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IMO BETTY



(IMO = In Memory Of)

I cannot BELIEVE that Betty is no longer with us. I've been on DML 
since (I think) 1995 and she was a constant presence for all of that time 
- she was funny, smart, and one of a select elite who commented on my 
Star Wars quotes. I think it was earlier this week that she sent me a 
long list of jokes based loosely upon the theme of: if Star Wars was set 
in Scotland, what would it be like? Other examples of Betty's humour 
include the fact that she was amused by the technical terms used for the 
style of locomotion phocids use when on land (it's called humping) 
and the ritualised combat of male giraffes (it's called necking). Betty's 
contributions to some discussions, which included her views on how 
to hunt turkeys, how to make chickens run faster and what happens 
when baby geese fall off cliffs, were, for me, often the highpoints and, 
in hindsight, often the most intellectual. I'm sad now that I never 
thanked Betty for emailing me the stuff that she did. 

Perhaps above all Betty was amazing for the insatiable interest she 
displayed for science and many other areas. If you go back through her 
DML emails you will see a gradual change as she became increasingly 
more erudite on many matters palaeontological. Some months ago it 
did occur to me how she stands as a pretty good example of someone 
from a (I presume) non-academic background who has increasingly 
integrated themselves into a scientific discussion community. There 
really aren't many people outside of academic research who can do 
that. Betty also had committment - she joined SVP. Betty was an artist 
and what I've seen of her work - a running pair of sexually dimorphic 
dromaeosaurs were included in one of the Dinosaur Society journals - 
I liked.

I met Betty at the SVP meeting in Denver last year. I didn't get to talk 
to her much because I hung out with dropouts like Headden, Wagner, 
Pharris and Buchholz but I did join her for lunch one day - she spent 
her time talking to Dave Unwin and Glenn Storrs however, I guess she 
was too good for me:) I do have a few SVP photos featuring Betty and 
will fwd them to those who want to see them. After all, many of you 
never met her. Finally, I would ask those of you involved in palaeo-
research to seriously consider the idea of naming a new taxon after 
Betty - I'm sure she would find that both amusing and touching.

"None of us nor any blade of grass is alone; death and distinction 
are illusions of limited vision"

And a special one for Betty:

"If this is a consulate ship, where is your ambassador?"

DARREN NAISH 
PALAEOBIOLOGY RESEARCH GROUP
School of Earth, Environmental & Physical Sciences
UNIVERSITY OF PORTSMOUTH
Burnaby Building
Burnaby Road                           email: darren.naish@port.ac.uk
Portsmouth UK                          tel: 01703 446718
P01 3QL