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No idea exactly when this was shown but B. continues to win the "does cool stuff with science" game. So far I've only been able to watch it with the sound off because I'm in a shared office so I've not gleaned much except that he's acquired a new job title "Computational Primatologist" which must have any interested viewers scratching their heads about why he's messing around with T. Rexes.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-12-08 11:22 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wellinghall.livejournal.com
I think the commentary said he was a Computational Biologist.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-12-08 03:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] firin.livejournal.com
But they show him with the title of Primatologist.

Cool clip though, definitely. Science suddenly looks a lot more interesting than it did when I was at school.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-12-08 07:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lil-shepherd.livejournal.com
I don't get the Computational Primatologist either, and suspect that the producers must have mustunderstood something, somehow! If you ask B, do let us know!

Edit: I wrote that before listening to it properly. The commentary said out loud that B usually works on primates and had only recently turned to T-Rex. Is that in fact the case?
Edited Date: 2008-12-08 07:32 pm (UTC)

(no subject)

Date: 2008-12-08 07:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] louisedennis.livejournal.com
My mum once asked what B. actually did and I was constructing a fairly coherent answer involving human evolution and primates and then I ran into mapping caves like the bats do and had to fall back on "anything that seems cool". His PhD is in primatology and until the dinosaurs came along human evolution and primate locomotion covered most of his work, so I can sort of see where the term came from but "anything that seems cool" pretty much covers it.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-12-08 07:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] louisedennis.livejournal.com
Reply to edit.

Yup that's correct. He used to be mostly primates but he so would have worked on dinosaurs if he could have found the way in which Manchester handily provided.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-12-08 07:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lil-shepherd.livejournal.com
B was great. It's not his fault that the commentary implied that the therapods ran on two legs because they were big - and, of course, the smaller ones evolved first. Then there was the bit where the commentator stated that T-Rex was the largest of land predators when it is only the third largest of the known therapod predators! Plainly, they haven't caught up with the Argentinian research.

Finally, they implied that racehorse breeding was getting lots more speed out of said racehorses, when it probably isn't so. Times are very rarely broken nowadays, and when they are it is often to do with the state of the going, and the fact that nutrition and training methods have improved (which is probably why human track times have also improved.) The thing that is happening is that some lines of breeding have produced horses with horribly fragile legs (I mean, even more so than the normally look-at-it-too-hard-and-it-goes-lame thoroughbred leg.

Huh. Congrats to B on getting his stuff right, though.

Edit: I didn't mean that last sentence the way it sounds! I'm just happy for him that all his technical stuff got through the journalistic mill intact, and he explained it so well that even I understood it.
Edited Date: 2008-12-08 08:08 pm (UTC)

(no subject)

Date: 2008-12-08 08:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] louisedennis.livejournal.com
B's pretty happy with it, given you have so little control over these things. It was pretty much two days being interviewed and filmed in the name of 10 minutes of screen time so you know you're pretty much at the mercy of the editor at that point...

(no subject)

Date: 2008-12-08 10:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] louisedennis.livejournal.com
The thing that is happening is that some lines of breeding have produced horses with horribly fragile legs

We've just watched the whole thing (B. was sent a copy of the tape sent out to international distributors) and the next section is, in fact, entirely about this point (though it omits to point out that times are rarely broken).

It then follows up with a section on human runners which rather bizarrely descends into doom-mongering, presumably in the pursuit of a good sound-bite on which to end the programme.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-12-09 06:53 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lil-shepherd.livejournal.com
Luckily, it really is only a few lines of thoroughbreds and mainly in the States (their habit of feeding their horses steroids may not help much either.) As for racehorse times, the record for our Derby stood from 1936 (Mahmoud) to 1995 (Lamtarra) and only one horse has beaten Mahmoud's time since (Galileo.)

The human times will almost certainly level out too (and drugs don't help there, either.)

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