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The definitive host: David's First Love

The definitive host

de·fin·i·tive host (duh-fin'eh-tiv) n. 1) An organism where a parasite undergoes the adult and sexual stages of its reproductive cycle 2) Someone you go to for interesting stories and/or facts, and puts on one hell of a dinner party 3) This blog, devoted to science and other geeky subjects

Friday, May 1, 2009

David's First Love

I'm heading back to Ottawa on Sunday to start my internship working for a Canada government funded science organization ... should be an interesting time!

And after that, at some point near the end of August, I will be heading to South Dakota to do research and filming for my MRP about endangered species. Anyone know anything interesting to do in South Dakota during the day because I will be primarily occupied with night shoots?

The most interesting thing that has happened to me in the past few days is that, as many people know, I am a wee bit of a clutz. I bump into stuff, fall occasionally and hurt myself in new and interesting ways. Someone once said that it is because I am so pre-occupied with tons of thoughts in my head, that I forget the normal stuff (like not tripping).

Case in point, I was walking up some stairs to a sidewalk, and putting my phone away and I tripped. So, valiantly, I used my hand to percent any damage to the phone. And, in doing so, my left hand scraped against the pavement. It hurt, but I dusted myself off and continued walking to my car. That is, until about 30 seconds later, when I noticed that blood was dripping onto the sidewalk.

So, holding my hand up and looking like I was raising my hand to a question no one asked, I walked into a gas station and used their bathroom to wash up and asked them for a Band-Aid. Suffice to say, I will soon have a new scar add to my collection ;)

Now, to the meat of this post.

Do you remember your first love?

I'm not talking about your first person who ever loved, I'm talking about the first time you just immediately fell in love with something.

I remember mine quite vividly and fondly.

Dimetrodon synapsid

When I was a child, my dad introduced me to dinosaurs and I was transfixed. The idea that massive creatures roamed the Earth 65 million years ago and have disappeared fascinated me. I went a little nuts and tried to learn as much as I possibly could about every dinosaur.

I checked out library books, read encyclopedias and visited the Royal Ontario Museum enough times to drive my parents bonkers. It was enough that when the school librarian retired, she gave my brother and I some dinosaur books that we checked out dozens of times. Even more impressive, is that we would actually correct the tour guides on museum tours.

I wanted to be a paleontologist and discover dinosaur bones for the rest of my life.
That was the first indication that I wanted to pursue a life of science. As my mom said once, "I knew at once from your love and passion for dinosaurs that you were destined for science."

This obsession continue through my elementary school years, and even influenced the books I read. In grade 5, I started reading adult books beginning with Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton, which I still possess to this day.

And when that movie came out, I literally had a smile on my face the entire time. THAT movie defined my childhood, and I truly loved it. My brother and I saw it at least eight times in the theaters.

Parents, sister, mom, dad, grandparents, aunt and by ourselves twice ;)

Dinosaurs had a profound impact on my life.

Through them, I learned about he theory of evolution when I was a kid.
As well, when religious leader told me that I was not supposed to believe in dinosaurs because they did not exist, it shattered my faith. He said that "God put the dinosaur bones into the ground to test our faith," which was the first time I thought that religion was not for me. Dinosaur bones could be felt, touched, studied, analyzed and dated. Cold, hard facts.

But, what happened to me wanting to be a paleontologist?
Sadly, it fell by the wayside to a brief stint wanting to be an actor, followed by a zoologist.

But, I will forever credit dinosaurs with beginning my love for science.

And, what are my favourite dinosaurs? There are far too many to name, but the ones that immediately come to mind are:
Dimetrodon (pictured above), the T-Rex (Sue, the most complete skeleton ever found is pictured below) the Stegosauraus (also pictured below) and the Pterodactyl (also below)

Tyrannosaurus Rex



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At May 10, 2009 at 7:11 AM , Anonymous de Sa said...

You wanted to be a paleontologist... I wanted to be a dinosaur... man, did I have my priorities backwards!

Go JP! Great movie.

Agreed, dinosaurs were/are fascinating creatures.

At June 19, 2009 at 3:27 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...


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