Medusa from Clash of the Titans.
Image via Wikipedia

The incipit of an item in the Vancouver Sun:

Two Canadian scientists have announced the discovery of a new species of horned dinosaur — a seven-metre-long, magnificently adorned predecessor of the famed Triceratops — that gobbled plants near the present-day Montana-Alberta border nearly 80 million years ago.

The stunning new species has been identified as Medusaceratops lokii, a nod to two freakish mythological beings that inspired Michael Ryan — the dinosaur’s Ottawa-born co-discoverer– when it came time to assign a name to the creature.

“Medusa” — from the mythic Greek monster whose serpentine hairdo could turn her victims into stone — describes the distinctive “snakelike hooks” found on the ornamental frill at the back of the dinosaur’s skull.

And “Loki” pays homage to the Norse god of mischief, a reference to how tricky it was for Ryan and his research partner — University of Calgary biologist Anthony Russell — to nail down the identity of the big-horned reptile.

“One of the things I have a problem with as a paleontologist is how some of my colleagues come up with terribly unpronounceable names,” said Ryan, a Carleton University graduate who is now an adjunct professor there as well as the head of vertebrate paleontology at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History.

“I like to give my dinosaurs names that roll off the tongue and actually evoke an image,” he told Canwest News Service on Friday.

Mission accomplished.

Thanks to Ryan’s childhood memories of the 1981 fantasy-film classic Clash of the Titans (which featured a memorable animated Medusa) and his nerdy appetite for Marvel comics (which portray Loki as a terrifying, horned villain), the name of the world’s newest dinosaur is an unforgettably vivid blend of classic scientific nomenclature and pop-culture kitsch.


via Medusaceratops’ name blends mythology, pop culture.

The Dire State of Ancient History in the UK

Constantina Katsari at the Love of History Blog (tip o’ the pileus to Terrence Lockyer) in the wake of the Baynes Meeting … inter alia:

The quality of the hotel matched the depressing atmosphere of the Meeting. It became obvious from the very beginning that most of my colleagues were concerned with the situation in Higher Education. The impeding cuts at the University of Leeds and King’s College London hit a nerve earlier this year. Everyone agreed that this is the beginning of a long freeze in recruitment and possibly also payments. It is expected that the majority of the universities in the UK will not hire any ancient historians in the next five years. This could only mean that fresh PhD and Postdoctoral researchers will not be able to find permanent or even three year posts. Instead, they may have to seek alternative means of survival, until the crisis is over and departments manage to balance their budgets. In subsequent posts this week I intend to give more specific information about individual universities and their current state of affairs.

ED: Summer Vergil Course

Seen on Classics (please send any responses to the people/institution mentioned in the post, not to rogueclassicism!)

Dear List-Members,

I would like to announce the following Latin course to be held at Montclair State University in Summer 2010:

The Epic and Vergil (July 12-Aug.5, 3 credits)

In this four-week intensive course, students will read in Latin selections from Vergil’s Aeneid. We will also read and discuss the entire poem in English. This course is recommended for students who have had between 3-5 semesters of college Latin, and it can also be taken for graduate credit. Montclair State University also has a program for high-achieving high school students that allows them to register for college classes. We will meet Mon.-Thurs. from 10:30am-1:00pm.

For further information about this course, please contact Dr. Mary C. English at englishm AT Registration information can be found at

CFP: Athenian Hegemonic Techniques

Seen on Classicists (please send any responses to the people/institution mentioned in the post, not to rogueclassicism!)

Papers are invited for a panel entitled ‘Athenian Hegemonic Techniques’ which will be held at The Sixth Celtic Conference in Classics (University of Edinburgh, July 28-31, 2010) and chaired by Thomas Figueira. Although a major theme will be the fiscal aspects of Attic imperialism, papers are welcomed on any aspect of Athenian control over allies in the Delian League, Athenian Empire and Second Confederacy. Senior scholar participants include Christophe Pébarthe, Loren Samons, and Thomas Figueira. A group of rising scholars will be participating and the organizers encourage submissions from junior scholars. Forty minutes will be allotted for each paper.

Those interested may contact T.J. Figueira (figueira AT or Sean Jensen (srjensen AT
For the Celtic Conference, please contact Anton Powell at powellanton AT or see the website at where information about other panels may also be found.