Tuesday, 22 November 2016

I really am a dinosaur!

It is official I really am a dinosaur - The Baryonyx and l iive in the Barremian Age

Baryonyx (/ˌbæriˈɒnks/) is a genus of theropod dinosaur which lived in the Barremian stage of the early Cretaceous Period, about 130–125 million years ago. The holotype specimen was discovered in 1983 in Surrey, England, and the animal was named Baryonyx walkeri in 1986. The genus name, Baryonyx, means "heavy claw" and alludes to the animal's very large claw on the first finger; the specific name (walkeri) refers to its discoverer, amateur fossil hunter William J. Walker. Fragmentary specimens were later discovered in other parts of the United Kingdom and Iberia. The holotype specimen is one of the most complete theropod skeletons from the UK, and its discovery attracted media attention.
Baryonyx was about 7.5 m (25 ft) long and weighed 1.2 t (1.3 short tons), but the holotype specimen may not have been fully grown. It had a long, low snout and narrow jaws, which have been compared to those of a gharial. The tip of the snout expanded to the sides in the shape of a rosette. Behind this, the upper jaw had a notch which fitted into the lower jaw (which curved upwards in the same area). It had a triangular crest on the top of its nasal bonesBaryonyx had many finely serrated, conical teeth, with the largest teeth in front. The neck was less curved than that of other theropods, and the neural spines of its dorsal vertebrae increased in height from front to back. It had robust forelimbs, with the eponymous first-finger claw measuring about 31 cm (12 in) long.
Now recognised as a member of the family SpinosauridaeBaryonyx's affinities were obscure when it was discovered. Apart from the type species (B. walkeri), some researchers have suggested that Suchomimus tenerensis belongs in the same genus and that Suchosaurus cultridens is a senior synonym; subsequent authors have kept them separate. Baryonyx was the first theropod dinosaur demonstrated to have been piscivorous (fish-eating), as evidenced by fish scales in the stomach region of the holotype specimen. It may also have been an active predator of larger prey and a scavenger, since it also contained bones of a juvenile Iguanodon. The creature would have caught and processed its prey primarily with its forelimbs and large claws. Baryonyx lived near water bodies, in areas where other theropod, ornithopod, and sauropod dinosaurs have also been found.

Monday, 14 November 2016

What diesase should we die from?

I was just watching some Breakfast Time TV on BC1 (sad I know). They had a very good piece on deaths from cancer and what is being done/what could be  to prevent this. It seems that the majority of deaths in the UK and cancer related; it is the No 1 killer. The numbers of people dying from cancer must be reduced - given that 100% of us do die what would the medical profession like us to die from?

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Remembering a blessed experience on our pilgrimage to Medjugorje

On Saturday 22 October, some 27 pilgrims left Heathrow bound for Medjugorje. For some, this was the first experience of visiting the places where Our Lady has appeared with such regularity; for others, it was a return to a place they loved.
There were nine of us from St Joseph’s, including Father Tom, some from neighbouring parishes and a few from further afield.
As a first timer, these are the standout memories for me:
  • Going to Adoration on the first night and finding some 4,000 people gazing on and praying to Our Lord in complete silence.
  • Deaconing at the English Mass on the Sunday in a packed conference hall holding some 1,500 people.
  • Praying the Rosary as the group walked up Apparition Hill for the first time.
  • Seeing people queue for an hour or more to go to confession.
  • The overall feeling of love and devotion that pervades.
  • Getting up early to go to Apparition to pray the Rosary with 200 or so other pilgrims led by Ivan, one of the visionaries. As we walked up the hill, the sun rose over the hills. A truly memorable experience.
  • Visiting Community Cenecolo and hearing testimonials from recovering addicts and former criminals on the transforming effect that Our Lady’s words have had on their lives.
  • Hearing the testimonial of Patrick on how Our Lady changed him from a man whose God was money to someone who is giving all he has for the benefit of others.
  • Climbing Cross Hill and praying the Stations of the Cross as we climbed. One of the party was struggling and two people sacrificed their own hopes of reaching the top in order to help her down. This willingness to help others is so typical of Medjugorje. “I” is no longer important; it is of giving to the Lord and to others that is the dominant theme.
  • Celebrating Mass in a small chapel in Split a couple of hours before we flew home.
There is so much more to tell, it was a truly blessed experience. All I can say in conclusion is that I am so glad that I went and so blessed that my wife, Julia, was there at my side. I do encourage you all to go. You will not disappointed.
Finally a big thank you to the whole pilgrimage party for being so warm and friendly: to Angela Callan for organising the pilgrimage; To Father Tom for his spiritual direction and guidance; and to our wonderful guide Slavicia who really made it a very special experience.
God bless.