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I am especially not awake this morning.

Yesterday, somehow, I did 1,487 words and found THE END of "Charcloth, Firesteel, and Flint." Today, I'll read back over the whole story and make corrections. I also have an interview to get to today (maybe).

---

My thanks to everyone who commented yesterday. The "I"m afraid you'll think I'm a stalker" thing always surprises me, but I suppose I see where it's coming from. ellen_datlow made the suggestion that, if I wish to see more comments, "You need to post something provocative once in awhile..." And she's absolutely correct, of course. Provocative comments certainly do seem to lead to an increase in comments for any given entry. All you have to do is look back at entries from my early years on LJ to see this. There was a time, I frequently made provocative comments, and people would prickle, and there would be arguments. Twenty-five people a day would "unfriend" me for refusing to support Bush's war against Iraq or for condemning factory farming or for disapproving of disposable uranium-enriched diapers, or whatever.

But, as time went by, I tired of the arguments. I was once a very, very argumentative person, and now...I'm not. I haven't mellowed (just ask Spooky), it's simply that I no longer possess the requisite energy for these...let's be polite and call them "discussions." Thing is, I wasn't trying to be provocative back then. I just thought, "People reading this will want to know what I actually think and feel about things." But I think a lot of them didn't. I think a lot of them were appalled to learn that a writer whom they admired did not think as they did. So, gradually, the journal became less prone to address controversial subjects.

So, while I agree that posting provocative statements would certainly increase comments, I'm just not certain I'm up to it any longer. All that energy I wasted on internet arguments, it now goes into writing fiction, and that seems more constructive to me.

I'll just have to live with the comments I do get. And no, I have no plans to abandon this journal. I've said that before. I do not care how much the world loves Twitter and Facebook (both of which I am now using); actual blogging is much more to my tastes. And I was given a "permanent account" by thingunderthest a few years ago. So here I stay, so long as here stays. And should the Russians tire of hosting LiveJournal, I've been backing it all up to Dreamwidth, and I'd just move over there.

---

Yesterday, I finished reading "A re-evaluation of Brachiosaurus altithorax Riggs 1904 (Dinosauria, Sauropoda) and its generic separation from Giraffatitan brancai (Janenesch 1914)." It isn't often that one gets a laugh at the end of a paper in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, but there was a nice laugh at the end of this one. But...you sort of have to be a dinosaur nerd to get the humor. See, there's this very large sauropod dinosaur, Brachiosaurus altithorax, that was named by a guy named Riggs, way back in 1904, from Late Jurassic-aged sediments in the American west. Ten years later, a German paleontologist, Janenesch, named a second species of Brachiosaurus, B. brancai, from rocks of the same age in East Africa. Many, many years later, in 1988, another paleontologist, Greg Paul, decided that the African and American species were too dissimilar to be contained in a single genus. Unfortunately, he did something that vertebrate paleontology usually avoids, he created a subgenus. Now, I won't get into the lack of utility inherent in the concept of fossil subgenera, but it's generally frowned upon. Regardless, Greg Paul erected the subgenus Giraffatitan, and placed the African species, B. brancai in it, so that the species became properly known by the rather unwieldy name Brachiosaurus (Giraffatitan) brancai. Now, along comes another paleontologist, Michael Taylor, twenty-one years later (and 105 years after Riggs first recognized Brachiosaurus altithorax), and makes things a bit less messy by demonstrating that Paul was right: two valid taxa were once contained within the single genus, Brachiosaurus, but because of the problems posed by subgenera, we need to consider them two distinct genera, Brachiosaurus and Giraffatitan. If you're still with me, here's the funny part, at the very end of Taylor's acknowledgments:

"Finally, I beg forgiveness from all brachiosaur lovers, that so beautiful an animal as 'Brachiosaurus' brancai now has to be known by so inelegant a name as Giraffatitan."

No, really. I literally "laughed out loud."

Yeah...not provocative, I know. But it does give you a great deal of insight into how this particular writer thinks.

Comments

( 59 comments — Have your say! )
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unknownbinaries
Sep. 25th, 2009 05:14 pm (UTC)
'Giraffatitan' makes me picture a Godzilla with an appropriately oversized giraffe head. And possibly a new, terrible SyFy movie.
txtriffidranch
Sep. 25th, 2009 05:28 pm (UTC)
From what I understand, NBC Universal is working as hard as it can to make sure that in the next printing of Roget's Thesaurus, "terrible" and "SyFy" are synonyms.
onemoreshadow
Sep. 25th, 2009 05:21 pm (UTC)
I read your blog regularly, but I don't comment very often. This doesn't have anything to do with your blog as it does with my own general lack of interest in commenting.

Ellen is right about provocative blog postings, but for me, I just can't be bothered to spend the time, energy, and sometimes the emotions, to discuss/argue anything with people on the internet. Especially when it comes to topics related to writing and publishing. How many times am I supposed to get involved in the art vs. entertainment debate? Or the endless discussions of genre and whether a certain book is horror or dark fantasy or experimental or whatever? I know some people enjoy rehashing this stuff over and over again. I was one of them at one time, but no longer. I'm just too tired and I feel my time is better spent elsewhere.

This has caused the number of comments on my own website to dwindle, but my stats say the visitors are still coming. The only thing missing now are the rants and debates, and quite frankly, I don't miss them.
greygirlbeast
Sep. 25th, 2009 05:29 pm (UTC)

Ellen is right about provocative blog postings, but for me, I just can't be bothered to spend the time, energy, and sometimes the emotions, to discuss/argue anything with people on the internet. Especially when it comes to topics related to writing and publishing. How many times am I supposed to get involved in the art vs. entertainment debate? Or the endless discussions of genre and whether a certain book is horror or dark fantasy or experimental or whatever? I know some people enjoy rehashing this stuff over and over again. I was one of them at one time, but no longer. I'm just too tired and I feel my time is better spent elsewhere.

Exactly.
(no subject) - ellen_datlow - Sep. 26th, 2009 06:15 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - txtriffidranch - Sep. 25th, 2009 05:30 pm (UTC) - Expand
txtriffidranch
Sep. 25th, 2009 05:27 pm (UTC)
Reading the punchline made me tear up a little bit along with the laughter. I could have seen Stephen Jay Gould writing one hell of a funny column for Natural History on that paper alone.
greygirlbeast
Sep. 25th, 2009 05:30 pm (UTC)

Reading the punchline made me tear up a little bit along with the laughter. I could have seen Stephen Jay Gould writing one hell of a funny column for Natural History on that paper alone.

Yep.
chrislatray
Sep. 25th, 2009 05:51 pm (UTC)
Seeing as how MASTODON is already taken, my next big, heavy rock band is going to be called GIRAFFATITAN.
greygirlbeast
Sep. 25th, 2009 05:53 pm (UTC)

Seeing as how MASTODON is already taken, my next big, heavy rock band is going to be called GIRAFFATITAN.

Dude.
tim_pratt
Sep. 25th, 2009 05:52 pm (UTC)
I'm the same way. I used to enjoy wading into internet arguments, but in the past couple of years, the appeal has waned, and I (mostly) resist the impulse these days. Internet slapfights, however righteous, distract me too much, and make it hard for me to concentrate on writing, etc. Since I became a parent, especially, my time is just too precious to lose getting riled up over someone saying something stupid on the internet.
greygirlbeast
Sep. 25th, 2009 05:54 pm (UTC)

Even if I still had that sort of energy to squander, I just can't get past the "No one is going to change anyone's mind" aspect of those silly things.
tsarina
Sep. 25th, 2009 05:55 pm (UTC)
I understand that feeling of being unwilling/exhausted/done with arguing on the internet. I've felt that way lately, which caused me to chop probably a third of list recently.

My favorite people are getting The Red Tree as gifts this year. I'm trying to think of things to go with them. Maybe some maple sugar candy.
greygirlbeast
Sep. 25th, 2009 05:57 pm (UTC)

My favorite people are getting The Red Tree as gifts this year.

Thank you!
(Deleted comment)
greygirlbeast
Sep. 25th, 2009 06:14 pm (UTC)
Re: Arguments

Sadly, we're just going to have to disagree about the uranium diapers.

But...they glow.
Re: Arguments - stsisyphus - Sep. 25th, 2009 07:45 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Arguments - mckenzie34 - Sep. 25th, 2009 08:18 pm (UTC) - Expand
blakesrealm
Sep. 25th, 2009 06:08 pm (UTC)
I wonder if losing steam in terms of becoming involved with internet 'discussions' is directly related to how long you have been online and how many of said 'discussions' you have been involved with. One can chase ones digital tail only so long before you realize you'll never catch it.

I know the over the past year, give or take, I've commented far less on blogs, forums, etc. but yet I still visit those places (like this journal, for example) and enjoy reading them just as much.

Or perhaps it's just I've succumbed to the American trait of consuming rather than producing. Either way I'm here, and very much appreciate your writings, both online and on paper.
greygirlbeast
Sep. 25th, 2009 06:16 pm (UTC)

I wonder if losing steam in terms of becoming involved with internet 'discussions' is directly related to how long you have been online and how many of said 'discussions' you have been involved with. One can chase ones digital tail only so long before you realize you'll never catch it.

Well, I've been online since early 1994, so more than fifteen years now. And for about 80% of that time, I was often involved in arguments. Nothing good ever came of it. So, yeah. I think you're probably right.
(no subject) - ardiril - Sep. 25th, 2009 07:19 pm (UTC) - Expand
graypumpkin
Sep. 25th, 2009 06:21 pm (UTC)
Just thought I'd say I've been enjoying reading the blog though not posting, I'm sure there plenty of us lurkers out there. Also follow you on twitter.
I picked up Red Tree, it arrived yesterday, it will be a bit before I get to it as I'm in the middle of another book and I tend to be a slow reader. I read the preface though and I'm looking forward to reading more.
I believe you are one of the better writers out there right now, you certainly one of my favorites, living or dead, putting in the company Borges, Bradbury, and Ballard (Though I'm mostly a fan of his short fiction while with you I like pretty much everything yours I've read
greygirlbeast
Sep. 25th, 2009 06:24 pm (UTC)

I believe you are one of the better writers out there right now, you certainly one of my favorites, living or dead, putting in the company Borges, Bradbury, and Ballard (Though I'm mostly a fan of his short fiction while with you I like pretty much everything yours I've read

Wow. Thanks. Borges, Bradbury, and Ballard. If only "Kiernan" began with a "k."
(no subject) - chris_walsh - Sep. 26th, 2009 05:13 am (UTC) - Expand
mckenzie34
Sep. 25th, 2009 06:35 pm (UTC)
Yeah, some of us just talked ourselves out back in the "Shrikes" days.

'Doesn't mean we don't still have your back.

Thanks for not abandoning the journal. I personally have about reached my limit of new communication interfaces. I feel pretty meh about FB, MySpace, Twitter, et al. I consider this a quiet place to come have a cup of coffee. So. Thank you.
greygirlbeast
Sep. 25th, 2009 07:16 pm (UTC)

Yeah, some of us just talked ourselves out back in the "Shrikes" days.

Wow. You're one of the Old Guard. Cool.
kongjie
Sep. 25th, 2009 06:59 pm (UTC)
It seems like everyone is really, really tired. I'm down with that.

The best use of forums and comments is to learn stuff, not to debate stuff.

Some of the, erm, more mature folks here might have been familiar with Twilight Zone Magazine. In the early 80s there were some lists posted in editorial columns in TZM--top ten-type lists that are very familiar to us these days.

Those lists led me to read things I would not have easily found back in the days without Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Borders. For example, John Crowley's Little, Big. Melmoth the Wanderer. Hell! Said the Duchess.

You can find a few of these lists (the ones by Karl Edward Wagner) posted at www.violetsbook.com/wagnerlist.html . There were others and I wish I had saved my old TZM issues.

Anyway, my point is that THIS is what the internet is good for--people sharing great things with you. With all the stress on interactivity and networks I think it is important to remember that sometimes really good content is enough.
greygirlbeast
Sep. 25th, 2009 07:17 pm (UTC)

With all the stress on interactivity and networks I think it is important to remember that sometimes really good content is enough.

It's one reason I cannot fathom why sites like YouTube and Imdb allow comments.

It seems like everyone is really, really tired. I'm down with that.

The best use of forums and comments is to learn stuff, not to debate stuff.


Frakkin' A.
(no subject) - chris_walsh - Sep. 26th, 2009 05:18 am (UTC) - Expand
martianmooncrab
Sep. 25th, 2009 07:14 pm (UTC)
you just keep on being yourself. Its appreciated.
greygirlbeast
Sep. 25th, 2009 07:18 pm (UTC)

you just keep on being yourself.

But there are so many of me, it gets confusing.
(no subject) - martianmooncrab - Sep. 25th, 2009 07:34 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - stsisyphus - Sep. 25th, 2009 07:49 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - greygirlbeast - Sep. 25th, 2009 07:51 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - martianmooncrab - Sep. 25th, 2009 09:11 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - martianmooncrab - Sep. 25th, 2009 09:09 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mckenzie34 - Sep. 25th, 2009 08:05 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mckenzie34 - Sep. 25th, 2009 08:06 pm (UTC) - Expand
robyn_ma
Sep. 25th, 2009 07:31 pm (UTC)
I am usually so shocked and appalled by your posts that I cannot even comment; my fingers become numb and I sit here sputtering uselessly, horrified that someone could actually write such ferociously radical things. Then I stare at the wall for five to seven hours, weeping silently and wishing your opinions were bland and amiable, like that nice Harlan Ellison fellow.
greygirlbeast
Sep. 25th, 2009 07:52 pm (UTC)

*snerk*
(no subject) - robyn_ma - Sep. 26th, 2009 09:10 pm (UTC) - Expand
elmocho
Sep. 25th, 2009 07:31 pm (UTC)
If the male babies wear the uranium diapers, eventually, that demographic won't be around to worry about.
greygirlbeast
Sep. 25th, 2009 07:52 pm (UTC)

I'm pretty sure uranium doesn't distinguish between sex chromosomes.
(no subject) - elmocho - Sep. 25th, 2009 07:58 pm (UTC) - Expand
ardiril
Sep. 25th, 2009 07:42 pm (UTC)
In your Low Red Moon journal (6/18/04), you discussed Theodore Sturgeon's "The Professor's Teddy Bear". Yes, I really am reading your archives. Anyway, I bought a volume of Sturgeon's short stories that includes "Teddy Bear", and you were right, that is a very disturbing story, especially considering when it was written. I have not read any Sturgeon until now, so thanks for pointing me in his direction.

Also, I liked the blond thing, very Tremere.
greygirlbeast
Sep. 25th, 2009 07:50 pm (UTC)

I have not read any Sturgeon until now, so thanks for pointing me in his direction.

You are welcomed.
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( 59 comments — Have your say! )