Via Richard at The Red Notebook:
Darwin has been animated by the folks who do Wallace & Gromit…
In The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists, Hugh Grant stars in his first animated role as the luxuriantly bearded Pirate Captain — a boundlessly enthusiastic, if somewhat less-than-successful, terror of the High Seas. With a rag-tag crew at his side (Martin Freeman, Brendan Gleeson, Russell Tovey, and Ashley Jensen), and seemingly blind to the impossible odds stacked against him, the Captain has one dream: to beat his bitter rivals Black Bellamy (Jeremy Piven) and Cutlass Liz (Salma Hayek) to the much coveted Pirate Of The Year Award. It’s a quest that takes our heroes from the shores of exotic Blood Island to the foggy streets of Victorian London. Along the way they do battle with the pirate-hating Queen Victoria (Imelda Staunton) and team up with a young Charles Darwin (David Tennant), but never lose sight of what a pirate loves best: adventure!
The Geological Society, London has published a volume of papers on the history of dinosaur (or phylogenetically-related) paleontology, Dinosaurs and Other Extinct Saurians: A Historical Perspective, edited by R.T.J. Moody, E. Buffetaut, D. Naish (blog), and D.M. Martill:
The discovery of dinosaurs and other large extinct ‘saurians’—a term under which the Victorians commonly lumped ichthyosaurs, plesiosaurs, pterosaurs and their kin—makes exciting reading and has caught the attention of palaeontologists, historians of science and the general public alike. The papers in this collection go beyond the familiar tales about famous ‘fossil hunters’ and focus on relatively little-known episodes in the discovery and interpretation (from both a scientific and an artistic point of view) of dinosaurs and other inhabitants of the Mesozoic world. They cover a long time span, from the beginnings of ‘modern’ scientific palaeontology in the 1700s to the present, and deal with many parts of the world, from the Yorkshire coast to Central India, from Bavaria to the Sahara. The characters in these stories include professional palaeontologists and geologists (some of them well-known, others quite obscure), explorers, amateur fossil collectors, and artists, linked together by their interest in Mesozoic creatures.
And the papers:
Mark Evans, The roles played by museums, collections and collectors in the early history of reptile palaeontology [Abstract]
H. S. Torrens, William Perceval Hunter (1812–1878), forgotten English student of dinosaurs-to-be and of Wealden rocks [Abstract]
Leslie F. Noè, Jeff J. Liston and Sandra D. Chapman, ‘Old bones, dry subject’: the dinosaurs and pterosaur collected by Alfred Nicholson Leeds of Peterborough, England [Abstract]
Federico Fanti, Life and ideas of Giovanni Capellini (1833–1922): a palaeontological revolution in Italy [Abstract]
Richard T. J. Moody and Darren Naish, Alan Jack Charig (1927–1997): an overview of his academic accomplishments and role in the world of fossil reptile research [Abstract]
Susan Turner, Cynthia V. Burek and Richard T. J. Moody, Forgotten women in an extinct saurian (man’s) world [Abstract]
Xabier Pereda Suberbiola, José-Ignacio Ruiz-Omeñaca, Nathalie Bardet, Laura Piñuela and José-Carlos García-Ramos, Wilhelm (Guillermo) Schulz and the earliest discoveries of dinosaurs and marine reptiles in Spain [Abstract]
Matthew T. Carrano, Jeffrey A. Wilson and Paul M. Barrett, The history of dinosaur collecting in central India, 1828–1947 [Abstract]
Eric Buffetaut, Spinosaurs before Stromer: early finds of spinosaurid dinosaurs and their interpretations [Abstract]
Martin A. Whyte, Mike Romano and Will Watts, Yorkshire dinosaurs: a history in two parts [Abstract]
A. J. Bowden, G. R. Tresise and W. Simkiss, Chirotherium, the Liverpool footprint hunters and their interpretation of the Middle Trias environment [Abstract]
Darren Naish, Pneumaticity, the early years: Wealden Supergroup dinosaurs and the hypothesis of saurischian pneumaticity [Abstract]
Peter Wellnhofer, A short history of research on Archaeopteryx and its relationship with dinosaurs [Abstract]
Kasper Lykke Hansen, A history of digit identification in the manus of theropods (including Aves) [Abstract]
Attila Osi, Edina Prondvai and Barnabás Géczy, The history of Late Jurassic pterosaurs housed in Hungarian collections and the revision of the holotype of Pterodactylus micronyx Meyer 1856 (a ‘Pester Exemplar’) [Abstract]
David M. Martill, The early history of pterosaur discovery in Great Britain [Abstract]
Mark P. Witton, Pteranodon and beyond: the history of giant pterosaurs from 1870 onwards [Abstract]
Jean Le Loeuff, Art and palaeontology in German-occupied France: Les Diplodocus by Mathurin Méheut (1943) [Abstract]
J. J. Liston, 2000 A.D. and the new ‘Flesh’: first to report the dinosaur renaissance in ‘moving’ pictures [Abstract]
Michael P. Taylor, Sauropod dinosaur research: a historical review [Abstract]
Here’s a reminder to any readers in Portland or nearby, that this coming weekend is the first annual Portland Humanist Film Festival, organized by the Portland leg of Center for Inquiry, Freethinkers of PSU, and Humanists of Greater Portland:
The Portland Humanist Film Fest was developed to offer a free, dynamic cultural event to the rapidly growing Humanist movement in the Pacific Northwest. Our mission is to provide, through the medium of film, an expansive window into many of the aspects of existence, morality, history, science and philosophy that help reflect the Humanist outlook. By selecting a mix of films which cover many topics and represent many genres we hope to not only make the event engaging for those who already consider themselves Humanists, but reach further to those who are curious about Humanism as well.
So we invite you to laugh, think, be challenged and entertained as we present to you a carefully selected treasure of richly diverse and informative cinematic creations.
I will not be able to see any of the films since I will be in Houston for my sister-in-law’s wedding. Happy viewing!
Although the Darwin film Creation is out on DVD (see my collection of reviews), it will be featured as the finale film for the Portland Humanist Film Festival from October 1-3. The festival is being put on by the Center for Inquiry (CFI), Freethinkers of Portland State University, and the Humanists of Greater Portland (HGP). Check out the full schedule here.
Oh, and all the films will be free to attend!
Just in case you might want to get it…
Creation: An Opportunity to Explore the Interaction Between Religion and Science, by Michael Zimmerman
Special features help redeem DVD release of ‘Creation,’ by Bruce Dancis
Lionsgate will release the Charles Darwin biopic Creation June 29 (order date June 2) on DVD at $27.98.
The film stars Paul Bettany as Darwin, the naturalist who formulated the theory of natural selection. Bettany’s real-life wife, Jennifer Connelly, plays Darwin’s wife, a deeply religious woman who feared her husband’s work would damage the church. Jeremy Northam and Toby Jones also star.
The movie is based on the book Annie’s Box, by Darwin’s great-great-grandson Randal Keynes. Annie was the name of Darwin’s daughter who died as a child.
Extras include an audio commentary with director Jon Amiel, the making-of documentary “The Battle for Charles Darwin,” three “Debating Darwin” featurettes, seven “Digging Deeper Into Darwin” featurettes and a “Pollard on Film: Creation” featurette.
Oh, my birthday is June 17.