December 10th, 2007

serafina

Howard Hughes and the Girl Who Sold the World

A very groggy sort of morning, though I did manage to get to bed not long after two ayem.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,218 words on the untitled prologue for Joey Lafaye, and it seems to be going well. Spooky likes it. Right now, her opinion is all I have to go on, that and my own instincts. The prologue actually happens shortly after Chapter One, and I'm trying to figure out how to make that clearer. I also made more beanie platypi (I'm calling them beanie, because "ricey" just sounds dumb). So, yes, lots of work yesterday, and working almost always helps. The auctions will begin sometime today.

I also finished reading Jim Ottaviani and Big Time Attic's Bone Sharps, Cowboys, and Thunder Lizards: A Tale of Edward Drinker Cope and Othniel Charles Marsh and the Gilded Age of Paleontology (G.T. Labs, 2005). Quite nice, all in all. I have a long-standing fascination with the "bone war" that waged between Cope and Marsh, and like me, Ottaviani's somewhat fictionalized account comes down more firmly on the side of Cope. I think it's truly very difficult to tell the story of that rivalry and not cast Cope as the "hero" and Marsh as "villian." This is, of course, something of an oversimplification, but there's only so much anyone can do in a 150 pp. graphic novel. Using Charles R. Knight as the tale's fulcrum was an interesting approach. Plus, supporting roles and cameos by the likes of P.T. Barnum, Buffalo Bill Cody, Alexander Graham Bell, and Ulysses S. Grant. It makes a nice introduction to an odd and shameful chapter of American paleontology. I was especially pleased with a bit near the end, where Marsh, at his home in New Haven, is entertaining Chief Red Cloud, and the Sioux leader makes the point that such stories as myths and history are about men, not science.

Not much else really. We had a good walk yesterday. I'm feeling less stiff, but tire far too easily. The weather here continues to be more like May than December. There were a few clouds yesterday, and the sky spat drizzle for about five minutes. I cannot imagine anything, at this point, that's going to save Atlanta from a disastrous water shortage. Spooky made a pot of chili. I spent too much time in Second Life. That sort of an evening (and my thanks to blu_muse for filling Void full of lead, then taking her to the hospital).

I wanted to write something else this morning, something about how much easier it is for Americans to sympathize with the plight of American screenwriters (because, well, you know, movies make money), as compared to the plight of working American novelists, and how this relates to my generally unfortunate experiences the last two years writing the Beowulf novelization. As in, you think screenwriters have it bad, you ought to hear how the other half lives (but yes, I do fully support the current WGA strike). But I need coffee, and I'm just not up to it right now. Maybe later, like tomorrow. Or next week.
  • Current Music
    Seabound, "Without You"
golden compass

Addendum: A Woods Hole "Monkey Trial" in Reverse?

So, I see a headline like "Christian biologist fired for beliefs, suit says", and I then read that the beliefs in question are his rejection of evolutionary theory for young-earth creationism, and all I can really think to say is, "Well, I certainly hope so." Followed by something like, "How did he get the job in the first damn place, never mind his Ph. D.?" This is pretty much the same thing as your doctor denying germ theory or a Harvard astronomy professor rejecting Copernicus or a NASA engineer setting aside algebraic number theory in favour of, oh, say dowsing or computing rocket trajectories by the reading of chicken intestines. If people choose willful ignorance over science, well, that fine. Free thought and all, but they cannot then expect to find themselves working at prestigious scientific institutions. No, you may not have your backwards-ass, Old-Testament thumpin' cake and eat it, too.

By the way, Spooky's dad, an anthropologist, works with Woods Hole.
  • Current Music
    Seabound, "Watching Over You"
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