It's pretending to be early April out there. Bright, sunny, a too-blue wide carnivorous sky, the first real spray of green in the trees, the mercury straining to reach the day's high of 64˚F. I am so fucking sick of this endless cold weather.
My thanks for all the comments the last two days. They're appreciated. I've tried to reply to most.
Oh, you should have a look at the latest Subterranean Magazine, free and online, which includes "The Prayer of Ninety Cats," which is probably one of the three or four best short stories I've written in the last several years. Which makes it one of the best I've ever written. I say so myself.
Last night, we saw the second episode of Defiance. I'm truly loving this show. Last night, the use of Nirvana's "Come As You Are" at the end, that was brilliant. When people ask me what Defiance is like I say, "Just imagine Battlestar Galactica, Farscape, and Firefly, with a dash of the MMO Rift."
Also, I read an article in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, "Dentition of Late Cretaceous shark, Ptychodus mortoni (Elasmobranchii, Ptychodontidae)." Ptychodus has long been a mystery, in part because the skeletons of elasmobranchs, being primarily composed of cartilage, don't tend to fossilize. Usually, you're lucky to get teeth and vertebrae. Ptychodus has massive teeth obviously adapted to a diet of shellfish, possibly augmented with sea turtles. The individual teeth were arranged in the upper and lower jaws in impressive batteries, and any given Ptychodus had ~500 teeth in its mouth. When I was doing paleontology in Upper Cretaceous of Gulf Coastal Alabama, the teeth of Ptychodus were extremely common in some strata. On average, they were probably about 3-4 cm wide. A decent size for a shark tooth. But on one occasion, we turned up a tooth that was 7-8 cm. wide, and with a crown probably 5-6 cm tall (keep in mind, I'm working from memories that are thirty years old). Big damn tooth, so we knew there had been some impressive individuals of the genus. Anyway, this new study finds, based on some fairly complete tooth plates, that Ptychodus could reach lengths of at least 13.7 metres (44.9 feet). Now, the modern Whale Shark – the largest living "fish" – only reaches lengths of about 12.65 metres (41.5 feet) and the much ballyhooed ?Carcharodon megalodon likely grew no longer than 16 metres (52 feet). Back in the day, we tended to think of Ptychodus a rather humble creature. No, it was quite an impressive beast. The JVP paper made me even more nostalgic than usual for my days as a scientist.
Nor Feeling Especially Impressive,