Last night, Paul and I went out for a beer with some fellow blogging friends (Addison and Tim). I had a Mayflower Pale Ale and a Greenflash Imperial IPA. I used to detest IPAs, couldn't even fathom drinking them. Much to my surprise, they have grown on me. This was one of the hoppiest IPAs I've ever had. Intense hoppy flavors used to taste bitter and harsh to me, but now I really like them. They remind me of grapefruit juice.
Anyways. The sad part of this bar jaunt was that it was the last time we got to hang out with Tim before he takes a magical journey to the cowboy state. Tim is moving to Wyoming to help count toads. This shouldn't be confused with that summer job he had, where he was counting fish. Actually, this new job sounds much, much more dangerous. Tim is packing a snake bite kit!
Other than poisonous snakes, Wyoming has a lot to be proud of. The whole state has population smaller than Amherst (when the students are in town). I think this is pretty neat, sparsely populated space is an amazing rarity. Wyoming was also the first state to let women vote. Which is pretty darn cool.
I had no idea just how cool Wyoming was until I uncovered this amazing truth :
Wyoming has an official state dinosaur: and that dinosaur is the Triceratops.
I was totally blown away by the awesomeness of this. A state dinosaur! I immediately went to the Massachusetts state fact list to see what ours was. Guess what? We don't have one!
We have an official state bird, a state game bird, a state marine mammal, a state horse, a state cat, a state bean, a state soil, a state insect, a state fish, a state muffin, a state cookie, and a state folk dance but NO state dinosaur.
I'm pretty saddened by this. I really feel like I have no choice but to declare Massachusetts uncool. How can we have an official state beverage, but not a dinosaur? It's basically terrible.
Here are the rest of the states that have now surpassed us in cool points, on the Caroline Scale.
1. Colorado - The Stegosaurus
Colorado gets the best mountains, and the stegosaurus. It really doesn't seem fair. Although, Paul and I were talking about this particular dinosaur the other day. It has a wicked tiny brain mass- we're talking about a walnut sized node fueling a 6,800 lb animal. They were probably so gullible! I bet you could trick them into anything.
2. Washington DC - The Capitalsaurus.
Ok. So Washington DC isn't really a state, but our nations capitol gets a dino too. Kind of. I actually haven't been able to find any sort of artists rendering of the "Capitalsaurus". Also, the only specimen they have of this species is a single vertebrate that was uncovered digging sewers in DC. So, it's probably just some other theropod...but don't tell the senators.
3. New Jersey - Hadrosaurus Foulkii
This actually pains me to write. I can't believe New Jersey gets a dinosaur. Stupid New Jersey! It was really really hard for me to give up the cool points to my least favorite state...but I guess they earned it...*grumble grumble*
4. Missouri - Hypsibema
This little guy used to roam the lush jungles of Missouri (assuming that this area was A. jungle and B. lush) in the late Cretaceous period. At least, according to Edward Drinker Cope, who claimed to discover him 1869. Evidence of this being a unique species is considered "dubious"- and we're talking about a discovery from a dude who used to self medicate with formaldehyde. Seriously. Way to go MO!
5. Maryland - Astrodon Johnstoni
This was the second dinosaur discovered in the United States. Well, not technically, because the guy who discovered it didn't give it a proper scientific name. WHATEVER!
6. Texas - Pleurocoelus
Texas picked this guy to be their official state dino because its 60 foot long frame embodied the size and strength of Texas. I was totally going to call Texas out on this one. According to Wikipedia, the Pleurocoelus is actually believed to be an Astrodon. AKA THE STATE DINO OF MARYLAND. But it turns out that Texas picked this mascot 1 year before Maryland picked theirs. Fascinating stuff, right?
I think MA should make their state dino the pterodactyl. Nobody has called dibbs on any of the flying sauruses yet! Now is our chance!
Also: Tim, have an awesome time on your wild west adventure. We love you and will miss you much! Have fun frolicking in the western wheatgrass (state grass) and eat lots of cutthroat trout (state fish)!