We’ve had mammoth, let’s have dinosaur now – 邢立达:吃过猛犸象再吃恐龙 – English

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邢立达,小时候是恐龙爱好者,长大后成了恐龙和古生物研究者。2011年他和同学一起微博直播吃万年冰冻猛犸象肉的盛况,现在,他又异想天开想把恐龙做成大餐。他是头长角的上古怪兽么?不是,他只是一个普通三明治,七个月大孩子的爸爸。

文/@李梓新

春节前几天,科学松鼠会的创始人姬十三在微博上推一本果壳网的新书《把恐龙做成大餐》。看起来颇有意思。我便通过姬十三联系了作者,现在加拿大阿尔伯塔大学读古生物研究生的邢立达。

收到回信之前,我顺手做了一个百度搜索,搜到了他名字的词条。一看之下,他居然是我的广东潮州老乡,小我三届的中学师弟。我蓦然为家乡生出了一份自豪之情:潮州这样的人都能出……

一年前的这个时候,2011年2月12日,邢立达的日本师弟,辗转从遥远的西伯利亚带来了一块在永冻土里保存的上古生物猛犸象肉,长8.9cm,宽4.1cm。他和这位日本师弟和一位法国同学,真的是异想天开——把它吃了!结果真的实施了,还微博直播了:“煎,十分熟,加盐。”

这条微博引发了宁财神等名人在微博的疯狂转发,媒体甚至也跟进报道。吃下猛犸象肉的结果,法国同学吐了,邢立达没有什么反应,他描述吃肉的感觉:“和野猪肉差不多,粗糙的口感,邪恶的感觉,有点沙土味道……”,“入口的时候想到了残剑横刃;接触牙齿的时候,犹如童年的古生物爱好之梦和我融合……”

童年的古生物爱好之梦,成为今日所奋斗的事业,这对很多小时候同样看过《恐龙特急克塞号》的三明治来说,机会可能是万分之一。而邢立达却做到了。早在高中时,他就建立了大陆第一个恐龙网站,还给国内的恐龙名家写电子邮件,得到他们的指点和推荐。尽管他上大学时并没有读生物或者考古专业,而是随家庭意愿读了金融,然而和恐龙早早结下的缘分难以抹去,工作半年后他便跑到了常州中华恐龙园研究恐龙,随后到了成都理工大学进修,最后远赴加拿大深造。

在大学时候,他便成了一名活跃的恐龙科普作家,出了20多本恐龙科普读物,2008年他加入了科学松鼠会,读者很快注意到他这位“恐龙达人”。他的文章语言风趣,故事性强,把恐龙变成一个个鲜活题材,嬉笑怒骂,融会贯通,成为他独特的写作标签。

为了做这个访谈,我和邢立达在QQ聊了几次,问题主要通过Email回答。虽未谋面,但处处可感受他的自由乐观天性。平时他每年有7个月在野外考察恐龙遗迹。现在,年满二十九的他刚刚荣升爸爸,太太很理解他的漂泊状态,带着孩子暂时在国内。他一直惦记着要带孩子到育空北极圈或格陵兰岛因纽特人聚居区去生活个半年,边体验生活边带孩子。
而最新出的这一本《把恐龙做成大餐》,和他以前的恐龙书都有所不同。这是一本跨界到美食的书。因为邢立达经常自称吃货,在野外考察之余不忘饱餐各地美食。现在他发扬吃猛犸象的猛士精神,通过意念,把各种类型的恐龙统统因材施用放进食谱,用现代的烹调手法去做一份恐龙大餐,其实是在做大餐之余,继续谈他所钟爱的恐龙。

Q: 能把自己儿时的兴趣爱好变成终身事业,有什么感觉?

A:其实没什么感觉,我也就是做了十年出头而已。有时候会听到大家说:“呀!你可以把爱好与工作结合起来,棒极了!”然后我就会笑笑(摊手)。因为我一直就这样做,没有不把爱好与工作分开来过,所以体会不到“身在曹营心在汉”的感觉。不过,现在说“终身事业”可能还为时过早。我是那种特别随心的人,原始的驱动力只是“好玩”二字,虽然也看重结果,但完全享受过程中的艰辛。或许未来我会突然跨界也说不定。

Q:你最早对恐龙的印象是从何而来,是动画片《恐龙特急克塞号》吗?

A:《恐龙特急克塞号》可以算的,是小学时候的动画片。更早可以追溯到幼儿园时候的《十万个为什么》,里面有说到恐龙,而且有一个插图是雷龙泡在水里,那时候就觉得这个龙神奇了!那么长的脖子和尾巴,太好玩了。这或许是男孩子都会有的恐龙情结吧。(捧心)

Q: 你和恐龙学界的结缘,缘起于你给曾参与《十万个为什么》编写的地质学前辈陶世龙发了一封电子邮件,当时身处小城市的你,为什么有这样的想法和勇气?

A:这里面就蛮巧也蛮“乏味”,那时候混中国最早的自然类社区,在网易,然后认识了天南地北好多自然爱好者。陶先生那时候已经有一个个人网站,我也就抱着试试看的心态,写信去了,没想到这样就跨入一个新天地。

Q: 1998年,当你16岁的时候,你便创办了大陆第一个恐龙网站,是什么机缘使你那么早能接触到网络?

A:只能说家里对我的期望一直没有休止符(努力!)。小时候便让我背诗,学琴,学书法,学英语,弄得我是很辛苦,有时候也挺抗拒,因为不好玩嘛。但学电脑的时候却发现了那里面有好玩的游戏,现在能回忆起来的有《虚拟城市I》,《大航海时代II》等,后者棒极了!怀念那种半夜偷偷玩游戏,探险世界各大陆,与海盗战斗的飘洒激情的日子!至于做恐龙网站,也是因为好玩,那时候有个个人网站很有面子吧!所以便做了,后来做得大些,想必都是我偏执发作。

Q: 互联网在你成长过程中,对你的影响有多深?你认为自己算不算第一代互联网的弄潮儿?

A: 第一代互联网的弄潮儿不敢说,互联网本身没什么,主要是得到很多朋友,这是珍贵的财富。因为那时候他们都比我大多了,能提供的想法与建议,远远比我同学强(笑)。

Q:大学你选择的是金融学,而不是生物学,是出于什么原因,有家庭或者社会的影响吗?

A:当一名古生物学者抑或探险家,是从很小的时候埋藏在心里的心愿。只不过大学的时候尊重家里的意见,没有投报相关的专业。当时也觉得这些过于浪漫的想法需要扎实的经济基础,金融或许是赚钱最快的行业?(笑)至少当年非常好就业。

Q: 大学毕业的时候,为什么没有从事与专业相关的金融工作,而是做了记者?

A:可能缘于我的数字不够敏感,而对文字兴趣颇大。在南方报业集团的工作时间虽然不长,但学到了很多东西,比如跟着老牌记者去采访,就得到了很多沟通,采访的技巧。也是从那时候开始喜欢上广州,在大家两点一线的生活之外,这个庞大的都市竟有着如此之多的,不为人熟知的角落。

Q:为什么没有坚持做记者,而决定往常州中华恐龙园做科研工作?当时是怎样得到这个机会的?

A:是他们派人来广州找我,他们非常诚恳,因为当时中国并没有专门从事恐龙科普的人(似乎现在也没有),我当时不但有一个门户网站,还出版了一些恐龙科普书,销量也还不错,他们可能认为我已然触到了恐龙科普的门槛,所以很希望我的加盟。

Q: 是什么原因使你决定走上研究恐龙的学术道路?

A:其实很巧,我的研究从2007年才正式开始,因为已经在圈内浸泡很久,对研究的流程非常熟悉,就有样学样的研究了一批来自重庆綦江的恐龙足迹,科研论文很快的通过审稿发表了。从那以后,我不断地出野外考察,做传统科研该走的流程,这其中也体会到古生物学是一门十足的野外学科,地层与化石,都是需要亲眼看一看,而不能仅仅看论文。

Q:在加拿大做恐龙研究,感觉和在国内有什么区别?

A:最大的区别是北美的古生物少男们(少女就少些),绝大多数都是真正喜欢恐龙的。国内的可能一些是调剂来的,一些是被近些年比较火的学术明星所吸引,想着“大丈夫当如此也”,就去读了。所以北美学子毕业之后,绝大多数都是留在本专业,大大小小博物馆都能呆;国内转行的太多太多了。这里面另一个原因也可能是经济基础决定的。

Q: 讲一两个恐龙研究中有趣的小故事或者细节。

A:这其实蛮枯燥的。首先你要发现标本,然后修理标本,测量,写初稿,同行修改,投稿,运气好的话被接受,然后几次修改,发表,媒体介绍……这每一篇都是要咬牙坚持!不说了,再说下次,我今天的计划就完成不了……

Q: 你参加了多少次野外恐龙发掘和勘探?通常是在哪些地方?有什么难忘的记忆或者故事?

A:没有统计耶,太多了。我每年至少7个月在野外,以至于每次回家看到老婆仔,都有初恋的感觉(笑)。我们通常在山的那边,海的那边……难忘的事情太多,(其实我比较记得各地有趣的食物),我经常告诉媒体朋友的那就那几个,比如半夜对抗野猪,迷路找到十几条恐龙等,但这里突然想起来,那次在肃北戈壁滩露营,偶遇狮子座流星雨爆发,那种来自穹庐的豁达,很美很美。

Q:恐龙的遗迹一般存在于哪里?

A:恐龙几乎到处都有,包括中国的各个省份,除了台湾,海南,恐龙时代它们还在水里。据说广州闹市区的上下九步行街还挖出过恐龙蛋。

Q:如果在城市化过程中恐龙遗迹被发现了,恐龙研究者现在能有能力去保护吗?

A:目前没遇到过。最近有一次间接的情况,在山东青岛附近。市区中间一个楼盘。地基挖出几百个上千恐龙足迹,由于开发商担心科考会延缓甚至阻挡开发,几天之内就用推土机平掉了。当地报纸在发现的次日报道过,没有引起注意。而当地博物馆去看过,居然没有拍照片。后来我和友人好辛苦好辛苦从开放商办公楼找到一块”纪念品”,把对应的研究完成了,论文题目就叫做《中国华东的首例翼龙足迹,来自一处被“掩埋”的足迹化石点》。

Q:所以你接触的国内的市政部门或者开发商,目前都没有足够的意识去保护恐龙遗迹?

A:恐龙遗迹开发好的话,有很大的政绩以及地方经济效应。目前,保护与开发比较好的有山东诸城,云南禄丰之类的。

Q:像常州的中华恐龙园走商业化的路子,是不是也间接传播了商业文化?

A:那首先要看怎么理解恐龙文化的。如果理解为猎奇,噱头,能吸引小孩。那么,是的。

如果理解为科学精神,不断更新,求证的事实或真相,那么我不觉得主题公园能带来什么。我理解,恐龙等古生物带给我们的不仅仅是它们本身的神秘,更重要的是其中蕴涵的科学精神:执着,奋进,质疑。这是最重要的。科学精神是共通的。但没有一门学科能像恐龙这样,有这么好的亲民性,能从小孩子开始培养的亲民性。

Q: 你另外一个重要身份是科普作家,而且是高产作家。你对好的科普作品的个人理解是什么?

A:这个问题可能松鼠会的松鼠们更有资格回答,我没有怎么考虑过。我个人的理解,好的科普作品,除了科学要正,首先就是要让人能看完。这是我写作的原则。不过,我自己肯拿起来的自己的作品,目前也不过一两本,所以我会继续努力的。

Q:你最近刚出版了一本书,叫《把恐龙做成大餐》。这可以算是一种“跨界”,把古生物学和美食跨界结合到一起,这个创意是怎么来的?

A:这很有很有意思!不过我不告诉你。(其实我写在书前书后了!)参见:《“吃货”的终极盛宴》

Q: 能不能略微介绍一下这本书的内容?

A:我可以告诉你,这本书其实一个吃货的大爆发。你告诉我,当你看到暴龙那浴盆大的脚爪时,如果奇妙发生,幻化成一个巨大的凤爪!人生会不会由此改变了……

Q:你自己是一位美食爱好者吗?最喜欢的食物是?

A:是!(我好久没有这样坚定的回答…)我什么都愿意试试看!最喜欢的食物是各种海鲜。

Q: 久居国外,你是否怀念国内美食?

A:特别怀念中国菜,怀念鲁、川、粤、闽、苏、浙、湘、徽八大菜系,怀念潮州菜。可是平时因为太忙,只能吃照烧牛肉、红烧牛肉、咖喱牛肉、海鲜、猪骨浓汤、味噌汤、烧鸡、鸡蓉……好吧,客官,你到底要哪个口味的方便面?

Q: 潮州这个故乡,你对它有什么感觉?

A:我对“小”的东西都有偏爱,潮州就好小,好萌。然后大家都认识,这种感觉棒极了!现在回忆起来,那份安静祥和,书香门第,夜市小吃,都是这辈子最美好的艳遇。

Q:和你的同学相比,你会不会觉得自己的道路和他们有很多不同

A:我很少与同学联系,我觉得,他们是觉得我很异类多一些吧。很神奇就估计说不上。说不定就像看猴子一样(大笑)。

Q:所以你感觉并不太好?

A:(笑)我如果是这么介意别人感受的人,就不会走到现在了。不过我也不知道同学们究竟怎么想的。很少联系,主要是方向不同,没有什么语言了,就剩下几个比较好的青梅竹马发小。

Q:父母理解和支持么?

A:他们多半时候不理解,但依然支持(这就是爱啊……)。我可能还不止读一个学位。除了恐龙,还要读一个科学史,或者一个西方古典。我读书就是为了玩,更好的玩而已。我还在加拿大本地餐厅打工炒过干炒牛河。那也是为了体验生活。

Q:去年你刚刚荣升父亲,也成了有上有下的三明治,有什么不同的感觉?

A:其实我没有准备好当一个父亲,我自己都像孩子一样(同学们都叫我“恐龙小男孩”……),于是我的感觉可能随时在变。现在的感觉,就是儿子快快快长大!老爸带你去世界大冒险!(而且,我不会逼你学这学那的,就算幼儿园,如果你不喜欢,也可以不用去。)

Q:接下来几年有什么新计划?

A:我可以告诉你我的计划,我是计划帝。不过做到与否就不好说了(摊手)。重要的计划是完成我的长篇小说,这也是我自己自小以来一个很大的梦想。然后我会不断在北极地区体验,时间可能有长短,但次数可以弥补。想象一下,睫毛结冰,鼻毛冻断,然后哼哧哼哧追着猎物的场面,是不是碉堡了!?

Q: 研究这么多年恐龙下来,发现恐龙和你小时候的想象有什么相同和不同?

A:其实蛮“失望”的,现在恐龙越来越“鸟化”,什么恐龙都有毛,活脱脱一些巨大化的鸵鸟或者鸡,不够威猛了(开个玩笑了)。我最爱的不同,是能够看着学科快速的发展,恐龙的形态不断发生着变化,这非常能满足我猎奇的心(笑)。



Source : China 30s

Article Revisions:

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March 15, 2015 @ 13:56:25Current Revision
Content
邢立达,小时候是恐龙爱好者,长大后成了恐龙和古生物研究者。2011年他和同学一起微博直播吃万年冰冻猛犸象肉的盛况,现在,他又异想天开想把恐龙做成大餐。他是头长角的上古怪兽么?不是,他只是一个普通三明治,七个月大孩子的爸爸。  
文/@李梓新  
春节前几天,科学松鼠会的创始人姬十三在微博上推一本果壳网的新书《把恐龙做成大餐》。看起来颇有意思。我便通过姬十三联系了作者,现在加拿大阿尔伯塔大学读古生物研究生的邢立达。  
收到回信之前,我顺手做了一个百度搜索,搜到了他名字的词条。一看之下,他居然是我的广东潮州老乡,小我三届的中学师弟。我蓦然为家乡生出了一份自豪之情:潮州这样的人都能出……  
一年前的这个时候,2011年2月12日,邢立达的日本师弟,辗转从遥远的西伯利亚带来了一块在永冻土里保存的上古生物猛犸象肉,长8.9cm,宽4.1cm。他和这位日本师弟和一位法国同学,真的是异想天开——把它吃了!结果真的实施了,还微博直播了:“煎,十分熟,加盐。”  
这条微博引发了宁财神等名人在微博的疯狂转发,媒体甚至也跟进报道。吃下猛犸象肉的结果,法国同学吐了,邢立达没有什么反应,他描述吃肉的感觉:“和野猪肉差不多,粗糙的口感,邪恶的感觉,有点沙土味道……”,“入口的时候想到了残剑横刃;接触牙齿的时候,犹如童年的古生物爱好之梦和我融合……”  
  <p>Xin Lida, who was a dinosaur fan as a kid, became a researcher in paleontology. In 2011, he posted a live video about eating the frozen meat of a mammoth with one of his classmates on Weibo. Now, he is thinking whimsically about making dinosaur meals. Is this an ancient monster with horns on its head? No, this person, typical ‘Sandwich-genetaion’ guy, just became a father and has a 7-month-old baby.</p>
童年的古生物爱好之梦,成为今日所奋斗的事业,这对很多小时候同样看过《恐龙特急克塞号》的三明治来说,机会可能是万分之一。而邢立达却做到了。早在高中时,他就建立了大陆第一个恐龙网站,还给国内的恐龙名家写电子邮件,得到他们的指点和推荐。尽管他上大学时并没有读生物或者考古专业,而是随家庭意愿读了金融,然而和恐龙早早结下的缘分难以抹去,工作半年后他便跑到了常州中华恐龙园研究恐龙,随后到了成都理工大学进修,最后远赴加拿大深造。 <p>Text: Li Zixin</p>
在大学时候,他便成了一名活跃的恐龙科普作家,出了20多本恐龙科普读物,2008年他加入了科学松鼠会,读者很快注意到他这位“恐龙达人”。他的文章语言风趣,故事性强,把恐龙变成一个个鲜活题材,嬉笑怒骂,融会贯通,成为他独特的写作标签。  
为了做这个访谈,我和邢立达在QQ聊了几次,问题主要通过Email回答。虽未谋面,但处处可感受他的自由乐观天性。平时他每年有7个月在野外考察恐龙遗迹。现在,年满二十九的他刚刚荣升爸爸,太太很理解他的漂泊状态,带着孩子暂时在国内。他一直惦记着要带孩子到育空北极圈或格陵兰岛因纽特人聚居区去生活个半年,边体验生活边带孩子。  
而最新出的这一本《把恐龙做成大餐》,和他以前的恐龙书都有所不同。这是一本跨界到美食的书。因为邢立达经常自称吃货,在野外考察之余不忘饱餐各地美食。现在他发扬吃猛犸象的猛士精神,通过意念,把各种类型的恐龙统统因材施用放进食谱,用现代的烹调手法去做一份恐龙大餐,其实是在做大餐之余,继续谈他所钟爱的恐龙。  
Q: 能把自己儿时的兴趣爱好变成终身事业,有什么感觉?  
A:其实没什么感觉,我也就是做了十年出头而已。有时候会听到大家说:“呀!你可以把爱好与工作结合起来,棒极了!”然后我就会笑笑(摊手)。因为我一直就这样做,没有不把爱好与工作分开来过,所以体会不到“身在曹营心在汉”的感觉。不过,现在说“终身事业”可能还为时过早。我是那种特别随心的人,原始的驱动力只是“好玩”二字,虽然也看重结果,但完全享受过程中的艰辛。或许未来我会突然跨界也说不定。  
Q:你最早对恐龙的印象是从何而来,是动画片《恐龙特急克塞号》吗?  
A:《恐龙特急克塞号》可以算的,是小学时候的动画片。更早可以追溯到幼儿园时候的《十万个为什么》,里面有说到恐龙,而且有一个插图是雷龙泡在水里,那时候就觉得这个龙神奇了!那么长的脖子和尾巴,太好玩了。这或许是男孩子都会有的恐龙情结吧。(捧心)  
Q: 你和恐龙学界的结缘,缘起于你给曾参与《十万个为什么》编写的地质学前辈陶世龙发了一封电子邮件,当时身处小城市的你,为什么有这样的想法和勇气?  
A:这里面就蛮巧也蛮“乏味”,那时候混中国最早的自然类社区,在网易,然后认识了天南地北好多自然爱好者。陶先生那时候已经有一个个人网站,我也就抱着试试看的心态,写信去了,没想到这样就跨入一个新天地。  
Q: 1998年,当你16岁的时候,你便创办了大陆第一个恐龙网站,是什么机缘使你那么早能接触到网络?  
A:只能说家里对我的期望一直没有休止符(努力!)。小时候便让我背诗,学琴,学书法,学英语,弄得我是很辛苦,有时候也挺抗拒,因为不好玩嘛。但学电脑的时候却发现了那里面有好玩的游戏,现在能回忆起来的有《虚拟城市I》,《大航海时代II》等,后者棒极了!怀念那种半夜偷偷玩游戏,探险世界各大陆,与海盗战斗的飘洒激情的日子!至于做恐龙网站,也是因为好玩,那时候有个个人网站很有面子吧!所以便做了,后来做得大些,想必都是我偏执发作。  
Q: 互联网在你成长过程中,对你的影响有多深?你认为自己算不算第一代互联网的弄潮儿?  
A: 第一代互联网的弄潮儿不敢说,互联网本身没什么,主要是得到很多朋友,这是珍贵的财富。因为那时候他们都比我大多了,能提供的想法与建议,远远比我同学强(笑)。  
Q:大学你选择的是金融学,而不是生物学,是出于什么原因,有家庭或者社会的影响吗?  
A:当一名古生物学者抑或探险家,是从很小的时候埋藏在心里的心愿。只不过大学的时候尊重家里的意见,没有投报相关的专业。当时也觉得这些过于浪漫的想法需要扎实的经济基础,金融或许是赚钱最快的行业?(笑)至少当年非常好就业。  
Q: 大学毕业的时候,为什么没有从事与专业相关的金融工作,而是做了记者?  
A:可能缘于我的数字不够敏感,而对文字兴趣颇大。在南方报业集团的工作时间虽然不长,但学到了很多东西,比如跟着老牌记者去采访,就得到了很多沟通,采访的技巧。也是从那时候开始喜欢上广州,在大家两点一线的生活之外,这个庞大的都市竟有着如此之多的,不为人熟知的角落。  
Q:为什么没有坚持做记者,而决定往常州中华恐龙园做科研工作?当时是怎样得到这个机会的?  
A:是他们派人来广州找我,他们非常诚恳,因为当时中国并没有专门从事恐龙科普的人(似乎现在也没有),我当时不但有一个门户网站,还出版了一些恐龙科普书,销量也还不错,他们可能认为我已然触到了恐龙科普的门槛,所以很希望我的加盟。  
Q: 是什么原因使你决定走上研究恐龙的学术道路?  
A:其实很巧,我的研究从2007年才正式开始,因为已经在圈内浸泡很久,对研究的流程非常熟悉,就有样学样的研究了一批来自重庆綦江的恐龙足迹,科研论文很快的通过审稿发表了。从那以后,我不断地出野外考察,做传统科研该走的流程,这其中也体会到古生物学是一门十足的野外学科,地层与化石,都是需要亲眼看一看,而不能仅仅看论文。  
Q:在加拿大做恐龙研究,感觉和在国内有什么区别?  
A:最大的区别是北美的古生物少男们(少女就少些),绝大多数都是真正喜欢恐龙的。国内的可能一些是调剂来的,一些是被近些年比较火的学术明星所吸引,想着“大丈夫当如此也”,就去读了。所以北美学子毕业之后,绝大多数都是留在本专业,大大小小博物馆都能呆;国内转行的太多太多了。这里面另一个原因也可能是经济基础决定的。  
Q: 讲一两个恐龙研究中有趣的小故事或者细节。  
A:这其实蛮枯燥的。首先你要发现标本,然后修理标本,测量,写初稿,同行修改,投稿,运气好的话被接受,然后几次修改,发表,媒体介绍……这每一篇都是要咬牙坚持!不说了,再说下次,我今天的计划就完成不了……  
Q: 你参加了多少次野外恐龙发掘和勘探?通常是在哪些地方?有什么难忘的记忆或者故事?  
A:没有统计耶,太多了。我每年至少7个月在野外,以至于每次回家看到老婆仔,都有初恋的感觉(笑)。我们通常在山的那边,海的那边……难忘的事情太多,(其实我比较记得各地有趣的食物),我经常告诉媒体朋友的那就那几个,比如半夜对抗野猪,迷路找到十几条恐龙等,但这里突然想起来,那次在肃北戈壁滩露营,偶遇狮子座流星雨爆发,那种来自穹庐的豁达,很美很美。  
Q:恐龙的遗迹一般存在于哪里?  
A:恐龙几乎到处都有,包括中国的各个省份,除了台湾,海南,恐龙时代它们还在水里。据说广州闹市区的上下九步行街还挖出过恐龙蛋。  
Q:如果在城市化过程中恐龙遗迹被发现了,恐龙研究者现在能有能力去保护吗?  
A:目前没遇到过。最近有一次间接的情况,在山东青岛附近。市区中间一个楼盘。地基挖出几百个上千恐龙足迹,由于开发商担心科考会延缓甚至阻挡开发,几天之内就用推土机平掉了。当地报纸在发现的次日报道过,没有引起注意。而当地博物馆去看过,居然没有拍照片。后来我和友人好辛苦好辛苦从开放商办公楼找到一块”纪念品”,把对应的研究完成了,论文题目就叫做《中国华东的首例翼龙足迹,来自一处被“掩埋”的足迹化石点》。  
Q:所以你接触的国内的市政部门或者开发商,目前都没有足够的意识去保护恐龙遗迹?  
A:恐龙遗迹开发好的话,有很大的政绩以及地方经济效应。目前,保护与开发比较好的有山东诸城,云南禄丰之类的。  
Q:像常州的中华恐龙园走商业化的路子,是不是也间接传播了商业文化?  
A:那首先要看怎么理解恐龙文化的。如果理解为猎奇,噱头,能吸引小孩。那么,是的。  
如果理解为科学精神,不断更新,求证的事实或真相,那么我不觉得主题公园能带来什么。我理解,恐龙等古生物带给我们的不仅仅是它们本身的神秘,更重要的是其中蕴涵的科学精神:执着,奋进,质疑。这是最重要的。科学精神是共通的。但没有一门学科能像恐龙这样,有这么好的亲民性,能从小孩子开始培养的亲民性。  
Q: 你另外一个重要身份是科普作家,而且是高产作家。你对好的科普作品的个人理解是什么?  
A:这个问题可能松鼠会的松鼠们更有资格回答,我没有怎么考虑过。我个人的理解,好的科普作品,除了科学要正,首先就是要让人能看完。这是我写作的原则。不过,我自己肯拿起来的自己的作品,目前也不过一两本,所以我会继续努力的。  
Q:你最近刚出版了一本书,叫《把恐龙做成大餐》。这可以算是一种“跨界”,把古生物学和美食跨界结合到一起,这个创意是怎么来的?  
A:这很有很有意思!不过我不告诉你。(其实我写在书前书后了!)参见:《“吃货”的终极盛宴》  
Q: 能不能略微介绍一下这本书的内容?  
A:我可以告诉你,这本书其实一个吃货的大爆发。你告诉我,当你看到暴龙那浴盆大的脚爪时,如果奇妙发生,幻化成一个巨大的凤爪!人生会不会由此改变了……  
Q:你自己是一位美食爱好者吗?最喜欢的食物是?  
A:是!(我好久没有这样坚定的回答…)我什么都愿意试试看!最喜欢的食物是各种海鲜。  
Q: 久居国外,你是否怀念国内美食?  
A:特别怀念中国菜,怀念鲁、川、粤、闽、苏、浙、湘、徽八大菜系,怀念潮州菜。可是平时因为太忙,只能吃照烧牛肉、红烧牛肉、咖喱牛肉、海鲜、猪骨浓汤、味噌汤、烧鸡、鸡蓉……好吧,客官,你到底要哪个口味的方便面?  
Q: 潮州这个故乡,你对它有什么感觉?  
A:我对“小”的东西都有偏爱,潮州就好小,好萌。然后大家都认识,这种感觉棒极了!现在回忆起来,那份安静祥和,书香门第,夜市小吃,都是这辈子最美好的艳遇。  
Q:和你的同学相比,你会不会觉得自己的道路和他们有很多不同  
A:我很少与同学联系,我觉得,他们是觉得我很异类多一些吧。很神奇就估计说不上。说不定就像看猴子一样(大笑)。  
Q:所以你感觉并不太好?  
A:(笑)我如果是这么介意别人感受的人,就不会走到现在了。不过我也不知道同学们究竟怎么想的。很少联系,主要是方向不同,没有什么语言了,就剩下几个比较好的青梅竹马发小。  
Q:父母理解和支持么?  
A:他们多半时候不理解,但依然支持(这就是爱啊……)。我可能还不止读一个学位。除了恐龙,还要读一个科学史,或者一个西方古典。我读书就是为了玩,更好的玩而已。我还在加拿大本地餐厅打工炒过干炒牛河。那也是为了体验生活。  
Q:去年你刚刚荣升父亲,也成了有上有下的三明治,有什么不同的感觉?  
A:其实我没有准备好当一个父亲,我自己都像孩子一样(同学们都叫我“恐龙小男孩”……),于是我的感觉可能随时在变。现在的感觉,就是儿子快快快长大!老爸带你去世界大冒险!(而且,我不会逼你学这学那的,就算幼儿园,如果你不喜欢,也可以不用去。)  
Q:接下来几年有什么新计划?  
A:我可以告诉你我的计划,我是计划帝。不过做到与否就不好说了(摊手)。重要的计划是完成我的长篇小说,这也是我自己自小以来一个很大的梦想。然后我会不断在北极地区体验,时间可能有长短,但次数可以弥补。想象一下,睫毛结冰,鼻毛冻断,然后哼哧哼哧追着猎物的场面,是不是碉堡了!?  
Q: 研究这么多年恐龙下来,发现恐龙和你小时候的想象有什么相同和不同?  
A:其实蛮“失望”的,现在恐龙越来越“鸟化”,什么恐龙都有毛,活脱脱一些巨大化的鸵鸟或者鸡,不够威猛了(开个玩笑了)。我最爱的不同,是能够看着学科快速的发展,恐龙的形态不断发生着变化,这非常能满足我猎奇的心(笑)。  
  <p>Few days before the Spring Festival, Ji Shisan, the founder of the Songshuhui-Association of Science Communicators, posted a new book called <em>Make dinosaurs into meals </em>in the Nutshell Network. It seems that the book was quite interesting, so I called Ji Shisan to build up further connection with the author of the book, who was studying in the field of Paleontology in the Alberta University in Canada.</p>
  <p>I researched in Baidu before getting the response and get the information titled with his name. To my surprise, he was also born in Chaozhou, Guangdong, and he was three years younger than me. I am so proud that my hometown is the hometown of so many talented people.</p>
  <p>One year ag0, in February 12, 2011, Xin Lida’s Japanese classmate brought him a meat of mammoth stored in the permafrost from Siberia. The meat of mammoth has a length about 8.7 centimeters and a width about 4.1 centimeters. It is really creative that he cooked the meat and ate it with his classmates, one from Japan and the other from France. They actually did it and posted a live video in the Weibo saying that “pan-firing it and putting salt on it when it was ripe.</p>
  <p>The post was forwarded by many celebrities, and it is also reported by many medias. After swallowing the mammoth meat, the French classmate spited out, but Xin Lida was fine. The feeling of eating the meat is described in such way: “It tastes like wild boar, the taste is crude, and it even tastes a little bit like the sandy soil.”</p>
  <p>The dream about the paleontology has changed into the passion of working hard. As the person who also watched <em>Koseidon</em>, for Sandwich, the possibility of turning the dream in the childhood into a job in the reality is relatively small. However, Xin Lida did it. He had built up the first website about dinosaur when he was still in the middle school. Besides, he also emailed the professor in the field of dinosaur and got replication and suggestions from them Although he didn’t choose the biology or archeology as his major in the college but chose the economics as his family wants. While the connection with dinosaurs cannot just be blotted out. After working for half year, he went to Zhonghua Dinosaur Park in Changzhou for research in dinosaur. Then he went to the school of Science and Technology in Chengdu and university in Canada for further study.</p>
  <p>During the time he was in college, he became an active writer about popularize the knowledge about dinosaurs, publishing more than 20 kinds of books. In 2008, he joined the Songshuhui-Association of Science Communicators, and many readers noticed him about how humorous his articles are and how wonderful these stories are. It is a unique style that turning dinosaurs into human beings with their own characteristics.</p>
  <p>For this interview, I had some short chat with Xin Lida by QQ, and the questions are mainly answered in e-mail. Although we haven’t met each other face to face, but I can feel his nature of freedom and optimistic. Now, he has just become a father in his age of 29, and his wife understands how harsh his work is. He is always thinking about staying in the Greenland with his little baby.</p>
  <p>And the last book <em>Turning the dinosaurs into the food</em> is quite different from the books he published before. This is a book talking about cooking. Since Xin Lida always regards himself as a eating-lover, he usually eat the delicious food in different places wherever he goes. Now he is using every kind of meat as the material to cook them into meals with the modern cooking methods. Actually, he still talks a lot about the dinosaurs when he was not cooking.</p>
  <p>Q: How do you feel when turning your childhood dream into a real job?</p>
  <p>A: It actually is natural to me since I have worked in this field for just ten years. Sometimes people may say that it was great to turning a childhood dream into a real jobs. That makes me smile (he pauses). Because I've always been like that, I've never had a distinction between job and hobby, and so I've never had the experience of my heart in a place and my mind in another. However, it's a bit early to speak of a career. I'm one of these people who follow their heart, and my original impetus holds in this word, 'fun'. Although I appreciate the value of my results, I thoroughly enjoy the difficulties of the process. Whether in the future I will head to an entirely different direction, that is yet unsure. </p>
  <p>Q: What was the first time you get your impression of dinosaurs? Is it from the cartoon ‘Koseidon’?</p>
  <p>A: You can count ‘Koseidon’ as one, is a cartoon I watched when I was in elementary school or you can trace back to ‘A hundred thousand questions’ when I was in kindergarten, the book talks about dinosaurs and there was an illustration of a brontosaurus soaking in the water, it felt fascinated by the dinosaurs that time! I found it interesting looking at those long neck and tail. It might the dinosaur complex that every boy has.</p>
  <p>Q: Your relation with the studies on dinosaurs, started from your email to Shi Long Tao who participated in the writing of the book ‘A hundred thousand questions’, Why did you have such courage and thoughts when you were in the town?</p>
  <p>A: It was both interesting and “boring”. I met a lot of nature enthusiasts all over the world by joining in the earliest natural community on the Internet. Mr.Tao already had a personal website, I was just going for an attempt, writing a letter, and I never expected to step into a new field.</p>
  <p>Q: When you were 16, you created the first dinosaurs website in China 1998, what made you come to contact with Internet so early?</p>
  <p>A:  My family’s expectation of me has no end. (Work Hard!) They made me recite poems, learn to play instruments, calligraphy, English, they made me very laborious, sometimes I defy their orders, because it wasn’t fun. But when I was learning computer, I discover some fun games, the ones that I can remember includes, ‘Virtual City’, ‘The Great Voyage2’, the latter one was terrific! I cherish the memory of playing games at night; the days of discover new lands, fighting with pirates! In terms of dinosaur websites, I was doing for fun, having a personal website can have a good reputation. So I did it, I made it bigger because of my stubbornness.</p>
  <p>Q: What was the influence of Internet when you were young? Do you see yourself as the one of the most popular boys?</p>
  <p>A: I’m afraid I can’t say I am on of the popular boys, Internet itself was nothing special, the most important thing is that you can have more friends, that is the real prosperity.</p>
  <p>Q: You studied economy when you were in university, not biology, what was the reason? It is the influence of family or society?</p>
  <p>A: Being a paleontologist or an explorer was my dream when I was young. However, I respect advices of my family, so I didn’t sign up for that field of study. At that time, I felt that to accomplish romantic thoughts, I have to have good economy basis, Economy might be the best profession that makes money. (lol) At least business was easy that time.</p>
  <p>Q: Why didn’t you engage in business related to economy instead become a journalist?</p>
  <p>A: Maybe it’s because I am not sensitive to numbers, but to words and texts. I didn’t stay long in the journalist company, but I’ve learn a lot, like I follow some professional reporter and I interviewed a lot of people, I learned a lot of skills of communication and interviewing, I also get engaged to Guangzhou at that time. Other than the simple of life of people at that time,  a big city like this has some places that people are not aware of.</p>
  <p>Q: Why didn’t you continue to be a journalist, but decided to do research works in the Chinese national Dinosaur park. How did you get this opportunity?</p>
  <p>A: They sent people to find me, they were true-hearted, because there wasn’t a man who is specialized in Dinosaurs( there isn’t any now), I didn’t just have a personal website, I also published a dinosaur book, the selling was well, they might be thinking that I was in contact with dinosaurs, so they really liked me to join them.</p>
  <p>Q: What reason made you go on and study of dinosaurs.</p>
  <p>A: It was very interesting, my research started from 2007, because I was in the realm for a long time, I am very familiar with the procedures, so I researched a bunch of dinosaurs’ footprints, my essay published quickly after the it went through examination. From that on, I often explore in the wild, do some traditional research procedure, from that I found that it was a wild study, fossils and ground beds need to be seen by eyes, not only by essays written by others.</p>
  <p>Q: When you were doing research on dinosaurs in Canada, what did you feel was the difference with life back home? </p>
  <p>A: The biggest difference is NorthAmerican paleontology boys, (there are not many girls), most of them really like dinosaurs. Some are from relief, and some are attracted by issued scientists. They might think that “a man should be like this”, and study about it. So after Northern American graduate, most of them remain to be professional so that can stay in every museum; so many domestic people switch jobs. Another reason might be decided by economic problem.</p>
  <p>Q: Please tell us about one or two interesting episode or details during your studies of dinosaurs.</p>
  <p>A: In fact, it was quite deadening. Firstly, you need to find a sample, then arrange it, measure and write the first draft, then fix it and submit the writing. It might be accepted for publication if you are lucky. Then, rewrite for several times, then it would be published and you need to interview about it. You must persist in every piece! I might not perform today’s plan. So just stop here and continue next time……</p>
  <p>Q: How many times do you participate in excavating and prospecting dinosaurs? Where do these activities generally take place? Do you have any unforgettable memories or stories?</p>
  <p>A: I don’t count about that, so much! I stay outdoor at least seven months in a year so that there has a feeling of first love when I return home and see my wife. (smile) Activities often take place near the mountains and sea…… There are so many unforgettable events, (especially many interesting food), I often tells my friends about the events about resisting wild boar in the midnight, lose the way but still find more than ten dinosaurs, and so on. Then I suddenly recall about I accidently met Leonid meteor shower appeared at that camping at Gobi Desert in Subei. That’s so awesome!</p>
  <p>Q: Where can you generally find dinosaur remains?</p>
  <p>A: The dinosaurs exist in nearly everywhere include China’s provinces, but except for Taiwan and Hainan. Era of dinosaurs still is in the water. It is said dinosaur’s eggs were found on nine steps down the street in the downtown area of Guangzhou.</p>
  <p>A: If dinosaur remains are found during urbanization, do dinosaur experts have ability to protect them?</p>
  <p>A: This kind of situation is not experienced currently. There is an indirect situation recently appeared near Shangdong Qingdao, in a downtown property. When they dug the foundations, they discovered hundreds of dinosaur footprints, but because the construction team feared it might slow down the works, they bulldozed everything flat. The local newspapers reported the news the next day, but it went unnoticed. The local museum went to have a look, but no photographs had been taken. Later, a friend and I went to the commercial office and made great efforts to find a 'souvenir', completed the study, and called the paper 'East China's first Pterosaurus footprints is a 'buried' footprint'. </p>
  <p>Q: So the Chinese city councils or developers you've contacted are not currently aware enough of the need to preserve dinosaur remains? </p>
  <p>A: If dinosaur remains are managed well, there can be high levels of return on local economy. Currently, that's the case in Zhufeng, Shandong, and Lufeng in Yunnan. </p>
  <p>Q: Isn't there a possibility for commercialisation too, as in the case of the dinosaur park in Changzhou? </p>
  <p>A: First, we need to look at how dinosaur culture is interpreted. If it is a novelty, a gimmick to attract children, then yes. </p>
  <p>If you understand it with a scientific spirit, with constant updates, where facts and truths are verified, then I don't think theme parks can bring that. As I understand, the study of dinosaurs and paleontology doesn't only cast light on their mystery, more important are implications for the scientific spirit: persistence, progress, curiosity. This is the most important. The scientific spirit is something we share. But there is no discipline that offers the same thing as dinosaurs, with such good nature, allowing to cultivate interest from childhood. </p>
  <p>Q: Another aspect of your professional identity is that of a science writer, and a prolific one at that. What do you think makes for good science writing? </p>
  <p>A: I think the people writing on 'Song Shu' science network may be more qualified than me to answer. I haven't particulalry thought about it. From my personal understanding, the mark of good science writing, in addition to the science being right, is that people are able to read the whole thing. This is my core principle when I write. However, I've started to work on my own projects, one or two books at the moment, so I'll keep on making efforts. </p>
  <p>Q: You've just published a book called 'dinosaur for dinner'. We could see that as some 'cross-pollination', bringing together paleontology and gastronomy - how did you come with this idea? </p>
  <p>A: That’s very interesting! But I won’t tell you. (In fact, it’s written at the front and back of the book!) See: 'Good eating - the ultimate feast'</p>
  <p>Q: Can you tell us a bit more about the book? </p>
  <p>A: I can tell you that the book is bursting with good things to eat. You tell me, imagine the big paw of the tyrannosaurus Rex magically turning into a chicken leg! Would that not be life-changing? </p>
  <p>Q: Are you a foodie yourself? What's your favourite dish? </p>
  <p>A: Sure I am! (I haven't had such a firm answer for a long time). I'm willing to try anything! My favourite thing is seafood - all sorts of seafood! </p>
  <p>Q: You've been living overseas for a while, do you miss Chinese specialties?</p>
  <p>A: I really miss Chinese food, I miss all the eight major cuisines, Shandong, Sichuan, Cantonese, Fujian, Jiangsu, Zhejian, Hunan, and I miss the dishes from Chaozhou. But I'm usually too busy, I can only eat Teriyaki beek, braised beef, curry beef, seafood, pork bone soup, miso soup, chicken - hey - it's all "boss, what type of instant noodle would you like"? </p>
  <p>Q: What's your feeling towards your hometown of Chaozhou? </p>
  <p>A: I really like 'small' things, Chaozhou is very small, it's very cute. We all know how great this feeling is! When I look back on it now, this quiet and peace, serious book reading, snacks at night markets, these are the best adventures I've had in this life. </p>
  <p>Q: Compared to your classmates, do you think your path is very different? </p>
  <p>A: I’m not in touch with my classmates a lot, but I guess they find my path a bit atypical. I can't say if they find it very magical, or worthy. Maybe it's like looking at a monkey (laughs loud). </p>
  <p>Q: So you don't feel too good about it? </p>
  <p>A: (laughs) If I really cared about the feelings of others so much, I wouldn't be where I am now. But I don't know exactly what my classmates are thinking. We've got very little contact, we've gone in different directions, we don't have much language in common, and all that's left is a few childhood memories. </p>
  <p>Q: Do your parents understand and support you? </p>
  <p>A: Most of the time, they don't understand, but they still support me (that's love for you!). I'm not satisfied with just one subject. Apart from dinosaurs, I also want to study the history of science, and Western classics. I'm studying for fun, the more the better. I've also worked in a steakhouse in Canada. That was also a way of experiencing life. </p>
  <p>Q: Last year, you became a father yourself, and now you're indeed a sandwich generation - has that changed things for you? </p>
  <p>A: Actually, I haven't really prepared much to become a father, I'm like a child myself (my classmates all call me 'little dinosaur boy'...), but my impressions are changing. My main feeling now is that my son is growing really fast! And his daddy's gonna take him on a world of adventures! (Also, I won't force him to study what he doesn't want to, and even kindergarten, if he doesn't want to go, he won't). </p>
  <p>Q: What's your plan for the coming years? </p>
  <p>A: I can tell you everything about my plans, I'm a planning king! But whether I'm going to make them happen or not, that's unsure (he extends his hands). An important plan is to finish my novel, this has been a big dream since my childhood. Then, I will continue to explore the Arctic, maybe for shorter periods, but then more often to make up for it. Imagine, your eyelashes and your nose and freezing, and then poom, poom, you spot on a hunting scene, isn't that the coolest thing!? </p>
  <p>Q: After so many years studying dinosaurs, what are the differences and similarities with dinosaurs as you imagined them as a child? </p>
  <p>A: In fact, I'm rather 'disappointed': dinosaurs are becoming more and more bird-like, they're all covered in feathers, and look just like a big ostrich or a giant chicken, that's not quite mighty enough (starts laughing). The thing I most enjoy is that I'm able to witness how fast the discipline is changing, and this really satisfies my own curious heart (laughs). </p>

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About julien.leyre

French-Australian writer, educator, sinophile. Any question? Contact julien@marcopoloproject.org