For the offended

What is this?

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Saturday fun activity: Where IS this?

        When I was in junior high school, I was a member of the Roehm Junior High School fossil club, that had wonderful golden yellow sweatshirts emblazoned with one of these friendly fellows and the slogan, "Friends of the Trilobite." We would go fossil hunting at the shale fields in Sylvania, Ohio. I never found one—I remember digging up a pathetic fragment, that's it. As an adult, I broke down and bought one, which seemed a kind of surrender.
    I'm not sure of the allure. I imagine I thought they looked cool. I certainly was very proud of my Estwing fossil hammer.
    Trilobites—the great, great, great-great-great (add a few hundred more "greats" here and you'll still fall short) grandfather of horseshoe crabs.  They scooted around the bottom of the sea starting about 500 million years ago, in the Pre-Cambrian era, and not petering out until the mass extinction at the end of the Permian. So humanity is going to have to do a lot better if we hope to touch their record. 
     What was their secret? Difficult to say. I'd guess at no religion or weapons, but can't be certain. There are without question 17,000 known species of trilobites, so they were working the diversity thing, big time. Something we might want to think about. Organisms with only a single variety tend not to endure, and I don't mean that as a slam at ginkgo biloba trees, which as you know is alone in its own division, class, genus, order and species, yes somehow managed to hang around for the past 270 million years (going back coincidentally, to the time of the trilobites).
     But enough paleontology. I'll draw your attention to the tableau below. 
     Where is this singular place? A bit off the beaten track, but maybe you've been there.  I'll give you a hint: it's not in a museum, meaning those of you who guess, "Field Museum" will out yourselves for not reading thoroughly (or out me for having bored you with all this trilobite crap).
     Place your guesses below. The winner, as always, gets one of my blog posters—I'll let you chose the year. Please don't guess if you're already been successful before, Tate. Good luck.


  1. The Center for Pot-hole Research exhibit at the City of Chicago's Streets and Sanitation Institute for advance studies!?

  2. Dave's Down to Earth Rock Shop?

    1. That's right, it's Dave's Down to Earth Rock Shop, in Evanston. I bought several fossils there, for dinosaur crazy nephews, several decades ago. It's nice to know they're still in business. ...See Mr. Tate, this is how you demonstrate you have character, not that you are a character.

    2. You've got it Tom -- and Bernie, let's not slam Tate. He is a regular and valued reader, whose sharp eye makes this blog less error-ridden. His burst of enthusiasm last week is not to be held against him. We all have an excess of zeal, now and then.

    3. Oh, and email me your what year poster you'd like. I need to get rid of some if I'm going to print up one for 2017.

    4. This comment has been removed by the author.

    5. So John doesn't feel too picked on, you can characterize me as also a character, with character.

  3. Dave's Down to Earth Rock Shop in Evanston.

  4. Spectacular picture of the door that hopefully no one will go through.


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