January 4th, 2007

Shaw

The lakes of Titan, and a bug named Eophyllium

Some days, I almost feel there is no wonder left to be found. Others, I trip over it at every turn. Fortunately, today was a day of the latter sort. To wit:

Titan Has Liquid Lakes, Scientists Report in Nature. My thanks to corucia for the PDF of the full Nature article. And there's a photo from the JPL (behind the cut), a most amazing photograph, indeed:

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Also, the famous Eocene-aged Messel oil shales of Germany have given up another gem, Eophyllium messelensis, the earliest evidence of a leaf-mimicking insect.

Also also, it's not too late to vote in the second Cassini photo contest, to help pick the most spectacular image yet captured by the probe as it orbits Saturn and her moons. For my part, I'm torn between "Mapping Titan's Changes" and "Ringside with Dione."
Shaw

you'd never dream of

Running a little late today. But let's see. I did 1,653 words yesterday. But here's the thing — in order to survive January, I have to do a minimum of 1,500 words per day, which is about 500 more than my average. And there can be no missed days, no lost days, no sick days, no days off. Otherwise, I'm frelled. And here I am, three days down, twenty eight to go.

Also, I finished up with the short interview for curt_holman at Creative Loafing yesterday. An abbreviated version of the interview will appear in print, with a longer version online. I'll link to the online version whenever it goes live. And my thanks to Curt for being so very accommodating, because I really don't do face-to-face interviews anymore, not if there's any way I can weasel out of it, and he was a very good sport about conducting the interview via e-mail.

Note that the title of this journal has changed. As I have already explained to Sonya (sovay), a memorandum came down from the Executive Board of the Ministry of Alter-Egos last night about 2 a.m. (CaST), and hence we are now Mericale, Scheheraz-Odd & Touchshriek, Inc. I had very little say in the matter. I suspect certain parties had begun to feel that the whole "Species of One" card had been played to its fullest. I know old Touchshriek has this hard-on for artists reinventing themselves on a regular basis, so this may be only the beginning of some greater metamorphosis. Don't blame me. At best, I'm only one of four, and they don't even put "my" name on the masthead.

I was very pleased to see that one of the Amazon.com "reviews" of Daughter of Hounds picked up on the humour I tried to work into the novel. Personally, I think there's some damned funny bits in there, but I never know what other people will and won't find funny. Odd Willie cracks me up. And when Soldier drops the...well, you'll see.

Last night, we watched Steven Zaillian's adaptation of Robert Penn Warren's All the King's Men. I've always been a great admirer of both the novel and the 1949 fim version by Robert Rossen. I found Zaillian's treatment in all ways wonderful. It's quite a bit truer to the novel than the earlier adaptation, and Sean Penn deserves an Oscar nod for his portrayal of Willie Stark (Huey Long). Indeed, the cast was excellent throughout, though I was especially taken with Patricia Clarkson in the role of Sadie Burke. It was a little weird watching James Gandolfini try to manage whichever Louisiana accent he was trying to manage, but he worked in the role of Tiny, nonetheless. It's always good to find a film where Anthony Hopkins is not on autopilot, and I thought he really made quite a lot of a small part in this film. But mostly, I continue to adore Jude Law, who, in my sight, can do almost no wrong. This is one of those 2006 films I'd missed, and I suspect it would have been in my top ten list had I seen it in theatres. I do not know why it did not do better at the box office.

Whoops. Platypus says time's up. And I just do what the platypus says...