Smithsonian - April 2010

The article I've been writing for Smithsonian Magazine has been simmering away since last summer. It' was due out last month and then got held over, but finally it appeared in print today. As I write, the website is not yet updated, so here you see a photo of the magazine on my dining room table.

I am usually pleased to see my articles in print, but seeing this one specially pleases me. It is 2,000 words long but has cost me two or three times the effort of most articles of that length. I thought I was a fusspot about getting the facts right, but Smithsonian's fact checking is rigorous beyond anything I could conceive of.

I've always liked the magazine and had a subscription for many years, till I ran out of shelf space for back issues - living here in inner London, space is at a premium. It may be time for me to re-subscribe. There are always so many interesting bits and pieces in the magazine. Like this dinosaur bird thingy - it's actually called a therapod, Anchiornis huxleyi . Scientists have come up with an idea of what it looked like in colour. I must go and check the words of the piece. Perhaps it says how big it was. I'm imagining it about 10 feet high.

Dinosaur bird