Friday, November 12, 2010

More Kevin Smith? Sciencey stuff. Windigo Skull evolution.


Link to older Kevin Smith article at SlashFilm, re:new film "Red State", SmodCastle and emerging SmodCast empire. Related BingoRage post, "Sturgeon Mama and her Dream Lover..."

Red State of the Union Q&A`s, at SmodCast.


Science-based paredolia?

A slab of Swiss marble in an Italian church, appears to contain a physical cross-section of a skull, like you may see in a "CATscan". The article calls it a "dinosaur skull" in the title and body.

I was prepared to accept that and keep surfing, but noticed that paleontologist Paul Sereno is quoted with a skeptical flavour:
"While definitely a fossil, I cannot say what it is. I do not definitively see teeth. There is some bone texture, but other areas look double-layered, unlike typical cranial bone," Sereno told Discovery News.

It was then, that the gears in my head began to turn.

Marble is a highly metamorphic marine-based sedimentary rock. Could a fossil skull survive the metamorphic process of marble formation?

If it is a fossil skull, but not a dinosaur, then what? Whale, mosasaur, fish? How old is the marble? (about 190 million years old).

If it is not a skull, then what is it? A random and highly convoluted twist of inclusionary silica, sawn at a fortunate angle when freed from a mountainside in Switzerland? If it had been cut, one inch up or down the presumptive vertical axis of the "skull", would it disappear in the winding tangle of whitish veins, like buried porcelain turbulence?


I am convinced that it is an actual fossil. It is a testament to the great time and history that the piece has endured that the fracture in the marble has torn the feature in half, by twisting it such as one may tear a French baguette.

Unlike the proverbial jesus-inna-slice-a-burnt-toast, a putative dino-skull-inna-church-slab is not just a matter of personal interpretation and faith, but can be confirmed with observation and evidence. CTscans, excavation (traditional paleontological specimen preparation), MRI, matching this piece with the "second cross-section" fragment mentioned in the article.


While at duck camp, I continued to work on the clay and foam model that was the basis of the halloween Windigo Skull, papier-mache cast. It eventually turned into the piece that I left with the guys at Anurag... "Windigo Skull Evolution". I added the subtitle "primitif/modern/reptile", to the video clip.

Many ducks were had this fall; less so than if the bad weather had arrived when it should. Deer camp was hobbled by the unseasonably warm weather, as the deer felt no impetus to move in the non-frigid morning, nor frolic with lusty intent. I did work on a little clay model study, which I will post, later.


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