Genius Hour Update 3

This has been a productive week for my Genius Hour. I completed the movie trailer and have written my TED talk (although I haven’t actually presented it yet). Apart from the Learning Object, which I will complete within the next few days, I’m pretty much done!

I loved loved loved making the movie trailer. I used iMovie for the first time and it was relatively easy, plus it was so much fun using the puppets to make the trailer. It’s been a long time since I’ve done anything like that, so it’s nice to get back into the drama/theatre side of things again, even if it is just for this brief project.

My fiancé Jeff was a tremendous help in making the trailer, because initially I had been unsure of what to do for the setting. I considered going outside and shooting in a nearby park, but Jeff had the great idea of using our TV and setting up backgrounds on the TV. It worked a lot better than either of us expected, actually. For future videos, I am definitely making use of puppets and various backdrops again. Everyone loves puppets.

The TED talk is going to be longer than the five minutes expected, and I still didn’t fit in barely anything I wanted to say, but no one really wants to listen to me talk for an hour, which I easily could! As much as I like the sound of my own voice, I’ll spare the general public from hearing too much of it and keep the speech short. 

Genius Hour Update 2

Hello world,

Here is my weekly update on my Genius Hour. I watched the documentary I said I was going to watch, which gave me most of the information I need to answer my research question, and I looked at a couple other internet sources as well (see my previous post on birds with teeth as proof). At this point I need to organize my research so that I can answer in a coherent way how Cope and Marsh’s efforts influenced the world.

I haven’t had too much trouble because I set out a plan beforehand. The most challenging part is going to be doing the storyboard for the movie trailer and figuring out the resources I need for each of the scenes. I also need to decide on music, which hadn’t crossed my mind until I just watched a movie trailer a moment ago. I’m not worried about the TED talk because I like to present things and plan speeches, plus because this is stuff I’m interested in, I remember a lot of specific things from my notes, so it’s easy to talk about.


I’m planning on doing the storyboard for my movie trailer tonight, or over the next few days. It’s going to be awesomely ridiculous, so look forward to that. You’re welcome in advance.

Birds with teeth!

Chrisand, E. “Ichthyornis dispar specimen.” 1880.
Retrieved from

My research into my Genius Hour question continues, and I thought it would be interesting to provide a link to one of O.C. Marsh’s important papers defining a new sub-class of fossil birds, the Ordontonithes, or birds with teeth! This paper is important because it helps provide the link between reptiles and birds, providing physical proof of Darwin’s theory of evolution. It also was used as a way for certain politicians, such as Hilary Herbert to convince Congress to slash funding of scientific projects. “What are we doing financing books about birds with teeth?” he asks on the floor of Congress.

This rallying cry eventually leads to a reduction in funding and an elimination of the federally funded Department of Paleontology (and with it, Marsh as it’s Chief Paleontologist). The paper isn’t long, but it’s fun to get a glimpse of scientific history.

First Genius Hour Reflection

Hello world,

Welcome to the first reflection for my Bone Wars Genius Hour. As a refresher for those of you who haven’t checked out my Genius Hour proposal, my research question is “how did the Bone Wars (aka The Great Dinosaur Rush or the Dinosaur Wars) influence/contribute to the fields of archeology and paleontology?”

This post is going to be a very brief one because so far I haven’t started much of my Genius Hour research. The biggest update in my progress is I found the perfect documentary to watch that I think will provide me with the majority of the information I need to complete this adequately. It’s the Dinosaur Wars PBS documentary. You can watch the preview here:
I’m very excited to gather my information and even more excited to make the movie trailer. My plan is to get a ton of puppets from the IRC and make something that will blow your mind. Apart from that, I’ve been searching for interesting pictures I can share about the fossils and the expeditions, all will be revealed soon.