I've been lucky enough to download a 36 month trial of Autodesk Maya for free (educational license)! And I've been having fun with the tutorials, the first of which was to create a 3D temple. I'll be adding in 3D matrices of the fossils I've scanned soon enough, and would love to create some animations to show decay sequences as well.
I've just discovered a new program called Prezi, which unlike MS Powerpoint allows you to create one image full of pictures and text which you can then navigate around, zoom in and out, in any order you want! For presentations, you can set a designated path which will take you to each part of the image or text in the order you want. I'm going to start using it to map out the Isisford fossil localities, with each locality containing information about the fossils found there, and each fossil containing a description of taphonomic features etc... It should be a great visual/graphical tool for record keeping!
I do really love Mendeley (the reference/citation manager), but I wish it had more choices when it comes to designating document types. I have a geological survey map I want to cite in my confirmation document, but any document type I designate requires an entry in the 'author' field!! And when I just add in "Geological Survey of Queensland" as the author, it lists it as (First Name, Surname) "Queensland, Geological Survey of".
I'm sure I'll figure out a way around this, and its not super crucial at the moment, just a tad annoying.
UPDATE: A colleague suggested a very simple fix for this, simply putting a comma at the end of "Geological Survey of Queensland", and leaving a blank space for the 'first name'. Works like a charm :D
My personal favourite, of course, is the photo of agatized dinosaur bone cells. I'll be looking at the internal structure and mineralisation of dinosaur bones for my taphonomy project, although I may not get anything as beautiful as this!
Photomicrographer: Douglas Moore, University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point, United States
Specimen: Agatized dinosaur bone cells, unpolished, ca. 150 million years old (42X)
Technique: Stereomicroscopy, fiber optics
Image: Courtesy of Nikon Small World
Find the rest of the Nikon Small World Top 20 here.
One of the more important things I've done today is procure a Lacie d2 Quadra 2 TB hard drive to sync with Time Machine (Mac OSX), so that I shouldn't have to worry about losing any data. It'll get backed up to a second computer every month or so. It has a heat sink and no fan, so its super quiet and perfect for a crowded office environment. Surprisingly, not many people I've chatted to bother backing up their data at all! I guess they've never experienced massive data loss before...
About the author
Dr Caitlin Syme is a palaeontologist studying the taphonomy (preservation state) of fossil non-avian dinosaurs, crocodiles and fish from the Winton Formation, Queensland, Australia. Think forensic science or CSI for fossils, and you're on the right track!
Love in the Time ofChasmosaurs
Not Exactly Rocket- Science
Prerogative of Harlots
The Integrative Paleontologists
The Mammoth Prairie
The Professor Is In
UQ Palaeo Blog
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