On my 11th birthday, which also happened to be my pet dog’s 11th birthday, I was given a magic set, which included the classic ‘How to saw someone in half’ illusion.
As none of my family volunteered to be my assistant – probably because I’d borrowed my Dad’s hacksaw to add an element of danger – my only option was to rope-in the dog. His name was “Stay”, which confused him whenever he was taken for a walk.
But “Stay” had a cheerful disposition, ate almost anything put in front of him and was prone to expelling loud noxious gasses almost every hour on the hour. So, he fitted-in with my family perfectly.
Anyway, as I approached the animal, he took one look at my cardboard wizard’s hat and the sharp-edged hacksaw blade glinting in the sunlight and promptly ran off, never to be seen again.
So, to this day I still wonder whether it’s really possible to teach an old dog new tricks.
Here’s another age-old conundrum . . . If you knew something important that the majority of people were unaware of, would you leave them in blissful ignorance or tell them?
It was recently announced in the media that ‘Dippy The Diplodocus’, the famous dinosaur skeleton which has stood in London’s Natural History Museum’s Hintze Hall for 37 years is to go on a tour of the UK, including Wales, in 2018.
Details were given about how the iconic skeleton would need to be carefully taken apart bone-by-bone and packed away in readiness for its travels.
More than 32,000 people signed a petition to stop ‘their’ favourite dinosaur skeleton leaving its home after almost 40 years to go on the road.
However, I want to share with you something I’ve known for many years. It’s not a real dinosaur skeleton!
It’s a replica! Dippy isn’t millions of years old.
He’s a plaster cast taken from a skeleton unearthed in Wyoming in 1898 and bought by Andrew Carnegie for a museum in Pittsburgh.
After King Edward VII told Carnegie he’d like to see a diplodocus skeleton in London, the copy arrived in 1905.
It wasn’t even a complete replica because various missing parts were replaced with pieces from other finds!
So, by all means go and see Dippy when he arrives at the Welsh Assembly in 2018.
But be aware that, unlike many inhabitants of that building, he isn’t a genuine dinosaur.