I am sorry but I can't make Living Legends this year. I know you guys are really planning a blow out and it should be lots of fun.
I can't go because I have been invited by the Chinese government and the national head of paleontology to come over there and study the world famous feathered dinosaurs. See this link for pictures DINOS They are even paying for my trip. This is a HUGE deal for me and the pinnacle of my work in paleontology. Very few professional paleontologists are invited these days because they rightfully want their own scientists to make the discoveries and publish on them.
I have developed a method of using lasers to stimulate fluorescence in fossil bones to make them glow when no other method would. This allows us to see things that are normally hidden. Think of how fluorescing blood stains makes a crime scene suddenly show up even if it has been washed off. I taught a graduate student the technique weeks before she went over to China to study one of the fossil birds. She illuminated a slab that just had bones on it and much to everyone's surprise, the foot pads AND the scales individually fluoresced and suddenly became visible! This was the first time soft tissues like that were discovered in the fossil bird Confuciusornis. We are currently submitting a paper on the discovery to a major scientific journal. If you want to learn more about it you can look over this poster from a few years ago that describes some of what I do. http://tomkaye.com/images/MicroRaptorMysteryZ_lrg.jpg
Once the paleontologists over there saw the results one thing lead to another so I am packing up my lasers and heading half way around the world. I have to leave right at LL so that's why I can't make it. I plan on blogging about it on my facebook page so stand by for TK's globetrotting adventures!