Saturday, July 25, 2009

Entry: Thagomizer

I thought I'd stick with the vague etymology theme I've had going on and talk about a link that friend of the blog Galadriel linked me to a while back. Thank you, Galadriel! Or, should I say, hantanyel.

If, like me, you went through a serious dinosaur phase as a kid, you probably remember that the stegosaurus is the one with the big plates sticking up off his back and a spiked tail. And if, like me, you went through a serious Far Side phase several years later, you probably remember that Gary Larson drew strips about cavemen, like, all the damn time.

Well, apparently paleontologists really took a shine to this particular comic

because the term thagomizer has become an accepted (if informal) synonym for stegosaurus' tail spikes. Seriously, is there anything better than a scientist with a great sense of humor? Okay, there's plenty of things, but... they're still pretty cool.

I love that the article is careful to point out that "The fate of Thag Simmons notwithstanding, stegosaurs and humans did not exist in the same era." Suck it, creationists. (Assuming that Leviticus will let you.)


Galadriel said...

Oooh, you noticed me! Thanks :)

I presume the term is Sindarin or Quenya? I have to admit, I like Tolkien but I'm not a fanatic. My parents were, though...Yeah, that's genuinely my name.

~ ~ ~

In addition to the "Thagomizer," I also loved the associated link, "Horrendous Space Kablooie." Quite a few scientists have a good sense of humor :) I strongly feel that all of science should be treated with humor; taking science too seriously means that you won't be able to handle it when, eventually, somebody crushes one of your pet theories.

Poor Einstein, who had so much trouble with accepting quantum theory. His "God does not play dice with the Universe" was an attempt to *refute* quantum mechanics. Oops. (You can laugh at anyone who quotes that. He was wrong.)

Fanboy Wife said...

What's not to love about an entry that included the phrase, "Suck it, Creationists!"

lizdini said...

"assuming that Leviticus will let you" You made my day! :)