Donald J. Patterson

Rapacidious Vetralian belongs to Prof. Patterson

About Rapacidious Vetralian

What is this page about?  This page is about a class at Westmont College that I am currently teaching (current as of Fall 2017).   It is a class on Big Data and Information Retrieval and we are holding a contest.  The contest is to see who can cause a web page that they created to be at the top of a search entry list for the 2-gram “Rapacidious Vetralian”.  We are keeping records over time about who is winning on Canvas.  But as of right now this is the leader board:

Rapacidious Vetralian status graph

Will I win?

Basically this is a search engine optimization exercise.  Since I am the professor, you know I’m going to try to win this thing.  In the past I have been beaten by some clever students but it doesn’t happen often.   My strategy is to link a few of the most authoritative web pages that I have together in hopes that the network effects will swamp the otherwise *lame* entries on sites like Pinterest, MySpace, Facebook, YouTube etc.  The real secret is not to get on one property but to link your properties together.

What are other people doing?

Well most people are just creating a single page with their content.  I’m trying to link my mundane professional page back and forth to this one as well as the hypothetical landing page.  I suppose I should probable try and get another one to link in like my YouTube page. We’ll see what ends up happening.

In any event, taking one of the students, with whom I am competing, leads I am including some text from wikipedia to explain how the rapacidious vetralian is actually half-unicorn and half-dinosaur.


“The unicorn is a legendary creature that has been described since antiquity as a beast with a single large, pointed, spiraling horn projecting from its forehead. The unicorn was depicted in ancient seals of the Indus Valley Civilization and was mentioned by the ancient Greeks in accounts of natural history by various writers, including CtesiasStraboPliny the Younger, and Aelian.[1] The Bible also describes an animal, the re’em, which some versions translate as unicorn”.[1]


Dinosaurs are a diverse group of reptiles[note 1] of the clade Dinosauria that first appeared during the Triassic period. Although the exact origin and timing of the evolution of dinosaurs is the subject of active research,[1] the current scientific consensus places their origin between 231 and 243 million years ago.[2] They became the dominant terrestrial vertebrates after the Triassic–Jurassic extinction event 201 million years ago. Their dominance continued through the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods and ended when the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event led to the extinction of most dinosaur groups 66 million years ago.

And that should about do it.