Professors Versus Modern Flying Dinosaurs

The extinction of all species of dinosaurs and pterosaurs has been taken for granted for generations of Americans; ask any kindergartner. But a recent survey of biology professors has revealed some doubt about pterosaur extinctions.

Not All Biology Professors Fight Modern Flying Dinosaurs

A recent survey of biology professors in the USA reveals not all of them are completely convinced that all species of pterosaurs became extinct by 65 million years ago. Although less than 2% of the professors replied to the survey, the response to the question of the possibility of modern living pterosaurs ranged from 0% to 5%, averaging 1.5%.

Jonathan Whitcomb, of Long Beach, California, administered the survey to biology professors to learn how many of them were aware of the research and expeditions that he and his associates had conducted, and how sure those professors were about extinction of all species of pterosaurs. He concluded that most biologists have no desire to become involved in the controversy.

One anonymous biology professor, however, made it clear that he hoped one species had survived: “I would LOVE it if there were living pterosaurs. That would simply be one of the coolest things ever, like finding a Coelacanth.”

Census Results for England and Wales

Census data reveals that the population of England and Wales increased by 3.7 million over the previous decade (7.1% increase), from 52.4 million to 56.1 million. It was the largest 10-year population growth in England and Wales since 1801, when the census taking began. Separate censuses are conducted in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

  • Those calling themselves Christians fell 13% to 59%
  • Those with “no religion” rose to 25%
  • Those of the Muslim faith rose 3% to 4.8%
  • One in three residents of London were born in a foreign country
  • One person in eight in England and Wales was foreign born

For more information, see “Census Data Released.”

Space Shuttle Discovery Flies to Smithsonian

Discovery Space Shuttle flying piggyback

America’s Space Shuttle Discovery flew over the nation’s capital on April 17, to retire to its final resting place at the Smithsonian Institution, the world’s largest museum and research complex. Its final “flight” (piggy-backed) is dwarfed by its flight mileage in space: according to one source, it flew 148 million miles, more than the distance from the earth to the sun.

Its thirty-nine missions, from 1984 to 2011, is more flights than any other spacecraft in history has achieved.

Space Shuttle Discovery over the nation's capital

Piggy-backed flyover of Washington, D.C., on April 17, 2012

Smithsonian Museums

The Smithsonian Institution has over 136 million museum items. According to Wikipedia, it is the largest museum complex in the world, with enough rooms and exhibits to captivate a tourist for many days, if not weeks.

Ropen Controversy

A Smithsonian blog post portrayed the ropen of Papua New Guinea as a “myth.” This caused many responses on other blog posts, early in 2011, critical of the reasoning of the writer, Brian Switek. Apparently, the Smithsonian has not responded to those comments. The ropen is reported, by some cryptozoologists, to be a modern living Rhamphorhynchoid pterosaur with intrinsic bioluminescence.

Wikipedia off by 42 Million

Apparently not all mistakes on Wikipedia are minor. The allegorical novel The Alchemist, by the Brazilian author Paulo Coelho, has sold twenty-three million copies worldwide, not sixty-five million, as was recently proclaimed on Wikipedia. It exaggerated by forty-two million.

The Alchemist

. . . much of the story is about a shepherd boy’s travels far from his homeland; he returns to find his purpose fulfilled in his own country. In the nonfiction book Live Pterosaurs in America, by Jonathan Whitcomb, only a little is about the author’s travel to Papua New Guinea; he returns to find a possibility that his purpose may be fulfilled in his own country.

Book Applause Review of The Alchemist

The great majority of reviewers on Amazon.com give The Alchemist five out of five stars. Before quoting parts of some of the most favorable and unfavorable ones, I’ll relate my own experience. I did not feel transported into another world, which is what I enjoy about fantasies, but this allegorical novel by Paulo Coelho is meant to help transport readers along the journey of life in the real world, when they are not reading anything. Judging by the worldwide popularity of The Alchemist, I believe that it is succeeding.

North Korea Leader Dies

This past weekend Kim Jong Il, known in his country as “dear leader” and strict ruler of communist North Korea, died of a heart attack at the age of sixty-nine. One of his sons appears to be in place to succeed him.

CNN

Kim Jong Il had led North Korea since 1994, when his father — the nation’s founder, Kim Il Sung — died at age 82. During his 17 years in power, the country suffered a devastating famine even as it built up its million-strong army, expanded its arsenal of ballistic missiles and became the world’s eighth declared nuclear power.

The news of his death spurred South Korea, which remains technically at war with the North more than five decades after their 1950-53 conflict, to put its military on high alert. But across one of the world’s most heavily fortified borders, South Korean President Lee Myung-bak told his citizens “to go about their lives” in the meantime.