Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Dinosaur hobbyist deserves serious props

Awesome dinosaur stuff!
First off - here's some sweet art inspired by the great Jurassic Park (1993).

Six Foot Turkey - Julia Vickerman

When Dinosaurs Ruled the Art World
Dinosaur art - the JP Exhibit (Just People) show dedicated to the people of the Jurassic Park film series. Sweet.

This segues to the man this post is named in honour of.

Paleontologists are bad-ass. Hobbyists are just as wicked.
Dinosaur hobbyist! Awesome collection!

I've argued before that paleontologists are so awesome that it was physically impossible that Ross Gellar was one. Here's more proof that dinosaurs are wicked.

Take Cameron O'Connor.

This guy is awesome. He has 250 dinosaur bones that he's been collecting for 18 years. Where does he get his bones? This 61-year-old role model literally funds his own paleontological digs. That's awesome. Unfortunately for me, no dinosaur bones have ever been discovered in Ontario, which sucks.

Anyhow, since 1993 he's been leading six friends across privately owned land in Harding County, South Dakota and three other digs in Montana. How bad-ass is this guy? He does all the digging by hand.

"A lot of people believe paleontology is this great romantic endeavor,” says O'Connor. “It’s backbreaking work... There are no machines helping, and in South Dakota the weather can be unbelievably hot and change in what seems like an instant.”

Whether the man with the Irish last name is baking or freezing in the bi-polar heat of South Dakota, ranging everywhere from an intense 103-degrees heat or frigid 11-degree evenings only 10 days later, he relents at nothing to get his fossils.

He's got Edmontosaurus bones, Tyrannosaurus Rex teeth, a Triceratops skull and horn (WHAT! Awesome!) and some coprolites and footprints. Pretty sweet.

What makes his hobby and growing collection even better is the genesis of how he got started:
“My wife is very supportive of me. She’s even the one who said, ‘If you like dinosaurs so much, why don’t you go learn how to dig for them?’”
Read that again. You can just TELL that his wife was being facetious, but he, fed up with her constant sarcasm and absence of support, instead invested in gear and land and brings back 250 giant solid rocks to "decorate" his house with. Awesome!

This guy is awesome!

Less awesome - overrated movies
While Jurassic Park was awesome, it can sometimes be overrated. Case in point, somewhere in England on the Internet, the 1993-classic has been considered Stephen Spielberg's greatest accomplishment to date, beating out films like E.T., Raiders of the Lost Arc, Jaws, Schindler's List, Saving Private Ryan and Catch Me If You Can.

I love dinosaurs - but you can't put Jurassic Park ahead of any of those movies. It's definitely the best Dinosaur movie of the bunch, but ... that's about it.

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