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Howard Hughes vs. Stuff

Er...crappy day yesterday. No words written. Zero. Zilch. Etc. Just a very constructive call from my agent. Otheriwse, I sat here for hours staring at a blank screen. I have looked over the vignette ideas that were submitted yesterday, and, alas, none of them have really, really set the bells ringing. A couple came close, but likely would have sprawled into full-blown short stories, and here it is the 26th and Sirenia Digest #28 needs to go out on the 31st (at the latest). So, if you'd like to please keep making suggestions, the contest still stands (winner gets hisherits choice of a signed and personalized copy of the Beowulf novelization or the new mmp of Murder of Angels.), but I probably won't be using the winning idea until #29.

Why does "science writing" for the masses have to be so stupid? To wit, this story from LiveScience.com, "Fastest Evolving Creature is 'Living Dinosaur'." No. The tuatara is not a dinosaur, not in any sense, but, rather, the last surviving sphenodontid rhynchocephalian. And while the rhynchocephalian lineage can be traced back to at least the Triassic, calling it a "living dinosaur" is almost as dumb as calling a horseshoe crab (Limulus polyphemus) a "living trilobite." Also, the LiveScience.com article manages to misspell the Latin name for the tuatara as "Sphendon punctatus," when it is actually Sphenodon punctatus. But, you know what? I bet you don't care, and I am far too groggy to be this pedantic right now.

And why is it that when you post a "housing wanted" ad to Craiglist, and say the most you're willing/capable to pay per month is $1,150, people write back offering you a place that rents for $1,650? I mean, that's $6000 more a year.

Oh, and did I mention that Spooky has gone on a name-squatting spree on Second Life? We now have Edward Drinker Cope and Othniel Charles Marsh. She's even created a pretty good avatar likeness of Cope, and it's only a matter of time before the two square off in the Palaeozoic Museum in New Babbage.

Hey, what do you expect from a journal entry titled "Howard Hughes vs. Stuff"?

Warmer weather today, and that's something I won't complain about.

Tell you what, I'll just leave you with more photos of Oakland Cemetery, or the Oakland That Was before the storms of March 14-15. Behind the cut:























All photos copyright © 2007 by Caitlín R. Kiernan



Postscript: Spooky just found weevils in the flour. No, not the Torchwood sort.

Comments

loki1978de
Mar. 27th, 2008 12:37 pm (UTC)
It happens, once you get expert about something
I studied computational linguistics and now i get these mental headaches anytime i read, or hear people come up with the subjects of OCR, automatic translation or even AI
People talk stuff without knowing the complexity in it. And popular science mags quickly simplify it much too much.
I dont know LiveScience....i like Scientific American very much, but then again my Quantum Physics and Astronomy are on the "very enthusiastic autodidacitc amateur" level
Would i have taken university courses in that and written papers, i might never touch that mag again. ;-)

BTW my "Tales of Pains and Wonder" arrived today from Amazon.de
Will get it from the Packstation on my way home.