Thursday, October 25, 2012

Guest Post: Drawing Dinosaurs Correctly and Other Scientific Curiousities

Today's guest post is from my friend Dorothy Lynn. Dorothy is an out-of-college, traveling, researching, deli-working, singing, piano-playing, aspiring writer. She likes to read, make weird international food, attempt to play guitars, and pretend to be a gypsy by wearing lots of scarves. She speaks English (obviously), and Spanish, and tries to speak French, Italian and sometimes even German. She also knows about ten words in Tlingit. She really likes learning new things, and she has friends in over fifteen countries.She is currently writing a science fiction book about empathy and telepathy, and living in a small town in Ohio.

She also asked me to throw in a link to her brother Sean's blog, even though he is also writing a book and, in her words, "beating me at it." 

Here's what Dorothy wanted to share with you today:

Science is fun. No, seriously, it really is. Where else but in physics can you find out that tiny, miniscule sub atomic particles operate under the same laws as huge, massive galaxies? Where else but a chemistry lab can you pretend to be mixing colorful, magic potions in large, round flasks? Okay, so maybe my imagination gets away from me a little bit but, really, science is pretty cool. I’m kind of biased because I am currently writing a science fiction novel, but I’m just constantly amazed at the new things that I learn while researching for this book. Most of those facts are strange, neuropsychological tidbits. For example, did you know there is a tiny portion of our right brains that we use to analyze what we think people are thinking? We use it to analyze their body language and other such notions, so that we can understand the context of what they are saying. Unfortunately, this part of the brain doesn’t necessarily extend to the written word. When your recent acquaintance emails you, “I was so glad to finally meet with you,” how many times have you wondered…is there sarcasm hiding in those simple words? Well, that part of the brain, if you were speaking in person, would be able to help you out.
I also love studying astronomy. For fun I sometimes read about particle physics, which is actually a base for astronomy. I guess if you don’t know how atoms work together, then why even bother with stars, right? But I’ve learned some pretty awesome things because of my nerdiness. Mostly I learn them through TED talks, such as this one about black holes and the sounds that they make. That’s right, sounds. Black holes make music. How cool is that? So if you’re floating through space and hear the intense humming and banging noise of two black holes falling into each other, first, you had better make sure your will is in order because you will also be falling into their intense gravity, but then, sit back and enjoy the awesomeness.
Another random science fun fact is about dinosaurs. I mean, who doesn’t love dinosaurs? One of my good friends is an aspiring paleontologist. (Well, he is actually a chemical engineer, but he LOVES dinosaurs and everything to do with them.) I can’t spend any time with him without hearing something new about these fascinating giant lizards that every small child seems to love. (Why children love giant reptiles that could eat them in half a bite is astounding to me.) Apparently, when artists draw brontosauruses (brontosauri?), you know those giant ones with long necks and tails, they never draw the tail right. If they draw the tail dragging on the ground, then the poor dinosaur would never be able to support the weight of its own neck. According to my dino-loving friend, “Especially in the case of theropods, their tails counterbalance the weight of their over-sized heads.” I am constantly reminded of this fact every time I have random doodling sessions with this friend, because he always makes sure to draw his reptilian buddies correctly. How kind of him.
So there you have it, random scientific fabulosity to show you how fun science really is! I know that I covered a lot of material today, and I also didn’t cite any sources, so don’t quote me on the complete accuracy of my scientific knowledge. I’m just pulling facts out of my constantly moving gray matter. But if you want to read more random, fun, sometimes intelligent and fairly knowledgeable blog posts, you can check out my site! I love to write about anything and everything, especially if it is strange or beautiful. Or involves making up new words. Many thanks to Matt for letting me post on his blog and shamelessly plugging my site! It’s such an awesome opportunity to meet new people in the bloggernet! (see, making up new words!)