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Walking on the (Future Is) Wild Side
Just got back from the field & museums, collecting earliest Pliocene
vertebrate and other fossils from my Pipe Creek Sinkhole site here in
Indiana (got lots of cool stuff, none of which will probably interest
most folks on this list), and comparing it with specimens in Idaho,
Nebraska, and Wyoming. I also did some footprint stuff in Wyoming.
Oodles of fun.
As one of the talking heads in the gussied up American version of
Future Is Wild, I thought I'd comment on the series. I've only seen one
of the programs, being too cheap to get cable TV capable of having
Animal Planet thereon.
My interviews were shot in a hotel room in Chicago. The director
showed me pictures from a book version of Future Is Wild, told me the
scenario, and asked me to comment on it. The idea was, here's what our
boffins have projected, and so what are your thoughts about it, etc.
So I gave it my best shot, where I thought I could do so. There were a
few scenarios that even I--an old SF fan from way back--considered so
out there and/or silly that I took a pass on saying anything about them.
A few times I had a tough time keeping a straight face in the things I
did say. Quite a hoot.
Of course, neither I nor any of the other talking heads had any control
over what the final look of the show would be like. And I groaned when
I saw the first program, and learned that pterosaurs gave rise to birds,
and that the future of our planet would be so severe to make life
thereon impossible for humans (which are like huge bipedal rats in their
adaptability) but not things like pine martins and wolverines.
And those odd little probes taking off from the mother ship....to quote
Pogo Possum: "Oog."
But I got a free overnight trip to Chicago out of the deal, along with
chance to do work at the Field Museum. The only debit was a severe blow
to my dignity, which by this point in my life and career has been rather