Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Master Splinter Goes to Plan B

Master Splinter named them after the greatest Renaissance artists, to no avail.

Spring Chickens

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Sunday, April 28, 2013

Tomb of the Undead: Rudderless - Pages 152 - 153

And yet another scene for Tomb of the Undead, updated in its entirety just this morning:

In the past, Dustin Mugabe opens up to the Sadducees who in turn adopt him into their family, in Rudderless.

Tomb of the Undead: Dinner Time - Pages 150 - 151

Check out the latest scene I updated today from Tomb of the Undead.

Running out of options, Mugabe begins to realize what he may have to do to get results for his superiors in Dinner Time.

Friday, April 19, 2013

No. 1 - - Stegosaurus of Colorado

[1] Colorado – Stegosaurus (1982)
shortly after this image was captured, the stegosaurus thagomized Kenny to death.

The coolest state dinosaur is definitively the Stegosaurus.

It looks cool, it’s a total classic and it’s covered in awesome and mysterious plates and spikes. Hailing in many instances from the Morrison Formation, some of which is in Colorado, around 80 samples of stegosaurus have emerged, giving paleontologists a lot of information to work with.

Stegosaurus’ weapon of choice is the Thagomizer, which is the actual name of its four-spiked tail. “Teeth,” “claws” and “horns” aren’t anywhere close to as cool as “thagomizer.”

Also, Colorado deserves wicked points for being a pioneer in naming an official state fossil by doing so in 1982, years before any of its contemporaries.

Stegosaurus is the largest of the stegosaurs, and adapted the awesome thagomizer and rows of plates by the mid-to-late Jurassic era, 150 million years ago, ages before ceratopsians became proficient in adapting horns and frills as deterrents from predators.

Hands down, the best official state dinosaur is stegosaurs.



Thursday, April 18, 2013

Hannibal - - Amuse-Bouche

Will assists Jack Crawford on an unusual case in which a killer buries his victims live to grow mushrooms; Hannibal slowly reels Will in.

Of course we know that Lecter in fact alerted Hobbs of the FBI's approach, leading to an ambush, where Graham was required to fire 10 bullets into his "victim." Graham feels Lecter is his "paddle" if he fails to repair a boat's motor, when we know that it's the paddle that's sabotaging the motor, so it can gain the repairman's trust.
The crux of the episode falls in its final moments, as Hannibal finally begins to earn Graham's trust, as Will opens up about his dark feelings.

Until this point, Will has been guarded and unsociable, but Lecter's manipulations have led Graham down a path where he's relying on a confidant to trust - - and of course it's misplaced in the hands of a man like Lecter.

Twice we see Graham trust in Lecter rather than Crawford or Bloom. When Graham sees a vision of Garrett Jacob Hobbs at a crime scene, Lecter asks if Graham told Crawford, which Will answers: "God no." Later, when Alana is asking Will how he feels, he simply responds: "good," which I think we can infer isn't the whole truth - - though he may have felt good in that moment at the hospital.

What Lecter divines from Graham is a great fear that killing is an acquired taste, and Graham likes it. 

In Star Wars terms, Lecter is luring Graham to the dark side, showing how his gift endows him with great power, which can be cultivated into greater power.

"It wasn't the act of killing Hobbs that got you down, was it? Did you really feel so bad because killing him felt so good," Lecter inquires.

Graham stammers his admission: "I liked killing Hobbs."

Then Lecter lays the bait:
Lecter: Killing must feel good to God, too. He does it all the time, and are we not created in his image?
Graham: Depends on who you ask.
Lecter: God's terrific, he dropped a church room on 34 of his worshipers last Wednesday night in Texas, while they sang a hymn.

Graham: God felt good about that?

Lecter: He felt powerful.
This begs the question, to what ends is Hannibal leading Graham down this path?

"You Used Me"

A mysterious voice has thrown interpretation of this episode in flux for me - - not sure what to think.

I couldn't figure this part out, but I rewatched the episode specifically to crack this mystery - - and it's Arron Abram's character's voice. Throughout the Lounds-Crawford confrontation, there is a steady shot on Abrams in clear focus - - he's clearly the insider that provided Lounds with all her details, both about Graham's psychiatrist appointment times as well as the Shrike case details.

His character's name is "Brian Zeller," though I'm positive nobody has said that on the show yet.

I can't imagine that Lounds is paying Zeller to offer information, so they must have some sort of romantic relationship - - so look forward to seeing more of that in the emerging season!

Of course, Lounds publication leads to a fun vis-a-vis between Crawford and Lounds.

Constitutional Changes in Will Graham

 There's a lot of history in our characters that needs to be fleshed out anew in the franchise reboot - - anything learned about any character in the films or novels is not yet applicable in the show, so any details shared with the viewers are important steps to learning who these characters are once again.

In Graham's past we learn he used to work in homicide, has never killed a man, and a significant stab wound has required him to entirely alter his shooting stance to the "weaver" position rather than the "isosceles."

Obviously being recruited by Crawford has led to a constitutional change in Graham, which is concerning to Crawford, which is best expressed when he says:
"The reason you currently used to work homicide is because you didn't have the stomach for pulling the trigger - - you just pulled the trigger 10 times."
And the consequences of his lethal encounter with Hobbs may be affecting the Graham's empathetic gift that Hannibal and Crawford treasure so much.

Graham's first concern is in being haunted by the vision of Hobbs throughout his daily routines - - Graham feels he may have "brought something back" after killing him.

There is some concern in Hannibal that Graham's gift may be losing some of its precision - - "Is it harder imagining the thrill that someone else feels killing now that you've done it yourself," Hannibal asks.

Graham can only nod, as he begins to open up to Lecter.

Then Lecter proves his incisive insights are at the centre of their suspects' profile. Hannibal immediately shares with Graham that the structure of a fungus mirrors that of the human brain, an intricate web of connections.

This guides Graham back onto the correct path to identifying their suspect.

Whatever fears Lecter has of Graham's reductions in his special abilities, Graham proves he's "still got it," when he's able to divine Stammet's latest victim in the truck of his car, going directly to it after they discovered Stammets wasn't at the pharmacy.

His imagination must have been working fairly well to make a beeline from the trunk release latch.

More Wonderful Imagery

Broken ponies
To paraphrase:
Lecter:Are you not accustomed to broken ponies in your stable.
Crawford: You think Will is a broken pony? 
Lecter: I think you think Will is a broken pony - you ever lost a pony Jack? I want to understand why you're so delicate with Will - because you don't trust him or because you're afraid of losing another pony?
Crawford: I've already had my psych eval.
Lecter: Not by me, you've already told me about your mother, why stop there?

The massive elk with a feathery flanks that showed itself to Will while he was in the shower in the first episode makes a second appearance, linked to the approach of Dr. Alana Bloom. It's a scary and intimidating animal, but not yet threatening to Will.

Alana Bloom's deceptions

This isn't as insidious as it sounds, but she's definitely being defensive with Graham. Most noticeably when she arrives at Abigail's hospital room and reads to her. Graham awakens and remarks:  this is as close to being alone in a room together as they've ever been.

She says she hasn't noticed - though had a whole conversation about the topic to Crawford in the previous episode. So she's hiding something from him, mostly about herself - perhaps she's hiding her discomfort for being alone with Will, because he can understand her feelings so easily, perhaps?

Perhaps she wants to avoid him feeling obligated to open up to her? I'm not sure.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

No 2 - - Triceratops of Wyoming

[2] Triceratops – Wyoming (1994) 

While not as awesome as stegosaurus, Wyoming has the second best official state dinosaur with the massive triceratops. At 12 tons and up to 9 metres in length, it was a badass monster with a massive skull (among the largest of all terrestrial animals) the largest of which is 2.5 metres in length, making the skull half the size of a stegosaurus - - and that’s just triceratops’ skull!)

Hailing from the Hell Creek formation, 38 skulls of this classic monster have helped make it one of the most famous and well-known dinosaurs of all. And believe it or not, back in the 1800s, the horns were initially believed to belong to a “large and unusual bison,” if you can believe it.


Friday, April 12, 2013

No 3 - - Hadrosaurus of New Jersey

[3] Hadrosaurus – New Jersey (1991)

A classic choice

It was discovered in the Woodbury Formation in New Jersey, which is now an American national historic landmark. The nearly complete skeleton provided limbs, dozens of vertebrae, teeth, a pelvis and bits of the feet and some of the jaw.

That’s a remarkable find – and well worth honouring your state by making it the official fossil. Excellent choice, just not the “coolest” dinosaur you could possibly name, though the “high quality” factor is definitely there.

In 1868 it was the first dinosaur skeleton ever mounted (even though it was missing a skull – and to this day is STILL missing a skull).

As I understand it, this is the first and only discovery of its kind, and though there have been other relative species discovered throughout North America, the high quality and early identification of hadrosaurus has made it a famous and historic addition to the fossil record.

Excellent choice for a state fossil.


Thursday, April 11, 2013

Tomb of the Undead: Aide Demandee - Pages 148 - 149

A new scene for Tomb of the Undead is up and ready to go when you are. Check it out!

Dustin Mugabe recalls when he was need in help in Aide Demandee.

No. 4 - - Astrodon of Maryland

[4] Astrodon – Maryland (1998)

Named after its star-shaped teeth, you probably wouldn’t even see those chompers when you came across an astrodon because they’d be 9 metres up in the frickin’ air! This behemoth brachiosaurid is presumed to have rocked upwards of 20 tons, though considered medium-sized in terms of sauropods.

The specimens were discovered in the Arundel Formation in Maryland back in the 1859 making it one of the earliest discovered dinosaurs in North America ever and the first discovered in Maryland.

That’s pretty cool – plus, Maryland sort of “snagged” the state fossil away from Texas, in a round-about unintentionally sort of way.


Wednesday, April 10, 2013

No. 5 - - Pleurocoelus of Texas ... or is it Paluxysaurus?

[5]Pleurocoelus – Texas (1997)/maybe Paluxysaurus?

So … this is an awkward situation. It sounds like Texas adopted the Pleurocoelus (a brachiosaurid) back in ’97, but paleontologists “screwed up Texas’s plans” by suggesting that Pleurocoelus is actually an already identified species called Astrodon, which Maryland adopted as their own state fossil in ’98.

This means, for a few years, Texans were happy to have the 15-ton obscurity representing their state, until they learned that they’d adopted a species that might actually be a different species that someone else had already staked a claim to.

“Well, shit,” thought Texas. *

 *I’m speculating and paraphrasing

So since 2009 Texas has been mulling over the idea of replacing Pleurocoelus/Astrodon with Paluxysaurus, which is kind of neat, in terms of its placement in sauropod evolution (if Texans believe in that sort of thing).

Paluxysaurus is believed to represent the evolutionary turning point between brachiosaurids and titanosaurs, which were the lineage of sauropods that would survive until the extinction event that ceased the existence of all dinosaurs shortly thereafter.



Sunday, April 7, 2013

Tomb of the Undead: I'm All Ears - Page 147

There's a new scene posted up on the Tomb of the Undead ready when you are. I hope you're enjoying the latest act and some of the stylistic changes I've incorporated.

Dustin Mugabe implores Dr. Miller to provide some answers in I'm All Ears.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Hannibal - - Aperitif

Aperitif - - FBI criminal profiler Will Graham is asked to consult on a case.

This show is insane.

My first impressions of Hannibal comes down to it being a bit of a "thinker" with a lot of different folks all psychologically trying to manipulate each other - - like "The Mentalist" but with four Patrick Janes, each with their own psychopathic tendencies. Of course, while Hannibal is new to television, Patrick Jane and Red John are of course homages to the Hannibal character himself. Right down to the memory palace Jane keeps talking about (that's outlined in eerie detail in the novel "Hannibal.")

The show is cool and the characters are twisted, damaged and fascinating. The monster that lies just beneath is only merely beneath the surface in the faces of William Graham, Hannibal Lecter and Jack Crawford. Pretty cool.

SPOILERS for Aperitif - -

Meeting Will Graham 

We meet Will Graham, a special agent who was denied entry to the FBI due to its strict screening procedures, which detect instability. He's highly regarded for writing the "Standard Monograph on the Time of Death by Insect Activity."

We learn right off the hop that he is anti-social by preference, and has "hitched his horse" to a post closer to Asperger's and autistics than narcissists and sociopaths. He can empathize with anyone, avoids eye contact whenever possible and can feel how others feel, no matter how much their perspective conflicts with his world view.

The most defining and believable insights we receive from Doctor Lecter, who says: I imagine what you see and learn touches everything else in life, your values and decency are present yet shocked at your associations - - appalled by your dreams."

Will says he puts up "forts" to separate and protect himself from the fearful insights he divines from the psychopaths he empathizes with, however, Lecter says these forts inhibit his ability to find joy in life.

"No forts in the bone arena of your skull for things you love," says Lecter. This probably makes an interesting comparative allusion between Hannibal's "mind palace" that we'll certainly hear about in the future. Will has built "forts," rick-shack bastions of values and decency which render him incapable of loving.

Certainly, Hannibal will see this as an opportunity to mentor Will into compartmentalizing his feelings - - which of course will only lead to complete sociopathic indifference, if done to an extreme. We can almost feel in this early scene Lecter savoring the game he's already planning for Will, and Will is too defensive about the sudden psychoanalization to realize it.

The nod to Bruce Banner's inner demons suggests the psychotic fragility we may expect from Graham - - and the monstrous snapping points that might be lurking just below the surface.

Otherwise, we learn he lives in Wolf Trap, Virginia - - where he takes in stray and run-away dogs, and takes great care of them. Bathing, naming and obviously connecting with them as an alternative to complicated psyches of the people in his life - whom he fervently avoids.

I'm still not entirely sure what wrapping himself in towels rather than bedsheets in the night means, perhaps other than his nightmares are so continuous and prevalent that he sweats through his clothes when he dreams, no doubt out of fear from what his mind relentlessly shows him.

Will's Psyche the Plot Device

Will Graham is a mystery - - and he prefers to stay that way. But I have a feeling Jack Crawford is hellbent on opening up Graham's mind and putting it on display for the academic world to see. Crawford's spastic outbursts and single-minded focus on identifying what Graham is could be disastrous for everyone involved. And I think Crawford might be very much like Hannibal in the early goings, where they're both manipulating and provoking Will, trying to let loose the Hulk.

For Hannibal, it's a game, amusement, it's the pleasure of creating a monster. For Crawford, it's another academic and professional accomplishment, dissecting, identifying and displaying just another psychopath in his ghoulishly titled Evil Minds Research Museum. 

Special Agent Jack Crawford who leads the Behavioral Science Unit makes a career of psychologically profiling disturbed people. It's his passion, and perhaps even his flaw. After asking for Dr. Alana Bloom from Georgetown to perform a psych profile on Graham, she reveals how delicate and challenging the task will be for Crawford.

"Anything scholarly on Will Graham will have to be published posthumously," Bloom says. Graham deals with huge amounts of fear, which is the price of his imagination.

How seriously might Crawford take this advice? Might he intentionally put Graham in harms way, to gain his posthumous psych profile?

Crawford's Critical Flaw?

Crawford shows his commanding and threatening nature when Graham is uninterested in taking on the Elise Nichols case - - specifically because working a case means he's got to work with people, the primary obstacle in Will's sensitive life. 

From dismissively agreeing he enjoys urinal cakes to flipping his lid at some dude who was already seconds away from wetting his pants, Crawford is demonstrating he's hellbent on adding complicated psyches to his Evil Minds Museum.
Bloom says she won't perform the psych eval because she admires and respects Graham too much. So much so that she has respected his anti-social behavior to the point of never having been alone in a room with him before, despite them being friends - - I think we can infer that they're friends? Perhaps as friendly as Graham can be with anyone.

So Bloom refers Crawford to Hannibal Lecter, who was Bloom's mentor while she was an intern at the highly prestigious Johns Hopkins Hospital. Lecter says he learned just as much from her as she learned from him, and we have to wonder if he's being sincere. I don't know that we've seen Hannibal lie at all to anyone, and certainly he seems precise and intentional about what he says - - I think we have to believe that Bloom has in fact taught Hannibal a great deal - though we can't imagine what just yet.

Crawford's interactions with Lecter prove that he is willing to concede to flattery to help get his own way - - and perhaps this will prove to be one of Lecter's character flaws (that he succumbs to flattery, though we all know that flattery should get you nowhere, right?). Not to drag too much mythos from the other movies and books, but Hannibal's "intellectual vanity" is open for manipulation, sometimes.

So we see Crawford engaging once again in manipulative tricks to gain the psych profile he wants so badly.

Through their brief encounters, Lecter observes (correctly I'm sure) that "Uncle Jack" Crawford views Will Graham as a "fragile little teacup" and as the "fine china useful only for special guests."

Dr. Lecter Peeking Behind the Curtain

The secret to a great show is a great antagonist that people really love. Our latest version of Lecter is unlike any that we've ever seen before. He's not a known criminal, he's not on the lamb escaping, hiding from the FBI, hired assassins, deranged past-victims or Nazi turncoats - he's a prestigious and honored contributor to his field and delights in the precision and exactitude that gives him free reign in the world.

He's utterly uninhibited from doing anything he'd like to do - - we're getting a peek at a pure representation of Hannibal Lecter. 

Attention to detail, precision and artistry have been carefully honed; these are skills that earned him an internship at Johns Hopkins Hospital. He even finds ways to make his instruments more poignant and effective, like using a scalpel to sharpen his pencils, because traditional sharpeners can't provide the accurate tip necessary to express himself.

Beautiful, lavish meals and classical music with a careful attention to what he puts in his body - - he prepares all his meals himself, of course.

My favourite Lecter moments are always his riddles and metaphors. They are filled with beauty, mortality and insight - - and it's thrilling to think we'll get a taste of that every week now that this is a serialized television show.

You have to convince yourself the lion is not in the room. When it is, I assure you, you will know.
Lecter's interest in Graham is an interseting one, and I think we're only getting a taste of the game he's ready to play with this unique and mysterious special agent of the FBI. Lecter is immediately credited as the author of the paper "Evolutionary Origins of Social Exclusion," by Crawford - - which suggests that Hannibal believes people have perfected the mechanisms to socially organize themselves with the purpose of excluding others - - another type of "fort" if you will - - to protect ourselves from the strange and unknown.

Graham presents a new case for Lecter. Graham is an one-man wolf pack (from Wolf Trap, VA, remember) who's perhaps proving he's doomed to extinction because he resists the social organization that's propagated the human race.

Lecter, let's be certain, has not been manipulated by Crawford to take this case on - - he's taken it on because Will is a fascinating new opportunity for Lecter on several different levels. First is this new game he's playing with Will - - and let's be clear, by being "close" to the case, he was able commit a copy-cat murder that was instrumental in leading Graham to the real killer. Then, just as they identified their killer, Hannibal tips him off putting Will in harm's way. 

"I see you as the snake I want under the house when the snakes slither by," Lecter says to Will Graham. He sees that Will has all the capacity necessary to lash out - - even if others believe he's too fragile or unstable. It's an empowering and mysterious observation, but revealing of Lecter's motivations. 

Lecter and Graham have only met twice to this point - once at the FBI and then again to explore Minnesota looking for clues - - and Lecter immediately is able to wield Graham like a weapon, pumping an entire clip of ammo into their suspect.

I have to think Will Graham had never killed anyone before - and after one full day of being Lecter's plaything, Graham is covered in blood, blowing bad guys away.

It's the exact situation that Alana Bloom feared for Will - - the forts and compartments in his mind, the madness he empathizes with, she fears, is a slippery slope. He is fully capable of blowing a man away by separating his values and decency with the other things he feels.

Bloom may very rightly fear that with the proper provocation, Will might bury his values and decency too deep to be retrieved, leaving who knows what type of monster on the loose.

And no doubt, this is Lecter's interest in this whole situation - - but there are some valuable fringe benefits to working alongside Will Graham and the FBI: the opportunity to peek behind the curtain, as he puts it.

"I'm curious how the FBI conducts business when it's not kicking in doors," he says. No doubt, he's getting an inside view of how they operate, which will be priceless considering he's an unflinching cannibalistic serial killer, right.

He'll know what the FBI knows, he'll know their procedures, he'll know their investigators - perhaps all information that will make him more bold in committing his own crimes.

After Lecter commits the copycat murder, Graham can read the crime scene and makes an insightful observation about Lecter, though they'll never know it.  The second killer was the complete opposite of "the Shrike." The copycat felt no love or mercy for the victim - - he felt the girl was a pig.

Graham called the copycat an intelligent psychopath, a sadist. "He'll be hard to catch with no traceable motive, no patterns."

Lecter probably committed the crime to inspire Graham. Will called the copycat a "negative" or relief of the other crimes which helped him see the original case more clearly.

The Battle for Will Graham's Soul has Begun

He's scared, fragile, unstable, antisocial and compartmentalizes his decency and values so he can completely understand how someone could murder eight college girls, eat them, and leave no trace of their abductions behind because of anxiety stemming from impending empty-nest syndrome.

Graham is the battleground, his soul is what's at stake - - Lecter and Crawford are chomping at the bit to open him up and see what Will is capable of. Bloom seems to be his guardian, hoping to protect him from the dangerous and probing fingers of those who would want to "study" him.

And it's only going to get worse for Graham, I'm certain, as Dr. Frederick Chilton will emerge on the scene, as well as the antagonizing Freddy Lounds.

Obviously, this show is going to be insane.

Friday, April 5, 2013

No. 6 - - Hylonomus of Nova Scotia

[6] Hylonomus – Nova Scotia (2002)

This isn’t a dinosaur, in fact it’s a small reptile from the Precambrian era, 312 million years ago, ages before the dinosaurs evolved. This could, in a very liberal sense of the word, make Hylonomus the great grand father of dinosaurs, though probably not in any literal or figurative way.

Only 20 centimetres long and not even a dinosaur, this is still Canada’s greatest “state” fossil because it is Canada’s only state fossil, located in the fossilized, club-moss stumps of Joggins, Nova Scotia.

Now, let’s be clear, Canada finds ways to honour its dinosaurs in more scientific ways. Rather than adopting a cool fossil as its official provincial fossil, they instead name the cool fossils after the province (or a big city in the province) which is why we have the wicked-cool Albertasaurus, Edmontonia, Albertaceratops and Edmontosaurus.

British Columbia had a competition back in 2010 to vote for a fossil to be recognized as one of the province’s official symbols, and there was a strong “elasmosaurus lobby” to honour the serpentine aquatic reptile.

I can’t find a single result to come from this competition, but the list of nominees for the competition can be found here.

In any case, none of these nominees are dinosaurs, just as hylonomus isn't, too.

The countdown will resume next Wednesday - tune in then!



Thursday, April 4, 2013

No. 7 - - Hypsibema of Missouri

[7] Hypsibema – Missouri (2004)

If you’re going to have your state officially identify with a fossil of some sort, you’d think you’d go with something you feel represents your state in some way. Well, Missouri hasn’t let that get in the way of naming their state fossil in Hypsibema.

Is it a big hadrosaur? Is it a sauropod? Paleontologists just aren’t entirely sure, as the fragmented material that makes up the holotype for Hypsibema is still classified as “dubious.” However, the fossils are most currently considered to be those of a hadrosaur, thanks to some of Jack Horner’s work.

Though it was primarily identified by its teeth, the name suggests that it walked “high” on its “toes,” which in Greek is “hypsibema” which frankly, they probably didn’t do either.

Makes you wonder what they were thinking - - was North Carolina about to name it their own state fossil, so Missouri swooped in and nnnyoinked it away from them? Nya nya na nyaaa nya?



Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Ontario Hasn't a Single Dinosaur to its Name

Growing up, I had absolutely no understanding of the geological composite of the great province of Ontario. The Canadian Shield, mantle and solid rock that makes it a wondrous world of farmlands that recede into elementally furtive boreal forests, moraines, escarpments and eventually tundra meant nothing to me.

That there’s never been a dinosaur discovered in a province that’s so rich is so many ways, with fresh water, farmlands and minerals like gold, nickel, copper, zinc, silver and cobalt, was completely unknown to me.

Which meant digging a deep hole in my parents’ backyard when I was a kid, well into the water table, was a viable dinosaur hunting past time. Every big rock I came across, protected by the bothersome deciduous roots that interfered with my descent, struck a hope that I’d found a fossil.

(I’m fairly certain I broke at least one shovel levering hunks of wet clay from the bottom of that hole – sorry dad).

I pulled a bunch of fist-sized reddish hunks of rock out of the ground, and might have even hung on to some of them, though they’d all be gone by now.

In any case, many years later, I can only admit that it was all a fantasy, no matter how seriously I took it. Ontario just isn’t constructed in a way that will reveal any dinosaur bones. I’ve come to terms with that … finally.

It’s something that Ontario just doesn’t get – BUT other places have embraced their dinosaurs by naming them the official fossils of their states (an in a very few instances, their official provincial fossil as well).

What are some of the coolest state fossils out there?

I am ranking them from worst to best, beginning with No. 8:

[8]Capitalsaurus (1998)

I have this dinosaur ranked as the worst state fossil, and leave it to D.C. to celebrate and commemorate the hell out of the most insubstantial, unimportant, banal discovery in paleontology. Seriously, nobody puts lipstick on a pig like Washington.

In 2001, “capitalsaurus” received its own official day, January 28. It has its own theme song “Them Dino Bones” and there is a block between First and F, Southeast, which has been renamed “Capitalsaurus Court.”

If only all states could honour their official fossils with this much pomp and vigour. While there’s an A for effort, this is the most stupid dinosaur to name as the District of Columbia’s official fossil. Why’d they even bother?!

What made this a good idea? I can’t start off my feelings on this official state fossil in any better way than Michael Gaynor from the Washingtonian put it:

“Unfortunately this specimen was used to try and name a new genus, ‘Capitalsaurus,’ in honor of the nation’s capital,” the Smithsonian website says. “This is not scientifically justified, and the name ‘Capitalsaurus’ has no validity.”

Working with students from two local elementary schools, he [local paleontologist Peter Kranz] presented his findings to the council. It was there that Capitol Hill’s own (maybe) dinosaur benefited from the once-thought-extinct act of political compromise, and the Official Dinosaur Designation Act of 1998 was enacted.
“Capitalsaurus” is not a recognized fossil, species or anything – it’s a completely improvised representation of what could be cool about fossils, and then hyped up with pageantry and children holding hands while swaying back and forth in a circle.

It’s terrible. Easily the very worst official state dinosaur, and some of the animals on this list AREN’T even dinosaurs. That’s how bad “capitalsaurus” is.