Wednesday, November 14, 2007

PodCamp Boston: Famous Dinosaur delivers some laughter

PodCamp Boston 2 was October 26-28, 2007. A person named Ewan Spence, Vice President (Stuff) at The Podcast Network, had a Sunday presentation from 1 pm to 2 pm called The Circle of Podcasting. I watched his video explaining that he had some idea about testing what would happen if he showed a PowerPoint presentation during his talk that had nothing to do with what he was talking about.

Late Saturday night before the presentation, he and his friends were discussing what content should be shown. They came up with the idea of LOLsaurs, which means that they combed Flickr for photos of dinosaurs with CC licensing. Then they added funny captions to the photos using Flickr toys. I guess those made it into the PowerPoint presentation for Ewan's talk, which was October 28. On October 27, they also created a quick, free WordPress blog as a showplace the LOLsaurs. They got all excited because by Sunday noon, their LOLsaur blog was number one on Digg. However, the tide turned against them and they got a lot of negative comments after that. Chris Brogan kept the perspective on the project with his entry, "Why LOLsaur really is cool!" If you do a search on Digg for LOLsaur, you get Chris's blog entry.

There is a very famous dinosaur nicknamed Dave by Mark Norell of the American Museum of Natural History. Dave was Mark's introduction to dinosaurs with feathers in China. [Norell nicknamed the specimen "Dave," a reference to the communication difficulties with the Chinese while Norell was jet-lagged as being analogous to "an old Cheech and Chong routine--one where Cheech Marin attempts very unsuccessfully to communicate with his friend Tommy Chong about the whereabouts of a character named Dave" (from Unearthing the Dragon, p.173).] You can read more about it under Dave's photo. Incredibly, I was able to see Dave with other New Yorkers and I took his photo. Mark's book is also most interesting, not only for the information about the dinosaurs, but also because Mark told about the mash-up between the cultures of the United States and China. I am showing Dave's photo here first before the altered photo of Dave as an LOLsaur.

Dave is very special to me. I don't mind the LOLsaurs (some are quite funny or cute), but Dave and what he represents is much more important. Dave made it into the LOLsaurs blog on November 9th so he missed being part of number 1 on Digg. However, since interest in LOLsaurs has died down, only one other LOLsaur has been posted since Dave, making him the second entry on the home page. That is not a bad place to be.

He was created as an LOLsaur by Wendell Oskay, one of Ewan's friends. Wendell has a blog called, Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories: Making the world a better place one mad scientist at a time. Dave also made it to this Mad Scientist blog on November 9th. Wendell's blog is rather interesting and promises to present a new project every Wednesday. In any case, I can't complain as there is always a link back to Dave on my Flickr site (a requirement of my CC license). It is great for Dave to get any and all publicity. He deserves it!

So that is how Dave got his start as a comedian. However, his real contribution is to Mark Norell's understanding of feathers on dinosaurs and through Mark the rest of the Western world gained that understanding.

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