Tet Zoo = back in business

Well, the whole 'distributed denial of service' thing has done a pretty effective job of keeping me away from Tet Zoo entirely. No chance to blog, and not even the chance to look at the site at all - so, wow, thanks for keeping the protobats discussion going (97 98 comments... not bad). While those jolly nice people at ScienceBlogs tech support have just unblocked my IP address, it seems that lots of readers remain blocked - I see Tet Zoo sliding down the ratings a bit over on Nature Blog Network. Yikes, fifth place! Anyway, I'm just about ready to start deluging Tet Zoo with the enormous vesper bat series... until then, here are a collection of recent-ish images that result from various adventures, with commentary.



For starters, above find a nice portrait of yours truly, lovingly crafted by the brilliant David Maas (who does lots of neat dinosaur stuff, by the way). It arrives in the wake (cough cough) of the Bownessie saga, but - coincidentally - was first encountered by me at about the same time as I did a long interview for a documentary about the Loch Ness monster. Ah, how I love those cryptozoology-for-TV projects. Speaking of which, I'm reliably informed that I featured in the first episode of the new National Geographic series Wild Case Files, broadcast in the US on Monday (14th March). I do the whole "the Montauk monster is definitely a dead raccoon" thing, again. Haven't seen it yet, but look forward to it. And, while on the subject of cryptozoology on TV, Patrick Spain's new Nat Geo series - titled Beast Man in the UK - is now being broadcast. Pat is - I'm dead serious - a self-professed Tet Zoo fan, and he mentions me by name in the Cadborosaurus episode at least. Neat news on Cadborosaurus to come real soon, by the way. It involves that whole 'analysing cryptids in the peer-reviewed literature' thing. And... note to self: discuss ZSL cryptozoology meeting happening on 12th July this year. On the subject of monsters, the adjacent photo shows the hilarious sloth I recently encountered at the Horniman Museum in London (upside-down).

Anyway, I didn't mean this to turn into a cryptozoology love-fest. In other news, I've been outstandingly productive lately in terms of academic papers, with stuff currently in the system at Nature, Science, Journal of Zoology, PNAS, Journal of Systematic Palaeontology and Cretaceous Research. Again, I'm dead serious. Two projects on large exotic cats are now well underway as are projects on Cretaceous theropods and a very neat crocodilian manuscript. Dorling Kindersley's augmented reality book Dinosaur, written by John Woodward (I was consultant), has just arrived, but I don't know if it's out in the shops yet. The digital 3D pop-up art (by Peter Minister) is pretty good - below you can see one of the dinosaurs.


Together with Mike P. Taylor and John Conway (and thanks entirely to the outstandingly good graces of RVC's John Hutchinson), I got to dissect a baby giraffe lately - wow, so pretty much everything published about zygapophyses is total nonsense. Hmm.

While I could prattle on a lot more, that'll do for now - I just wanted to announce a return to business. Saw this interesting mural lately, and thought it worthy of attention here...


The artist is proud of his work but I don't know if I should mention his name. It isn't Mark Witton.

More like this

Today is January 21st which means, believe it or don't, that it's Tet Zoo's birthday, the 4th no less. Holy crap... have I really been blogging for four years? Yikes, and there is still so much to do, so little ground I've covered. This is despite more than 635 (count 'em) Tet Zoo articles here on…
On March 14th 2011 National Geographic screened episode 1 of their new series Wild Case Files (here in the UK, the episode was screened on April 11th), and the reason I'm writing about it is because I featured in said episode. The first section of the show was devoted to an investigation of the…
So, if you read the previous article, you'll know that we're here because Tet Zoo was four years old on January 21st. In that article, I got as far as discussing blog-relevant events that happened up to the end of May or so. Time to crack on... During June I had a particularly bizarre job - I did…
Welcome to part II of my musings on the 2010 blogging year. You'll need to have read the first part to make sense of it. The article you're reading now is extraordinarily long and I'd normally break up a piece of this length into two, three or even more separate articles. This year I want to get…

Welcome back!

Although you should probably stay away from here more often if it gets you in Nature, Science, Journal of Zoology, PNAS, Journal of Systematic Palaeontology and Cretaceous Research...

I read that list of journals and... forgot to let my jaw drop.

By David MarjanoviÄ (not verified) on 15 Mar 2011 #permalink

DDOS? Who would be malicious enough to attack Tet Zoo?

I'm waiting for someone to say "Cretaceous Research - wow, good job!", but I guess I beat them to it :)

The DDoS attack is ScienceBlogs-wide, originally suspected (perhaps erroneously) to be non-malicious, yet apparently originating from Turkey and Qatar. I know from emails and facebook that loads of Tet Zoo readers are still unable to view any and all parts of the Sb network - you just get a 408 request or such.

My knowledge of internet technology is pretty slim at best, I admit, but I was always under the impression that there's no such thing as a non-malicious DDOS attack.

This is the first scienceblogs post I've been able to see for days. Awesome it's back and awesome list of activities.

I've been rather enjoying "Beast Man" although I must confess the bullet ant stuff was hard to watch the other week.

Wow you have been busy, writing all those papers!

As for the art, anyone who has met him will probably guess. He is from Hingland after all, be he Rich and/or poorer ;)

One more thing..... The attacks may not necessarily be originating from the Turkey area. It's a very popular country for proxies

I've been outstandingly productive lately in terms of academic papers, with stuff currently in the system at Nature, Science, Journal of Zoology, PNAS, Journal of Systematic Palaeontology and Cretaceous Research

That list of journals is full of win. Congratulations!

DDOS attacks come and go but those forthcoming publications will surely always look good on your CV... ;)

I wondered why I couldn't see you....

Glad things are sorting themselves out!

@Cale For DDoS, as opposed to a DoS, and especially a long sustained one, you are right. Sometimes sloppy admins can make one kind of mistake or another and create a DoS, but those kind of things are usually short lived, and tend to be local rather than remote (though they can be remote), and it certainly wouldn't be a DDoS.

Nature, Science, PNAS etc etc? Congratulations! (and damn you!)

Actually, all you need is a mis-configured, popular client to get an accidental DDoS. In fact, Chrome now stops requesting data from servers from which you are getting repeated 500 errors, to avoid runaway extensions (or browser bugs) causing accidental DDoS.

Oh yeah, and are you sure that's a sloth? That's actually a morlock

I've been outstandingly productive lately in terms of academic papers, with stuff currently in the system at Nature, Science, Journal of Zoology, PNAS, Journal of Systematic Palaeontology and Cretaceous Research.

Still 'lazy' as ever eh. :-)

By Mike from Ottawa (not verified) on 16 Mar 2011 #permalink

Apart from simple software bugs and the like, it is probably worth pointing out that a lot of the people behind DDoS attacks aren't actually very competent systems administrators (they'd be gainfully employed if they were) and accidental attacks are actually quite common. If you add to this a combination of youthfulness, lack of maturity and general stupidity together with the ability to cause a lot of damage on a whim, and someone offhandedly referring to one of these criminals as a "script kiddie" (an insult, implying that the person lacks the brains to create software and merely runs scripts written by others) or similar will quite often trigger such an attack.

Script kiddies aren't particularly discriminating, are rarely particularly bright and thus the DDoS of Tet Zoo might well be colllateral damage from an attack aimed somewhere completely different.

By Dan Holdsworth (not verified) on 17 Mar 2011 #permalink

Dan: Either that, or the CREATIONISTS ARE GETTING SMARTER! (lock the doors)

perhaps they are evolving.


I now can get science blogs at work, but not yet at home.

No problems on my home computer, but it took until today to get my work IP address unblocked. Think of it: ten consecutive days with no access to ScienceBlogs!

I'm no internet expert either, but my take here is that an organization (Seed Media) which supposedly specializes in science communication isn't doing itself any favors by being so incapable of dealing with issues of, you know, technology.

By Pete Moulton (not verified) on 18 Mar 2011 #permalink

Darren: Good to see Cecil the Seasick Sea Serpent is still in business...

By Tim Morris (not verified) on 19 Mar 2011 #permalink

Michael: look carefully and you see me (twice) in said documentary. They interviewed me, but evidently it didn't make the final cut.

yes I'm in !! Finally !!
Wow and more bats

That's the spirit !

By Wilbert Friesen (not verified) on 22 Mar 2011 #permalink