Saturday, January 13, 2007

A Post For Jacob

When I was a kid, I was obsessed with cars and motorcycles.

It started before I was born. Really. While she was pregnant with me, my mom drove a
'69 Nova SuperSport with a 350 CI engine. From what I've always heard, pregnancy caused her to become a much-more aggressive driver. She would get very upset if someone tried to get in front of her, and do whatever she could to be first through an intersection. Do you remember The French Connection car chase in New York City? Well, she drove those same streets.

Because I was riding "shotgun" during these drives, I totally believe that's where the obsession came from. You know how babies are comforted by the sound of their mothers' heartbeat? Well, I think the heartbeat I heard was the rumble of the engine. It's still my favorite sound!

When I was a few years old, my dad and I would ride his Triumph motorcycle every evening after work. I couldn't wait for him to come home so we could head out on the bike. We had matching Bell helmets and I would ride on the gas tank and be his official turn signal operator.

It only got worse when I was a teenager. All I read and talked about was cars. I subscribed to Car and Driver, MotorTrend and Road & Track. I memorized the specs for every car every year: horsepower, torque, 0 - 60 times, gas mileage, every little trim detail- I mean everything. I harassed my dad constantly about which car he should buy, which options, what color. I was relentless.

Anyway, as crazy as I was (am?) about cars, my nephew Jacob is just as obsessed with dinosaurs. He is five years old and is the world's foremost
dinosaur expert. I know, a lot of kids know a lot about dinosaurs. I see them at the library all the time and some of them are pretty knowledgeable.

But they don't compare to Jacob. He knows the scientific name of every dinosaur, what they looked like, what they ate, how they protected themselves, where they lived, and on and on and on. If you have a dinosaur question, Jacob is the one to go to for the answer. His days are filled with dinosaurs. If there is something he doesn't know, he will ask and ask until he finds the information he is looking for.

Well, this post is for Jacob.

Currently in Australia, a $12 million show called Walking with Dinosaurs just opened, based on the BBC television series of the same name. There are 15 life-sized dinosaurs in the exhibit including a Tyrannosaurus-Rex. These aren't just stationary models, they move and sound just like the real thing. See the videos below. You'll be amazed.

Their website doesn't give any clue as to whether the exhibition will travel outside Australia or not (how do you pack up 15 life-sized dinosaurs?). If it ever comes to the United States, Jacob and I are going no matter where it is.

I'll drive!

1 comment:

Jacob said...

Uncle Joe,

Hello, it's Jacob. Uncle Joe, I really want you to go with me to that movie thing if it really comes to Bowling Green.