greygirlbeast (greygirlbeast) wrote,

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At Least I'm Not At Dragon*Con (Part One) was a pretty good day off yesterday. As days off go. I slept late as I could, which wasn't that much later than usual. I read from the stack of Science we brought back from Saunderstown: spreading "dead zones" and the consequences for marine organisms; a review of a book on the biohistory of the Mascarenes; a new and more accurate model for mapping global warming "hot spots" across the US; a study examining the possibility that ferruginous conditions dominated Neoproterozoic deep-water chemistry; the invasion of arctic marine environments by more southerly molluscan lineages, following from global warming; etc. I had a long bath. I napped. I had udon noodles for lunch. I talked with Vince about his illustration for "The Z Word" (Sirenia Digest #33, and I suppose that was sort of cheating on the fundamental concept of a day off, but whatever).

In the June issue of the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, which I'm only just now getting around to, I read the type description of the new species of "rauisuchid" archosaur Postosuchus alisonae from the Triassic of North Carolina. A marvelous beast (pictured below). I visited the type locality —— the Triangle Brick Co. Quarry near Genlee, which exposes the beds deposited in the Deep River Basin section of the Newark Supergroup —— way back in April 1996, when I was touring Triassic localities in North Carolina. All I found were a few bones fragments and a phytosaur tooth.

Postosuchus alisonae, based in large part on the better-knwn P. kirkpatricki. Bones recovered shown in black. Scale bar equals 50 cm.

Later, we drove over to College Hill and walked along Benefit Street, just taking in the sunset and the architecture and the time. Spooky warmed up Chinese leftovers for dinner, and then I downloaded the 14-day trial version of EVE, having discovered its actually Mac-compatible. The game has a monstrously steep learning curve, but its gorgeous and the interface is fairly intuitive. I've managed to complete my first two missions. I'm going to stick with it a bit, as it's so hard to find good "space" sf games. The download took about an hour, and, while I waited, I beat Spooky at a round of Unspeakable Words. And that was yesterday, pretty much.


This morning we somehow managed to make an 11:45 ayem showing of Mathieu Kassovitz' Babylon A.D., and I'm placing my thoughts behind a cut, because there are spoilers.

First off, yeah, I'm somewhat disappointed. And mostly that's because the film lost me in the last half hour or so, right after Toorop's death. Up to that, this is, essentially, an odd, unlikely, gritty remake of The Fifth Element. Oh, it's not as smart as The Fifth Element, and lacked the delightfully wonky humour, but, otherwise, it's pretty close. Though, at least there were no flying cars (but a pretty funny nod to the cliché). Gods, I'm sick of the obligatory flying cars (and the nerds who whine about the future not having delivered them). Great cast — a weary, haggard-looking Vin Diesel, plus Michelle Yeoh, Mélanie Thierry, Gérard Depardieu, and Charlotte Rampling. Wonderful cinematography from Thierry Arbogast, who, of course, is usually working with Luc Besson. Here and there, fight scenes were murky, and went on a little longer than they should have, but still, all in all, up until that last half hour, I was pretty happy with the film. Then...well...I'm not sure what happens. The ending felt disjointed, like it was borrowed from some other film. I know there were production and budget problems, and also that the European cut is 11 minutes longer than the US release. Mostly, I fear the film desperately needed to end there in New York City, with whatever was going to happen between Toorop and Aurora. The rest, as I said, just felt tacked on. I'd say stick to the matinée, but don't wait for the DVD if you want the film's spectacle, as I doubt that will survive on the small screen (though we should get to see that missing 11 minutes).


After the movie and lunch, we read over Chapter Four of The Red Tree, because in another two or three days, I'll be starting Chapter Five. Spooky says it works. Okay. Right. Do please have a look at the current eBay auctions, and remember, that seems to be our last copy of the sold-out trade-hardback edition of To Charles Fort, With Love. Thank you.
Tags: days off, gaming, movies, paleo, science, sf, tcfwl, the red tree

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