After the writing, there was packing, packing, packing. The last of the books in my office went into boxes. I am now working in a mostly book-free room, which is about as unnatural as it gets. Ah, but before the packing, after Spooky got home from the vet with Hubero (whose fine, of course), we needed more packing supplies, and so I made the sojourn with her into Big-Box Hell off Ponce. Actually, we went to PetSmart first, to get Mr. H. a good, solid plastic-and-metal carrier for the long trip to Rhode Island. We saw an utterly delightful Black-headed caique (Pionites melanocephalus). We have these spells where we want a smart, smart bird, but, fortunately, these spells pass. Anyway, after PetSmart, it was Staples, where we had to get packing tape, bubblewrap, biodegradable packing peanuts, air in a can, and wipes with which to clean Mac screens. Those stores, all those people, they drive me nuts. Anyway, Spooky went back out to get Dusty's BBQ for dinner. And then we watched two episodes of Millennium, "Luminary" and "The Mikado." And speaking of that second episode...
I did not actually see Gregory Hoblit's recent release, Untraceable, but, near as I can tell from having had to sit through the trailer a few dozen times, it's a pretty blatant rip-off of Micheal R. Perry's teleplay for "The Mikado." I just checked IMDb to be absolutely certain that Perry was not given story credit. He was not. Untraceable is credited to Robert Fyvolent, Mark Brinker (screenplay and story), and Allison Burnett (screenplay). I would be willing to bet there's a lawsuit here, and a cut-and-dried case of plagiarism, if the matter were brought to the attention the the WGA. But, anyway, there was a bit I wanted to quote (from "Luminary"):
We are meant to be here. We step from one piece of holy ground to the next under stars that ask, "Imagine, for one second, you could drop in on a past life. What would you like to find yourself doing there? What would charm you? Make you proud?" Ask yourself that. And the question what to do in this life becomes so simple it's terrifying. Just to do that thing that would charm you. It would make you say: "Yes, it's the real me." Do that, and you're alive.
After Millennium, I slipped into Second Life for the first genuine rp I've done in days. Thank you Pontifex and Omega. Oh, and since most of my now-very-limited SL time is being spent in New Babbage, behind the cut is a screencap of Artemesia Paine and the Professor in the vacant room above Miss Paine's pie shop (and I really need to ask blu_muse to show me how to take good SL screencaps).
What else? After Second Life, Spooky read me a bit more of House of Leaves, and then I read myself a bit more of the Osborn biography, and finally got to sleep around 2:30 ayem. And that, kiddos, was yesterday.
Looking back over the comments to yesterday's entry about the silly Yahoo list, "The Good, the Bad, and the Slimy: 20 Great Movie Creatures," I have resolved to make a list of my own. But it will have a well-defined set of criteria for inclusion, which I will state at the outset. It may take me several days to compile the list. I may not get it up until early June, after the move. It will include fifty creatures, not twenty. Oh, and a few people were confused by the term "Pull of the Recent." It was coined in 1979 by University of Chicago paleontologist David Raup*, and it states, simply, that "the level of biodiversity is inflated in younger fossil deposits because sampling of the modern world is so much more complete than in the geologic past." That is, the farther one goes back in the fossil record, the rarer fossils become, since they have had a greater period of time to be destroyed by various geological processes (erosion, metamorphism, orogenic events, volcanism, plate tectonics, etc.). Also, Raup posits a collecting bias favouring more recent strata. This generally creates an overall fossil record that, in terms of biodiversity, looks a bit like an inverted pyramid**. Which is also what the list on Yahoo looked like, with 50% of its sample coming from films made since 2002 (though it also included creatures from as far back as 1933 and 1939). And before anyone asks, today's icon shows much of Europe, north and central Africa, the Middle East, and western India during the Eocene Epoch, some 55.8 ± 0.2 — 33.9 ± 0.1 million years ago.
*Raup, D. M. 1979. "Size of the Permo-Triassic bottleneck and its evolutionary implications." Science Vol. 206.
** It should be noted that a number of more recent studies indicate that the "pull of the recent" may be less an artefact of the fossil record than an actual increasing rate of biodiversity over geologic time. See, for example, David Jablonski et al., "The Impact of the Pull of the Recent on the History of Marine Diversity" Science (Vol. 300. no. 5,622; 16 May 2003). For now, though, I stand by Raup.