After seeing a picture at Reddit (a biblical person riding a dinosaur) with a long winding comment thread, I found myself looking for statistics about fossil finds. More or less, I’m looking for the answer to the question of “Which continent has the most fossil finds?”.
The web is not particularly helpful: Enchanted Learning has a couple of pages dedicated to specific dinosaur finds per continent: North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia and Antartica.
Looking (skirmishly) at the Asia page (above), it seems to tell me that hardly any gigantic dinosaurs were found in that Middle East region, but, I guess, maybe this explains why there’s so much oil overthere (reminder: how oil forms). Additionally, it appears that most of the dino fossils appear to have been found in North America. You can make up your own mind about that.
If you’re bored and feel for a challenge this weekend: I watched a couple of videos online that were interesting enought to share.
‘Alien Planet’ (1h:30m) is a documentary about an imaginative human mission to an inhabited planet (“Darwin IV”) 40 or some lightyears away. I added this video in my ‘recent links’ section last night but I thought it was worth mentioning here as well. The documentary is cheesy but interesting, particularly because of the great animation (done by a Montreal-based animation shop). I thought that the scientific explanations of other lifeforms (or the attempts thereof) were awkward. Also, what the hell makes George Lucas an expert. See also IMDB’s entry on this documentary.
There was a buzz around the January 30th ‘God Debate’ between Chris Hitchens and rabbi Shmuley Boteach. The host of that debate has put the full video online which can be watched at the 92Y site. It’s a long video too: one and a half hour, I believe.
And once again, I would like to remind you of that other video I posted in another entry, which is the one about gravity: ‘What on Earth is wrong with gravity’. While I’m not a fan of the way how Horizon presents these kind of heavy topics, in this case they do an excellent job in trying to explain what gravity is about, in exactly 1h:30m too.
All week, the PBS has been broadcasting an excellent series about the challenges we face in the world, particularly the conflicts between the religious and the secular worlds. Watching the series, I thought that the name of the series was a bit unfortunate: The majority of the independently produced movies do not all concentrate on specific US affairs. Yesterday, the series kicked off with an hour long documentary by Irshad Manji.
The second part was dedicated to Indonesia, in which the country was held as an example of religious tolerance and moderation despite the general view Westerners have of that country. That was apparently until (ironically) the fall of the Suharto dictatorship in 1999. That page linked above, points to some excellent background information on Indonesia (NYT!).