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Re: dinosaur flatware
Karen Seo wrote (01/10/96; 12:02p):
>Could you help with the following questions or give me any leads? It's
>not a scientific, research or teaching problem, but I'd appreciate any
>advice you could provide.
>I'm working on making some dinosaur flatware. I.e., I'm making silver
>dinosaurs (bas relief) that will be soldered onto the handles of
>spoons/forks/knifes so I'll end up with a stegosaurus place setting, a
>triceratops place setting, etc. I've completed several dinosaurs so
>far, but have run into problems with "fitting" certain dinosaurs onto
>the limited area of a fork/spoon/knife handle. In particular, any
>dinosaurs that are about as tall as they are long (counting tail) when
>shrunk end up with the heads/details being really tiny. Getting around
>this raises the following questions. (Please ignore the issue of whether
>a given creature is a "dinosaur)
I'm impressed by the care you are taking to make the images on the
flatware handles scientifically accurate. Could you call this
"Reptileware," or "Prehistoric Monsterware," or something else than
"Dinosaurware"? I know you said to ignore the issue of whether the
animals really are dinosaurs. BUT I CAN'T!
Now I'm probably sounding like the stern professor I am, but one of the
biggest challenges I face is convincing people that pterosaurs,
mosasaurs, plesiosaurs, ichthyosaurs, and pelycosaurs (e.g.,
_Dimetrodon_) are NOT dinosaurs. I explain to my students what these
animals are, and also what dinosaurs are, and emphasize the differences.
I even TELL the students that I will ask T/F questions on the exams
relating to that very issue, such as "T or F, mosasaurs are dinosaurs."
I tell them to expect such questions while I am lecturing on the topic,
and again during the review sessions just before exams. Still, 10-20% of
students miss those questions. They just can't get it! The reason, I
think, is the ingrained popular notion that any large, extinct reptile is
a dinosaur. People learn this as children, and what people learn as
children is likely to stay with them.
IT'S DRIVING ME CRAZY!
So, keep up the good work on anatomical accuracy, but please also
consider finding a way to use scientifically accurate terminology when
you label them.
Norman R. King tel: (812) 464-1794
Department of Geosciences fax: (812) 464-1960
University of Southern Indiana
8600 University Blvd.
Evansville, IN 47712 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org