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Re: I'm wrong. - Long reply

Alex K.:

    As I'm sure you've read the post by Brandon Haist, I won't repeat what
he said, except to add that you can get information from this list that will
be applicable to your particular subset of uses (i.e. robotics with a
dinosaurian basis).

    You can ask questions regarding possible behavior, and what evidence we
have for that.  You can ask questions regarding the structure of particular
parts of specific dinosaurs (for example, the hip structure of
_Deinonychus_), and use that information to build your robots better.

    You may even be able to offer information back to the list - for
instance, if you build one of your models (let's say a _Triceratops_) to the
best specifications that you can get from the dinosaur artists and
scientists on (and off) this list, and discover that the supposed range of
motion of the forelimbs are not what other people think.  You might even be
able to turn your hobby's findings into a scientific paper!  As an example,
Nathan Myhrvold used computer modeling to show that sauropods may have used
their tails to produce extremely loud sounds - by cracking their tails like
a whip.  He presented a paper at the DinoFest Symposium this past April.
Nathan, who is not a dinosaur paleontologist by profession, did work with
one of the leading paleontologists (Phil Currie) on his paper.  Nathan also
has an advantage over most by having oodles of computer resources available
to him at his 'day' job (Microsoft).  If your robotic dinosaurs show
limitations or expansions of 'known' dinosaur behavior/movements, then you
might be able to convince someone on this list to work with you on a paper
for publication.

    From my impression of your previous postings, you have stated what you
intend to do with your club, and offered members of the list to join.  The
fact that you have no (or few) replies does not mean that no-one wants you
around, just that most of us are busy enough, and don't have time to spend
on a club.  I'm a computer consultant, and here it is 2:00 AM on 12/29/98,
and I'm writing dinosaur list email.  In 5 hours, I have to get started on a
1+ hour trip (60 miles - one way) to the office that I'm working at, in
order to try to get a system fully Year 2000 tested  - by the end of this
year!  (as they change the specifications and business rules).

    I'm trying to encourage you to stick to it on this list.  When people
ask about the best dinosaur paleontological references, check out the books.
(Either buy, or borrow from a library).  Look up the animals that you have
specific interests in.  If you then have specific questions about the animal
that you believe hasn't been fully answered by the reference books, then ask
a specific set of questions.  (Don't say - "I need all the information that
you can give me about the following list of animals").  You need to do some
of your homework first - some of that may entail reading the references
listed, or just reviewing some of the messages here on the list.  You will
definitely learn things on this list.  (Check out the Archives as well).

    If I wasn't involved with my work, and reading and conversing on this
list, and reading all my other books and magazines, and working on my own
dinosaur book, and running a Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers' workshop -
then maybe I'd have some time available to work with your bots.  Sorry, it
doesn't look like this lifetime will allow me the time.

    By the way, there are other people on the list who are your age (15),
and they found it a little rough to get on the right track with this list at
first.  With a little bit of effort to understand enough to ask a good
question, they are doing fine.  (As an additional aside, Andy Farke is 16
years old [I think], and he is well on his way to being one of the foremost
experts on _Torosaurus_ and _Triceratops_.  He gave a paper at the DinoFest
this past April [and 2 years before] - without any other paleontologist
being directly involved.  Andy can correct me if I've stated his situation

    A brief suggestion, once you have a picture of one of your bots up on
your web site, then send this list (and other lists, as you wish, of course)
a quick notice like:  "See my new robotic _Archaeopteryx_ on my website.
Send me comments to help improve it."  You will find that several people
will visit your site, and many will make helpful comments.  (Of course, if
you have several bots pictured on your site, then mention them).

    Good Luck,

        Allan Edels

-----Original Message-----
From: A.K.Giganotosaurus <alex@voyager.net>
To: dinosaur@usc.edu <dinosaur@usc.edu>
Date: Monday, December 28, 1998 11:58 PM
Subject: I'm wrong.

>Apparently, many people are so sick of me sending my messages about the
>xenobots, the hatcling dinosaurs, etc, that I'm guessing you don't want
>me around anymore.
>Fine. All you have to do is point me in the direction of a more
>open-minded list, I'll unsub, and be on my way.
>(I'm also wondering, do you consider other dino lists as competition?
>Just a thought...)
>Leonidus A.K. Giganotosaurus
>Dinosaurium, Xenorobotics & NWP: