One more really short post... Because it's time to claim tenuous credit for starting a trend!
This is another image that caught my attention today as I finally took some time to catch up on my Google Reader blog subscriptions. Also at Michael Ryan's Palaeoblog, I found the above size comparison of the cool new sauropodomorph Seitaad with a human. But not just any human, it's the Pioneer Dork's girlfriend!
Above: The Dork poses dorkily with the smallest dinosaur, Anchiornis huxleyi. Say, "Hi dork!" Image by Matt Martyniuk, licensed.
The Pioneer Dork is of course the male figure from the gold plaque sent along with the Pioneer probes 10 and 11. When I first started doing size comparison diagrams for Wikipedia in 2006 or '07, I used this public domain image for the human and have done so since (and so have a few others). We Wiki editors lovingly referred to him as the 'Dork', due to, well, his dorky pose. Several Wiki readers have posted comments on talk pages noting how hilarious it is to depict a happy, waving man inches away from the maw of a charging Albertosaurus. But they just don't understand the Dork's simple charm. There was a brief push to replace the Dork with something a bit edgier, namely a silhouette of Catherine Zeta Jones. Cooler heads prevailed and pointed out that dammit, Jim, this is an encyclopaedia, not a trucker's mud flaps! (I, however, have opted to use her in the scale charts I make for my own site).
I choose to believe the Dork's female counterpart was done as an homage to those Wiki scale charts and will not listen if somebody comes up with an alternate explanation. Note that this must be a press release only image, as the skeletal in the free open-access paper lacks a human figure. Bummer. Maybe the next paper can include CZJ to make up for it.