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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.


( 59 comments — Have your say! )
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Sep. 25th, 2009 07:54 pm (UTC)
"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."

<.< >.>

I don't get it.
Sep. 25th, 2009 08:27 pm (UTC)

I think that's cause I built it up too much.
Sep. 25th, 2009 08:10 pm (UTC)
I really enjoy your blog posts, but I am kind of self-conscious about being overly-familiar. That's one, and the other is because I've been ridiculously busy with college of late, and I haven't even posted to my own journal in a dog's age.

I still love snatching a few moments to sit down and read your posts, though.

- Mel
Sep. 25th, 2009 08:14 pm (UTC)
enough other people have commented that we're happy you're still using lj and that online arguments are pointless and forums are tools to learn but i do have a queston

what tool do you use to copy lj to dreamwidth? i've tried a few tools but haven't had success getting it to work properly - although i may be pulling down bad info on my searches
Sep. 25th, 2009 08:29 pm (UTC)

what tool do you use to copy lj to dreamwidth?

I do from, within Dreamwidth itself. It even gets the photos and comments.
Sep. 27th, 2009 05:58 pm (UTC)
My problem with dreamwidth is no one comments there--only on LJ and it doesn't echo to dreamwidth only the other way.
Sep. 25th, 2009 08:27 pm (UTC)
Shocked and dismayed
I'm appalled at your cynical attempt to milk the Brachiosaurus scandal for attention. That radical scientists are attacking the ENTIRE BASIS for traditional Linnean family values is a crisis of Western civilization, NOT an opportunity to boost your readership. If your readers were not degenerates and clapping zombies, they would have already swamped this so-called blog in healthy renunciations of the trendy Giraffatitan agenda.

Sep. 25th, 2009 08:30 pm (UTC)
Re: Shocked and dismayed

You're cute.
Sep. 25th, 2009 08:36 pm (UTC)
Re: Shocked and dismayed
Even though I misspelled "Linnaean"? Forgiving to a fault.
Sep. 25th, 2009 08:37 pm (UTC)
Nothing Remains. We could run when the rain slows.
We are delicate with you about commenting to much, for fear of disturbing you, for fear of your thorns, and for fear, at times, of your art. It is a fear born of respect. Our dread is to guard your poise, and to avoid intruding. Know that we are here, eyes greedy for your words. Know we're with you in this dark. I don't know what else to say and feel I have probably said too much. Namaste. - Gene Stewart
Sep. 25th, 2009 11:25 pm (UTC)
This: http://www.vertpaleo.org/meetings/ is happening where I live right now. They even featured it on the local news. I saw this and thought of you.
Sep. 26th, 2009 05:13 am (UTC)
Giraffatitan does have an inelegant ring to it.
Sep. 26th, 2009 11:14 pm (UTC)
Around and around...
Still here. Seems there's a lot less time these days to comment and follow up on comments. I buy the books. I buy multiple copies if I can and force you on friends and family (not all that difficult). I read some stories to my children (expletives deleted, but they are getting older) (and not THE RED TREE -- yet -- but they love THRESHOLD, as do I, and the ending still makes me cry) and they think you rock and they tell their friends at school. This I find to be easy. Finding time to post is hard.

It's a long way back to the stories in the first edition of ToPaW (when I joined a little late to the party) but the pain and wonder are even more evident in your current writings. THE RED TREE is magnificent. Strange or not so strange you have never bored me. Ever. It's been interesting watching you evolve.
Sep. 27th, 2009 12:19 pm (UTC)
I generally assume that I've little to say that is interesting. Rather, I often feel like I have a limited allowance of interesting, and I try to save it all for radio. On my more ill-favoured days I feel like even this is self-deceit.

We have a new segment where we run old horror radio plays. This morning was The Rats In The Walls. I would love to adapt some of your work for radio, but unfortunately I don't know if the station could afford it. I could read excerpts but that's not the same at all.

There's something ironic about the highest volume of comments you've received to a single post in the last month (or several) being largely comprised of explanations of why people don't comment.
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( 59 comments — Have your say! )