May. 21st, 2008

greygirlbeast: (Doc10-2)
Yesterday, I did 1,265 words on the new werewolf vignette for Sirenia Digest #31, and finished it. It has a title now, "Unter den Augen des Mondes." And if there's some obvious error in my German, I hope someone here who is a native German speaker (I know we have several) will correct it. Thank you. I do like this piece. It is only 2,423 words long, but that's as long as it "wanted" to be, and feels a lot like the pieces in Frog Toes and Tentacles and Tales from the Woeful Platypus. It is the last piece of fiction I shall write in Atlanta. How weird is that?

Anyway, today will be my very last work day here, before the move to Providence next week. Counting today, we have eight days remaining until moving day. Well, except that eleven hours and forty-seven minutes of today have already passed. So, we have seven and a half days. About 180 hours. 10,800 minutes. Some 648,000 seconds. Except we lose tomorrow on a trip to Birmingham to see my doctor there. Six and a half days. The time has grown so short so quickly. Today, I'll work on getting Sirenia Digest #30 together, though I'm not precisely sure which day I'll be sending it out. I'm still waiting on Vince's artwork for "Rappaccini's Dragon." This month's issue will also include a new vignette by Sonya Taaffe ([livejournal.com profile] sovay), "The Mirror of Venus." Oh, and I probably haven't mentioned this, but Vince will also be providing interior illustrations for A is for Alien.

The packing is truly wearing us down. The house is a maze of boxes, a veritable labyrinth of cardboard. Now that all the books are packed, I've moved along to fossils and such. The truly tedious, time-consuming stuff. For example, last night I packed the Camarasaurus and Maiasaura peeblesorum skull casts. Tonight, many more fossils, my display trilobites and ammonites and Solnhofen specimens and such.

We got out of the maze yesterday evening long enough for a Thai dinner. And then, much later, we watched Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, in preparation for Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, which I hope we can take time to see on Friday. I'd not seen Temple of Doom since its initial theatrical release in 1984. Then I hated it, but I had some meager hope maybe it was not as bad as I recalled. But it is. There are a few good moments here and there, but, overall, it's a fairly ridiculous film. Somewhere after the plane's engines sputter and fail, the whole thing goes to crap. A huge part of it is the intolerably screechy Kate Capshaw. Gegh. But, though I could list many reasons this film fails as a "prequel" to Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), the most important is simply that Temple of Doom presents us with a Dr. Jones who can accept (and use) supernatural forces. Can we really buy that after using those stones to defeat Mola Ram, that he doesn't accept even the possibility that the Ark possesses supernatural abilities? No, we can't. Well, I can't. It's just an awful, awful movie, and it's a shame that the second film in this series could not have followed the example of its predecessor, instead of delivering something that feels like a parody of Raiders. It's an eyesore, and I was completely justified in dismissing it all those years ago.

Oh, someone on my FL was asking about favourite Speilberg films. Mine would be Jaws, with Close Encounters of the Third Kind in second place.

Very late, we read the first chapter of the book I'm reviewing for Publisher's Weekly.
greygirlbeast: (Tuojiangosaurus)
So, first off, the discovery of a Jurassic-age trackway left by ornithopod and sauropod dinoaurs in what is now Yemen. And, while we're on the subject of dinosaur ichnology, how about the discovery of a theropod track in the Late Cretaceous of southern Australia, yet more evidence that some non-avian dinosaurs were quite well-adapted to cold weather. Indeed, this seems to be the season for dinosaur tracks, including a new trackway attributed to juvenile sauropods that's come to light from the Cretaceous of North Gyeongsang Province, South Korea.

The bad news is that here in the US, the Visitor Center at Dinosaur National Monument (Utah) remains closed, two years after the structure, built in the late '50s, was condemned. The strata at the Visitor Center exposes a fabulously bone-rich section of the Late Jurassic Morrison Formation, including remains of such famous dinosaurs as Apatosaurus ("Brontosaurus"), Allosaurus, Stegosaurus, and Diplodocus.

Or. Regarding something almost as far back in time and much farther away in space — "Astronomers have observed for the first time the thunderclap of x-rays that announces a star has exploded into a supernova. Researchers monitoring spiral galaxy NGC 2770, approximately 88 million light-years away, observed a brief but intense flash of x-rays in early January, followed by a prolonged afterglow of visible and ultraviolet light—the hallmark of a supernova."

Meanwhile, an Irish effort to recover "ghost" nets that are responsible for the deaths of innumerable fish and other sea life. "A joint Irish, Norwegian and British study from 2002 estimated that 1,254 kilometres (620 miles) of 600 by 50 metre (1,970 by 164 feet) sheets of nets were being lost every year but there was a reluctance to talk about the problem in the industry." Deep-sea sharks have been especially hard hit by ghost nets, their numbers "falling to about 20 percent of original levels in less than 10 years."

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Caitlín R. Kiernan

February 2012

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