October 22nd, 2009

talks to wolves

Uppity Authors, Scary Vampires, and Whatnot

The warmish weather is still with us here in Providence. Did I mention the warmish weather yesterday? Maybe I didn't. I was able to open my office window and leave it open until after dark (there's even a photo below). We've already reached today's high of 69F. A couple of years ago, if you'd told me I'd reach a point in my life where I'd characterize 69F as "warmish," I might have laughed. Anyway, the cold temperatures return tomorrow.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,395 words on this story for Sirenia Digest for which I still have no title. It's sort of a cockeyed take on "Little Red Riding Hood," and there's not a great deal in the way of plot. I'm not in the mood for plot, only hallucinogenic dreamquest surrealism. I may find THE END today, which means I also need to find the title.

Yes, I know that I said I'd be doing no more interviews for a while, having just finished the one for the South County Independent, but then I was contacted by someone at WoW.com, who asked to interview me about my interest in World of Warcraft for their "15 Minutes of Fame" series. And I'm too big a nerd to have possibly declined. Also, they did Cat Valente a while back, and I remember envying her such a geeky honor. So, yeah. One last interview. Forgive me. I'm weak in all the right places.

The latest round of eBay auctions is going fairly well, and I thank everyone who's bid thus far. Screw you, IRS, and your goddamn self-employment taxes that take my money to pay for bombs to be dropped on Iraqi civilians while I can't afford decent health care. Which is to say, please have a look.

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I was delighted, yesterday, by this story about Maurice Sendak's reaction to parents who are fretting over whether or not Spike Jonez' Where the Wild Things Are will scare their kids:

"I would tell them to go to hell," Sendak said. And if children can't handle the story, they should "go home," he added. "Or wet your pants. Do whatever you like. But it's not a question that can be answered."

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Last night, I finally got to see Chris Nahon's recent live-action adaptation of Hiroyuki Kitakubo's short animated film, Blood: The Last Vampire (2000). I'm not what you'd call a huge animé fan, but I am very fond of the original Blood (I haven't seen the spin-off series). When I saw the trailer for Nahon's film sometime back in the spring, the waiting began. Unfortunately, the film never showed on a screen near Providence, or if it did, we failed to notice. I had to wait for the DVD release, and for Netflix to send it from our queue. It's good film, and a great piece of eye candy. Also, Clint Mansell (whom I adore) lends his talents for the soundtrack. I don't think Nahon's adaptation is quite as impressive as Kitakubo's short, but it's very enjoyable all the same. I was a little disappointed with the creature effects, which are rather lackluster and not nearly as interesting as in the original, but Saya's showdown with Onigen almost made up for them. So, last night was sort of like having Kindernacht on a Wednesday (traditionally, it's a Friday-night affair).

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And here's the photo I mentioned in the first paragraph, the view from my open office window yesterday afternoon (it's kind of grainy, but you get the idea):

Tuojiangosaurus

The Smallest Known (Extinct) North American Dinosaur

I haven't done a paleo' post here in a while. I've taken to posting that sort of thing via Twitter. However, here's one so cool I have to take time to note it. A new genus and species of heterodontosaurid dinosaur has been described from the Late Jurassic Morrison Formation (Brushy Basin Member) of Colorado, from fossils discovered back in 1979 (it's often a long road, from collection to description). Several individuals are represented, and the largest, though fully adult, would have been only 65 to 75 cm (26 to 30 inches) long and probably weighed no more than 0.5 to 0.75 kg (1.1 to 1.7 pounds). Named Fruitadens haagarorum, this tiny ornithischian was likely an omnivore, like other heterodontosaurids.

It unseats the diminutive Cretaceous theropod Albertonykus borealis (described in 2008) as the smallest-known nonavian dinosaur from North America.




A partial jaw of Fruitadens haagarorum.



An artist's life restoration scale model of Fruitadens haagarorum (note the tyrannosaurid skull in the background).