Monday, September 29, 2014

Return of the Mack

Hi, I'm Zachary Miller. You may remember me from such paleo-themed blogs as When Pigs Fly Returns and Alice's Adventure Through the Windshield Glass. The last time I blogged was June 24, 2012, and lately I've been itching for a comeback. I'm not sure what sparked this resurgence. Certainly, my Secret Project--which I'll write about later--was a catalyst. But I've been more involved in the paleoblog sphere lately, popping up in the comments at Phenomena, Tetrapod Zoology, and even io9 of all places. I've gotten back into the literature in a big way, largely due to my Secret Project, but the discovery that my professorial wife has access to a whole host of online journals means that I'm not begging for papers quite as much as I used to, which is A Good Thing.

Just over three years ago, I had a brain abscess that almost killed me (from what I'm told). While I was not left with any permanent physical impairments, my artistic streak/desire was completely lost. I used to carry a sketch pad with me everywhere I went, doodling every day, and drawing things for When Pigs Fly Returns. Those days are sadly behind me. But my new love is writing (and podcasting). Writing is not necessary a "new love," but I've gotten better at it. I like to think I've honed my craft. Fellow Alaska paleoartists Scott Elyard and Raven Amos just put up a new ceratopsian-theme art show (Shields & Spears) and while I didn't really contribute artistically, I did produce information panels that people seem to like. If you're in Anchorage during the month of October, you should really check the show out--it's at the Yak & Yeti Cafe next to Title Wave in the REI mall.

The next three years were incredibly tumultuous in terms of health. As you may already know, I have Cystic Fibrosis, and the abscess touched off a host of respiratory infections that led to my being hospitalized many times and falling into a state of depression. The past year has seen my physical and mental health stabilize. Now, I can devote my time to reading about paleontology and informing you, the readers, about what I find interesting. While paleontology news will be the main thrust of the content, I intend to cover a wide range of topics within paleontology. My first "official" post will be about the new Spinosaurus paper that just came out, and my second will be about the intellectual bankruptcy of naming fossil organisms after the places they were found.

So a variety of topics, methinks. I hope you enjoy reading the blog as much as I enjoy writing it! You can follow me on Twitter @zmiller1902 and leave comments here on this blog. If you need to get in touch with me by email, I'm pretty sure my email is linked somewhere on this website, since my Gmail login is required to get into this new blog.

See you around the paleo-sphere!