Saturday, February 28, 2015

Facts about Dinosaurs

The word dinosaur comes from the Greek language and means ‘terrible lizard’. The word was coined by English paleontologist Richard Owen in 1842 and was meant to refer to the dinosaur's impressive size rather than their scary appearance.

Dinosaurs ruled the Earth for over 160 million years, from the Triassic period around 230 million years ago through the Jurassic period and until the end of the Cretaceous period around 65 million years ago.

The time period from 250 million years ago until around 65 million years ago is known as the Mesozoic Era. It is often referred to as the Age of the Dinosaurs because most dinosaurs developed and became extinct during this time.

Scientists believe that the event leading to the extinction may have been a massive asteroid impact or huge volcanic activity. Events such as these could have blocked out sunlight and significantly changed the Earth’s ecology.

Dinosaur fossils have been found on every continent of Earth, including Antarctica.

Fossils help us understand what the dinosaurs were like. Information can be gathered from sources such as fossilized bones, footprints, stomach stones, feces, internal organs, soft tissues, eggs and feathers.

Scientists have no idea what color or colors the dinosaurs were.

Over 1000 different species of dinosaurs have been named and the list continues to grow as new fossils are discovered.

Some of the largest fossilized dinosaur eggs ever discovered were found in China in the mid 1990’s. The eggs are over 60cm (2ft) long and 20cm (8in) wide.

Thomas Jefferson found the first dinosaur fossil in the Americas and expostulated that giant creatures once roamed the Earth.

Dinosaur fossils have been known for a long time in human history but it wasn’t until the early 19th century that they were formally recognized as the dinosaurs we know about today.

In 1824, the first dinosaur was given a name. It was called the Megalosaurus.

In 1858, one of the first almost complete dinosaur skeletons was discovered in New Jersey, USA. What made this discovery special was that it was a bipedal dinosaur, meaning one that moved on two legs. Most scientists had previously thought that all dinosaurs moved on four feet. The discovery dramatically changed views and led to a huge increase in dinosaur interest among those living in the USA.

In 1868 the bones of a Hadrosaurus were used to create the first ever mounted dinosaur skeleton.

A person who studies dinosaurs is known as a paleontologist.

In 1888, Harry Seeley proposed a way of classifying dinosaurs into two groups by looking at their hip structure, these groups are called Saurischia (lizard hipped) and Ornithischia (bird hipped). The two groups can be further broken down into sub-groups such as families, sub-families and so on.

Rather than being carnivores (meat eaters), the largest dinosaurs such as the Brachiosaurus and Apatosaurus were actually herbivores (plant eaters).

To help fight meat eaters such as the Allosaurus or Spinosaurus, many plant eaters had natural weapons at their disposal. Examples of this include the spikes on the tail of the Stegosaurus and the three horns attached to the front of the Triceratops’s head shield.

Pterodactyls are not dinosaurs. They were flying reptiles that lived during the age of dinosaurs but by definition they do not fall into the same category. The same goes for water based reptiles such as Plesiosaurs.

Birds descended from a type of dinosaurs known as theropods.

Despite being long extinct, dinosaurs are frequently featured in the media. One of the more memorable examples of this is Michael Crichton’s 1990 book Jurassic Park. Adapted to movie in 1993, the story features cloned dinosaurs brought to life with the help of DNA found in mosquitoes trapped in amber.
Here are some of the most famous types of dinosaurs.

Tyrannosaurus rex

The word Tyrannosaurus comes from the Greek words meaning ‘tyrant lizard’, while the word ‘rex’ means ‘king’ in Latin. Tyrannosaurus rex is often abbreviated to T-Rex and lived in an area of the Earth that now makes up western North America.

Tyrannosaurus rex lived in the late Cretaceous Period, around 66 million years ago.

Tyrannosaurus rex walked on two legs, balancing its huge head with a long and heavy tail that sometimes contained over 40 vertebrae. It measured up to 13m (42ft) in length, 4m (13ft) at the hip and could weigh up to 7 tons. The skull of a Tyrannosaurus rex alone measured up to 1.5m (5ft) long. And, Tyrannosaurus rex had small arms that were extremely powerful and featured two clawed fingers. Finally, because of the lack of concrete evidence, it is difficult for scientists to work out how fast T-Rex could run, with estimates ranging from as low as 17kph (11mph) to as high as 70kph (43mph). Average estimates suggest a maxium speed of around 40kph (25mph).

The largest tooth of any carnivorous dinosaur found to this date is that of a T-Rex. It is estimated to have been around 30cm (12in) long when including the root.

When Tyrannosaurus rex was around the age of 14, its body size would increase rapidly, putting on around 600kg (1300lb) a year over the next 4 years.

There is also strong debate about whether Tyrannosaurus rex was a predator or scavenger. It had small arms which would have made it hard to grip prey, suggesting it may have been a scavenger. On the other hand, evidence in favor of it being a predator includes its forward pointing eyes which give better depth perception and make it easier to hunt.


The name ‘Triceratops’ comes from the Greek language, with ‘tri’ meaning three and ‘keratops’ meaning horned face.

Triceratops lived in the late Cretaceous Period (around 65 million years ago).

The Triceratops is one of the most easily recognizable dinosaurs due to its large body, unique frill and three horns. It needed its three horns to try and protect itself from the Tyrannosaurus Rex which lived during the same time period.

It is believed that fully grown Triceratops were about 8m (26ft) in length, 3m (10ft) in height and weighed anywhere between 6 to 12 tons.The skull of a Triceratops alone could grow over 2m (7ft) in length.

The Triceratops was a plant eating (herbivore) dinosaur. And, it had anywhere between 400 and 800 teeth, although only a small percentage of these were in use at any one time as they were constantly replaced throughout its lifetime.


The name Allosaurus means ‘different lizard’.

Allosaurus lived around 150 million years ago in the late Jurassic Period.

Allosaurus was first described by Othniel Marsh in 1877 and become one of the first well known dinosaurs. Marsh also named and gave the first description of theApatosaurus (Brontosaurus) in that same year.

Most Allosaurus fossils have been found in the Morrison Formation, a distinctive band of sedimentary rock found in the western United States.

Allosaurus had a large skull and walked on two legs. Its body and head were balanced by a long and heavy tail. Like the Tyrannosaurs rex, the Allosaurus had short arms. It had three fingers that were each tipped with sharp, curved claws. And, research suggests that the average length of an Allosaurus was around 8.5 metres (28 feet) and that it weighed around 2.3 tons.


The name Iguanodon means ‘Iguana tooth’.

Iguanodon lived in the early Cretaceous Period, around 125 million years ago.

The Iguanodon was first discovered in 1822 by English geologist Gideon Mantell.

The Iguanodon was a plant eater (herbivore).

It could easily shift between moving on two limbs or four.

The Iguanodon weighed around 3.5 tons and reached around 10 metres (33 feet) in length.

Iguanodon had a thin skull and long tail.

The largest collection of Iguanodon fossils were found in a Belgian coal mine in 1878. More than 35 skeletons were excavated, greatly helping scientists develop a better understanding of the dinosaur.

Scientists estimate the Iguanodon’s maximum speed would have been around 24kph (15mph).


The name Sauropod comes from the Greek language and means ‘lizard foot’.

Sauropods are a type of dinosaur that typically grew to enormous sizes.The biggest dinosaur ever is believed to be a Sauropod called Amphicoelias. This gigantic dinosaur could have reached as long 60 metres (200 feet) in length and weighed up to 120 tons.

Studies suggest that Sauropods reached heights of up to 18m (60ft), lengths of up to 34m (110ft) and weights of up to 100 metric tons. Only the Blue Whale manages to compete with the Sauropods when it comes to size, and it lives in the water rather than on land like the Sauropods did.

Sauropods first appeared on the scene in the Triassic Period (around 200 million years ago) and became quite common late in the Jurassic Period (around 150 million years ago).

Sauropod fossils have been found on every continent of Earth, even in Antarctica.

The Sauropods became extinct around 65 million years ago.

Quotes about Religion

This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness. - Dalai Lama, Tibetan spiritual leader (born: 1936)

Just as a candle cannot burn without fire, men cannot live without a spiritual life. - Buddha spiritual leader  (563BC-493BC) 

Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich.- Napoleon Bonaparte, French leader (1769 - 1821)

When I admire the wonders of a sunset or the beauty of the moon, my soul expands in the worship of the creator. - Mahatma Gandhi, Indian leader (1869- 1948)

Religion is part of the human make-up. It's also part of our cultural and intellectual history. Religion was our first attempt at literature, the texts, our first attempt at cosmology, making sense of where we are in the universe, our first attempt at health care, believing in faith healing, our first attempt at philosophy. - Christopher Hitchens , author (1949-2011)

For God so loved the World that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. - Jesus, spiritual leader ( between 7–2 BC to between 30–33 AD)

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. - Albert Einstein, physicist (1879 -1955)

I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use. - Galileo Galilei, Italian scientist (1564 - 1642)

All religions must be tolerated... for every man must get to heaven in his own way. - Epictetus, Ancient Greek philosopher (55AD - 135AD)

When the missionaries came to Africa they had the Bible and we had the land. They said 'Let us pray.' We closed our eyes. When we opened them we had the Bible and they had the land.- Desmond Tutu - South African archbishop and leader (born: 1931)

I would rather live my life as if there is a God and die to find out there isn't, than live as if there isn't and to die to find out that there is. - Albert Camus, philosopher and author (1913 - 1960)

The more I study religions the more I am convinced that man never worshiped anything but himself. - Sir Richard Francis Burton, British explorer & orientalist (1821 - 1890)

The true meaning of religion is thus not simply morality, but morality touched by emotion. -Matthew Arnold,  English critic & poet (1822 - 1888)

We do not destroy religion by destroying superstition.- Cicero, Roman author, orator, & politician (106 BC - 43 BC)

I count religion but a childish toy,
And hold there is no sin but ignorance. -
Christopher Marlowe,  English dramatist & poet (1564 - 1593)

There is only one religion, though there are a hundred versions of it. - George Bernard Shaw,  Irish dramatist & socialist (1856 - 1950)

Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, just as it is the spirit of a spiritless situation. It is the opium of the people.- Karl Marx, German economist & Communist political philosopher (1818 - 1883)

What if we chose the wrong religion? Each week we just make God madder and madder. - Matt Groening, US cartoonist & satirist (born: 1954)

God can be realized through all paths. All religions are true. - Ramakrishna, Indian Hindu religious leader (1836 - 1886) 
We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another - Jonathan Swift, Irish essayist, novelist, & satirist (1667 - 1745)

Doubt is part of all religion. All the religious thinkers were doubters. - Isaac Bashevis Singer, 
US Polish-born Jewish author (1904 - 1991)

Truth, in the matters of religion, is simply the opinion that has survived. - Oscar Wilde, Irish dramatist, novelist, & poet (1854 - 1900)

One man's religion is another man's belly laugh. - Isaac Asimov, author, and biochemistry professor (1920_ 1992)

I believe in God, but not as one thing, not as an old man in the sky. I believe that what people call God is something in all of us. I believe that what Jesus and Mohammed and Buddha and all the rest said was right. It's just that the translations have gone wrong. - John Lennon, British singer (1940 -1980)

All religion, my friend, is simply evolved out of fraud, fear, greed, imagination, and poetry. - Edgar Allan Poe, American writer and poet (1809 -1849)

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Figures of Speech: Paraprosdokians

A paraprosdokian is a figure of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected in a way that causes the reader or listener to reinterpret the first part. It is frequently used for humorous or dramatic effect. They are extremely popular with comedians and satirists. The word "paraprosdokian" comes from two Greek words, one meaning "against" and the other meaning "expectation".

Here are some examples of paraprosdokians.

1. Where there's a will, I want to be in it.  
2. The last thing I want to do is hurt you, but it's still on my list. 
3. Since light travels faster than sound, some people appear bright until you hear them speak.       
4. If I agreed with you, we'd both be wrong.  
5. War does not determine who is right, only by who is left.  
6. Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.  
7. They begin the evening news with "Good Evening", then proceed to tell you why it isn't.  
8. To steal  ideas from one person is plagiarism. To steal from many is research.  
9. I thought I wanted a career. Turns out, I just wanted pay checks.  
10. In filling out an application, where it says, 'In case of emergency, notify:' I put "DOCTOR."  
11. I didn't say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.  
12. Women will never be equal to men until they can walk down the street with a bald head and a beer gut, and still think they are sexy.  
13. Behind every successful man is his woman.  Behind the fall of a successful man is usually another woman.  
14. A clear conscience is the sign of a fuzzy memory.  
15. You do not need a parachute to skydive.You only need a parachute to skydive twice.  
16. Money can't buy happiness, but it sure  makes misery easier to live with.  
17. There's a fine line between cuddling and holding someone down so they can't get away.  
18. I used to be indecisive. Now I'm not so sure.  
19. You're never too old to learn something stupid.  
20. To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target.  
21. Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.  
22. Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.  
23. Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.  
24. I'm supposed to respect my elders, but now it’s getting harder and harder for me to find one.  

25. Light travels faster than sound. That is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.