Greetings cintanians? Cinctanonians? Tannins? It’s time for the if-I-do-an-update-I-don’t-feel-like-I’ve-been-neglecting-my-own-blog update. It’s been a busy couple of months on all fronts but pretty much all of my writing energy has been sapped by other commitments.
Here’s some of the stuff that I’ve been up to AROUND THE WEB, including some stuff you may have missed here, all handily packed into a blog post, for your viewing pleasure.
Underwhelming fossil fish of the month over at UCL’s Grant Museum of Zoology NEVER STOPS. September’s effort was a knobbly one and I don’t tend to get too excited about Halloween but October’s UFFotM is a fossil fish so underwhelming, it may chill you to the (poorly preserved) core.
Dodomania at work continues! Here’s me babbling about the Oxford dodo and what we have learned from the famous Oxford specimen with TV and Radio’s Ben Garrod** in the Bone Stories series. BBC Oxford also came to film a short clip about the dodo in a series on some of the ‘hidden treasures’ of Oxford University museums. I was also extremely fortunate to get to meet dodo expert Julian Hume for recording yet another BBC dodo radio programme due out before the end of the year.
Objectivity Filming. The Oxford University Museum of Natural History have been working with YouTubers Objectivity I believe they’re called ‘collabs’ in the business. We had a fun day filming a couple of bits about the lowlights and highlights of the OUMNH collections. Two of the ones I was involved in are up. One about, of course, the Dodo and one about Britain’s Rarest Animal*! The comments so far aren’t as brutal as I’d anticipated and I even managed to squeeze in some cephalopods, in shot if not in content.
Lost Worlds Revisited. Very privileged to still be writing with the ace Lost Worlds Revisited bloggers. Any day now, the imposter amongst the experts will be exposed! In September I wrote about some of the earliest scientific descriptions of fossils and continued with the Halloween theme in October with those wise, malignant and ancient ones of the deep giant fossil cephalopods.
Documenting Cephalopods Is a new series I’ve started here going through the process of documenting natural history collections from start to finish. Part 1 covered the start of this process on the fascinating topic of spreadsheet design and pen and paper documentation! Part 2 explains the dark art of making sense of natural history specimen labels. Keep your feelers peeled for Part 3 on labels, labels, labels.
How many species of cephalopod are there? Again another post on this very blog. Some exclusive behind the scenes right here, I’ve been up to my circumoral appendages with other writing commitments, some of which will take a while to bear fruit and was feeling a bit burned out by it all. As a consequence I completely missed all the Cephalopod Awareness days on social media, which is obviously in my wheelhouse. Anyway, sometimes my procrastination over writing takes the form of writing something else completely different which is where this blogpost came from. I tried to answer (unsuccessfully) the fairly simple question, How many cephalopod species are there in the UK? and got into a bit of the nightmares of taxonomy and documenting the natural world which do have knock on implications for data aggregation and modelling distribution data. The answer by the way is 15 species. Or 17. Or 28. Or 42. Or 71…
That was, err quite a lot since last time now that I’ve written it all down! Until next time x x
*Caveats, caveats, caveats etc.
** Contractually I have to refer to him as this.