Archive for the ‘Prehistoric Matters’ Category

Jurassic World: Rather Old-Fashioned

June 15, 2015

When Hugh Paxton’s Blog was a creative let’s make a movie sort of boy I fashioned plasticene models and moved them bit by bit and each was filmed and tendrils of green came down and then boots came on walking and a ghost came out of a boot and a wizard appeared. It was rather successful. Nobody thought it was real. But it tried to be realistic!

Everybody was a bit too busy to see the sequel and I thought “fair enough.” And I didn’t make another movie. I did try tanks but that was not a success.

I am sure that now my plasticene movie and even the tanks would be greeted with interest but they’d be historic. A bit creaky, a museum piece. Who needs to move things bit by bit and painstakingly photograph each movement?

JURASSIC WORLD doesn’t. Every dinosaur is as realistic as this sort of thing gets. The dinos are bigger. They aren’t jerky. They have thumpy feet to alarm you (Preston and Child in Tyrannosaur Canyon suggest that a T.Rex was effectively soundless, a muffled tread, a stealth predator not a big stampy thing) but let’s not waste time with a plot here. It is as engineered as the fanciful monsters.

The special effects are pushing success into overdose boredom. And there is a ludicrous attempt at human interest story woven in. Two sisters, grumpy kids, grumpy kids prove they love each other, sisters come together, love each other… The finale is …flat. Really flat. And the moment of mutual understanding between the velociraptor and the T Rex made me wait for a wizard to arrive on a rabbit-drawn-sled. With a barf bag.

Good for children.

My daughter liked it! Of course she did! But she had her doubts.

It was like that.

Hugh

New Trumps Game Launched, Prehistoric Sites in Cumbria

January 31, 2014
Set in Cumbria's dramatic  mountain scenery, The Carles of Castlerigg stone circle, near Keswick is one of the magnificent sites that impresses visitors and local residents alike.

Set in Cumbria’s dramatic mountain scenery, The Carles of Castlerigg stone circle, near Keswick is one of the magnificent sites that impresses visitors and local residents alike. C.Paxton photo

Cumbria has over 200 prehistoric sites and yet more remain to be discovered. There are rings of standing stones, there are stones carved with rings and cup marks, there are stones set in avenues and there are single megalithic thunderstones, mounds and Henges of several types.

Mayburgh Henge at Eamont Bridge, Penrith under the Great Bear constellation

Mayburgh Henge at Eamont Bridge, Penrith under the Great Bear constellation

In the course of researching my article for All Nippon Airways (ANA)   Wingspan in-flight magazine to appear in the February 2014 issue, my wife Kimberly and I were smitten by these fascinating monuments. “Stone Crazy” she described our condition, and I think she was right.

The more we looked into the matter, the more sites we visited and the more we visited, the greater our interest became, and the more we noticed. From Birkrigg on the Furness peninsular to Durdar near Carlisle, our investigations took us from coastal monuments to the high plateau of Moor Divock 1000 ft above sea level, then east to the Pennines , then  north into Lakeland and revealed the great diversity of  the sites – all are distinctive and different. Some intriguing similarities emerged, for example in the layout of Hardendale Cairn circle and Castlerigg’s rectangular inner enclosure,  but generally it is the diversity in form that stands out.

We are grateful to our friend Neolithic Sculptor Brian Cowper for his insights, author Robert Farrah for his excellent guidebook (Robert W.E. Farrah’s A Guide To The Stone Circles Of Cumbria ), Penrith Library’s Reference section with its volumes of The Transactions of The Cumberland and Westmorland Archaeological Society, to Archaeologist Tom Clare for his illustrated talk and his excellent book ( Prehistoric Monuments of The Lake District ).

If you are interested in Cumbria’s prehistoric sites and you like playing trumps, then you might enjoy this new pack that my wife and I made just before Christmas.

Prehistoric Sites In Cumbria Trumps

Prehistoric Sites In Cumbria Trumps Includes 32 Sites From Neolithic To Modern

Get to know these treasures through a fun learning game in which players try to win site cards off each other by ‘trumping’each others’ site characteristics. Choose the strongest category for your site to challenge your partners’ and learn about these amazing prehistoric places as you play!

This set includes information cards about 32 Cumbrian prehistoric sites such as Oddendale, White Hag, Long Meg and her daughters, Gunnerkeld, Swinside, Birkrigg, Castlerigg, Gamelands, Moor Divock’s funerary complex and more!

Great fun for all the family. Available in Kid’s pocket size (£5), or larger (£8.00) for easier reading.

You can buy them from my online shop http://thewebcat.biz/sales_gallery.html


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