Thursday, December 18, 2014

Doing something else

Started work tonight on a new nonfiction piece. Well, I had been reading to prep for it, but this evening is when I actually started putting stuff down on virtual paper. There might have been a little procrastination there. Anyway, i'm hoping to place it someplace when I'm done. Will provide links when and if that happens.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Say what?

An initial, rather ineffective way of dealing with the results of a poll like this one:
Assume respondents heard the question or misunderstood it. They had to think it meant something else, right?

A second, somewhat better way to deal with it:
Reflect on the possibility that Joe Strummer saw something like this in his day.

We've been told, to keep the strangers out
We don't like them, starting to hang around
We don't like them all over town
Across the wrold we're gonna blow them down.

Mistrust a group enough and you can buy cruelty toward them as heroic.


Sunday, December 14, 2014

Weird science

This is a short but sweet bit of stop-motion animation. Animator White's made her characters very expressive. Also I notice that the professor and his surroundings are a near monochrome brown, so that the invention - I like to call her "Frankendaughter" - looks to be a splash of color in a sepia photograph.

The Invention from Eloise White on Vimeo.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Insecure Friday Random Ten

I'm not really sure why comments on this blog have a security login now. I don't recall asking for that change. Did Google just decide everyone would like that better? Or did I do something without realizing it and/or forget I did it. Possible, if disturbing.

1. Fleetwood Mac - Angel
2. Gogol Bordello - Underdog World Strike
3. Camper Van Beethoven - La Costa Perdida
4. Elton John - Burn Down the Mission
5. Elvis Costello & the Attractions - Pump It Up
6. Sly & the Family Stone - Spaced Cowboy
7. Ladytron - Flicking Your Switch
8. Alice Cooper - Sun Arise
9. Imperial Teen - Over His Head
10. Mose Allison - Just Like Livin'

Thursday, December 11, 2014

The lion's share

Currently I'm reading The Place of the Lion by Charles Williams. It's about what happens when animals and other things in the world start to be replaced by their Platonic ideals. Which, you have to admit, isn't an idea every writer explores.

I'm sure there's some gentlemen's club sexism in this. Damaris Tighe, the chief female character, seems created to prove that female intellectuals are more susceptible to arrogance and tunnel vision. This despite Williams being in the same social circle as Dorothy Sayers. (He was also in the Inklings with Tolkien and CS Lewis.)

But you know what? That's all front loaded. You quickly find out about it, then you either go on reading or you don't. I find the book pretty interesting.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Drying out

Such a heavy rain struck us for basically the whole day and a goodly portion of the night. Meaning I walked home in a flood. Which while not fun in itself gives me the chance to savor one of life's underappreciated pleasures: putting wet socks on a radiator and watching them dry stiff. I think I might appreciate it more even now that I've spent most of a winter - now in the past - without heat. It is, at any rate, a solid illustration of recovery.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

The OGs

Recently archaeologists have found a shell etched with absract markings. This work, simple as it is, is pretty momentous. It's been dated at about 500,000 years old, much older than anatomically modern humans, and it's been attributed to homo erectus.

Artworks and art-like works have been found at Neanderthal sites, but when in doubt paleoanthropologists have tended to credit the work to modern homo sapiens regardless. A painting found on Gibraltar may help to make the case for symbolic thinking in Neanderthals, but this homo erectus artifact could change the whole ground of the argument. If the roots of art, or at least the thinking that can lead to it, were present in our common ancestor, then it almost certainly found expression in both races, and probably others besides.

Also homo erectus won't just be known anymore as targets for boner jokes.