March 14th, 2006

chi3

This, that, the other...and Noah's damn Ark...again.

If I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times. The jellyfish are always and forever getting the short end of the stick...


courtesy Nicholas Gurewitch


It's like I've suddenly developed this need to do a little round up at the end of the day. Anyhow, first there's news of the discovery of an icy extrasolar planet, 9,000 light years away and many times the size of earth, orbiting a red dwarf. This is the largest rocky extra solar planet yet discovered. Presently, it's saddled with the uwieldy title of OGLE-2005-BLG-169lb. I believe that I shall think of it as Mhri'yinr (one of the names given to the mythological "Ice Daughter" of the Kr'hregenathum Dr'eêll, an ancient Nebari text). Mhri'yinr is way catchier than OGLE-2005-BLG-169lb, but I might be biased. Spooky says we should just call it Ogle Bulg.

And then there's word that the winter of 2005-2006 has been the warmest yet recorded in Canada. But no, Virginia, there's no such thing as global warming. That's crazy talk.

Speaking of crazy talk, creationists have stumbled upon Noah's Ark. Again. This makes...what? Like the fifth ark they've found up there since the 1970s? This time its perched 4,663 meters up the northwest slope of Mt. Ararat and has been spotted in a satellite photo. I love this bit from the CNN.com article (which you should not feel compelled to read, unless you're into rolling your eyes as much as I am). I quote, It would be easy to call it merely a strange rock formation. Indeed it would. It would be very easy. Because that's exactly what it is. At least when the planet warms up a few more degrees and all the snow melts off Ararat, maybe the frelling creationists will finally shut up about Noah's Ark. Then they can do something productive, like imagine monolithic faces carved into the surface of Mars, or proclaim Iapetus a gigantic spaceship, or, barring such ambitious delusions, mayhap they'll settle for seeing the face of Jesus in the peculiar arrangement of sesame seeds on a Big Mac bun.
chi2

girls with tails, boys with gills

It is indeed a little cooler today. The thunderstorms which always herald the spring cool-downs came through about 2:30 a.m., just as we were trying to get to sleep. I lay there listening to the rain and the thunder, talking...I can't recall about what, exactly...and sleep came easily. The sun is bright this morning, but there's wind, and Spooky says it "sweater weather." It's supposed to be back up to 64F tomorrow, gradually warming back up to the 70s. The sky is startling this morning, that blue so clear it could swallow you alive, and when all the digestive work was done, your cloud-etched bones would rain down in the streets of Calcutta.

I just got an e-mail from my agent advising me to pull out of the Amazon Connect thing. I'm not exactly sure why, something about the fine print (which I must admit I did not read). Probably, it says that by participating Amazon.com will heretofore own my first-born child's adenoids or something. Won't they be surprised. Anyway, yeah, I'll just drop it. I have too many online things going on, anyway, and that's surely the least interesting of the lot.

Mirroring the LJ at my MySpace hasn't proved to be much trouble. Before I mirror it at Blogger, I always have to convert any LJ tags to HTML, so the Blogger version is already suitable for MySpace. It adds about five minutes to the whole process. Of course, if I pull back and look at The Big Picture, I see that comes to 1,820 minutes a year or 30.33 hours. Simply by choosing to mirror the LJ at MySpace, I lose more than a whole day over the space of a year, and since I frequently make more than one post a day, the number may be nearer a day and a half. Well, at least this isn't as scary as the time I calculated how much of my life would likely be spent on the toilet.

Yesterday I did, in fact, begin a new vignette, which seems to actually have a title, which seems to be "pas-en-arrière ". I did 1,004 words and spent a lot time reading old Stephen Jay Gould essays and all sorts of other things about babies who've been born with tails, atavistic traits, polydactyl cats, etc. I'll probably finish this one tomorrow afternoon. So far, it's all been conversation, which is nice. However, I didn't get around to resuming the eBay auctions yesterday. Maybe today. Vince sent the final version of his artwork for "Untitled 20," and it's gorgeous. I think it precisely captures the mood of the vignette. And I'm becoming increasingly nervous about my agent and editor's reactions to Daughter of Hounds. Will I be asked to cut the lengthy appendices? Will they think I botched writing child characters? Will they love Emmie and Soldier and Pearl as much as I do? Will they think there's too much reference to Low Red Moon? Too little? These questions will all be answered in due course, but at the moment they're eating at me like hagfish working over the decaying carcass of a humpback whale.

We watched Jim Jarmusch's Broken Flowers last night, and I liked it a great deal. I think that Bill Murray is fast becoming one of my favorite living actors.

Poking around yesterday, looking for embryological and ontogenetic data, I could not help but notice once again how creationists have well and truly infested the web. This is an audacious sort of hypocrisy, embracing the fruits of science as a tool to pervert and dilute science. But I suppose it's no different than creationists using antibiotics or driving automobiles or watching television or using cellphones. Is "cellphones" one word or two? Never mind. I think most people in this country don't understand the connection between "pure" science and technology. Nor to they understand the interconnectedness of science, that it's really not the sort of thing where you can pick and choose which parts you want to believe. Biology doesn't work without genetics and evolutionary theory and chemistry and physics, and you can't toss in an ad hoc explanation or plead "special case" whenever something threatens a cherished belief. Sure, it's a great way of resolving pesky dilemmas. For example, claiming we can see stars which are 15,000 light years away, when young-earth creationism dictates the whole universe is only about 10K years old, because God created the light already partway to Earth. Sure, it resolves your dilemma, but it also makes you look dumb as hell. Mostly, I think creationists, and fundamentalist Xtians in general, are imagination impaired and more afraid of dying than they are interested in living. I'd simply pity the poor, retarded fuckers, if they'd just shut up and leave the rest of us alone. Anyway, time to pimp the platypus, speaking of poor things...