Issue 235
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It's been a tumultuous voyage for Dippy the Diplodocus, but after successfully navigating the airportNew Street Station, and Pride all 16 crates of dino have been pieced together inside Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery's Gas Hall, for your viewing pleasure. And because everyone is a dinosaur nerd at heart, here's a volley of stats ands facts about him.
Diplodocus weighed around 20 tonnes and were 26 metres long. Based on fossilised trackways (so, footprints to you and me), it is assumed the herbivore moved very slowly. Slower than a 50 Bus on Kings Heath High Street.

His full name Diplodocus Carnegie comes from the Greek words diplos (double) and dokos (beam), on account of his double-beamed bones.

Its surname is STOLEN from philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, who sponsored an expedition that discovered diplodocus remains in Utah. Carnegie was so chuffed with this find, he had a cast made of the bones and donated the resulting plaster replicas of the whole skeleton to several museums, with the Natural History Museum getting the first batch.

Dippy has been in the Natural History Museum since May 1905, that's 113 years. He's been in BMAG for about 113 hours. 

Diplodocus lived between 156 and 145 million years ago, and mainly knocked about in North America. Given this timeline Dippy wouldn't have been hunted by a T.Rex, which lived around 80 million years earlier. He's more likely to have been dinner for Ceratosaurus, which is this gnarly looking dude.

The Luftwaffe couldn't touch Dippy. During WWII the skeleton was disassembled and relocated to the basement to protect it from bomb damage. 
It took Conservators (nothing to do with the Teresa May) 12 months to prepare the delicate plaster-of-Paris cast for its triple gap year tour of Britain. He'll be heading off to Ulster on September 9. 

It took eight people a week to put Dippy together in Brum, when he arrived from Dorset, which was his first stop. Here's how building it looked in Benny Hill-style speed.

The full skeleton is 21.3m metres long, 4.3 metres wide and 4.17 metres high. It takes two people two days to clean Dippy's 292 bones.

Rapper Diplo derives his name from the dinosaur. This is the worst fact ever. Scratch this one.

In news that shook the ICB offices, there is no diplodocus in Jurassic Park, though a mini-model of the dino is located in Alan Grant and Ellie Sattler's trailer. See?

The diplodocus scene you're thinking of actually features brachiosaurus. Stupid you. Oh, and while we're on the subject Fred Flintstone does NOT operate a Diplodocus crane in his day job. That's a brontosaurus. Stop it, you're embarrassing yourself.  

Diplodocus' long tail served as a counterbalance to its, frankly, farcical neck. Dippy could whip the tip of his tail at supersonic speeds, producing a cannon-like boom, possibly to intimidate would-be attackers or rivals. Can your dog do that?
Diplodocus is the longest dinosaur known from a near-complete skeleton — that is, other dinosaurs, such as the sauropod Supersaurus, may be longer — almost double the length — but those estimates are based on incomplete skeletons so Dippy wins by default. Good boy Dippy.

We say "good boy" but actually nobody knows whether he was a lad or a lass.

At one point, scientists thought that diplodocus may have had a trunk. Silly scientists. 

According to a 2013 study, diplodocus had a tooth-replacement rate of one tooth every 35 days.

Dippy has 15 neck vertebrae. Dippy points and laughs at giraffes who only have 7.  

While the long neck has traditionally been interpreted as a feeding adaptation, it was also suggested that the oversized neck may have been primarily a sexual display. Phwoar, yeah. 

If you were to have eaten diplodocus it presumably would have tasted like chicken. There's no evidence to support this last fact. Sorry about this last fact. 

For guaranteed, timed-entry you should book a free slot here — extra tickets were released earlier this week and everything. But if you're feeling all spontaneous between now and September 9, BMAG has released just turn up kinda tickets (though expect to queue at busy times).


They've also released a shed load of ticketed events, with small group access to Dippy and some right Ross Geller types. Here's our pick:
  • Join Lukas Large, Curator of Natual Science, for a fact-packed tour on June 6, July 4, Aug 1 or September 5. You'll be one of only 15 on the tour, for which tickets are £5.
  • On August 2, Prof Richard Butler's presenting research focussing on the diversification of dinos and the larger group of reptiles to which they belong, the archosaurs. It's £7 to get to New Insights into the Origins of Dinosaurs.
  • Dr Will Tattersdill, from the Department of English Literature at University of Birmingham is all about the social history of dinosaurs. On August 16, tickets for Is Dippy Real? are also £7.
  • Drink and draw Dippy. Come along for free on September 8 at 6.30pm, book


Unlimited coffee samples. What could possibly go wrong? Birmingham Coffee Festival jitters into town next week and if you're a fan of the Joe, then your presence is advised. The event will bring together the top 40 independent coffee shops and coffee culture experiences from the local area and further afield, with cakey, caffeiney, tasting classy goodness coming to the Custard Factory June 8, 9 and 10. The awesome 200 Degrees will be bringing their newly canned Nitro coffee (the Guinness Extra Cold of the coffee world) while hot nosh will be supplied courtesy of Paneer Wraps, The Greek Outdoors, 63 Islands (Caribbean) and oaty obsessives Morridge. There's also music from Esther Turner (who was excellent at Pride) and Ashes to Oaks. It's £8 on the door or £6 if you book online 


The small matter of the world's biggest sporting tournament is on our doorstep and Kevin Keegan wants to talk about it. He'll be at Resorts World's Sports Bar on June 7 and... I've kept really quiet, but I'll tell you, you can tell him now if you're watching it, we're still fighting for this title, and he's got to go to Middlesbrough and get something, and... and... I'll tell you, honestly, I will love it if we beat them. Love it!
Sorry, lost our train of thought. Where were we? Oh yes, Keegs will be taking your questions at the Sports Bar, which has 22 screens including two 60 inch whoppers and they'll be showing every single world cup game on 'em. Well worth considering for your footbag viewing options. Side note: If you're collecting Russia 2018 stickers we've got Bruno Alves in double swapsies and need Gylfi Sigurðsson. Free
Venue: Opheem, 48 Summer Row, B3 1JJ; Website
Choice: Laal Maans (£22.90) Chooser: Waitress

In the seemingly unending din of openings, it can be important to prioritise, so allow us to move a new entrant to the upper echelons of your list. Opheem is Aktar Islam's Michelin baby, maybe. Unlike anything ever before seen on Summer Row, the 70-cover restaurant feels more New York industrial chic than an Indian in Birmingham. And while Opheem is most definitely the latter, you won't find a genuine comparator outside London. The food is immediately more refined, ambitious and flavour-filled than Lasan, Islam's former hangout. The Punjabi chicken and Kerala softshell crab both came with the sort of sauces you'd request serious amounts of one-on-one time with, while the Rajasthan Laal Maans was simply put, excellent. Herdwick lamb loin is served pink with a glorious smoosh of Punjabi aubergine caviar plus a light tongue beignet and barley for texture. Get it with a butter naan, and don't offer to share it even if shown a gun. Between you and me, we couldn't give a fig about the desserts. The starters, the mains, the service, and the feel of the place we cared very deeply for. A not very old dog, doing some exquisite new tricks. 

FILM — 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (RE: 2018)

There’s a certain kind of thunderbore who always bangs on about how there are particular films you "just have to see on the big screen". These people are usually immense try-hards, but in the case of 2001: A Space Odyssey, they have a point. Watched at home, with your phone within arm’s reach, the slow pace can feel like homework. In a cinema, without your mum texting you and without Twitter’s siren call, it becomes mesmerising, and with a restored print the 70mm photography will blow away most of today’s computer-enhanced spectacles. Astonishingly, this is the year the film becomes closer in time to World War One than the present day: open your mind, and do check out why this is worth making a fuss over. Not many laughs mind. Times & trailer


You've been to Laghi's, probably more than once. The next step in this Edgbaston/Italian voyage of wonder? The fam is drip-feeding a sizeable calendar of events and classes over on Facebook, and we can tell you with complete confidence that Luca and Gianluca are running a pizza masterclass on July 23. With a drink to aid you in your endeavours, you'll spend some time learning how to shape and spread dough. You'll then get big into topping selection, before eventually retiring to the 'Bologna room' to feast on your labour. Limited to ten pizza makers, it's £22 to get a spot. And if you'd really rather be served than do the creating, how about a tortellini and Prosecco evening? On June 12, it's £15 to get a spot. Call 0121 455 0660 to book either.


They're spare ribs. Sticky, BBQ pork ribs (£11). And you can eat them tonight from 6pm at Loki's Edgbaston home. Also at Asian cooking master, Lap-fai Lee's, ever so good-looking pop-up is cured salmon with frozen fois gras torchon (£8, and torchon's a lot like terrine if you're asking). A supreme sounding asparagus dish gets the veggie tick. Wine matches will abound. More


Digbeth First Friday is multi-venued shindiggery of the artyist kind. Take in exhibitions at Centrala, Vivid Projects and Eastside Galleries, which is relaunching its space tomorrow with Migrating Flavours. The work of a Seoul art collective, mixrice has asked refugees in Brum to share memories of sights and tastes of home, and to recreate these using clay, drawing and fruits. Work out what in the bejesus it's all about from 6pm tomorrow. More

The Krays be back. And you've got the chance to go all Cluedo on their asses. On July 7, join a virtual murder mystery around the city centre. It's £30 per team for the pleasure.
The Summer Market's all veggie and vegan. At The Bond on June 2, entry is £2. There'll be TOO MUCH street food if anything, and there'll be 25 peeps manning the indoor market including local artists, makers and designers.
Australian singer-songwriter Jack Carty is at that lovely Kitchen Garden Cafe on June 7. Tickets are £12.
Fried chicken is having a moment. House of Hen, we see you.

John Hammond: All major theme parks have delays. When they opened Disneyland in 1956, nothing worked!
Dr. Ian Malcolm: Yeah, but, John, if The Pirates of the Caribbean breaks down, the pirates don't eat the tourists. 

Jurassic Park (1993)

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WORDS: Katy Drohan, Tom CullenAndrew Lowry

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