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Re: The Pre-History Channel

Kent Stevens responded to the message that I sent him yesterday.
Although he's not subscribed to the DML, he still reads the archives,
so if you comment on tonight's show, he will likely see your message.
As a prequel:

    Regarding the History Channel show, I've no clue whether they will
    push deeper into vision science than just rehashing the "was
    beady-eyed _T. rex_ just a scavenger?" line of questioning.  I was
    approached by two producers at the History Channel, asking to recreate
    for their show the method I published in JVP for estimating binocular
    vision (using Garfield Minott's sculptures on one side of a glass
    plate, me on the other, a marking pen, and a laser simply to
    illuminate the eye).  I told them that this inverse perimetry
    procedure been videoed several times before (by Discovery and BBC),
    but that didn't dissuade them.  They only wanted to address _T.  rex_
    vision, and not all the cool stuff I had prepared to discuss in the
    interviews, such as the broader issues of binocular depth perception
    in modern birds and reptiles versus mammals, the tradeoff between
    maximizing total (primarily monocular) field of view versus the region
    of binocular overlap, and the role of monocular versus binocular
    vision in ambush versus pursuit predation, modern models for each, and
    lots more.  I have no idea how deep they will go into discussing
    vision per se, but I expect there will be lots of dramatic shots of
    red laser beams and those "beady" _T. rex_ eyes.  (I ended up inhaling
    more than enough of that nasty oil vapor used to create a fog so that
    the laser beam would show up.)  Oh, and I animated some cranial morphs
    for them, which might look pretty spiffy.  But as I killed my TV some
    years ago, I'll have to wait for the DVD.  But I look forward to
    hearing reactions to the show.

Mickey P. Rowe     (mrowe@lifesci.ucsb.edu)