Are Cosmetic Brands Really Creating Their Own Identity?

*Post originally written by Olivia J on The Unknown Beauty Blog.*

I began to question this lately after I was channel surfing and my friend stopped me on some daytime show aimed at the 20 year old and younger.  I asked him why he wanted to watch the show, he just mentioned, "they all look the same!" And he was right, even the audience members from the way they curled their hair to the application makeup, all looked like the hosts of the show.  (Good lighting will make everyone look good!)  They looked like they have been manufactured by the same cosmetic company!

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My encounter with Earthquakes

My encounter with Earthquakes 

As I write this article, more than 10,000 people are feared to be killed in the major earthquake that hit Nepal on 25th April 2015. Despite the best of technology available to mankind, did anyone predict this earthquake even a few hours before calamity struck this nation? Till date man has not been able to invent a warning system that signals the onset of an earthquake or tsunami unlike hurricane or cyclones, which are predicted days before they strike and with fancy names too. 

When cyclone Phallin (classified as Category 1 hurricane) was scheduled to hit the states of Odisha and Andhra Pradesh in October 2013, the various relief agencies in India worked overtime to evacuate more than 550,000 people to safer areas thus preventing a major disaster. This was possible thanks to advanced technology that can track cyclones. 

Such calamities remind us, that we are too small before Mother Nature’s fury. Even animals have better instinct when it comes to predicting earthquakes or tsunami, who use their 6th sense to best effect. We come across news about human lives lost but rarely hear news about loss of animals post such tragic incidents. This was proved during the major tsunami that hit almost all countries in South East Asia, wherein  the loss of animals, birds or fishes was almost negligible. Can we collaborate, using this 6th sense of animals, to develop a technology to provide us with an early warning system that can predict an earthquake or a tsunami? If such a system was in place, the loss of human lives could have been much less at Nepal. 

Now coming back to earthquakes, with whom I seem to have a strange connection.  My first jolt with earthquakes was in the late 60s, when I was a few months old lying in the cradle. The city of  Bombay experienced strong tremors after a earthquake hit a small town called Koyna Nagar (about 300 kms from Bombay), where the famous Koyna Dam is located. This place also generates hydro electric power for the city of Bombay. The incident happened late at night when people were asleep and though the casualty was minimal, it sent shock waves among the citizens of the maximum city.

My second encounter with an earthquake happened much later, circa 2005, when I visited Srinagar for an official trip accompanied by a colleague. I can never forget the night of December 13th at 3:15am, which was an experience of a life time. I felt as if I was being rocked in a cradle  and suddenly someone was knocking at the door. Srinagar was a troubled state then and my mind was flooded with negative thoughts, which prevented me from opening the door. Moreover it was pitch dark since there was no power. Later I gathered some courage but on opening the door I was about to faint after seeing a man in monkey cap shouting aloud. It was infact my colleague, who was trying to wake me up after experiencing the  tremors much before me. When I came out of the hotel room, I was greeted by the hotel staff who ensured that all its guests were safe even at that time of the day. We did not dare rush out of the hotel as the temperature was lesser than minus 6 degrees celsius outside. If the God above us willed we will be safe, is what the hotel staff said and assured us of safety in case there were aftershocks. After an hour when power was restored we switched on the Television and one of the channels flashed on Breaking News, that the earthquake had an epicentre somewhere in Afghanistan with a magnitude of 6.8 on the Richter scale. But this time, God did not will to take away any life. He had certainly heard their prayers! The years of turmoil and the earthquakes that shook this beautiful state, has certainly made the people very tough and they could face any trouble or problem that posed before them. 

My third encounter took place in June 2012, again on an official trip but this time to the exotic Latin American country, Lima. The beautiful city of Lima lies in the high seismic zone and mild tremors are often encountered. While I was in a meeting with the client, there was an earthquake measuring 6.6 on the Richter scale and the whole building shook for a few minutes. I was surprised to see not one person move away from the meeting room while remaining very calm. For them it is a very common occurrence and were slightly amused to see my reaction. I remember when Bangalore experienced mild tremors earlier that year, the entire city came to a grinding halt. Later on my way to Machu Pichhu, I had a transit halt at Cusco, a small town located at a height of 3,400 meters above sea level. The heritage hotel where I stayed for the night, was suddenly shaking. I thought I must have got the feeling due to altitude sickness but seems such tremors are a regular occurrence here. in fact most of the buildings in Peru, like in Japan, are earthquake resistant that can withstand earthquakes even upto 7 on the Richter scale 

My fourth encounter was scheduled at Nepal, which was averted perhaps due to my 6th sense. I had planned a trip to Nepal in April, a country I have never explored before but later settled down for an alternate destination. The country is going through a very tough phase and we should thank the various relief agencies who have gathered from across the globe to help the people of Nepal stand on its feet again. We also hope technology will come to our rescue very soon which will help give us an early warning if not predict an earthquake. Earthquakes can claim thousands of lives in just few minutes and an early waring of few minutes can do wonders and save so many lives. 

The Artistic Beauty of Overall Beauty Mineral Eyeshadows & Coupon Code

*Post originally written by Olivia J on The Unknown Beauty Blog. If you see this post elsewhere, it has been stolen*
*PR samples*
Coupon codes extended to June 2nd!! 

Stay tuned for a coupon code at the end of this post!  Mass market brands tend to stick to what they believe works for the masses; the colors can become just a flat and bland collection seen in practically every other line.  This is where independent lines like Overall Beauty Mineral Makeup fill the niche of in-between colors.

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India - A new leader emerges in Global Humanitarian Aid

India - A new leader emerges in Global Humanitarian Aid 

We are exposed to a media, that focuses on identifying countries that has supported or not supported the NATO or US led forces. Has the media ever focused enough on countries that also come to the rescue of other nations when in crisis, both man made or natural ? Very rarely do we come across news,  that highlights the humanitarian effort carried on by nations protecting human lives, in foreign terrain.

Till a few years ago, India had possibly the worst possible infrastructure available to tackle disasters within the country. A cyclone or earthquake in any part of India meant loss of thousands of human lives.  Moreover the rescue effort took its own sweet time with absolutely no strategy in place to tackle emergency requirement. 

Cut to October 2013, when India was staring at cyclone Phailin, equivalent to a category 1 hurricane, the state of Odisha expected around 12 million people to be affected. Never in the history of India such a massive operation had been conducted, wherein more than half a million people were evacuated in no time. The loss of life was minimal as a result.

Today India has taken a lead in providing humanitarian aid coming to the rescue of its stranded citizens in distant land or helping its neighbours in distress. The National Disaster Response Force or NDRF established by the Indian Government in 2009 has already earned kudos for their swift response to humanitarian crises including natural and man made disasters. In September 2014, the NDRF team played a stellar role in providing relief to the stranded Kashmiris, when the Valley was inundated in the worst-ever floods in the history of the state. As I write this article, the NDRF personnel have been pressed into service at Nepal, where they are currently engaged in a massive rescue operation post the major earthquake that hit the Indian neighbour on 25th April 

Air India, the National air carrier has always been in the news for wrong reasons. Never known to keep its schedule, poor inflight service, always at the mercy of Indian politicians, airline staff going on strike at will or pilots not willing to fly etc. But when it comes to evacuating the citizens of India stranded in crisis hit countries like Kuwait, Libya or recently at Yemen, nothing can beat Air India. In fact the airline already finds mention in the record books, by evacuating close to 0.2 million Indians from war torn Kuwait in 1990.  During the recent war at Yemen, the national carrier was also approached by other countries to evacuate their citizens from Sanaa and Aden. 

India is already recognised as the go to country when it comes to providing relief and rescue operations in neighbouring countries. In December 2014, when the sole desalination plant at the Maldivian capital broke down, the Indian Air force and the Indian Navy together transported more than 1,000 tonnes of potable water for the parched citizens of Male. This has earned the country, tremendous goodwill from the small Island nation.

It is time India expands its footprint to other parts of the planet and earn the recognition of being a global leader in providing humanitarian aid leveraging on the large workforce,  a robust disaster management mechanism like the NDRF and the defence force that is second to none when it comes to saving human lives. This will earn the country lot of respect from the global community since saving a life is more valued than taking a life.

Unwrinkle the Laugh Lines with Reviva Labs Nasolabial Fold Cream

*Post originally written by Olivia J on The Unknown Beauty Blog. If you see this post elsewhere, it has been stolen.*

*PR sample.*

Olivia Sr. had been worried about the dryness around her laugh lines lately.  No matter what moisturizer she had been applying, nothing really addressed that area to well.  After all, the mouth area is a busy moving part of the face.  Doing everything from eating to smiling to putting on lipstick; constantly in movement! Luckily, or maybe the makeup goddess heard her loud and clear, coincidently I had been sent the Reviva Labs Nasolabial Fold+ Multi-Peptide Cream to test. Instead of me testing it out, what better way to see results on a wise owl.

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Wings and Lashes - What Reviva Liquid Mascara Can Do

*Post originally written by Olivia J on The Unknown Beauty Blog. If you see this post elsewhere, it has been stolen.*
*PR Sample*

Mascara is a cosmetic item which I have been having trouble with ever since the ingredient, dimethicone, appeared into the cosmetic realm.  To this day, I have never had more problems with finding a comfortable mascara until now.  Enter Reviva Labs Liquid Mascara.

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Vintage Dinosaur Art: The First Life on Earth (Wonder Why book)

We return to the 1970s this week, with a book that encapsulates why it was such a wonderful decade for kids' dinosaur books. The First Life on Earth (1977, a Wonder Why Book of) is typical of so many children's books on prehistoric life in that it purports to offer a potted history of the evolution of animal life on Earth, while focussing disproportionately on dinosaurs. Of course, this is most certainly a Good Thing, as dinosaurs are the bestest animals ever and all us mammals should feel thoroughly inadequate. In addition, illustrator John Barber might employ the gigglesome palaeoart tropes of the period, but his technique is quite intriguing - his work rewards a closer look.

The cover is a nicely composed family portrait of archosaurian reptiles, with an intruding fish in the bottom left (and a dragonfly, of course). The tyrannosaur clearly hates having its photo taken, while the crocodile is, by contrast, quite the perma-grinning exhibitionist. Given their fixed sly grins and clear eagerness to sit still for photographs, it's surprising that no one has yet invented a crocodilian selfie stick. Gap in the market, there. Plus, they'd look far less hateful than humans do when they hold the things. Stupid mammals. But I digress significantly.

After a brief look at the rubbish blobby, simple organisms, marine invertebrates and scary placoderm fish that kicked off the first uneventful couple of billion years of life on Earth, the book gets to the good stuff: the DAWN OF TETRAPODS. Here, an enterprising, highly determined-looking fish is shown adorably employing its fins like stumpy legs to haul its way over the endless mud flats. An unlikely-looking fish, but a lovely illustration; the pink rock formations on the horizon are wonderful.

Quite fittingly, Plateosaurus is featured as the sole 'early dinosaur' among a range of other Triassic animals, including the crocodylomorph Saltoposuchus, here depicted as a Disney villain's sidekick. Meanwhile, the Crystal Palace-esque beastie at the top is an unusually gigantic Cynognathus. This piece is the first instance of Barber's strange tendency to illustrate bipedal dinosaurs with strongly downturned, pronated hands; one has to wonder where he got the idea from. All the same, one has to admire the vibrancy of the illustration, and in particular the glorious stripy mackerel-type pattern on the Plateosaurus. Rarely do basal sauropodomorphs look so fabulous.

By far my favourite spread in the book (so good, I actually went to the trouble of joining the two pages together) features a very depressed-looking Brontosaurus and a big-noggined Stegosaurus, enjoying peaceful co-existence at the watering hole, with nary an allosaur in sight. The animals are downright weird in places (although the stegosaur's damaged plate is a nice touch), but Barber's unusual technique here is quite fascinating; we don't usually get to see painterly palaeoart stylised like this. Given my concerning lack of knowledge on matters artistic, I turned to a Professional Illustrator of Books for their views on how Barber achieved such a distinctive style.
"There seems to be some kind of resist technique in the foliage...Alternatively, it could simply be a matter of pressing a sponge or cloth upon a patch of colour and lifting it to leave whatever impression has been made. It could have equally been done with a brush: pressed on the surface, twisted a bit, then lifted. Rather than painting it in strokes. Then once that has dried, the finer details are then worked in on top.
The sauropod's texture looks like a resist or interference technique, too. Its markings look as though the paint pigments have been allowed to granulate."
So there you go (thanks, Niroot). All I know is, it's really rather pretty; again, the patterns on the animals' skins are quite wonderful.

Unfortunately, I'm going to have to follow that quite delightful illustration with a pretty fugly Archaeopteryx. Behold its nekkid lizardy face and wing hands. Because wings...with would that even work? I love how it appears to be shrugging its shoulders. "Well, what are you gonna do?"

Larger theropods are represented by Gorgosaurus and Antrodemus (a now long-forgotten nomen dubium; basically, it's Allosaurus). Again, these display Barber's tendency to draw his bipedal dinosaurs with strongly downturned, oddly curling hands, which appear particularly bizarre on the Gorgosaurus - they just seem to be hanging there rather uselessly, more limp and ineffective than a pint of Boddington's. As is typical of the '70s, giant theropods are inevitably shown as very stocky and cumbersome-looking, not to mention a little unbalanced - as Christian Elridge pointed out over on our Facebook page, "[the Gorgosaurus] look like he's falling over backward", while the allosaur's legs only look suited to a slow, tail-dragging shuffle. No wonder it looks so gloomy.

Having said all that, the artistic technique remains very interesting here, particularly in the way that the foliage has been created. The animals themselves are also more brightly coloured and vibrantly patterned than any '70s dinosaur has a right to be. The juxtaposition of the glorious striped-'n'-spotty skin patterns with the lumpen, saggy frames of the frequently quite sad-looking '70s dinosaurs is remarkable in itself.

The book also deals with the end of the dinosaurs - as it must - but does so in a really odd way, with a life restoration of a 'pterodactyl' shown soaring over a fossil. Now, I'm not too up on my pterosaurs (which is why I tend to steer clear of the things), but as far as I can see this one isn't too bad for a '70s kids' book - there's even a layer of fuzz covering the body, and little evidence of the terrifying 'monsterisation' that afflicted contemporary ptero-art. The arms are incredibly bony, of course, but that was considered quite reasonable at the time, when pterosaurs were thought to have been constructed from cocktail sticks and tissue paper, and thus worryingly vulnerable to predatory dinosaurs, hailstones, strong gusts of wind and being looked at the wrong way.

And finally...a parade of prehistoric (and one or two modern) animals, with a truly Zallingerian heffalump of an Allosaurus taking pride of place (and yes, it's identified as Allosaurus here). Excellent skn texture, but the poor old dear appears to have lost its zimmer frame. The creatures aren't drawn to scale (hence the enormo-Edaphosaurus at left), but I do like the way the allosaur looms over the worried-looking Uintatherium. Yeah, you'd better hope he's not hungry...

What is On the Lid Lifts the Eyes: The Winged Eyeliner

*Post originally written by Olivia J on The Unknown Beauty Blog. If you see this post elsewhere, it has been plagiarized.*

The winged eyeliner is one look that can make or break the entire finished face.  After all it consists of just drawing a line and a winged end. However, sometimes that winged end looks like a worm crawling out of the corner of your lash line and ready to be pulled out by crow’s feet.  Talk about the early bird catching the worm!

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Open Letter: Parents Need A Philosophy Of Reading


An Open Letter to My Children, Grandchildren, and Young Parents Worldwide© 

Reports of various studies regarding literacy and reading from many venues are not only dismal, they are alarming! Many people wiser than me tell us that the basis of civilization and society depends on an educated citizenry, and literacy is at the heart of that education. The ignorant are vulnerable to tyrants of all kinds, economic and other forms of abuse, loss of freedoms and perhaps even slavery, not to mention the degradation in the quality of life itself. Schools are only part of the answer.  

The real solution comes out of the home. We have many examples, both positive and negative, which illustrate the power of the home in developing or abandoning literacy, and it doesn’t necessarily depend on either economic or educational status–as potent as these factors are. Many reared by illiterate and poor parents, or even without parents, have been taught and encouraged to improve their condition by learning to read and gain an education. The lessons for young parents are obvious, but I want to stress one important point that I have come to believe is often overlooked even by those committed to the education of their children. It was in my life. I have come to the counsel I give below by hard experience, and an investment of much time, study, and thought. 

It seems to be the rare young couple who have a very comprehensive understanding of the importance of reading and education to the individual, community, nation, and world, beyond the vague notion that society depends upon it, or they are necessary to “get a good job.” This is due to the fact that one’s own parents did not possess such an understanding and therefore did not transfer it to their children. In addition, most teachers in our schools do not possess a well developed philosophy of education either–so how can a young parent be expected to have one?  

That is my point, you as young parents need to do some serious study, thinking, and discussing about these matters so you come to a deep understanding of the importance and value of reading and education, and so you can transmit to your offspring such a vision and such a set of values that it will motivate them to become life-long learners and to transmit that same set of values in a powerful way to their offspring and their generation. Here are a set of questions that can help you to evaluate the state of your present understanding and to help develop your philosophy.

  • In the last quarter of the twentieth century, Sterling W. Sill said a “Gallup Poll indicated that 56 percent of all American adults never completely read a single book after their formal education has been completed.” [Sterling W. Sill, The Majesty of Books, (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1974), p. 16.] How do you measure up to that question? Are you one who has not read a book or very few books following your formal education? If so, why? What does your answer to these questions say about your understanding about the value and importance of reading?
  • How much have you thought, discussed and read about your responsibility as a parent to teach your children the importance of reading and of education in general? Have you read a single article or book on the subject of reading, before this one? Can you make a detailed list of the skills which are necessary to be a good reader in today’s world? What attitudes and traits must successful readers have? Now would be a good time to start such a list.
  • Do you have an articulated philosophy of reading? Articulate it, by writing it down. After you have done so, what is your evaluation of your philosophy? Does it seem weak and thoughtless, or have you considered many things in relationship to the important activity of reading? Are there other areas you should think about in relationship to reading? List them and begin to make some notes about those subjects. Come back and think about it regularly and add new thoughts and ideas. 
  • Do you have some large gaps in your understanding of the importance of reading? Is yours only a vague notion of its value, or can you be specific with your reasons? Is your list comprehensive, or only in the embryonic stage? If the latter, all the more important to get started so your children will have the benefit of your effort as soon as possible.
  • Do you understand that all mortals are born into a state of total ignorance? Do you understand that this is important to know because some of mankind’s worst enemies–superstition, intolerance, prejudice, and fear as well as other things--are the ugly step-children of that ignorance?  Do you believe a few years of elementary and secondary education, plus life-experience, is a sufficient body of knowledge in the face of the infinite number of important things one could but does not know? Therefore, do you believe that one of the challenges of mortality is to labor throughout life to learn and to eradicate ignorance? Do you believe that for these very reasons reading is never done?
  • Why do you value or devalue reading? Elaborate on this subject. Spell out what you think in detail. What experiences have you had, what prejudices do you harbor that color your view of reading? Are they legitimate? As you answer these questions you will learn a lot about yourself, maybe even discover a few things you don’t like. If you don’t value reading what can you do to change that, besides rationalize that you have been successful without reading, or know many who are?
  • Can you meaningfully and convincingly teach a child the value of the hard work required to learn to read, to gain many skills of reading such as speed, comprehension, and evaluation, as opposed to the fun of playing video games or watching TV? If you don’t yet understand this yourself, perhaps your philosophy of reading and education needs some tuning up. Can you, like Jewish mothers, figuratively put honey on the cover of a book so children will grow up associating sweetness with reading?
  • What is your philosophy about the relative importance of experience compared to reading in terms of learning? Is one more valuable than another? If so, why? If not, why? How do they provide knowledge in different categories? In your view, is the choice between one or the other, or do you believe and can you articulate your belief, that  both are necessary?
  • List and elaborate on the many ways reading not only facilitates education, but is useful, nay, essential in modern life. Do you understand the various roles reading plays in developing the spiritual side of human beings? Could you write a meaningful brief essay on the role reading plays in creating and maintaining a civilized society? Or, how about an essay on how reading may contribute to and enhance creativity?  Could you do the same about the many ways reading enriches one’s personal life?
  • Among all that one can know, do you believe there are some priorities–some things that are more important to know than others? If you do have priorities, what are they, and why should they be priorities in learning? (Slow down a bit here. Is it possible that your list may be misdirected, that it is simply an unexamined list of your own personal likes or preferences? It is possible that you haven’t examined and weighed this matter as much as you should have.) How have you done with your list? Do you set a proper example in this regard for your children and others, or is it a mater of “do as I say, not as I do” for you? Or, are you easily distracted from your self-determined priorities by the exigencies of life, giving in to the desire for leisure and “fun,” or simply lack the self-discipline to follow through on what you really believe is important?
  • Project yourself 40 years into the future. Will you regret neglecting books in your youth and throughout your life? Please believe me, bitter experience will finally teach you of the foolishness of your ways. A mind is a terrible thing to waste; the consequences of doing so are heavy and long-lasting.
  • Do you know how to find the “good books”? Do you have a clear notion of what may constitute a good book? What criteria would you use to make that judgment? How are you personally doing in becoming acquainted with all good books? What do you need to change and to do in order to fulfill this important commandment?
  • Can you explain to a child, or anyone for that matter, the benefits of reading a book rather than simply seeing the movie version? Is it clear to you what beneficial things and activities get lost in watching a movie that are present while reading a book?
  • If your child challenged you about going to school or learning to read, can you give them a list of positive reasons for doing so? Can you really defend the activity of reading? In a powerful and convincing way, or are your thoughts about the subject confused, uncertain, amorphous? If your list isn’t well over twenty-five items long, I suggest you have more thinking to do about the subject.
  • Do you believe that there are more important reasons for being well educated  than simply getting a good job, being wealthy, or having a life-style that allows you to have all the material goods and leisure time you want? If so, list them. Do you believe that reading is one of the most important pleasures available to man, and can you convey to your child the joy of the life of the mind? If you don’t believe this, I suggest you do additional reading and thinking about it, because there is a huge and very important aspect of life that you have not yet experienced or discovered that will hinder you from convincing and motivating your children to read–and it may explain your own lack of motivation to be a life-long learner.
  • Do you have the philosophy that you are a “doer” and that you have neither the time nor the inclination for reading and learning? Are you transmitting that same philosophy to your children? Is it more important to you to take your family hunting, skiing, to sports arenas, or other forms of recreation than to hit the books? Does it have to be one or the other? What about balance in life? What about the hundreds, thousands, and tens of thousands of very busy and very successful people who have learned that to keep abreast of their profession and to simply have a more enriched life they must devote some time daily to reading and self-improvement? Here, I suggest reading Edward Wagenknecht, Seven Worlds of Theodore Roosevelt, Lyons Press, 2010, because he was one of the great men of both action and thought.
  • Do you believe that being well informed is critical to success in almost any job today, even those considered “blue collar” jobs? Why?
  • Do you believe that a single book, has the power to change a person’s life? Is that true in your life, or the lives of anyone you know? Can you explain to your children why a book can change a life? Can you tell a child or anyone else, in an authoritative knowledgeable way more than one story of someone whose life was changed by a book?
  • Do you understand and believe that reading is important to:
  1. Simply gaining knowledge, understanding, and wisdom
  2. Foster thinking, pondering, meditation
  3. Generating questions of all kinds, some of which are catalysts for further study, many of which are important for the present, and some for the future
  4. Stimulating the imagination and facilitating creativity
  5. Redirecting a life; inspiring change
  6. Awakening a life-long interest in something
  7. The development and refinement of one’s character, values, and the principles by which one lives
  8. Developing other skills of communication, such as the expansion of vocabulary, or the strength, power, and/or beauty of expression, verbal and written; helping one become a better writer, speaker, and speller
  9. Stimulating your own original and unique thoughts; shaping thinking, teaching one how to think, analyze, assess, and evaluate
  10. Keeping a fresh outlook, expanding one’s perspective, and looking at life from many sides
  11. Understanding life; giving it deeper meaning and purpose
  12. Living a thousand different lives in one lifetime
  13. Traveling to inaccessible places all over the globe
  14. Enhancing personal achievement
  15. Charting and navigating through the dangerous seas of human life
  16. Learning new skills
  17. Challenging us, to be more, to do more
  18. Encouraging individuality and uniqueness
  19. Obtaining inspiration and motivation
  20. Shaping and/or changing our attitudes, beliefs and responses to situations
  21. Gaining the self-help one so often desires
  22. Learning about any conceivable subject
  23. Recreation and pleasure
  24. Success in one’s profession, avocation, hobbies and other interests; learning better ways to do your job
  25. Informing and altering opinions and beliefs
  26. Facilitating growing up rather than just growing old
  27. Improving our time (making effective use of time)
  28. Empowering individuals and societies
  29. Finding solutions to problems
  30. Associating with the greatest minds and hearts of the world in every endeavor and walk of life
  31. Finding understanding companions who can give us advice and encouragement for all the situations of life in which we find ourselves
  32. Break out of the prisons of our own parochialism
  33. Challenge and question our self-imposed limitations
  34. Gain knowledge and experience without wasting time by making all the mistakes ourselves
  35. Keeping a balance in life
  36. Having the necessary time to wrestle with and fully grasp difficult concepts and ideas
  37. Giving us a broader view of the human condition and human nature
  38. Piquing interest in new subjects and avenues of interest
  39. Life-long progression and growth
  40. Produce a “fire” inside for an infinite number of things or ideas
My fondest wish for my family and the families of America, indeed the world, would be that the wonderful art, pastime, skill, creativity enhancing, joy-giving, crucially essential activity we call reading will not become obsolete, lost, and forgotten in your life or in the society in which you live. Please think on these things and take this letter seriously. As you do, it will bless your life, the lives of your family and of your world.

God bless,

Danel W. Bachman

Which Mammoth is Mopey Character are You?

We're now two weeks from the end of the Mammoth is Mopey Indiegogo campaign I've posted about here a few times and tweeted about prolifically. In the interest of keeping promotion fresh, we've hopped on the quiz bandwagon. They're scientifically proven to be the number one way to come to self-knowledge in the hustle and bustle of this digital world. No hallucinogens, fasting, or pilgrimage required!

We're just about 65% funded, and it's totally possible for us to reach full funding. As a fixed-funding campaign, we need to hit that number to get any money at all. If you've backed us or spread the word via social media, Jennie and I are grateful for the support. We look forward to fulfilling orders this summer!

Bargain Buys - Make Up For Ever Aqua Shadow Crayons

*Post originally written by Olivia J on The Unknown Beauty Blog. If you see this post elsewhere, it has been stolen.**I bought these.*

A recent excursion to one of the outlet stores, Marshalls, (the sibling to TJMaxx) weakened my willpower.  I swore I didn't need any more makeup or for that matter anything which decorated the eye area.  But, these were Make Up For Ever Aqua Crayons, budge-proof eyeshadows; and they were priced less than some drugstore pencils!

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Why I Believe: Evidence Thirty-eight: The “Pure Logic And Downright Beauty” Of The Plan Of Salvation

101 Reasons Why I Believe Joseph Smith Is A Prophet

Evidence Thirty-eight:

I have written previously that one of Joseph Smith’s strengths as a prophet is his remarkable consistency in answering important, difficult and substantive religious questions. I am not the first to notice this, but I believe it is an element of his ministry that is not adequately explored and highlighted. Howard Coray served as a clerk to the Prophet during the Nauvoo period. He spoke of the “many valuable opportunities” this afforded him to learn from the Prophet as he entertained “a great many callers and visitors, ... doctors, lawyers, priests, and people.”  He continued,
“Not only were they anxious to see, but also to ask hard questions in order to ascertain his depth. Well, what did I discover? This, verily, that he was always equal to the occasion and perfectly master of the situation and possessed the power to make everybody realize his superiority.... I could clearly see that Joseph was the captain, no matter whose company he was in. Knowing the meagerness of his education, I was truly gratified at seeing how much at ease he always was, even in the company of the most scientific, and the ready, off-handed manner in which he would answer their questions.(1)
Wandle Mace, another acquaintance of the Prophet in Nauvoo, also spoke of this characteristic in Joseph.  He told of the “rare treat” it was when he and others could talk with the Prophet. When the opportunity came, someone would invite him to talk with them. When he asked them what they wanted to discuss this 
“would bring out some question for Joseph to answer, and then I could lean back and listen.  Ah what pleasure this gave me; he would unravel the scriptures and explain doctrine as no other man could. What had been mystery he made so plain it was no longer mystery.(2) 
In light of these statements I was extremely interested in a report of the assessment of the Finnish theologian Heikki Raisanen in a 1984 article about the Joseph Smith and the Bible. His article was translated into English by professor Douglas F. Tobler of the Department of History at BYU for Edwin Haroldsen, author of the article cited here. Raisanen pointed out that Joseph’s teachings “provide solutions for most, if not all, of the genuine problems and contradictions of the Bible with which scholars have wrestled for generations.”  Edwin Haroldsen continues that Raisanen said Joseph put
“his finger on a real, theological problem,” namely, the “delicate point” of the unity and consistency of God’s plan of salvation throughout the whole Bible.  Brother Tobler explains that without knowledge restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith, theologians relying solely on their own interpretations of the Bible face difficult questions of faith like the following, raised by Raisanen: How can we say that God has an eternal plan of salvation when, according to traditional Christian theology, Jesus Christ brought a new way of salvation which the ancients did not know?  Did earlier generations actually know the divine plan of salvation, or did God mislead them by giving them a law that was both preparatory and transitory?  If, however, the ancients could, in fact, be saved by the law they knew, what was the need for Jesus Christ? Did God think of a better plan after his first one failed? 
Mr. Raisanen wrote that the Prophet Joseph Smith’s answer to these questions–that Jesus Christ carried out a single divine plan of salvation, a plan known by the ancient prophets–was to him a thing of  “pure logic and downright beauty.” In addition, he noted that these views of Joseph Smith are remarkably similar to those expressed in First Clemens’s letter, as well as in the writings of the Pseudepigrapha.(3)
Amazing!  Raisanen’s questions about the traditional evolutionary view of  Judaism and Christianity which sees the plan of salvation as changing from the Old Testament to the New Testament and the implications which that gives rise to, is one of the most honest assessments of traditional Christian theology of which I am aware. More importantly, his recognition that the answers to those questions which come through the Prophet Joseph Smith were “pure logic and downright beauty” resonates with the testimony of the Spirit in this man’s heart and constitutes an important evidence of the inspiration which permeated the life and thought of the Prophet.

Thank God for Joseph Smith!

Lets think together again, soon.


1.  Howard Coray, “Autobiography,” original in LDS Church Archives.  Typescript available online at:

2.  Autobiography of Wandel Mace, original in LDS Church Archives.  Typescript available online at: 

3.  Edwin O. Haroldsen, “Good and Evil Spoken Of,” Ensign (August 1995) p. 10, citing Douglas Tobler trans., Heikki Raisanen, "Joseph Smith und die Bibel: Die Leistung des mormonischen Propheten in neuer Belechtung," Theologische Literaturzeitung, Feb. 1984, pp. 83-92, emphasis added.

The Magic of Reviva Labs Eye Makeup Remover Gel

*Post originally written by Olivia J on The Unknown Beauty Blog. If you see this post elsewhere, it has been stolen.*
*PR sample.*

Sometimes, when I receive a product to review, I just like to play with it.  You know, tinker with it and experiment.  I want to think outside of the box and not just review a product.  This is what happened with Reviva Labs Eye Makeup Remover Gel.

I beg you, click to read more »

Interview: Angela Connor

Weave the Cosmos by Angela Connor, featuring Amaruuk, a Microraptor-inspired mythical creator.

I've admired Angela Connor's Paleo Portraits for a while, and her work has been discussed here previously (here and here). Her portraits are full of character, and in the same way that simple portraits of owls focus our attention differently than other photographs might, Angela's portraits are a way to experience these diverse, sadly extinct, animals in an intimate way. In addition to her palaeoart, Angela's body of work includes simple, engaging animations, sculpture, and fantasy illustration.

I interviewed Angela recently and I'm thrilled to share our conversation with you today.

What is your background as an artist?

I'm still very young and green, so for me, "background" kind of means creative childhood pastimes more than anything. I didn't grow up in an artsy place, but having an artist mom and getting to dabble in a lot of different media in summer workshops (drawing, painting, sculpture, and even one-offs like claymation) kept the creativity going. Plus at home we had lots of art supplies of all sorts and I loved combining them in different ways. In particular I liked making miniature animals with clay, wire, and glass beads, and of course drawing and painting were a way of life.

In high school I branched into a variety of digital stuff (digital painting, pixels, vector, 3D texturing, and web design) mostly inspired by seeing other kids on the 'net doing them and wanting to learn too. Then in college I studied graphic design for a while before changing majors to animation, where I learned that as well as 3D modeling/digital sculpture and other production-y things, but in the years after graduating I've found myself more drawn to painting, GIFs, and other odd experiments, and soon I'll be able to return to making physical crafts like I did as a kid, but now armed now with an adult brain, resources, and the existence of new tech like 3D printing.

Three of Angela Connor's Paleo Portaits: Jinfengopteryx, Styracosaurus, and Deinocheirus.

What was the inspiration for doing the Paleo Portraits series?

I don't think there was any one thing in particular that inspired it, but rather a culmination of several factors. The void that graduating college tends to create kind of makes you start asking yourself the big "Who am I, really?" sorts of questions, and for me one of the things that happened as a result was rediscovering my fascination with the history of life on Earth. I know the collective of science-types I had found online by that point, particularly the LITC and TetZoo circles, played a huge part in reigniting that flame.

I also just wanted to challenge myself to do a series, because my art tends to be one-off pieces rather than cohesive sets of any sort. A bonus is that it's also a great way to study all these different animals (and find new ones I didn't know about before!) because some degree of research is required in order to make them not terrible or too inaccurate. Comparing the myriad shapes past animals took is also good practice for when I go to design my own creatures, and indeed, several of my most-admired creature designers started with, dabble in, or are at least inspired by paleontological reconstructions.

How do you choose what animals to feature for Paleo Portraits? You've covered an impressive diversity of taxa so far.

At first it started out just being ones Scott Hartman had skeletals of, but then it kind of mushroomed out further (but still only ones with acceptable reference). Looking up one animal often leads to a wiki-walk in which I find several more animals so there's actually kind of a backlog I'll go and pick from or just start a new one, chosen more on whim than anything else. Though if there is an event or a certain animal or group is seeing a lot of press or being discussed I will sometimes use that to inform my choice. And as for the diversity, that's part of the goal of the project, though my preferences definitely still are in evidence at this stage.

More Paleo Portraits: Tylosaurus, Dimorphodon, and Psittacosaurus.

What are your early memories of dinosaur art, stories, or other media?

What exactly first sparked my interest in prehistoric life is lost to history, but I do remember having watched Jurassic Park as a wee little girl, and I can't even count how many times I saw The Land Before Time. I also remember We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story and the obscure, vaguely animated VHS version of Michael Berenstain's I ♥ Dinosaurs that got watched a lot. Later, when Walking with Dinosaurs first aired, I think I saw it at a friends' house and we got really into it.

As for books, I would have to go back to mom's and dig through the attic to find/remember any others, but the ones I can think of off the top of my head are Raptors!: The Nastiest Dinosaurs and AMNH's Book of Dinosaurs and Other Ancient Creatures. The latter of those was probably one of the first things that really introduced me to the world of prehistory beyond just the (mostly) Mesozoic rock stars, and was especially fascinating for that reason, though both books had very memorable art.

I don't think there's much outside of film/TV/books but when we got our first computer around '94-'95, (I think) it came with a bunch of these educational DOS games, one of which was called 3D Dinosaur Adventure. It's exceedingly dated now, but it blew my tiny child mind at the time and I played it to death. And, of course, we had quite a number of dinosaur toys and whatnot, in particular I remember the nice rubber models my brothers and I played with in the sandbox, and a JP raptor action figure that I actually have here in my apartment somewhere. Oh, and my favorite thing in the world when I was maybe 5 or 6 was a tiny black Dimetrodon I named "Creamy" that came in one of those novelty egg-shaped soaps.

Inspired by "Creamy," the Dimetrodon Paleo Portrait.

Walking with Dinosaurs has received surprisingly few nods in the interviews I've done, but I also was very inspired by it. Even though it's a bit dated now, I still rewatch it from time to time. do you have any favorite bits that have stuck with you?

I was only maybe twelve at the time so perhaps that is why it stuck with me. I rewatch it occasionally myself, too, as well as the Beasts and Monsters ones that came after. Walking with Monsters may actually be my favorite because of how it steps through the periods by sort of following the one lineage via those "evolution takes over" sequences in between segments while showcasing what's going on around each new iteration and its place in the ecosystem. Plus, there are scant few good programs that portray Paleozoic things or stem-mammalian ancestry in general. My soft spot for synapsids came about perhaps because of that show. My favorite bit of Walking with Dinosaurs was probably New Blood because I love origins of things and Triassic critters in general.

You've done amazing work that melds palaeoart and fantasy art - as in your gorgeous, Microraptor-inspired Amaruuk. As more non-avian dinosaurs are revealed by research to be virtual chimaeras of birds and lizards, it seems a fertile area of exploration. Can you tell us a bit about what inspired this in your own work?

Theropods to me are basically just bird dragons, two of my favorite things mixed together into something way too cool to not make a mythical mascot creature out of (though originally she was supposed to be a creation deity, a mother of all life sort of thing). Plus the ideas of mythical creatures in many ancient cultures come in part from found fossils. Extrapolating from observations and weaving tales and images from that is so very human. I love fantasy and mythos as well as real world zoology/paleontology so combining them seems only natural. Though we have a lot more data now than ancient people did, it's still fun to use it to create deities and beasts of legend.

There is another thing, though. A lot of fantasy art seems to portray creatures from a "monster" angle (though they are still inspired by real animal anatomy and so forth, and some of my favorite fantasy artists are in fact paleo nerds), or when I tell people I make creature art they say "Oh, you mean like monsters?" but personally my approach is what could be called the Alan Grant way. They're not monsters, just animals. They just do what they do. Rather than going full "awesomebro" or exploring the dark depths of the human psyche, I mostly enjoy just building on nature. That plus a little mystical majesty and the ocassional dose of childlike wonder is generally how I like my fantasy, and all the de-monstering and All-Yesterdaysing that paleoart is trying to do right now has certainly had some level of influence. Plus, I'm a 26-year-old woman who goes giddy as a schoolgirl just finding a perfectly ordinary lizard outside. Part of me just wants to put that feeling into my art, too. Life is really amazing, and fusing myth and fantasy with reality kind of brings it out for me. Heck, my piece, Guard of the East Tower, literally is that. I saw a green anole on my windowsill and painted it through the lens of fantasy.

Guard of the East Tower by Angela Connor.

Monsters are certainly central to the genre, but is there any fantasy fiction/ media that you think does a better job than most in regards to portraying creatures more as animals as opposed to monsters?

The portrayal of fantasy creatures as animals versus as monsters really depends more on what kind of story is being told and where they fit into the narrative. If it's central to the plot like a big kaiju or anomalous marauding creature in what is otherwise our reality or enemies in a video game then those are almost always monsters (though the latter also tends to have plain animals as early-on foes). But it tickles me most when creatures exist to flesh out a whole fictional world with its own ecosystem, usually an alien planet like Pandora from Avatar (I admit I'm kind of under a rock with media so I'm sure there are more that I'm simply failing to think of). Part of me really wants to see something like the Star Trek universe delve into its own planets' evolutionary histories and exobiology. More than any media or franchise, though, when I think of treating fantasy creatures as animals, my mind goes to specific artists like Terryl Whitlatch, Brynn Metheney, and Tiffany Turrill. I can't not get fired up looking at their work!

Besides a personal interest (and a real knack for it IMO), do you hope to produce palaeoart in the usual, scientific-illustration-accompanying-research-manner?

Why, thank you! While at this point I know I am nowhere near the level of people who are masters of anatomy and have their noses in up-to-date literature, I'd love to be able to have an opportunity like that in the future. Something along those lines that I really want to get into practicing for in the coming months is model making, as I think it'd be great to produce reconstructions for museums and things of that nature. Outreach about the history of life on earth is really important to me, so it would be an honor to someday be able to help actual paleontologists show their findings to the world. In the meantime I think it's also good to inject what I've gleaned from being connected to this community into hobbies and regular-people stuff, and just kind of help to normalize new discoveries. After all, I am no scientist. I just follow them on Twitter and buy their shirts, haha.

All work in this post is © Angela Connor and used with her permission. Please check out her website and purchase her fine wares at Redbubble. You can directly support her work by pledging at her Patreon page. Follow her at Twitter, DeviantArt, ArtStation, and Facebook, and Newgrounds, too. Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions, Angela!

Mesozoic Miscellany 74

The Thunderously Big News

Didja hear about Brontosaurus yet? Eh? Well, if you haven't, hold on your butt. Arguably the most famous generic name in all of the dinosauria has returned, thanks to a massive phylogenetic reassessment of diplodocidae led by Emanuel Tschopp of Universidade Nova de Lisboan, and published in PeerJ. The press has, predictably, been mostly vomiting on its own shoes, grasping taxonomic and phylogenetic concepts with varying degrees of incompetence. Not all bad, of course, thanks to knowledgeable and clearly written posts by the researchers and journalists of the dinoblogosphere. Brian Switek, Andrea Cau, SV-POW, Dave Hone, and Everything Dinosaur have all covered it well. Anthony Maltese reminisces about working on a mount of the famous sauropod. Also see articles from The New York Times, Nature News, Wired, and SciAm. There are more, of course. Hey media! Enough with the swampbound, antiquated depictions of Brontosaurus. That beast is still happily obsolete.

Remember Project Daspletosaurus? We're seeing the research hit the press now! Dave Hone, who led the research with Darren Tanke at the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology, has written about it at his Guardian blog, Lost Worlds, as well as at Archosaur Musings. Cannibal tyrannosaurs and Brontosaurus. Funny week in Mesozoic news.

Around the Dinoblogosphere

Last time around, I featured the news of Carnufex carolinensis. Jaime Headden has written a post about finding that one of his pieces of artwork was adapted for a figure in the publication, without credit. I think a lot of palaeoartists will find value in, and perhaps identify all too closely with, his reasoned post on the issue.

A Carboniferous forest simulator has been developed, and is in alpha testing. Watch the walkthrough by the Palaeocast team below, and check out the project team's work here and here.

The latest episode of the TetZoo Podcats featured conversations of special interest to palaeoartists, including stem-mammal gaits and the homology of scales. There will surely be follow up on the former topic, as John Conway has had some interesting conversations on social media after sharing his tall-striding Dimetrodon. Also see his jaw-dropping recent Dolichorynchops.

Trish Arnold invites you to watch the totally 90's "Bonehead Detectives of Paleoworld."

Jason Goldman's terrific interview podcast The Wild Life featured the fantastic Jennifer Hall, discussing taxidermy and Dreadnoughtus. Jennifer was also interviewed about her career by Pacific Standard. Jennifer's new-ish site is Art in the Age of Evolution.

At ART Evolved, please check out Herman's latest round of reviews, celebrating the occasion of one R. Bakker's hatching day.

Chris DiPiazza, formerly of the defunct Jersey Boys Hunt Dinosaurs site, has begun his own blog, and it promises terrific content. He plans on bringing more conservation issues to the fore, as well as sharing his gorgeous watercolor palaeoart. Go say "hello" to Prehistoric Beast of the Week.

The children's book blog Design of the Picture Book interviewed Flying Eye Books about their restoration and reissue of The Wonderful Egg. It's one that fans of our mid-century Vintage Dinosaur Art titles will love.

Paleoart Pick(s)

Designer-illustrator Sharon Wegner-Larson's Geo-rex Vortex is so cool. It is featured in the new Skullmore zine and as part of an exhibition called Revisited at Exposure Gallery in Sioux Falls, SD. Sharon wrote a bit about her process at her blog and has made the design available on shirts at Redbubble. Prints? Check her Etsy shop.

Geo-Rex Vortex (purple-pink gradient)
Geo-rex Vortex © Sharon Wegner-Larson

Speaking of tees that rock, Neatoshop is running a free shipping promotion this week. Which is pretty nifty because Raven Amos has some frickin' great stuff there. Her Art Nouveau Troodon, Pachyrhinosaurus, highly caffeinated pterosaur, and Styracosaurus are there and I proudly wear her "Swamp Dragon" Ichthyovenator design, seen below. Also: Kaiju/Nintendo mash-ups Gamario and Linkzilla! Go forth and dump legal tender into her coffers!
Swamp Dragon © Raven Amos

MisAdventures in Beauty Blogging: When a Brand Wants Free Advertisement

*Post originally written by Olivia J on The Unknown Beauty Blog.*
*This haircolor brand wanted free advertising! Shame on them!*

This post is mainly for you non-bloggers and my cult members. In my almost 6 years in beauty blogging, I can say several situations have occurred behind-the-scenes which lead me to screaming-into-a-pillow and realizing blogging is not just about blogging.

I beg you, click to read more »

The Basic Color Selections from Stilazzi - The Fab Four

*Post originally written by Olivia J on The Unknown Beauty Blog. If you see this post elsewhere, it has been stolen*

Some of you may have gazed and pondered over the Stilazzi eyeshadows and wondered which ones to choose when it came to The Fab Four.  Ponder no longer!  In this post I have chosen the colors for the basic everyday palette and then some.

I beg you, click to read more »

Vintage Dinosaur Art: Dinosaurs (Start-Right Elf Book)

What with the current media hullabaloo over a certain taxonomic reshuffle (which sounds utterly improbable, but there you have it), it seems apt that this week's Vintage Dinosaur Art takes us back to a time during which that generic name was firmly cemented into the minds of children, in spite of it having been deemed obsolete for decades. Dinosaurs (1971, a Start-Right Elf Book from Rand McNally) is a perfect, and very charming, example of the sort of book that has crusty old brontosaur fans gently wiping a tear from their wrinkly grey faces.

I've never fully understood 'brontosaur nostalgia', but then that's undoubtedly because I was born in the late '80s - and any pedantic Dino Renaissance-era brat worth their salt shunned the laughably obsolete images of fat, monochromatic, swamp-dwelling beasties that came to mind when 'Brontosaurus' was mentioned. These days, I can of course appreciate such images for what they are (or I wouldn't be posting reviews like this over and over again for years on end), but I don't think I'll ever be able to shake off my mild disdain towards that name. Brontosaurus. Ugh. Still, the (incredibly long) paper bringing Bronto back (and, hey, coining a new diplodocid genus too!) is a fine thing indeed, and I'd better get used to it. It's also probably about time I actually got to, you know, the book in question.

This is real classic stuff - wonderful, painterly, Zallingerian illustrations (by Theodore Street) of grey, green, brown, green-brown, grey-brown and sort-of-tan swamp things, poking their heads out of lakes, waving their arms about in the air, and just generally looking like big, pea-brained Enormo-Lizards of Antiquity. Right off the bat, we're treated to snorkelling brachiosaurs and a T. rex v Triceratops face-off on the same spread. Rexy here looks a bit like a '70s model kit, while his head seems to borrow elements from Fantasia's stegosaur-bothering tragic villain. The Triceratops doesn't appear to be too concerned - after all, the business end is all the way up there, and that belly looks awfully vulnerable.

Our first Brontosaurus comes next, and it appears to pay homage to Charles Knight's infamous depiction - one that the word 'iconic' could justly be applied to. (In fact, so definitive was Knight's Brontosaurus, it appears in a great many of today's reports on the Tschopp et al. paper.) However, while the pose of the animal is pure Knight, the overall style is more reminiscent of Zallinger's picture book work. Bonus points are awarded for the frustrated upright allosaur stranded on the shore with only a handful of ferns for company.

Not all of the book's predators prove so hydrophobic, however - as seen in the above piece, in which an unlucky Bronto is charged at by an Allosaurus, here drawn as a rather generic theropod ('cos if it's big and it's got three fingers, it's Allosaurus. Duh). There would appear to be a seriously steep drop right where the allosaur's left foot is about to land, given that Bronto's legs are almost entirely underwater - in which case, the fanged lummox is about to topple on top of its rotund prey like a fat guy onto a novelty inflatable. Either that, or Bronto's legs have already all been chewed off by ravenous crocodylomorphs. "It's only a flesh wound!"

Brachiosaurus also pops up again in swamp-dwelling guise, in an illustration that's pretty much a straight-up Zallinger copy. Note the standard line about the animal's supposed snorkel-noggin, apparently an adaptation to a semi-aquatic lifestyle that of course overruled all the evidence positively screaming against the idea of such a lifestyle. And yet we still have cranks today touting the idea like it's the brilliant, revolutionary notion of a maverick genius. Dolts.

Not all of the book's sauropods are bound to the lakes - Diplodocus gets to spend some time hanging around on dry land, albeit looking a little cross. "From the top of his head to the tip of his whiplike tail," author M R Miller intones, "he measured almost 90 feet." But, lest we be too impressed by this inferior primordial reptile, Miller adds that "he had a tiny brain." Poor old Dippy, forever being made to suffer such indignities. Like being brought down by hungry allosaurs, starring in unloved Disney movies, and being named 'Dippy'.

Speaking of indignities...poor old Archaeopteryx doesn't get its due here, appearing only as a potential snack for Ornitholestes. Again. It's another riff on a piece by Knight, also copied by Zallinger and then everyone else up until the 1980s. I love the spindly limbs and trident hands on this one.

I'm also very fond of Street's depiction of 'Trachodon' (for which you should basically just substitute 'Edmontosaurus'). While this book avoids full-on 'gigantor-duck' silliness, there's still something very adorable about such an anthropomorphic, dopey-faced old reptile. It could do with a frilly dress, a bonnet and a parasol, mind you. The plant-munching closeup is a nice touch, and better shows off the animal's particularly wide mouth. There's also mention (and a diagram) of the animal's dental batteries, which is unusual for such an 'old-fashioned' book, even if it's still depicted chowing down on mushy water plants.

Of course, even having two thousand teeth won't save you from Sexy Rexy, here looking even more like a cross between the Fantasia version and that old Aurora model kit (albeit somewhat more anatomically accurate). It's an effective illustration at conveying the menacing nature of the animal. The supplementary illustration - providing a sense of scale by depicting Rexy staring into an upstairs room - could have been improved with the addition of a pair of terrified children in the window. The fact that Tyrannosaurus was 'tall enough to stare into a second-story window' (when standing upright in classic Godzilla-esque guise, of course) became something of a trope, quoted in endless kids' books and even referenced in The Lost World: Jurassic Park, in spite of the more modern, horizontal orientation of the Spielberg-o-Rex.

And finally...Triceratops makes a comeback, again appearing delightfully unfazed by any lurking, giant coelurosaurs. After all, "Not even Tyrannosaurus Rex [sic] cared to attack Triceratops!" Ever the noble Cretaceous knight (with head-mounted horns and shield), Triceratops is resplendent even when it's a dirty brown and a bit warty. Meanwhile, Rexy is relegated to the naughty step by the magnolias, forced to sit-stand in the corner and think glumly about what he's done. Lovely stuff.