Tuesday, December 18, 2007

In which I get my first copy of JVP...

Me: "Oh...this is so exciting! It's like paleontologist pornography!"

J: pointing to a figure in the journal..."Is that a coprolite?"

Me: "No...that's part of a skull."

5 comments:

Zach Miller said...

Damn you, Amanda! :-) If I had $200 just lying around, I'd subscribe, too! Wait a second. If I want to go to SVP, I have to come a member, don't I? Which is $200...and incidentally gets you a subscription to JVP.

*shakes fist at sky*

Amanda said...

Hmmm...well, are you a student at all? 'Cause that'll get you the student membership rate, which is only $60.

You don't have to become a member to go to the conference...it'll just cost more. But you don't have to be a member...

You really have to go to the conference. It's going to be an insanely good time.

Julia said...

As we're going to have a bloggers' get-together in Cleveland you HAVE to come!

Your post reminds me of Paul exploring the geology of the Yorkshire Dales with me a few years ago...

P: What's that rock then?
J: Concrete.

Or his experience on the beach at Southend-on-Sea...

P: That's a funky-looking sea-shell.
J: It's a plastic bottle cap.

The important thing is that they're trying!

Jerry D. Harris said...

The important thing is that they're trying!


Let me tell you two tales of a nascent, budding young geoscientist with paleontological aspirations making a complete and utter moron of himself while learning valuable life lessons:

(1) While collecting in the Morrison Formation near Canon City, CO back in the early '90's, another student and I stumbled across a small deposit of small clam shells weathering out of a low outcrop, each about the size of a thumbnail and bleached a kind of vaguely yellowish off-white. We gathered a small baggie of them and toted them back to the trip paleontologists, who promptly identified them as someone's discarded pistachio nut shells.

(2) Whilst on a field geology mapping exercise near Lyon, CO, in a contorted mass of Cretaceous marine rocks (which are mostly drab grays and black), a squall moved in and sent us all running for the van. On the way, in a small, open gap, we found a large, white crystalline rock, very unlike anything around us. We scooped it up and brought it back to the van with us and immediately began applying all the geological knowledge our little undergraduate minds had been taught, trying to figure out what it was and how it got in the middle of all these marine rocks. When the teacher finally showed up, we showed it to him and gave him all our hypotheses and justifications for those hypotheses. In response, he informed us "You know what this is? It's a cow's salt lick. Now go put it back where you found it!"

MORALS OF THE STORIES: A little knowledge is a dangerous thing if applied untempered by common sense. In other words, Be wary of becoming fixated by a particular subset of ideas! ("Be mindful of your focus, young padawan...")

Amanda said...

(Just so y'all know, J was joking about the corprolite bit)

Jerry: I look forward to making mistakes like those...well, I'm not really looking forward to them, but I am looking forward to having the opportunity to make mistakes in the field.