apartment one of them is the right one I’m sure ;-)
Where it not for the red underline of spell checking I’d have at least one misspellign per sentence and likely three or four… (including ones like the inversion of n and g in the above mispelling, er misspelling…)
Once it’s close enough that i know what it is, why does it need to be closer to some idealized standard that wasn’t even in existence in English a few hundred years ago and is in conflict with usage in German and French (from which English derived…)?
That’s how my Mum taught me – then she was admonished by the teachers at school as they wanted use to have a pure phonetic load of crap that didn’t work well… I actually remember sitting on her lap in front of the dresser mirror as she told me that the teachers told her not to teach me but we were going to read together anyway…
FWIW, one of my favorite things to do after about age 8? was to read the dictionary & encyclopedia…
I have a head full of words that I read but can not pronounce as well as words that I speak and can not recognize in print. Some that I Know they are the same word, and still can not put them together.
When I was in grade school the teachers opinion was my problem was deliberately acting out or lazy and therefore they could change my behavior with punishment and drill. They did not correct the problem but they did make me HATE school work.
Others pointed out that my wonderful intellect was a waste. Because I could not communicate in writing, I was no better then the village idiot. When mother’s friends would comment about my intellect, she would brag that I was the dumbest of her 4 children. They got a lot better grades then I. ;-) …pg
It sounds like many of us here are on that spectrum. I in grade school hated spelling. I did not have dislexic issues with inverting letters much (although sometimes I had to ponder lower case d or lower case b) but I just cannot hear the difference in vowel sounds. As a result I have great difficulty spelling a word I seldom see in print but use all the time in verbal vocabulary. I have literally struggled for 10’s of minutes to get the right vowel combination for a word and the instant I get it right my brain says “of course” but seconds earlier I had absolutely no clue what vowel combination to use.
I am sure you have noticed my tendency to drop letters when typing posts, I very often use “the” where I intended “they” and simply do not notice I left a letter off. Even after proof reading the comment 2x I will post it and only after posting notice I typed a word twice or dropped a character or two.
It is also in computers that I finally realized that I am slightly dyslexic as I can look at a long command string knowing full well something is wrong with it and not be able to see the typo, and one of my co workers can glance over my shoulder and see the typo instantly..
I often work off of cheat sheets for that reason, I use note pad to record certain command strings which cause bad things to happen if miss-typed and use cut and paste rather than visual transfer from a process document to the screen. Same sort of thing with run on sentences I can happily create a sentence 5 lines long and not notice it is a run on sentence until after I post it.
Part of this I think is a legacy of speed reading as I see the entire thought not the individual words and punctuation, semi colon colon, comma or period – Ahh who cares close enough folks will know what I mean when the read it.
Spell correct has been both a huge boon for me and a curse. It is how I realized I have habitually misspelled some words for 30+ years, I also sometimes struggle with the algorithm to get a prototype word that is close enough to what I intend to get spell check to give me the right options.
Sometimes I get the spell check options and gleefully click the wrong word and just don’t notice.
Like my red-green colorblindness, I suspect 100% of the population is dealing with some of those afflictions and simply do not realize that what they think is ordinary is unique to them.
As a result spelling Nazi’s really piss me off – I don’t have time for their anal retentive nit picking, did you get the meaning of the sentence ? (select yes or no) if no I will state it again if yes move on and stop wasting my time.
Note that much of the Grammar Nazi crap is culturally determined.
300 years ago, English had no formal spelling. It’s a recent invention. I find I often use archaic spellings (as I’ve read a lot of olde stuff) and see nothing wrong with it. Recently, especially Microsoft spell checkers but others too, compound words that I KNOW are OK get flagged unless you divide them – so I’ll deliberately choose to leave it a compound.
In Polish, the “run on sentence” is considered a sign of high art form; so folks work, often for long periods, to construct that true masterpiece; the run-on of poetry and grace, circumnavigating the globe of thought then: at the end, reaching that exquisite moment of conclusion; when the final thought is presented, pristine yet fully elaborated (and the crowd goes wild!…)
So is that “wrong” or “right”? Eh? Or just something that ought to be a personal (cultural) style choice?
So every so often someone will get in my grill over some spelling thing and I’ll basically give them 10 minutes on the history of English and then they usually shut up… unless they want another 10 minutes ;-) including a Polish lesson ;-)
Also a lot of it is an excuse to dismiss your comments by assuming a spelling error indicates low intelligence. I know profoundly stupid people who are excellent spellers and have perfect grammar but could not construct a logical argument if you held a gun to their head.
Yup. Kind of gives me a chuckle when someone tries that on me, ’cause “I was tested” ;-)
Oddly, once I had my one class in Russian, the Я or “ya” is NOT related to the western R or RRRR sound and I no longer saw them as the same so no longer had any issue telling them apart.
I also noticed that I’d read things and not always notice they were upside down, or mirror reflected, or “through the window backwards”. Since I saw what the letter WAS, not the orientation of it…
In some ways, some kinds of “letter confusion” IMHO indicate MORE mental flexibility and skill, not less. At least it was for me.
A computer can spell perfectly, even an 8 bit one at 20 MHz… just sayin’ ;-)
My daughter was diagnosed as dyslexic. I think she got it from me. While I have not had any real problem with reading, I am atrocious at spelling and (as PG said I think), why I got into computers early (I wrote my own word processor back in 1981).
But with all these comments that preceded mine, I am surprised that no one posted this:
Ah, yes… spelling and grammar Nazis. I don’t say anything about typos with missing letters, or fat-fingers-one-letter-off, or missing words or just about anything as most errors are easy enough to decipher what the writer meant.
If I really can’t figure something out, I ask, and I give English as a second language writers wide latitude.
That said, I can’t pass up commenting on some typos that are really funny. Auto-corrupt comes up with some words that are often better than what the writer intended and I like to get a little humor mileage out of it. Some errors shove a funny mental image into mind and ya just gotta run with it.
It’s always my intent to share the humor of the typo or the word that ‘just missed’ and not to actually criticize the writer for the error.
But I implore all of you to blast me sky high out of the water if I ever go Spelling Nazi here. I’ll make jokes if it’s a fun error, but I hope to never find myself in that “Aren’t we just a little superior” mode (cf Dana Carvey’s Church Lady character) of the Spelling Nazi.
There’s no worries about humor with me.. Viciousness, yes, from whatever source and against anyone. But I say something like “I needed a screw in the bathroom and the wife wouldn’t give me one for the bath tub” and It’s open season on Mikey ;-) or “it was a real teat to see her again” (dropping an r… typo) and, well, trot out the Freud… (not the Fraud…)
The most recent example was teasing Larry over ‘beech’ in place of ‘beach’. It just begged for an oak joke and you got there first. If you hadn’t, I wood have. 😜
Knot a big deal we all know life can be a beech sometimes. All in good humor and no attempt to go against the grain or cause insult just a poke in the ribs to root out a good laugh.
You folks that remember things back when you were just starting to learn, you astonish me. I do not remember about learning things until 4th or 5th grade (together in one room). Art class. Draw a vase. I mis-connected the lower handle to the body. Teacher pointed that out, and that was an “of course!” sort of moment.
I don’t remember learning to read — but I must have, and no one (as I recall) suggested I was having trouble doing so. I don’t remember reading or much of anything else.
Then, in 9th grade my class had an open hour — study hall, in the small school library.
Top shelf had 3 feet of paperback Westerns; Zane Grey and others. Horses! Guns! I was off with a bang and at full gallop. Read all of those and started looking for more things to read.
My sister is 3 years older. When I want to know what went on in our childhood, I ask her.
Thanks for the reply, one of nephews (he’s worse than me) and one of my nieces have this problem. Nice to know they’re in good company with others of all ages.
One thing that this discussion has reminded me of is when I was a teenager I had a part-time job at a greengrocer shop. Part of my tasks each morning was to paint the prices of some of the fruit and vegetables on the inside of the window with white-wash, so that customers outside could see the prices. All done in backwards script using my left hand, and much to my and the shopkeepers amazement I had no difficulty with it. In fact over time I found it very easy, easier than normal writing. And no I’m not left handed but am quite ambidextrous.
@tom: Your backwards writing reminded me of a mild prank I learned in 5th grade from my oldest brother… and a classmate of mine.
If the room was empty, I would write on the blackboard, backwards letters and right to left, “Help! I am trapped behind this wall!” I found it easy to do and would also write other little eyebrow raising messages backwards. Then I’d wait for the reactions.
I’ve done that one all my life, even as recently as a few years ago at the place I retired from.
About that classmate: In the same class when I started doing that, it seems it set off this girl who started saying her name backwards and then anyone’s name backwards, and then all the words in any sentence pronounced backwards.
That one always amazed me. Writing backwards seemed trivial by comparison because I was just really only concerned with one letter at a time. Her little ‘talent’ required grasping whole words, reversing the letters in her mind, and then working out the pronunciation, which is difficult because some letter pairs don’t work out exactly right. She did all that at a normal speaking pace with no hesitation.
Fun memories. Thanks, Tom.
@John – I remember back to first grade. Not everything, just the high points. (I skipped KG). But then I was having fun. I have a sister a year younger (and 3 others, but I was closest to her) who I would bring home what I learned and teach it to her. I guess that is why I remember it. They say repetition is one of the best learning tools.
That continued until 4th grade. But I remember those teaching moments as they were the only time I could teach! :-)
@John F.: My own memories go back to about 2 years of age; possibly a little earlier because my older brothers can barely remember the same events to nail down my age at the time.
I was 2 years and 8 months old when my sister was born and I remember well the day she came home from the hospital. I have memories of a lot of events prior to her birth, as well as many memories of childhood prior to going to school.
My first kiss was at age 4 with [name redacted]. We saw our older siblings off to the first day of school. There was a red Radio Flyer wagon in her front yard with a blanket in it. We both got in the wagon, put the blanket over us, and we both agreed to have a go at a serious kiss. Neither of us liked it 😆. At our 20th H.S. reunion, she still remembered that day. It’s true, you never forget your first kiss.
I remember the names of all of my grade school teachers (and the school janitor and boiler operator, Mr. Carr) and the names – first and last – of many of my classmates and schoolmates from each year. That wasn’t all that hard to do since we lived in the same neighborhood or adjoining neighborhoods and saw each other and everyone’s siblings in and out of school.
My first clear memories are from about age 2-3, and I have one hazy memory from probably close to 18 months to 2 years from when my Dad was stationed overseas and my Mom, brother and I were stationed with him as dependents during the Korean war. He took us on a jeep tour of the island of Guam and one of the things he pointed out is still visible bomb damage from the war.
I have several memories from our time on Guam and near as I can pin it down we went over there when I was just about 18 months old and came back when I was about 2 1/2. I clearly remember coming under the golden gate bridge in SF harbor and the ride home to Colorado on the train, my brother and I spent a lot of time in the observation car glued to the windows on the train ride back.
I remember things from before school as well (I do not remember my sister’s birth, but then I was only a year old, but I do remember my brother’s birth – or when he came home from the hospital, and I was 2 years, 10 months old).
Human memories have an emotional component. Plus, they’re not like electronic or magnetic storage. Memories are re-created from bits and pieces, some of which require encoding, which are then replayed. That’s why repetition is important to forming solid long term memories and maintaining them. That’s also why physical damage or chemical interference impair recall or formation of memories.