A Completely Scientific Review of the Perot Museum's World's Largest Dinosaurs Exhibit

Categories: Nerdery

All photos by Jane R. LeBlanc
What are these? Dinosaurs for ants?
The Perot Museum recently unveiled their World's Largest Dinosaurs exhibit, a traveling collection of fossils, skin impressions, animation and more. Sauropods, the super-sized group of dinosaurs shown at Perot (and pictured above), stomped their way around Earth for approximately 140 million years, eating every plant in sight while showing off their bumpy scales and seriously long necks. Their remains are pretty mind-blowing, and the exhibit goes all out by recreating a 60-foot-long female Mamenchisaurus, which isn't the biggest sauropod overall, but does feature a neck half the length of its entire body. That's a lot of Deep Ellum neck tats. This exhibit might be the closest we can come to visiting the giants of our past, so I checked it out earlier this week, armed with awe, wonder and a liberal arts degree. Here's some of what I found.

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Who to Expect (You May Be Surprised) at This Weekend's Sci-Fi Expo

Categories: Nerdery

It's cold outside, but it's time to snap out of that video game coma and break out of hibernation because signage for Jaws and a giant TARDIS outside the Irving Convention Center in Las Colinas can only mean one thing: Sci-Fi Expo 2014! So, burrow out of that cozy blanket fortress you've built and trade in your Batman onesie for your Batman cosplay. The smallest of Dallas Comic Con's three annual events only lasts two days, but they are jam-packed with more than enough fandoms worthy of braving the cold air and biting wind you've heard so much about.

Here's a preview of the biggest franchises represented at this weekend's Sci-Fi Expo:

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Richard Dreyfuss, Geek God, Will Speak at Dallas Sci-Fi Expo

Categories: Nerdery

Compliments of Comic Con
Comic Con announced yesterday that Close Encounters and Jaws star, Richard Dreyfuss, will headline February's Dallas Sci-Fi expo, happening at the Irving Convention Center. He's an uncommon "get" for one of these gigs, which typically cull television celebs and other non-Academy Award winners for their meet-and-greets.

Dreyfuss is different.

He grabbed his Best Actor Oscar in 1978 for The Goodbye Girl and was nominated again in 1996 for his leading role in Mr. Holland's Opus. But it's his spots on Weeds, as nerdy scientist who knows better in Jaws and C'MON: Close Encounters, that made him a cinematic geek god. Apparently he had a little extra time the weekend of February 8 and 9, because the American Graffiti star will discuss his career in a Saturday Q&A panel.

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Ticket Giveaway: Passes to the Calvin and Hobbes Documentary, Dear Mr. Watterson

Whether delivering a tree house harangue as Dictator-for-Life of G.R.O.S.S. or getting sneak-jumped by his tiger sidekick, Calvin was our kid id. Operating on a combination of misunderstood genius and pranky mischief, he and Hobbes conquered the world, time travel, art, dumb girls and physics -- one perfectly drawn frame at a time. Bill Watterson, the hand behind the ink, became our collective cool uncle.

He just got us. More importantly: he got Calvin.

No cartoonist since has captured children's imaginative capacity the way Watterson did. He knew bottle caps are really medals of honor. That dinosaurs sometimes materialize out of nowhere. And that a cardboard box serves at least 3,000 important purposes.

The new film Dear Mr. Watterson is look at all of that, told by those who Watterson influenced. The movie's a sorta Calvin and Hobbes tribute, colored-in with visits to Watterson's hometown, discussions with comic historians and even talks with a few folks you've heard of, like Seth Green, who -- surprise -- is, like, a really big fan too.

Texas Theatre is the only screen in the entire state that's showing the thing -- and we believe a few Dallas Observer readers might cherish Calvin and Hobbes -- so we're holding a day of nerddum. We'll crash Sunday's 5 p.m. screening with our Street Team, do little giveaways and celebrate child/tiger friendship with you.

I have three pairs of tickets to the screening, and winning them is a snap. Leave a Calvin and Hobbes-related comment below. It can be anything: a favorite strip, a memory, what you'd transmogrify if you had the technology or just "I love Calvin and Hobbes."

I'll randomly pick three of you at noon on Wednesday. Winners will be alerted via email. Just make sure you can go to the 5 p.m. Sunday screening with us. And if you don't win, show up anyway and hang with fellow Watterson fans.

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The Dallas Chamber Symphony Lured Us In With Slapstick. Then, it Pulled the Rug Out.

Oh, Keaton, you charmer.
I think most of us went to the City Performance Hall last night for the slapstick. I'm not ashamed to say it: I love Buster Keaton, Harold Lloyd and Charlie Chaplin.

I love big guy/ little guy moments.

I love seeing people fall through trap doors and become the jogging prisoners of treadmill carpets.

So you tell me the Dallas Chamber Symphony's performing three original compositions for Ask Father, By the Sea and The Scarecrow and I'm there. That's because I'm a reasonable thinking human.

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Gunther Schuller on Miles Davis, Improvisation and Why Retirement Isn't an Option

Next Friday is composer Gunther Schuller's 88th birthday, but he hasn't planned a celebration. "I've had so many birthdays," he explains, "I suppose something will come up."

It doesn't seem unreasonable to ask an almost 88-year old about his retirement plans, especially since he's in Dallas preparing two area colleges for back-to-back weekend performances. But when I started to bring up the topic, Schuller interrupted me with an indignant scoff. "Retirement! I don't know the word. This is my love. This is my life! Why should I retire from it? I mean, if I'm forced to retire because I start writing crappy music or my eyesight goes or my right hand won't write anymore I suppose . . . ." He lets the sentence trail off with a mumbled profanity.

Retirement is clearly not a possibility Gunther Schuller likes to discuss, or even consider.

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For 2014, Dallas Comic-Con Moves to Downtown Dallas

Categories: Nerdery

H/T Frontburner

Get excited nerds of planet Earth. Or Endor, Hoth the Twelve Colonies -- wherever your allegiances align. Dallas Comic-Con has announced that for its May, 2014 edition, the convention will move closer, setting up camp at the Dallas Convention Center.

That means you'll no longer have to pack your hatchback full of weaponry and trek to the Irving Convention Center or some other distant suburban galaxy. You'll just roll downtown and cosplay it up in DCC's 600,000 sq. feet of space. (Small request: Please visit the DMA in your most slammin' Dr. Who garb. There's got to be a special Friends badge for that by now.)

Nerd Love: Photos of a Costumed Marriage Proposal at New York Comic-Con

Categories: Nerdery

Tatiana Craine
Love is in the air at New York Comic-Con
Editor's note: We've been receiving dispatches from New York Comic-Con from our sister paper, The Village Voice. Since you're stuck in a costumeless Dallas cubical, we thought we'd share a bit of that dark, east coast magic with you.

It's a fact: conventions bring people together. This year, there are over 100,000 people at New York Comic-Con cramming into the Javits Center to pour over vintage comics, show off their costumes, or catch a few panels among tons of other things. However, on the first official day of the Con, two people were brought way, way closer together than anyone else in the crowd.

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Behind the Costumes of New York Comic-Con

Categories: Nerdery

Tatiana Craine
Smaug the dragon and Sherlock Holmes at New York Comic-Con.
Editor's note: We've been receiving dispatches from New York Comic-Con from our sister paper, The Village Voice. Since you're stuck in a costumeless Dallas cubical, we thought we'd share a bit of that dark, east coast magic with you.

It's said that you're never more than three feet away from a spider. At Comic-Con, you're never more than three feet away from Spiderman... or the Doctor, or Beetlejuice.

From coast to coast, conventions are the perfect excuse to dress up in disguises on an occasion that's not Halloween. This year at New York Comic-Con, thousands of people have dressed up as characters from their favorite movies, television shows, comics, manga, and more.

Some folks throw on a few things they had around the house to become their alter-egos for the day, and even more invest countless hours on their transformations for the celebration of all things geek-chic.

Comic-Con goers Tiffany Knight and Andrea Duffy gave Village Voice the lowdown on exactly what goes into making Comic-Con one of the ultimate places to see and be seen -- in costume, that is.

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Our Ten Favorite Costumes from Comic-Con Fan Days! (Photos)

All photos by Ed Steele
Remember back when they called our generation lazy and unimaginative? Well, whatever awesome parent dressed their daughter as David Bowie from Labyrinth for Comic-Con Fan Days just proved all of them haters wrong!

Over the weekend thousands piled into the Irving Convention Center for a little facetime with sci-fi, magical world celebrity super heroes. And man, those visiting guest must have felt underdressed because our fanboys and fangirls flipped the costuming to warp speed.

We sent photographer Ed Steele to find the very best outfits and boy did he deliver. Picking our ten favorites was no easy task, so see the entire photo roll on our Observer Slideshow.

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