Brief asides


POSTED: Thursday, January 28, 2010


Colorful discovery about dinasours is 'really cool'

No, the new findings don't validate “;The Flintstones's”; vision of violet-colored Dino. Nor even that of PBS' purple and green-spotted dinosaur, Barney.

But for the first time, scientists have confirmed color in a dinosaur: Pigmentation has been spotted in the fossilized tail feathers of a 125 million-year-old, meat-eating dinosaur named Sinosauropteryx. Unlike the fictional dinos, though, the remains of this real-life creature found in China seem to have russet-colored rings.

And there's more: The new research from the University of Bristol in England provides even more conclusive evidence that some dinosaurs had feathers, further linking them to birds.

Though he wasn't part of the discovery team, University of Maryland paleontologist Thomas Holtz Jr. enthused: “;That's really cool just to be able to pin down this aspect.”;




Are trips to Hawaii always junkets?

The Republican National Committee chairman has defended holding conferences in Hawaii, but his opinion is not accepted by everyone. At this week's RNC meeting in Honolulu, chairman Michael Steele said, “;This is not a vacation; this is a working meeting. This is our winter. We're here to do the business of the party and we'll get it done.”; However, when David Gannet, chairman of the Asheville County Commission in North Carolina, returned home with two other commissioners from an airport industry conference on Maui this week, they were greeted by protesters outraged about the trip. “;Talk is cheap. Three tickets to Hawaii is not,”; said Erika Franzi of the Asheville Tea Party.