March 17th, 2006


Old things, and really old things.

As I mentioned in in my last entry, the latest issue of Nature includes the description of a new theropod dinosaur from the Late Jurassic Solnhofen Limestone of Germany. Like most vertebrate finds made in the Solnhofen, the same geological formation which has preserved Archaeopteryx lithographica, the holotype of Juravenator starki is a spectacularly beautiful and well-preserved fossil (Jura = after the Bavarian Jura Mountains venator, Latin, meaning "hunter'; the species name honours the quarry owners). It's been placed in the Compsognathidae, along with the genera Compsognathus (also from the Solnhofen), Sinosauropteryx and Huaxiagnathus (both from China). Juravenator starki is the most complete non-avian theropod known from anywhere in Europe. And it's a tiny beast, just a little more than two feet from the end of the snout to the tip of its slender tail, but as this specimen is clearly a juvenile, the size of an adult Juraventor remains unknown. Unlike many (if not most) other theropods, Juraventor appears to have lacked feathers:

Juraventor starki

Artist's restoration.

Also, new data gathered by NASA's Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) is giving astrophysicists new clues as to the nature of the universe in the first trillionth of a second after the Big Bang, some 13.7 billion years ago. The findings support "inflation," first proposed 25 years ago as part of the Big Bang Theory, and indicates that during this initial fraction of a second, the universe expanded from an object the size of a marble to an object larger than the entire visible universe.

Meanwhile, there's pink snow falling in Russia...which must mean it's time for me to go to bed.

This will have to do.

I didn't want a foul black mood today, but it came upon me last night, and it's still here this morning, and I think it means to hang around a while.

Sometimes the words won't come because the words won't come. There's no knowing why. Sometimes the words simply will not come. And other times, the words won't come and I know the reason why. Yesterday was a day of the latter sort. I meant to finish the new vignette, "pas-en-arrière, " and I knew that I was probably only a few paragraphs from the conclusion. But my mood was beginning to darken, because of the frelling weather, the weather that's not even here yet, just the weather that's coming, and I realised that I didn't trust myself. I want the ending of this one to be so right. I don't want to settle because I don't feel up to spending however much time and effort is required to get it that way. It all rests on those last few paragraphs. If they fail, they pull the whole thing down.

I received the Alabaster ARCs yesterday. I guess that means I can't put off the proofreading very much longer.

I believe that I'm already growing disenchanted with my MySpace. Mostly I just don't see the point. I have LJ and Blogger and so many damned e-mail addys I've lost count, so why do I need MySpace and their ugly, flashing ads? It just seems awfully redundant. What is it that MySpace does any better than Blogger or LJ? Anything?

I have to find the road leading out of this vile mood. I have to do that first. Perhaps I need to do some magickal work, getting ready for Ostara, spending more time with the Ogham and our altar and the trees. Maybe I need to write a few Wikipedia entries. I haven't done one in several days. Maybe I need to get drunk and not think about any of it.

It is St. Patrick's Day, the only thing even remotely resembling an Xtian holiday that I'll observe, and I'd prefer it were called Eire Pride Day or something. Will I wear green today? Maybe I'll make a garland or crown of clover and that will be my green. Tá an aimsir go h-álainn inniú. I shouldn't waste my life thinking about weather that isn't here yet. Amárach beidh ceathach. I can moan about it all then. Ugh. My Irish's no better than it was last March.

Please have a look at the eBay auctions, if you've a mind to do such a thing. There's only four days and twenty-three hours remaining on the "choose-your-own-letter" Frog Toes and Tentacles auction. And the Apple Store won't take fairie gold. I've tried.


So, shortly after I made my journal entry this morning, Byron called to see if Spooky and I wanted to catch a matinee of V for Vendetta. It sounded loads better than anything I'd planned, and we'd not seen Byron in months, so we said yes. I'm going to hold my comments on the film for a few days, because I frelling hate writing those WARNING SPOILERS DO NOT CROSS CLOSE YOUR DAMN EYES warnings. But I will say this: I liked this movie. I liked it a lot. I think it is not only a good movie, in the sense that it's artful. It's also a good movie in the sense that it's an important movie. I hope, mostly against hope, that the people who see this movie will understand what they're seeing. More I will not presently say. Just see the movie. Oh, and I think it was a good thing that I'd not read the graphic novel since...what? 1989?